Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

Fearless Conservative Addresses Minority Outreach

Saturday, July 13th, 2013

Show-me State Visit

Some of you will be familiar with this speaker, Adrienne Ross, who writes at MotivationTruth, as well as a contributing to C4P, and this speech to Cape County(MO) Republican Women’s Club, is a great candid approach to expanding the appeal of conservatism to a wider audience. She makes plain here the importance of expanding the reach of the conservative message, and in so doing, debunks a body of lies that is accepted in the media culture and political establishment as fact. One of the things that has confounded many conservatives is how they can extend their message into a community that so often shares social ideas with conservatism, but who have become estranged by sixty years of identity politics.  Is there a way to bridge the gap?  Ross has her own ideas on the subject.  Here’s the video:

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Mark Levin Explains Forthcoming Book

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Constitutional Prescription

Mark Levin introduced his audience to the conceptual aim of his forthcoming book on Wednesday evening.  Titled The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic, the book is set to be released on August 13th, although it can be pre-ordered on Amazon now.  His basic premise is this: In all the history of the United States, governed under the constitution arising from the convention begun in 1787, and completed in 1791, there have been twenty-seven amendments successfully ratified, all arising through the Article V. process  that permits two-thirds of both the House and Senate to propose an amendment, leaving it to three-fourths of the states to ratify and enact it.  Dr. Levin rightly points out that the second course offered by Article V has never been exercised, and it is this recourse by which we must seek our national restoration.  The second alternative is to seek a convention to amend the constitution, without interference or obstruction by the Federal Congress.  In suggesting this alternative, Levin explains why this process was created, and how we might now use it to bring the Federal government to heel.  It’s admittedly a long shot, but it may be the only course now remaining.

For those not familiar with Article V, here is the entire text, with the relevant clauses emphasized:

“The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.”-US CONST ART V

Many fear that such an amending convention would result in a chaotic process that would effectively rewrite and thereby overthrow the existing constitution, but as Levin explained Wednesday, there need be no such effect because any amendments proposed would still require the approval of three-fourths of states(thirty-eight of fifty,) in order to be ratified.  In his coming book, he is introducing eleven “Liberty Amendments” as a means to put in place much-need restraints on our increasingly out-of-control government.

I sincerely hope that among them, he will call for the repeal of the seventeenth amendment, a blight on our system of checks and balances from which this country now suffers mightily.  Over the course of this blog, I have introduced other ideas for amendments, and as a matter of curiosity, but also as a matter of interest as an activist in pursuit of liberty.  We desperately need to think about this, and to bring this to the attention of our fellow Americans, who may not understand it, may not recognize its value, and may not otherwise be exposed to the reasoning for taking this approach.

Levin’s explanation is simple in broad terms: The Federal government has grown to an extent that it can no longer be relied upon as the instrument by which it will be disciplined.  Even if the task seems impossible, both as an educational and preparatory exercise, it is important to pursue this course.  As Levin explained it, if the Federal government’s current course causes the catastrophic results we can reasonably expect, it would be best if the American people already had freshly in mind the manner by which to force reform down the Federal government’s throat without resorting to violence and upheaval.

We conservatives know where our government’s current path will lead, and we’re also informed as to the unambiguous intransigence of the current Federal leviathan.   We cannot rely on Washington DC, or any of the branches of our Federal government to restrain or discipline themselves in any way.  Even in such a states-based effort, the Federal establishment in Washington would do everything it is able to impede, obstruct, and ultimately blunt the effects of any such effort.  As Levin further contended, if the Federal government, specifically the Congress, endeavored to break with the rules of the process as outlined in Article V, this would indeed act as a probably trigger for the last resort to which a free people may turn in the face of tyranny.  After all, if the Federal government itself became so lawless that it would ignore specific constitutional processes, that government is itself in anarchy and may no longer lay legitimate claim to the authority to govern.

Government needs a good spanking, and we cannot rely on this pack of spoiled children and their enablers to deliver it.  We will need to rise up, to educate, and to use the processes already available under the constitution to impose our will on the government, whether it can be accomplished by efforts in time of peace and relative prosperity, or will be delayed until exigency demands it, and dramatic reform may no longer be denied.  As has been oft-quoted by government officials, particularly in the judiciary, the US Constitution is not a “suicide pact,” but this works in both directions.  It is not a suicide pact most of all for we the people, and it is time we reassert it supremacy as the foundation of our law, and the basis for our nation’s long-enjoyed prosperity and liberty.

This makes all the more important the efforts of grass-roots groups, such as the Tea Party and any sort of “Freedom Faction” that might arise to challenge the existing establishment, because this approach will require the broadest demands of the people working in every state in the union.  None should be deluded into thinking such an undertaking will occur in one election cycle, or any number of them, without a persistent and unrelenting dedication of purpose.  Once again, let history record that we had been the people equal to the task of self-governance.  Let it be said of us that we gave it our fullest measure of devotion, for the country and the constitution we still love and revere, that our children and grandchildren might yet inherit its fullest blessings.

Note: Site modifications and updates are still being brought online in phases. Some of the largest chores are yet to be done, and I intend to carry them out Friday night or in one case, Saturday night.  Visitors in the wee hours of the morning are likely to experience sporadic outages.  Thank you for your continued patience.

Mama Grizzly Adds Roar of Leadership to Immigration Debate

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Still the One…

Writing a Breitbart-exclusive op-ed, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin sounded-off on Sunday evening over the ridiculous “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” bill pending in the US Senate, and in so doing, she stepped out to join other rare leaders on the conservative side of the debate.  Just a few big-name conservatives have been vocal in their opposition to this bill, but this piece by Governor Palin seems to lay down a marker for others in the GOP to consider.  The conservatives who have been doggedly fighting against this immigration bill for all its mortal failings have been heartened to see the freshman Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, stepping up to fight against a terribly abusive and nonsensical bill.  With this most direct entry into the fray, Gov. Palin has made clear her continuing ability to lead from the outside, and it is most invigorating to grass roots conservatives that she has chosen this dark moment to speak up and do battle with the DC-Beltway, permanent political class that is trying to foist this bill upon the American people.

As is her habit, she wasted no time with pleasantries and minced no words:

“Just like they did with Obamacare, some in Congress intend to “Pelosi” the amnesty bill. They’ll pass it in order to find out what’s in it. And just like the unpopular, unaffordable Obamacare disaster, this pandering, rewarding-the-rule-breakers, still-no-border-security, special-interests-ridden, 24-lb disaster of a bill is not supported by informed Americans.”

This opening salvo sets the tone for the entire piece, because while like so many of us, Gov. Palin believes in legal immigration because she understands that we are a nation built by immigrants who faced tremendous challenges to conquer a continent, she also reveres the rule of law and understands quite well what happens when government becomes an agent of anarchy. In that vein, she wrote:

“I am an ardent supporter of legal immigration. I’m proud that our country is so desirable that it has been a melting pot making a diverse people united as the most exceptional nation on earth for over two centuries. But I join every American with an ounce of common sense insisting that any discussion about immigration must center on a secure border. The amnesty bill before the Senate is completely toothless on border security. “

Lamenting the many holes in the legislation now pending, including the amendments offered thus far, she took the time to single-out one of the bill’s key proponents, Senator Marco Rubio(R-FL).  Earlier Sunday, she posted on Facebook and via Twitter an article revealing Rubio’s hypocrisy on the subject, and it is here that one gets a sense that the “Mama Grizzly” is just getting warmed-up:

“It’s beyond disingenuous for anyone to claim that a vote for this bill is a vote for security. Look no further than the fact that Senator Rubio and amnesty supporters nixed Senator Thune’s amendment that required the feds to finally build part of a needed security fence before moving forward on the status of illegal immigrants who’ve already broken the law to be here. And if shooting down the border fence wasn’t proof enough, they blew another chance by killing Senator Paul’s “Trust But Verify” amendment which required the completion of a fence in five years and required Congress to vote on whether the border is actually secure before furthering any immigration measures. And then they blew it yet again, nixing Senator Cornyn’s “Results” amendment, which also required border enforcement standards. Now the Senate’s pro-amnesty crowd is offering a fig leaf to security via the Corker-Hoeven Amendment, but this is really nothing more than empty promises. It’s amnesty right now and border security… eh, well, someday.”

This is more than fair in the sense of a well-deserved rebuke, and it also illustrates some of the games being played by the DC crowd.  There really wasn’t any reason for Republicans to vote for cloture, permitting this bill to come to the floor for debate in the first place, but now that we’re stuck with this process, we ought to know who is doing what. She takes careful measure of the bill, stating simply:

“There are plenty of other commonsense solutions, but this bill isn’t about fixing problems; it’s about amnesty at all costs.”

In this allegation, there can be no doubt. So intent are these Senators to pass amnesty “at all costs” that they are willing to wheel and deal, but you should know as I have reported and she has identified again, part of this bill is nothing but a load of pork to be fed to the permanent political class who will trade their votes for goodies, including the bipartisan cabal of Senators from her own state:

“Just like they did for Obamacare, the permanent political class is sugaring this bill with one goody after another to entice certain senators to vote for it. Look no further than page 983 of the bill, which contains a special visa exemption for foreign seafood workers in the 49th state despite huge unemployment numbers in the American workforce. This is obviously a hidden favor designed to buy the votes of Alaska Senators Murkowski and Begich.”

One thing among many to be admired about Sarah Palin is her insistence on pointing out the con-artists in her own party.  Few politicians will do such a thing, but she’s been doing so since she was the mayor of Wasilla, AK.  It’s heartening to see her continue this fight, even as one realizes with sadness the fact that when it comes to corruption, there’s no end in sight, but Gov. Palin offers us many reasons for hope, and she implores the grass-roots to rise up against this horrible bill:

“It’s time for concerned Americans to flood our legislators’ phone lines with the input they need to hear from We the People. Join the mama grizzlies who are rearing up tirelessly to swat away false claims that amnesty is a good thing. Michelle Malkin rightly said the issue is not secure the border first, it’s “secure the border. Period.””

Amen.  In the end, she reminds politicians of that which we must not forget, win, lose or draw on this particular issue:

“And 2014 is just around the corner.”

So it is, and we’ll be there too.  You betcha!

When Libertarians Abandon Reason

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Libertarian Poo

I readily admit that what makes me less-inclined to be a part of the Republican Party is that all too often, I believe that institution abandons reason for the sake of politics.  Too often, I find that these avenues of departure occur on issues in which it seems to me that the party is more interested in getting votes by superficial causes than by doing the harder worker of reasoning with would-be supporters.  I tend to have some very libertarian ideas in such fields as economics, in which I believe the best answer is remove government as an influence, for better or worse(as it’s almost always the latter,) from every economic consideration.   In this context, it’s easy to understand why I have some significant sympathies with libertarians, because I believe the freedom to choose in a market, rightly or wrongly, and the opportunity from those choices to profit or lose, is as fundamental to human progress as any virtue that has ever existed in human history.  Some libertarians over-extend this argument  and the best example of this over-extended idea is the fixation some libertarians seem to have with easy immigration and open borders, ignoring all the problems accompanying such ideas, to the extent that the contradictions explicit in their proposals seem to be invisible to them.

I believe in rational self-interest, a notion perhaps best explained by author and philosopher Ayn Rand, and I am hardly alone in my favorable impression of her ideas on that subject.  Many libertarians and advocates of reason will reference her works on the subject because of the power of her logic to persuade.  The problem arises, however, when some advocates of a free market go so far afield in their wide-eyed insistence that markets and people be perfectly free that they abandon reason in its material implementations. Immigration is one such issue, and to shed some light on where I think the disconnect occurs or how the problems become invisible to advocates, I’d prefer to address this in the sense of a study in the rational self-interest with which libertarians are generally concerned.  I noted today that one writer who I read from time to time had decided to attack Sarah Palin, and specifically, among all the more laughable claims, he seemed most displeased with her stance on the immigration reform bill. Wrote Reason Editor Nick Gillespie over at TheDailyBeast:

Palin herself has sneered at immigration reform, dismissing pending Senate legislation as “a pandering, rewarding-the-rule-breakers, still-no-border-security, special-interest-written amnesty bill.”

Far be it from me to let Mr. Gillespie in on a guarded state secret, but “a pandering, rewarding-the-rule-breakers, still-no-border-security, special-interest-written amnesty bill” is the most precisely accurate description of the “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” or “Gang-of-Eight” bill I’ve yet read.  This legislation is being pushed as the way to save the Republican Party, by ostensibly enticing more Hispanics to vote for GOP candidates, therefore meeting the precise definition of pandering.  The bill ultimately lets people cut in line, despite having broken our laws.  It fails to secure the borders as has been promised since 1986.  It was created in a devil’s brew of deal-making between the unions and the Chamber of Commerce, for Heaven’s sake.  In all respects, it is precisely as Gov. Palin described it.  In today’s article, Gillespie goes on to take numerous cheap-shots at Palin, but given the issues of the day, and Gillespie’s distinctly libertarian views, particularly on immigration, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to address this issue.  Gillespie is a forceful advocate for libertarian positions, and is particularly adamant in his views on open borders and liberal immigration policies.  His article today seemed as though it needed an FEC disclaimer because it read like a campaign advertisement for Rand Paul and also Justin Amash, two Republicans with decidedly libertarian viewpoints.

Nick Gillespie would tell you that he is an opponent of collectivism.  I too am an opponent of collectivism, but as Rand properly noted, I recognize that there are certain facets of human interaction for which government is the only rational answer.  We know governments simply cannot allocate wealth as efficiently or as honestly as a free market, so that government’s sole role in the field ought to be reduced to that of a referee.  That’s why we have a court system complete with all the possible avenues of civil redress and relief. We know also that the notion of a collectivized defense is probably the only rational way in which to protect one’s nation against foreign attackers, since we likewise recognize that while we may mean no harm to others, we can’t count on that as a driving motive behind the policies of other nations.  In short, we know that there are legitimate roles for government, but that much as our founders would have explained it, those roles are definite and limited.

After all, a nation is but a collection of persons, bound by the geographic description of a region, and each of those persons is entitled to a natural right of self-defense, and property, along with a general pursuit of happiness.  Together, they have an aggregated right to those same ends, so that it is only natural that they should decide the boundaries of their nation, and how they will be enforced.  A nation-state is exclusionary by design, the very object of its creation as an institution being the limiting of who may enter, and under what conditions.  National boundaries exist to create a delineation, so that a person may know that as he moves from one nation to the next, one is bound by the laws of the jurisdiction to which one has entered.

Libertarians will scream at me here, arguing that every person on the planet ought to be as free(or more so) than had been the residents of the United States.  While I agree in principle, what I know about the world tells me this can never be the case.  There are no Utopias to be found here.  Not even Rand’s Galt’s Gulch can be made on Earth, because there will always and forever be people who choose the shortcuts, the paths of least resistance, and the desire to dominate their fellow man. We may not like it, and we may wish we could create some sort of Heaven on Earth, but it will never be, whether proposed by the statists or the libertarians.

This being the case, any organization of people uniting to build a country and creating its laws to guarantee the rights of its residents ought to carefully guard that nation.  It must be guarded against invasion and attack, and its quality of life must be guarded to the benefit of those paying for all of this protection.  The libertarian mindset is that we must extend our liberties to all humanity through a permissive immigration policy while improving free trade across borders.  In this way, they surmise, it is possible to elevate many people’s lives, both immigrant and native-born, simply permitting them to come and partake of the same liberty current residents enjoy.  Lovely though it may sound, however, this is at odds with all human experience on the subject, and offers no real hope to those actually deserving to enter.

The object of any nation’s immigration policy ought to be simple, and it’s a construct much like the justification for a national defense: How does a given immigrant’s entry comport with the collectivized interests of the nation at large?   If this is the standard, and it should be, then we would permit many more immigrants from Asia and Europe, and many fewer from Central and South America.  You see, it is right to ask of immigrants: “What do you bring to the party?”  The sort of indiscriminate open-borders notions held by many libertarians would destroy the very thing they had hoped to extend to millions more humans.  It is this central contradiction, this hole in their reasoning, that damns their ideas on the subject as the child-like tantrums of a dream made of rainbows and unicorns interrupted by the intercession of reality.  There’s nothing wrong with such dreams, but once one wakes up to confront reality, it’s time to reconsider.

How much evidence does one need to demonstrate that not every person entering the United States shares in those visions of Utopia?  If a nation does not control its borders, how is it to discern among the many entrees, or who among them will contribute to or detract from the quality and standard of living in the country?  I live in Texas, a border state that has seen its share of tragedies born of those who made it into this country without proper vetting.  Scarcely a day goes by without a story in the press about some illegal immigrant who has inflicted untold suffering on our residents.  The clear point in all of this is that we have every manner of rational self-interest as individuals, but also aggregated as a nation, to ensure to the degree possible that those who come to our shores will be contributors rather than burdens.

I well understand the trials and tribulations of legal immigrants, inasmuch as my own spouse is an immigrant to this nation.  She has worked continuously for twenty-two of the twenty-three years she has resided in the US, making her a net taxpayer by a wide margin and providing little in the way of burdens upon the public, by way of her use of the roads and bridges of our state for which she is also taxed.  She creates economic activity by virtue of the expenditures of her earnings, and in point of fact, has worked two jobs for most of the last decade.  In addition, she works the farm, and has raised a child who is well on her way to likewise becoming a productive American.  I understand immigration, because particularly, my mother’s family was one of poor, hard-working immigrants who toiled endlessly to scratch their way to something approximating economic stability.  Some immigrants come here precisely for the economic opportunities, with a firmly-held work ethic and a love for their adoptive country, but this does not nearly describe all of them.

Sadly, in too many cases, immigrants who come to the United States not to partake of our liberty and our relative prosperity by contributing to it, but instead by finding ways to skim and scam from it.  How many now come expressly for welfare benefits?  How many come to engage in drug or human trafficking?  How many come solely for the attractions of a society ripe for the pillaging?  Surely, the latter do not wish to “come out of the shadows” in any event.  When my wife filed all of her immigration paperwork, one of the things I had to file was a statement of financial responsibility, stating that I would not permit her to become a burden on the government.  I always wondered how it could be that so many recent immigrants could apply for and gain access to welfare-state benefits with laws on the books that would seem, on the surface, to make that illegal.  The answer should have been obvious to me: Children.

The children born to immigrants are citizens under current US law.  This citizenship entitles them to all the benefits available as part of our welfare systems.  Health-care, food-stamps, and all the other provisions of the welfare-state are available to the American-born children of recent immigrants.  Are we going to provide Section 8 housing for the children but force Ma and Pa to live on the streets?  Are we going to provide food assistance to the kids while insisting that Mom and Dad do without? Simply put, if the benefits sufficient to feed a number of children are dispensed on the basis of their needs alone, it will be sufficient food to also care for the parents if they’re smart shoppers. In this way, the alleged barrier to welfare benefits for immigrants is bypassed or mooted.

I don’t blame immigrants for seeking out and taking advantage of benefits we offer.  I simply believe we should not offer them, but I wouldn’t limit that proscription only to immigrants.  Our vast welfare state is an enormous magnet, and one that permits some very unsavory characters to make their way to the US both illegally, and legally, as we have seen in the case of the Tsarnaev brothers in Boston.  The truth is that a liberal welfare state is wholly incompatible with a liberal immigration policy, as the experience of post-war Europe has demonstrated.  This is because those immigrants will tend to change the culture and the polity of their new country at a rate faster than the subject culture can tolerate, particularly when drawn in all the faster by liberal welfare-state offerings.

I also note that for all their wistful pondering over the benefits of an open border, such advocates seem to be all one-way in their thinking.  Why is it that this spreading of liberty must occur solely through immigration to this country?  Why aren’t the libertarians emigrating, so zealously desirous to see all men free, that they must be willing to take their message to countries like Venezuela and Mexico?  Surely, if only they can convince the governments of these third-world nation-states, they could prevail upon the leaders in those stricken countries to simply make their residents free.  No?  No takers?  I suspect not many libertarians are ready to pack their bags for that journey, and with good reason:  They wouldn’t stand a chance in Hell.

What gave the United States its edge in development and prosperity was not immigration, as Jeb Bush would have you believe.  Instead, it was a set of ideals and beliefs taken nearly to their logical conclusion that had set the stage for the American explosion.  It was not the immigrants alone, because the industrial revolution had commenced well before the great waves of immigrants at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries.  The growth of American prosperity had progressed with the extension of freedom.  Those early 20th century immigrants were indoctrinated rapidly in American history and culture, and they quickly blended into the great melting pot, further driving the growth of prosperity.  Still, they brought with them some bad things too, including pieces of a polity that preferred collectivism, and it was out of this forge that the progressive era was born.

Most of the ideas of the progressive era were really European ideas.  Margaret Sanger’s eugenics were well-received in Europe, and one wonders if with his fixation on the fertility of immigrants, Jeb Bush may be a fan.  He certainly is in the progressive mold, after all.  The point to understand, however, is that when the waves of European immigrants came to the United States, they had an immediate effect on the politics of the nation, both by force of their numbers, and by virtue of their political beliefs, then imported with them to their new home.  This will be true of any immigrants in any age, but now, we face a threat of socialism.  Some form of statism is dominant in virtually every nation from which we receive immigrants, and yet we do not hesitate even long enough to ask what cultural norms, beliefs, practices, and politics they will bring with them.  This is a tragic error.

If the United States is or had been the greatest and freest nation on the planet, then it had owed to the foundation laid by our earliest immigrants, our founders and framers.   To the degree its polity has changed, it owes in some large measure to the influx of immigrants.  My question to libertarians is whether they believe it is possible to import so many souls born to tyranny and despotism without changing the nation for the worse.  The one hopeful sign is that immigrants are, after all, the people who fled, whether for political or economic reasons, but if the greater number is for the latter, we cannot say with any surety how well they will reinforce the ideals that had built this country.  Some years, perhaps decades hence, when some dozens of millions of new immigrants will have converted this country to just another third-world Republic, will the libertarians who insist now on open borders and liberal immigration policies likewise insist that native-born Americans be permitted to flee?  If so, to where?

The United States of America has grown and prospered because for the most part, until the last half century, we had taken great care most of the time as to who could come and claim their bona fides as Americans, and under which conditions they could do so.  The immigration bill now in process takes no such care, in fact discarding many provisions that might have helped in preventing our eventual collapse under the weight of an immigrant-heavy welfare-state.  It’s time for libertarians to wake up, shake off the unicorns and rainbows of their perfect dreams, and realize that there is more at stake than some tortured notion of ideological consistency, of which I am generally myself a big fan.  Sometimes, the plane on which one must remain consistent is a good deal more obvious, and this case is one of those:  The United States, in order to remain a country into which any would willingly immigrate must remain a country of freedom and opportunity, but if we don’t first protect the culture that had created that freedom and opportunity, those virtues will rapidly diminish and die.  Two decades hence, living in a Venezuela-like paradigm, lost in the wild places between totalitarianism and anarchy, it will be of slim consolation to the libertarian, open-borders advocate when he sees finally his dreams going up in flames around him.

Time to wake up, Nick.

Hey Jeb: Chirp This!

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Fresh off a speech in which he basically complained that Americans aren’t fertile enough to keep pace with his desire to grow the welfare state, Jeb Bush told CBN’s David Brody (H/T Weaselzippers):

“If I decide to run for office again, it will be based on what I believe, and it will be based on my record. And that record was one of solving problems completely from a conservative perspective.”

He went on:

“I will be able to, I think, manage my way through all the chirpers out there,” he said.

Chirpers?

I think I deserve a promotion to “Squawker”

Hey Jeb, psssst, Jeb, you want a bird?  I’ve got one right here for you, pal…

At least I kept it in the family…

You’re no conservative.

Fertilize that...

Where Have You Been?

Friday, June 14th, 2013

Bits in the Wind

Being a less than enthusiastic fan of popular culture, I sometimes get dragged into conversations on subjects about which I know roughly nothing, and they frequently resemble something like this:  “Did you see [TV-Show] last night?”  Me: “No, I’ve never heard of it.”  Questioner: “Where have you been?”  The implication is that I’m some kind of a dolt because I don’t watch much of the pop-culture garbage being spewed out of television networks and movie studios.  It’s true, but only if your standard of reckoning is measured against knowing what had been on television last night.  In light of Edward Snowden’s disclosures, there has been a good deal of shock and a widespread sense of contempt for a government that is able and willing to spy on the intimate details of the daily lives of Americans.  Stories have been cranking out about the degree to which government is able to record all the daily activities of citizens, and the extent to which large corporations have climbed into bed with government to provide information on their own customers.  Perhaps it is because I have a little of the Devil in me, or perhaps it’s because I have this innate compulsion to say “I told you so,” but either way, to all those Americans who are breathlessly gobsmacked over the spying our government does on its own people, I can ask only: “Where have you been?”

Ladies and gentlemen, the truth is that in some form or fashion, this has been going on for years.  I fully expected that government would be in bed with every cellular provider and you should have expected it too.  After all, those companies have broadcasting facilities dotting the countryside, and just as you asked the government to do, these companies are regulated by the Federal Communications Commission.  Is it really so incomprehensible that with a little twisting of licensees’ corporate arms, government would be given access to this data?  Every networking device in the country bears an FCC label, from the Network Interface Card in your computer to the routers and switches through which your Internet traffic passes.  These devices and anything like them are all subject to some form of regulation by the FCC.  Did you think that would never come back to bite you?  You didn’t know?  Where have you been?

From the moment government first put its claws into the regulation of communications, it was inevitable that the government would begin the process of controlling, managing, monitoring, and even shaping communications to its own ends.  It was a temptation too great to avoid, because those who seek power seek it for a reason: Control.  This is the nature of government, but it is the key element in building the sort of command-and-control structures that even now have become too large to be concealed in the shadows.  The sad, sickening reality is that in one form or another, you’ve asked for this, and in many cases, you’ve been driven into demanding it.

If you’re alive in 2013, for the span of your entire life, you have been told (and you have mostly accepted) that the government has a natural interest in regulating everything that goes over the air, or through public spaces.  You’ve accepted the notion that the Federal Communications Commission should have the unlimited authority to exert control on radio and television programming, and aghast at some of the content you’ve seen on the Internet in the past two decades, you’ve even asked the government to intervene in that medium as well.  Seldom does anybody question the primary premise on which all this regulation is based:  The government, acting on behalf of the public, must have effective ownership of all means of transmission through the public spaces with users, whether individual or corporate, are merely licensees in some form or fashion.  It needn’t have been true, and the fact is that this assumption has caused the aggregation of vast wealth into a few hands when it need not have been.  Just as we had “land rushes” sponsored by government to populate our Western landscape, we might just as easily have done something similar with frequencies in well-described locales, conferring ownership of airwaves rather than licensing of them.

Unfortunately, there will be no going back.  Every website you’ve ever visited has been recorded.  Every phone call you’ve placed or text message you’ve sent has been open to monitoring and recording, and it has grown to such an extent that now your electric meter may well record spikes in usage that denote a pattern of when you are home, when you’re awake, when you’re watching the TV, and when you’re microwaving your supper.  In some places, water metering devices can now reliably discern between a quick washing of the hands or a flushing of a toilet, and all of this information being gathered is said to improve the ability to serve customers.  Meanwhile, the US government builds alliances with corporations, mostly coercive in nature despite any carrots offered to sooth the blow, and those enticements to businesses include the sharing of government data that will be helpful in marketing to customers.  It’s very cozy, but it’s nothing new, and it’s been done this way since the advent of mass mobile communications and Internet access, and in truth, for many years before.

The disclosures provided by Edward Snowden should only really shock you if you’ve been doing as I’ve been accused when I can’t identify a movie actor: “Living under a rock.”  For decades now, it has been supposed that anybody who believed all this monitoring is possible was some sort of “conspiracy kook,” but the problem is that those of us in the technology fields have understood that this was a growing reality from which there could be no escape, in part because we have helped to build it. Others imagine that the bulk of information being captured is just so large that it is unmanageable, and that there is no possible way in which any sense can be made of it in a thoroughly threatening way, but if they believe that, I think they’ve significantly underestimated the ability of government to aggregate and correlate data.  Vast government server farms exist that are devoted to nothing but the accumulation and storage of this data, for eventual analysis and correlation.

One young woman recently asked me what good it would do the government to have all of this data on all Americans, and how it would constitute a threat to their privacy, since in her view, she doesn’t do anything unusual or threatening.  Frankly, knowing all I do about how government collects data, and how corporations are the continual source for so much of that information, I could not fathom how she did not see and understand the threats to her privacy.  In order to impress upon her how thoroughly oppressive this could become, I asked her to detail her day, and at each step along her daily course, I explained how that information could be used to build a picture not only of how she lived on a particular day, but would also provide a very good set of red flags that she had an atypical day.  How much information do you think is necessary when collected at the level of granularity now available to build a complete picture of your average day?  Once your “normal” daily routine is established, spotting anything out of the ordinary is not difficult.

What this means to the average citizen of the United States is that there are few ways to escape the “grid.” Do you work? Do you have a bank account? Credit cards? Cell phone?  Smart meter on your electric service?  Ditto for water?  Cable television?  Satellite?  Is your car recording driving data that can and will be used against you if there’s a mishap?  Now, add to this your medical records that will soon come to be under wall-to-wall Federal management, and then consider retailers able to link your purchases to all of these, and the picture that results should be shocking to every person:  There is virtually nothing that you may now do alone, and without company of some spying eye, whether direct governmental watching, or through a third party like your cell-phone company.  You can scarcely go to the bathroom without somebody knowing it.

Ladies and gentlemen, I will not pretend to you that I know much about popular culture, but I am intensely aware of technology and its use in tracking human activity.  There is virtually nothing we do in this modern frame that isn’t being collected as an event, analyzed, and categorized for later recall.  The reason this is possible is because for the most part, when you hear of the details, you shrug and go on, feeling helpless to do anything about it.  The truth is, however, that to a larger degree, it is born of our intellectual sloth.  To the degree we’re unaware, it’s only because we don’t want to know.

It’s 6am, and a light turns on.  It’s 6:05, and a toilet flushes and moments later, there are the connections necessary to check email on some distant server. The email is downloaded and read while a cup of coffee is consumed, the brewing machine having activated at 5:45am sharp in anticipation of your impending alarm, and then the television comes on, and a news channel is selected.  There is the running of more water, consistent with a shower, and then a burst of electric demand, indicating something being heated in a standard microwave.  There is some flipping of channels, and then there’s the first phone call of the day, and the first three text messages too, the first to the office, the other three in a hurried, playful exchange with a lover.  Then there’s another flush, because the spouse has arisen.  Another television pops on and another smart phone comes to life, as the earlier riser rushes out the door.  The central air kicks in because a door has opened and closed, the exchange of the warmer air outside triggering the thermostat, and thus recording the power spike as the compressor motor turns on.

An engine comes to life. Down the road it goes. Triangulation from the cellular towers in the vicinity record the strength of the signal from the driver’s phone, recording distance.  One tower knows only your distance from it.  Two towers with overlapping range fix your position to one of two possible points at the intersections of their coverage, and a third tower now finalizes location, permitting your speed and direction of travel to be recorded.  Overlaid on a map, this information can tell us if you were speeding, since on that stretch of roadway, the speed is set to 60mph, but you were moving much too quickly for that.  More texts come in, again from the lover, to whose home you’re speeding for a quick stop on the way to your job.  The conversation is noted, and the exact location of each device is recorded, and as the monitors watch, one device converges on the other.

The spouse calls to say “Don’t forget, we have a PTA meeting tonight.”  This too is recorded, and so is the sound of the driver saying, “Okay, talk to you later… Love you too… Bye…”  Another text comes in… “How long?”  The response: “5.”  The driver turns off the highway, and down a side-street, pulls into a gas station, using the ATM. Location for the transaction is recorded, along with the face of the banking customer.  No time for gas, have enough until later.  Just a minute away now.  A warm embrace, cellular networks respectively recording the correlation of locations on distinct devices complete with timestamps.  A few painfully short minutes later, back in the car, down the road, now running late for work because the driver tried to steal more minutes from the day than should be possible. The logging device in the car records a near-stop, as the driver artfully rolls a stop-sign.  A watching police officer falls in behind, the lights turns on, and a traffic stop is born. 

“In a hurry?” asks the officer.  “License, insurance, registration, please.” In a dispatch center miles away, the radio traffic between dispatchers and the officer buzzes with information.  License, license plate. Warrants?  Clean? Okay.  The officer compares the picture on his screen to the one on the license to the driver he’s just stopped.  Checks out okay – same person. “I’m letting you go with a warning, but watch those stops, okay?”  In a records management system, the completed event now registers time, date, location, make, model, driver, infraction, and links to the dash-cam video that would be used in defense against a civil suit if you had been unhappy about your treatment by the officer.  As it is, the driver is late, but in the hurry to get to work, a drivers’ license is dropped.

 The officer is understanding.  People are in a hurry in this economy.  When he gets a moment, he sends a terminal message to dispatch to look up the driver again, and see if there’s a listed number.  There is, a home phone number, and three seconds later, that phone rings.  A person answers, and in the background, the dispatcher can hear the sounds of children getting ready for school, and a breathless parent saying: “Dropped the license where?”  Meanwhile, a driver arrives at the office.  The missing license is finally noticed, but it’s too late to turn back.  It’s probably fallen between the seat and the door anyway.  One minute later, after explaining to the boss that except for an unfortunate traffic stop, the driver would have been on time, a cell phone rings.  It’s the spouse.  “Lose something?”  Having dropped the children at school, the spouse’s location is noted by a cellular network, as the car converges with another point on the map: A private investigator’s office.

So it goes. In barely more than two hours, a family is in danger of disintegration, a cheat is revealed, and all of it is recorded somewhere, waiting for somebody to notice the links. If you think this is impossible, think again.  If you think that the government hasn’t the capacity to sort and correlate all such data, you don’t understand the technology.  Any one of these tiny electronic transactions would be meaningless in most contexts, but in the aggregate, they can be used to build a fairly complete picture of a given subject.  Does the government need your cooperation?  How can they twist your arm if they do?  How can the institutions of government control you?  How can they manage you?  How much will you take?  What will cause you to bend? What can be exchanged for your silence or compliance?  This form of unlimited control of a populace has always been a subject of much speculation and fear, but now, we are on the cusp of its birth as a real, ordinary process of daily life.  We empower it.  We permit it.  We feed it, and we give our silent assent to all of it.  Mostly, we’ve permitted them to build it in utter contempt of our wishes to the contrary.  We’ve listened to the promises of safety and security, and we’ve permitted the governing class to use social programs as a facade behind which to build this vast network of command-and-control structure, with nothing so secret as to avoid detection.

After a brief stop at the PI’s office, it’s time to get on to the doctor.  That appointment has been nagging since it was scheduled.  Ten years and three children into the marriage, that same feeling is back, and while it’s not certain, somehow, chemistry being what it is, she knows.  The doctor beams at her. He’s delivered her three children, and the news is now noted that there is a fourth growing inside her, but the tears into which she bursts are not those of joy.  The children at school are going blissfully about their day, but she has a mortal decision to make. She knew her husband was stepping out.  That’s why she hadn’t let him touch her in months.  The cellphone chimes with a text as her best friend asks: “Well?”  She sobs uncontrollably, and rushes from the doctor’s office.  She calls him, his number concealed in her phone under “Pool Service,” he answers, not sure who she is, at first.  How could he?  It was just that once for her, and now she’s faced with what to tell him, whether to tell him anything, or what to do.  The phone signal tapers away.  He asks her “Well, what do you want to do?  I don’t want to be a father…”  A few minutes later, her cellular service records her arrival on the seedier side of town.  There’s a clinic there, and for an hour, she sits there looking at the clinic, but trying to see her future.  She does Internet searches, looking up terms like “abortion, adoption, divorce lawyer, marriage counseling, and Plan B.”

If you think the government can’t learn a great deal about you, even from much less dramatic information, remember that there are only really three things they need to know:  Name, time, location.  Associating those three attributes with any given event, also fixed in location and time, gives them all they need to know to build the most complete picture.  It’s a puzzle made up of multidimensional pixels, where time and location define four, but the color of the pixel reveals one more bit of the overall picture of you.  If you’re not frightened, you’re a fool.  If you think that you live a perfect, upstanding life, and that you are beyond reproach and much beyond the aims of any extortion or coercion, remember that all of this information is recorded, but there is nothing that says it cannot be modified to invent times, places, and events associated with you for which there had been no factual record.  Who would a court or a jury believe?  You, or the machine?  After all, what possible interest could government have in framing you?  What possible interest could any people prone towards freakishly controlling behavior have in managing you in a direction they find more appropriate to their own ends?

This is the searing question raised by Edward Snowden’s disclosures, but I it mystifying that it’s taken this long for the discussion to gain attention in the popular culture.  In our popular culture, it’s always the dark and sinister CEO of some corporation driving these monstrous “conspiracies” that now appear uncomfortably too much like the reality we are coming to know.  The question we never ask is: “If they’re pulling our strings, who is pulling theirs?”  If you’re the head of a multinational corporate entity, why would you cooperate with government?  A quid pro quo?  This for that?  What are these people buying with their cooperation with government?  Silence?  Coordination?  Profit?  Whatever your inclination, you can rest assured it will be all of these and more.  Do you need to eliminate or hamper a competitor?  Do you need to quash a earnings report?  Do you wish to preserve your reputation in front of the world?  What is your price?  How can you help us?

Naturally, such global-scale thinking needn’t be the sole function or motive of such systems as PRISM or those like it.  Sometimes, it’s about a broader, more general compliance among the populace, and if you don’t believe you’re the target of that, I can only repeat my earlier question: “Where have you been?”

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for Leadership in All the Wrong Places?

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Dr. Benjamin Carson

Last week, I brought you a video from the National Prayer Breakfast speech of Dr. Benjamin Carson.  His words were heartening in many respects, and many in conservative media leaped at the notion of his political potential as a candidate.  I thought at the time that it was a bit of a fad, and I was therefore surprised to see Hannity run a full hour-long show on FoxNews devoted to talking with Dr. Carson.  (You can see the full video, here in parts 1 and 2.) I am glad Hannity had him on because my own caution seemed justified by something Dr. Carson said.  As I listened to him address the question of health insurance, it struck me as odd that he sees an inherent conflict of interests between an insurance company seeking to make a profit and its customers seeking health coverage.  When I hear such things said, I often dismiss them as the vapid utterances of mindless politicians, but since Dr. Carson has been receiving so much press, including on this site, it’s time to address the matter.  What Dr. Carson the practitioner of health-care seems to think about insurance is a common misconception, and it offers one more reason why conservatives must be cautious in their choices of leaders.

Dr. Carson said on Hannity’s show that there exists an inherent conflict of interests between health insurance companies and their insured clients.  This is not true.  The actual conflict begins a good deal sooner in the process, and as I think you will see, exposes a wider misunderstanding of the problem.  Ask yourself this:  Who are the majority of purchasers of health insurance?  If you said “individuals,” you’re wrong by a mile.  The truth is that the largest purchasers of health insurance are institutions, including the Federal and states’ governments, and corporations.  The problem here is that the people who consume the service are not the people directly paying for it.  Any time you break the connection between the end user and the provider of goods and services, you effectively destroy likewise the natural market signaling that provides feedback in both directions.

As an example, imagine you are a smoker looking for health insurance.  If you were approaching insurance companies directly, they would undoubtedly quote you a price many times higher than the one they propose to a non-smoker.  Obese?  Same thing.  This would mean that as a matter of natural market forces, you would either amend your behaviors and condition, or you would bear the burden of higher prices.  Insurers would naturally consider everything about you in determining what they would charge for a policy, but perhaps more importantly, you would be free to shop for insurance among many providers.  This would act as a restraint upon overcharging, and would also cause them to offer special discounts if you lived an exceedingly healthy lifestyle.  In short, personal responsibility would have a good deal to do with how much you pay for health insurance, as it should in a free market.  At the same time, a particular company’s profitability would hinge on making consumers happy with their coverages.

What many people ignore is that if one had to pay cash for the whole bill each time one became ill, or injured, most of us would go untreated indefinitely, because few of us have the resources to pay cash for extensive or invasive health-care procedures.  Dr. Carson talks a good deal about Health Savings Accounts, but such plans are more useful for mundane purposes of a less critical nature than their utility in life-threatening circumstances.  While I support Health Savings Accounts, I believe insurance is a necessary hedge against calamities.  If we change our focus from health-care insurance for ongoing maintenance, to a paradigm in which what we insure against are catastrophic circumstances, while letting things like HSAs pick up the slack for ordinary health maintenance, in a market environment, one would see the market begin to perform in a natural fashion.  Unfortunately, this means that people would need  to shop for insurance like they do any other commodity, and seek out the best deals on their ordinary health maintenance and preventative care, and most Americans have become far too complacent about such matters, expecting it all to be automatic.

The truth of the  matter is that if Americans want health-care to improve markedly in the United States, while restraining the growth in costs, without resorting to some sort of death-panel or other government-mandated rationing mechanism, there is a mechanism, however imperfect: The free market.  Unfortunately, since the advent of Medicaid and Medicare, and even widespread employer-purchased health benefits(prompted by government wage and price controls,)  we haven’t had a free market for health-care in the United States, never mind health insurance.  The government is now the largest consumer of health-care services in the country as a direct payer, by many times over, and yet there is still an illusion held by many who receive health-care services paid for or otherwise subsidized through government payments that they are in control of their health-care.  They’re not.

If Dr. Carson’s criticism of corporate health insurance providers were true, then it must be even more thoroughly the case that no institution more than government would wish to avoid costs by denying care.  Do you need evidence? Consider Paul Krugman, longtime leftist economic propagandist and one-note statist, quoted as follows in a piece at Western Journalism:

“We’re going to need more revenue…it will require some sort of middle class taxes as well…And we’re also going to…have to make decisions about health care, not pay for health care that has no demonstrated medical benefits…death panels and sales taxes is how we do this.”  -Paul Krugman

What Krugman is saying is entirely true, but only if government becomes the source and payer for health-care, because otherwise, the free market would regulate prices in the same manner it does for virtually everything else.  Some will object, insisting that “health-care is different,” just as they have insisted that every other human need is different, from food to housing to education to Internet service to cellular phones.  All of these claims are equally wrong, and equally immoral.  These claims all begin by demanding that some basic human needs be met, and all of them end with a gun to tax-payers’ heads.  All of them.

I admire a number of positions taken by Dr. Carson, and I have no objections whatever about his participation in the public policy debate, but at some point, if he wishes to keep my attention, he will be required to offer more than platitudes and generalities about Health Savings Accounts.  He devoted several lines of rhetoric to the attack of ideologues, but I am always cautious when people attack broad sets of philosophically bound principles in vague terms. I am curious to hear more from Dr. Carson, but I hope there will be a good deal more specificity. Talk of presidential runs and other such notions are fanciful and premature at best, and while I’ve heard a number of truncated statements about various topics from Dr. Carson, what I’ve not heard is a guiding philosophy that informs his opinions. Absent that, I have no grounds upon which to base any opinion of his suitability to any office, much less his qualifications to be President of the United States, and I find it unseemly that Hannity and others would talk of Dr. Carson in presidential terms given that we know so little about his positions.  It may turn out that Dr. Carson is wonderful in all respects, but we already have a President who sailed into office through the propagation of vague, nice-sounding generalities, and I do not believe we can afford another.

Enough said about that.

Note: Mr. L also had some words to say on this subject.

Rove’s Record With “the Most Conservative Candidate Who Could Win”

Friday, February 8th, 2013

Who Me?

On Friday, Karl Rove was further exposed as misleading and disingenuous.  In an email response to his appearance on Thursday’s O’Reilly Factor, in which Rove claimed to have been the Director of Reagan’s 1980 Campaign in Texas, Reagan Biographer Craig Shirley responded via Daily Caller, explaining that Rove was no such thing.  In point of fact, Karl Rove ran Governor Clements’ effort for Reagan, but only after George W. Bush was defeated in the primary.  Do you understand?  Rove was a George H.W. Bush supporter, as was Texas Governor Bill Clements, for whom Rove worked at the time.  You see, Clements was a strong Bush supporter throughout the primaries, but there’s more to consider in this story.  First, watch Rove plead his case on Bill O’Reilly’s softball show:

You might wonder, watching Rove misrepresent his role in the Texas campaign for Ronald Reagan, whether it’s such a big deal that he first supported George H.W. Bush.  After all, it’s not that unusual for a candidate’s supporters to move over to the nominee’s campaign in some role after the primaries.  That said, there’s something very important I want you to consider, and it’s obvious as the spin flowing from Karl Rove’s lips:

In 1980, Rove chose Bush. Consider his dubious argument about supporting “the most conservative candidate who can win.”  It seems the most conservative candidate did win, but it wasn’t Rove’s choice in the primary in 1980.  Instead, Ronald Reagan won, and he was far more conservative than Rove’s choice. Of course, that’s not all you need to know.  In 1976, Ronald Reagan was fighting with Gerald Ford for the GOP nomination, and Karl Rove chose a horse to ride in that race too.  Ronald Reagan?  No, ladies and gentlemen,  Karl Rove was all aboard for Gerald Ford.  Gerald Ford lost to Jimmy Carter, and so it was true that once again, Rove apparently picked “the most conservative candidate who could win,” though neither did.

That’s the truth about Karl Rove.  In 1978, Karl Rove ran the losing George W. Bush campaign for congress. In 2000, his candidate nearly lost, and did lose the popular vote.  In 2004, his candidate barely squeaked by a very weak John Kerry.  In 2006, his strategies lost the House and Senate.  In 2012, he backed Romney early and often, and Mitt Romney lost. Karl Rove’s record of picking winners is abysmal. He clearly doesn’t know a conservative from a turnip, never mind a winner.  You must stop falling for his strategies, and as Mark Levin pointed out on Friday evening, Rove is attacking Steve King(R-IA) incessantly and dishonestly.  I repeat my sentiment to those who hope to reclaim leadership in the GOP: If you want any hope of winning, Karl Rove must go.

 

History Repeats as GOP Establishment Seeks Unity With Democrats…Again

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

22nd House Speaker

There’s no denying the fact that as we watch the behavior of the Republican insiders, every action and proposal is aimed at shifting the party toward the left.  More and more, Republicans have ceded the ground on so-called “social issues,” where questions of right vs. wrong take precedence over matters of right vs. left.  On such issues, they would rather not engage, preferring instead to avoid the ugly potential fall-out with moderate and leftist voters if some candidates uses the clumsy or foolish language to describe their views.  They support old bulls of the Senate like Dick Lugar(R-IN) over upstarts like Richard Mourdock(R-IN,) but when Lugar could not win the primary, like saboteurs, the establishment wing arrives on the scene to campaign for the Democrat.  It’s not accidental that the establishment Republicans seem to agree so frequently with the statist left.  After all, they know who butters their bread, and it’s obvious that they’re gaining more than their congressional retirement benefits.  They claim leadership over a party largely composed of people they detest as “purists,” and you might wonder about the character of those who openly mock purity. You might ask yourself what kind of Republicans these are, and as Jeffery Lord writes in the American Spectator, history holds the answer:  Rove and his ilk are modern-day “Cotton Whigs.”

As Lord reminds us, the “Cotton Whigs” had been that branch of the powerful Massachusetts Whig Party that acted in most respects like today’s Republican establishment.  Their opponents, the “Conscience Whigs,” opposed slavery and were uncompromising in that pursuit.  In issue after issue, and election after election, the Cotton Whigs did all they could to undermine Conscience Whigs, often siding with the pro-slavery Democrats out of a desire to forestall addressing the slave trade.  Like our contemporary Republican establishment, they claimed to sympathize with Conscience Whigs, but underlying that sentiment, they wanted to hold the country together and continue making money indirectly through the continued use of slaves.  It was this divide that ultimately led to the building of the Republican party, and the abandonment of the Whigs.  Lord’s conclusion is that modern-day Cotton-Whigs are making a similar error, and that Karl Rove and his fellows in that group may soon find themselves kicked by history against the political curb.

It is also fitting that one of the so-called Cotton Whigs had been Robert Winthrop, who served as speaker of the House, whose close ties to the textile industry in Massachusetts made him a less than enthusiastic supporter of abolition. You see, much like modern day Republican establishment types, he couldn’t or wouldn’t take a firm stand against slavery, not because he agreed with it in principle, but because in practice, he profited from it.  Fast-forward to John Boehner and the rest of the Republican establishment, and you find the same sort of principles of convenience that cannot be tolerated if they interfere with profits.  I warned my readers in 2011 that there were any number of Republican establishment types who were fine with Obama-care, because a.) they wouldn’t be affected personally, and b.) they had figured out a way to profit from it.  These are your putative leaders, and they bear an eerily resemblance to the Cotton Whigs of Massachusetts.

I agree with Mr. Lord’s appraisals of the modern-day Cotton Whigs, because much like their political forerunners in pragmatism, establishment Republicans are not interested in conservative approaches to social issues because they threaten to undermine the status quo.  Let us be blunt in admitting that the GOP establishment is comprised of people who have figured out how to make substantial fortunes from the growth of big government, and that they have no concern for underlying issues of morality so long as the cash continues to run freely from the treasury into their accounts through various devices of public expenditure.  They have sold their souls in exchange for ill-gotten loot, and they are willing to destroy “conscience conservatives” in order to continue on their way.  They side with Democrats in every issue in which their money or power comes up against doing what is right.

There are some who will interpret this as an attack against wealthy Republicans, but such is not the case.  It is a matter of examining who is enriching themselves not by entrepreneurial endeavors, but instead by graft and rampant cronyism.  In most respects, the modern day Cotton Whigs are the frequent beneficiaries of government expenditures.  What do they care if tax rates go up if their take from the treasury increases many times over?  Just as the Cotton Whigs were happy to profit from slavery, thus turning away from consideration of the moral aspects of the issue, so too are today’s “Cotton Republicans” willing to ignore the bondage into which you and your children are being cast. The Democrats play roughly the same part they played a century-and-one-half ago, happy to take such assistance as Cotton Republicans will offer while dividing and destroying Republican strength in opposition to their pro-bondage agenda.

Jeffrey Lord must be credited here with seeing an accurate analog to our current political troubles, reaching back to the founding of the Republican party to make it plain how rank-and-file conservatives, concerned as much with the long-term social and moral aspects of our country are again being overwhelmed by well-heeled interests who continue to profit from the bondage we must in good conscience oppose.  Whether the particular issue is abortion, crony capitalism, immigration, or an outrageous health-care mandate, the “Cotton Republicans” live on the wrong side of every issue, not wanting to stop the gravy train to which they’ve hitched their caboose.  What these charlatans offer is that one can gain the whole world, and to devil with one’s soul. There is one other person who deserves a hat-tip in all of this, because it had been Sarah Palin warning the GOP establishment that they might well end up going the way of the Whigs. Who better than the Alaskan crusader against crony capitalism and corruption to have pointed out the similarities between our modern Republican establishment and the Whigs? The time may have arrived in which her unheeded warning will be made fact by the intransigence of the Beltway political class.

There’s no sense pretending that the GOP establishment is on our side.  In fact, it’s so bad that we ought to stop considering them as Republicans at all, or abandon the party to them, as had been the ultimate result with their philosophical forbears, the “Cotton Whigs.”  One thing about which we must be careful is that some of them don’t manage to infiltrate our movement in order to co-opt it.  Given the opportunity, they will quickly set up shop and begin all over again, leaving us right where we started.  If you don’t think they’re willing to stoop to that tactic, I’d urge you to think again.  Wise conservatives will observe the actions of some of our newer brethren, judging their actions rather than merely listening to their words. If Mr. Lord is right, and I must admit that he has struck a chord with me, a single defeat or a string of them will not banish these Cotton Republicans from our party, whether in six weeks or six years.  We will be required to practice resolve and vigilance to keep them at arms length, because I believe that if one can keep them at bay for long enough, they will shed their masks and simply join up with Democrats who are their natural allies. If the GOP establishment wants to find unity with the Democrats, I strenuously suggest we let them.  Put another way, as Jeffrey Lord aptly reminds us, from the historical precedent he offers:

Briskly remarked a young Charles Sumner, another Conscience Whig (whose defiant anti-Cotton Whig leadership would eventually make him a Republican U.S. Senator from Massachusetts) of the differences with Cotton Whigs: “Let the lines be drawn. The sooner the better.” Said Sumner: “Thank God! The Constitution of the United States does not recognize men as property,” adding at another point “I am willing to be in a minority in support of our principles.”(emphasis added)

We should heed Lord’s analogy, but we should be willing also embrace Sumner’s advice.  In order to clean out the Cotton Republicans from our midst, we may need to be willing to briefly remain a minority party.  That will be the immediate cost of ejecting or abandoning the GOP establishment, but it is a cost we can’t afford to avoid for much longer.  They are unifying with the Democrats, adopting their arguments and their tactics, and isolating conservatives while claiming the mantle of conservatism.  It’s time we give up our fixation on winning at any cost.  If we stick to the fundamentals of our principles, rejecting statist arguments outright, victory will come in due course.  If we stand on principle, the American people will ultimately notice, and when the Republic begins to collapse, they will remember who refused to yield. If we don’t believe that much at least, for what are we fighting anyway? I am calling on all of my conservative brethren to reject the GOP establishment no matter the short-run cost, so that we may go on about the business of saving the country. We must be a people of no lesser a character than our predecessors, the “Conscience Whigs.”

 

 

A Sandy Hook Parent Whose Testimony Didn’t Make the Evening News

Monday, February 4th, 2013

One of the things I have grown to detest is the absolutely biased media coverage in the wake of tragic events such as the Sandy Hook shooting.  The event was awful enough, but must news coverage also be biased with such regularity in favor of the leftists’ agenda?  Naturally, the invariable answer is “yes,” and as we were treated to the sad testimony of parents who have just been through heart-rending disaster being exploited by politicians and media who are reliably intent on pushing their agenda, it is clear the media will never give coverage to the whole story.  Here is Newtown Connecticut resident Bill Stevens giving testimony regarding the ongoing attack on the right to keep and bear arms in the wake of the tragedy at the school his own daughter attends, a clip I am fairly certain you did not and will not see on your evening news.

 

“Boomtown” Hannity Special Reveals a Swamp Undrained

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

On Friday night, Sean Hannity aired a special presentation called “Boomtown,” featuring Peter Schweizer and Stephen K. Bannon.  The point of “Boomtown” is to expose the naked corruption of the rich and powerful who now hold sway over the Federal Government.  From crony capitalism to old-fashioned cronyism and nepotism in government, the two explained how thoroughly broken our Federal government has become, and how frequently its machinery is placed in service of the accumulation of vast wealth for those who are on the inside.  Cautioning viewers that these criticisms apply equally to Democrats and Republicans, their point was well made.  Here’s the video:

What one must conclude from this film is what Sarah Palin warned us during her speech at Indianola, IA:  Too much of Washington DC is corrupted by the kickbacks, the insider deals, and the special set-asides for lobbying corporations.  Many conclude that this means money must be gotten out of politics, but that cannot and will not happen.  Instead, in order to cure the problem, government must be gotten out of business, but as Bannon and Schweizer explained, that’s not going to be easy because so many there are so firmly invested in the process of using government and the law as tools of self-enrichment.

To change any of this, the American people will need to become informed in order to demand sensible changes resulting in a different culture in Washington DC, but the solutions will not be easy.  It is going to require leadership committed to reforming the way government operates, and for all the talk of people like Nancy Pelosi who in 2006 lamented the “culture of corruption,” even after four years of her tenure as Speaker of the House, the swamp she claimed her party would drain has filled to overload with shady, corrupt practices and widespread graft.  It’s a bipartisan problem, and this is why in the final analysis, Boehner and crew continue to go along with the President’s out-of-control spending:  Everybody is profiting from it in Washington DC, because while unemployment throughout the country remains nearly 8%, and home values continue to be stagnant or on the decline, in Washington DC, everything is booming because they’re collecting your money and spending money they’re borrowing with the American people held in bondage to make payments on their self-enriching excesses.

We may never get the money out of politics, but we will improve the trajectory of our country if we can get the government out of business by prohibiting to it the sort of corruptions that are now routine procedures in Washington DC. If we love our liberties, it is time to grasp the notion that a government vested with so much power to intervene in the free market is the inevitable birthplace of tyranny.

Mr. L: You May Be a Condescending, Arrogant, Elitist, Neo-Liberal, Mini-Dem Putz if…

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

As usual, Mr. L is on point.  He takes on the same moderate Republican whiner I took on here.  It’s ridiculous to think that guys like James Arlandson comprise any more than a tiny fraction of Republican thought, but somehow, they always manage to get the press.  Always.  Meanwhile, as Mr. L rightly points out, the RINO, Mini-Dem, Neo-Liberal front continues to pretend it’s our place to submit.  Endlessly.  Check out Mr. L’s rebuttal to James Arlandson below.  Be sure to let him know what you think over on his website. Here’s the video:

NY Times Expresses “Concern” for GOP by Trashing Ted Cruz

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Best Use of Your Times

There’s something a bit more than preposterous about the premise of the NY Times Op-Ed suggesting that for the good of the party, Republicans leaders should ignore Ted Cruz and other conservatives in their caucuses because in that publication’s view, they’re too rigid and inflexible, and they have all the lies in the world ready to prove it. Given that this is published in the NY Times, conservatives will likely conclude as they should that the paper probably doesn’t exactly have the best interests of the Republican Party at heart, their contrived concern aside. Of course, it’s one thing to offer an opinion, but it’s a damnable shame to validate one’s opinion with lies and half-truths, but once again, the NY Times has little else to offer its readers. Remembering that this is the outfit that hid the holocaust, and covered for Joe Stalin and Fidel Castro(h/t MarkLevinShow,) it’s really not surprising to see the paper resort to this tactic. The Gray Lady sees no black or white, and holds in contempt all who do.  The paper’s motive is transparent: Marginalize conservatives in the Republican Party.

Their screed against Cruz is fundamentally wrong, in large measure because it’s based on a number of lies and distortions:

“Unlike 85 percent of the Republicans in the Senate, he would have voted against the fiscal cliff deal. He says gun control is unconstitutional. Breaking even with conservative business leaders, he would have no qualms about using the debt ceiling as a hostage because he believes (falsely) that it would produce only a partial government shutdown and not default.”

I realize it is the contention of the Times editors that gun control is constitutional, but the simple fact of the matter is that the Second Amendment protects the right of citizens to keep and bear arms just as the First Amendment protects the right of the NY Times to publish lies presented as fact.  The Op-Ed relates that Ted Cruz is willing to use the debt ceiling in order to force cuts in Federal spending, but the conclusion(a.k.a. propaganda) is that he believes a falsehood about the results of such an action. This contention is a lie.  The government of the United States takes in roughly $220-230 billion in revenues each month, and from that amount, paying the interest on the debt, paying for Social Security and Medicare, as well as paying our military can be accomplished.

What is not easily accomplished under such a scenario is to continue funding the endless string of other government programs and departments, some of which are simply bureaucratic fluff, but many of which comprise things like corporate welfare and crony capitalism, along with outrageous spending on items of dubious necessity to the operation of our government.  In short, the Times is lying.  Default is only a necessary result of a Debt Ceiling freeze if the President is unwilling to comply with his duty to pay the debts of the United States and thereby intentionally throw the country into chaos.  This is the truth the NY Times does not want you to know.  We should be so lucky as to have a Congress willing to put a stop to the out-of-control spending.  The Times wants the President to retain the propaganda tool of claiming that a Debt Ceiling impasse would lead to disaster.  It’s simply not the case.

Not satisfied with the growing influence of conservatives with a Tea Party flavor, the Times continued its farcical rant against Cruz:

“Considering the damage that this kind of thinking did to the country and the Republican Party over the last two years — a downgraded credit rating, legislative standoffs, popular anger, a loss of Republican seats — it might seem obvious that the party should marginalize lawmakers like Mr. Cruz. Instead, they continue to gain power and support. Party leaders named Mr. Cruz vice chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee”

Does the NY Times really expect readers to believe that Republicans had been to blame for the credit downgrade?  The only degree to which the GOP may be blamed is that in the final analysis, they compromised with President Obama, giving in and accepting a spending binge that caused credit rating services to downgrade the nation’s credit-worthiness, and before it’s over, will prompt more credit rating agencies to push the rating down. The popular anger in the country isn’t directed at Cruz, or other conservatives, unless “popular anger” is an expression used to describe the sentiment among the board of editors at the NY Times.  A winning presidential candidate is always expected to pick up seats for his party, thus the long-established political term we call “coat-tails,” just as it is long-held political convention to expect a President to lose seats in an off-year election, much like 2010.

The fact of the matter is that the NY Times is taking a shot at Ted Cruz because in his early popularity, they see the potential for damage to their left-wing agenda.  They want the Republicans to compromise with the President, but if truth be told, they’d rather there were no Republicans.  This is why they continue their campaign to marginalize conservatives, and it’s also why they apparently feel compelled to carry off an unconvincing pretense of concern for the Republican Party.  The Times isn’t interested in making the Republican Party a viable political force, but they know Republican leaders in Washington read their paper, actually believing some of the paper’s hogwash. Let’s concede that when it comes to propaganda that influences policy, the NY Times is an undeniable leader, but that doesn’t mean we must accept it as a permanent condition.  Their claim that Cruz is too rigid is simply another way of saying that he intends to keep his word to voters in Texas, where standing on principle isn’t an entirely foreign concept.

 

Class in Session: Mark Levin Declares RINO-ism Dead

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013
graduation dresses

RINOism Dead!

There should be no mistake about what Mark Levin believes, or even the vast reach of his influence over the debate about government.  Many left-wingers and not a few establishment Republicans accuse Dr. Levin of being a yelling mad-man, but that ignores the extent to which he influences the public debate.  At an event last year in support of Ted Cruz, in the run-off that made him the Republican candidate, one attendee asked quite simply:  How can we stop the construction of Ameritopia?  What was stunning wasn’t the fact that the Senate Candidate knew full well what the questioner meant, being a friend with Dr. Levin and a campaign season guest on his show, but that all around the room, heads nodded up and down, because they knew the meaning of the question too.  When the Senator answered, he demonstrated an understanding of the implications with respect to the US constitution, but unlike your typical rally of Democrats, the audience understood his points in part because some of them are lifetime students of our civil society, but also because among them were many listeners of Mark Levin’s show.

On Tuesday evening, frustrated with the talking points and narratives of establishment Republicans who wish to blame conservatives for last November’s losses, Levin launched:

Alternative content


Dr. Levin holds a special contempt for so-called RINOs, or as I have recently dubbed them, “Mini-Dems.” They don’t believe in conservatism, or near as one can tell, much of anything.  Instead, theirs is the worship of a brand of vague pragmatism that ends in Republican defeats.  Of course, Dr. Levin realizes the RINOs aren’t going away, but here I think the larger point is that the underlying strategies and arguments that comprise RINOism are dead, as demonstrated by their repeated failures in election after election.

Levin’s reach into the blogosphere is deep and wide, as almost daily, some blogger somewhere, much as I’m doing now, is posting a vital clip from his show, and this acts as a spark for debate, not merely between left and right, but more importantly in the wake of last November’s election defeats, between and among Republicans and conservatives.  This is because Levin spares no feelings, or at least not many, in making the essential and incisive points that establish the conditions of the debate.  This may explain more than anything else why Levin’s show has grown while others have remained fairly static.  He engages one’s mind, and he demands you follow the logic.  He makes no apologies for supporting the Tea Party, or the conservative wing of the party, as Levin came up in politics in the watershed year of 1976, campaigning for Ronald Reagan.  Though Reagan lost that election, it set the stage for his nomination and election in 1980, and Levin was there to learn the critical lessons.

Most listeners to Levin’s show comprise a group of studious, committed pupils, attending a a constitutional classroom in which the principles behind the founding of the country and the framing of its constitution are the daily lesson plan.  What’s more, while it’s relatively early to draw this conclusion, as conservatives are searching for answers to their current political morass, it seems as though more are turning to Levin for the answers.  It’s not as though Levin claims to be an all-knowing font of wisdom on what ought to be conservatives’ course, but his determination to fight and keep moving is enough because what becomes plain to his listeners is his unfailing commitment to see the battle through, whatever form it takes.  Part of this may owe to the fact that in the wake of the 2012 election, conservatives are looking for a strong, articulate leader to make their best case for liberty, but I believe it’s a good deal more substantive than that.  Levin seems almost instinctively to understand what the left will try next, which may explain why the stories he reads on one day so often become the topic of discussion throughout the blogosphere on the next day.

It’s been true on this site, almost from its inception, and on many occasions, I have brought readers audio from Dr. Levin’s show.  My readers will have no idea on how many occasions Dr. Levin had stolen my thunder by covering a stories that I had in draft form as Levin’s show began, only to later discard them because on topics of substance, he generally leaves so little to be explained.  That’s fine by me, but it highlights another important point about Levin: He’s plugged-in, and he works tirelessly outside the confines of his show, not merely to prepare for his daily three-hour lesson in liberty, but because in other efforts, he’s at the tip of the spear.  The Landmark Legal Foundation is his other instrument of our republic’s defense, taking up cases of constitutional import on behalf of a grateful people.  This level of involvement means that unlike so many other talkers, he’s in the trenches with us, and often as the point-man out ahead of us, spotting danger and directing the initial engagements.

Given all this, you’d think more Republican politicians would heed his advice, but where Dr. Levin is fearless, all too often, elected officials won’t follow his lead, out of a fear frequently masquerading as an overabundance of prudence.  Levin understands this, and he often asks politicians questions that he then suggests they not answer, instead completing the thought on his own, knowing the precarious state of any official’s office.  Levin’s show is probably also the largest network of plugged-in conservative activists in the general right-wing sphere, and his audience is unashamed to lean on politicians and to begin with the phrase: “I heard on Mark Levin’s show that you were going to vote for…”  It is for this reason that so many of the DC Republican establishment tunes into his show, and while most won’t admit it, the fact is that they are well aware of Levin, and they feel his electoral influence. Politicians on the receiving end of his support love to hear the phrase “Levin surge” pronounced on their behalf, just as they cringe when they pop up on Levin’s radar for the sake of a well-deserved critique.  They know they’re about to find their email and voice-mail full, and they’re going to get it both from Levin on the radio as well as from their constituents.

What may make Levin the most compelling and influential of the talkers and political media figures is that he expresses his contempt for the malfeasance of politicians and parties in the context of legal concepts on which he daily refreshes his audience.  Apart from this blog, and rare few like it, you will not often witness a discussion of the principles underlying our supreme law.  Law can be a minefield as any layperson will know, but there’s something precious about the ability to breath life into the collection of words, explaining their meaning and the context in which they were formulated in a manner that both educates and engages listeners.  Very often, listeners to Dr. Levin’s show evince a reverence for our republic’s charter that is both touching and sincere, but also ironic in light of how easily their alleged “betters” dispense with both its words and spirit inside the beltway.

This kind of reformation movement isn’t religious, but its most ardent supporters would contend that while they may cling to their guns and their bibles, they haven’t turned-loose of their constitution either.  Listening Tuesday evening, as Levin mentioned the effect he suspected his show might have on the national dialogue, I wondered aloud in response to my deaf computer screen as to just how many of the people I know are now loyal Levin listeners, and the truth is something staggering.  I may live in rural Texas, where we tend to value liberty more than the average, but even friends from the distant large cities, in this state and out, all seem quite familiar with Levin’s show, his daily “lesson plans” frequently filling my morning inbox:   “Did you hear what Mark [Levin] said last night?”  There’s no denying he’s a bold and entertaining talk radio phenomenon, but more than this, he’s also the commander of constitutional defense headquarters on a national scale.  When people seek the low-down on the latest Obama executive usurpation, they tune to one show on the dial and in streams across the Internet, because for better or worse, they know they’ll find the answers.

Dr. Levin can be heard Monday-Friday, 6-9pm Eastern, both on terrestrial radio and streaming from his site, as well as  affiliates.  If you miss the live show, he also offers free downloads of his podcasts here.

The Rise of the Mini-Dems

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013
formal gown

formal gown

In the ruinous ashes of Republican defeat at the hands of Barack Obama, a number of Republicans have popped-up in media to dutifully serve the narrative that the election had been the fault of conservatives.  Not only is this preposterous conclusion untrue, but also a proxy for any actual examination of why Republicans lost in 2012.  One of the favored approaches of these critics is to suggest that if conservatives wouldn’t be, well… so darned conservative, there’s some chance Republicans could have won.  One writer has even fashioned a new term to apply to staunch conservatives, but it’s not hard to notice that by the connotations of his term, he doesn’t mean to win them over.  James Arlandson, writing in the American Thinker, has coined a new term for most of you and I, and I don’t believe he intends flattery, although the combative part of me likes the label even if inaccurate.  He suggests we “might be Hyper-conservatives if…” and in the form of Jeff Foxworthy, goes on to list a number of conditions he believes characterizes the class.  Myself, I’ve devised a different label for folks like Arlandson because I believe it captures the essence and spirit of their fundamental philosophical frailties, to the extent they adhere to any ideology at all. These philosophically smallish Republicans would honestly make better “Mini-Dems.”

Arlandson’s approach to the matter is straightforward, if a bit muddled.  He alleges that there are certain aspects of some in the conservative wing of the general Republican universe that must disqualify their opinions because he believes certain positions are beyond the pale.  He lists a number of these conditions, and right off the top, he asserts a falsehood without substantiation. What makes it interesting is his use of a term to describe those who vote libertarian.  We’ve heard this term before, and it’s another I’m not afraid to wear. Arlandson says those who wish to eliminate too much government too quickly(while bothering to define neither scale) are “too severe.”  The only other person I know who in recent memory used that term to describe conservatism was Mitt Romney, describing himself, for Pete’s sake.

He then insists that we might be hyper-conservatives if we cry “third party” every time we don’t get our way.  Actually, I haven’t cried “third party” every time, but only when the party completely undercuts its purported principles for the sake of political expediency, an approach Mr. Arlandson would seem to approve.  The fact that these betrayals are happening with increasing regularity plays no role in his formulation.  His claim is that “grownup conservatives” (ostensibly such as he) “must be willing to suck it up and fight harder for the (imperfect) brand that has the best chance of winning — R.”  Let us imagine we take his advice.  The imperfect brand with the best chance of winning actually won, with the other imperfect brand following his advice.   Hint to Mr. Arlandson: That’s a “D” – Not an “R.”

He argues that we might be hyper-conservatives if… “[We] refuse to work with Dems(even after [we] lose an election.)”  Exactly what work would Mr. Arlandson suggest we take up with the Dems?  Shall we help them ban semi-automatic firearms?  Shall we work with them to more rapidly bankrupt the country(an object Republicans in DC have apparently taken up?)  Shall we stand by and watch the Democrats rape, pillage and burn, or does the mere suggestion of the truth of the situation brand me irrevocably as a “hyper-conservative?” I know one he intends, but he gets to that in a separate line-item, and so shall we.

Let’s apply his faulty strategy to any other human endeavor in which one side wins and the other sides loses.  In war, should we now work with al-Qaeda, since its apparent that despite more than a decade of conflict, our current administration seems committed to failure?  Too late, the President Arlandson suggests we’re no longer to substantially oppose has already done that.  Even in sport, is a beaten football team supposed to work with its rival?  Should a defeated boxer pummel himself in order to work with his opponent? I’m trying to understand the mentality that permits one to believe any of that is possible without simply joining the other team, but I think Mr. Arlandson is fairly-well ahead of me on that score.  This serves as the unmistakable clarion call of an approaching Mini-Dem.

He argues that if we fantasize about shredding or scrapping the school lunch program, we might be hyper-conservatives.  I suppose that cinches the matter, and I should confess, because if this is the standard, I am guilty as charged, and this issue must serve as my hyper-conservative bona fides.  I would also suggest that this is the sort of issue where the Mini-Dem is likewise exposed.  You see, I may be hyper-conservative, but I also know that the ultimate aim of any such program must be the intent to become obsolete by virtue of a growing prosperity, a quantity and quality that will remain out of our reach so long as we continue to fund dependency.  While Arlandson likes to wave Ronald Reagan around with zest, here he instead peddles “compassionate conservatism,” a theory that when turned to practice actually demonstrates neither.  As he decries those of us who would cut government programs “like drunken lumberjacks,” I’m looking around for some whiskey, and where did that blue ox run off to?  It seems Mr. Arlandson has forgotten that Reagan maxim that we should measure compassion not by how many are on government programs, but instead by how many no longer need them.

Naturally, it didn’t take long for him to get around to the discussion of immigration.  After all, it’s a good opportunity to work with Democrats who will be the primary beneficiaries of so-called “comprehensive immigration reform.”  Those who want illegals deported are apparently some sort of back-woods rednecks right out of the script of The Deliverance, at least where Arlandson is concerned.  Says he:

“Honestly, I would self-deport from your America if she were ever made in your image. The DNC is gleeful.”

Honestly, I too would be gleeful at the prospect of your self-deportation, Mr. Arlandson.  He offers us sage counsel, as if we’re too stupid to know it, or too lacking in compassion to care, chiding us:

“Immigrants, even illegal ones, are humans.  Never forget that.”

If there’s one thing a hyper-conservative hates, it’s to be the object of condescension by a Mini-Dem, and here, Mr. Arlandson goes too far.  My wife happens to be an immigrant.  I know everything I need to know about the issue, and I am well aware of the hurdles, the obstacles, and the myriad difficulties, but guess what?  None of that stopped me or my wife from observing the law. Put another way Mr. Arlandson, stuff it. How’s that for hyper-conservatism?

He apparently supports the made-up holiday Kwanzaa.  Why should I care?  In his view, admitting the entirely contrived nature of the holiday is to express some part of that quality that Colin Powell would term “a dark vein of intolerance.”  I suppose he needs to take this complaint up with Ann Coulter who famously dislikes the holiday, if she’s not too busy tying Chris Christie’s shoes. This is one more glaring reason that our country should never be entrusted to Mini-Dems, any more than it should be left to the mercy of the full-size imbeciles.  They’ll accept any absurdity in order to appease others, particularly if those others comprise a significant voting bloc that Republicans will never likely capture.

He says hyper-conservatives get side-tracked too easily by hobbyhorses. Like berating conservatives critical of Kwanzaa?  One example he offers is the desire among many conservatives and libertarians to eliminate the Federal Reserve.  He dismisses the notion with a thoughtful and retrospective view of the history and function of the Federal Reserve by simply saying:

“Ain’t gonna happen.”

That’s a nifty assertion, but let me offer a different view to Mr. Arlandson, although he may well reject it as the product of hyper-conservatism:  Nothing made by men lasts forever, so that whether it happens as a result of a seemingly inevitable monetary collapse birthed by that very institution, or instead because the United States of America ceases to exist as a political subdivision on this Earth, it most certainly will happen at some point whether you like it or not.  The question is not “if the Fed will die,” but instead “when,” and perhaps also “how.”  I love it when people like Arlandson deify themselves and make such preposterous declarations, as if they had any power whatever to make it come out the way they dictate.  It’s another tell-tale sign of a Mini-Dem. Apparently unhappy with their station in life as the weaker ideological sister to either left or right, they tend toward grand pronouncements easily debunked by adolescent logicians.    Notice, however, that Arlandson does not answer whether the Federal Reserve ought to exist, or whether it is doing more harm than good, instead merely asserting that it does exist, and on such basis must remain in perpetuity, or perhaps at least until he gets tired of it.  Naturally, he takes on those who get caught up by media questions about the age of the Earth, as though it had been a perfectly settled matter, but he is unable to acknowledge that the sun will burn out, the world will end, the United States will dissolve, and the Federal Reserve system will come to an end.  Apart from the direct intervention of God, these things will all come to pass, but while He might have some interest in the first two events, I suspect the Almighty isn’t spending much of His infinite time pondering the possibility of life on Earth without the Federal Reserve.

Arlandson goes on a bit more, about “birthers” and rape, and the age of the Earth, along with other pressing issues to conservatism, in each revealing his general competence for the description of Mini-Dem.  Like so many Mini-Dems, he wields Ronald Reagan in selective references like a sword, much like full-size Democrats do, but he is careful to remember only that much of “the Gipper” that will buttress his points, but no more.  He quite predictably flees to that age-old taunt about “hyper-conservatives” being too “simplistic.” What this really denotes, as ever, is a willingness to forgo discussions of precise right and wrong; simple truth and falsehood; moral white and black.   This is the signature cop-out of a Mini-Dem, because what they assert is that things are not so simple as to be reduced to a string of binary choices and decisions, though every computer on the planet proves otherwise.  It’s the same old dodge with the same old flavor:  Create gray areas to obscure one’s [intended]wrongdoing.

As a matter of clean-up then, I suppose it’s time to explain what I mean by “Mini-Dem,” and therefore permit you to decide for yourselves whether Mr. Arlandson fits the description:

A “Mini-Dem” is Republican who never has a single big idea.  Big ideas are too risky for Mini-Dems, because the larger (and smaller) part of what defines them as such is their abiding lack of political courage. They refuse to confront difficult challenges because it’s so much easier to surrender.  To conservatism?  No, never.  To Democrats?  Who else?  Mini-Dems would rather join with Democrats and assist their victory than bend their will to conservatism, because they possess the imbecilic need of a teenager to be accepted by the crowd, while actual conservatives realize that saying “no” is necessary job of responsible adults.  Part of the problem may owe to their conception of political courage, in Mini-Dem terms defined by criticizing conservatism to the endless glee of the left-wing media.

Theirs is the position of interminable surrender.  Who wants to go through all that fighting, and after all, “can’t we just get along?” It’s not that they never contemplate a fight, but instead that at the first imagined spilling of political blood, they go running of in search of another excuse for their cowardice. It’s always “we’ll get’em next time,” but when it’s this time, the “getting’em” is always delayed until next time. Next time never comes.  Ever.  If you want to see Mr. Arlandson’s prescribed approach in action, watch the abandonment of all reason and principle by the House Republicans over the Debt Ceiling.  Last time, they said “next time,” but when the next time came, they said again “next time, not this time.”  Do you notice the pattern?  They talk about conservatism, but when the time demands conservatism in practice, it’s always next time.  My own conclusion is that this owes to small hearts, small minds, weak constitutions, and over-indulging parents.  (All right, fine, maybe not that last, but it just felt right.)  In short, they’re almost exactly like Democrats in practice, their protestations to the contrary notwithstanding.

I think that which defines the larger part of the psyche of Mini-Dems is a preternatural fear of being disliked. It’s like the teenage emotional state of panic that occurs when they realize everybody is looking at them as though they had the world’s largest zits on the ends of their noses. It’s that kind of sheer terror that reveals the Mini-Dem, and it’s another reason why we continue to lose elections.  Their panic at the embarrassment of a naturally occurring dermal disturbance sends them screaming out of the room to the roaring laughter of their peers, not because they had pimples, but because they had freaked out over them.  It makes a more solid conservative wish to grab and shake them. “Get a grip, man: Zits happen.”

The rise of the Mini-Dem was inevitable after moderate Mitt was defeated.  The idea is to excuse Mitt’s moderate or liberal positions, as possible reasons for his loss.  The problem is that these had been most of the cause, but just as Mitt refused to fight over the Benghazi issue after Candy Crowley flat-out lied to the debate audience, this lack of combativeness typifies the Mini-Dem.  We mustn’t have a big and ugly spectacle lest some one notice those zits on our noses, don’t you know?  Therefore, what defines the breed is an near-absolute unwillingness to stand on any principle lest they be mistaken for us.  What are we?  Apparently, we’re hyper-conservatives because we don’t fear losing much of anything save for our souls. Then we’d be Mini-Dems.

 

 

The Desperate Fraud of the Anti-Palin Left

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

All Hate, All the Time

If you’ve ever wondered about the motive driving the anti-Palin left, sufferers of Palin Derangement Syndrome(PDS,) or other venom-laden spittle disguised as reporting, wonder no longer.  Willing to twist or omit facts, relying instead upon the absolute gullibility of their audiences, their intention is to propagandize by virtue of one-thousand easily discredited cuts, knowing that their less-than-curious audiences will buy almost anything without question or critical analysis.  In most cases, the manner in which a supporter of Sarah Palin will defend against such garbage is to first attack the fraudulent author’s  propaganda, presenting the facts that negate the false charges leveled by the propagandist involved.  The problem is that these people are so despicable that they don’t care if they’re caught lying by the sane world, as they know their Low Information Audiences won’t ever discover the truth.  I’m going to do it somewhat differently, because I want you to experience the shock value of knowing the real story before reading the propaganda.  For once, you ought to know what it must be like to be Sarah Palin, or anybody else who is attacked in this manner, because having lived reality, it must be shocking to see facts about oneself twisted into such devious propaganda.

Let’s consider a story that had appeared in the Anchorage Daily News, way back in October of 2008, as Sarah Palin was busy campaigning for the office of Vice President with Presidential candidate John McCain.  During the previous summer, before Palin had been chosen as McCain’s running mate, an investigation by authorities had concluded with a recommendation by Lt. Gen. Craig Campbell, the state’s military and veterans affairs commissioner that an all-volunteer militia led by Brig. General Thomas Westall, created to assist the Nation Guard, ought to be disarmed of state-owned and provided weapons over potential liability issues for the state.  This investigation had stemmed from a complaint filed by a member, Larry Wood, because he felt the militia commander might be issuing arbitrary orders and dismissals to members, he himself having been dismissed for unclear cause by his own account.   In short, this was a situation in which responsible Alaska State officials were heading off any potential liability situation for the state.  This sort of action is undertaken by any responsible state official who is concerned with making policies and taking decisions consistent with their official mandates.  It had been concluded by investigators that the militia had insufficient policies and procedures, such that its control and direction had come into question.  The article in the ADN had been: Defense Commander Resigns After Complaints.

If you’re at all like me, you look at the facts of the story, and conclude that the State of Alaska had been concerned there could be some sort of monkey-business going on with the force, known as the 49th Military Police Brigade since 2004, and the state rightly did not wish to take on liability for a force that had not such proper procedures and policies in place to deal with personnel matters, or much of anything.  Nobody was criminally sanctioned, or in any way prosecuted, but the state simply decided that they could not permit this force to be armed in its name any longer.  That’s not so unusual, and bluntly, no public official wants a poorly-organized force armed with State authority to carry on much of anything in an official capacity.  Who could blame either Lt. General Campbell, or Governor Sarah Palin for taking what can only be categorized as perfectly natural and responsible actions?  Well, there is somebody, and predictably, that somebody is a professional  propagandist of the organized left.

Now that you’ve read through the originating story, and are at least familiar with the facts of the case, I now wish to present to you the fantastic tale of Palin anti-gun hypocrisy cobbled together by certified PDS sufferer Sarah Jones, of Politicususa.  If ever you have wondered what it is like to be Sarah Palin, imagine if you will what one must feel when reading the following nonsensical, inane and distorted headline, knowing what you already do:

The Right Calls Obama a Dictator, but Sarah Palin Disarmed the Alaska Civil Militia

The first thing that should grab you is that the story changed title, becoming more dishonest, thereby venting more rage in Sarah Palin’s direction.  Examing the URL of the story tells the tale. Notice that the author changed the label of the disarmed group from “Defense Force” to “Civil Militia” in order to cause readers to wonder if Palin had disarmed ordinary citizens.  Titles have been:

  • Tea Party Darling Sarah Palin Disarmed Alaska State Defense Force
  • The Right Calls Obama a Dictator, but Sarah Palin Disarmed the Alaska Civil Militia

Given the nature of the website in question, we might well expect the next mutation of the title to be:

  • Palin Takes Guns from Alaska Schoolhouse Defense League While Right Wing Racist NRA Klansmen Cheer

Don’t laugh.  I expect that title to appear at any time.  Part and parcel of that site’s schtick is to paint all conservatives, but particularly Sarah Palin, with the broadly damning brushes of racism, “extremism,” violence and hypocrisy.  These are pathologically broken individuals, based on the content of their stories, but fortunately, only what must be considered a “Low Information Voter” could possibly believe the nonsense authored there.

The second thing one ought to notice is that the story cites the Anchorage Daily News story, but never provides a link to it anywhere in the text of the story, instead requiring readers to accept the premise and the facts as outlined in the Sarah Jones piece.  The problem is that the Jones piece constructs an entirely fictitious narrative, positioning Governor Sarah Palin “disarming the militia,” against Sarah Palin the citizen, who is an advocate for gun rights and a longtime gun owner as well as lifetime member of the NRA, a fact they shamelessly mock.  The object is to discredit Governor Palin by presenting her as a hypocrite, an accusation that can stand only if you believe the dishonest narrative presented by the Jones hit-piece.  Since Jones provides no links to source materials, it’s easy to conclude that she had hoped she could simply create a believable impression and that her audience of dullard leftists would lap it up like kittens at a milk-bowl.

Jones screeched:

“All you need to do in order to represent second amendment “freedom” is pose with guns and put cross hairs on your opponents. You can disarm the militia in your state without DESTROYING THE CONSTITUTION so long as you have an “R” after your name. Also, posing while leaning on the flag in short shorts helps (warning: do not try this as a Democrat or you will be branded a hater of the troops and an enemy of freedom).”

Naturally, the posting features an image of Governor Palin with a gun, and the comments section is full of those self-same dullards posting their continued vile attacks against Sarah Palin, based on their hatred created by previous propaganda precisely of the sort that includes the very dishonest article on which they are commenting.  Don’t bother trying to post a response pointing out the dishonesty, or the lack of an actual link to the story, because it will be moderated out of existence, and the parade of dullards will be prevented from ever learning the truth is that Jones has fashioned a whopper disguised as a news story based on contrived narratives and a more than four-year-old routine news story appearing without controversy on the ADN site.  By the way, you can fully expect some of the dullards to make their way to this site to castigate me, as well as you.  I also expect that at some point, Jones may get wind of this exposure, and she may then edit her story to include the missing link(to the ADN story – no, not her bio,) but I’ve captured the page as was for posterity. Naturally, I’m far from alone in noting the insanity of Politicususa, as the discussion among these Freepers has witnessed.

Neither does it enter the Palin-hating minds that while carrying out what is intended to be a propaganda piece about Sarah Palin’s mythical hypocrisy on guns, it might be a good idea to at least pretend they wouldn’t hate her if she had taken one position or the other according to their fantasies.  Sadly, they at once bash her for being an alleged “gun-grabber” while also bashing her for being a “gun nut,” if you follow the gist of their bizarre tale.  This reveals the other truth about this twisted crew of leftist lie-volcanoes: There exists no circumstance in which they would not criticize Governor Palin, irrespective of her position on an issue, or the actions she had taken.  No, they will hate her equally, every time, without fail.  Some decades from now, when Sarah Palin leaves the stage for good as must we all, these whack-jobs or their brain-addled philosophical offspring will be there to dump on her.  It’s the way they roll, and it’s merely evidence of another notion I’ve accepted as a truism for quite a long while: Liberalism and sanity are mutually exclusive frames of mind.

Now, returning to my thesis, imagine you’re Governor Palin, more than four years after the fact, running into this absurd rearrangement and invention of alleged “facts” about you.  What are we to conclude?   I realize Governor Palin is an extraordinary woman, with amazing strength and resilience even in the face of this kind of garbage, but to realize that people actually concoct such junk, from the pits of the irrational hatred they bear in their souls, it must be disconcerting at the least to know that some who hate you do so with such fervor that they cannot permit even a glimpse of the truth about you to be known.  This particular Jones article was pointed out to me by a Facebook friend, in whose time-line it had mysteriously appeared, under the innocuous heading: “News about Sarah Palin.”  I’m not in the habit of polluting my brain with the sort of garbage that is produced daily by the cadre of leftist PDS-ers, never mind the bile-raising zoo at Politicususa, where decent people go only to see how the animals live, but I think it’s time for the rest of us to once again pick up some slack in opposition to it.  What such stories reveal about Sarah Palin is absolutely nothing, save only her incredible endurance,  but what it reveals about the drones of the left is a pathological hatred of reality so intense that they feel driven to create their own.

Liberalism is a psychological disorder after all.

 

Hypocrites Won’t Proclaim Their Homes “Gun-Free” – Video

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Once again, James O’Keefe and his Project Veritas were out there catching lefty hypocrisy on video.  This time, they were demonstrating how the same people who can’t wait to publish the location of registered gun owners don’t like any attention coming to their own homes.   Some of the people have armed guards outside to protect them given the recent backlash against the new organization, but naturally, none are willing to place a sign saying “Gun-Free” in their yards.  Why not?  I would think they’d invite the attention, but no, they’re liberals which means they’re free-riders who wish to have the status of their gun ownership in doubt. As you will remember, the Journal News and Star Ledger published pin-maps of registered gun-owners in their respective areas.  Now, these same people don’t want their homes labeled as “gun free.”

Imagine that you’re a doctrinaire leftist who believes that people shouldn’t own guns, to the extent that you’re willing to publish a pin-map of all those who do, in order to bring pressure(and perhaps harm) to those gun-owners.  To then be shocked and surprised when there is a public outcry over your publication is obnoxious.  Now, confronted by O’Keefe’s group posing as anti-gun activists, you see their reactions.  These are hypocrites.  They don’t wish to advertise their own status as unarmed homes, but would instead like to leave the matter in doubt.  Why?

Simply put, they benefit from all those who are armed, and they benefit from the doubt as to whether a given home might have become armed since their publication.  They want the benefits of criminals believing they may be armed, but not the responsibilities of being armed.  This is the height of hypocrisy.  It also demonstrates the pure cowardice of the leftists in media.  I would have a good deal more respect for their position if they’d accepted O’Keefe’s signs, proclaiming proudly that theirs are gun-free homes.  At least that would be putting their money where their mouths are, but no such character was exhibited in this video.  Mostly, at the homes of the Journal News and Star Ledger folk, O’Keefe’s band of spoofers were turned away.

So much for commitment to their espoused ideals.

How to Defeat Liberals in Arguments About Guns – Video Goes Viral

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Hard-Hitting Facts

If you ever wanted to know how thoroughly bankrupt the arguments of the gun-grabbers are, all you need to do is watch this video.  Watch the liberal host, Bray Cary, get sucker-punched repeatedly by WVCDL President, Keith Morgan on the State Journal’s Decision Makers. The WVCDL is the West Virginia Citizens’ Defense League.  If Alex Jones had been the model for how not to win an argument, then Morgan’s calm and collected demeanor is an excellent example of how to corner the left with their own nonsense, rather than coming off like an unhinged lunatic.  What this video reveals is the fear-driven mindset of liberals in media who want to get rid of guns.  Cary doesn’t really want to have a rational discussion, for all his posturing to that effect.  Listen carefully as a plainly rational man de-fangs this leftist vampire who eventually looks as though Morgan had been wielding holy water, a stake and mallet:

Here is a perfectly reasonable man attempting to have a logical conversation with a leftist who turns out to be simply another ignorant talking head.  As the host ultimately admits, he simply doesn’t think private citizens should be armed.  More, the moment Mr. Morgan corners him, he becomes almost desperate to go to break and end the segment, particularly once Morgan begins to describe the lie that is the claim that so-called “assault weapons” have never been used in defense against criminals.  This is a blatant lie, and it been debunked so frequently that it’s astonishing it keeps being re-told.

Here’s one example, from 2011, in which a 15-year-old in Houston defended his home and his sister from home invaders with an AR-15.  The original story and video posted here at KHOU’s website. You can watch the video below:

So much for the faulty assertion that none have ever defended their homes with an AR-15.  The truth is that most instances of defense never involve the discharge of a weapon, but merely the display of one.  There is no statistic on how many times guns were brandished or displayed causing would

 

The Alex Jones Freak-Show With Piers Morgan

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

Jones Launches

As a resident of Central Texas, I’ve been familiar with Alex Jones for more than a decade.  When I first heard him, he w as on KLBJ-AM radio in Austin on weekends, as well as a daily Internet broadcast. Jones has always been easily convinced of conspiracies, and while he bumps into a number of real ones, he never seems to have the self-restraint to realize that not everything is a conspiracy, and not everything bad that happens is strictly the result of some conspiratorial actions of some shadowy elites.  I knew I could never listen to him again once he proposed that the twin towers were brought down by controlled demolition.  All of the video from that day shows the real cause of the collapse, and it wasn’t a thermite plasma device, or a series of smaller explosives, but the structural failure of steel load-bearing members weakened by heat and bearing much greater and more asymmetric burdens then they had ever been designed to bear.

It was from that moment on that I dismissed Alex Jones as an overblown crackpot.  The sad part is that he does more damage to his own credibility than his adversaries ever could, and it’s too bad because Jones is right about a number of things on the issue of freedom, and the never-ending growth of government.  On Monday night, he appeared on Piers Morgan’s show on CNN and scored some excellent point before melting down and making a complete ass of himself.  The freak-show may have been entertaining in some respects, but ladies and gentlemen, he is a loose cannon, and conservatives shouldn’t rely on him to carry the banner of liberty.  I get as angry as the next conservative when I see what the left is doing to our country, but most of us realize you can’t win an argument if you appear to be off your nut.  Jones never saw that memo.

The first thing Jones should have known was that he was being set up like a carnival side-show freak.  If Piers Morgan had wanted a serious debate about guns, there are much more authoritative sources he might have interviewed.  John Lott, author of More Guns, Less Crime would have demolished Morgan without challenging him to a boxing match. As soon as Morgan began pummeling Jones over his beliefs about 9/11, it was clear that his entire aim was to discredit gun-owners by association with the likes of Jones.  Of course, by then, Jones was quite angry because he knew he had been set up, but the problem with Jones is that he never knows when to shut up, and his own kooky pet theories know no bounds.  One would think that with his conspiratorially-tuned mind, he’d have been looking for a big ambush after his run-in with TSA on his way to this interview.

It’s not to say that Jones doesn’t air real issues of consequence, like the extensive coverage he gave to UN Agenda 21 long before it got any mainstream media coverage.  Jones is a constant critic of TSA, and the Department of Homeland Security, but one needn’t be a conspiracy nut to see that those agencies are fatally flawed and reprehensibly managed.  Jones seemed determined to point out Morgan’s hypocrisy, and yet with his inability to maintain his composure, a lacking he’s suffered for all the years during which I’ve been acquainted with his work, he comes off sounding like a ranting loon, and if there was a conspiracy this day, Jones was too incensed to see how he is being used as a propaganda score against the very cause he went to CNN to defend.

I think Alex Jones firmly believes he is doing as he should, and that he believes he is advancing the fight for liberty in America, but each time he gets drawn into one of these battles, he looks the part of the fool he had been selected to play, and he never quite seems to recognize that in the mainstream of America, he’s not going to score points with average viewers by screaming at the interviewer.  Instead, he looks like a raving maniac to most viewers. Rather than ranting, he should have mentioned the stories in support of his thesis that big multi-national corporations are helping government to disarm Americans, like Bank of Americaca that seems to be hostile to gun manufacturers banking with them, or how the Obama Administration is on record as seeking the assistance of big business in getting rid of guns.  Instead, he sat there  flipping verbal channels like the ultimate expression of ADD/ADHD, and in so doing, squandered an opportunity to speak to the issue at hand in a cogent, sensible manner.

Jones went to the interview armed with crime statistics, but as he rightly complained, Morgan was prepared to pepper him with factoids on the subject of mass shootings.  The problem is that sensing the snare, like a trapped animal, he exploded in rage, and rather than making his best arguments, he came off as a clown or a nut.  It’s not to say he didn’t say anything correct or worthwhile, but that the way he said it in combination with all of his extensive conspiracy theories made him look like a raving maniac. It’s too bad, because he made some great points until Morgan got him off-kilter, and from there on, Jones was in purely ballistic trajectory. He spews tenuously-linked tidbits of stories, strung together like a flow of lava from an erupting volcano, and it makes Jones seem unbound and disorganized like a library shelf full of books suddenly deprived of their bindings, but that is also the nature of many of his conspiracy theories.

Here are parts 1 and 2 of the interview, as aired on CNN, H/T

Again, I think that Jones is probably sincere in his efforts, but sincerity is not a substitute for reason.  I think he’s right when he asserts that a gun ban will result in greater violence, and I also know he’s got an important story to tell about such things as the seeming correlation between some psychiatric medications and mass shootings, as WND reported on Monday.  As you can see by that article, WND was careful not to assert that the linkage is certain, but they relied on a variety of cases that are well documented and sourced, rather than innuendo and supposition.

In stark contrast, Jones frequently relies on a trail of bread-crumbs that he spots on a bakery floor, making more of them than might be reasonable.  Again, it’s not to say that Jones and his website don’t present important information, as they were among the first to run the story on the unbelievable amount of small-arms ammunition being purchased by the Federal Government, numbering nearly two billion rounds, for the Department of Homeland Security and other civilian agencies.  In Jones-speak, that’s enough to kill every man, woman and child in America nearly seven times over.  As I said, it’s not that he covers all nonsense, or that all of them are made-up, fanciful conspiracies about globalists, but it is to say that it’s hard to pick your way through it all to separate the wheat from the chaff, and all too often, there’s a good deal more chaff than hard news.

I rather like Alex Jones, in the same way I liked the entertainment value of other loudmouths in media from time to time, not as a steady diet, but as a diversion.  I know that with Alex Jones, what you see is what you get, and most of the time, it’s not smoke indicating fire but steam warning that the pot is boiling.  Watch and listen to Jones at your own risk.  At times, he says some very sensible things, things I have said myself, for instance indicating today in his interview that no entity has committed more murder than statist governments over the last century or so.  It’s undeniably true, and it’s likewise true that in each of the countries in which that occurred, the people had been more or less disarmed without significant struggle.  You see, Jones will say that with the passion it deserves, but when he then follows-up with one of his more outlandish theories, it wastes it all.  One might be tempted to take him seriously if he didn’t follow up every good point with two bad ones, an absurd one, and a challenge to a boxing match.

The most disconcerting thing about Jones is that he doesn’t understand the power of propaganda when he is made into its instrument for the other side.  CNN will make the most of Monday’s freak-show, and haul it out every time something bad happens and they want to discredit patriots, Tea Party folk, libertarians, Republicans, and conservatives.  They will hold Jones forth as exemplar of the nuttiness of the so-called “right,” but naturally, he’s not representative of any of those groups.  He’s one man, with a very loud mouth, and a microphone, and he appeals to some people, particularly young men, under thirty, because he’s angry and he’s loud and he’s obnoxious, but he is not the voice of reason.  Most of his audience outgrows him like a pair of high-water pants, wanting more depth and substance than the yelling man from Texas can provide.  If only he would stick to what he could prove, ditch the bizarre theories, and tone down the yelling a bit, he might just find himself with a larger audience, but after nearly twenty years of his yelling, conspiratorial rants, there’s not much chance of that.

 

 

Boot-licker Alert

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

First there was Kathy Griffin’s disgusting display on CNN with Anderson Cooper. Now there’s this pathetic display by William Kristol making a fool of himself, on Foxnews courtesy of Breitbart:

Is the Real Cultural War Against Men?

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

The Surrender of Adam

One story that garnered some media attention this week was a commentary written by Suzanne Venker at FoxNews.  In the article entitled War on Men, Venker contends that the real war in our culture has been waged against men.  Her conclusions are based on the observation that fewer and fewer men seem to have any interest in marriage, while interest among women is on the rise, but there exists a widespread lament about an alleged dearth of good men.  In the end, Venker concluded that women may bear the blame for this situation, but that conclusion garnered outrage and mockery from the typical leftist outlets.  At the same time, Limbaugh discussed the matter at length, but his conclusions were clearly different than those of the shrill left.  What’s the truth?  Is there a “war” on men?  Is it being waged by women who are unknowingly setting themselves up for failure?  I believe Venker is onto something, but I also think her article didn’t fully explore the ramifications, never mind all the conspirators.  If real, this war has had a silent collaborator or two, and I think rather than casting most of the blame on women, she should have identified all of the  culprits.

It is true to say that the character of women has fundamentally changed, and much of that was driven by the so-called “sexual revolution” of the 1960s and 1970s.  Women have entered the workplace in unprecedented numbers, and they are now a majority of employees across the nation.  Women now dominate  numerically the college campus, and in many respects, women have managed to displace men entirely.  According to Venker, much of this owes to anger with men, a feeling engendered and supported by our education establishment, much of which is dominated by women.  Writes Venker:

“In a nutshell, women are angry. They’re also defensive, though often unknowingly. That’s because they’ve been raised to think of men as the enemy. Armed with this new attitude, women pushed men off their pedestal (women had their own pedestal, but feminists convinced them otherwise) and climbed up to take what they were taught to believe was rightfully theirs.”

This may not be entirely true, but there is at least a nugget of truth in it.  There is a clear hostility toward men being engendered by the culture, and I think it is safe to say that any number of men might secretly agree with this sentiment, but while Venker seems to focus on the pedestal from which men were knocked, she spends a good deal less attention on the pedestal being abandoned by women. She finally arrives at a statement that some will find offensive, but nevertheless contains a good bit of information about one of the collaborators in this war:

“It’s all so unfortunate – for women, not men. Feminism serves men very well: they can have sex at hello and even live with their girlfriends with no responsibilities whatsoever.”

Here is where Venker both reveals an effect, but slips and falls on the cause.  Spending a good deal of time researching relationships and the culture, Venker should have realized that there is some truth to that old admonishment that “men are only after one thing.”  In the main, and in the short-run thinking of men, that’s probably more often true than not, so that when women climbed down off their once-lofty pedestal in favor of the lower pedestal men had always occupied, it wasn’t true that they were kicking men off, but that men went willingly, at least initially.  The truth is that men hadn’t been kicked off the pedestal so much as bribed off of it. Of course, this is not all the story, but it provides some insight.  When Venker says “no responsibilities whatsoever,” she is mostly correct when viewed from the short-run perspective of men, however those responsibilities would need to be fulfilled by somebody, and therein we shall find the chief collaborator.

While men were busy stepping down from the lower pedestal to which feminism had enticed women, after spending some time on that lowly perch, women were finding it wasn’t all they were promised it would be.  Venker’s point has merit, but the question is: “Why would women so easily leap from the higher perch?”  The roots of this phenomenon may be fundamental to our nature, and has been understood about the nature of people since the beginning of time.  How close does this parallel what the Judeo-Christian ethos regards as the moment of the original sin?  Genesis 3:6 relates:

“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.”

This would have made it seem as though Adam had been a bystander, but as 1 Timothy 2:14 records:

“Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.”

 

This line of thinking then begs the question: “Who played the role of the serpent?”  This is the identity of the other collaborator in the “War on men,”, and its name is government. If there is a war on men, there is no institution that has benefited more from the battle.  If it is to be alleged that while Eve was beguiled by the serpent, and thus caused herself to be cast out of the garden, so it is true that men had been complicit inasmuch as they partook also of the fruit, raising no objection, but knowing the fruit would have a bitter aftertaste. Just as the serpent knew to make his case to women, so too have statists. In our modern culture, the aftertaste of this temptation is to be measured in the wreckage of families, both those dissolved and those never fully constituted, and its evidence is seen in the fundamental breakdown of our society that continues at breakneck speed.  It is true that men have shirked responsibility, but the worst of it is not in their roles as fathers, so much as in their role as men altogether.   You see, men didn’t fight for their pedestal because they assumed that if they yielded it, they would partake of the fruit too, and like Adam, foolishly believed they would avoid the consequences.

Now we arrive in a world in which Venker describes women as angry and resentful of men, but I can imagine Eve being resentful of Adam too, as they were cast out of the garden.  “If you had known better, why didn’t you stop me?”  Adam might respond in coy pragmatism: “How was I to stop you?”  His unstated truth had been: “I didn’t want to…”

All of this demonstrates a strong cultural decline that evades description in modern platitudes.  Instead, what drives all of this is a pervasive immorality based on the notion that one can have anything one wants instantly, without consequence or responsibility, and without regard to the costs.  The provider of this temptation has been big government, and those who advance its cause.  Men sought the immediate benefits of the sexual revolution without concerning themselves with some murky consequence in some distant future.  That future has arrived, and if men now find they are bearing the cost, as Venker explains, women are bearing a terrible consequence:

“It’s the women who lose. Not only are they saddled with the consequences of sex, by dismissing male nature they’re forever seeking a balanced life. The fact is, women need men’s linear career goals – they need men to pick up the slack at the office – in order to live the balanced life they seek.

“So if men today are slackers, and if they’re retreating from marriage en masse, women should look in the mirror and ask themselves what role they’ve played to bring about this transformation.”

I disagree with Venker inasmuch as I believe the worst victims of this entire problem are children.  Men are largely absent from the lives of their children, and they’re being raised in a world that diminishes roughly half of them explicitly, but all of them in fact.  We are now more than two generations into this culture of instant gratification, and yet few seem to have been gratified in the long run.

Just as there was a rush by many on the left to screech at Venker, so I expect there will be those who take a similar stance toward me, who will accuse me of some misogyny or other “primitive thinking.”  Apart from the fact that I don’t care who doesn’t like it, the simple fact is that we can measure the tragedy that has arisen in an America transformed by post-modern feminism, and it’s ugly.  I don’t blame women even as much as Venker, because I believe men were tempted by short-run “benefits” just as surely as Adam stood by as Eve was beguiled.  Venker concludes that women can correct all of this, but I disagree:

“Fortunately, there is good news: women have the power to turn everything around. All they have to do is surrender to their nature – their femininity – and let men surrender to theirs.”

“If they do, marriageable men will come out of the woodwork.”

Men cannot permit themselves to be complicit bystanders, who partake of the fruit but point back at women as the blame. Men have let their own standards slide, and until they raise them a good deal, and for longer than the short-run, it’s going to continue because women will have no cause to change.  Imagine a world in which men are the ones who say “no.” Preposterous? Perhaps, but if our society is to survive, never mind return to a past “golden age,” somebody is going to have to say it, and what Venker’s article reveals is that slowly, men have begun to shift in that direction. Today, they’re saying “no” to marriage in unprecedented numbers. Where Venker sees this as a result of a war on men, I see it as a result of their moral capitulation. Far too many men have adopted the shoddy notion encapsulated in that well-worn misogynist retort: “Why buy the cow if the milk is for free?”  The real question laid before men is now:  Is it so free as you once thought?  On that basis, women are right to ask if the contempt so many women now feel for men is so entirely undeserved as Venker’s piece suggests. If, as the Bible explains, men were to be the moral leaders, one might ask where they had been.  After all, it wasn’t Eve alone who fell into temptation. If the war on men began with the serpent’s whispers in the Garden of Eden, we ought to ask why Adam surrendered so easily.

Covering Up the Cover-Up: Petraeus Sideshow

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

The Main Event

I realize that the leftist media is happily pursuing former CIA Director and retired General David Petraeus, and I also understand that this is their way of giving Barack Obama cover.  This story is designed simply to cover up a cover-up.  You will remember that almost every media person asked has said that Petraeus had to go, because the affair left him subject to blackmail and coercion.  All those who said that are right.  The thing they missed is that such blackmail had already occurred, as we now learn that the Obama administration used the pending disclosure of the affair to force Petraeus to sing the administration’s song on Benghazi. The fact is that the Obama administration is proof-positive of the reason why we must have people of unimpeachable moral character in the highest offices of United States Federal Government.  On the opposite end of the blackmail of Petraeus sits a President who actually used blackmail or coercion to gain compliance from Petraeus to help conceal the truth about Benghazi.  This is the scandal, and this is the reason Barack Obama must go.  I say again: Barack Obama must go.

There can be no doubt that the character of a person who sits at the head of the CIA must be examined.  I don’t think there are very many people who would endorse the conduct of David Petraeus.  The problem is that as terrible as his actions had been, and as awful as the possibility of his vulnerability to blackmail may have been, the stunning fact remains that the man just re-elected to the presidency actually used that leverage against Petraeus.  Can we be blunt?  Anybody who uses his power as President to coerce or extort an appointed official in any respect does not belong in the office to which he had been elected.  Instead, he belongs in jail.

On Wednesday, Barack Obama held a press conference filled with softball questions during which he said that whomever might decide to “go after” UN Ambassador Rice would have a problem with him.  His threat was explicit.  I’ve got two words for our illustrious leader: Bugger off.  When Obama sent Rice out to all the Sunday shows to spread the administration’s garbage about an anti-Mohammed video as a cause of the attack on the Benghazi installation, she put herself squarely in the spotlight.  If Obama wants to absolve Rice of wrong-doing, there is a way he can do so:  He can publicly admit that he had given her those instructions, and that he is therefore directly responsible for misleading the American people.  If he’s not willing to do that, Rice is fair game.  When the Marxist thug finds the testicular fortitude to take responsibility for that, maybe we can then drop Ambassador Rice.

At the same time, we have the pending testimony of David Petraeus, but I would not expect too much dirt to be dumped by Petraeus.  You might wonder what could cause Petraeus to bite his tongue at this late date, no longer in the administration, but I will tell you why I now expect the Petraeus testimony to produce nothing of value: They used the affair to keep him quiet, but if he was willing to do that, what other untruths will he speak in testimony if the Justice Department is waving possible charges in his general direction?

Put another way, if Petraeus changes his story at this late date, that will mean an admission that his earlier testimony was false, particularly if his testimony was tainted due to administration coercion.  He’s damned if he tells the truth, because he will be subject to prosecution.  If he maintains his earlier lies, then the administration can let it go without prosecution.  Besides, given the clearances to which Petraeus has access, it is possible that charges may be filed related to the access that Ms. Broadwell may have gained by virtue of her relationship with Petraeus.  All of this means he’s likely to keep his lips stapled shut and claim the 5th Amendment protection against self-incrimination. At this point, for him, it is much easier and safer to maintain a lie or say nothing than to tell the truth or make any disclosures.  He may be spitting mad and vengeful with respect to the Obama administration, but chances are that they have him over a barrel.  If there was any chance of him spilling the beans, he’d have wound up “suicided.”

Most media outlets have been distracted by the sex and sleaze aspects of this story, but that’s not the important part of this story except as the means by which to understand how Petraeus we being blackmailed.  The critical thing to expose is that Barack Obama and his administration concealed the whole truth from the American people in the run-up to the election.  They concocted a narrative that was demonstrably false about Youtube videos that they knew at the time was false.  Whether directing the cover-up, or as an adjunct to it, Obama had all the authority in the world necessary to prevent it.  Instead, they tried to bury the truth, both about the fact that it had been a planned terrorist attack, as well as the fact that they failed to take any sort of remedial actions once the attack had begun.

Four Americans were slaughtered, and to conceal their inaction, especially through the election, they used all the leverage they held over David Petraeus, and despite what some may think, through the prosecution powers implicit in the Department of Justice, they still hold him over a barrel.  We need more than some dog-and-pony show investigation.  This President misled the American people, and he should be considered to have suborned perjury if he instructed Petraeus to lie to Congress, which almost certainly occurred on September 13th.  The media is complicit, because they’ve helped to cover this mess for Obama, and they aren’t apt to tell us much because they’d be admitting their own dishonesty.  That shouldn’t stop us from demanding answers, because it’s our country.  Enough of the Petraeus sideshow, as it’s long past time we move on to the main event, in which Barack Obama is the rightful star of the show.

What If… The Predictions of a Romney Victory Were Right?

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Did Obama Win Honestly?

One of the things that has become apparent in the week following the elections of November 6th is that vote fraud had been rampant.  As has been widely reported, fifty-nine Philadelphia voting precincts had zero votes for Romney.  While I am willing to believe these could have been quite lop-sided, zero?  The same thing is true in Ohio, in the Cleveland area, but the more stunning thing is that in many of these places, voter turn-out was greater than 100% of the registered electorate.  Simply put, that’s a prima facie case that some sort of fraud or malfeasance has occurred, because it should not be possible for more votes to be cast than there are registered voters.  This entire election is rife with such cases, and it’s not going away.  It raises the question: What if pollsters who expected a Romney win were right, but overwhelming vote fraud set aside the natural result?

One poll watcher from Pennsylvania reports seeing voting machines switching voters’ selection from Romney to Obama on multiple occasions.  We’ve all basically assumed that the various GOP pollsters and analysts had been dead wrong, but what if they had been right, and this election has been stolen?  We’re not talking about a few or even a few hundred votes here.  There may have been fraud across the nation, particularly in swing states, and we wouldn’t know how many fraudulent votes may have been cast or counted.  We must get to the bottom of this, with or without Mitt Romney.  He can concede if he likes, but this is our election.  We shouldn’t accept vote fraud anywhere, in any measure.

The case of Colorado is particularly stunning.  They have county after county in which the number of registered voters is greater than the number of residents.  How is that possible?  In Ohio, some witnessed van-loads of Somali immigrants being carted into the polling places, and being coached on how to vote by Democrats.  Ohio’s laws are lax enough that no verification of one’s eligibility to vote is conducted.  In Pennsylvania, despite all sorts of irregularities, officials plan no recount. No one should be surprised given that on election day, court-appointed GOP poll-watchers were forcibly removed from polling places in Philadelphia.

Let’s just be blunt about this:  This election may have been stolen.  Allen West is still fighting the issue in Florida, where vote tallies suggest some of the most ridiculous fraud anywhere.  Col. West appeared on Hannity on Monday evening to explain his situation.  Not only did Democrats want West defeated, but the establishment of the GOP won’t shed a tear if he’s unseated. Here’s the clip from Hannity:

It may be a longshot to think that vote fraud may have been the margin of victory, but examining the results, just a swing of around 400,000 votes in just four states would make the difference between an Obama victory, and a Romney victory.  If vote fraud had been large enough, swinging the results by 1% of the the electorate would provide the margin in many of these swing states.

I also wonder about the willingness of Romney to concede early, and disappear from the radar screens so quickly.  In an article on CanadaFreePress, Erik Rush wonders if the overwhelming vote fraud won’t have the effect of making a civil war inevitable.  One thing is certain: If the system of elections in this country is so thoroughly corrupted, we the people are being cheated, and our rights are being subverted.  It should never be possible that there are more votes than registered voters in a given precinct, district or state.  Such things undermine the credibility of our elections, and we should fight back against this by demanding a clean accounting of the ballots, as well as those who cast them.  We cannot afford to ignore this, and it’s time that we begin to raise Hell about it.  Mitt Romney may well have lost this election, but with this much uncertainty about the validity of the count, we may never know.

The GOP Has Figured Out the Problem: You

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Can it recover?

It shouldn’t be possible that we have people who invested in the neighborhood of one billion dollars for a return on their investment that amounts to exactly nothing.  These were the so-called “wizards of smart,” who knew how to guide Mitt Romney and the slate of down-ballot candidates to victory.  They’re the number-crunchers, the poll-takers, the marketeers and strategists who represent the consultancy who ran the electoral efforts of the GOP and associated groups.  All of it was allegedly aimed at getting Mitt Romney into the White House, and spend like mad though they did, the failures were massive by any measure.  What makes the whole thing more preposterous still is that five days after the electoral failure they helped to build, they’ve all figured out what the problem is, and they’re unanimous: It wasn’t them, their strategies, their marketing, or their polling models, but instead a single problem that none of them anticipated:  You.

It was the fault of the Tea Party, says Rove.  It was the fault of social conservatives says Erickson.  It was the fault of conservatives’ insistence on closing the border down and dealing with the illegal immigration problem before we commence any sort of immigration reform.  It was the fault of xenophobic conservatives who just don’t want to reach out to Hispanics, they said.  It couldn’t have been their messages, their advertising, their notions of the electorate, or even their candidates.  It was you.  Now that we’ve moved from a President who has spent four years blaming George Bush for his own failures, we will now spend the next two years at least with the Republican establishment’s intelligentsia telling us how the problem had been we conservatives, of varying descriptions. It’s worse than preposterous.  It’s maniacal.

We now know we have at least one Republican Congresswomen addressing the Spanish-speaking press, telling them that the problem with the Republican Party had been the Tea Party and Rush Limbaugh.  Jeb Bush, says she, is a conservative.  If Jeb Bush is a conservative, I’m Adam Smith. Actually, I’m a good deal closer to Adam Smith.  The point is that the party is trying to repackage what it means to be a conservative, and along the way, there are several issues they’d like to dump:

  • Traditional marriage
  • Pro-Life Stance on Abortion
  • Illegal Immigration
  • Obama-care

Since they’ve yielded over the years on nearly everything else, what this suggests is that they wish to dump all associations with conservatism.  Sure, they’re still in favor of free markets and property rights in principle, but they can be flexible on those too. American sovereignty isn’t an issue for them either, since they don’t think it ought to exist.  States’ rights and the 10th Amendment are fine insofar as it goes, and with this crowd, you can bet it won’t be far.  No, there isn’t a principle in existence they won’t spit on or tweak if they believe they can somehow capture the middle but still scare you into showing up.  The problem, their wizards of smart assure them is that they’re not liberal enough.

Most conservatives I know are livid over this election, in part because of what it will mean for the country, but also in part because so many of them warned against nominating a moderate Republican of the establishment wing.  To know that Karl Rove’s view is essentially “you win some, you lose some – oh well, we’ll get ’em next time,” is enough to make most conservatives begin to experience dry heaves.

Like so many of you, I had wondered what could possibly account for this crushing defeat, but while we tend to focus on the Obama vs. Romney campaign, I think we ought to spend some time looking at what happened in the down-ballot races. The more I look, the more I become convinced that this election presented an opportunity for a purge of conservatives, and the GOP establishment capitalized on that opportunity.  I wonder how many members of the Tea Party Caucus in the House of Representatives never saw it coming.  Remember, the roots of the Tea Party go back to 2006, when there was widespread dissatisfaction with Congressional support of Bush policies and spending priorities, and the sense of general uncertainty about the growth of the deficit.

The one discernible constant has been that conservatives are to blame.  Idiots on the left blame conservatism for moderates’ bad policies, policies on which they would double or triple-down. Consider the whole sorry spectacle of Obama campaigning on the “unpatriotic” nature of the Bush deficits.  He’s quadrupled them.  Bush was widely criticized by conservatives for the prescription drug plan for Medicare, but he was widely criticized on the left also.  The difference is that those on the left would have spent more, much more, and all to purchase votes.  We conservatives get the blame for everything the moderates in the GOP establishment enact, but we generally oppose these things also.

In one sense, we deserve some of the blame since we helped elect these guys often knowing they were mush. The problem is that as the GOP establishment views it, this is a good opportunity to rid themselves of conservatives.  They will use this opportunity to push conservatives to join them, and in desperation, some will.  I think conservatives should think carefully about the notion of blaming one another.  Evangelicals are not the problem.  Tea Party and constitutional conservatives are not the problem.  Social conservatives are not the problem.  The problem is the GOP establishment, and it always has been. It’s when we let them set the agenda and the direction that Republicans lose or having won, blow the opportunity. If we’re ever going to save the country, I don’t think we have any choice but to walk away from the GOP. The Republican establishment will always displace blame and it will always land on us by association.  It’s time for conservatives to get out of the box.