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December 5, 2011

Memo #2 to Occupiers: You are almost certainly being played.

Well, the Occupiers haven't backed down on their Bolshevik rhetoric, so I'll go ahead and repeat the point I made in my last post:

If, somehow, your wildest dreams are realized and you end up overturning the capitalist system, YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO CONTROL WHAT TAKES ITS PLACE.

As soon as you realize you've been played by those who are even more nefarious than you are, it'll be too late -- you'll be a "stain on a tank tread".

Something tells me this is what Scott Adams had in mind with today's comic.

October 14, 2011

Memo to the idealists currently “occupying” Wall Street and various other places

Suppose you got everything you seem to want, up to and including the overthrow of capitalism.

You will not be able to control what takes its place.  Seriously.

You envision a utopian society, characterized by economic and social justice, where all is sunshine, rainbows and unicorns, where everyone happily puts the needs of the many above the needs of the few.

It will never happen, not in this life.  Mankind’s fallen nature guarantees it.  History proves it.  If you try it again, you’ll prove it again.

October 7, 2011

Perry v. Cain: Some initial thoughts

A commenter on my earlier Perry/Al Gore post, instead of interacting with the actual topic of the post, took the opportunity to promote his favored candidate, Herman Cain.  Fair enough.

I was planning to answer him there, but I thought it would be good to do a separate post regarding my first impressions of Cain, who is definitely a rising star in the latest polls.  Cain appears to have been the chief beneficiary of Sarah Palin’s decision to bow out of the 2012 race.

Here’s the deal:

I like Cain a lot, but the fact that he allowed the media to manipulate him regarding the Perry hunting lease... that doesn't give me optimism regarding his ability to handle the media onslaught he would experience in office.

I like the fact that he has a ton of executive experience in business, but that is applicable only in the president's role as head of the Executive branch (i.e. overseeing the various cabinet departments and bureaucracies).  I see little in his resume that would prepare him for the task of getting what he wants against the wishes of a hostile Congress. 

Perry has a big advantage in this regard.  I believe this kind of experience and skill will be indispensable for anyone who seeks not just to roll back the usurpations of the Obama administration, but also to get us on the road toward constitutional government.

Perry's gaffes regarding Gardasil and the Texas DREAM Act have annoyed a lot of conservatives, but they also give insight into an aspect of Perry's character: Once he's convinced something is the right thing to do, he won't back down, regardless of the opposition.  Get him focused on the right things as president, and I believe conservatives will find that they've rarely had a better ally in the White House.

Observations on politics, culture, and life in general (#1)

(This is the first of what I hope will be an ongoing, occasional series)

#1: However noble its origins, and however admirable its original cause, in time a political party becomes concerned with little more than accumulating and retaining political power.

The Founders of our country had leaders like George Washington in mind when they crafted the Constitution – men of virtue, uninterested in exercising power for one’s personal benefit or for the benefit of those one identified with. 

When Washington left office, America was at a dangerous crossroad.  What kind of men would follow him?  The Founders had done what they could to disperse power as much as possible among the branches of the federal government and between the federal and state governments, but this new form of government was vulnerable to those who would abuse it.

In his Farewell Address, Washington warned the nation that our experiment with republican government wouldn’t survive long unless (1) we the people remained virtuous, and (2) we insisted that our leaders be virtuous as well.

Along with this general warning, Washington also warned specifically about the “spirit of party” – the natural tendency of the electorate to organize into political parties or movements.

I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.

As I acknowledged in the Observation, political parties often have noble and admirable beginnings.  But just as government itself naturally draws those who seek power for the benefit of themselves and their ideologies, such also is the eventual destiny of political movements that attract enough voters to make a difference in elections.  

In the one case, the politician will say or do whatever he deems necessary to retain his power and privilege.  In the other case, a political party will eventually take (or promise to take) whatever stands are necessary to increase its power and influence in elected government.

All of this to say: Political parties are in many ways necessary as a means to provide a collective voice to those whose voice would otherwise not be heard.  But, we must always be careful to be true to our own beliefs and values, and never invest our identity in any particular movement – because history shows that it’s just a matter of time before that movement betrays its founding ideals.

We’ve seen that with the two major parties.  If the TEA party movement remains viable in the long term, I have no doubt that it will eventually do so as well.  Such is the fallen nature of mankind.

August 31, 2011

Yes, Rick Perry headed Al Gore’s 1988 presidential campaign in Texas, but…

[7 September UPDATE: Maybe he didn’t.  See note at bottom of post.]

There are many on the right who see something sinister in the fact that 2012 presidential contender Rick Perry chaired then-Senator Al Gore’s campaign in Texas.  But there is a very important truth that must be understood: the 1980s were the beginning of the end of a century-long era when Texas was essentially a one-party state. 

To be elected in this state in this era, there was no question about the necessary party affiliation – you simply had to be Democrat.  The state party did, however, have its liberal and conservative wings.

The Great Realignment began with the improbable election of Republican Bill Clements as governor in 1977, and gained momentum with the switch of congressman Phil Gramm to the GOP after he was punished by the Democrats for helping Ronald Reagan push conservative budgets through Congress.

Throughout the 80s, more and more conservative Democrat politicians came to the realization that the GOP represented their true values much more than the Democratic Party did.  Voters were starting to come to this realization as well, and more and more Republican candidates were being elected.

Perry says that he joined Gore’s campaign because the latter was then considered to be a southern conservative.  The conservative wing of the party (which still existed back then) saw Gore as their strongest candidate.  Keep in mind, this is several years before Gore left those roots behind to join the Gaia cult.

Ironically, it was Perry’s experiences during that campaign that finally persuaded him that the Democratic Party was no longer his home.  Disillusioned with nominee Dukakis, Perry voted for George H. Bush in November, 1988.  Then, bucking family and friends, he publicly switched to the GOP in 1989 before scoring a stunning upset in the state Land Commissioner race.

Here’s how Time Magazine described Perry’s 1988 experience in a July 16 article:

A decade later, Perry said the 1988 presidential primary election helped push him to his party switch. In the fall of 1988, he voted for Bush over his party's nominee, Dukakis. "I came to my senses," he told the Austin American-Statesman in 1998. Perry's efforts for Gore left few public footprints, and contemporaries on both sides of the aisle have few memories of the alliance. A longtime Hobby staffer suggested it was likely that Perry's co-chair title in Gore's 1988 Texas campaign was little more than an honorific, not a recognition of any organizational responsibility. His role was limited to a single appearance, Perry told the San Antonio Express-News in 2001, adding that he had served at the request of Lewis. But it was a fact of his political biography that would be waved in his face in the 2010 Republican gubernatorial primary race by Tea Party candidate Deborah Medina and U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, and it likely will be raised again if he chooses to seek the GOP presidential nomination. Perry has never denied the association but has treated it as a road-to-Damascus moment. "On the surface, Al Gore appeared to be the more conservative of the candidates," Perry told the Express-News, adding, "Fortunately, we found out who the real Al Gore was, and I was long on the side of the angels by then."

The point is: joining Gore’s campaign in 1988 seemed consistent with Perry’s west Texas conservative values.  Serving on the campaign opened his eyes to the reality that the Democratic Party had become.  His response was the only logical one.  This is a non-story.

7 September UPDATE: Politifact reports September 7 that the accepted story about Perry’s involvement in Gore’s 1988 campaign is for the most part a legend made up by his political opponents.  While he was in fact a vocal supporter of Gore (who was in fact the most conservative Democrat running that year), he did not serve on the campaign in any capacity, in either a formal or an honorary role.  I’m curious to know why Perry never made a serious effort to counter the false narrative.

August 30, 2011

If Romney is an “outsider”, it’s because the voters made him one

It looks like destined-to-be-also-ran presidential candidate Mitt Romney has settled on his main line of attack against current front-runner Rick Perry.  The Hill reports August 30 on a speech Romney gave to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in San Antonio:

Romney also decried "career politicians," a subtle shot at Perry, who's held public office continuously since 1985.

"I am a conservative businessman. I have spent most of my life outside of politics, dealing with real problems in the real economy," Romney said. "Career politicians got us into this mess and they simply don't know how to get us out!"

This strategy is laughable, given that Romney has spent years trying to become a career politician, with a prior stint as governor of Massachusetts and failed senatorial and presidential campaigns under his belt.

August 26, 2011

Quick Quote: Barack Obama v. Thomas Edison

“When Thomas Edison repeatedly came up short in his quest to create a working light bulb, he contended he hadn't failed but rather found 10,000 ways that didn't work. In his quest to fix the economy, Obama has found one way that doesn't work but seems determined to try it 10,000 times.”

Patriot Post Digest, August 26

August 23, 2011

If Sarah Palin runs, I’ll have a tough choice to make

Conventional wisdom says that if Sarah Palin doesn’t jump into the race within the next few weeks, her opportunity will be gone.  But, as CBS reports today, Palin’s style is anything but conventional.

I’ve been a member of the Blogs for Palin blogroll for a very long time, and I would absolutely love it if she is the GOP nominee.  The problem is, I like Texas Governor Rick Perry as well.  I think either one of them would serve our country honorably and capably, with much more fealty to the Constitution than any of their recent predecessors.

At the moment, when choosing between the actual candidacy of Perry and the possible candidacy of Palin, I am leaning toward Perry.  But if Palin jumps into the race, I’m not sure yet what I’ll do.

Why John Huntsman is a member of the 1% Club

Howard Dean, darling of the extreme left wing of the Democratic Party, has nothing but praise for supposed Republican John Huntsman, reports The Daily Caller today:

“Jacob [Weisberg, of Slate] wrote this was ‘the thinking man’s candidate,’” said Dean. “There aren’t any thinking people in the Republican Party. I’m serious. Name a few thoughtful policy analysts in the Republican Party — not Rick Perry, not Michele Bachmann. Look at all these people. Huntsman is the real deal.”

Note to the uninitiated: When a Dem calls a Republican a “thinking man’s candidate”, he means the Republican’s world view agrees more with the Democratic Party than with the Republican Party.   Dean eventually comes right out and says it: 

“I learned that Jon Huntsman is a great candidate for president but he is in the wrong party,” Dean said. “I’m sure he’ll be happy to hear that from me.”

Maybe Huntsman would be happy to hear that.  I suspect that he might take the compliment as evidence that he’s more “electable” than any of this GOP opponents.

Huntsman is polling at about 1% among likely GOP primary voters, so I wonder where he thinks his base is.   The Democrats?  They already have their candidate, and I doubt they’d exchange him for a candidate who seems to agree with them but doesn’t have the courage to affirm this by changing his party affiliation.

The Republicans?  Huntsman used to work for Obama.  That’ll whip up enthusiasm among the GOP masses in the general election.

Enjoy the spotlight while it lasts, Mr. Huntsman.  When the Dems and the media are done with you, you’ll suddenly find that nobody will return your calls any more.

A Perry you can believe in

August 22, 2011

Bachmann’s $2 gasoline pledge

The Hill, August 22:

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is doubling down on her vow to drive gasoline prices to less than $2 per gallon if she’s elected president, a pledge that 2012 GOP rival Jon Huntsman said isn’t rooted in the “real world.”

Bachmann drew attention last week when she pledged at a Tuesday campaign stop that “Under President Bachmann you will see gasoline come down below $2 per gallon again.”

It’s one thing to express confidence that gasoline prices would drop significantly (without naming a specific amount) under a Bachmann administration.  But to pledge that prices would fall below $2?

Gasoline prices are governed by three factors, mainly: supply, demand, and government regulation. 

A Bachmann administration could definitely affect supply by rolling back domestic drilling restrictions.  Of course, much of the increased supply would probably be snapped up immediately by the insatiable emerging economies of China and India, so it seems that the effect on global oil prices might end up being a wash, especially if OPEC decides to adjust its own production to keep prices steady.

Prices could be driven down by killing demand for oil, but I don’t think Bachmann has any intention of doing that.

She could also get gasoline prices moving in the right direction by decreasing the tax and regulatory burden on the oil and gas industry.  Good luck with that, because she’ll need the cooperation of a Congress that, regardless of which party is in control, will be driven by their perception of public opinion on environmental issues.  Again, there may be some downward movement in gasoline prices, but not enough.

The United States does not set oil prices, and it is horribly naïve for Rep. Bachmann to pledge that, simply on the strength of “’can-do’ America”, a global market will bend to her will.  Such a promise would be an albatross around her neck throughout her administration.  And no, the Democrat-controlled media would not let her forget it.

As I said the other day, I like Bachmann a lot, but it’s ill-considered statements like this that lead me to rank her lower than certain other GOP candidates.

Of course, this gaffe is light years away from suggesting that upon one’s election the “rise of the oceans” would begin to slow, but still…

GOP base begs NY ex-gov Pataki to jump into 2012 race

Not really, but he may do it anyway, according to an August 22 AP article:

A spokesman for Republican former New York Gov. George Pataki says he's taking a harder look at running for president in 2012.

But what makes him think he could pull this off?  The only one he'd likely rob votes from is Romney. And maybe Fred Karger, if anyone had been planning to vote for him.

Au contraire, says the former governor.  Here’s how his triumphal march through the primaries would begin:

He cites his own moderate views that could attract independent voters in the important New Hampshire primary.

In other words, apparently he thinks that garnering the favor of enough of "important" New Hampshire's independent voters will trigger a groundswell of support for his "moderate" views in other parts of the country. 

Good luck with that.

August 19, 2011

GOP Nomination 2012: The Good, the Bad, and the [YAWN!]

Back in May I sorted through the various announced, likely, and potential candidates for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.  A lot has happened since then, so I thought I’d have another look at the list (once again, culled from this site).  This time around, I will disregard altogether the candidates who (IMO) have little or no chance of scoring in the double-digits.

Also this time, I will attempt to quantify my opinion of each candidate on a scale from +5 (awesome) to 0 (meh) to –5 (nononononono).

Rick Perry
Sarah Palin*
Michele Bachmann
Herman Cain
Paul Ryan*
Rick Santorum
Newt Gingrich
Mitt Romney
Rudy Giuliani*
Ron Paul

* Considering, but not yet announced

As you can see from the above, the candidates I am most excited about are Perry and Palin.  In their rhetoric, I see two candidates whose views track closely with mine (with Perry getting a slight edge for his constitutionalist views).  In addition, I see two people who are fearless in the face of the withering Democrat/Media assault that has been hurled their way.  Their political instincts are good, they stay on message, and the message is a good one.  I have no proof of this, but I have a feeling that Palin will defer to Perry as long as he stays the course.  Perry does have some negatives, and perhaps I’ll deal with them in a separate post, but I don’t believe that any of the currently-known negatives fatally compromise him.

I like Bachmann a lot, but I’m not sure she can hold her own in the major leagues.  The MSM has been laying one trap after another for her, and she keeps walking into them.  This is sad, because her constitutionalist views are great.

Cain is another one I consider to be very smart and likable, and he has a good businessman’s sense of what ails our country.  But the media is casting him as a sideshow attraction (which they absolutely must do, because to them there’s no such thing as a black conservative), and he doesn’t seem to know how to take the initiative away from them.

Ryan… good budget plan a few months back, but that’s about it.  His plan made him a tea party celebrity for a while, and that is the only reason he seems to be considering a run.  What makes him good presidential material? [August 22 UPDATE: He’s out]

Santorum… good on the pro-life issue and some social issues, but that’s about it.  He has little to offer the masses regarding the current economic/constitutional crisis.  He peaked back in the 90s.

Gingrich… another guy who peaked back in the 90s.  He’s damaged goods, showing an appalling lack of judgment in his personal life as well as in his public life.

Romney… elitist northeastern Republican who—SURPRISE!—is the choice of the party establishment (and HEY—did you hear he’s currently far ahead of everyone else in New Hampshire?).  No matter how much he tries to pass himself off as a conservative, the fact remains that the voters of Massachusetts would not have chosen him as their governor if he was as conservative as he’s pretending to be now.  Outside the northeast, the GOP base isn’t really buying what he’s selling.  Plan B: spend tons of money in an attempt to drown out the true conservatives.

Giuliani… not much different from Romney.  I seriously doubt that he will jump in, because he’d be competing for Romney’s base, along with a few others who remember favorably his strong leadership in the weeks following 9/11.  He has little to offer that Romney isn’t already offering.  Oh, and Romney already got his hands on the campaign donations of those who might be persuaded to vote for Giuliani.

Paul… I was actually a fan of his back in the 90s, when I sympathized greatly with his constitutionalist views.  Today, I still agree with him on many issues (mainly related to domestic policy), but he’s dangerously kooky on many other issues (mainly related to foreign policy).  In some ways, he’s become the Lyndon LaRouche of the right, drawing the conspiracy-obsessed fringe in like flies to fly paper.  I shudder at the thought of Mr. Paul being at the helm.  Even Romney would be preferable, and that’s a painful admission coming from me.

So, what do you think?  Feel free to make the case for your favorite or against my favorite(s), but if you do, please keep it civil.

August 12, 2011

Quick Quote: Thomas Jefferson on the immorality of passing the public debt from one generation to the next

"I say, the earth belongs to each of these generations during its course, fully and in its own right. The second generation receives it clear of the debts and incumbrances of the first, the third of the second, and so on. For if the first could charge it with a debt, then the earth would belong to the dead and not to the living generation. Then, no generation can contract debts greater than may be paid during the course of its own existence."

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to James Madison (September 6, 1789)

Via The Federalist Papers (on Facebook)

August 8, 2011

Ministry of Propaganda ramps up for Obama’s reelection campaign

Hollywood, currently serving as the Ministry of Propaganda for the Obama administration, is wasting no time putting together a movie celebrating the assassination of Osama bin Laden. 

Although it appears the movie will focus on the heroics of SEAL Team Six, I’m certain that directors Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal will make sure we won’t miss the fact that it happened on Obama’s watch (even if his involvement amounted to nothing more than approving the operation)*.

Oh, and the projected release date for the Osama movie is – wait for it – October, 2012.  Coincidence, I’m sure.

If you doubt that this is a joint enterprise of Hollywood and the White House, consider the following, which merited a raised eyebrow from lefty NYT columnist Maureen Dowd:

It was clear that the White House had outsourced the job of manning up the president’s image to Hollywood when Boal got welcomed to the upper echelons of the White House and the Pentagon and showed up recently — to the surprise of some military officers — at a C.I.A. ceremony celebrating the hero Seals.


Via Townhall

* By the way, I’m still waiting for the big-budget Hollywood movie celebrating the capture of Saddam Hussein.

July 31, 2011

Sen. Barack Obama condemns the Obama administration’s “leadership failure” in debt limit crisis

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can't pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies... 
Increasing America's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that "the buck stops here." Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.
-- Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), March 20, 2006

July 20, 2011

Quick Quote - Alexander Hamilton on the balance between state and federal power

Hamilton certainly did not envision a future where the states  willingly surrendered any leverage they had over the federal government.

"This balance between the National and State governments ought to be dwelt on with peculiar attention, as it is of the utmost importance. It forms a double security to the people. If one encroaches on their rights they will find a powerful protection in the other. Indeed, they will both be prevented from overpassing their constitutional limits by a certain rivalship, which will ever subsist between them."

Alexander Hamilton, speech to the New York Ratifying Convention, 1788

The causes are various, but one of the most egregious was the states’ ratification of the 17th Amendment, making the Senate a matter of popular vote rather than state appointment.

Whatever the reasons, the states now are for the most part submissive to the will of the federal government, and We The People are overwhelmingly the losers.

(Via Patriot Post)

John Adams: Nip it in the bud!

John Adams, like Barney Fife, saw but one rational response to approaching dangers: nip it in the bud.  Writing to the residents of Massachusetts in 1775, he (Adams, not Fife) had this to say about Britain’s “long train of abuses and usurpations”:

Obsta principiis, nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people. When the people give way, their deceivers, betrayers, and destroyers press upon them so fast, that there is no resisting afterwards.

Obsta principiis – Resist the beginnings.

Unfortunately, arbitrary power has grown far beyond the shoots.  For too long, the American people have given way, to the point where virtually all resistance ceased for many decades.

Groups like the TEA party movement represent an attempt to take a metaphorical machete to the tangled jungle of unconstitutional government.  It may be too late, but let history record that someone recognized the peril and at least tried to reverse it.

July 18, 2011

If we’ve lost the Fruit-of-the-Loom grapes, then we’ve lost America

On July 16 Politico wrote about the DNC/Hollywood axis, and about how our movie dollars are going straight into Obama’s reelection coffers (well, they didn’t put it in those words exactly, but still).  People who are tremendously famous – not because they’re particularly smart, but because they can string memorized words, emotions and facial expressions together in a way that is pleasing to the general public – are, once again, cranking up the money machine for those dedicated to pushing our country even further into the Abyss (again, not Politico’s words – you have to learn to read between the lines).

Politico’s Mackenzie Weinger presents many of the usual suspects – Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, George Clooney, Michael Douglas, Sharon Stone, Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Will Ferrell, Jennifer Garner, Gwyneth Paltrow, yada yada yada… but then she ends with a shocker:  “Wayne Wilderson, the actor who portrays the grapes in Fruit of the Loom commercials.”

I knew things were bad for the republic, but never in my wildest dreams did I suspect that we had lost the grapes. 

The GOP candidates are, I suspect, scrambling to determine how to get them back.

July 8, 2011

NAACP blasts lack of diversity in NBA and NFL

Just kidding!  They would never complain about the overwhelming dominance of African Americans in professional basketball and football!

This week their target is the television newsroom, as reported July 7 by the Wall Street Journal:
In a press release issued this morning, the NAACP condemned 24-hour cable news channel CNN for its recently announced prime time news lineup, calling the lack of diversity in its collection of news anchors a “glaring omission.”
Of course, they don’t do the heavy lifting of proving that qualified minorities are trying to get jobs or promotions and are being denied.  As usual, they simply infer discrimination without having to be in the same ZIP code as the facts.

As our president is fond of saying, let me be clear: The NAACP's goal is not diversity.  Its goal is to increase representation of African Americans wherever it sees said representation to be deficient.  This is not necessarily wrong in itself.  What's wrong is the fact that they're hiding under the cloak of Diversity.  If diversity was truly the the NAACP's goal, it would at the very least express discomfort at the overrepresentation of African Americans in basketball and football.  Raise your hand if you think that will ever happen.

(Don’t miss the part of the article where the NAACP press release essentially says, “everyone knows Fox News is racist, but we expected better from CNN”. Again, reinforcing the liberal meme without being required to prove anything.)

May 31, 2011

About this bus tour thing: Is Sarah running or not?

The Daily Beast’s Shushannah Walshe reports May 30 on how we can know whether or not an announcement is forthcoming:

Sarah Palin’s “One Nation” Bus Tour launched Sunday, but is it an unofficial exploratory phase for a potential 2012 run or is it a Palin family vacation stopping in historic sites in the Northeast? The answer may well be both.

According to a source with knowledge of Palin’s operation and thinking, keep a careful eye on how long the tour lasts, because it is intended as a way to test the presidential waters. If the road trip ends abruptly, it’s a sign she didn’t get the enthusiastic responses she believes she needs to launch a campaign. If the tour heads to regions outside of the Northeast like Iowa and South Carolina that, the source says, is a “big indicator” that Palin will pull the trigger.

Palin is breaking all of the rules regarding how to launch a campaign.  The fact is, though, that she’s introducing herself to America on her own terms, not on the media’s.  The political world hasn’t seen anyone like her in a long time, and nobody in the media/political elite knows what to do with her (besides inadvertently give her all of the free publicity she wants).

Many of us non-elite folks are enjoying the spectacle immensely.

May 30, 2011

Obama continues to find ways to show contempt for the Constitution

Seriously? Robo-signing a bill?

The Hill, May 27:

Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.) is questioning President Obama's use of an autopen in signing an extension of the Patriot Act.

In a letter Friday, Graves asks Obama to confirm that he saw the law prior to its autopen signing.

[…] Obama signed the bill into law late Thursday night. The autopen was used because the president was in France, meeting with G8 leaders, and the bill's provisions expired at midnight.

Graves cited Article 1 Section 7 of the Constitution, which says that the president must sign a bill to approve it into law.

Who has legal standing to challenge the constitutionality of this? 


May 26, 2011

Is Sam Elliott a Democrat or a Republican? None of your business.

A lot of people are curious about the political views of actor Sam Elliott.  I know this because a post from December 2009 brings many of these people to this blog.  In fact, many of the top search engine queries bringing people to C-Pol are variations on this question.

That finally got me wondering as well: Is Sam Elliott a Democrat or a Republican?

Research shows that political affiliation in Hollywood leans absurdly Democrat.  But, Google searches on Sam Elliott himself turn up… nothing.

The fact of the matter is that Elliott seems to think that his political leanings are nobody’s business but his own.

How refreshing.  Would that more in Hollywood felt this way.

Despite my criticism of Mr. Elliott in that December 2009 post, I love his acting, and I think that just about any movie he’s in (not counting the one cited in the blog post)  is improved by his presence.

That’s actually the point: actors should be famous for their acting, not their political activity.

UPDATE, 23 October 2013
[Tim throws his hands up in surrender] You know, I consider myself to be a pretty good communicator, but judging from the comments on this post, and despite my repeated attempts to set the record straight, I don't think I've gotten my point across. This has frustrated me to the point that I've decided to revive the blog and try again in a new post.  You can read it here.

May 24, 2011

Rule of thumb: Don’t rely on media reports when deciding who to support for the GOP nomination

David Limbaugh, May 24 essay (emphasis added):

But in the end, it's not the liberal bias, double standards, selective demonization and unfairness that troubles me most. It is what I fear to be our side's passive acquiescence to the media's predictable narrative. Why do we keep allowing our political enemies to pick and disqualify our candidates?

Professional politicians have steered our ship of state into the Titanic iceberg. It's hardly facetious to suggest that there's an inverse relationship between the collective experience of those in the political class and their ability and willingness to extricate us from the mess they've created.

We need fresh blood and a fresh approach to the nation-threatening problems we face, so perhaps we should liberate ourselves from the template preventing us from stepping outside the box.

I haven't decided whom I will support for the GOP nomination this early in the field. I like Palin, Cain, Ryan, Rick Perry, Santorum, Pawlenty, John Bolton and Bachmann, among others. But I sure won't let the liberal media or establishment types color my thinking about it.

May 20, 2011

About the 2012 GOP field: Likes, Dislikes, and Ambivalents

The primaries are just under a year away, and already we’re wading hip-deep in GOP candidacy announcements.  Add to that those who are delaying their announcements for one reason or another, and it’s obvious that just about everyone who’s anyone wants a piece of the action.

This post marks the first in an occasional series regarding which declared, exploring or prospective candidates  come across favorably to me (Likes), which come across unfavorably (Dislikes), and which can’t manage to come across at all (Ambivalents). 

Ambivalents are people I’m somewhat familiar with, but there’s nothing yet that makes them stand out for me one way or the other.  As I learn more about them and their views, I’ll bump them up to the Likes or Dislikes.

So now, without further ado, and without much explanation, here they are, presented alphabetically in each category, and culled from a list found here.  Even though Huckabee and Trump declined to launch campaigns, I included them just to go on record with the fact that I don’t like them.


Michele Bachmann*
Herman Cain
Sarah Palin*


Newt Gingrich
Lindsey Graham*
Mike Huckabee
Ron Paul
Mitt Romney**
Donald Trump


John Bolton*
Mitch Daniels*
Gary Johnson
Jon Huntsman*
Tim Pawlenty
Rick Santorum**

* Potential candidate
** Formed exploratory committee, but not yet declared

And now, a bonus category for those I know so little about, I can’t even summon the energy to be ambivalent about them.


Fred Karger
Tom Miller
Vern Wuensche

May 18, 2011

Is there a difference between earmarks at the federal level and at the state level?

In a May 15 article, The Daily Caller (TDC) seems to be trying to whip up some controversy regarding possible GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann’s apparent inconsistency on the earmarks issue.

Given that Bachmann is a TEA party favorite, this is a serious charge.  TDC notes that she has secured nearly $4 million in earmarks for her district since she was first elected to Congress in 2007.  She also argued to exclude transportation projects from a GOP-championed earmarks moratorium.

These facts are enough to raise eyebrows among TEA partiers and constitutionalists.  I’d like to know how she defends these actions.  Do they undermine the credibility of her TEA Party Caucus on Capitol Hill?

While the answers to these questions are important, TDC raises another issue that got under my skin:

Bachmann’s penchant for earmarks dates back to her days in the Minnesota state Senate. Despite her reputation as a fiscal conservative, from 2001-2006, then-state Senator Bachmann proposed more than $60 million in earmarks, including a $710,000 “Bond For Centerville Local Improvements Around Highway 14? and a $40,000,000 “Bond for Lino Lakes And Columbus Township Highway Interchanges.”

Doug Sachtleben, Bachmann’s communications director, sought to explain the earmarks, arguing that voters resent “taking money from taxpayers in one state to pay for a host of wasteful projects in other states.” He added that voters “also expect that things like road projects should be done at the state level, where voters can have a say through the selling of bonds.” These are not absurd arguments — bridges have to get built somehow — but Tea Party activists may find the argument that earmarks are fine at the state level as appealing as Mitt Romney’s argument that individual health care mandates are fine so long as they are enacted at the state level.

When it comes to government, I believe in the principle of subsidiarity – namely, that any activity that ought to be taken on by government should be taken on by the lowest level of government that can get the job done. 

Road and bridge construction is most certainly not in the constitutional domain of the federal government.  So, what about the other levels? 

Some necessary infrastructure is within the financial means of municipal and county governments.  But the reality is that major projects – highway interchanges, bridges, etc. – can quickly wipe out the treasuries of smaller cities and towns (and the counties containing them).  The money has to come from a higher level.

But think about this: What is a county?  It is an administrative subdivision of… the state government!  Counties are entities created by the state enabling it to govern regions more efficiently.  Likewise, cities are state-created entities.  So, it could be argued that spending at the city, county or state level could all be considered state spending.

This fact – and the principle of subsidiarity – are what make the final sentence in the above excerpt so nonsensical.  Are there TEA partiers who think that the state should not fund highway projects (whether at the request of a local representative or not)?  If there are any, I’d like to hear the logic behind such a position.  I suspect, though, that the author’s “Tea Party activists” are made of straw.

One final thought on the excerpt’s final sentence: There is no equivalence between state funding of transportation infrastructure (a legitimate government concern) and state funding of health care (not a legitimate government concern).

May 17, 2011

Appeals court hands Obama administration a major victory in the war on the unborn

Fox News, April 29:

A U.S. appeals court ruled Friday that the Obama administration can use federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, a decision that overturns a judge's order last year and hands the White House a major victory.

In a 2-1 decision, the court said that opponents of taxpayer-funded stem cell research are not likely to succeed in a lawsuit to stop it.

The ruling reversed an opinion last August by U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth, who said the research likely violates the law against federal funding of embryo destruction.

The 1996 law prohibits the use of taxpayer dollars in work that harms an embryo, so private money has been used to cull batches of the cells. Those batches can reproduce in lab dishes indefinitely, and the Obama administration issued rules permitting taxpayer dollars to be used in work on them.

Does anybody think tests like this would NOT be used eventually for granting/denying services in ObamaCare?

UPI, May 13:

A blood test that measures the length of a person's telomeres -- a predictor of longevity -- may be available soon, U.S. and Spanish researchers say.

"Knowing whether our telomeres are a normal length or not for a given chronological age will give us an indication of our health status and of our physiological 'age' even before diseases appear," Maria A. Blasco, who heads the Telomeres and Telomerase Group at the Spanish National Cancer Research Center and who co-founded the company Life Length, told Scientific American.

May 11, 2011

Stay classy, Mr. President

All presidents use their influential position as a bully pulpit for advocacy of issues important to them.  But, has any other president in living memory used their office as a platform for mocking and caricaturing his political opponents?

Arizona Daily Star, May 11:
Touting gains on border security and mocking Republicans' insatiable appetite for border enforcement, President Obama said Tuesday it's time for immigration reform.

The administration has gone "above and beyond" what Republicans asked for on border security when the last round of serious immigration reform debate stalled in 2007, Obama said in El Paso on his first trip to the U.S.-Mexico border since becoming president.

"All the stuff they've asked for, we've done," Obama said. "But, I suspect there's going to be those who try to move the goal posts on us one more time."

They'll now call for even more Border Patrol agents and a higher fence, he said.

"Maybe they'll say we need a moat? Maybe they'll want alligators in the moat?" Obama said. "They'll never be satisfied. And I understand that; that's politics. But the truth is that the measures we've put in place are getting results."
Way to promote reasoned debate, Mr. President.

Mock all you want, but can you prove that the border is less porous now than it was when you entered office?  I’d love to have some south Texas ranchers in the room with you when you answer.

P.S. A moat with alligators might actually work.

Newt Gingrich, about 15 years too late

So… Newt Gingrich, conservative architect of the 1994 Republican Revolution, has tossed his hat into the GOP primary ring.  It’s amazing that there was any space left in the ring for his hat to land on.

Back then, I admired Gingrich for his ability to make “gutsy calls” on issues that resonated well with the conservative base.  His star faded, however, as the GOP-led Congress failed to deliver much of anything in the way of reform.

If he had run in 1996, he might have had a decent chance at the nomination, even with the brutal treatment he was receiving at the hands of Democrat allies in the media.  Certainly, he would have energized GOP voters much more than Bob Dole did.

Since then, he has popped up in the news from time to time, and  mostly for the wrong reasons.  For example:

  • His controversial divorces and remarriages (now on wife #3).  Call me old fashioned, but I wonder about the character of a man who supposedly has a strong faith in God, but twice deliberately broke vows made to Him.  In both of his divorces, he already had a replacement lined up before the soon-to-be-ex-wife knew anything was up.  I wonder what Callista was thinking when Newt did his “vows” the third time.  When Gingrich starts courting conservative voters, what shall we make of his promises?
  • He conceded nearly every Democrat talking point on global warming (parting with the Dems only in proposing free-market remedies).  Four years later, Gingrich (who is no more qualified to pontificate on climate issues than Al Gore is) remains proud of the stands he’s taken.
  • He endorsed Dede Scozzafava in a special election for a NY congressional seat, publicly scolding Republicans who thought the nomination should go to someone whose views should align more closely with the GOP than with the Dems.

So what does he bring to the table now that makes him think this is his time?

May 10, 2011

Europe’s cultural suicide

I have written many times about the ongoing demographic collapse of Europe – namely, the fact that the native populations of the various European countries seem to be uninterested in reproducing themselves.

As the native populations are slowly replaced by immigrant populations, the native culture of the various countries is also slowly being diluted – more so by the natives than by the immigrants.  The process is slow and sporadic enough that most people don’t see it.   It’s there, however, for anyone able and willing to step back and look at the broader currents of events.

Two seemingly minor, disparate recent occurrences serve to illustrate the culture shift.

First, from The Telegraph (UK), May 2:

The European Commission has apologised for printing more than three million school diaries containing no reference to Easter or Christmas.

The diaries - 330,000 of which were delivered to UK schools - note Sikh, Hindu, Muslim and Chinese festivals, as well as highlighting ''Europe Day'' which falls on May 9.

But the lack of any acknowledgement of Easter, Christmas or any other Christian holiday angered church leaders and politicians.

Earlier this year a Commission official admitted the omission was a ''blunder''.

A “blunder”, yes – but one that would have been unthinkable a generation ago.

Next, from The Daily Mail (UK), May 9 (emphasis added):

Rules to prevent religious discrimination can now also be used to protect a belief in the BBC’s ethos of public service broadcasting, a tribunal has ruled.

Its extraordinary decision elevates the BBC’s core principle to a place in the law equivalent to Christianity.

And the move leaves the way clear for long-serving employee Devan Maistry to sue the Corporation for wrongful dismissal.

South African-born Mr Maistry, who worked for the BBC Asian Network, says he suffered discrimination for six years until he was dismissed last year.

He has filed a claim for ‘religious or belief discrimination’, which allegedly took place against his philosophical view that ‘public service broadcasting has the higher purpose of promoting cultural interchange and social cohesion’.

Birmingham employment tribunal chairman Pam Hughes decided Mr Maistry has a worthy case, and gave him the right to a full hearing later this year.

In doing so, the tribunal chairman established the principle that Mr Maistry’s love of public service broadcasting amounted to a belief which should have the same protection from discrimination that the law gives to followers of religious faiths.

It seems clear to me that the religious shift in Europe is toward secular fundamentalism – the aggressive undermining of traditional religious belief of any kind.  We can see this in both of the above stories.

In the first story, Christianity loses its privileged place in Europe’s cultural history through a “blunder” communicating that Christianity is so irrelevant to the ruling elites, nobody noticed it was missing.

In the second story (read the entire article for more examples), all religions are consigned to irrelevance through the principle espoused by the villain in the movie The Incredibles: “Everyone can be super! And when everyone's super, no-one will be.”

In the end, the joke will be on the secular fundamentalists.  Once the destruction of Europe’s native culture has reached a certain point, do they really think their secularist utopia will be realized? 

Hardly.  The immigrant populations that are filling the void left by the demographic decline of the native populations will eventually also fill the cultural void, whether the secularists like it or not.

May 9, 2011

Are we or are we not still in a housing recession? (Haiku News)

MSNBC reports May 9 on the ongoing collapse in home prices:

"Home value declines are currently equal to those we experienced during the darkest days of the housing recession. With accelerating declines during the first quarter, it is unreasonable to expect home values to return to stability by the end of 2011," [real estate data firm] Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries said in a statement.

To which I reply, using haiku*:

Why use the past tense
for the housing recession
if nothing has changed??


* Why haiku? Why not? Among other things, I am drawn to the (occasional) challenge of condensing my thoughts into just a few words when the topic allows.  Yes, others came up with the idea first, but I may still give it a try.  I’ll even insist on conforming to the 5-7-5 format that real haiku poets sneer at.  Okay, I confess – really all I’m doing is forcing my commentary into exactly 17 syllables!  Deal with it.

May 7, 2011

PC police raid Pooh's Corner

A Florida State University sociologist frets that children's literature is insufficiently diverse, as Fox News reports May 6:
A comprehensive study of traditional children’s book characters has determined that Pooh Corner may be rife with gender inequality.

Dr. Janice McCabe, a sociologist at Florida State University, examined nearly 6,000 children’s books between 1900 and 2000 and determined the stories have a definitive gender bias and a disproportionate representation of genders.

“We found that males are represented more frequently than females in the titles and the central characters in the book,” McCabe told Fox News Radio.

[...] “I had kind of expected that books would start off in 1900 being unequal and become more equal over time,” she said. 

“We were surprised by the historical patterns and by the animals. The fact that the animals were the most unequal and even in the 1990s there were still two male animals to every one female animal.” 
I'm wondering... are there any barriers to women in general, or feminists in particular, getting their children's stories published?  I'm not aware of any. What's stopping them?

So, what's the real problem here?  Obviously the parents are the problem:
“A lot of times this is invisible to people,” she said, encouraging parents to pay attention to gender when selecting books and reading material for their children. “I’m not saying they shouldn’t read books about men and boys,” she said. “Instead, just think about the gender of particular books and be aware of it.” 
Apparently, Mom (who typically makes the purchase decisions regarding children's books) and Dad are still trapped in the roles defined for them by our oppressive patriarchal culture, and are thus blind to the injustice of the status quo.

Hey, let's try a wacky little experiment: If children's book writers publish a bunch of "gender-balanced" books that are enjoyable and don't have an obvious agenda, maybe the public will reward them by buying the books.

I wonder why Dr. McCabe didn't think of this?

Quick Quote: James Madison on the evil of public debt

I regret, as much as any member, the unavoidable weight and duration of the burdens to be imposed; having never been a proselyte to the doctrine, that public debts are public benefits. I consider them, on the contrary, as evils which ought to be removed as fast as honor and justice will permit, and shall heartily join in the means necessary for that purpose.

– James Madison, Debates in the House of Representatives on the First Report on Public Credit, February 11, 1790; “Liberty and Order: The First American Party Struggle," edited and with a Preface by Lance Banning (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2004), Part II: The Leadership Divides

(via The Federalist Papers (Facebook))

May 5, 2011

C-Pol: One of the best blogs you’ve never read

I was surprised and pleased to see C-Pol listed by NewsReal Blog’s Walter Hudson as one of “The Top 10 Tea Party Bloggers You Need to Read”.  Due to my sporadic posting frequency, the daily visit count for C-Pol isn’t all that high, so you can be sure I noticed the spike that came from Hudson’s post.

Hudson gave the following explanation for the inclusion of the ten blogs in his list:

Among the grassroots movement, many voices have emerged to articulate a philosophy of fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and free markets. We’ve scoured the net to bring you some of the best bloggers championing that message. We sought to bring to light writers whose work deserves more attention than they currently receive. We wanted to introduce you to voices you may not have heard of before and will be glad to know. These aren’t folks who necessarily identify as Tea Partiers, but who boldly articulate the philosophy which drives the movement. Here are the top 10 Tea Party bloggers you need to read.

I’m glad that he used this standard, because there are a lot of folks out there who, like me, champion the constitutionalist philosophy but haven’t hitched their wagon to the TEA party movement.

I attended one TEA party rally in my hometown at the movement’s genesis in 2009, but since then my activism has been expressed at the ballot box and through online advocacy of constitutional government.

On C-Pol, I usually like to go beyond the daily rough-and-tumble of politics to look at the big ideas that are driving said politics.  Because of that, my posts are less frequent than you would see with a blog that  focuses on the news of the day.

The subtitle of my blog is: “Documenting the twilight years of the American republic”.  That sounds awfully pessimistic, doesn’t it? 

Given my goal of focusing on the broader currents of contemporary events and cultural trends, and given my understanding of human nature, I believe our civilization has crossed some bridges that have since crumbled behind us. 

Our opportunities to turn back the tide of statism and tyranny are rapidly dwindling, and it seems that overall, the American people are not even aware of what is slipping away.  I believe very strongly that Barack Obama has provided us with one of our last chances to elect leaders who have the political will to  roll back a century of progressive/socialist rot.

I also believe, perhaps less strongly, that the advocates of constitutional government probably won’t be able to agree on a standardbearer in the 2012 presidential primaries (seriously -- is there anybody who isn’t planning to run?), and that the establishment will likely get its favorite by default.

Thus, I am pessimistic about our country’s future, but not fatalistically so.  As long as I am able to resist the forces that are destroying our country and its culture, I will continue to do so.  My favorite communication medium is the written word, so this blog serves as my ideal outlet.

If you think that C-Pol is a worthwhile contribution to the war of ideas, please let me know in some way.  You can rate this post, you can leave a comment, you can become a Follower.  Thanks for your support!

May 4, 2011

Just one reason why Ron Paul should not be the GOP nominee in 2012

Rep. Ron Paul, libertarian Texas congressman, perennial GOP presidential candidate and opponent of 99.7% of U.S. foreign policy, has finally given his reaction to the death of Osama bin Laden.  As reported May 3 in The Hill:
Paul, a long-time skeptic of American interventionism, said that "like all other Americans, I'm glad he's gone," but raised multiple questions about the costs associated with the 10-year manhunt for the al Qaeda leader behind the 9/11 attacks.

"If we got him, I guess it's time to come home as far as I'm concerned," he said during an interview with Fox Business network.
Engaging straw men is easier than engaging the truth, I suppose.  Does he think the War on Terror was merely a global manhunt for OBL?  No, of course not, but Paul will latch on to any reason he can find, rational or not, to bring the troops home.

Al Qaeda will continue to function without its symbolic leader.  So will terror organizations not related to Al Qaeda.  Most if not all of them remain committed to our destruction.

Paul is ideologically antiwar, so no logic will persuade him that it makes sense to continue our campaign to destroy our enemies’ ability (or will) to make war against us.

The world is a very dangerous place.  It would be immeasurably more dangerous with Ron Paul in the White House.

May 3, 2011

Fake MLK quote is born in the wake of Osama bin Laden's demise

In the day and a half since terror boss Osama bin Laden was dispatched with extreme prejudice by American assets, I have seen the following quote appear countless times in my Facebook newsfeed:
I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
The quote is attributed to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

As it turns out, it's not all MLK.  Everything but the first sentence comes from King's 1963 book, Strength to Love.

The first sentence actually started out as a comment presented with the remaining quote in someone's Facebook status update.  For some reason, people who copied and pasted this person's status moved the opening quotation mark to include the comment.  Here's the original (click image to view larger version):

The extra sentence is a great sentiment, and one with which I am sure MLK would agree.  ("Fake but accurate", as newsman Dan Rather said in another context.)

Due to the tireless efforts of well-meaning people, future generations will swear up and down that MLK actually said it.

(Via: St Eutychus)

Further evidence that Obama is becoming a dictator!

I missed it on CNN, but this ad I saw on a website makes it clear: President Obama is personally setting mortgage rates now!

It's on the internet, so it must be true.

Seriously, though: This advertiser seems to think that the cult of Obama is a powerful draw.

April 22, 2011

Donald Trump is no friend of the Constitution

Donald Trump has been receiving Strange New Respect in many corners of the conservative movement, largely because he has proven himself adept at forcing a lot of relevant issues through the media barricades.

BUT… the fact that he can put Obama and the rest of the Left on the defensive does not mean he is worthy of the GOP presidential nomination in 2012. 

He has plenty of business sense, but he appears to be seriously lacking in Constitutional sense.  Michelle Malkin gives an egregious example in her April 22 essay:
Too many mega-developers like Trump have achieved success by using and abusing the government's ability to commandeer private property for purported "public use." Invoking the Fifth Amendment takings clause, real estate moguls, parking garage builders, mall developers and sports palace architects have colluded with elected officials to pull off legalized theft in the name of reducing "blight." Under eminent domain, the definition of "public purpose" has been stretched like Silly Putty to cover everything from roads and bridges to high-end retail stores, baseball stadiums and casinos.
While casting himself as America's new constitutional savior, Trump has shown reckless disregard for fundamental private property rights.
In the early years of this blog, I posted often about cities that seize private property through eminent domain proceedings, only to turn the property over to private developers who promised more money for the tax coffers than the previous owner brought in (this tax revenue increase was the “public use” justification!).  The practice, even though it was upheld by the Supremes in the Kelo decision, is manifestly contrary to what the authors of the 5th Amendment ‘takings’ clause intended.

Trump, apparently, has no respect for the private property rights of those who stand in the way of his business interests.  And we should support him because…?

April 18, 2011

It’s becoming increasingly likely that conservatives will not like the 2012 GOP presidential nominee

Why?  Because, it seems, every politician with any kind of conservative following, hoping to harness the anti-Obama sentiment, will end up tossing their hats into the ring.

The latest to come to my attention is Roy Moore.  Moore gained fame (or notoriety, depending on one’s perspective) in 2003 – eight years ago – as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court when he defiantly placed a Ten Commandments monument outside the state’s courthouse.

He went on to parlay his fame into two unsuccessful bids for the Alabama GOP gubernatorial nomination.

His chance of gaining the GOP presidential nomination next year barely registers on the scale, but he does have his loyal fans among conservatives.

Now, as conservatives start to rally around an increasing number of flags, we’re increasing the likelihood that whatever candidate the establishment settles on will cruise to the nomination with the support of a ridiculously small plurality of GOP voter support.


Many conservatives recognize the problem, but the solution usually proffered is: “All conservatives should unite behind my favorite candidate!  Problem solved!”

To which other conservatives reply: “In your dreams!’

And so, as the rhetorical brawling goes on and on, our country slides ever deeper into the abyss.

April 12, 2011

There’s simply no way to spin the budget deal as a victory for fiscal sanity

Politics is the art of the possible. -- Otto von Bismarck

Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

If $38 billion out of a $1.5 trillion budget shortfall is all that was possible, we’re done for.

April 5, 2011

If the United Nations had existed in the 1860s…

Imagine, if you will, that the United Nations existed in the 1860s. 

Upon receiving news of Sherman’s March to the Sea, it would not be farfetched to presume that the leading power of the day, Great Britain, would have assembled a coalition of the willing and, armed with the appropriate UN resolutions, intervened on behalf of the Confederacy*.

By the rules of “humanitarian intervention” under which we apparently operate today, it doesn’t matter whether or not Lincoln had any legitimate interest in keeping the union together** – the actions of his generals would have brought upon the north the wrath of the nations.

Just saying.

* Just like today, the nation leading the coalition would have had its personal reasons for wanting to deal some serious hurt to the offending government.  So then, as today, one wonders if the motivation for the intervention would have been completely altruistic.

** I have my own opinions on this, but they are not germane to this post.

March 30, 2011

In Libya, it may be that the enemy of our enemy is also our enemy – but the Obama administration has no clue one way or the other

Yesterday, Byron York wrote about the staggering incoherence of the decision process that led to our “kinetic military action” in Libya:

Admiral James Stavridis, commander of NATO and overall chief of U.S. and coalition forces in the Libyan war, says American intelligence agents are "examining very closely" the rebel forces for whom U.S. forces have gone to war.  So far, Stavridis says, the U.S. has discovered "flickers" of the presence of al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, although Stavridis calls the opposition leadership "responsible."


Stavridis' testimony raises two questions.  One is the extent of al Qaeda and other terrorist presence; what is a flicker?  The second question is why the United States did not complete its "due diligence" before, and not after, going to war. "I don't say this critically of you, because you didn't make this decision," Inhofe said to Stavridis, "but wouldn't that have been a good idea to find out before we took the steps we are taking?"

Why are we in Libya right now?  Who are these rebels that we’re assisting?  Do we really know enough about the “opposition leadership” to conclude that they’re “responsible”?  Does the Obama administration really care if they are?  When is the last time that the U.S. took sides in a civil war, knowing little or nothing about the side we supported?

March 23, 2011

Senator Biden thinks President Obama should be impeached for going to war against Libya

Senator Joe Biden, campaigning for president in 2007, does not mince his words* regarding a president’s constitutional war powers.  He is absolutely unwavering in his insistence that if a president goes to war with a country in the absence of an imminent threat to the US – even worse, without congressional approval – this is an impeachable offense:

* (Although, it could be said that he never minces his words regarding anything.  It’s quite entertaining sometimes.)

March 22, 2011

Senator Obama opposes President Obama’s use of force in Libya

In a December 2007 interview with the Boston Globe, candidate Obama had this to say about presidents who send our military to war without first consulting Congress:

The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.

March 16, 2011

Another grim milestone for federal spending

Total federal spending has consistently outpaced tax receipts for so long that to even raise the point tends to elicit yawns. 

However, as the Weekly Standard reports today, this year brings us to a milestone without precedent:
We have now gotten to the point — as I noted yesterday — where if national defense, interstate highways, national parks, homeland security, and all other discretionary programs somehow became absolutely free, we’d still have a budget deficit. The White House Office of Management and Budget projects that in the current fiscal year (2011), mandatory spending alone will exceed all federal receipts. So even if we didn’t spend a single cent on discretionary programs, we still wouldn’t be able to balance our budget this year — let alone pay off any of the $14 trillion in debt that we have already accumulated.

Just an Olympiad ago, in 2007, the picture was quite different. In fact, in that year, federal revenues not only exceeded mandatory spending, but they exceeded it by more than $1 trillion ($1.117 trillion, to be more exact). The next year, 2008, during which the gap fell to a still-huge $914 billion, the Bush administration released a report issuing a rather dire warning (p. 25).  The report said that, “if left unchanged, mandatory spending alone is projected to exceed total projected Government receipts in approximately 50 years.”  That dire prediction has now come true — about 50 years earlier than projected.
This bears repeating: Even if we brought discretionary spending to $0.00 this year, there still would not be enough tax receipts to fund the mandatory (in other words, entitlement, or wealth-transfer) spending programs.

This problem goes much, much deeper than the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts.  As Kevin D. Williamson observed in NRO on March 14, there aren’t enough millionaires out there to balance the budget.  Even if  all of the income of “the rich” was simply confiscated, the debt would continue to grow.

The Bush administration might be forgiven for being so far off on its projection… truly, this country has never before seen anything like the profligacy of this administration and its allies in Congress.

March 11, 2011

How much more evidence do we need that belief in global warming borders on fundamentalist religion for many?

Fundamentalist Christians are often mocked for suggesting that this or that natural disaster is a sign of God’s judgment on the people living in the affected area.

As I took in the news this morning about the horrific results of the earthquake in Japan, at one point I wondered: How long before someone blames this on global warming? Not quite ready to believe that anybody would be so absurd, I dismissed the thought and went on with my day.

As it turns out, the Church of Global Warming has taught its disciples well.  The Daily Caller reports that a lot of tweets are coming up on Twitter like the following:

AliceTMBFan said “2 hours of geography earlier talking about Japan has left me thinking…maybe global warming is way more serious then we thought…”

Arbiterofwords tweeted “I’m worried that Japan earthquake, on top of other recent natural ‘disasters’, is a sign we’ve passed point of no return for climate change.”

MrVikas said “Events like the #Japan #earthquake and #tsunami MUST keep #climate change at forefront of policy thought: http://bit.ly/cZe8To #environment

Tayyclayy noted her frustration by tweeting “An earthquake with an 8.9 magnitude struck Japan.. And some say climate change isn’t real?!”

DanFranklin postulated “Never really believed all this global warming talk, but after the earthquake in NZ and today in Japan. Maybe we’ve ruined the world.”

And TeamIanHarding tweeted “While Japan witnessed an earthquake we were talking about the problems that global warming leads to in school. Think. Pray. And change.”

Back when I actively maintained my old Global Warming Heretic blog, I complained that proponents of the global warming (or climate change, if you insist) hypothesis had rigged the debate so that absolutely nothing that happened in the real world could undermine their case – whatever happened, it affirmed the hypothesis.

Is it any surprise, then, that a totally natural event – slippage along a tectonic plate boundary – is somehow confirmation of the notion that humans really ought to stop driving SUVs?

March 8, 2011

Why, despite the MSM/Dem complex’s earnest efforts, Sarah Palin remains wildly popular among conservatives

NRO reports March 7 that Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Peter Fitzgerald issued the following letter in response to the minority party senators who are currently shirking their constitutional duty by vacationing in Illinois (and occasionally lobbing demand-laden press releases across the border):
March 7, 2011
Sen. Mark Miller
Parts Unknown, IL

Dear Senator Miller,

Thank you for your hand-delivered letter with an offer to meet, in Illinois, about the business and future direction of Wisconsin.

Let’s set aside how bizarre that is for a moment.

As you know, this legislation is designed to finally balance the state budget, prevent layoffs and create jobs in the real world. There are hundreds of thousands of unemployed or underemployed Wisconsinites, and at least 1,500 more whose jobs are in the balance because of your media stunt. We all deserve better than this.

In the meantime, members of your caucus have been meeting with the governor’s staff, talking to the media, trying to find a way back to Madison, and contradicting your message in public. In case you don’t remember, you were present yourself at one of those meetings with the governor’s staff. Your grasp of reality, and control of your caucus as minority leader, continues to amaze me.

As you know, your opportunity to compromise and amend the bill was on the floor of the state Senate. As you know, you forfeited that right and opportunity when you decided to flee the state instead of doing your job.

Your stubbornness in trying to ignore the last election and protect the broken status quo is truly shameful. While we wait for you and your colleagues to finally show up, Senate Republicans continue to stand ready to do the job we were elected to do, here in Wisconsin. I hope you are enjoying your vacation, and your vacation from reality.


Scott Fitzgerald
Senate Majority Leader
CC: Governor Scott Walker
This letter is positively dripping with awesomeness.

Wisconsin Republicans are doing an awesome job of playing political hardball with their wayward colleagues.

Woefully few Republicans have the guts to do this on the national stage.  Sarah Palin is one, and I'm convinced that this accounts for a good portion of her popularity among the conservative base.

Ironically, this seems to be precisely the quality that makes establishment Republicans squirm.  Are they even capable of putting forth candidates who will refuse to let the MSM/Dem complex walk all over them?

March 4, 2011

Quick Quote: Benjamin Franklin on the War on Poverty

I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.

-- Benjamin Franklin, On the Price of Corn and Management of the Poor, November 1766
Read the rest here.  Franklin appears to be of the opinion that we shouldn’t allow the social “safety net” to become a hammock.

March 3, 2011

Are President Obama's opponents motivated primarily by racism?

Let's follow the logic here.

Democrats routinely accuse Obama's detractors of opposing him because he's black. 

So... Does this mean that I secretly agree with his ideology and agenda, but I'll oppose him to the point of harming myself... simply because he's black?  Seriously?

It's easy to jump to the conclusion that the Dems who make this charge are pathetically ignorant, but I really think that's not the case.  They're smart enough to know that if a conservative gets tricked into trying to defend himself against this absurd charge, he's already lost in the court of public opinion.

Conservatives need to stop trying to prove a negative.  When this slander is hurled our way, we need to laugh at our accuser, wondering aloud if he realizes how ridiculous he sounds.

Thomas More wrote that "the devil, the proud spirit, cannot endure to be mocked".  I doubt that the Dems will endure it well either.

February 22, 2011

When the going gets rough, the Democrats run away -- First Wisconsin, now Indiana

Just like in Wisconsin, today in Indiana we are being treated to the spectacle of legislators from a minority party, completely beholden to a small constituency (less than 12% of all workers nationwide, according to the BLS), refusing to live up to their constitutional responsibility. Indianapolis Star, February 22:
Seats on one side of the Indiana House were nearly empty today as House Democrats departed the the state rather than vote on anti-union legislation.

A source tells the Indianapolis Star that Democrats are headed to Illinois, though it was possible some also might go to Kentucky. They need to go to a state with a Democratic governor to avoid being taken into police custody and returned to Indiana.

The House came into session twice this morning, with only three of the 40 Democrats present. Those were needed to make a motion, and a seconding motion, for any procedural steps Democrats would want to take to ensure Republicans don’t do anything official without quorum.

With only 58 legislators present, there was no quorum present to do business. The House needs 67 of its members to be present.

House Speaker Brian Bosma said he did not know yet whether he would ask the Indiana State Police to compel the lawmakers to attend, if they can be found.
It seems obvious that the Dems hope to be seen as heroic, on a par with anti-regime protesters in various Middle Eastern countries, but the fact of the matter is that they are cowards who refuse to acknowledge that their biggest campaign cash source is a huge drag on our ailing economy and on the taxpayer's wallet.

The Democrats aren't about to bite the hand that feeds them.