Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Real Litmus Test

Movement Conservatives have trotted out a wonkish list of hurdles which they insist would-be Republican candidates clear before they are exempted from the label of Republican-In-Name-Only (RINO).  As a column at today’s American Thinker by Pedro Primavera, They Are All RINOs, observes, it’s probably a good idea to follow the advice of Stephen Green on his Big Government posting, The Political Landscape: The Slobs Versus the Snobs, where he says, “Kick the bastards out, all of them.  We certainly couldn’t do any worse.”

I would suggest that American Conservatives apply a litmus test to themselves and the citizens around them, set aside the Bastards of the Beltway.  Here are a few hurdles which any good American should be able to clear:

  • Do you recognize that the Constitution, as strictly constructed and amended, is 1) the supreme law of the land, or 2) a “living document”, subject to interpretation through the filter of contemporary cultural values?
  • Whether or not you believe in a Higher Power, do you think 1) people who do are intellectually fit and holding a right to their belief, or 2) superstitious fools whose beliefs are open to ridicule and suppression?
  • Do you think that 1) Budweiser, NASCAR, and Wal-Mart are respectable American products, or 2) that a person must exclusively quaff certain vintage wines, know who won last year’s Gran Prix, and shop at Nordstrom to be a respectable sophisticate?
  • Do you recognize 1) that the USA and American culture has done more good for more people in the history of the human race than all other countries and cultures combined, or 2) do you think (as does the President) that there is no such thing as American exceptionalism?
  • Do you think common sense and life experience are equal (if not superior) to intellect and higher education?

I’m sure you could add to this list or develop your own along similar lines, but I think you get the idea.  My urging to the reader is to take such dichotomies to heart and apply them to themselves and those around them critically, speaking out to those who don’t clear the hurdles not as Bad Americans, but as Bad-at-Being Americans.  Until we quit tolerating defects of the American character, we are sustaining it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

If Palin Were Nominated, Would You Vote for Obama?

I have a thought experiment for the (Country-/Yacht-/Racquet-/Men’s-) Club Republicans:  If Sarah Palin were the Republican Party nominee for President in 2008, would you:

  1. Vote for a third-party candidate to tangibly lodge your disapproval (donations to the Perot Presidential Library will be forwarded to the Clinton Presidential Library, so you needn’t question your credit card statement)?
  2. Withhold your vote to tacitly lodge your disapproval?
  3. Vote for Junior?

A RINO with a remaining shred of integrity would pick 3, the other choices being merely the back door equivalent.  That way, you’d at least show the character to accept joint responsibility for the blood that is on the hands of the Surrendocrats, and the rest of us would know to ignore your insincere hand wringing about your grandchildren’s posterity.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Palin Derangement Syndrome (PDS) – A Useful Forensic Tool for Useful Idiot Identification

One of the phenomena I find revealing is the visceral contempt shown Sarah Palin by some of my circle of correspondents (who would undoubtedly prefer to have themselves thought of as Conservatives).

The common thread in all of the derision is a palpably elitist strain, including unsupported judgments of stupidity, dismissal of any and all executive experience based on it having been gained in Alaska, snobbish discounting of a degree from the University of Idaho, and guilt by association with supposedly inbred hayseed “Wal-Mart shopper” types.  This brings to mind nothing more than the reception by Club Republicans to Ronald Reagan that I witnessed first-hand in Omaha during the 1964 Presidential campaign (this is not to anoint Mrs. Palin as the reincarnation of the Gipper, but merely to characterize prototypic behavior).

This behavior, when displayed, can be considered a service to those of us who want to restore and grow American Conservative ordered liberty in our society.  The last thing we need to do is tolerate the useful idiocy of these deranged sorts.  In addition to my knowing what these sorts are—useful idiot enablers of Junior Obowma, I know what they are not—American Conservatives.  Their terminal PDS allows more thoughtful people to relegate this sort to the same category as the radicals now attempting to destroy the last best hope of mankind on earth.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bowrack Obowma

I don’t know how much longer the grinning idiot from Plain is going to tolerate Junior’s attempts to wrest the trophy as Worst President in 100 Years, but his inevitable effort will no doubt be sickening in its craven Quisling extreme.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Good Mahometans Are The Problem

When I have spoken to individuals and groups on the history of interaction between Western Civilization and the followers of the Prophet Mohammed, the conversation inevitably tends toward consternation that “good” Muslims don’t stand up and confront the “radicals” whom they see as perverting the “religion of peace” as they wage jihad.  One of the few of my friends who has no reservations in speaking his mind on such matters counters that “there are no good ones.”  While I empathize with his blanket condemnation of a group of people who consider the only choices for an Infidel to be conversion, dhimmitude, or death, I believe we need to be more aggressive in facing down the knee jerk political correctness that the Fort Hood terrorist attack has exposed.  Dismissing the offending group outright will not temper their deadly behavior.

Some time after the Iran hostage taking and before the first World Trade Center bombing, I came to the conclusion that I had a civic responsibility to inform myself about Mohammedans (I use this term, despite Wikipedia telling me it is now another source of offense for the comically thin-skinned followers of the Prophet).  While it is repeatedly said that one cannot fathom the Koran if read in other than Arabic (funny, that doesn’t seem to stop Indonesians, Pakistanis, Africans, Malaysians, etc. from being counted among the faithful), I sought out and read English language translations of the “holy” book, as well as making a serious effort at reading the Hadith and Sunnah.  I could come to but one conclusion from all of this tedious research:  my friend is wrong—there are “good” Muslims and they are the ones waging Jihad.  One of the reasons that the jihadis have no compunction in slaughtering mostly fellow Muslims when they wreak their havoc in their home countries is that the Koran makes it clear that those not waging jihad are only slightly less repugnant than an Infidel.

This leaves a small point to concede to apologists for “good” Muslims.  There are many people adhering to Islam who are peaceful, raising good children, hard-working, and honest.  I would call them good people adhering to Islam badly, not “good” Muslims.  There is no hope to be held out that these people will ever stand up to the jihadis and “take back” Islam from the “radicals” because they know (even if we won’t admit it) that they will be mowed down as quickly as any Infidel if they show such apostate tendencies.  And I must concede that the jihadis are nothing if not consistent in their adherence to Islam by taking such a stand.

I fear that the American character finds the concept of absolute and eternal intolerance of others (the essence of Mohammedism) so alien that they will never be able to bring themselves to believe it is lodged in the soul of Islam.  Thus, it will take a slaughter much worse than Fort Hood or 9/11 before there is any hope of action.  Even then, it will be an existential survival reaction, not an awakening to the nature of the threat source.  I pray none reading (or writing) this will be victims of this cultural blind spot when the inevitable happens.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Gridlock for [Fill in the Office]

A give-and-take with one of the local Junior Obama worshippers elicited a comment from me that we Conservatives should keep in mind.  I told the fellow that I was something he should fear much more than a Republican—a Conservative.  I told him the reason is that we Conservatives don’t care if we never hold an elected office—we are satisfied merely to be sure that Statist radicals (and RINO wannabes) are defeated.  That is more than sufficient to maintain ordered liberty, since an officeholder of either major party that shows such tendencies (e.g., Dede Scozzafava) is harmful beyond party ideology.  I personally am a fan of and have used that option on several ballots.  It would be good to have it instituted into State law, but I suspect I’ll have to move to an American state (Idaho comes to mind) to have a chance.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Best Available Civics

The Watermelon (Green on the outside, Red on the inside) radical enviro-warmers are constantly demanding the use of “Best Available Science” (BAS) (that would be science with which they agree) for all discussions of property rights infringements and the like.

I’d like to suggest that we have a similar principal for evaluating all proposals for expansion of government—“Best Available Civics” (BAC).  The way BAC would work is that any proposal to expand government must : 1) point to a specific clause in the documents by which that level of government was originally constituted that requires or allows the proposal to be enacted, and 2) point to a specific prior implementation of expansion of government that actually worked as designed and intended.  Absent clearing these two “hurdle” conditions, any such proposal would be abandoned.

Even more aggressive BAC should be applied by conducting a systematic review of all current government activities for compliance to the above conditions.  Any activity which fails the conditions would be required to implement a shutdown plan that would be completed within 6 months.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Medifare Serfdom Corrupts Seniors and American Values

As the “healthcare” debate rages on, there remains a pernicious situation that is left entirely un-discussed—the ongoing serfdom of American seniors and the corruption of the values on which they were reared, all as a result of the government welfare program called Medicare.

That the state should have no active role in the delivery or insurance of medical care is trivially obvious upon a thorough reading of the Constitution.  That some should have the expenses of these things paid for with other people’s money is immoral, to say the least.  For those who say that they paid for these “benefits”, you’ll have to explain to me, then why the annual Federal budget is in chronic deficit, year after year, if “your” money (drawn from its fictional lock box) is being used to pay the way.

I don’t know if the depth of the corruption is beyond the point of remission, but the $250 bribe to Social Security recipients may be American Senior’s 30 pieces of silver moment—we’ll see.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What Price Peace in our Time?

As discussions over the options available to the United States in preventing Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons occur, almost all commentators opine that a strong blockade of vital supplies (the principal being gasoline) would be treated by Iran as an act of war, as it traditionally has been.

These same commentators regularly refer to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a madman, yet never extend that psychoanalytical assessment to the underlying genesis of their summary judgment—his subscription to Mahdiism (see Iran's President and the Politics of the Twelfth Imam).

It seems to me that the alternatives are to engage Iran in a shooting war without their having the benefit of a nuclear arsenal or to wait until they do have that option, with the full expectation that they are prepared to use it, indeed may look forward to the opportunity.   The specter of United States naval vessels being fried by a nuclear blast makes Exocet missiles and bomb-laden speedboats pale in comparison.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

McCain Pain?

Glenn Beck has stirred the pot with his statement that John McCain would have been even worse for America, had he been elected, than how bad it is, having elected Barack Obama.

In thinking about this hypothesis, I am taken back to a conversation I had one evening early last year after dinner with the estimable Herb Meyer.  Herb employed Socratic dialog to evince from me the answer as to who, among those vying for the Republican nomination, could best perform their duties in the existential fight for Western Civilization (see The Siege of Western Civilization) versus Islamic Fascism.  We instantly agreed on the person—Senator John McCain.  I have seen and heard nothing that would change that assessment, but that’s only half the story.  Herb’s thesis is that the enemy within (radical secular humanism) is as much a threat to Western Civilization as is the Mohammedan external threat.  On that front, I must agree with Mister Beck.  Senator McCain would have, by the evidence of his record, would have been the next notch up on the burner of this multi-generational frog boil that finds us where we are in American culture today.  Beck’s theatrical fake frog boiling on his show last night made a valid point that President Obama’s extremes have produced a valuable wakeup to the conservative mainstream of America.  That would have never happened with a President McCain, even though Speaker Pelosi and Leader Reid would still have had the exact same majorities in both chambers, with the same radical committee chairmen, leading to much of the same legislative agenda, but without the specter of a radical Democrat President to galvanize wavering Republicans.

It can be argued that the same results will come about in either case, but that just says that McCain would have been no worse, which sounds like damning with faint praise.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Racism? So What?!

The assertion that racism is behind criticism of the President is as irrelevant as is the concept behind “hate” crimes legislation—that it matters why somebody does something, rather than whether that something is good or bad. It is not right to do something bad for a supposed good reason, just as it is not wrong to do something right for a supposed bad reason. If some of the people opposing the President’s flawed direction are doing so with hatred in their hearts for him because of his race, it’s sad but irrelevant.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Give Detroit a Dose of Milwaukee

The statist kleptocrats were so beholden to the thugs  of the NEA that something as obviously workable as school vouchers had to be “trialed” in Milwaukee so there wouldn’t be a nation-wide outbreak of flight from the government reeducation camps (AKA public schools).  Well, I have a suggestion in the same vein.  Since many have reservations about the wisdom of mass adoption of Obamacare, how about a trial of the program on all of the union healthcare programs of the AFL/CIO/SEIU/UAW/NEA, etc.?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Got Medicare? On Welfare! Self-Enslavement—The Ultimate Affront to Our Endowment

As I help my wife transition from our “private” medical insurance (I put this in quotes because our current insurance is a plan provided by something called WSHIP—Washington State Health Insurance Pool—more on that in another posting) to Medicare, a sense of resentment rises in my mind at the fundamental corruption of this system.

Just as with Social Security, all of the government payments for Medicare, are fact, an extension of the debt obligation.  Not only is there no actual money in the Social Security “lock box”, there isn’t even a lock box for Medicare, just continued debt extension.

There was a time where I kept a spreadsheet of my imaginary personal Social Security account balance, including an imputed interest rate.  The premise in my mind was that, up to the point where I was done drawing on the balance in that account, I was taking back my own money that I had put into the “system”.  I finally came to the conclusion that this was a fig leaf for my conscience, allowing me to ignore the fact that I was complicit, along with most of my conservative cohort, in tolerating the immediate transfer of all FICA withholding to the general fund.  How ever many years I tolerated this known practice exhausted the years of “justified” withdrawals I was modeling from Social Security.  The fact of the matter is that I tolerated the taking of my and my fellow citizens’ life energy (in the form of earnings) to be given, without due effort, to third parties who had not earned the money.  All moral claim on the funds taken from my earnings has long since been irreversibly compromised—thus the corruption.

The sense of resentment arises due to the fact that, except for the very rich, a person reaching 65 years of age is co-opted into the de facto welfare system of Medicare.  Certainly rich people like Rush Limbaugh and Edward Kennedy (just ignore the fact that he’s accepting medical welfare in the form of taxpayer funded health insurance) can afford the luxury of self-insurance, but most folks, including my wife and I, cannot realistically undertake such a financial risk.

Conservatives must take the lead in driving for a total privatization/personalization of retirement-stage matters such as medical insurance and post-employment income.  The current systems being tolerated amount to voluntary enslavement by individuals in return for hollow promises of “security”.  If other-enslavement is morally reprehensible, self-enslavement is morally abominable.  Our lives are a gift from the Creator, improved by our parents, to be lived responsibly.  They are no more ours to be sold into bondage than is the life of another.  Until and unless conservatives concede their complicity in toleration of the current condition, we will have no moral authority to demand sacrifices of others, being unwilling to assume those burdens ourselves.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Property Rights as Proxy for Right to Life

This speech was the "capper" at the San Juan County CAPR (Citizens Alliance for Property Rights) forum last month in Friday Harbor, Washington. San Juan County is the most liberal county in Washington (at least if you count the fact that it voted more heavily for Gore, Kerry, and Obama than did any other county, including the PRS--People's Republic of Seattle).

A grotesque regime of statist control of personal liberty, known as the Growth Management Act, is implemented in what are called Critical Areas Ordinances. This forum was to discuss upcoming changes to the County's CAO structure. I was asked by the hosting organization to put the whole property rights issue in perspective, and this short speech was my humble effort. Sorry for the poor quality, but the audio is clear enough and there's not much value lost in the fact that you can't see my face that clearly.

Modest Beginning

I am, at long last, inspired by the young people I see standing up and speaking out. At my advancing age, my father taught me that my role now is to provide experienced counsel, when appropriate, to those taking up the cudgel of liberty.

I promise to keep it short and to the point.