Friday, August 29, 2008

Careful, The Anti-Palin Arguments Are ALL Also Anti-Obama Ones as Well....

On the one hand McCain’s picking Alaskan Governor, Sarah Palin, for VP takes away HIS biggest weapon – political and foreign policy experience over Barack Obama, while it is a direct appeal to the legion of disaffected female voters who’ve felt Hillary Clinton got a raw deal from the Democrats and the MSM.

Incredibly enough, in the mere hours since the pick was announced, many amazingly non-self-reflective Democrats have assailed Governor Palin over the same issue that Barrack Obama is weakest on, in effect, highlighting his biggest drawback on the day after his biggest speech!

I expect most of that misguided and politically inept Democratic criticism to cease once word filters down from the Obama camp that that kind of criticism isn’t helping their own cause.

After all, the anti-Palin arguments are virtually ALL also anti-Obama ones as well.

“If she were a man, would she have been chosen?”

If he weren’t black, would he have been the darling of the MSM?

“Two years governing the small state of Alaska?”

Yes, and astoundingly enough, with that she is still the ONLY one of the major four to have ANY executive experience.

“Zero foreign policy experience?”

Ditto for Barack Obama.

“Zero D.C. experience?”

Has that (D.C. experience) suddenly become a GOOD thing???

“She’s anti-abortion!”

OK, so “she’s anti-abortion” – the latest NY Times/CBS poll (could you get a more liberally biased poll than that?) has Americans OVERALL: 39% supporting abortion “generally available,” 38% “available but with stricter limits than now and 22% not permitted. So, in a country in which at least 60% of the population wants stricter limits on abortion than we have now, how does an anti-abortion stance hurt her?

Do you see where this is going?

Every attack on Palin’s youth (she’s 44, three years younger than Barack Obama) and inexperience comes back to highlight Barack Obama’s lack of same.

At this point it’s best to have this election boil down to ideology for the Democrats.

Especially with EVERY anti-Palin argument also coming back as an anti-Obama one.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Are Conservatives Making Inroads Within the Democratic Party???

Since the 2006 elections, the Democrats have made the bulk of their recent gains, thanks in large measure to Charles Schumer's and Rahm Emmanuelle's common sense strategy of running Conservative Democrats in Red States.

I have Schumer's recent book, Positively American (every Democrat and especially every "so-called Democrat" - that is, those Left-wing loons who've mistakenly seen the Democratic Party as their "home") should read that book.

In it, Schumer admits that the Democratic Party has been, "...far too Liberal, shamelessly Liberal and Liberal for far too long."

If you DON'T read things like that, you tend to be taken by surprise when paradigm shifts, like the one occurring now, take place.

I read Schumer's book, in which he follows the travails of a fictional workingclass Long Island family, the Bailey's and chronicles their hopes and concerns. I don't agree on most issues with Schumer, BUT I respect the calculus of his reasoning.

It was clearly a wink and a nod to Conservative Democrats and "Reagan Democrats" that this new era would be hallmarked by the Democrat's own "Southern Strategy" - capitulating to Conservatism, rather than futilely fighting against it.

Before that book came out, I'd known about Schumer's realistic vision, because a cousin of mine (a very Conservative Staten Island Democrat) worked on his staff). That cousin is now in the NY State Legislator and fought (and won) AGAINST Spitzer's ill-fated attempt to force ALL hospitals (including religious ones) to offer abortions and to strip physicians of their right to conscientiously refuse to perform that procedure. He also fought (and won) AGAINST Spitzer's initial gay marriage proposal which would've allowed some groups to fight Churches and Synagogues and try to get the courts to mandate their marrying gays in such institutions.

Mike's fight had the wording changed to such an extent that such legal challenges, under the current Bill, would be impossible.

The fact that Chuck Schumer reached out to someone like Mike showed me that he was an ideological realist.

Current polls that show that only 43% of Democrats consider, themselves "Liberal" shows how weak an ideology Liberalism really is. It's a complete validation of the Schumer-Emmaunelle strategy!

As to the question that some might ask, "Have only truly conservative, in all senses of that word, picked up all those new seats since 2004," well, that's a fair question, BUT even I'm not a "Conservative in all senses of that word."

I SUPPORT first trimester abortion. I oppose late term abortions once the fetus is fully formed and can exist outside the womb (preemies as young as 21 weeks have survived), BUT Conservative Democrats like Heath Shuler and Chet Edwards oppose all abortion as "infanticide."

I can work with people I disagree with over such marginal issues (ie. requiring DNA in Capital Punishment cases and defining when live begins), I can't, for instance, with people who oppose the sacred and most basic RIGHT to the violent self-defense of one's person AND property. I can't with people who don't see how vital EXTREMELY LIMITED government is and WHY government is ALWAYS a part of the problem and rarely if ever part of a solution. I can't work with those who DON'T understand how income tax rate hikes merely incentivize savings (deferring income) among the top 10% of earners, who pay over 80% of the income taxes, thus reducing revenues, while socking those with little or no disposable income (lower wage earners) with the unavoidable tax hikes. I CAN'T work with those who DON'T understand why unregulated, ILLEGAL migrant labor puts a persistent downward pressure on ALL prevailing wage rates, and why that issue has NOTHING to do with the Free Trade issue and I can't work with people who DON'T understand that government spending on criminal justice (domestic security) and military ventures creates jobs and generally ADDS to the nation's GDP, while government social spending does not.

On THOSE issues, I tend to agree with the vast majority of my fellow "Blue Dog"/Conservative Democrats.

I know I sometimes put things in what might appear to be a confrontational manner. That is certainly not my intent. I think all of us people of good will, want the same things - more prosperity, less government help/intervention and people working and happily being productive for the whole of their lives.

Our disagreements only seem to come over strategies on "How best to get there." The question many Liberals raise, "Why cede large tracts of this country and the Democratic Party over to Conservatism," is best answered that time has shown that Conservatives have rarely been "converted" by Liberals. In fact, there are today, far more former-Liberals (ie David mamet) than former-Conservatives. For Conservatives who question, "Can we trust these "New Democrats" to remain Conservative within a Liberal-dominated Democratic party," the best answer is, "They'd better," as most of these Blue Dogs come from areas where Liberals are a distinct minority - their very careers depend upon a solidly Conservative voting record.

I think Conservatism, as an ideology, has won out because (1) it's rooted in basic common sense and (2) its adherents, including myself, have never shied away from putting forth meticulous and very detailed arguments in its favor, while virtually NONE of the adherents of Liberalism (OK, there aren't many around here) haven't been able to do anything at all like that.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Anti-Business Ethos...

A fine blogger (Don @ AttorneyMom - pictured right) posted this humorous email and I had to remark on it and have since decided to post that email and my reply, as well. NOTE: the email wasn't Don's thoughts and they ARE indeed humorous. My response is about the underlying theme of the email and not Don's reposting of it. These are NOT Don's ideas, it's merely his posting of this humorous email that made me think....and I'm glad it did.

Often, many misanthropic ideas are spread through humor and there’s few ideas that are more misanthropic in nature than the anti-freedom, anti-business, anti-private sector viewpoint that is much the rage today.

In a bygone era, when I was in College, anti-freedom misanthropes were a little more direct and upfront in their assault on freedom and liberty, as was the case with the noted author and behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner who wrote, Beyond Freedom and Dignity in the early 1970s.

Today such ideas are passed on in humor.

Budget Cuts (author unknown)

Dress Code:

1) You are advised to come to work dressed according to your salary.

2) If we see you wearing Prada shoes and carrying a Gucci bag, we will assume you are doing well financially and therefore do not need a raise.
3) If you dress poorly, you need to learn to manage your money better, so that you may buy nicer clothes, and therefore you do not need a raise.

4) If you dress just right, you are right where you need to be and therefore you do not need a raise.

Sick Days:

We will no longer accept a doctor's statement as proof of sickness. If you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work.
Personal Days:

Each employee will receive 104 personal days a year. They are called Saturdays & Sundays.
Bereavement Leave:
This is no excuse for missing work. There is nothing you can do for dead friends, relatives or co-workers. Every effort should be made to have non-employees attend the funeral arrangements in your place. In rare cases where employee involvement is necessary, the funeral should be scheduled in the late afternoon. We will be glad to allow you to work through your lunch hour and subsequently leave one hour early.
Bathroom Breaks:

Entirely too much time is being spent in the toilet. There is now a strict three-minute time limit in the stalls. At the end of three minutes, an alarm will sound, the toilet paper roll will retract,the stall door will open, and a picture will be taken. After your second offense,your picture will be posted on the company bulletin board under the 'Chronic Offenders' category. Anyone caught smiling in the picture will be sectioned under the company's mental health policy.
Lunch Break:

Skinny people get 30 minutes for lunch, as they need to eat more, so that they can look healthy.

Normal size people get 15 minutes for lunch to get balanced meal to maintain their average figure.

Chubby people get 5 minutes for lunch, because that's all the time needed to drink a Slim-Fast.
Thank you for your loyalty to our company. We are here to provide positive employment experience. Therefore, all questions, comments, concerns, complaints, frustrations, irritations, aggravations, insinuations, allegations, accusations, contemplations, consternation and input should be directed elsewhere.
The Management

(posted by Don @ Character Corner Blog on Monday, August 25th

It really IS indeed a very amusing email Don, BUT think of it, there are still so many people who are all to willing to believe that this is what private sector employment is really all about.

In fact, private sector employment IS indeed "produce or perish," but that's the way of the business world too - it's a competitive world out there.

Ironically enough, not many people associate such abuses with government.

Think about that dichotomy for just a second....

At the dawn of the 20th Century, Henry Ford raised worker's salaries to increase productivity and produce and sell more cars.

Government didn't direct him to do that, in fact, today, other industry leaders would petition the government to reign in a modern-day Henry Ford for "undercutting their ability to compete,” and an army of government officials would assail Mr. Ford for “unfair business practices.”

Moreover, think about the very worst abuses ever conducted throughout man's history.....

It wasn't business and industry that perpetrated those things, it was ALWAYS and EVERYWHERE governments, form Hitler's Germany, to Mao's China, to Stalin's Russia to Pol Pot's Cambodia, the worst abuses the greatest mass murder sprees ever conducted where conducted by governments.

There are others who point to religion as the "cause of most of mankind's woes."

Once again, NOT SO!

In every case of theocratic repression it was government that perverted religion and NOT the reverse.

I don't mean to be a killjoy, but such "jokes" have a very misguided underlying current - "The private sector is abusive and repressive."

IF you want to see REAL abuse, abuse that's not at all funny, look at the history of human government on this earth.

What in the HELL Happened to American Sports???

Sports is a GREAT instructor of children, because it teaches you, early on, how cut-throat competition can be. Every team wants to be the champion, but only one team can, the other dozen or so teams are various shades of “losers,” at least to the kids themselves.

As much fun as winning is, it’s losing that really builds character. Every kid should suffer through at least one hopeless losing season and have to drag him or herself out there for “team pride,” which is REALLY self-pride.

In some quarters the concept of “winning and losing” are deemed (by pussy-parents) to be “too potentially damaging to a child’s self-esteem.” So in those locales, scores aren’t kept as if that makes it so that “everybody wins.” Whadda bunch of dopes!

Don’t worry so much about little Johnny’s self-esteem Mom and Dad, worry about him hitting the curve ball, OK!

Recently there have been a couple of sports stories that really shake your faith in America.

The first broke this past May, when Jaime Nared (above bottom pic), who is just 12 years old and already nearly 6-foot-1 and apparently is blessed with Jordanesque skills.

In basketball games, the Beaverton, Oregon 12-year-old can more than hold her own against the boys, sometimes scoring 30 points or more.

And that’s become a problem.

“She's so good,” Michael Abraham said, “she makes the boys look like scrubs.” So she's being punished, told she can no longer play on boys teams at The Hoop, a private Beaverton basketball facility that runs a league in which Abraham's teams compete.



Why not show a little backbone instead? If someone is scoring at will, field a couple of goons to “deliver a message.” Nothing says, “Don’t showboat in our building" more clearly than dropping a player on his or her ass a few times!

I dated a woman who was a leading scorer in women’s collegiate basketball when she was in college. God bless her, she insisted on playing in playground games with me against the guys. She quickly found out that chivalry is very much dead, at least in the sense that no guy is going to let some woman embarass him on the basketball court, at least not without making her pay. She was good about it, noting "fouls are just part of the game." Believe me, I KNEW that first-hand, being decked pretty regularly myself. Natalie played well and scorched a fair number of guys, and most of all, she was a good sport and took winning and losing with equal grace, which is the true mark of a champion.

Now, nine-year-old Jericho Scott (above top pic) is such a good baseball player, that he too, is being deemed “too good.”

The right-hander already has a fastball that tops out at about 40 mph. He throws so hard that the Youth Baseball League of New Haven told his coach that the boy could not pitch any more. When Jericho took the mound anyway last week, the opposing team forfeited the game, packed its gear and left, his coach said.

Way to teach your kids how to be wimps for life losers!

Worse still, is the specter of favoritism in this case, as Jericho's coach and parents say the boy is being unfairly targeted because he turned down an invitation to join the defending league champion, which is sponsored by an employer of one of the league's administrators.

Jericho instead joined a team sponsored by Will Power Fitness. The team was 8-0 and on its way to the playoffs when Jericho was banned from pitching.

"I think it's discouraging when you're telling a 9-year-old you're too good at something," said his mother, Nicole Scott.

Competition is GOOD for kids, just as it’s good for businesses...and, to be truthful, for EVERYONE! It helps less talented kids learn to improvise and adapt. Sometimes you’ve got to bend the rules to make things work for you, sometimes you’ve got to deck the other guy to send the proper message.

That’s competition!

That’s sportsmanship!

Politics Left and Right....

A lot of Democrats are wringing their hands over Joe Biden as Obama’s VP pick – “He’s too boring,” or “He undermines Obama’s call for change.” Some are apoplectic over recent polls showing a “neck-and-neck” race.

I think Biden got the nod because he's a safe bet.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have had a lot of personal animus between them. For that matter, so do McCain and Romney.

Biden wasn't a very interesting pick, nor an ideologically inclusive one - a lot of Democratic operatives were pushing Chet Edwards (D-TX) a leading Conservative Democrat, as a wink to the growing number of Conservative or "Blue Dog" Democrats who now comprise about 25% of the Democrat's Congressional delegation and have given the Dems virtually all their gains since 2006.

Who knows, maybe Rep. Edwards suffered from a name affiliation with another recently disgraced Senator with the same last name that no one seems to want to mention now-a-days.

Politics is a dirty business. Always has been and almost certainly always will be.

The "game" is trying to keep the people from knowing that you're really doing Corporate business in the name of "the common good."

Hey! There's nothing wrong with doing one's Corporate master's bidding, what's wrong is being duplicitous about it.

The Republicans tend to rationalize it in terms of "jobs creation," and "prosperity building," while the Democrats use "the children" and "the environment." BOTH are all too often phonies, as those are usually NOT their primary concerns.

For instance, WHO BENEFITS MOST from America NOT DRILLING in ANWAR, off our coasts and in the Bakken Ridge (Montana and the Dakotas)???

Hmmmmm, NOT the American people.

OK, NOT the country either, at least not in terms of our foreign oil dependence and the national security nightmares it creates.

Oh yeah, the Big Energy Companies (like Exxon-Mobil, Chevron, BP-Amocco, Shell, etc.) ALL benefit GREATLY (just look at their record profits) by that reduction in supply amidst increasing demand.

ANYONE who'll tell you that supply and demand don't control the price of EVERY commodity, including oil, is a flat out liar!

In fact, ONLY supply and demand directly impact the world price of ANY given commodity, including oil.

Anything that INCREASES supply puts a downward pressure on price, just as anything that DECREASES demand also puts a downward pressure on price.....decreasing supply and increasing demand do the reverse.

NOTHING else directly impacts the price of a given commodity.

It's the same with ILLEGAL immigration. Liberals claim to champion it for "diversity's sake," (which is outright BS, for far too many and all too obvious reasons to mention), while Corporatist Republicans champion it in the name of "cheaper goods and services." Cheap labor DOES deliver cheaper goods and services, BUT, a flood of ILLEGAL and unregulated labor INCREASES the supply of LABOR, thereby putting a persistent DOWNWARD pressure on ALL prevailing wage rates.

People NEED to think more like investors.

Investments strategies are ALL based on common sense and the power of supply/demand ratios.

When a few Americans benefit at the expense of the rest of us over cheap, unregulated labor, that's ethically and morally wrong.

Workers are really only salespeople selling a specific commodity - labor.

Not all labor is equal.

Unskilled labor is relatively cheap, while highly skilled, hard to master and more dangerous labor is more expensive (it "pays more").

Whether you're talking about OIL or LABOR, the supply/demand matrix is the SAME.

It’s the same with “good government” and “more open/transparent government.” We ALL know that neither Party really wants that!

Don’t we???

I mean if Democrats wanted anything like that, they’d have probably instituted it between 1960 and 1982 when they had very solid majorities in both Houses of Congress and Democratic Presidents for 12 of those 22 years! Or perhaps, yet again, when they had control of the Executive and Legisltaive branches of government January 1993 through January of 1995.

And most Republicans don’t seem to want that either, or else THEY would’ve probably delivered that between January of 2001 and January of 2007.

Hell, they didn’t even eradicate the AMT (Alternative Minimum Tax) a supposed GOP bugaboo during that period!

So much for “doing the people’s business.”

In most cases NEITHER major Party supports much that benefits regular folks. Sometimes those things are necessary, or at least arguments can be made for them, BUT the very least we should expect/DEMAND is that they make those arguments deliberately and forthrightly and deliver at least a modicum of honesty and accountability from our elected public SERVANTS.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Team Obama Embracing Supply-Side Policies???

Turns out, at least according to Larry Kudlow, that Barack Obama may be moving back to the center to embrace Supply Side policies!

Kudlow claims that "Team Obama is moving toward the supply-side and pivoting toward the political center on key aspects of its tax policy. Writing in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal, Obama advisors Jason Furman and Austan Goolsbee outlined a plan that would only raise tax rates on capital-gains and dividends from 15 percent to 20 percent for individuals making more than $200,000 and on family incomes above $250,000. Prior to this, investors worried that Obama would double the 15 percent tax rate on cap-gains and bring the 15 percent rate on dividends back to 40 percent."

Of course, Kudlow rightly isn’t thrilled about the Capital gains hike at all, as he notes, “Obama’s 20 percent rate on investment, investors would suffer a 6 percent incentive loss on their cap-gain incomes and another 5.5 percent incentive drop on dividends. The cost of capital would rise under Obama and investment returns would decline by more than 11 percent. Uncle Sam will keep more and investors will retain less, all while the economy is languishing.”

Kudlow also notes that “the Obama people acknowledge at least some effects from supply-side incentives. And perhaps they are implicitly recognizing the likelihood that higher tax rates on cap-gains and dividends will generate lower revenues and a higher budget deficit.

"It also seems clear that the Obama tax plan is not a growth policy, but a social policy that uses tax fairness as a means of redistributing income. There’s a long history of failed redistributionism, and this is where the Obama plan falls apart.”
Adding, “Plus, the world’s changed since the 1990s. The flat-tax revolution coming out of Eastern Europe has slashed marginal rates on individuals and corporations, resulting in strong growth and big revenue gains that keep budget deficits down."
Still, as Larry Kudlow says, “Team Obama’s small shift toward the supply-side remains a positive development.”

I LOVE Virginia....

As soon as you cross over the Mason-Dixon Line, leaving Maryland for Virginia, you’re greeted with the Stars and Bars (see above) and a BIG sign that reads, “Dixie Starts Here.”

Two of my brothers and my wife don’t much care for that specter, but I’m fine with it.

My Dad’s family came over from Ireland and many of them fought in the Civil War (over 80% of the Union’s troops were of Irish descent), but I tend to agree with the great abolitionist and Liberty-lover, Lysander Spooner, on both the hypocrisy of that war and the reasons for it, when he said, “On the part of the North, the war was carried on, not to liberate slaves, but by a government that had always perverted and violated the Constitution, to keep the slaves in bondage; and was still willing to do so, if the slaveholders could be thereby induced to stay in the Union."
"The principle, on which the war was waged by the North, was simply this: That men may rightfully be compelled to submit to, and support, a government that they do not want; and that resistance, on their part, makes them traitors and criminals.
"No principle, that is possible to be named, can be more self-evidently false than this; or more self-evidently fatal to all political freedom. Yet it triumphed in the field, and is now assumed to be established. If it really be established, the number of slaves, instead of having been diminished by the war, has been greatly increased; for a man, thus subjected to a government that he does not want, is a slave.
"And there is no difference, in principle - but only in degree - between political and chattel slavery. The former, no less than the latter, denies a man's ownership of himself and the products of his labor; and asserts that other men may own him, and dispose of him and his property, for their uses, and at their pleasure.”

To the extent that the South fought for the original Constitution, I agree with what the great Confederate General Longstreet said, “We should’ve freed the slaves and then fired on Fort Sumpter.” It certainly would've made the rationale for the war far clearer.

At any rate, I love natural beauty of much of the South, the more genteel and well-mannered people of the South and the ideological Conservatism of the South.

I also LOVE all those “Ham, Tobacco and Fireworks” shops all along the highways of the South! Even though I’m not a huge ham fan, I don’t smoke and I rarely have much use for fireworks, I’m glad such shops are around, if only to keep alive the spirit emboldened on those tee shirts that read, “Alcohol, Tabacco and Firearms Should Be a Convenience Store, NOT a Government Agency!”

I couldn’t agree more!

I also love the history of the South, from Jamestowne (the first lasting English settlement in America), to Yorktown, where General Cornwallis surrendered to then General George Washington, successfully (at least for America) ending the American Revolution, to the various battlefields and military museums.

And of course, I LOVE the Southern coastline, especially the Sandbridge area of Virginia Beach - See the sunset over Sandbridge above.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Professor Randy Pausch's Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams - Professor Pausch died July 25, 2008

Professor Randy Pausch, author of the GREAT book, "The Last Lecture" (SEE: died July 25th, 2008 from complications of pancreatic cancer.

Here is that last lecture and it's worth listening to. So's reading the book. It really is excellent!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Profane Left...

I saw an article before I left on vacation that caught my attention.

It’s been blogged about on American Power and other spots, but I have a slightly different take on things.

While I don’t disagree with Donald Douglas (of American Power who says, “How might we explain all of this? Well, in my view, these folks are essentially Marxist, and at base, we might consider Marxist thought a doctrine of hatred, a secular demonology:

“We hate those, whose existence urges us to reconsider our theories and our vocabularies. We hate what places a safe and irresponsible categorization of the world in jeopardy. We hate what threatens the purity and predictability of our perception of the world, our mode of discourse, and in effect, our mental security.”

“Thus, for the left, rather than consider that vulgarity has no proper place in the respectable exchange of ideas, crude language is a tool to beat down those who would challenge their way of seeing the world, especially those allegedly in the right-wing superstructure of greedy imperialistic designs.”

I think it also has to do with another misperception from the left.

Since the advent of Ronald Reagan and the rise of Conservatism, some liberals have claimed that “The angry Right just yelled louder and was able to sway the debate despite their vacuous and wrong-headed arguments.” They’d point to the likes of Limbaugh and Hannity as proof of this phenomenon.

As a result, many liberals felt that they needed to respond to anger with anger to counter the Limbaugh’s and Hannity’s.

Of course, that tact has failed, so far and failed miserably, in fact. One reason it’s failed is that one of the primary reasons that listeners of Conservative Talk radio claim to listen to that venue is the “upbeat, hopeful and positive messages” and “support for traditional American values” that venue consistently delivers.

Air America Radio, trumpeted and defended by big media mavens, like the NY Times, well-funded by left-wing financiers, failed because its “anger” didn’t come across as “righteous indignation” so much as “scolding the American people.”

Likewise, in the blogosphere, left-wingers have bought into this “we’ve got to get angry to get more of us mobilized” mentality.

The result is the 12 to 1 disparity in profanity among left-wing blogs, like Daily Kos, Huffington Post, Democratic Underground, Talking Points Memo, Crooks and Liars, Think Progress, Atrios, Greenwald, MyDD and Firedoglake to Conservative ones like Free Republic, Hot Air, Little Green Footballs, Townhall, NewsBusters,, Wizbang, Ace of Spades, Red State and Volokh Conspiracy.

From my perspective, once again the left has substituted vulgarity for passion, just as they routinely substitute decadence for culture and lust for love.

Not surprising, since they get the context of the issues so wrong, why wouldn’t they get the sub-context wrong as well?

Abortion and Conservatives...

I’ve been on vacation the last week, in Virginia Beach...and it’s been great! I’m coming home Saturday (the 23rd)....DRATS!
I LOVE it here.

At any rate, with the likes of Joe Lieberman (political suicide) and Tom Ridge (a political gamble at best), on the short list of potential McCain VP's, and with both being pro-abortion (euphemistically called pro-choice) and at least one, Lieberman, being an extreme social and economic left-winger, now seems as good a time as any to look at the issue of abortion and Conservatism.

Abortion has become a vital issue in the Republican Party in general and among Conservatives in particular because of the heavy religious influence in Conservative politics.

To some secularists, that’s a bad thing.

To me, it’s relatively neutral.

For better or worse, religion, specifically Christianity and Judaism have forged the basis for our current Western morality.

One of the central tenets of both religions is the “sanctity of life.” That is why devout Christians and Jews tend to oppose both capital punishment and abortion, along with most wars.

I am not religious and I do NOT accept the “sanctity of ALL life,” so I DO support most wars, even wars for profit, capital punishment and to some extent abortion on demand.

Contrary to popular belief, there’s nothing all that complicated about the abortion issue – let’s call it what it is, abortion, not “choice” or “life.”

There are only two reasons for an abortion – health or medical reasons and convenience.

Not being able to afford another child is CONVENIENCE.

Since less than 5% of all abortions are for health reasons, the bottom-line is that those who support abortion are, in the vast majority of cases, supporting the convenience of an existing person over the chance to live of another, yet to be born.

Of that there is no doubt, just as there really is no doubt that “LIFE begins at conception.” The developing fetus is indeed a LIVING ORGANISM.

So, given that, how can I, as a Conservative, accept the right to abortion?

Simply put, I accept it precisely because I DON’T accept the sanctity of all life. It’s just that I’m honest about it and most others aren’t. Christians and Jews, who claim to oppose abortion on religious grounds, while supporting capital punishment demonstrate that they don’t accept the sanctity of all life either. I KNOW, at least they’re accepting the sanctity of “innocent life” and not that of those guilty of heinous crimes. Certainly an argument CAN be made for that viewpoint.

It is harder to make an argument in favor of abortion ad against capital punishment, as most leftists do, because THAT, is an insipid stance, completely devoid of any logic.

Since I don’t accept the sanctity of all life, I’ve been able to forge an internal compromise that works for me. I support first trimester abortion (“abortion on demand” for the first twelve weeks) and oppose it thereafter, on the grounds that, at that point, the fetus, in many, many cases, CAN live outside the womb.

It’s an arbitrary compromise, but it’s one that I’m comfortable with, as I’ve always believed that not wanting a child makes that person an unfit parent, at least at that point. I can certainly understand where others may not be OK with that compromise. Still, polls show that the vast majority of American ARE! In almost all polls, some 63% of Americans SUPPORT first trimester abortion, while less than 30% support third trimester or “partial birth” abortion.

When looking at a political candidate, it’s vital to understand his/her reasons for coming to their views. How does Tom Ridge, Barack Obama and Joe Lieberman, among others, come to conclude that convenience supersedes life concerns?

If their reasoning doesn’t follow something along the lines of logic I’ve just outlined, either they’re lying, or worse, they’re too dumb to understand an issue that isn’t all that complicated.

Just one more thing to think about as the 2008 Election nears.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

A Rough Week for the Political Class...

I started this post a week ago, but time constraints have severely limited my online time. This was initially going to be titled “A Rough Week for the Right,” focusing on Karl Rove being cited for Contempt of Congress and Senator Stevens (R-AL) being indicted for “impersonating a Democrat,” but the recent Edwards affair has changed that dynamic and made this overall, “A BAD Week for the Political Class.”

On consecutive days, Senator Ted Stevens was indicted and Karl Rove was cited for contempt of Congress.

In Stevens case, the infamous “bridge to nowhere” Senator seems guilty of “acting like a Democrat,” in that he’s charged with receiving over $250,000 in gifts and services from VECO Corp., a powerful oil services contractor, and its executives.

NBC reported, “The indictment says Allen and other VECO employees were soliciting Stevens for "multiple official actions ... knowing that Stevens could and did use his official position and his office on behalf of VECO during that same time period."

“VECO's requests included funding and other aid for the company's projects and partnerships in Pakistan and Russia. It also included federal grants from several agencies, as well as help in building a national gas pipeline in Alaska's North Slope Region, according to the indictment filed in Washington.

“Stevens has maintained he didn't do anything for VECO that he didn't do for any other constituent or pro-Alaska interest. The indictment stops short of charging Stevens with bribery or other traditional corruption crimes.”

Karl Rove was cited for defying a subpoena to answer questions about the dismissals of several federal prosecutors earlier this year.

Rove has denied any involvement with Justice decisions, and the White House has said Congress has no authority to compel testimony from current and former advisers.

While both Rove and Stevens are engaged in ongoing legal battles, John Edwards, the Left’s favorite moralist (“If we really want a more moral nation, it has to start with each and every one of us.”) has admitted to the affair The National Enquirer disclosed months ago.

Mainstream reporters knew the story to be true shortly after the Enquirer broke it. After all, if an ambulance chaser doesn’t file suit against a tabloid over a charge, then it’s almost certainly because the charge is true!

Still, they waited...and waited...and waited...UNTIL John Edwards, trying to head off further controversy, disclosed it himself.

There’s no question the mainstream press KNEW that Fred Baron, Edwards campaign finance chairman and longtime confidante, had been providing financial assistance to both Rielle Hunter and Andrew Young, a former campaign staff member who professes to be the father.

This week, the former North Carolina senator, who was the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2004, confessed to ABC News that he had lied repeatedly about the affair with 42-year-old Rielle Hunter. Hunter's daughter, Frances Quinn Hunter, was born on Feb. 27 this year. There was no father's name listed on the birth certificate, which was filed in California.

It’s amusing (not really) how the rabidly biased mainstream media (MSM) rationalizes smearing Conservatives on the grounds that “they preach morality, so it’s vital to expose such hypocrisy,” while equally moralistic Leftists, like Al Gore and John Edwards seem to escape their pseudo-wrath.

At any rate, all things considered, this has been a bad couple of weeks for the entire American political class. With any luck, it might do some good – turning off many idealistic folks from politics and their affinity for politicians.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Are the Rich Really “Voting AGAINST Their Own Best Interests”???

You see it all the time, the richest areas are reliably Liberal, from Manhattan’s Upper West Side, to Palm Beach Florida to the tony sections around Boston, all those neighborhoods are reliably Left-wing.

When working-class voters vote for Conservatives, Liberal Democrats love to rail, “They’re voting AGAINST their own best interests,” so it would stand to reason that wealthy Liberals are voting against theirs, right?

Could it be that "Liberal wealthy people are consistently voting AGAINST their best interests, out of some misguided sense of altruism?

Hardly likely, in fact, virtually and universally NOT.

The fact is that Liberalism/socialism, even Corporatism favors the rich.

High tax rates tax wealth creation NOT accrued wealth.

Excessive regulation serves to protect already established enterprises from the vicissitudes of the market.

Such policies harm those striving to do better (that’s EVERYONE who isn’t already wealthy), while protecting the truly rich at everyone else’s expense.

On the other hand, more social programs HARM working-class people the most, since the tax burden for maintaining them falls to “the higher income earners,” and NOT the “truly rich.”

What about helping make the poor more productive and getting them out of poverty?

OK, how about it?

How does that HELP the working and middle class?

Quite frankly, it DOESN’T. In fact, IF government programs COULD make the poor more competitive, that would only serve to increase the competition for the good jobs that those working and middle class folks rely on for their lifestyles.

There’s absolutely no benefit accrued to working and middle class people from increased social spending.

How about government sponsored healthcare?

Again, that’s a boon to Corporations and local Municipalities, which now cover over 91% of American workers!

A whopping 40% of those uncovered by health insurance are illegal workers, which is why Barack Obama recently backed away from covering “the 15% of workers here who don’t have health insurance,” he ran from the issue of insuring illegal immigrants/migrant workers, since over 80% Americans OPPOSE that.

So, what good would a watered down government managed healthcare program (complete with health care rationing) do for the over 90% of Americans already insured?

Right, it would only diminish their coverage.

But major Corporations would instantly become more profitable by jettisoning those costs and that would greatly benefit those Corporations, the tens of thousands of local Municipalities and both the investors and CEOs of those Corporations – the ALREADY RICH!

Liberals might well argue, “What do those people get from tax dollars going to law enforcement and the Military?”

Well, a hell of a lot more than they do from any social spending, that’s for sure. America’s military arm has been its most effective “diplomatic tool.” It has inflicted “diplomacy” on the likes of Hitler, Tojo, the “Communist Menace”, or “Evil Empire” and recently both the Taliban and Saddam Hussein. While at home, law enforcement and our criminal justice system have kept the non-productive from consistently and significantly inflicting harm upon their more productive neighbors. Come to think of it, that’s the ONLY area where working and middle class taxpayers get any bang for their buck from the government.

Apparently, working and middle class people aren’t supposed to know any of that.

Whoops! I sure hope I didn’t let the cat out of the bag.

Monday, August 4, 2008

A 1970s Redux? Sure Looks That Way...

Both New York City and State are looking at a fiscal meltdown.

America is involved in a protracted, increasingly unpopular and widely misunderstood war.

Inflation, interest rates and unemployment are on the rise.

Is this 1978 or 2008?

Sometimes, it’s hard to tell. The current occupant of the White House has been a reckless social spender throughout most of his administration – the “No Child Left Behind” and the “Prescription Drug boondoggle” are just two of the most glaring examples.

Like the 1970s era Republican, Richard Nixon, he has embraced a number of disastrous Keynesian policies, most recently an ill-conceived “Housing Bailout” program on top of another poorly thought-out “Stimulus package” that seeks to give taxpayers up to $2500 to “stimulate the economy.”Somewhere, John Maynard Keynes, the icon of failed anti-market economic policies is smiling.

The Dow Jones has reacted to the all this by shedding over 3000 points. The surging price of energy (oil) throughout the first six months of this year and rising healthcare costs have ramped up inflation, while massive government spending has put even more pressure on the credit markets. Locally, high-tax localities like New York City are contracting as they find themselves with LESS in tax revenues and most have to responded, first with higher taxes, fees and fines and subsequently with major cuts in government services.

Is there irony in the fact that a President (G W Bush) who began his administration with one of the greatest stimulus packages ever – the Supply Side inspired ACROSS THE BOARD TAX CUTS, would be undone by his accommodation with Democratic inspired Keynesian policies? Absolutely, it’s a bitter irony.

Even MORE ironic, is the fact that the Democratic Congress that has been in session since January 2007 has seen energy prices (oil and natural gas) rise precipitously under their watch.

The prospects for 2008 look very much like those of 1976. Jimmy Carter, a trained engineer and business owner ran on a campaign of “change” away from the policies of the unpopular Nixon administration, just as Barry/Barrack Obama now runs on “change” and “hope,” and against yet another unpopular President and another misunderstood war.

January 1977 thru January 1981 was the last time a Liberal led House and Senate teamed with a liberal Democratic President and it quickly delivered Stagflation (double digit inflation, unemployment and interest rates) at home and humiliation on the world stage – the failed helicopter rescue of the Iranian hostages, due, in large part, to Carter’s reckless and dangerous Military cuts.

Will Keynesian policies fail AGAIN?


Will, we (middle and higher income working Americans) pay the price for all this?

Without question!

America faces the same reality that France and Germany do. India and China are not only industrializing rapidly and demanding unprecedented amounts of energy, but are forcing the world to embrace free trade and an ever more open/free market economy.

In an interview with Ted Koppel for the Discovery Channel’s “The People’s Republic of Capitalism,” one Chinese official noted that “Many Western European nations, such as France, England and Germany are more socialistic than we are.” He could’ve easily added the United States and been equally correct.

America has veered away from the marvels of the Free Market over some ill-conceived dream of “financial security,” for established businesses and the jobs they create.

That “deal with the devil” has resulted in the contemporary Corporatism (the highly regulated economy that is today embraced by Europe and the United States).

The 20th Century have clearly shown that there is only ONE alternative to contemporary Corporatism and that is the unbridled Free Market.

The “Command (State Directed) Economy” of socialism has only resulted in massive poverty and mass murder, as the middle and upper classes must be eradicated in order for the state to take possession of their property.

What would a true Free Market look like?

It would look like an ugly rugby scrum, a cannibalizing, free-for-all in which the clever gain and the weak are hopelessly buoyed about on waves they neither control nor understand. In short, it would look like an economic masterpiece.

That kind of economy, although offering little nor no security to neither established businesses and industries, nor the millions of workers who work for them, would deliver unprecedented levels of innovation, scientific and industrial advancement and an as yet unattained level of prosperity for the greatest possible number of people.

Of course, it would also remove government subsidies and sanctions from established industries and bar government from regulating cut-throat competitors out of the market in order to “protect American jobs and American businesses.”

John Maynard Keynes argued that government spending, especially large scale social spending and rebuilding projects actually improved the economy.

J M Keynes was wrong.

Like Karl Marx, John M Keynes was not a trained economist and that showed with his pathetic showing when he debated the great economist and fellow Nobel Laureate Friedrich Hayek.

Sadly over the last six decades, while Hayek may have overwhelmingly won the head-to-head battle with Keynes and Keynesianism, the Keynesians still have a long shot at winning the war.

After all, government not only doesn’t want to be shut out of the economy, it refuses to allow itself to be. So it seems that no matter how badly Keynesianism screws up, it will always have its share of well-connected supporters.

Stupid Liberal Trick # 8,967,456

Robert Wexler ran unopposed in his Florida district in 2004 and 2006.

Not so this year, although his Republican opponent is far from stellar.

Will the revelation that Wexler hasn’t really lived in Florida over the past eight years be an impediment to victory in 2008? Will the fact that Florida apparently actually has one LESS representative and Maryland one MORE hurt Wexler’s chances in ’08?

The Purple Avenger, over at Ace of Spades HQ says, “Being a hard left democrat, and a high profile one at that, I'm guessing he weathers this one out in November...

"...Normally, one might consider perpetrating such a fraud on the voters in a district to be somewhat of an ethics problem. But this is the most ethical congress ever, so we know that can't be the case. Just rent an apartment, and 8 years of hoodwinking the voters will just be swept under the rug.”

Supporters of Wexler deride the fact that he’s claimed his in-law’s home near Delray Beach as his “home,” despite having his official PRIMARY RESIDENCE in Potomac, MD. From 1999 until the time he ultimately rents that apartment in his district later this year, as a “revenge tactic” by media opponents Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh, who broke the story.

How about the good folks at the Palm Beach Post monitoring how much time Wexler actually spends in his “new primary address”?

Doesn’t “living in a district” mean spending at least fifty percent of your time residing there?

I think it does.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Irony Alert: Professor Who Advocated "Rape isn't racism" is Charged With....RAPE!

More evidence that fact is stranger than fiction, Eyal Ben-Ari (pictured above), a Liberal (a/k/a anti-Israel, anti-Western, pro-socialist) Hebrew University professor of sociology, professor, “co-supervised” the inane theory, advanced by a graduate student at Hebrew University, that “Non-rape by Israeli soldiers amounts to racism,” as, in his twisted view, “abstaining from rape is just as inhumane and oppressive as "symptomatically raping" and in fact replaces it, because it just serves to reinforce the intolerance felt toward Arabs by Jewish soldiers. These racist soldiers think of Arabs as so inferior and horrid that they do not even feel a compulsion to rape them.”

That would only be yet another example of Leftist insanity, except for professor Ben-Ari’s peculiar personal predilection.

Ben-Ari is a far leftist with a track record of turning out anti-Israel propaganda, such as claims that Israel is an ultra-militarist society, and much of his propaganda is misrepresented as scholarly research. The other co-supervisor of the rape thesis was Ben-Ari's co-author in a book about Israeli "militarism."

Predictably the school itself didn’t distance itself from the Ben-Ari generated controversy. Facing a storm of public outrage, the president of Hebrew University, Prof. Menachem Magidor, and the Rector, Prof. Haim D. Rabinowitch, jointly issued an announcement defending the student and dismissing those who expressed outrage over the contents of the thesis. Equally predictably, Israeli feminist groups haven’t had a word to say about this "thesis" nor about Ben-Ari's role in inventing the "No rape as Racism" theorem.

The Jewish Press Blog reports, “But now it turns out that the ultra-feminist Israel-bashing professor of sociology practices what he preaches.
“The very same Professor Eyal Ben-Ari was arrested yesterday for suspected rape and sexual abuse of his students, and arraigned before the Jerusalem magistrate's court. It seems that Ben-Ari made it a habit to condition giving nice grades to and getting research grants for his female students on their sleeping with him. He was clearly not being racist though, because he is the same guy who discovered the academic finding that raping proves you are not racist. The police claim Ben-Ari had been behaving thus for the past fifteen years!”

I guess all this goes to show that when it comes to irony, Leftists can be pretty damned ironic sometimes.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Blasphemy of Heretical Art (Part I)....

This is such an overwhelming topic for me.

Admittedly, I know very little about art. My own cardinal rule has always been, "If I can do it (ie. a bunch of squiggley lines or different colored shapes jumbled together) it ain't art." That's pretty much put me off most "Modern Art."

Oddly enough, an actual artist (Alvaro Alvillar) contacted me about a month ago with an interesting tale about the trials and tribulations that Conservative artists routinely deal with.

It is a big topic. Perhaps too big for my meager abilities and understanding.

At any rate, I've been corresponding with Alvaro over the past few weeks and have decided that (1) I have to attempt to take on this story and (2) I'll have to break up such a huge tale into many parts. I also know that this topic should be dealt with by someone with a far broader readership and more insight than I bring to the table.

Still, Alvaro graciously came to me and I have a charge to keep, so I will do my best. So, here is Part I of The Blasphemy of Heretical Art.

When New York’s Mayor, Rudy Giuliani interjected himself into the art world over the Chris Ofili exhibit (of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Elephant Dung) in the Brooklyn Museum’s “Sensation” show back in 1996, he was derided for attacking artists and branding them “heretics.”

Of course, Giuliani and the Catholic League and others who found Ofili’s work offensive, were far more reserved than their Muslim counterparts.

The art world howled, “Is THIS punishment,” when a protestor, an elderly retired school teacher, who defaced a Chris Ofili painting in that "Sensation" show at the Brooklyn Museum, got only a $250 fine for the act. With the judge admonishing the protestor, "So long as he has paint in his hand, he is to stay away from the Brooklyn Museum."

Inanely, the Western art world has a huge problem when Christians are offended by various artists, from Chris Ofili to Andres Serrano (“Piss Christ”) to Robert maplethorp. Many Western artists and art critics actively seek to shut their Christian critics up, while they capitulate to their Muslim critics at almost every turn.

What’s even less well known, as it rarely garners much attention is the treatment of artists who hold to Conservative views that deviate from the accepted art world orthodoxy.

That’s what Alvaro Alvillar is currently dealing with.

A recent exhibit of his titled Formula For Hate (SEE ABOVE), in Atlanta drew controversy, and, of course, fire from all sides.

About a month ago, I was contacted by an artist named Alvaro Alvillar, who wrote, “My name is Alvaro Alvillar and I’ve had to defend myself against charges of racism and the promoting of hate at a forum that was initiated by Mayor Shirley Franklin in Atlanta. Even though the piece stated the obvious point that the only form of prejudice that is openly tolerated these days is that which is directed at white males.”

Ironically enough, not only was Atlanta mayor Franklin outraged, but so were the Atlanta Police and even Conservative Talk icons like Neal Boortz!

Alvaro notes, “I am a fan of Neal Boortz and a defender of the Fair Tax and even though I did not catch it, I heard he came down pretty hard on me and my piece. The only explanation I have is that he rushed to judgment and did not do his homework. Although I disagree with him on some issues, I still think he's a hero and I continue to be a fan.”

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported on the Atlanta exhibit in this way, in a piee entitled “City Displays Racially Charged Art”; “A piece of art that raises a stark question about race relations in America is hanging in a gallery at Atlanta’s City Hall East.

“The display, a collection of 33 U.S. flags, includes two sentences with no punctuation: “Politically its OK to hate the white man” and, “Is it OK for me to hate if Ive been a victim”

“The piece was approved by the curator of the gallery in a building that functions as a satellite campus of Atlanta City Hall. The annual Pin-Up Show, which opened Friday, provides emerging artists with a venue to display their works, said Myra Reeves, spokeswoman for the city’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs.

“[Alvaro] Alvillar said Wednesday he hoped his piece would promote conversations about race relations, which he said is one of the more contentious issues of modern life.

“What I’m trying to say is that right now, the only politically correct form of prejudice is that anyone can say anything about a white person,” Alvillar said. “I think that’s wrong, but it happens to be a reality and that is the idea of the first sentence. The second sentence is made to make you think about where you stand if you have been a victim.”

In fact, two Atlanta police officers filed formal complaints over the exhibit.

"There are other officers, and other members of employment of the city who have been reprimanded, and told to bring things down that were in their cubicles or in their work sites, so we feel that they should have the same rights as anyone else, that if something offends them, and it's hanging in a public building, the city should pay attention to that and take it down," said Atlanta police union spokesman Sgt. Scott Kreher.

For his part, Alvillar said he has incorporated flags into his art for years. The majority of his pieces are blatantly patriotic and he is not without his supporters.

"It really takes a lot of looking to figure it out," said Styles.

Styles, who is black, said it is something that drew him to the art, and that he has no plans to take it down.

"It is all right as Americans to ask questions, even if they aren't always pleasant questions," Styles said.

Conservatives have long been suspicious of the art world because of the long and well-established Leftist tilt to that world, but that should be all the more reason for Conservatives to embrace art that asks poignant questions and supports basic Conservative principles.

The Culture War is being fought and won on movie lots, TV studios and art gallery's and Conservatives aren't even showing up. We can't afford to write off potential allies in the art world. When we fail to understand their message, that flaw is ours, not theirs.
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