The question to LGF's Charles Johnson What books to fight leftists with? and he answered with "Little Black Book of Communism". On that Amazon page were 5 other good books to answer the question:
Thursday, April 30, 2009
The question to LGF's Charles Johnson What books to fight leftists with? and he answered with "Little Black Book of Communism". On that Amazon page were 5 other good books to answer the question:
Texas Alliance for Life is cheering pro-life bills getting approval:
The Texas Senate today gave preliminary approval with a 20-9 vote to SB 182 authored by Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston), which would require doctors performing abortions to make an ultrasound image available to a woman at least two hours before proceeding with the abortion procedure. The House companion is HB 36 by Rep. Frank Corte (R-San Antonio).
"We are very happy to hear that the Senate has supported SB 182 with preliminary approval," says Joe Pojman, Ph.D., executive director of Texas Alliance for Life. "This is a good and necessary bill that will help enable women to make fully informed decisions about their medical care."
Early today, the Senate gave preliminary approval to SB 1098 by Sen. John Carona (R-Dallas) to create a specialty license plate with the message "Choose Life" to promote infant adoption. The House companion is HB 109 by Rep. Larry Phillips (R-Sherman).
Posted by Freedom's Truth at 9:33 PM
First Principles is an online Journal with online courses answering the question: "What are the first principles of a free and humane society?"
UPDATE: Cato University has a summer program.
And they share the subversive thought that Not everyone needs to go to College.
Posted by Freedom's Truth at 12:42 AM
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tea parties as "ethical populism":
There is a major cultural schism developing in America. But it's not over abortion, same-sex marriage or home schooling, as important as these issues are. The new divide centers on free enterprise -- the principle at the core of American culture.
Posted by Freedom's Truth at 11:50 PM
Instapundit gets snarky over Obama's thin skin: "Say what you will about George W. Bush, he had a skin whose thickness wasn’t measured in Planck lengths."
Newt Gingrich says Obama's 100 days was 'devastatingly swift success': "In just 100 days, President Obama has been devastatingly effective in moving forward swiftly the most radical, government-expanding agenda in American history."
Speaking of Newt Gingrich, he squared off opposite Al Gore in recent Congressional committee hearings. Newt's testimony on the cap-and-trade bill: "The United States faces three enormous threats: threats to our national security, a threat of further economic decline, and a threat of government for the government (and not government for the people), which leads to corruption, political favoritism, and the fundamental breakdown of the rule of law. On all three of these bases of reality, this is the wrong bill. "
Comment on the linked testimony: " The more I see and hear people like Henry Waxman, the more I like Gov. Perry of Texas."
Posted by Freedom's Truth at 10:54 PM
A rant about those unprincipled Opportunist Party members, called Blue Dog Democrats... Response to this:
“If I were to run in politics today, I would be a Democrat, although I would be a Blue Dog.”
Every single ‘blue dog’ is a hypocritical unprincipled liar, a Pelosi poodle who sucks up to a leftwing power structure in DC while lying to their constituents about who they really are. They are the enablers of the massive shift of USA to the left and as such should be considered as dangerous as the leftists themselves.
Every one of them is, like Specter, a member of the Opportunist party, putting power before principles.
It would be a great day for America if in the next election every single one of those Opportunist Sellout jerks were swept clean out of office.
Posted by Freedom's Truth at 9:59 PM
Some thoughts on why young people shifted to the Democrat lately led to a comment I needed to respond to:
"I think the younger people do not view gay marriage or even abortion as a concern."
Yes, there are many ignorant people who dont care about human rights of the unborn. Maybe some don't care because they have never seen a sonogram, watching a preborn human being in the womb have a 140/minute heartbeat. It's quite understandable. Many teenagers are self-centered and dont 'get' certain things unless they grow up a little. Some young males are pro-abortion because for the purely selfish reason it will get them out of tight spot if they get a girl knocked up.
Being concerned about marriage is not a big deal either for single people, unless you care about the future of our civilization and realize that the melting away of tradition marriage and families is sending us into a demographic civilizational decline (ie below replacement rate, out-of-wedlock birth rates are at historical highs etc.) For young single folks, family/shmamily is probably the thought. Single people do not 'get' family issues for the same reason white people dont 'get' concerned about racial profiling.
Most social conservative issues, such a life and family issues, are issues that people who care about the wider society and are guardians of our civilizational success would find of concern. Selfish people who havent yet grown up will never see it as a 'concern'. We *should* be educating children on the importance of family, wider understanding of life etc. but leftwing indoctrination stops that in schools and colleges. It doesnt happen, unless that young person is a good Christian or self-educates on conservatism. That is part of the story - the left is successfully indoctrinating kids away from sensible understandings of the importance of traditional American values.
Better then for the GOP to appeal to young people on bread and butter, like the fact that the Democrat economic agenda is the most ANTI-JOBS agenda in a generation - higher taxes, job-killing cap-and-trade and EPA regs, debts and deficits that crowd out private sector financing, etc. Young people certainly care about where they are going to get a job, and Democrats are hurting our future prosperity.
Posted by Freedom's Truth at 9:27 PM
Via Instapundit, a link to AP "factcheck" on Obama's statements. Instapundit highlights Obama disowning deficits he helped create. I am shocked to see this accurate assignment of responsibility:
OBAMA: "Number one, we inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit. ... That wasn't me.
THE FACTS: Congress, under Democratic control in 2007 and 2008, controlled the purse strings that led to the deficit Obama inherited. A Republican president, George W. Bush, had a role, too: He signed the legislation. Obama supported the emergency bailout package in Bush's final months - a package Democratic leaders wanted to make bigger.
Obama voted for every bailout. He signed off on them. The TARP bills were written by Democrats, and passed by the Pelosi/Reid Democrat majority Congress. He cannot blame the past for the $10 trillion in deficits he put in his own budget proposal. He cannot say he inherited something to deflect criticism of it, when his own stimuls bill ADDED $800 billion to the deficit. Obama's stuck to the tarbaby deficit and his excuses are already wearing thin.
Then there is Obama's call for higher payroll taxes:
OBAMA: "You could cut (Social Security) benefits. You could raise the tax on everybody so everybody's payroll tax goes up a little bit. Or you can do what I think is probably the best solution, which is you can raise the cap on the payroll tax." - in Missouri.
When Obama promised no higher taxes for people making under $250,000 - HE LIED. It's interesting to see AP actually challenge Obama on this and not wear the pom-poms for him.
A big THANK YOU to Arlen Specter for leaving the Republican Party! There are those who think that the Republican Party needs to be a “big tent” party. They think we need people with a lot of differing ideas and that we have to be open to all points of view. If we accept all points of view, how are we different from the Democrats? If we don’t have convictions on what is right and wrong, how do we explain to voters what our Party stands for? With 50% or more of eligible voter sitting out Presidential elections do Republican’s want to appear as Democrat Light? How would Republicans answer those who say there is no difference in the two parties? If the Republicans just go with the popular ideas of the day, how do we claim to have intellectual honesty? How do we claim to have integrity?
Is the goal of the Party to be in power or is the goal to advance a conservative agenda? Can’t the Republican Party attract more people if it has a clear vision of right and wrong? Republicans should show they believe in God, the Ten Commandments, and Biblical Principles. We hold true to the belief that our rights come from God not the Government. The Constitution has meaning; the Federal Government is limited to a few enumerated powers, all other powers rest with the States and the People.
The Republican Party doesn’t need more people in office. It needs more people in office who show they have integrity. The Party needs people that know how to communicate their principles to the voters. The Party doesn’t need people that say socialism is just a different idea. The Republicans needs more people in office than are willing to say socialism is an evil idea because it destroys ambition, it destroys families, that it is stealing from those that work and rewards those who a lazy! The Republicans needs people that defend Capitalism because it makes all people better off, it rewards hard work and innovation. The Republicans need more people willing stand up for life. People willing to say, if you can ignore the science that life begins at conception, ignore the science of using DNA to define species, then the government can redefining any group as non-humans. If the Republicans do all of these they will find the majority of Americans will join them.
Posted by Brian C McAuliffe at 10:30 AM
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Perhaps you know of stories like this, like my wife's uncle. After a stroke, he fell into a coma. He was put on a feeding tube and a respirator to keep him alive. When a visitor would come, he would twitch or shake. "That's just reflexes" the doctors would say. The doctors said he was brain-dead. The assumption was this was just a way station to inevitable death. Yet his wife attended to him at the hospital every day. Then after three months, he awoke. Later he would tell his wife "All I wanted to do was sleep, and you kept trying to wake me up." Sleep he did, but her persistence paid off. He didn't have permanent serious brain damage. He was asleep, for three months.
Now we know that doctors have been getting it massively wrong. The UK Times reports that 40% of coma patients in a ‘vegetative state’ may be misdiagnosed:
The biggest, most tragic clinical myth about brain injury today is that PVS can be reliably diagnosed by bedside observation alone. It has in fact been known for at least a decade, ever since a key survey of brain-injured patients, that misdiagnosis of the condition runs at more than 40%, a statistic originally calculated by Professor Keith Andrews, former head of the Putney hospital, and confirmed by recent surveys in Europe and North America. This means that valuable rehabilitation strategies are routinely neglected, and misdiagnosed patients end up on unsuitable wards or in care homes where their needs are neither understood nor met.
One type of PVS misdiagnosis are cases of people who are actually conscious but have lost motor cortex control:
Christine, now in a private neurological rehabilitation centre, is locked in rather than “vegetative”: she is conscious but can only communicate by moving her eyes up and down – up for “no”, down for “yes”. The sections of her motor cortex responsible for action have been affected, but not her understanding, reasoning or consciousness. Colin says that in his view a proper diagnosis was not made, nor appropriate treatment devised, until after a visit from a member of a Cambridge brain-research team.
There are other types of misdiagnoses, which researchers are slowly uncovering through careful research:
The team, which calls itself the Impaired Consciousness Study Group and works out of the Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre at Addenbrooke’s hospital, has been looking for, and finding, “islands of significant awareness” in people thought to be “vegetative”. “We can actually see on the scanner,” says Owen, “why certain patients aren’t responding to aural stimuli. We can see if the auditory pathways have been disrupted. We can see that they’re deaf, or it might be we can see they are blind, even though they can’t tell us.” Crucially, the team has done ground-breaking work, using scanners, on the presence of acute pain in minimally conscious patients. This should enable clinicians one day to administer appropriate analgesics after diagnosing pain in uncommunicative patients.
I will make a further statement: 100% of Persistent Vegetative State diagnoses are wrong. No Human is a vegetable, and no amount of brain impairment, temporary, long-term or even permanent, can turn a human being into a vegetable. The PVS term itself is wrong, demeaning and dangerous. It allows the mistreatment of many thousands of victims of brain trauma who deserve a better chance for recovery. It dehumanizes victims so they can be killed - sometimes (as in the Shiavo case) via slow starvation. We need to stop calling human beings vegetables.
What are these syndromes really? Persistent Sleeps States or Persistent Unconsciousness States. The brain is unable to 'boot up' in consciousness, or is in a state that allows no or minimal control or interaction with the body and the world.
Now consider this frightening item from the article:
According to Steven Laureys, professor of neurology at Liège University, there is constant pressure in many parts of the developed world to withdraw sustenance from vegetative patients in order to allow them to die so that their body parts can be harvested. In a recent study, Laureys reports, “slightly less than half of surveyed US neurologists and nursing-home directors believed that patients in a vegetative state could be declared dead”. His remarks should be set against the background of widespread shortages of organs and body parts for transplantation.So for the sake of collecting body parts, we will declare living human beings dead. Soylent Green? Brave New World? Wow. There is a better way: Stop treating victims in a state of persistent unconsciousness as sub-human 'vegetables' and start treating them as human beings with a difficult but challenging condition.
It was noted that PSS (Persistent Sleep State) victims that are in the state for 5 years have a low chance of recovery. That may be true, but there was a time when cholera, heart disease and cancer victims had zero chance of recovery; medical science advanced. Perhaps so many are failing to come out of PSS because we call it PVS and imagine the victim lost their capability to be human. So we give up. (Yet so many stories of people coming out comas involve loved ones doing thing to 'wake them up.') They have not. They always were and always will be human, in life and beyond.
Some poignant comments on the article:
Daniel, Hawera, New Zealand
Rebecca, New York, USA
JMKC, Kansas City, U.S.
Renata, Washington, DC, USA
Posted by Freedom's Truth at 10:31 PM
Democrats arrested: Rep. Lynn Woolsey, a Marin Democrat, was arrested at the Sudanese embassy this morning with four other members of Congress - Reps. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, John Lewis of Georgia, Donna Edwards of Maryland and Keith Ellison of Minnesota - all Democrats. It's curious that these Congressmen and -women think getting arrested is accomplishing something, when they have the power to actually legislate to address greivances. Moonbat activist habits die hard for these leftists.
Meanwhile, former Rep. William Jefferson, D-New Orleans, will face trial May 26 on federal corruption charges that he sought bribes in exchange for his help with business deals in Africa.
Thought for the day: Release the moonbats, and send Chris Dodd and Barney Frank to jail instead.
News of the day is Senator Arlen Specter is switching parties from Republican to Democrat. He was losing in the Republican primary polls and decided to save his political skin by changing parties:
I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans. ... Since then, I have traveled the State, talked to Republican leaders and office-holders and my supporters and I have carefully examined public opinion. It has become clear to me that the stimulus vote caused a schism which makes our differences irreconcilable.Translation: "Conservative and Republican opponents of bailouts and stimulus pork spending have bombarded me with criticism, and Pat Toomey is beating the tar out of me in the 2010 Senate Republican primary polls. "
On this state of the record, I am unwilling to have my twenty-nine year Senate record judged by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate.Translation: "I admit it; I've been a RINO (Republican In Name Only) the whole time and never was a Republican. I'm tired of pretending now. Now don't make me retire at 80, and let me stay in my cozy Senate office."
I have not represented the Republican Party. I have represented the people of Pennsylvania.
The self-serving baloney that Sen Specter serves up as an excuse for changing parties is short on principles and long on political opportunism. He is jumping ship because finally the Pennsylvania Republican electorate got tired of a non-Republican ruining the GOP brand with his big-spending left-leaning votes.
Pat Toomey, the conservative who ran against him in 2004 and is running again, responded: "For our campaign, not much changes."
The Hill is wrong. Conservative reaction is not 'furious', it is mostly: "Good riddance". In fact, ThinkProgress is "blaming" conservatives for Specter leaving the GOP with tidbits like: At an anti-Obama "tea party" protest in Scranton, the "loudest boos" were "reserved for Republican Sen. Arlen Specter, while the event emcee discussed the Pennsylvania senator's support for the federal stimulus.". Not that there is anything wrong with that.
Best reactions: “It would be more newsworthy if Specter finally became a Republican,” Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) Tweeted. And Mark Hemingway on NRO: "I read that he was switching parties, but I was disappointed to learn he’s still a Democrat.”
This change is good for the Republican party and conservatives long-term, but short-term it puts one Senator on 'the other side'. The Senate Republican caucus is now down to a mere 40 votes, giving the Democrats have their magic filibuster proof numbers. Now we are in the precarious position of not even having ANY Republicans in the northeast in the US Senate, save for two RINOs in Maine - Snowe and Collins. But we paid the price before trying to hold on to every Senate seat. It's time to rebuild the party, with real Republicans for candidates for a change.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Trying to find out what FDR did to lie us into World War II, I stumbled on this FDR Scandal Page. Full of tidbits like "He also engaged in vote fraud - he won the 1928 NY Governor's race solely with massive vote fraud in Buffalo."
Posted by Freedom's Truth at 11:23 PM
Redstate's Weekly Political Synopsis makes TV even more obsolete for political junkies. Given the candidates and polls lining up, there will be at least three Gov pickups for Republicans possible by 2010 - New Jersey, Kansas, and Arizona.
Posted by Freedom's Truth at 11:09 PM
I am thinking of writing a book about how a patriot could respond to the Obama administration. Think of it as Tea Partier's Guidebook to defending American liberty from a rapacious President and his leftist minions. In fact this title - "How Would a Patriot Act? Defending American Values from a President Run Amok" - would be a great title. It's a pity a leftist already used it in the Bush era.
But it got me thinking. There were so many anti-Bush books written whose titles could be renewed as critiques of the new administration... it could make it really easy to get those titles worked out. Here's are some of those Bush-era book titles and updated themes:
The Cheating Culture - a book about ACORN and how Democrats steal elections.
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them - A book about new Senator and foul-mouthed dirtbag Al Franken
Tempting Faith - A book about how a President lies to religious voters would be well worth writing on Obama's "We are not a Christian nation" watch. He spent 20 years in Rev Wright's church, called him a mentor, and now in DC hasn't had much hankering for Sunday sermons. Hmmm.
Had Enough? - 100 days, yep, I've had enough, Mr Carville.
The Truth With Jokes - This was an unfunny Al Franken book, maybe we could do better with Dennis Miller writing it.
Big Lies - Liberals call conservatives liars for the crime of not agreeing with the liberal's opinions; we could do better. Just a book about Obama's campaign lies and broken promises so far, combined with the lynig media covering his tracks would fill a book.
Thieves In High Places - original was by Jim Hightower, surely a great title for the great TARP and Porkulus Robbery of 2008-2009
Is That a Politician in Your Pocket - Soros, Obama, Rezko, Blago, Spitzer, etc. The possibilities are endless.
The Great Unraveling - A critique of the arrogance of an administration that is destroying the Constitution and our economy. Let the iconoclastic Peter Schiff, an anti-Krugman-type realist who has railed against bailouts and Govt debt spending, pen it.
The Conservative Soul - Andrew Sullivan caught BDS in 2004 due to his gay marriage desires overwhelming his senses, and he created an anti-Bush screed in 2006 with an unlikely title; if he's true to fiscal conservative claims, his weak excuse for clinging to the conservative banner, he'd update it for the disaster that is the Obama administration. I'm not holding my breath.
Oh, and so many slogans too: "Obama lied. Jobs died." (Lied about the impact of the Stimulus bill. The Stimulus bill was supposed to keep unemployment under 8%. It failed.)
Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz, who is gearing up to run for Texas Attorney General, has a glowing profile in National Review.
Ted Cruz has a top-notch resume (magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, clerked for Chief Justice Rehnquist, and has authored over seventy U.S. Supreme Court briefs, among other illustrious items), and has a solid record of standing up for conservative principles. He defended the Ten Commandments on Texas Statehouse grounds, defended the Second Amendment in the DC v Heller case, and authored a Supreme Court brief successfully defending "under God" the Pledge of Allegiance. He is on The Texas Review of Law & Politics advisory board, is a member of the Federalist society, and did a stint as a Bush 2000 Domestic Policy Advisor. He has been Texas Solicitor General for the State of Texas under Attorney General Greg Abbott since 2003.
Ted Cruz, the son of a Cuban immigrant, has all these stellar accomplishments yet is only 38 years old. NR's take on Ted Cruz: "This rising star is extremely intelligent, a gifted communicator and a true conservative."
Two key things that Cruz 'gets'. First, he says: "I think what we misunderstand is that the ability to persuade and inspire is the single most important tool any public leader has." Agreed. Second, he recognizes the importance of being principled: "Credibility is the single most important asset anybody ever has," he told his students. (He is adjunct professor at UT law School.) "Be principled, be the voice of reason." Republican office-holders have lost their way on both counts and suffered defeat accordingly.
Two easy predictions: Ted Cruz will one day be Attorney General of Texas, and Ted Cruz will do a great job at it.
I saw on Yahoo, NBC, MSN, ABC,etc. that Obama is “Mr. Cool” and is undoubtedly the finest President this lucky Nation has ever had, and that so far everything he has done has been unbelievably cool and successful.
Seeing this got my dander up. What is so great about 'cool' and what the heck does it mean and why is it considered 'good'?
And IBM ad has a middle-aged manager go off on how "I hate cool. Cool costs money."
I've got to agree. Fact is: Cool bites. I'd say "Cool sucks" but 4-letter word usage is one of those 'cool' things that is precisely what is wrong with 'cool'.
Cool is paying full price instead of shopping smart.
Cool is all sizzle and no steak.
Cool is what made you puke your guts out at 18 when you took more liquor than you could handle.
Cool is an excess of beauty encasing a deficiency of brains.
Cool is that dumbass tattoo you cant get rid of.
Cool is being the grasshopper instead of the ant.
Cool is piercing metal in unnatural and unhealthy places so you cant eat or talk properly.
Yesterday’s Cool is a bunch of clothes in your closet you wouldnt dream of wearing now.
Cool gets your daughter knocked up, your son in jail and your marriage in trouble.
Cool is what you do that later makes you say "What was I thinking?"
Cool is paying luxury car price for a vehicle that’s smaller than a sub-compact ... and still cant go any faster than the rest of the backed-up traffic on the road.
Cool is voting for the pied piper of kleptocratic despotism and thinking it was going to be unicorns and pixie dust all around.
Cool is Stupid’s younger brother, and just looks more adorable because he hasnt been whacked in the head by a 2 by 4 like Stupid has .... yet. Give it time and Cool becomes Stupid.
Yeah, I can believe Obama is “Cool”.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
According to an MIT study, cap and trade could cost the average household more than $3,900 per year, $3100 a year in taxes and $800 a year in other economic losses. Yet somehow the MSNBC/ThinkProgress/twisted-liberal media "Fuzzy Math" made it a 'lie' when Republicans reported this fact (HT FR). How did the Liberals pretend it wouldnt cost that much? By assuming that cap-and-trade taxation is 'free' because taxes that go to the Federal Govt get 'recycled' back to households.
In reality, cap and trade could cost the average household more than $3,900 per year.
The $800 paid annually per household is merely the "cost to the economy [that] involves all those actions people have to take to reduce their use of fossil fuels or find ways to use them without releasing [Green House Gases]," Reilly wrote. "So that might involve spending money on insulating your home, or buying a more expensive hybrid vehicle to drive, or electric utilities substituting gas (or wind, nuclear, or solar) instead of coal in power generation, or industry investing in more efficient motors or production processes, etc. with all of these things ending up reflected in the costs of good and services in the economy."
Reilly estimates that "the amount of tax collected" through companies would equal $3,128 per household--and "Those costs do get passed to consumers and income earners in one way or another"--but those costs have "nothing to do with the real cost" to the economy. Reilly assumes that the $3,128 will be "returned" to each household. Without that assumption, Reilly wrote, "the cost would then be the Republican estimate [$3,128] plus the cost I estimate [$800]."
In Reilly's view, the $3,128 taken through taxes will be "returned" to each household whether or not the government cuts a $3,128 rebate check to each household.
A Brit questions Obama's patriotism, asking "why does President Pantywaist hate America so badly?"
Never in the history of the United States has a president worked so actively against the interests of his own people - not even Jimmy Carter.Brit wit.
Obama's problem is that he does not know who the enemy is. To him, the enemy does not squat in caves in Waziristan, clutching automatic weapons and reciting the more militant verses from the Koran: instead, it sits around at tea parties in Kentucky quoting from the US Constitution. Obama is not at war with terrorists, but with his Republican fellow citizens. He has never abandoned the campaign trail.
But what's better is this comment - Obama is the Critical Theory President, Anarchist-in-chief, sowing chaos at many levels. (If you don't under stand this comment, read the prior article on political correctness):
Obama is a calculating anarchist.
Look, the man launches a new salvo against the US Constitution and capitalism every day. Perhaps he does not hate America....but it is clear he hates the governmental and financial infrastructure that propelled the US to both liberty and prosperity. At the same time, he revels in the confiscated fruit of others labor. The congnitive dissonance is stunning.
My sense is that Obama-the-Anarchist is intent on leveling the outcome of capitalism....in some Alice-in-Wonderland stride toward "fairness" within the US and across the globe. To achieve this "fairness", Obama must break down the current infrastructure as fast as possible....which he is doing.
All that said, Obama-the-Anarchist is not doing this independently. In fact, he has a willing co-conspirator in the body of Congress. Let me be clear, the checks-and-balances that are supposed to prevent political anarchy in the US have been coopted. Add an activist judiciary and the result may very well be impossible to reverse within a generation even with all due haste.
Before Obama, I scoffed at the hyper-cynical notion that Democrats would intentionally buy gargantuan blocks of votes using public treasure. I no longer hold this notion as cynical. In fact, it is true of both Democrats and Republicans with some exceptions: within the Republican body politic, some conservatives remain and more might well be born-again.
I'll close with this: for the forseeable future, the US will not be assuming the patriarchial role of our recent past. That may win some smiles....from those that cannot see past the first consequence and from others that have failed to account for American generosity in all its forms.
And I have to respond:
"Anyone who defends torture is just mentally sick.”
Argument ad hominem. And torture was not used according to many of us.
“The fact that its inhumane and against the law means nothing to these people.”
False. The record shows that serious effort went in to ensuring everything was within the law.
Rich Lowry on the interrogation memos and legal advisories
“How about the people that were tortured that turned out to be innocent? ”
Name them. This statement is cetainly false. Waterboarding was used on only 3 individuals all of whom were well-known serious AQ terrorists with definite knowledge on future terror plans. One of them was Khalid Sheik Mohammed, responsible for 9/11 attack itself. Name the innocent individuals and the so-called torture used.
“Probably just collateral damage in the minds of the hardcore right. ”
False. You express only your own ignorance. The only desire here is to defend US security and keep Americans safe.
“John Yoo was basically told to write up some legal mumbojumbo that would make breaking the law, legal.”
False. He and other DOJ lawyers were asked to determine what could be done legally and that is what they did.
“My mind jumps to the point in Frost/Nixon”
After a parade of fictional statements, logical fallacies and strawman attacks, your mind jumps to a Hollywood movie. Egads, you’ve got a fiction-based worldview.
“Bush and John Woo can’t make law on the fly, this is far from being over and Bushco better start lawyering up.”
If any official act that was deemed legal but is found to be ex post facto illegal is cause for prison, the possibilities are endless … So when we find out that Gietner and Obama are violating the 5th amendment of the US Constitution by their takeover of US banks in converting pf shares to common, a clear ‘taking’ under the 5th, we can impeach and try them too and send them all to the same prison? Goody. Bring it on.
Posted by Freedom's Truth at 4:11 PM
From a discussion on outing of gay Republicans, a liberal says "The whole idea is about outing hypocrisy. ... We are only out to expose hypocritical behavior in politics." I weighed in on why this is wrong:
What the identity politics activists call ‘hypocrisy’ is really those members of the ‘group’ who dare to dissent from the Party Line. Liberals speak of “gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered issues” as if there is one One Right Way for a gay person to think about such things. Open-minded people call BS on that. Consider the possibility that closeted gay politician voted based on their consciences or different personal viewpoint.
When a conservative individual who is outside the white/male/hetero stereotype rises up in prominence, the Liberals are particularly unforgiving. The Liberals went after Clarence Thomas. They saw a black conservative as an impossible and illegitimate thing. Black conservatives are not lockstep with the NAACP agenda; conservative gays are NOT lock-step with the “Gay Agenda” so to speak. They may not think, for example, that gay marriage is necessary nor desirable. They go AGAINST THE GRAIN OF GAY IDENTITY POLITICS, just as Clarence Thomas when against the grain of black identity politics (or for that matter Sarah Palin goes against feminist grain). Such individuals are considered even worse than the white/male/hetero conservatives - they are traitors to their ‘group’.
As such, the outing can be seen as an attempt to personally destroy any individuals (ie gay conservatives) who hard-core identity politics leftists think are illegitimate. That expression of illegitimacy we see in the false charge of ‘hypocrisy’. Yet it is not hypocrisy to have an opinion about the rights of a group that goes agains the identity politics grain; it is merely a DIFFERENT opinion.
Once you unwrap the faux moral-superiority built around this phony ‘hypocrisy’ claim, you are left with naked political bullying combined with the arrogant an prejudicial attitude that members of a group should “stay in line” with the Group Identity Party Line. The ‘escape hatch’ for any such closeted gay is to Vote the Party Line, So the threat becomes: “Do as we want - OR ELSE.” As such, its modern political Brown-shirt-ism.
The bottom-line is to not fall for the phony hypocrisy claim. This is a weapon used by the forces of political correctness. There are far greater evils in the world than a person who some activist thinks is 'hypocritical' for having a disagreeable opinion.
A bill that requires Consitutional authority for Federal bills has been re-introduced in the House. Representative John Shadegg (R-AZ) has re-introduced in the House HR 450, the Enumerated Powers Act, which would compel lawmakers to cite specific constitutional authority for all bills. Redstate article notes:
It is one third of a great bill; what it needs is legislation throwing out the Supreme Court’s 1942 Wickard v. Filburn decision and language that more closely defines “general welfare” so the General Welfare clause in the Constitution can’t be tortured so gratuitously. ...Well worth keeping tabs on this.
Randy E. Barnett proposes in the pages of the WSJ a Federalism Amendment that would do much of what I propose in the expanded Enumerated Powers Act.
Americans believe Obama’s release of CIA memos endangers national security. The 58% majority is right. Obama, for purely political benefit purposes, released partial memos exposing the interrogation tactics used against Al Qaeda detainees. The consequence is to harm and limit our porsecution of the war on terror (a phrase President Obama will not use).
Obama’s Interrogation Mess exists because Obama wanted it both ways:
In his solipsism, the president failed to foresee that the “torture” memos — memos that, as Rich Lowry shows, in fact document an assiduous effort to avoid torture — would not support his overblown rhetoric or substantiate the allegations of misconduct raised by politicized leaks from the International Committee of the Red Cross. Critics were not cowed. That, combined with Obama’s disingenuous strategy of exposing our tactics while suppressing the trove of intelligence they produced, ensured that the Right would push back aggressively.
A Frontpage article, Prosecuting Bush shows how, sadly, we are unlearning lessons that were paid for in blood already:
We have seen this before, on the frontlines of the War on Terror and in its bureaucratic boardrooms. In Party of Defeat, David Horowitz and I recount the story of Navy SEAL Marc Luttrell, who with his fellow SEALS spared a group of “goat-herders” who spotted them on a covert mission in Afghanistan. The patriots considered shooting the spies but desisted, knowing the fire they would come under for “murdering” innocent civilians – including some teenagers. Within an hour of their hesitation, al-Qaeda terrorists killed 19 SEALs. Luttrell reflected he and his men were “tortured, shot, blown up, my best buddies all dead, and all because we were afraid of the liberals back home, afraid to do what was necessary to save our own lives.” (Emphasis added.) John Murtha and John Kerry’s hyperbolic rhetoric was paid for in American blood.
The Obama decision has impact for legal advisers, as well. On August 28, 2001, the FBI’s National Security Law Unit (NSLU) denied Minneapolis FBI agent Harry Samit the right to search the laptop of Zacarias Moussaoui, the 20th hijacker. Samit sent 70 e-mails requesting permission to search the computer, which he learned too late contained the plans for 9/11, pleading once he was “so desperate to get into Moussaoui's computer I'll take anything.” But the NSLU denied requests from Samit and his superior, Coleen Rowley, on grounds stricter than those required by the law. The caution about overstepping bureaucratic bounds engendered during the Clinton administration, the fear of professional retribution, caused them to build a fence around the law big enough to hide al-Qaeda’s sleeper cells.
This was the path to 9/11 – it is and the path back.
The Obama administration, desperate to do the bidding of the anti-Bush-deranged Left, want to go after Bush administration GWOT decision-makers who acted in good faith to wage war against Al Qaeda. The consequence of this persecution will be a return to cautious legalistic approaches that the 9/11 commission exposed as feeble and incapable of stopping terrorists. The terrorists win. America loses.
UPDATE: Liz Cheney (VP Cheney's daughter) does a great job defending Bush administration on interrogation tactics.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Political Correctness is cultural Marxism. It is Marxism translated from economic into cultural terms. It is an effort that goes back not to the 1960s and the hippies and the peace movement, but back to World War I.
... (Addressing the problem of why workers resisted Marxism were) Antonio Gramsci in Italy said the workers will never see their true class interests, as defined by Marxism, until they are freed from Western culture, and particularly from the Christian religion – that they are blinded by culture and religion to their true class interests. Georg Lukacs, who was considered the most brilliant Marxist theorist since Marx himself, said in 1919, "Who will save us from Western Civilization?" He also theorized that the great obstacle to the creation of a Marxist paradise was the culture: Western civilization itself.
... radical feminism, the women’s studies departments, the gay studies departments, the black studies departments – all these things are branches of Critical Theory. What the Frankfurt School essentially does is draw on both Marx and Freud in the 1930s to create this theory called Critical Theory. The term is ingenious because you’re tempted to ask, "What is the theory?" The theory is to criticize. The theory is that the way to bring down Western culture and the capitalist order is not to lay down an alternative. They explicitly refuse to do that. They say it can’t be done, that we can’t imagine what a free society would look like (their definition of a free society). ... What Critical Theory is about is simply criticizing. It calls for the most destructive criticism possible, in every possible way, designed to bring the current order down.
Other key members who join up around this time are Theodore Adorno, and, most importantly, Erich Fromm and Herbert Marcuse. Fromm and Marcuse introduce an element which is central to Political Correctness, and that’s the sexual element.
... Herbert Marcuse remained in America when the Frankfurt School relocated back to Frankfurt after the war. ... Herbert Marcuse, who remained here, saw the 60s student rebellion as the great chance. He saw the opportunity to take the work of the Frankfurt School and make it the theory of the New Left in the United States.
One of Marcuse’s books was the key book. It virtually became the bible of the SDS and the student rebels of the 60s. That book was Eros and Civilization. Marcuse argues that under a capitalistic order (he downplays the Marxism very strongly here, it is subtitled, A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud, but the framework is Marxist), repression is the essence of that order and that gives us the person Freud describes – the person with all the hang-ups, the neuroses, because his sexual instincts are repressed. We can envision a future, if we can only destroy this existing oppressive order, in which we liberate eros, we liberate libido, in which we have a world of "polymorphous perversity," in which you can "do you own thing." And by the way, in that world there will no longer be work, only play.
Marcuse defines "liberating tolerance" as intolerance for anything coming from the Right and tolerance for anything coming from the Left.
The summary: Political correctness of today is rooted in the radical feminism, radical identity politics of the New Left of the 1960s, which in turn is rooted in a melange of Marx and Freud that became Critical Theory. Political correctness originated with cultural Marxism.
Rules for Patriots is a category label for items of interest to patriots to understand the way the world is and how patriots can save American civilization. Conservatives and patriots have lost so many battles in the 'culture wars' against the forces of political correctness in large part because they do not know what they up against. Political correctness is being used to change culture by deconstructing western civilization, and to save American civilization and oppose these trends we therefore need to deconstruct the deconstructors.
UPDATE: Victor Davis Hanson you tube - Political Correctness, another God that died.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
WSJ column ponders if the recession and recovery will be shaped as a V, D or L?
V is big bounce back. D is Depression. My money is on L - a long period of economic stagnation and relatively slow recovery. They rate the odds of this at 55%.
Posted by Freedom's Truth at 11:21 PM
Did you hear the joke about the three Chicago politicians who pretended they didn't know eachother?
.. yeah, they think it's a funny joke too. Rod Blagojevich, Barack Obama and Richard Daley during a rally in Chicago , April 16, 2007. Photo Reuters.
Got this pic from one of those internet emails, that people like to forward. It started: "Was it just last week that our president said he didn't know Blog? Others have said that they worked together on some stuff for the Demo party----but they didn't know each other!..."
UPDATE: Just to be clear, this is not another Obama rant
Change Austin on why Strayhorn is best for Austin. Carole Strayhorn is the change candidate for Mayor, for one because she won't be sucking Austin taxpayers with hare-brained bad deal after hare-brained bad deal. I am beyond shocked at the stupid, dumb, anti-taxpayer and wasteful things our Austin City Council has been doing. And it keeps getting worse. There is no accountability because the same clique of downtown environmentalists "run the show" when it comes to city elections. Voting for Carole would send a message that all of Austin can and should 'come to the table' - let's make the city better for all of us.
Read the Change Austin indictment of Leffingwell and McCracken and weep (for our city and tax dollars):
- Both rushed a back room NO BID $2.3 billion energy deal with a wood chip burning plant in East Texas, bypassing Austin’s home grown clean energy options, outraging environmentalists and creating a $3,000 obligation for every man, woman and child in Austin!
- Both supported a $250 million solar deal that will purchase its panels from China!
- Both refuse to take a stand on forced blood withdrawals by the police of DWI suspects.
- Both support a bill to more than double the citizen signatures required to trigger a charter election vote—as payback to real estate developers.
- McCracken opposes neighborhood representation on the Council. Leffingwell's environmentalist rhetoric is a cover for bad deals like the unnecessary $400 million water treatment plant.
- McCracken was an avid supporter of the Governor's wildly unpopular freeway-to-toll-road schemes, leading to a strong citizen's attempt to recall him.
- Leffingwell misled Austin voters about the Domain shopping mall, telling us we had to “keep our word”, when the developer lied. So the Domain subsidy remains a voluntary annual gift by the City!
- Leffingwell & McCracken - with friends like them, who needs enemies?
Posted by Freedom's Truth at 9:59 PM
After GOP Senators delay vote to confim Governor Kathleen Sebelius to be HHS Secretary, and on the same day Governor Sebelius vetoed another late-term abortion bill, GOP Chairman Steele Calls on Obama to Withdraw Sebelius Nomination:
"She [Sebelius] admitted the full extent of the political contributions she received from Dr. Tiller only after press reports contradicted her previous financial statements," Steele pointed out. The GOP Chairman also challenged Sebelius to publicly reveal her position on "the extremist and heinous practice of late-term abortions."Bravo to Chairman Steele. The Republicans are getting spine and a voice. I am going to call him "Man of Steele" if he keeps up hammering away like this.
Letter Reveals another $200,000 Donation from Notorious Abortionist Tiller to Help Elect Sebelius
Sebelius Caught Underreporting Campaign Contributions from Notorious Abortionist: HHS Nomination May be in Jeopardy
Senate Committee Silent on Sebelius Abortion Ties as Full Senate Vote is Delayed
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
An important bill to build a School for Western Civilization at UT is going through the lege. The hearings have been held, but it is still in committee (Chair Dan Branch). A Daily Texan Article on the bill:
State Rep. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, introduced a bill to create the School of Ethics, Western Civilization and American Traditions at UT during the House’s Higher Education Committee meeting Wednesday.This is a great idea. It is shocking to say the least to have some faculty members critical of the bill. Dr. Pangle said “The name ‘Western Civilizations and American [Traditions]’ sounds really right-wing, like there’s an axe to grind,”
Students in the school would be required to take 18 hours of Western civilization studies, including courses covering ancient philosophy and literature, the Bible and Renaissance and Enlightenment classics.
These courses would count for 18 hours of the traditional core curriculum requirement, and students would then have to complete an additional 18 hours of coursework in Western civilization.
Really? Yes, I have an axe to grind. My tax dollars today go towards indoctrinating kids in dumb and wrong ideas, at Universites like UT where the 'core' have been hollowed out into an empty shell and where politically correct pseudo-intellectual nonsense abounds. Taxpayers are supporting institutions that educate poorly for too much money. Meanwhile, as UT and liberal arts Colleges get worse yet more expensive, I worry about where to send my kids.
If we have this school, at least I know my kids and other studends will be learning something useful to their civic education.
Posted by Freedom's Truth at 11:34 PM
A response to a Liberal talking point to defend the bailouts on Rick Moran's Right-wing nuthouse blog: If AIG had failed, we would have had a national and worldwide catastrophe. Millions of Americans would have lost their retirement and savings that were wrapped up in the CDS’s that were gambled on and insured by AIG and others.”
First, AIG was saved prior to TARP. Second, AIG *has* failed in the sense that stockholders are practically wiped out and the company is now a ward of the state. Third, the whole Paulson “You must do X or the world will collapse” missed the BIGGEST OBJECTION: There were a number of alternatives that in the end were superior to the TARP bill; the conservative Republicans pointed out how to add insurance backing for assets at much lower cost; liberals and FDIC chair piped up about expanding FDIC insurance. Wrt to AIG, there too it is false to assume a bailout is the only way to save the global CDS market: You neglect the difference between Ch11 and Ch7. CDS counterparty protection could have been given protection in a pre-pack BK with the Fed backing that up.
“I was flat out against TARP at first, but have taken the time to learn more about what is going on. ”
Well, I went the other way. Ultimately the claim that TARP was vitally needed is simply refuted by the track record: It didnt do what it was sold as being needed for, and it didnt solve the problem at hand. the Congress voted for a TARP that would buy up toxic assets. Remember? Guess what? The week after TARP was passed the stock market fell 18% in one week. A vote of no confidence. Two weeks later Paulson changed course … Stock market cheered the change as it was clear there was a 10to1 advantage to shoring up bank balance sheets through direct investment. Only now we find out that half the banks given the money felt they didnt need/want it anyway! And the claim that this would expand lending has not borne out (not unexpectedly, since the banks just used it to pad extended balance sheets). Strangely, we are back to buying the toxic assets in Geitner’s TARP III.
So TARP didnt do what it billed as being needed for up front and has not solved the so-called credit market squeeze. The commercial BBB to AAA spreads are as high as in November. And we have 2 million less jobs now than in November to boot. All of this shift of financial risk from the financial sector investors to taxpayers has not in the end changed the economic trajectory much at all. We are going through a recession to clear out the defaulted and devalued over-investment in certain sectors and any TARP, stimulus or bailout will just be pumping air into a busted deflating balloon.
TARP and Geitner’s TARP III has been the big-Gubmint-solution to a problem: Throw enough money at the problem and hope some of it sticks.
The most effective lever we have is monetary policy, not bailouts. for example, the LIBOR-Fed rate issue was and is solvable via direct Fed action. The Fed’s zero interest rate policy and their direct purchases of commercial paper has had a lot more to do with helping LIBOR and overall situation right now than anything else. (Albeit another short-term gain we will pay for down the road).
You can at best argue that bailouts like TARP are mitigating someone’s economic pain, but you have to ask to what extent should taxpayer money be going to bail out, say the Abu Dubai sovereign investment funds’ insurance backed investments in US financial assets? Their Citigroup bonds? Their commercial RE loans in CMOs? Somehow when you are FOR it, all the billions are going to widows and orphans; when you are against it, its ‘greedy wall st bankers’. Same pot o’ money in both cases.
Posted by Freedom's Truth at 10:18 PM
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Obama celebrated Industrial Revolution Day by visiting a manufacturing plant - a 'model factory' for the Brave New Green World.
I celebrated by driving my car, and looking at some manufacturing data at work.
I hope your Industrial Revolution Day was as productive.
Obama is doing another PR stunt: Putting together a tax blue-ribbon panel, focussed on trying to squeeze more taxes out of the taxpayer: “There are hundreds of billions of dollars in uncollected taxes each year,” Orszag said in a conference call. The Volcker board “will be examining ways of being even more aggressive on reducing the tax gap.”
Let me save you a blue-ribbon Panel, Mr President - Bush did the same "Tax Panel" thing in 2005! Bush's Federal Tax Reform Panel issued a lovely report, presented great ideas on fixing the tax system ... and it got put on the shelf collecting dust. Instead of a new panel, all Obama needs to do is Read the 2005 Panel's Conclusions and act on the recommendations.
Take from someone who wrestles with taxes each year: We need a flatter, fairer, simpler and more efficient tax system. The 2005 Panel had some great ideas to reduce complexity, reduce the number of tax rates, abolish AMT, and make the system simpler and fairer.
Posted by Freedom's Truth at 11:22 PM
Leftists around Texas have pulled the race card on to an innocuous statement by State Rep Betty Brown, suggesting more uniform tranliteration of Asian-American names, and turned into a re
A reader’s take on Texas state rep. Betty Brown’s apology:
State Rep. Betty Brown (R) from Texas suggested that a way to reduce the disenfranchisement of Asian-Americans was to suggest a uniform transliteration (most East Asian languages have several “official” transliteration schemes) or some single name to use to make sure that a missing letter in their names or a misplaced hyphen doesn’t knock them off the voting rolls.
Upon *hearing* this report, I was outraged. Upon actually seeing the YouTube clip, I was offended that my ideological colleagues would smear this woman for racism as she is clear that she is not expecting every Mr. Chang and Ms. Liu to change their names to Chuck and Mary, but rather is looking for a way to make sure minor spelling errors or one document that uses their “real” name while, say, a work pay stub uses their “American” name, doesn’t cause beureaucratic headaches for them. As a white Anglo-American, I have had my name butchered while both traveling and living overseas, and I have had the common courtesy to either 1) not throw a fit and call everyone a racist for saying my name incorrectly, or 2) adopted a “foreign” name that was easier on their tongues out of respect and ease while outside of English-speaking lands.
Rep. Brown explicitly stated she is NOT asking anyone to change their names, but everyone on the left is predictably saying she asked them to “change their names.” Rep. Brown unfortunately apologized (I’m sure she was mobbed) and now politicians are saying it’s “not enough.” I see people commenting on online blogs now, all of them rushing up to claim how victimized and hated and stereotyped, etc., they have had been and expressing “outrage” at this woman who is being virtually tarred and feathered.
Posted by Freedom's Truth at 10:57 PM
Good stuff on top conservative site Redstate tonight:
The suicide of journalism excellence. A journalist mourns her profession and presents stunning examples of the death of responsible journalism:
Zeigler is a journalist and independent film maker, recently releasing his documentary, “Media Malpractice: How Obama Got Elected and Palin Was Targeted.” Standing outside the reception for the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism awarded this year to Katie Couric for her lopsided interview of Sarah Palin (an example of journalism buffoonery but I only have so much time to write this article so we’re sticking to the last 48-hours), Zeigler had planned to ask attendees questions and hand out free copies of his DVD.
Instead, he was handcuffed and kicked off the campus…the journalism campus…for journalism…during a journalism award banquet…for journalism excellence.
Extremist RFK Jr calls opponents of his environmentalism 'traitors'.
Green Jobs Aplenty!:
I was driving down the freeway with my wife the other day, when I noticed a large group of men by the roadside wearing orange jump suits and stuffing roadside litter into orange plastic bags. We had just been discussing all the “green jobs” that the stimulus package and Obama’s budget were likely to produce, and wondering when we would start seeing the creations of the government largess being spread about in this “futuristic” area of investment. I realized then that the “green jobs” were already beginning to be filled! Here were about a dozen men working diligently at a green job in my very presence.
Obama - 100 days, 100 mistakes: Latest one - "Updating the al-Qaeda counter-interrogation manual by releasing the CIA interrogation memos."
Posted by Freedom's Truth at 9:34 PM
In frustration at the inability of the Republicans to fight back, some conservatives (or 'Right-wing extremists') call for 'building a new party' or going third party, as this comment: "Some would argue that its already finished and anything OTHER than building a new party and movement is a waste of time, money and effort." Thoughts on that:
One of the most important principles of success in democratic politics is unity. For conservatives, a key imperative to gaining power is to UNITE THE RIGHT. So long as we are divided, we will fail. Alas, third parties are inherently dividable entities whose main flaw as political strategy is that it violates coalition-building principles in winner-take-all democratic. Unless the party immediately replaces or displaces the main party, it would end up dividing those parts of the coalition along the lines dictated by the third party emphasis. precisely on those issues to which it most appeals.
The bulk of Republicans are conservative and the bulk of conservatives are Republicans. Thus the natural home for conservatives is the Republican party at this time. Such party/ideological connections are long, deep, and unlikely to change soon, as history of the political parties in the U.S. can attest.
The Republican party was in many ways the more 'progressive' party compared with the Democrats from its inception up until the 1896 election, but then the Democrats nominated populist fundamentalist William Jennings Bryan, who co-opted the Populist and Progressive agendas for the Democrats, fighting against the gold standard and for easy money. Teddy Roosevelt, the Republicans also were progressives. In 1912, liberal Woodrow Wilson, an academic, faced conservatives Republican Taft. Teddy Roosevelt split with Taft and the Republican Party over both personal and political differences, forming the Bull Moose third party. In many respects he ran to the left of Wilson even. After Wilson's election came the income tax, Federal reserve and more Government intervention in the economy than ever before (especially during World War I) - it was dry run for the New Deal. In the election of 1928, the Democrats nominated a northern, wet, catholic candidate. It flipped formerly Republican Massachusetts, which hasn't looked back since.
We see those trends persist to this day: The Republican Party is the party of main street, middle class, Protestant voters; it is more conservative, more free-market, more moral values-based. It has a remnant of progressivism. The Democrat Party is the party of the urban cores, working and underclass, non-Protestant; more Government interventionist, less moral values-based and more class and group-interest-based. It has a remnant of rural populism. The largest change in the past generation has been the Republican rise in the South, counterbalanced by further retreat from urban areas and also from the liberal Northeast. This was in mnay ways a reaction to the complete decapitation of the non-liberal wing of the Democrat party. The liberal Democrats have risen in new, small, urban University towns, like Madison, WI, Boulder, CO and yes, Austin, TX.
It's hard to imagine a third party displacing the whole Republican or Democrat coalition, unless a key driving issue would break a party apart. The two parties are durable, despite their flaws for precisely the reason that the coalitions they represent are durable demographic and ideological configurations. The Republicans face a long-term challenge on two levels: The demographic trend of increasing numbers of Hispanic voters (and other minority immigrant voters); the small but influential academic elites shifting sharply left.
Third parties in the U.S. today tend to be ideologically-driven, not coalition-driven, and so are in many cases precisely ill-adapted to replace the parties precisely because they are formed to shed the flaws of political compromise that are inherent in large national coalition parties. Two examples that exhibit this are the Libertarian and Green Parties. Both have an arguably large overlap in agendas with the main political parties (Republicans and Democrats respectively), but both have a more 'pure' ideological agenda (liberty and environmentalism respectively) that both unifies and limits the party.
If there were to be another party replacing the Republican Party, what would it stand for? What the Republican Party tried to stand for, but failed because the human beings in the party in office didn't live up the party agenda? To avoid repeating that failure would require understanding the cause of that failure and fixing it directly. Creating a new party under a new name with the same goals without fixing the problem of political power corrupting, an inherent systemic problem, will fail. However, if the problem is curable, it would surely be just as curable with the existing party as with a new one.
The ultimate problem is that the 'problems' people see in the party - elected politicians bending to political pressure - are not curable. One problem is the inevitable pandering to democratic masses, which causes politicians to fail to adhere to the organized political agenda of the party. Yet when it comes to democracy, it is expected that the politicians will to some extent follow the 'will of the people'. To use technical parlance: "It's a feature, not a bug." The question is: If so, why bother with party platforms? Some politicians might want to dispense with them, but party platforms and agendas are vital to getting Why are there political parties at all and not a single unity? In truth, part of the party duopoly's limitation is that when both parties are in agreement, in effect there is no space for dissent. An example is in the area of drug laws. Without serious movement in either party to legalize drugs, some go to third parties to express support for the notion.
The only cure for politicians who bend in ways we don't like to fire them. In short, to cure having a politician bend in one direction, push in the opposite direction. Term limits can reduce the level of careerism and opportunism, but that doesn't cure political pressures, which are inherent in democracy.
If there were to be a reason to replace the Republican Party, it would be if the party itself failed to take a stand or took the wrong stand on a serious issue of the day - one so vital it would change most people's votes. The Whig Party is an example of what happens when a party is unable to take a stand. The Whig party was split down the middle on slavery in the early 1850s and took no serious position. As a result, it became defunct, replaced by the Republican party in 1854 which took an anti-slavery stand. Slavery became the central political division of the 1850s, prior to the civil war, and the political earthquake shifted political parties. Yet today, there is no central issue like that, and the Republican Party suffers less from the lack of party positioning, but from a failure to communicate, market and execute on the core agenda and principles.
Thus, we are left with the dilemma: The Republican Party as a majority or wannabe majority party, will inevitably become compromised. At the same time, attempts to rebuild the GOP in a new umbrella are futile, as are third parties. None can overcome the central dilemma of democracy: The only way to win is to get the most votes.
That leaves another approach - of standing outside the party per se, but as a pressure group to change Republicans and the wider culture as well.
One problem we face is media bias. Republicans and conservatives are mocked by the media - "the media and pop culture long ago branded the party that freed the slaves a the party of slavery and racism. Somehow with our tendency to stoic silence we allowed that to happen." This has to do with the inherent inability of political parties, fighting for a majority, to fight and win culture wars. The biased media will stoke flames of division by picking and choosing cultural reference points.
What we need to do is liberate the GOP from the burden of carrying the cultural wars on its back, and fight the culture wars through other means. Successful groups have followed this model. The ACLU, the NAACP, others. The last time a putatively non-partisan group had such influence on the right side, it was the Christian coalition.
In the false dichotomy between '3rd party or GOP', neither of which is satisfactory, is the real answer: Independent conservative activism focussed on advancing the agenda through any legitimate means possible, and standing alongside the GOP without being swallowed up in it.
UPDATE: Redstate's Swamp Yankee has more on this concept, saying: "Liberals Know How to Separate Themselves from the Democratic Party".
Monday, April 20, 2009
Jon Henke has a Newsflash: Politicians are not serious about the deficit. In other news, the Pope remains Catholic.
Obama is trying a PR stunt by declaring a search to reduce wasteful spending, but $100 million cuts out of $3,600,000 million is a JOKE. An utter and absolute joke. Almost a bad Austin Powers-level joke - Cue the Dr Evil music. It's like a binge eater slaking his thirst with a diet coke.
So I weighed in on this issue at Rick Moran's Place:
Liberal Talking Point: “A hundred million wasted is bad. Obama ended it. That’s good.”
Obama has wasted HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS. That’s BAD. The Democrats in Congress added $800 BILLION in so-called Stimulus (Porkulus) bill in Feb, $1,000 BILLION IN TARP III in March, $80 BILLION in S-CHIP EXPANSION in January AND $430 BILLION FOR THIS YEAR’S DISCRETIONARY SPENDING in March ($40 billion above what Bush was willing to spend). Oh, and an Obama budget that is almost $3 TRILLION ABOVE BASELINE, with almost a trillion for socializing medicine, and hundreds of billions in added energy taxes.
Lets do the numbers: $800 billion + $1,000 billion + $80 billion + $430 billion = $2,330 billion
So he added $2,330 billion in the last 80 days - $25 BILLION A DAY!!!
The .1 billion is a chump-change drop in the bucket. Obama could have saves 1,0000 TIMES this amount by simply not signing the wasteful extravagant bills he did. He could have controlled the earmarks that ran into the billions. He did not. He could have said ‘no’ to jacking up discretionary spending by double digits. He did not. He did the binge spending thing to pass his Big Govt expansion and now he does the token BS PR thing to create some useless talking points from his moron-robot followers.
Obama is peeing down our backs and telling us its raining and now he makes it up with a desultory insulting savings of less than a $1 a person - IN A BUDGET THAT WILL ADD $40,000 IN DEBT FOR EACH FAMILY IN THE NEXT 10 YEARS! It’s like an obese binge dieter announcing, between scarfing down BBQ ribs and an entire fried chicken, that they are now on a diet, where every third softdrink they consume will be a diet one.
A cynic asked if it just so happens to be programs added under Bush; yep, that’s the plan exactly. The Democrats in Congress saved a whopping $10 million ($10 million!!) killing off the DC Scholarship program; school choice is a No-No for Obama, who sends his own kids to private schools but has now condemned hundreds of kids who were benefitting from this small program, to substandard overly expensive public schooling in DC. It will save zero dollars net, since charter and private schools are cheaper (yet more effective) than DC public schools. But the NEA and liberal special interests must be obeyed!
This PR stunt fools nobody who can count - $100 million is pitiful. $100 BILLION could be saved from the $3,600 billion budget with ease. Or just look at Rep Paul Ryan’s budget that goes trillions below Obama’s baseline. Obama benefits from the adoring morons who cannot count and have no sense of proportion.
Liberal talking point: “When you consider he was left with a 1.3 trillion deficit for 09 from Bush.”
This is False. The Pelosi/Reid Democratic Majority Congress and Obama created this years deficit and are 100% behind everything in the budget that they wrote and they support. They ‘inherited’ nothing but their own creation.
The Democrats have been running the Congress since January 2007. Democrats have written the budgets for 2 years now. The Democrat budget for 2009 was never completed on time because Bush refused to sign on to the high level of spending that that Pelosi Democrat Congress wanted. So the Democrats passed only half a year of appropriations, then waited until Obama became President to get a bulked up, porked up, super-duper earmarked big-spending bill which added to the spending and deficit.
Which Obama signed.
Obama also demanded a Trillion dollar spending boondoggle bill, that was stuffed with pork, as a so-called ’stimulus’ bill. Obama also demanded another $350 billion in TARP money, the bailout bill the Democrat Congress passed and which Obama supported throughout. These Democrat Congress-Obama bills have added hundreds of billions to the 2009 duget deficit… Actually about $1 trillion.
Posted by Freedom's Truth at 10:02 PM
The Boston Globe failed to report the Tea Parties so completely last week that a pundit quipped that if the Globe was around in the 1770s, they would have missed reporting the American Revolution. In that spirit, we share a re-write of Lexington-Concord as This Day in RIGHT-WING EXTREMIST U.S. HISTORY ... H/T to Michelle Malkin for neat graphic ...
April 20, 1775
Scores Killed, Hundreds Injured as Para-Military Extremists Riot in Boston Area
National guard units seeking to confiscate a cache of recently banned assault weapons were ambushed on April 19th by elements of a paramilitary extremist faction. Military and law enforcement sources estimate that 72 were killed and more than 200 injured before government forces were compelled to withdraw.
Speaking after the clash Massachusetts Governor Thomas Gage declared that the extremist faction, which was made up of local citizens, has links to the radical right-wing tax protest movement. Gage blamed the extremists for recent incidents of vandalism directed against internal revenue offices. The governor, who described the group’s organizers as “criminals,” issued an executive order authorizing the summary arrest of any individual who has interfered with the government’s efforts to secure law and order.
The military raid on the extremist arsenal followed widespread refusal by the local citizenry to turn over recently outlawed assault weapons. Gage issued a ban on military-style assault weapons and ammunition earlier in the week. This decision followed a meeting early this month between government and military leaders at which the governor authorized the forcible confiscation of illegal arms. One government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, pointed out “none of these people would have been killed had the extremists obeyed the law and turned over their weapons voluntarily.”
Government troops initially succeeded in confiscating a large supply of outlawed weapons and ammunition. However, troops attempting to seize arms and ammunition in Lexington met with resistance from heavily armed extremists who had been tipped off regarding the government’s plans. During a tense standoff in Lexington ’s town park, National Guard Colonel Francis Smith, commander of the government operation, ordered the armed group to surrender and return to their homes. The impasse was broken by a single shot, which was reportedly fired by one of the right-wing extremists.
Eight civilians were killed in the ensuing exchange. Ironically, the local citizenry blamed government forces rather than the extremists for the civilian deaths. Before order could be restored, armed citizens from surrounding areas had descended upon the guard units. Colonel Smith, finding his forces overmatched by the armed mob, ordered a retreat.
Governor Gage has called upon citizens to support the state/national joint task force in its effort to restore law and order. The governor has also demanded the surrender of those responsible for planning and leading the attack against the government troops. Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, and John Hancock, who have been identified as “ringleaders” of the extremist faction, remain at large.
Posted by Freedom's Truth at 9:37 PM
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
The TEA Parties were a viral event, not top-down organized, but true grassroots spontaneous action by thousands. If the TEA Party activism is to have legs, there will need to be followups on the successful April 15th rallies. These could go in several directions. Here are 5 ideas:
- A Washington, DC rally - that is, a "Million Taxpayers March"
- A call for active new candidates to run for office
- Online-centric activism, i.e., become the next "MoveOn.org".
- A platform of key principles and demands
- A process to UNITE THE RIGHT and build a more coordinated "Campaign for Liberty"(*)
That agenda is the TAXPAYER BILL OF RIGHTS.
That agenda would serve multiple purposes. Activism requires a purpose, a goal. The left was asking: What is the purpose of these protests? What do they want? Well ... what if we demanded that the national debt could only be raised via a referendum? That we get a Spending Limitation Amendment, or at least PAYGO Spending limits in the Congressional rules.
The agenda would and should be a tight, focussed limited agenda. As such, it will become for the 2010 elections what the Contract with America was for the 1994 election. The agenda would in turn drive the other activities: Recruiting candidates and demanding candidates take the "PLEDGE TO SUPPORT TAXPAYERS". A national march to highlight the issues and platform. And ongoing pressure on Congress to be fiscally responsible.
(*) Yes I know the Ron Paul derived Campaign for Liberty name is taken. Good name, let them keep it. They are part of this umbrella and coalition too.
Posted by Freedom's Truth at 11:12 PM
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
I joined over 1500 people who assembled peaceably at a noon-time TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party rally in downtown Austin today, April 15th. It was a great and boisterous crowd, with awesome patriotic flags and pro-liberty signs and a dozen or so good speeches from grassroots activists on up to Michael Williams and Gov Rick Perry, with a theme echoed by many of the speakers - "Don't Mess with Texas".
What brought them to the rally and what brought me was we are united in opposition to overarching Big Government and the massive bailouts, stimulus spending spree and Obama's huge spending. It was expressed best in the sign - "Give me liberty, don't give me debt." We don't want the flawed and phony Keynesian theology to be used as an excuse for massive over-spending that robs us of liberty, hurtles the United States Government towards bankruptcy and hurts our long-term prosperity.
The 1500 folks I saw at Austin rally were mostly working people and a diverse group of the kind of mix you see at any Patriots rally. Ordinary working Americans, young people, students, older folks, some veterans. I saw a professor; I saw some kids. There were many handmade signs with hdiverse statements. One of them had Pelosi, Obama and Reid with Pirate Hats on. Another said “Give me liberty, dont give me debt!” Another, “TERM LIMITS”. Some other signs that had a lot more words and detail, mini-essays or pleas if you will.
I also liked the diverse set of flags - the "Don't Tread on Me" flag, the “Come and Take It” flag (ie used at Goliad), the 1824 Mexico Republic flag, pointed out by Michele Samuelson in her speech, US flags, and of course the Texas flag, which I brought. You don't see such a patriotic outpouring in a liberal rally.
It was a diverse crowd in a political way too, albeit uniformly loathed by the liberal elites; it seemed to include all stripes of American populist, conservative, Republican, libertarian, constitionalist, freedom lover and taxpaying working stiff type of people. The common cause shared by all was a basic love of freedom and distrust with Big Government. We had Ron Paul folks in the crowd, some 'regular' Republicans, some conservative grassroots activist types (like AFP Texas' Peggy Venable), Libertarian Party speaker was followed by some Young Republican, followed by a YCT speaker, and then later Gov Rick Perry spoke. In these Tea Parties, we see the ragtag army of the center-right coalition that pays for the Government and who have scattered and been divided for the past 4-8 years. Whether they will get together in a politically effective way remains to be seen, but for today the common cause of rallying to say we are "Taxed Enough Already" made for a great rally on a fine April day.
The Democrats and liberals: Go ahead and ignore the Tea Parties. MSNBC: Go ahead and mock them, showing your own ignorance and willingness to distort news; keep your viewers ignorant. Gandhi had a quote about what happens when first they ignore you, so - be complacent. It will make it easier to defeat you later.
This is what a rally in San Fransisco had as a banner:
As for Obama's attempt to co-opt the Tea Parties today with talk of tax cuts for people (never mind that no a single dollar of his trillion dollar stimulus spending goes to tax rate reduction), he's forgetting something: Who will PAY for the extra spending? Me, or my kids? Michael Williams expressed it right when he said that deficit spending was a deferred tax. We KNOW we will pay for the spending sooner or later - either in higher taxes directly or the debasement of our currency. So Obama and the Democrats fool nobody in their free-lunch approach to their massive $16 trillion spending plan. IT'S THE SPENDING STUPID.
This was one of many rallies held across Texas - 1400 people came out in Tyler - 1400 protesters, Longview - 1500 protesters, 500 people in Belton, 1000 in Fort Worth...
500 in Corpus Christi,
Rallies held also in Jacksonville, Nacogdoches, Houston, Dallas, and dozens of other cities and towns across the state, as part of hundreds of rallies with hundreds of thousands of people total across the nation.
Some pictures from rally of thousands at the Alamo in San Antonio.
(Pictures from San Antonio rally.)
Posted by Freedom's Truth at 9:34 PM