Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Trump Hammers Cruz as “Maniac” But Looks The Part Himself

Tuesday, December 15th, 2015
Angry or Manic?

Angry or Manic?

Donald Trump had one heck of a weekend. First, he questioned Ted Cruz’s “evangelical” credentials, and went to great lengths to attack him on ethanol subsidies, pandering to Iowa voters.  As if this wasn’t enough, he actually asserted that Cruz was a maniac in the Senate, firmly ceding his own “outsider” credentials. Is this attack by Trump going to succeed, or is it, as Mark Levin said on the air Monday evening, a foolish move?  FoxNews is eating it up, because they hate both men.  To them, Trump is a maniac, but so is Ted Cruz.  They are considered “maniacs” by the FoxNews establishment crowd for different specific reasons, and I think it’s instructive to understand why this difference matters.  He even went on to join in a leftist attack on Justice Antonin Scalia, one of the few justices fighting to uphold the constitution.

When Trump goes to great lengths to say “Cuba isn’t known for its evangelicals,” he’s taking a rather bigoted view of Cuba. Many Cuban exiles resumed their faith in full fervor after successfully leaving Cuba, and in fact, it was their faith, at least in part, that caused them to flee.  More, Trump has never been a friend to evangelicals, so what’s with the petty attack on Cruz on this basis?  Score one for Trump’s religious and ethnic bigotry.  Not only did he make [faulty] assumptions about Cubans and evangelicals, but he also made an assumption that this would play to Iowans.

Trump went on to point out to Iowans that Cruz opposed the ethanol subsidy.  I have news for you: Virtually everybody outside the corn-growing states oppose the ethanol subsidies, because frankly, it’s driving up the cost of food and fuel, as well as making a wreck of gasoline-burning power equipment, from automobiles to lawn-mowers to outboard motors. Even many within corn-growing states oppose the subsidies, because they have to pour this diluted gasoline in their cars and shop at grocery stores where every item that has corn as an input, from corn chips to corn-fed beef is inflating in price due to the use of corn in the production of ethanol.  This was a purely cynical attack intended to take advantage of Iowans by pandering to something peculiarly interesting to them.

What’s most disconcerting about Trump’s little rampage this past weekend is that the attacks he launched on Cruz were launched squarely from a leftward point of view.  I even observed Brit Hume, a notorious establishment shill, going on to attack Cruz on this basis, intimating that Iowans have a short time to discover the reason so many in the Senate don’t like Ted Cruz.  I don’t need Brit Hume to tell me, because I already know. It’s the same reason I supported Cruz in his Senate run against Texas RINO David Dewhurst, and also why people like Senators Lindsey Graham(R-NC) and John McCain(R-AZ) can’t stand Cruz: He’s willing to fight. They’re not.

The odd thing is that this may well backfire on Donald Trump, because up until now, he’s been running as an “outsider.” This series of attacks plays directly into the hands of the GOP establishment. Cruz has been no friend to the GOP establishment, and Iowans know it.  I’m not sure that Trump hasn’t sabotaged himself here, because his attacks on Cruz sound suspiciously similar to the attacks launch against Cruz by the DC insiders.  In so doing, Trump is eating into one of his few distinct virtues: He’s been the quintessential outsider,  at least until now, but with the latest series of attacks on Cruz from the left, he may be unintentionally ceding that ground to Cruz.  If so, Trump may come to lament this last weekend.  His attack on Antonin Scalia is perhaps the worst outlier of the weekend, because while one might rationalize his attacks on Cruz as just part of the political fight, but the attack on Scalia by going along with Jake Tapper was pure folly.  Scalia has been a leading light for constitutional conservatives for years, and this scurrilous attack on him by Trump is perhaps a bridge too far.  This speaks more to Trump’s own maniacal nature than to anything one might say about either Antonin Scalia or Ted Cruz.

As a purely political matter, Cruz ought to avoid being drawn into a knock-down, drag-out with Trump, because that’s where Trump excels.  Cruz is best in well-reasoned, well-controlled discourses when the tempo of the exchange supports close examination.  If Trump has any inkling of the misstep he may have taken over the weekend, he’ll reverse course on some of this as quick as he can.  Discerning conservatives and independents will notice that Trump really yielded some of his claim to being an outsider this weekend, and this may well cost Trump mightily.  If one considers that among the ‘outsiders,’ (Trump, Cruz, Carson, Fiorina) constitute nearly seventy percent of the support from Republican primary voters, Trump ought to think and think hard about yielding his position as outsider so easily.   The notion that Cruz is looked upon in a negative light by most of his Senate colleagues is not a bad thing, particularly in the vast expanse of the electorate between the coasts.  From the point of view of most Americans, most of the Senate is comprised of detestable Washington DC insiders who hold the American people in contempt.

The Republican candidates are scheduled to debate Tuesday night in Las Vegas.  It will be interesting to see whether Trump squanders his lead by continuing this line of attack, or whether he thinks better of it and resorts to more rational arguments that might appeal to conservatives.  To date, his one peculiar virtue had been his take-no-prisoners style of assault on the GOP establishment, but if he isn’t careful, he may well blow it.  The GOP establishment is only too happy to see Trump going after Cruz, and this could well be his undoing with the Republican base.

 

 

 

Why I Like Donald Trump

Saturday, December 12th, 2015
Hamming it up

Hamming it up

I like the mockery Donald Trump has been making of a goodly portion of the establishment of the Republican Party.  They deserve it.  I love the fact that he’s driving the media berserk.  After ten minutes of watching almost any news network on TV, one is left with the impression that Donald Trump is somewhere between evil genius and outright loon.  Trump is a shrewd media manipulator, but I still don’t know anything concrete about what he believes.  I can’t identify a consistent ideology much beyond “what will get me the most press right now.”  Still, despite all his philosophical and ideological shortcomings, one can’t help but love to watch the way he drives the Washington DC, insider cartel absolutely crazy. Despite the gnashing of teeth from within the Beltway, the American people are eating it up, with each episode gaining him ground.  I understand it.  America is looking for a leader like George C. Scott’s portrayal of General George S. Patton: No nonsense, a bit of bravado, and an unambiguous statement of the goal, without worrying about who may be offended.  How many times have conservatives lamented the lack of bluntness?  Still, this cannot be the sole criteria by which we choose our president, any more than a sunny disposition can be the sole criteria for choosing one’s doctor.  We need much more.

Trump’s entire campaign seems to hang on the catch-phrase “making America great again.” That’s all well and good, and I very much enjoy that process, like most conservatives, but I’m not sure I understand what Donald Trump thinks made America great in the first place.  Listening to him, there’s no evidence that he’s for any reduction in the size and cost of government, yet I believe part of what made America great was economic freedom, and it has been only in the progressive, statist era that America’s true greatness reached its apogee and began again to wane.   I’m not sure Mr. Trump sees it quite that way.  The problem is that by reducing everything to a slogan about “making America great again,” I’ve not heard too many specific details, and the few I’ve heard thus far are less than inspiring.  For instance, Mr. Trump is for a single-payer healthcare system!  If there is anything that has helped America to begin losing its standing and financial stability in the world, it is the increasing socialization of our medical care and insurance schemes since the late 1960s.  More the dependency-creating welfare-state of which a single-payer system would be an integral part is part of what is destroying America’s greatness, so I don’t understand Trump’s logical [in]consistency.

In point of fact, Trump is not conservative, but then most Republicans claiming that label don’t really deserve to wear it.  Jeb Bush said famously “I used to be a conservative,” but Rubio, Christie, Kasich and a lengthy list of the others are not conservatives either.  In fact, I think the closest things to genuine conservatives we have in this race for the nomination are senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.  Huckaby and Santorum might make legitimate claims to a fair piece of social conservatism, but in terms of economics and finance, I don’t believe either of them is overwhelmingly conservative by accounting of their actual political records.  Dr. Ben Carson is a brilliant, amiable man, who I like very much, but who also probably isn’t ready to be President of the United States.  The point is that we can’t throw out Trump for his lack of conservatism unless we’re also willing to discard Rubio, Christie, Kasich, Huckaby, Santorum, Lindsey Graham(who I would not support for dog catcher in Tumbleweed, Arizona,)  or Carly Fiorina, none of whom are particularly conservative, or worse, are simply establishment hacks. For my part, I’m willing to discard them, and indeed, I’m will also to discard Trump because what I’ve discovered is that Mr. Trump simply hasn’t formulated what I would consider to be a self-consistent plan that exhibits any detailed understanding of how to “make America great again.”  Of course, that doesn’t make him any worse than the laundry-list of folks noted above, but it should give pause to those who are rushing off to support him.

I like Trump’s energy.  I wish it were more focused.  I like his general notion about “making America great again,” because I believe it’s something that could be accomplished, but I haven’t seen any evidence that he has a plan to accomplish it in any plausible manner.  I like that he comes up with short-run, topical slogans, because that’s always easy for voters to digest and understand, but I detest the fact that he seems to stop at the slogan-formulation stage, and never brings any substantive plans along by which these slogans are to be realized.  In short, he’s a lot of huff and puff, but no stuff.  There’s no there there.

On the other hand, Trump has staked out a number of positions I consider to be abominable.  The single-payer healthcare business he supported through the 90s is among them, but I’ve also noted with chagrin that Trump supports the Supreme Court decision in Kelo, in which eminent domain was used to condemn homes and property for use in commercial developments.  His general disrespect for private property rights and his use of government to take what he wants ought to serve as a cautionary note to anyone who considers supporting him for President. Remember this:

These are just two highlights among a lengthy list of deficiencies.  Still, it is entertaining to watch the Republican establishment and its slate of candidates from Jeb to Marco lose their minds over Trump.  Trump may entertain me, and I truly enjoy watching the likes of Jeb Bush lose his cool, and to watch the entire Democrat Party membership go crazy, calling him “Hitler” and so on.  Perhaps they should call him “FDR” instead. Franklin Roosevelt interred Japanese for the duration of the war, most of them US citizens!  Watching the media, especially FoxNews, obsessing over Trump makes me laugh.  Megyn Kelly’s semi-pseudo-exasperation over the media’s obsession(and eye-rolling, on-air confessions of the same at her own network) tickle me pink.  Her assault on Trump:

Megyn asks Donald about his Republican credentials:

The GOP establishment’s media harpy is hilarious when she loses her mind over Trump.  Trump apparently agrees:

Of course, FoxNews acts as a megaphone for the establishment wing of the GOP:

My point, lost in the haze of Donald Trump’s bombast, is that while he is highly entertaining to watch, and while I heartily enjoy seeing the DC beltway cartel lose their minds over his politically-incorrect remarks and comments, I don’t believe he has the philosophical consistency for which I’m looking in a President, and I also don’t believe his overall record on areas of significance are in any way in accord with conservative thought. His views on eminent domain are in accord with the Supreme Court, but in the current context, that means they’re anathema to traditional Americans principles and values.

Still, a conservative must take a certain amount of pleasure in the GOP establishment having been driven to plotting over measures to stave off a Trump nomination by setting aside any Trump electoral success through the use of a brokered convention.  That anybody drives the party “blue-bloods” to this level of terror is absolutely a fascinating occasion I wholly endorse…but I still can’t vote for him.

JEB Suggests Trump-Clinton Conspiracy; Did Trump Give Clinton a Medal?

Thursday, December 10th, 2015
Aid and Comfort, JEB?

Aid and Comfort, JEB?

On Wednesday, NewsMax reported that JEB Bush tweeted about an alleged conspiracy between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. While I’m certainly no Trump fan, and I wouldn’t doubt any conspiracy involving Hillary Clinton, I have a question for Mr. Bush: If past entanglements and relationships between Clinton and Trump are the basis for this argument, ought I not consider JEB’s own entanglements and relationship with Clinton as the basis for a possible Bush-Clinton conspiracy?  Readers might wonder what I’m talking about.  I could point to the great and fast friends George HW Bush appeared to become with the Clintons after his defeat in 1992, but no, I needn’t reach that far back in time, or even go to Bush relatives.  Instead, we need only ask the following: While serving as the Chairman of the Board of the dubiously named “National Constitution Center,” JEB stood forth on a public stage to hand out the Center’s Liberty Medal.  It just so happens that on the 10th of September, 2013, almost exactly one year after the Benghazi terror attack that killed our Ambassador, the woman who asked “…what difference does it make?” in congressional testimony on the matter stood forth on the stage with none other than JEB to receive the Center’s Liberty Medal.  Hillary received the Liberty Medal from JEB!

Per Mr. Bush:

“Former Secretary Clinton has dedicated her life to serving and engaging people across the world in democracy,”

and:

“These efforts as a citizen, an activist, and a leader have earned Secretary Clinton this year’s Liberty Medal.”

Now it’s all well and good if Mr. Bush wants to assert, along with his lapdogs in the media(Bill Kristol et al) that there is a deep, dark conspiracy between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and considering the characters involved, I would not doubt it, but I wonder whether JEB understands just how foolish the facts make him look. After all, Donald Trump never stood on a stage on behalf of an organization named “The National Constitution Center,” handing out a medal to Mrs. Clinton.  Frankly, at the time, I thought it an unforgivable, disqualifying misadventure on JEB’s part, but in light of his suggestion of a Hillary-Trump cabal, it now seems all the more ludicrous.  Conspiring with the enemy, JEB? That’s what he’s implying Trump is doing. How about giving aid and comfort, JEB? Isn’t that to which hanging a medal on Mrs. Clinton amounts? (The so-called “Liberty Medal,” of all things!!!)

While I trust Donald and Hillary roughly as far as I can throw their combined weight, I don’t trust JEB either.

Note to Obama, Media: Americans Are NOT Afraid of ISIS

Monday, December 7th, 2015

Defiantly Indifferent

President Obama gave an address from the Oval Office on Sunday night in the wake of the San Bernardino terror attack. In the course of his speech, an address riddled with a wholly self-serving defense of his abysmal record on national security, and also during the media coverage thereafter, it became plain that neither the President nor the Washington beltway media “get it.” The American people aren’t cowering in fear of ISIS.  They’re not lashing out in hatred of American Muslims.  They’re not afraid of al-Qaeda, ISIS/ISIL, or any other terror group or “radicalized” elements living and operating in the United States. Instead, what the American people are is angry.  The American people are enraged.  They’re good and damned well pissed-off, and not just with the terrorists, but particularly with our political leadership and the DC beltway media.  President Obama didn’t improve things for himself on Sunday evening, indeed one could argue he worsened things.  The American people don’t trust the DC cartel to defend our nation, and it’s downright galling to average Americans.

Obama didn’t waste any time in listing a litany of actions he’s taken to fight terrorism.  What he did not do was to acknowledge the failures of his administration.  Instead, he started talking about new restrictions on gun ownership.  A ban on purchasing firearms among those who are on the terror watch-list or no-fly list will not stop such things.  The people who carried out the San Bernardino attack were not on the no-fly list.  He went on to say we need to limit the sales of so-called “assault weapons.” The fact is that no ban on such weapons would be of any value.  In France, such weapons are illegal.  In California, the laws are more restrictive than anywhere in the US. Bans don’t stop criminal from getting guns. They merely stop innocents from self-defense.

In talking about the threat we’re facing, the President couldn’t manage to link clearly, and in the same sentence, the notion of radical, militant Islamic terrorism.  He threw “radicalization” into one sentence, and “Islam” into another.  Nobody takes this seriously.  When the President can’t square-up to an enemy and name him without equivocation, there’s no way the American people will respect the President.  His tiresome, tortured excuse-making for Islamists and apologetics for Islam are no longer tolerated by the American people.

In the coverage after the speech, Senator Rubio, a lagging candidate for the GOP nomination, talked about how Americans are afraid to travel, and afraid to fly.  I’m sure there are a few hands-full of such people, but everybody I know is simply infuriated.  They don’t believe the government, either party, or the media generally. Why should they?  More, Rubio went on to insist that we needed to collect more data, but as Rand Paul pointed out, the French gather more information than the US ever has, but it did not stop the attacks in Paris.

The simple fact is that as I’ve recounted to you before, President Obama Is NOT incompetent.  He’s malevolent.  He isn’t interested in what’s good for the country or its people.  In point of fact, he’s remained steadfastly committed to punishing the American people since his first inaugural.  Obama can’t wait to tell us about how we should not push Muslims away with distrust and suspicion, but this is the same President who did everything in his power to alienate people who attended Tea Party rallies.  In the instance of Tea Party folks, or conservatives generally, he couldn’t wait to alienate, and his friends in the media couldn’t wait to paint the the Colorado theater shooter as a Tea Party guy, which of course was debunked within an hour or so of the claim first being made in the media.  No, this President has too many sympathies with the Jihadis, and more in common with them than with the bulk of his countrymen.  Barack Obama is despicable, and this address simply confirms that view of him.  Rather than supporting and defending the citizens of the United States, defending their liberties while simultaneously defending the country, Obama is more interested in protecting the feelings of Muslims while simultaneously preying upon the First and Second amendment liberties of citizens.  He’s not interested in defeating ISIS or al-Qaeda, but in defeating conservatives by any means necessary.

Punishing the Victim: Obama to Create Nationwide “Gun Free Zone”

Sunday, December 6th, 2015

cbs_obama_gun_Control_tweet_sm

 

 

This morning, in promoting the day’s broadcasting schedule, CBS News tweeted out the following:

cbs_obama_gun_Control_tweet

 

 

 

If you had any doubts about the diabolical nature of Barack Obama’s ideology, it should now be clear.  Here we have the man entrusted with safeguarding the nation, and upon the circumstance of a terrorist attack within our own borders, an attack possible only due to the faulty vetting of his immigration enforcement policies that have created a virtual open border, Obama does not seek to close the door, or go after the terrorists, those who inspired, funded, and/or trained them, or any logical course of action at all.  Instead, Barack Obama seems poised to turn the entire country into a “Gun Free Zone” wherein only the bad guys have guns.

We know conclusively that gun violence is down almost everywhere in America, except for one class of location: Gun Free Zones.  Therefore, President Obama is going to do the most destructive thing possible in response: He’s going to broaden Gun Free Zones to encompass the entire nation.  That way, we’re ALL TARGETS, EVERYWHERE, ALL THE TIME.  (Unless we’re surrounded by men and women with guns because we’re under Secret Service protection.)

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, the White House is not a “Gun Free Zone.” President Obama doesn’t live in a “Gun Free Zone.” In fact, wherever he goes, he’s in a bubble of protection that is filled with guns aimed at protecting him.  Oh, sure, he’s not wielding any himself, but the men and women of the Secret Service who surround him are armed to the teeth. Yes, the President exists in a “Gun-Enhanced Zone.”

Once again, what’s good for Emperor Obama is not good enough for Americans.  It’s good to be king.

I suspect that before this evening’s address is over, as he goes on to announce new Executive Orders clamping down on your right to protect yourself, your family, and your home and property, from the length and breadth of America, minus the statist havens on both shores, we will hear a loud refrain of these most famous words:

*** Caution: Strong Language ***

It’s time to say what needs to be said: Barack Obama, stop blaming and punishing the victims of your intransigent maladministration of our immigration laws, and your senseless policies on defense of the nation.   It’s time for you to understand that you don’t run anything that the American people don’t want you to run.

 

 

The New Communists at FoxNews

Sunday, December 6th, 2015

cargile_fnc_smSaturday afternoon, I took a little bit of time to watch some news. I flipped over to FoxNews, and there I witnessed Mickey Cargile explaining to openly supportive host Eric Shawn and his audience that drug prices are a moral issue, and a quality of life issue, more than economic issue. I couldn’t agree more.  His conclusion, however, was based on the moral system of collectivism. I realize that the anchors and stories on FoxNews on weekends tend to be the “B-Team” or even the “C-Team,” but this is despicable. Watch for yourself:

Apparently, Cargile believes this is a moral issue, but unfortunately, his moral standard is collectivism. He ignores entirely the morality of a civilized country inasmuch as he openly attacks private property rights, private wealth, and the freedom to choose. Reading between the lines, he’s advocating some sort of government-enforced price control at the very least, and perhaps even complete expropriation at the worst. This implies violence. In order to enforce such a thing, what one is saying is that one is ready to kill people in order to take their things if they do not otherwise consent.

The host, for his part, is no better. He smears the owners of the rights to the Hepatitis C treatment under discussion as people who are merely out to profit, first, as if profit is somehow an evil, and second in that they might use that profit to “buy a new Ferrari.” This shameful broadcast merely confirms my contention that FoxNews is all about co-opting conservatism. There’s nothing remotely conservative in this, Cargile’s protests about his continuing devotion to the free market notwithstanding.

For those who don’t understand the principles involved, let us be clear: If you invent a thing, and I purchase the rights to that thing from you, my moral claim to the thing in question is every bit as legitimate as yours when you had invented the thing. More, since it’s now my thing, I have the absolute right to buy it and sell it as I see fit, and the only moral method by which to obtain it is to pay the price at which we arrive by mutual consent. Any government interference in that exchange, either to my benefit or to a purchaser’s, is tyranny.

What Cargile advocates in this clip is tyranny. What the hapless Mr. Shawn approvingly supports is no different from what Hugo Chavez had imposed in that poor, enslaved, collapsing communist state that is Venezuela: Communism. The closer we get to complete collapse, and the more people begin to shrug their shoulders over the concepts and moral standing of individual rights, the more rapidly our collapse will accelerate.

One might argue, as the communists at FoxNews seem to insist, that there is some maximum amount that ought to be charged for some life-saving, or quality-of-life-preserving drug or treatment. My question for you is: Had I Hepatitis C, how much of my earnings would I forego for how long a period to finance a cure? Is there any amount of money I would not pay? One might argue, as the dolts on FoxNews have done here, that such a burden is unaffordable, and use this as a justification to steal. Theft via government action is still theft, even though done under color of law. The fact that the government was placed in office by vote does not reduce the significance of the crime, but merely multiplies the number of criminals and broadens the expanse of the guilt(though its concentration is not diluted.)

With this sort of thing becoming the norm on FoxNews, as further evidence of the spread of collectivist ethics throughout the culture, we cannot and will not last.

It’s Islamic Terrorism, Stupid

Saturday, December 5th, 2015

Over the last two days, I’ve watched in utter amazement as our media and government go out of their collective way to avoid talking about the nature of the incident in San Bernadino, CA, on Wednesday.  To listen to most public officials in the Obama administration, including the Jihadi-in-Chief himself, one might draw the conclusion that there is something wrong with mentioning Islam and Terrorism in the same sentence.  In fact, one might just as well never use the word “Terrorism” ever again.  We’ll call it “work-place violence,” or we’ll call it “street violence,” and we’ll pretend it had all been just a random occurrence with no ideological or religious linkage of any kind.  Our culture is breaking down, in part because so few seem interested in identifying plainly, and without apology, the nature(s) of our affliction(s.)  You cannot beat an enemy you will not name.  You cannot vanquish and evil you refuse to admit exists.   One cannot overcome a social ill when one will not name it, never mind naming its cause.  We rational folk must lead the way.  We mustn’t let some contrivance of political correctness impede our statement of the absolute, unvarnished truth.  Our President, most of our political leaders (appointed and elected,)  and average citizens refuse to state the plainly obvious, but I will not: The shooting in San Bernadino was an act of terrorism motivated in part or in whole by adherence to political Islam.

I have heard it at least ten-thousand times: “Islam is a religion of peace.” If that’s all Islam is, we’d have no problem with Islam, but Islam is much, much more.  Islam is also a cultural and political doctrine.  It is a legal doctrine.  It is a system of beliefs that countenances no breach among the facets of adherents’ lives.  Even non-adherents are liable for their conduct according to Islam.  Even those who are ignorant of Islam’s existence are required to give their fealty to it.  Practiced consistently, every Muslim would a Jihadi become.  Islam does not accept or tolerate substitution.  It does not permit free will.  Like pro-abortionists in our political sphere, it loves choice, so long as the choice made is in concert with their beliefs.  In other words, no actual choice is to be permitted.   In fact, this is why I argue that the rabid left in our own political sphere are the “Jihadis” in our midst.  Political Islam is statism, as thoroughly and as fundamentally as any other flavor.  It favors the interests of the state over the rights of the individual, and it relies upon anointed guardians to determine what are those interests. If you wonder how it could be that the left is as fundamentally fanatical as militant political Islam, this is the answer.

In San Bernadino, what we have seen is another expression of the extension of political Islam into American culture.  Just as American culture is fundamentally at odds with secular flavors of statism, so also is it incompatible with religious flavors.  Rand liked to describe these two seemingly opposing brands of statism as the mystics of muscle and spirit.  The left’s dogmatic mysticism is based entirely on the secular humanistic concerns of the body.  The religiously motivated mysticism of militant Islam is concerned only with one’s spirit in the great beyond.  The first seeks to own and dominate all on Earth, while the latter seeks to dominate on Earth for the alleged sake of the hereafter.  Both are frauds, and both are intrinsically evil.  Our American system had been founded to be effectively Laissez Faire both in terms of the body (economics and ethics) and the spirit (religion and ethics) since it was understood by our founders and the framers of our constitution that no collectivized version of either could be countenanced in freedom.

The terrorist attack in San Bernadino was the act of a conspiracy by radicalized adherents of political Islam.  Any other notion is mere foolishness propagated by those who would just as soon see you unarmed in a battle they will deny exists.  The French poet Charles Baudelaire observed that “the finest trick of the devil is to persuade you that he does not exist.” Whether this is so, it is certainly true that the radical militants of political Islam would just as soon have you doubt their existence, and the full evil of their intentions.  The same can be said of the rabid-dog left, and it is this that should clue us in to their fundamental similarity.   As the terrorist act in San Bernadino was underway, female shooter Tashfeen Malik posted a pledge of allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Facebook. (CNN)   CNN’s site goes on to say that it seems the shooting may have been inspired by ISIS.  This weak wording is exemplary of our cultural collapse.  “Seems?”  “Inspired by?”  This rhetorical disarming merely accentuates the actual disarming, when one discovers that deaths by guns is on the decrease all over the country except in one narrow class of locations: Gun free zones.

If that’s not bad enough, we have a US Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, vowing to prosecute those who use “anti-Muslim” speech that “edges toward violence.”(DailyWire)  This sort of absurdity is precisely what’s destroying our nation, and it’s an excellent parallel to so-called “moderate Republicans” (a.k.a. “liberal Republicans”) who will not fight the left. Do you know why Donald Trump is leading?  It’s because he’ll say what many are thinking but are too damned frightened to say.   Of course, Trump is a stalking-horse who will eventually self-destruct conveniently ceding the lead at some future date, or perhaps even after the nomination is his, but either way, his current popularity signifies something important:  America is crowded with the cowed, silent majority who have been collectively beaten into submissive silence by the popular media culture.   None will speak it plainly until it’s staring them in the face, and lopping their head off for their trouble. It’s time to speak up, Loretta Lynch be damned, and we need to name this evil, denounce it, and commence the fight against it.  Until then, you can expect the collapse to continue apace.  Americans are dying because we will not name it, never mind fight it.  Its name is political Islam, and while our leaders fiddle us into the ashes, it’s advancing, it’s gaining ground, and we don’t dare speak its name.

 

 

Small “r” republicanism v. Big “R” Republicans

Saturday, July 6th, 2013

Which are You?

I’m a conservative, and I’m also a “republican,” but I am the latter only in the sense of a lower-case “r.”  I believe in the republican form of government promised in Article IV, section 4, of the US Constitution.  Many Republicans (members of the political party) seem to be confused about what this means, and I suppose it is only fair to make them aware of the distinctions between the things many current Republicans now advocate that violate the platform and the principles of republicanism that their party claims to uphold.  Those who become confused about what it means to be a RINO (“Republican In Name Only”) need only consider the small “r” form of the word.  It’s easy to fill out a voter registration card and check the box beside the word “Republican,” but it’s another matter entirely to know what is republicanism.  As we debate issues of critical import to the future of the nation, it’s more important than ever that conservatives know what it is they are fighting, and what form it takes.  The outcome of 2014 and 2016 will set the course of the nation for generations, and we must win it.  This is the heart of the battle between the so-called RINOs and we constitutional conservatives, and it will determine our nation’s future.

One of the concepts that has long been associated with republicanism is that we hold in disdain the notion of a “ruling class,” a presumptively superior elite who by virtue of some unknown mechanism somehow know better than the rest of us with respect to how we ought to be governed.  Indeed, when our republic was established, it was with the experience of a people who had freed themselves from the bonds of a King, who claimed his right to rule over us by virtue of his station of birth.  I do not doubt that some people are superior to others in some particular way, but nearly everybody can claim some attribute in which they are superior to most others.  Some of that is a result of education, experience and training, while some of it results from pure genetic gifts.  There is no gene, however, that entitles one man to rule over others.  There exists no family lineage in America that can rightly claim to exercise a disproportionate power over the affairs of nations and men.  We do not have kings, and while there were a few in early America who advocated for a monarchy, the broad body of the American people rejected the idea as an apostasy aimed at thwarting the very revolution in which they had only so recently succeeded.

The only thing I hold in greater contempt than the man (or woman) who would claim the right to rule over me by virtue of family lineage or family station(a.k.a. “nobility”) is the  poor, twisted soul who would consent to such a proposition.  I am no person’s chattel, and I abhor any human being who claims membership in this species who would surrender themselves as having been of no greater significance than a possession of “better” men.  Those lacking the essential self-esteem to realize that they are by right the sovereigns over their own affairs, equal to any other on the planet, ought to immediately depart these shores to seek refuge in some Kingdom as a serf.  In this sense, it is fair to say that I not only reject a supposed “ruling class,” but also that I likewise hold in contempt the corollary premise of a “ruled class.”  Part of the republican ideal is that classes are a subjectively-defined fraud perpetrated against a people who ought not to be willing to accept it.  Why is it that so many Republicans prefer to think of Americans in a class system little different from their alleged ideological opponents, the statists?  The answer is that too many Republicans are statists themselves, having rejected the fundamentals of republicanism.

By what strange and mystical knowledge do the brothers Bush claim to have the better answer on the subject of immigration, both now pushing the Gang-ofTr8ors Bill?  Why do so many Republicans accept their claim in the unthinking form of a command received from on high?  It  is because too many Republicans have either surrendered or rejected the republican principles under whose banner they march.   If you listen closely enough, you can hear in their intentionally vague language the lost concepts that they will not name, never having believed in them from the outset.  Although a few are now catching themselves in pursuit of the betterment of their propagandists’ art, you will invariably hear them speak of democracy as the goal and the object of their advocacy.  This is not merely loose wording, but a true reflection of the form of government they seek, a form so terrible that our founders placed a stricture against it in the US constitution in the form of an endorsement of republican government.

A democracy is not a form of government most rational people would want, except that they have been taught that it is the desired form.  To hear a President say that he wishes to spread democracy to the Middle East is an arrow through the heart of republicanism.  We have seen what democracy creates in the Middle East and throughout the Arab-speaking world.  Pakistan is a democracy.  Egypt is now a democracy.  Libya is now a putative democracy. Iraq now is a sort of hybrid democracy, but in each of them, what you will observe is how the whole course of the nation is changed by political instabilities, and that the rule of law acts as no restraint upon political leaders in working their will.  Barack Obama is intent on turning the US into a democracy, because democracy is always the precursor to despotism.  Most of the worst thugs of the twentieth century came to power on a wave of popular support that defines the democratic model:  He(or she) with the biggest mob wins.  Even now, in Cairo, when the military perceived that President Morsi (the Muslim Brotherhood’s stooge,) no longer held sway over the largest mob, they placed him under house arrest and offered an interim president who will enjoy for at least a time some popular support.  Throughout the third world, it is fair to say that most countries have adopted some form of governance that lurches repeatedly and often from some sort of feigned democracy to absolute despotism.

A republican form of government is much more stable, and it has been the underlying root of our general prosperity for some two-hundred-twenty years, with a few notable exceptions, in largest measure because nearly all of the occupants of the land had accepted the orderly rule of law and the specific, constitutional methodology by which laws are to be adopted, modified, or repealed.  Having a set of rules that is inflexible, particularly with respect to changing those rules, and obtaining the consent of those who must live under them for a span of two centuries is an extraordinary feat in human history.  The dire flaw in all of this is that from the moment of its adoption, people begin to conspire to overthrow it in one fashion or another, by finding loopholes, imagining a “flexibility” that does not exist, inciting rebellion against it, or seizing power over it with which to subsequently ignore the mandates of the law.

In American history, we have seen all of these methods employed, indeed, some of them are being employed even now, as our President conspires with his cabinet to ignore the rule of law, ignoring the plain language of the law as often and as thoroughly as they believe they can manage in a particular political context.  What good is a law that those who are charged with enforcing it refuse to rise to carry it into execution?  When the public officials whose job it is to see to it that subordinate officials execute the law refuse to discipline those who will not obey, always claiming as an excuse some alleged greater “public good,” what you are witnessing is the reduction of a republic to the state of a pre-despotic democracy.

Many Americans who are demonstrably ignorant of the world’s history of governance believe that our Electoral College is anti-democratic, and on this basis, advocate its repeal, demanding instead to rely upon a majority (or plurality) of the popular vote.  While they are correct that the Electoral College is undemocratic, their ignorance is born of an educational system that has misled them to expect majoritarian rule in all cases as the preferred model.  Naturally, that same system has failed to teach them about federalism, the ninth and tenth amendments, and the whole construct that is a constitutional, representative republic, being the precise form of government the framers of the US constitution did adopt and ratify .

Informing them of this distinction, many are still suspicious of it, because it sounds strange and foreign to them, most under the age of forty having never been taught a syllable about it in the government schools.  Even in the school from which I graduated a long, long time ago, the senior-year civics class was entitled “Problems of Democracy.” Had I been a more thoroughly-engaged student, I might have questioned it then, but like virtually all of my peers, I did as I was told, never considering a word of it.  It would take years of study to unlock the knowledge of which I had been cheated, and at first, I resisted it.  How could all of this be true?  How could America not be a “democracy?”  How could democracy be a bad thing?  This is where many Americans get hopelessly stuck, because we’ve adopted the flexible language of lunatics, where we interchange words with the imprecise vulgarity of schoolyard bullies.  “The difference between a democracy and a republic won’t matter to you so much after I beat your face.”

The truth about democracy is what has always been its fatal flaw, perhaps best described by a phrase often mistakenly attributed to Benjamin Franklin, but possessed of perfectly sanguine execution, irrespective of its source:

“Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what will be for lunch.”

Indeed, in a true democracy, there can be no protections of any minority but by violence.  This was the great object the framers of our constitution had hoped to impede.  They knew that majoritarian rule is no form of government for a peaceable, civil society, and that such governments are always ripe for manipulation by unscrupulous and demagogic usurpers.  The whole purpose of all their checks and balances had been to obstruct to the degree humanly possible the sort of instability made easier by democratic rule.  Their constitution set at odds every branch of government, and even divisions within branches, like the House and Senate.  It relied upon a competing fight for sovereign power between the several states and the federal government, all at odds in most cases, except when the most pressing of public crises may discipline them to more affable cooperation.  This was their plan, and their intention, and they hoped that in little-modified form, it could survive some severe tests that they knew would come, as they must for all nations.

With the onset of the progressive era in the early twentieth century, there was a move toward greater “democratization,” that brought with it a string of constitutional amendments, causing a great unwinding of our nation.  The 16th, creating an authority to tax income (and the legal establishment of a class system;) the 17th, changing the manner of election of US Senators; the 18th, instituting prohibition; the 19th finally giving women the right to full political participation all came in this era, with only one of them(the 19th) having been justifiable among civilized people, and one of them(the 18th) creating such terror that it was ultimately repealed by the 21st amendment.  Progressive Republicans of that era helped to install these amendments, and none of them did more damage to the system of checks and balances the framers had invented than the 17th amendment.  It effectively muted the voices of the states as sovereigns in the federal system. It did so by causing Senators to be popularly elected in their respective states, shutting out the state governments as a confounding, obstructive influence on the growth of centralized government.

Our republican form of government was constructed to sub-divide government into so many competing segments and interests that it would be nearly impossible for any one interest to gain supremacy.  It succeeded in many ways so long as politicians held onto the general republican ideals, for more than a century generally held by members of both parties. (It is instructive to remember that the forebears of the modern Democrat Party called themselves “Democratic Republicans” for many years before dropping the second half of their name with the ascendancy of Andrew Jackson.)  It is therefore no surprise that a Democrat party would become the party of the slave-holding South, or that the Republicans would supplant the Whigs by championing the rights of an enslaved minority.  Words, including even party labels, meant something distinct in those days.

In the progressive era, mostly for the sake of political expediency, there were a number of Republicans who began to adopt more democratic notions of governance, including the predisposition of their Democrat brethren to an elitist view of a class system not only in the general populace, but also among political offices and those who occupied them.  The influences of corporations grew, as did the corrupting influence of gangsters during prohibition.  From that era arose an establishment of Republicans who were nothing of the sort, and with few exceptions, have managed to maintain a fairly strong control over that party, most often as the minority party.  Viewed in this fashion, it could be said rightly that the Republican Party has been charged with managing the real republicans into submission.

Who are the real advocates of republicanism in the Republican Party?  Nowadays, we call them “conservatives,” although they are actually the philosophical heirs to the classical liberals of the late eighteenth century, by and large.  “Conservative” is approximately opposite of “liberal” or “progressive” in popular connotation, and since the Democrats had successfully co-opted the term “liberal,” despite being nothing of the sort, they managed to carry off a vast fraud on the American people using a sort of primitive branding that set conservatives against the liberal Democrats and the progressive Republicans.  It has been in this approximate form ever since, with the Republicans adopting “moderate” from time to time as a way to escape linkage with the frightful failures of the progressive era.

Now come we full circle to the moment that is both the beginning and the end.  The Bush clan seems to have some special public sense of duty to rule over the country, as evinced by the fact that despite having had two members of their clan accumulate two solid decades of first influence and then dominance over the Republican Party, they are far from finished. Their ideas are as progressive as any Democrat you will ever meet, the singular difference being that they seem to temper the left’s radical secularism with public professions of faith in the Almighty.  Put in plainer language, they are approximately ecumenical communists, and their particular subset of the broad statist philosophy is known as communitarianism. Whatever did you think is “compassionate conservatism?”

They don’t believe in the supremacy of the individual over the interests of the community.  Most conservatives are almost precisely opposite in philosophical leanings to the communitarian front, being Christian individualists in the main.  While they certainly work in their communities and contribute to them greatly, they believe in an individualized form of salvation, and an individual responsibility in obtaining it.  The communitarians conceive instead a form of “collective salvation.” If that term sounds vaguely familiar to you, it is because your current president has used it too.  In this sense, it is fair to say that from Bush the elder, to Barack Obama, we have been on a nonstop course of communitarianism since 1989.  They do not believe in the small “r” republicanism of our founders, and they certainly do not believe in the containment of the state, the only discernible difference being their apparent relative positions on the scale between religious and secular intent.

To demolish the United States will require demolishing its distinct culture, any sort of nationalistic sentiment among its people, and the broadening of the definitions of citizenship and nationhood.  Did you think the Senate’s amnesty bill was just about cheap labor?  It is about deconstructing the United States as a sovereign entity responsive to the interests of its inhabitants.  Now that brothers George W. and Jeb Bush are openly pushing for the Senate bill in the House, or indeed any bill at all that can be a vehicle for the Senate bill in conference, one should be able to discern quite clearly that more is at stake in the matter than cheap labor for some construction contractors.

For those of you who now wonder how any of this pertains to small “r” republicanism, it is so simple as this: Very few of your elected leaders or even your supposed “conservative” spokesmen are interested in the sort of republicanism your founders brought out of deliberations from a sweltering Philadelphia convention.  If you wish to discern who are Republicans of the “RINO” construct and who are actual republicans, you need only key on their records of adherence to lowercase “r” republican principles, including primarily their previous adherence to the US constitution and its framers’ intent. Flowery words don’t matter.  Professions of faith aren’t enough. Look at their records.  Look at their ideas and the principles upon which they rely.  If you are constitutional conservatives, you must in the name of all you cherish perfect the ability to recognize the charlatans at a mile’s distance.  In Washington DC, and in states’ capitals, Republicans are legion, while actual republicans are few, and it’s a ratio we must reverse.

Will The Real “Prostitute” Stand Up?

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

The Right Proposition?

Listening to the Democrats, you would think Rush Limbaugh had committed a war crime.   His use of the terms “prostitute” and “slut” that he offered as possible descriptors of leftist agitator Sandra Fluke, and for which he subsequently apologized has been the rallying cry of every lefty feminist in sight, but Democrats generally as they seek to make as many miles on this as they can.  The problem is that contrary to the shrill refrain, it’s not having quite the effect the Democrats had hoped, and what seems to be happening is that there has been a backlash against sponsors who withdrew advertising from Limbaugh’s show.  This flies in the face of all we’ve been told about this episode by the mainstream media, but it also offers a little insight as to who the American people see as the real prostitute, as the double-standard in the media has become apparent with such leftists as Bill Maher getting a pass from certain politicians and political groups.

National Organization for Women(NOW) President Terry O’Neill was asked whether she thought the Obama SuperPAC that received a million dollars from the so-called ‘comic’ Bill Maher ought to return the money on the basis of what he has said about a number of prominent conservative women, including Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann.  Her answer is only surprising to those who are naive about the motives of the NOW gang.  Watch the video:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCYAP3JCIEk]

Ms. O’Neill expresses a smarmy contempt for the question, noting that she wants Barack Obama elected, thus rejecting the idea that the money ought to be returned to Maher.  I would never make the mistake of telling you that O’Neill is a “prostitute” or a “slut,” but it is interesting to see how her support of women is conditional and quite obviously for sale.

This brings me to the real object of my question.  You see, while President Obama doesn’t technically control the SuperPAC that accepted Bill Maher’s million dollars, he does exercise at least theoretical moral authority.  He could urge the money be returned if he was as serious as his invoking of his own daughters in a discussion of the Fluke-Limbaugh situation implies, but that’s if you believe his feigned moral outrage.  Here you have the pinnacle of hypocrisy.  Obama waxes philosophically on the shame of what Rush Limbaugh said prospectively of Sandra Fluke, and yet he permits a SuperPAC operating in his name to accept money from a misogynist like Bill Maher?

The fact is that the things Bill Maher has said about conservative women are far worse than Rush Limbaugh’s proposed words, and honestly, if we can see media castigate Rick Santorum because Foster Freiss made his remark about “an aspirin between the knees,”  surely this President, who poses as the savior of women, and who has the President of NOW selling out the organization’s stated principles on his behalf could stand firm against misogyny.

What this demonstrates is that Barack Obama is a political prostitute, and that his principles and haughty talk about misogyny all goes out the window for a measly million dollars.  He’s just announced his price, if you ask me, and he might as well stand on a DC street corner asking for the support of lobbyists in much the same way.  Unfortunately for us, he has no need of a street corner because he has turned the Oval Office into the political brothel-of-state, where he routinely sells out all of his lofty notions about the “interests of the people” and “change” along with whatever else he’s selling on any given day.  The lobbyists had no problem finding him when it came time for the negotiations on the health-care bill, or the financial reform act.  They merely made deposits at the bank of the DNC and his favorite campaign SuperPacs, and for chump-change, he willingly put out.

Rush Limbaugh needn’t have proposed that Sandra Fluke might be a “prostitute” or a “slut.”  He really only needed to point out that the nation’s head madame is a he, and that he plies his trade at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  Those who were confused shouldn’t be now, because Barack Obama has made it clear: He’s for sale, and the bidding starts at one million dollars, setting the price at which he will overlook anything, no matter how vile.

 

 

The Dissolution of the Social Compact

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Is America Breaking Down?

On Tuesday evening, Mark Levin posed a question on his radio show that bears serious consideration by we conservatives, and I think it’s time we discuss it.  It’s not a matter of winning any longer, but whether we can stave off disaster.  What Levin wondered aloud was whether our nation might be saved at all. He asked if it is too late, because there are too few people remaining who will oppose the advance of statism.  Are we too few?  Is it too late?  Is the America we had known doomed?  If so, what will we have instead?  Our Republic stands on the brink of collapse, and the question we now face is what we can do about it.  The signs are all around us: If we don’t turn things around in 2012, it may be that we never will.

Identifying the problem we face is simple, and it’s really what Alexis de Tocqueville proposed when he wrote that if the Democracy In America.  Among all of the other important and prescient things he warned, these may have been the two we should have etched in stone on the steps of Congress, and on every class-room door in the country:

“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” ― Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

That helps to describe our predicament, and this punctuates it:

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.” ― Alexis de Tocqueville

Our nation is now just more than 200 years on from the adoption of our current constitution, and it seems that the cause of Tocqueville’s warning is being realized before our eyes.  Barack Obama is effectively a dictator, overturning laws by failing to enforce them, and by promulgating regulations that have no legal basis in authority under our Constitution.  Our people, a majority of them, live substantially by taking from others, and those who produce their living have been indoctrinated to supine servitude.  This isn’t the nation of our founding, and our current president’s enmity to the constitution to which he has sworn an oath demonstrates our dire situation.  Many judges no longer see any reason to restrain themselves to the content or context of the laws on the basis of which they’re allegedly ruling, and they reach out to international case law for precedents that conflict with our own constitution.  Under these conditions, our Republic cannot survive, much less flourish, and we are headed for darkness.

Part of what my professional life entails is the process of evaluating threats and vulnerabilities, and projecting organization capabilities for confronting them.  Applying that technique to our current situation, for individuals who consider themselves conservative, never mind libertarian, I think we’re going to see a revolution of radical statists, and I believe this has been the aim of George Soros and his pack of radical cohorts.  Our options are going to be just three, and you had better begin to consider them:

  • Submit – Accept the country is going to become a radical socialist state complete with a police-state front
  • Flee – Leave the country in search of friendly shores that will accept you
  • Fight – Take up arms against i, risking life, limb, and property

These aren’t pleasant options, no matter which we consider, but let’s look at them.  To submit would mean to maintain immediate physical safety, but it also means giving up virtually all personal sovereignty.  I’m not cut out for this option, because I’m not one who respects claims of arbitrary authority over my life, or the way in which I choose to live it.  I’m not one who abides by theft, whether carried out by a hoodlum in a darkened alleyway, or in the open by a federal bureaucrat.  I don’t accept the idea that my life, liberty, and property are rightly subject to the aggression of other men, whether alone, or as a mob.  This means that for me, I’m not inclined to submit, but every person will be forced to make their own choices.  I fear too many will lie down in order to avoid harm, because in point of fact, the last century has been a progression of this sort of incremental surrender.

I don’t wish to surrender my country.  I’m not the sort to flee from tyranny, although I must admit that I’ve done so before.  I live out in the country precisely because I could not abide the growing tyranny in a municipality that orders its residents to have so many shrubs, so many trees, and what sort of decorations they can place on their own properties.  I could not abide it, so I moved a short way out of the city, and in a matter of a decade, that city annexed properties quickly advancing upon me.  At that point, I moved my family and my horses to an even more remote locale, and set up the farm where I expect that I will find some peace for the remainder of my days.  This won’t be the case, however, if the federal government becomes the sort of coercive police state that leftists desire.  There will be no escape to the country, and the only choice will be to flee the country altogether.

As I’ve reported, there have been some people, including filmmaker James Cameron who have fled to New Zealand, but the problem for most of us is that few can afford that move, and countries like New Zealand are smart enough to refuse easy immigration.  Where then shall we go?  The geographical isolation that has served America as a protection promises to serve now as a prison.  Canada?  Mexico?  These are our choices, and neither looks very promising to most Americans.  I can’t imagine that Mexico will offer much promise, and Canada won’t absorb us all.  In my view, this sort of flight isn’t feasible for me, or for most Americans, which then brings us along to the option nobody wants to consider.

Fighting a counter-revolution is a deadly affair, particularly when the power of government is in the hands of the revolutionaries.  From the outset, they will have command of the entire military, the police, and indeed, the entire array of government institutions, and since the media serves the revolution in most important ways, they’ve already created a willing propaganda arm.  They control the horizontal and the vertical, so communications will become an impossibility.  How do you wage a war against such a force?  How is it possible to win?  There is a very good reason that peoples the world over flee from or submit to large scale national social tyrannies:  These are easier than fighting.  These pose less danger.

What sort of country have ours become that we must even consider the revolutionary tyranny that is now creeping toward us, gathering inertia?  I do not wish to seem as though I’m a doomsayer, but the truth is that we’re in very real national distress.  Across the vast expanses of this country, there are probably fewer than one in six who I would consider committed patriots who believe we should maintain this republic as framed by our constitution, but still fewer who are willing to fight to preserve it.  I doubt we could must five million patriots who would step forward and take up arms in defense of the republic, and make war against the people who have slowly usurped our system of government.

I am not asking or urging anybody to do anything, except think.  I’d like you to consider the meaning of all of these things, and what you are willing to do to preserve what we all claim to love so dearly.  Is our liberty to be abandoned without a fight?  Is our freedom really to be eclipsed in this generation?  Why are we going on quietly about our lives?  The Tea Party was launched with the intention of creating a push-back, but the Tea Party has been largely silent in the last year.   The problem is that without some rallying cry, we’re sliding more quickly toward the national catastrophe that now awaits in the gaping maw of the social welfare police-state.  The other problem faced by those who would be inclined to fight if it comes to it is that we don’t have a single bright line for the trigger for a fight.  What is that trigger?  What is the thing that if the government undertakes, we would immediately respond with war?

This reminds me of the story of Wyatt Earp standing down a mob:  “Sure, you’ll get me in a rush, but who wants to be first?”  This is a question nobody likes to consider, because nobody wants to be first.  Perhaps that will change, and perhaps it’s not yet as bad as that implies, but at some point, we’ll reach that climax at the pace in which we’re now rushing toward tyranny.  All I’m suggesting to my fellow Americans is that now is the time to think these things through.  What will we do in defense of our constitution when those sworn to uphold it decide instead to set it aside?  What will be that condition under which we will no longer abide the transgressions?  It’s easy to make brave oaths, today in the shrinking protection our liberties provide, but if our social compact is to be dissolved, it will no longer be a matter of oaths but instead a course of actions that we must consider.

 

Mitt Wins Home State

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

He's Smiling - Are You?

Mitt Romney won handily in Arizona on Tuesday, and managed to pull off a narrow victory in Michigan.  While some are again saying “it’s all over,” I disagree with that view.  Romney would have done more for himself had he won Michigan as handily as Arizona, and this makes it anything but a deal-closer, with Super Tuesday only a week away, and Ohio being the biggest prize on the day.  He is trailing in Ohio, with Santorum in front, and there’s still a good chance that this goes all the way to the convention.  Romney doesn’t need to win, but win big, and he’s simply not getting the level of support from conservatives.

Conservatives remain unimpressed with Romney, and every time he gets the chance to stick his foot in his mouth where conservatives are concerned, he seems to bite down with zest.  This leaves us with a problem, however, and there’s really no way around it: The broad conservative base doesn’t trust Romney, and even if he is the eventual nominee, or somehow manages to win the presidency, it’s going to be with a minimum of conservative support.  While many conservatives are saying they will support him if he is the nominee, it’s said in the form of a shrug.  That will make for an uphill fight in the general election, and it’s not a position in which conservatives had hoped to find themselves only a year ago.

Romney’s record is spotty at best, and conservatives know it.  The conservative base has flirted with supporting a string of candidates as an alternative to Romney, but the truth is that they haven’t settled on one who they can support with the fervor they need to win at the polls. If this continues, Romney will wind up as the nominee, and if so, it will be a difficult campaign that will take on the appearance of going through the motions among conservatives.  As many have noted, there’s simply no reason to be excited about Romney, and if he’s what we’re stuck with in November, we may well lose.

I realize many are unhappy with the situation, but the truth is the truth.  If Super Tuesday comes and goes, and Romney is able to win the lion’s share of primaries, it may well be close to over.  The problem is, most conservatives aren’t thrilled at the prospect, but they’re not doing anything to demonstrate the ability to defeat him consistently.  They have jumped from one to the other to the next in perfect unison with the media talking points, and the only conservative who bucked the attempt to destroy him at all was Newt Gingrich, but only because it took more than one attempt.  If Gingrich doesn’t perform well on Super Tuesday, it’s hard to see how he goes on. While it’s still an open question as to who will be the nominee, the window of opportunity is closing.  We’re running out of time to mount a serious challenge to Romney, and Santorum is the top dog at the moment in that pursuit, but I’m not sure he’s the right one.  We have little time to rethink this, or face the prospects of a Romney candidacy, and a like second term for Obama.

Making Mess of Mess-Halls

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Approval of the Queen?

You can’t call them “Mess Halls” any longer, but the term may be making a comeback, since the Army has taken to restructuring its dining facilities so as to make them healthier. Here we have a bunch of do-gooders inflicting their ideas about nutrition on the Armed Forces. Living nearby Fort Hood, I’ve had an opportunity to ask a few soldiers about their view of all this, and it isn’t generally pleasant. Gone are the days of basic training mess-halls in which the object was to get in, consume all you could in as short a time as possible, and get out before some Drill Sergeant decided a soldier was taking too long. No, now they have “dining facilities” and the food is label with color-coded warnings as to its nutritional value. According to CNS News, the same people who didn’t like our color-coded Terror Alert system are now inflicting it on soldiers’ meals.

Of course, you might have guessed by now that Michelle Obama has been involved, and true to form, the First Lady is happy to project her own notions about nutrition on others.  In this case, dietitian Lt. Colonel Sonya Cable is pushing a different “green initiative,” as it is her job to see to it that the old mess-halls become richer in vegetables, and poorer in fried foods.  This is the sort of nonsense we now have in the military, as the truth is that trainees in Army Basic Training should be consuming calories at a rate that makes vegetables a poor choice for the new recruits.  They need to pack in all the calories in a meal they can get, except for the relative handful that should be viewing basic training as an opportunity to burn off excess.

Cable’s thinking is to come up with a color system to label foods that pushes healthy food, with a system of labels.  Red is for the fried foods, and sweets, amber is for the middle-of-the-road dishes, and green is for the things that are viewed as the best alternatives, but even with this system, there’s some realization that this may not be entirely feasible:

“I had some folks say to me, ‘Well, why on earth did you even include the red ones to begin with?’  Two reasons – one, we’ve got soldiers who have racehorse metabolisms that they needed every calorie I could get into them.  And by taking off the ‘red’ we just found that we couldn’t get enough calories in them.”

No kidding.  Welcome to the real Army, Colonel.  Of course, reading some of her other thoughts, it became clear to me that this is one Army officer who probably doesn’t understand much about soldiering from the perspective of the recruits going through Basic Training at Fort Jackson or elsewhere.  Trainees don’t sit on their duffs for eight hours, do physical training once or twice per week, and then go home to sit on their backsides for the evening.  Why this didn’t dawn on Lt. Col. Cable is another matter, but then you realize she’s in tune with Washington-speak, when she reflects on her previous visit to Ft. Jackson:

“My eyes got opened very quickly that it really is a community,” she said, about her visit to Fort Jackson, S.C. seven years ago to observe its dining facilities.  “We talk about a village that raises a child.  Well a community develops a brand new soldier, too. And that’s what we found there.”

Now the liberal planners are designing nutrition programs for the Army.  Perfect!  That explains a great deal, because they’re more interested in fads popular with DC social circles than in what actually works.  Cable took the First Lady on a guided tour of a dining facility at Ft. Jackson in January, and she reports that this program that started with basic training sites has now spread to other training facilities.  In short order, this will spread throughout the services, and one more part of Obama’s fundamental transformation will have been completed.  The liberal mindset must tinker with everything, and that Michelle Obama is even distantly involved should encourage us to pause on the subject in reflection about the direction of our military, and its purpose.

Romney: “I Want to Maintain the Progressivity”

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Progressivity Advocate

Mitt Romney doesn’t seem able to help himself.  Every time he’s given an opportunity to distance himself from his progressive politics, he sidesteps it and goes on to reinforce the view of him as a liberal Republican.  Let’s stop kidding ourselves about all of these claims that he’s really a conservative.  He’s not.  He wasn’t a conservative when he ran to the left of Teddy Kennedy in his attempt to capture the US Senate seat in 1994, and he wasn’t a conservative when he ran center-left in his gubernatorial campaign in Massachusetts in 2002, and he wasn’t a conservative in his governance there.  There is no evidence by which to conclude this cat has changed his stripes, and I have lost patience with all of the excuse-makers who pretend that Mitt Romney is a conservative.

Watch the video here(Note-the recording volume was very low):

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCrpZJ0FViA]

Whether it’s Romneycare, or his willingness to pander to leftists on the question of the “progressivity” of the income tax, Mitt Romney is no conservative, and he isn’t fit to serve as a Republican president.  Perhaps he should reconsider and run on the Democrat side, and challenge Obama for that party’s nomination, because he certainly seems better suited to it.  I don’t think we should send another big-government liberal to replace the one we have.  Rather than just changing teams, it’s as though it’s the same old team:  The party of Big Government.

It’s true that he wants to cut taxes, but his plan entails all the usual gimmicks that phase in entitlement reforms long after it will matter.  Talk about cutting the rate of growth in benefits, or delaying benefit eligibility by raising the Social Security retirement age is simply more pie-in-the-sky nonsense to which we will never be witness, because by the time it will go into effect, even if Romney won and served eight years, few of those changes will have been implemented, and in the mean time, we will see our country continue to slide into the pit of indebtedness.

We can’t afford any more big-government liberals, whether they have a “D” or an “R” next to their names, and what Romney is offering here is more tinkering around the edges that will do just a little to stimulate economic growth, but will continue to borrow at an unabridged rate, and what we will get as a result is another lost decade, and perhaps the death of the Republic.  At best, Romney promises to undertake actions and implement policies that will act to slow our decline, but that’s all he’s really offering.  I remain unimpressed, and the fact that he’s neck-and-neck with Santorum in his home state of Michigan demonstrates that many conservatives agree.  Mitt Romney is no conservative, and his unwillingness to make even the moral argument for eliminating progressivity in the income tax system says all  I need to know about what sort of president he will be.

Romney’s good for only one thing, and that’s “minding the store,” but what he won’t do is to improve its efficiency, or do anything to stave off bankruptcy.  He’ll keep things going because that’s all he knows how to do, but he lacks the passion and vision, and frankly, the philosophical clarity to lead the country away from the brink of disaster.

A Little Tutorial on Obamacare – Video

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Mandates Galore

We’ve heard a good bit about what the 2,700 pages of Obamacare holds in store for the American people, but I’m not sure you will have known all of these details.  This video is astonishingly detailed, and if you haven’t seen it before, taking the ten minutes necessary to view it will certainly be an eye-opening affair for those of you who’ve not seen this.  Suffice it to say that if this isn’t repealed, we’re going to lose all of our liberties, and with it, the entire country.   Take the time to watch this.  If you weren’t worried about healthcare before, you will be afterwards:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcBaSP31Be8]

Pam Bondi Admits It: Romney Will Push Romneycare

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

A Job in Mind

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said a mouth-full in an interview with Greta Van Susteren On the Record. She effectively admitted that Mitt Romney will only seek to repeal such parts of Obamacare as are in conflict with his own ideas, so that we’ll see a push for Romneycare nationwide. She makes several dishonest arguments, but one thing that is certain is that she already believes she has a job lined up in a Romney Administration. After all, she helped deliver the critical Florida primary. After all, where would Romney be now if he had lost in Florida?  Voters in Michigan and Arizona beware!  Romney is who so many have suspected all along: A big-government liberal from Massachusetts.  Watch the video here:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SF2YB4pGrjk]

It’s bad enough to be ruled by Barack Obama and his friends in the Democrat party and throughout the far-left establishment, but to find that Republicans have the same notions is simply despicable, and here, Bondi confirms it.  While she pretends this is a states’ rights issue, it’s nothing of the sort.  This isn’t about federalism, but about the nature of one’s right to one’s life and liberty.  To attempt to push this line explains why Romney wouldn’t back away from Romneycare, and used the same poorly-formed argument to excuse it:  He intends this for all of us.

Rather than talking for two weeks about contraception, perhaps we should have been spending a little more time vetting Romneycare and Mitt’s intentions, but then again, maybe mis-direction has been the point.

Romney and Santorum: Dead Heat in Michigan Polls

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Close in Michigan

This shouldn’t have been close.  In 2008, Mitt Romney won in Michigan by nearly double-digits.  The very idea that the son of a Michigan governor should happen to find himself in this position demonstrates how thoroughly many conservatives have tired of establishment candidates.  What should have been a walk-over won’t be, and instead we’re likely to see a terribly close contest that may come down to the wire.  If Romney loses in Michigan, he might as well go home, because if he can’t win here, and convincingly, I don’t know how you can argue he will ever beat Barack Obama.  There’s also an Arizona primary on Tuesday, and at the time of this writing, that contest is not nearly so tight, with polls indicating a big Romney lead.

After getting the endorsement of another Republican governor, with Jan Brewer endorsing him over the weekend, but she seems to have more pull with Arizonans than Nikki Haley demonstrated with South Carolinians.  There is also a healthy Mormon segment of the vote in Arizona, so taken together, Romney probably will maintain that edge.  Let us also remember he has the endorsement of US Senator and former Presidential candidate John McCain, who was able to stave off J.D. Hayworth in a primary challenge in 2010.  I expect that he will win there comfortably, but if it closes up significantly, it will hint at the continued weakness of Mitt Romney.

Romney needs to win Michigan on Tuesday, but conservatives need Rick Santorum to win.  There is certainly reason to believe Santorum could pull it off, not merely because of the closeness in the polls, but also because he’s doing particularly well among evangelical Christians in the state.  Naturally, Romney has a significant cash advantage, as he has had throughout this primary season, but as has been seen in some states, that advantage doesn’t necessarily equate to victory if the grass-roots activists in a state begin to push for somebody else.  If Romney can pull off an unexpectedly large victory in Michigan Tuesday, he’ll certainly retake the initiative, but if it’s very close, or worse, he loses entirely, it may be a show-stopped.  Tuesday’s  returns will offer us a good deal of insight into the rest of the primary season.  If it’s close, it’s not over by a long-shot in the run-up to Super Tuesday, and if it’s a blow-out, it may well signal a consolidation in favor of the victor.

Iran Prepares for War

Monday, February 27th, 2012

I have been told that Iran is led by “rational actors,” but I see little evidence of it.  In order to acquire their own nuclear arsenal, they are making plans to disrupt the flow of oil through the Strait of Hormuz, and to carry out attacks on US air bases in the region in order to hold off the Americans who they are expecting will at some point attack them.  Meanwhile, they still seem to intend to strike Israel, and wipe them out, so it’s difficult to see them as rational. One could make the argument that they’re merely prepa for a US or Israeli strike, but the continued promise to wipe Israel from the face of the Earth is the most troubling thing of all.  If they do obtain nuclear weapons, Iran’s leaders may well be just irrational enough to use them.

According to the WND article, the Iranians are preparing to make attacks on US air assets.  Such a strike would be more likely than most Americans think to disrupt our ability to respond to threats in the region:

The Guards’ publication Mashregh, in a warning to America, revealed a detailed plan to attack U.S. bases in the region, including, in Kuwait, two air bases, Ali Al Salem and Ahmed Al Jaber, and the U.S. military camps of Buehring, Spearhead, Patriot and Arifjan. Also targeted are U.S. air bases in Afghanistan, the super U.S. base Al Adid in Qatar, its other super base at Al Dhafra in the United Arab Emirates and Thumrait Air Base in Oman.

Such an attack could certainly cause chaos, or worse, but it would almost certainly send the US scrambling, and it might open a window of opportunity for the Iranians to make good on their promise to close off the Straits of Hormuz, at least for a while.  That might be enough to hamper our logistical chain, making it difficult to carry on war-fighting operations.  At the same time, the Iranians have armed a number of small, fast boats with explosive warheads that would be delivered by ramming in suicide attacks:

The Guards have also armed hundreds of speed boats with high explosives for suicide attacks against U.S. Navy assets and the shipping traffic in the Gulf. Sources within the Guards also reveal that the Guards have been training pilots for suicide attacks against U.S. assets in the Gulf by using smaller planes loaded with explosives.

Rational?  I wouldn’t have considered the Japanese all that rational in 1944-45 as their young pilots rammed aircraft into our warships in Kamikaze attacks, yet this is the same sort of mindset we now face.  We’re in particularly bad shape, because just as this threat is rising, our military is undergoing vast cuts, and we have poor national leadership across the board.  Barack Obama has shown no willingness to take on the Iranians, but we know he’s capable of making apologies.  This president is so unwilling to defend America against its enemies that there really is no precedent in American history.  If Iran’s leadership decides it’s willing to wage a war in order to protect its nuclear weapons program, they may win.  If you think the Ayatollahs are irrational, what must we conclude about the man Rush Limbaugh has called “Imam Obama,” who now leads our country into a blind alley?  How rational is Obama?  For our country, the prospects are too frightening to consider.

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Wyoming Preparing for Disaster; Washington DC Making One

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Considering "Doomsday"

Leave it to the good people of Wyoming to bring enough pressure to bear on their politicians that they have now actually begun to prepare for the worst crises that could arise, as they consider the condition of the Federal government, its debt, and the potential for civil unrest.  They’re even considering what to do about their armed forces should the worst occur, and this landlocked state is now considering how they would acquire an aircraft carrier.  That may seem just a little hard to swallow for some, but I think it speaks to the willingness of their legislature to prepare for the worst.  I believe the measures are prudent, and if only we could get the politicians in Washington DC to see it their way, there might well be a chance we’d avoid at least any “man-caused disasters.”  The sneering elites in Washington think this is high comedy, but for down-to-Earth Americans, not only in Wyoming, but elsewhere across the expanses of “fly-over country,” there is a keen awareness of how much trouble we’re facing.

In Washington DC, they have your money upon which to rely in order to continue their spending habits.  Out in Wyoming and around the country, state and local governments have seen a general reduction in revenues.  Property values are down, so property tax receipts are also reduced, and with so many homes in foreclosure, there’s been a corresponding rise in delinquency on property taxes owed.  In Washington DC, they just print up another batch, and they don’t have to worry about the cash because they can always raise taxes, or borrow more.  This is at the heart of the disconnect between the permanent ruling class in Washington DC that sees no emergency looming, but instead suspects it can make due on your back indefinitely.

Thankfully for the people of Wyoming, their legislature is at least considering the worst scenarios.  While we can ridicule the idea of a Wyoming armed force including an aircraft carrier, perhaps we shouldn’t be laughing, and instead checking with our own state and local governments to find out what sort of preparations they’re making.  Chances are, they’re not.  At this point, while Wyoming commissions a little money with which to study the matter, the Federal Government continues to the brink.  Spending, and borrowing, and regulating our lives has become its sole purpose judging by what they’ve done in the last few decades, but when it comes to the things it ought to do, the Federal government has no shortage of excuses.

Rather than mocking the Wyoming legislature for its so-called “Doomsday Bill,” perhaps the thing to do is to instead ask our own state and local officials what they’re doing to prepare.  They’ll baffle you with their local Office of Emergency Management, but I doubt any of them are thinking as broadly or constructively as the legislature of Wyoming.  They’re considering things like issuing their own currency if it comes to that, and how to deal with the worst behaviors of other men.  That’s not a bad starting point, and I wonder if while the elites in Washington DC are laughing now, should the worst arise, would the people of Wyoming have the last laugh.  It’s time for the laughing boys in DC to get the hint and take their cue from the folks in Wyoming, and begin to prepare this country for the hell that it coming, and that they’re creating.  They won’t, of course.

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What If Christians in America Reacted Like Muslims in Afghanistan?

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

One Thing Leads To Another

I can’t help but notice that the President and his friends in the leftist establishment press are offering a dangerous precedent for anybody who wants to notice it.  As Barack Obama apologizes to the Taliban, Afghans, and Muslims everywhere for the inadvertent burning of a few copies of the Qur’an, the reaction is even more strident and increasingly violent.  The more violent they become, the more Obama and his friends in the press grovel, to the extent that he’s now got the entire military chain of command making apologies and running around in panic that they have offended Islam.  Watching all of this, I had a sudden thought:  What would happen if American Christians reacted to the contraception mandate in precisely the same way?  Would Obama grovel before them too, or like his bowing all over the Middle East, is that reserved solely for the Muslim world?  To watch this president in action is to observe a slow-motion train-wreck, if you believe he’s incompetent, but I no longer hold that view.  No president could act so recklessly.  If Christians reacted in a more vociferous manner, would President Obama apologize and grovel for them too, or would he crack down on his own countrymen, as I suspect?

This display couldn’t be more disgusting, and yet, given the way Christians and others of faith(excepting Muslims) are treated by the current administration, maybe that’s the answer:  Americans of faith are simply too docile, and too willing to “turn the other cheek.”  Of course, as Americans of faith have long since discovered, when it comes to the Obama administration, and the mainstream media, turning the other cheek has begun to give the appearance of somebody watching a tennis match.  Christians particularly have taken a beating from this administration, and Obama’s willing accomplices in the media carry out shameless attacks on people of faith under the general auspices of “reporting the news.”

I realize Christians are not very likely to “go Taliban” as the Afghans have been doing this week, but the reaction of the Obama administration may offer a bit of a clue.  I’m not advocating violence, of course, but maybe it’s time to put together a “million Christian march” or some such thing to remind the administration Who is in charge.  Apparently, the administration is quite fearful of the mess now ongoing in Afghanistan, and at the rate things are going, I can see us evacuating via helicopter off the roof of our embassy there.  Not satisfied to turn the fight into Vietnam out in the field, the liberals are accomplishing the seemingly impossible: We’re going to wind up with video out of Afghanistan very much like we saw as the United States evacuated from Saigon, leaving people desperate to escape clamoring to be lifted out too. Leftists everywhere will celebrate.

Of course, the way this country is being led into the ground, Christians may not have to do much.  If the Occupiers have their way, they’ll create a similar scene at the White House, and Barack Obama will fly out in Marine One, leaving the likes of Biden and Carney to fend for themselves among the restless natives.  This is the state of our rudderless nation as Barack Obama takes one victory after the other and converts them into complete disasters.  His apologies have done nothing but to encourage the mobs of angry Afghans, and it’s a disturbing picture when you realize they are merely acting out on the basis of that which they believe.  Call it irrational if you want, and yes, they’re barbaric murderers who have killed Americans in their blood-lust, but consider this:  Barack Obama is begging their forgiveness for a “wrong” that has been shown to be an accidental insult, and not the act of malice.

What are we then to make of a president who acts with malice toward the people of faith in his own country? He insults Catholics, demeans Christians, and tells them their faith must be subservient to his government, while the government he leads and administers bows in surrender and supplication before the rioters in Afghanistan.  How is an American Christian or Jew to take this, realizing that he does the same at home, since we cannot say “Islamic Terrorism” with respect to Major Nidal Hasan, but instead call it “workplace violence?”  Is it not stunning to see an American president who evinces respect for foreign savages who practice a religion he does respect, while he ignores the consciences of Americans who practice a religion he apparently holds in contempt?

This is abominable, sickening behavior, not only by the murderous thugs in Afghanistan, but also by the irresponsible administration in Washington DC.  Where a decent President would have ignored the incident in his official capacity, knowing that to acknowledge it would give it more gravity and not less, and in a situation in which a responsible president would have loosed the dogs of war in their own defense, Barack Obama not only has harmed us, and especially the troops under his command, but he has ignored the chance to deliver a lesson to the Afghans who now rise up in open rebellion against us over a mistake.

Any decent respect for our country and its position in this world would have led him to treat this entire incident differently, but he has no respect, neither for the country nor for the office he occupies.  Just once, I would like to see him react in a similar fashion when Americans of faith were rightly offended, rather than working to offend them more thoroughly in the next instance.  Until Barack Obama leaves that office, our nation will suffer one disaster after the next, and all of his making, and as I wrote this past week, I no longer believe the line that it’s all due to incompetence.  He’s intentionally paying respect to those who have none for us, and he’s one of them in spirit, if not in open worship.  While he reaches out to offended Muslims the world over, he turns his backside to us, and the moon you’re being shown isn’t the crescent common to Islam.

 

Jeb Bush Pushes the Narrative of a “Party of Fear”

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Jeb Denounces Campaign of Fear

Jeb Bush is worried about the Republican Party, and The Hill is reporting on some of his thoughts on the primary campaign for the GOP Presidential nomination.  Among everything else Bush said, there were a few nuggets that should be subjected to scrutiny, as it is increasingly clear that the former Florida governor has parted company with the conservative base of the party. This is a troubling development in my book, because it raises questions about the continued narrative that Bush would be the favored outcome of a brokered convention.  He seems to think that the current crop of GOP contenders are appealing unnecessarily to fear, but I suppose if you live in the Jeb Bush bubble, there’s nothing for anybody to fear.  We’re steaming toward catastrophe, and he will have a lifeboat, but the rest of we passengers on the Titanic know that Captain Obama is steering directly for the iceberg.

“I used to be a conservative, and I watch these debates and I’m wondering — I don’t think I’ve changed, but it’s a little troubling sometimes when people are appealing to people’s fears and emotion rather than trying to get them to look over the horizon for a broader perspective, and that’s kind of where we are,” said Bush, according to Fox News. “I think it changes when we get to the general election. I hope.”

I honestly don’t know what Bush is talking about.  He is being intentionally vague, but I noticed this much: Mr. Bush isn’t a conservative, and he seems to be hinting that the party is moving to the right.  It’s not.  The party has moved slightly leftward, but the problem is that Mr. Bush has been on the leading edge of that slide, and in fact, it’s probably accurate to say he’s been helping to pull it in that direction.  I’m not one of those who bought into the myth that George W. Bush was more conservative than his father, George H.W. Bush, or that Jeb is more conservative than either of these.  You get an indication of this when you look at his remarks on education, that he made to the National Center for Policy Analysis luncheon in Dallas on Thursday, suggesting he doesn’t like the talk of eliminating the Federal Department of Education:

Mr. Bush said, “I’d like to hear more about how important it is that we create a high growth economy where there’s more prosperity and job creation, that we transform our education system.  And what generally the questions are, what do you think the federal role is?  They answer that, that’s fine.  The policy is how do you transform the education system.”

He also cautioned against moving too far to the right:

“I think it’s important for the candidates to recognize though they have to appeal to primary voters, and not turn off independent voters that will be part of a winning coalition.”

I don’t care what Mr. Bush has to say.  Let me say this one last time:  No more Bushes.  I am finished with the Bush clan, and the reason is simple:  They pose as conservatives, but they have shown they are moderates at best, and I’m simply not interested in any more of their governance.  Everything his brother George W. Bush did on the domestic front led to the awful outcome of losing the House in 2006.  You’re free to disagree, but I can state with certainty that there’s absolutely no chance I will ever vote for another member of the Bush family. I don’t believe in political dynasties in America, as a matter of principle, just as I don’t believe in monarchies.

All of this highlights a serious problem in the Republican party, that most readers here will have noticed long ago:  The moderate wing of the party continues to drag us leftward, to the extent that in some ways, many of the presumed establishment leaders of our party frequently have more in common with the Democrats.  Of course, in the end, Governor Bush went on to explain how he believes there will be no brokered convention, and that the nominee will come from those already in the race, stipulating that there’s no way he’d be the nominee by such a process. (Video courtesy CBS 11 DFW)

[youtube=http://youtu.be/5JSRRexdQVY]

I don’t see anything wrong with suggesting that the Federal Department of Education should be eliminated.  I can’t find the word “education” anywhere in our Federal constitution, so I don’t know where that authority arises, or why the Federal government has become involved.  Conservatism would not have created a Federal Department of Education, but apparently Jeb Bush would have done so, and the evidence may be his own brother’s conduct in creating the No Child Left Behind program.  This serves to demonstrate that Jeb Bush is not so conservative as he thought, but the important nugget for us is to understand that fact even if Mr. Bush doesn’t.

Bush contends that the candidates may be moving “too far to the right,” but for my tastes, they could move a good deal more.  Still, I’m less interested in temporary positions that will be dropped when the candidate is chosen.  That’s what the party rightly fears from the likes of Mitt Romney, or from any more of the Bushes, because we’ve been there before.   The truth is that the party has been sliding left for a long time, and that which Jeb Bush considers “conservative” is to the left of Franklin Roosevelt in most important ways.  I realize the party will not be reformed overnight, and I know with people like Mitt Romney leading the drive, it’s likely to get a good deal worse before it gets any better, but I’m not interested in any more talk about moderation.  We’ve moderated ourselves directly off the left edge of the map.  Mr.  Bush may not be fearful, but conservatives know better, because what we fear isn’t a particular event, but the loss of our prosperity and the character of the country upon which it had been based.

Will Inexpensive Gasoline Ever Return?

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Can Gingrich Deliver?

This is a question leftists are now asking in response to the fact that Barack Obama’s policies have resulted in the most expensive February gasoline prices we’ve ever known. Rather than treating it as an economic question, they tend to discuss it as a matter of politics, and mostly as a matter of damage control. Newt Gingrich is promising that if he is elected, he will work to reduce the price of gasoline to less than $2.50 per gallon, but what the liberals contend is that such a reduction isn’t possible, but more importantly, even if it were feasible, it’s not desirable. Let me make it perfectly clear for those of you who have questions about this issue, because it’s something we should examine in looking at the potential nominees: Newt Gingrich’s intention to reduce fuel prices to sustainably lower levels is an important national initiative in which government can play a role, and it offers a chance to boost the US economy in a way that nothing Obama has done will ever accomplish.

In previous articles, I’ve discussed with readers the important relationship between economic growth and the price of energy. By taking note of this fact, and addressing the issue in his campaign, Gingrich has signaled that he’s more in touch with the economic problem with which our nation is now confronted. Over the last dozen years, nothing has had a greater influence on economic prospects than the cost of fuels. Not financial market collapses. Not terrorist attacks. Not government spending. If you want to view the track of economic growth, all of those things have had short-run effects, but nothing undermines the economy more thoroughly than increases in the cost of energy. The reasons should be obvious under even superficial examination.

Everything humans do requires energy. Recognizing this fact is critical to economics, because as energy costs increase, there is a direct effect on the cost of all other commodities, and all other services.  There are no exceptions to this fundamental, structural fact of life.  More, since some items require much more energy to produce, and consume more energy along the entire chain from raw material to distribution, any increase in energy costs quickly ripples through the market.  As such, this creates a drag on production, but also consumption, since energy needs tend to come first in one’s priorities. If you’re an employee, you must travel to and from work.  This is something most employees share as an expense from which there are few option in relief.

For that employee, his or her pay is not likely to react to his or her costs.  This fact means that at energy prices increase, the people who will feel it hardest are those who must engage in commerce, but whose compensation is least elastic with respect to the costs they must absorb.  Most businesses can react by adjusting prices, although the competition they face places pressure on them to  delay passing along costs to customers as long as possible.  This was evident in the trucking industry and more broadly throughout the transportation sector when fuel prices first exceeded the three dollar mark a few years ago.  This gave rise to a new phenomenon called the “fuel surcharge,” and it was intended to show that they weren’t simply jacking up prices without justification, but instead that their costs had dramatically increased. The point of all this is that there is no way to avoid the fact that for most people, and most businesses, you can’t easily augment your income simply because your costs have risen.

This being the case, there will be choices to be made, and all of those involved will need to decide which of their ordinary expenditures may have to be curtailed.  New projects and investments are delayed, and necessary repairs or upgrades are put off indefinitely.  What this means is that economic activity is curtailed, and therefore, fewer jobs are created, and thus unemployment rises.  As this happens, it feeds back on itself because  when unemployment is high, the average employee’s negotiating power on wages diminishes, and this makes the average person even less able to spend money on all of those things that create increased economic growth.

After a time, if this continues, the quantity of fuels demanded will begin to contract, and this will lead to the prices falling again, but there is a lag until economic activity recovers.  Clearly, if this is the cycle, then what we should see is precisely what we have seen over the last few years: An economy that fails to launch because just as it begins to heat up, the corresponding increase in energy prices causes a clear diminution of the economic growth.  The only way to combat this is to increase our energy resources, and to make safe such resources as we already enjoy.

Back in the 1990s, one of the things from which the American economy benefited was the reliability of OPEC members to undercut one another on production quotas.  The quotas were intended to maintain a higher price point, but as prices went upward, one or more member nations would get greedy and cheat on the quotas.  This increased the supply in the market, and the prices would inevitably fall.  This was in an era when China’s demand in the market was relatively negligible, but since then, their bite out of the production pie has done nothing but increase proportionally to all others.  It was also an era when OPEC was more fractious, and most of their members couldn’t coordinate on much of anything for long.

What Gingrich recognizes is that our economy cannot function properly, and in a healthy way without the energy we need at a price we can afford while still building economic activity, buttressing the points made by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.  His stated goal of seeing a reduction in gasoline prices is the right thing to do, and he recognizes that it’s not just a matter of reducing the price to that point for a day or a week, but in making that the effective ceiling even as the economy roars back to health.  That will require that we develop new sources of energy, and not just empty promises of “green energy.”  President Obama can mock “Drill baby, drill” if he likes, but the truth is that developing domestic oil resources is critical to getting this economy moving in a sustained way.  In short, we can’t merely increase the temporary supply on a short term basis, but must increase it in a structural sense: We need more wells, we need more oil-fields in production, and we need to develop other alternatives simultaneously.

This flies in the face of what leftists want and believe.  They believe the ultimate goal should be to reduce consumption, but the only way to do this without eliminating people is to substantially reduce their standard of living.  In short, their plans demand we return to a pre-industrial state where most people do not consume much energy.  Wave goodbye to your electronics, your hobbies, and your lifestyles if these lunatics get their way.  There’s no way to have what they seem to promise, and they know it. There is no rational way to grow or even sustain an economy while cutting the use of energy in any dramatic fashion.  Can efficiencies be found?  Absolutely!  Can they be created by dictate or order?  Absolutely not!

This is the difference in the position between Barack Obama and somebody like Newt Gingrich who actually recognizes that wishes are not the same as facts, and that nature is not to be cheated.  You cannot build a modern, technologically advanced culture with prosperous people and a growth-based ethos when governmental policies are mandating a reduction of energy consumption.  Nature doesn’t respond to arbitrary wishes, and yet that is the stance of the leftist, who thinks a government mandate can overwhelm the forces of nature and the rules of physics.  The disparity in the two positions demonstrates their relative fitness to the presidency, and by no measure is Obama suitable to his office.  Whether Gingrich is qualified remains a question to be answered, but on the matter of his understanding of the critical importance of energy, it’s clear he passes the test. We can have inexpensive fuel again, but it will require a comprehensive effort by the President and Congress to remove obstructions to the growth of the energy sector that is so vital to our future.

About Obama’s Travel Costs…

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Travel In Style!

There are those who insist that we need the dollars and cents to fully grasp what this President’s jet-setting ways are costing us, and how much he’s putting on our national tab as he flies here and there.  We won’t know the full extent of the costs, but we can begin to get an idea when we consider only the hourly operational costs of Air Force One, the President’s own plane.  The cost per hour to operate the VC-25(a modified Boeing 747 airframe) is $179,750.00 according to ABC News, and while they admit that this doesn’t include the crew, since they’re military and would be paid in any case, it doesn’t even speak to the advance teams of Secret Service, the cargo planes that haul the presidential limousines, or any of the other costs.  In a short trip to Florida, the cost exceeded $674,000 just for Air Force One.

In this time of crushing deficits, and economic hardships, it’s hard to understand how he justifies this as he’s using the plane as his primary transportation for campaign fund-raising.  Has this guy ever heard of a teleconference?  We can do those things now, you know.

Is Iran a “Rational Actor?”

Friday, February 24th, 2012

"Rational Actor?"

When you see that even scientists have become so irrational, you know you’re not dealing with an ordinary regime, or rational actors who can be counted upon to follow norms of behavior as we perceive them to be in the West.  The Israeli National News is reporting that the Iranian nuclear scientist who was assassinated in Tehran in January was very  much concerned with and focused on the annihilation of Israel, according to his widow.  Whether she was prompted into this statement by the Ahmedinejad government, or whether she volunteered the information on her own, this speaks to the plainly irrational desires of that regime. There are those who suggest that there’s no proof Iran is an irrational actor, but I think that flies in the face of more than thirty years of evidence to the contrary.

Iran remains the leading state sponsor of terrorism, and they continue to back operations by Hezbollah along with others throughout the Middle East.  More, their current dictator and his theocratic overseers are so-called “Twelvers” who believe in the 12th Imam and a theology that specifies the end of their “oppression.”  These are people who have beliefs more irrational than the worst cultists you’ve ever known in the West, and yet there are those who think we can somehow negotiate in good faith with them.  Worst of all, their leader, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, professes a devout belief in this theology, and says that the oppressors are the “Great Satan” (the US) and the “Lesser Satan” (Israel.)

For those who suggest we can deal with such thinking, I’d remind them that nobody took Hitler and his occult beliefs and practices seriously outside of Germany until it was much too late.  I wonder if these same critics would contend that Hitler had been a “rational actor.”   The Iranian dictator is a maniac, and to pretend he’s less dangerous than he is would be to subject this country to unnecessary risks and a threat of serious harm.  This guy is no more rational than David Koresh, but Koresh had a few rifles, and for that Janet Reno laid siege to his Mt. Carmel compound.  This mad-man is seeking nuclear weapons, and has already tried to carry out political assassinations in the US.  By what standard can anybody conclude he is rational?

GrizzlyFest Winter Session Live

Friday, February 24th, 2012

On Saturday, the 25th of February at 1pm EST, 10am PST, GrizzlyFest’s winter session will kick off on several websites, including this one!  There will be a link at the top of the MarkAmerica.com homepage, and you will be able to tune in right here for the event. Here’s the schedule:


Part 1: The Watchdogs

Sarah Nuckles, transportation commissioner who blew whistle on $344 million vote-buying scam in So. Carolina
Adam Andrzejewski, founder of For The Good Of Illinois, a watchdog group putting government checkbooks online.


Part 2: Crony Capitalism 101

Peter Schweizer, Stanford fellow, author of Throw Them All Out
Luigi Zingales, Univ. of Chicago professor and co-author Saving Capitalism From the Capitalists


Part 3: Sudden and Relentless Reform

Rebecca Kleefisch, Lt. Gov. of Wisconsin, facing recall election for challenging public sector unions
Scott Beason, Alabama state senator, challenging 10-term incumbent Republican Congressman Spencer Bachus


Plus: On-the-Ground Update from American Grizzlies United & Thomas Schmitz

Join your friends in the Palin Movement to hunt for real reformers!

Learn more about our Grizzly Fest Guests here.