Thursday, May 31, 2012

Spain Ends Green Energy Subsidies

Hotair already nailed this post, so I'll just link them and comment a bit.

Spain scuttles clean-energy subsidies; promptly watches the industry go down like a sinking ship
Here’s the message that Spain’s green-subsidy policies sent out to the world: ‘Hey, if you’ve got an idea for a green-energy project that you don’t think can compete on its own merits and turn a profit in the free market, come on over to Spain and we’ll hook you up with some sweet subsidies!’ Ergo, it should hardly come as a surprise that fiscal emergency has forced Spain to put an indefinite hold on the subsidies, and the clean-energy companies are immediately flocking to greener pastures.

Yikes. Didn’t really think that one through, did you, Spain? Germany is often heralded as a world leader in clean energy development, but in 2009, Spain’s clean-energy consumer bill rose to 6 billion euros, ahead of Germany’s 5.6 billion bill — except that Germany’s economy is almost four times bigger than Spain’s. They rushed headfirst into that one, and with top-down large-scale policymaking like that, it isn’t happenstance that their unemployment rate is currently sitting at a miserable 24 percent.

Environmentalists may argue that our worldwide fossil fuel-based energy infrastructure isn’t sustainable in the long term — even though the evidence for imminent climate-change and peak-oil crises are extremely dodgy, at best — but fiscal insolvency is demonstrably unsustainable in the long term. While some of the eurozone members’ clean-energy ‘investments’ may not be the root cause of their present crisis, they are wildly indicative of the type of no-holds-barred, feel-good spending binges that have brought them down this road. Europe just keeps on proffering examples of precisely what governments shouldn’t do, but alas, will the United States ever listen?
That's beautifully written.  I'm a huge fan of getting off oil.  I think our future economy will be based on nuclear power once aging hippies get out of the way (and I'm a big fan Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors).  Electric cars will provide around the town transportation.  Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will provide gas-and-go transportation solutions.  It's clean, it's sustainable and it can all be done right here in the U.S.  Here's the key:  to get off oil, alternative solutions need to be viable in the free market.  A heavily subsidized system is unsustainable, as Spain has neatly proved for us.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

California's Spending Addiction

When spending beyond our means catches up to us, most of us will cut back spending and work to pay off our debts.  Drug addicts aren't like that, of course.  They have a powerful physical need.  They will rob, burglarize and in some extreme cases even kill to get money for their next fix.  I've recently heard of two examples.  The first isn't quite so bad, but the second is simply reprehensible.

You may recall that money from tobacco lawsuits and taxes were supposed to go to smoking cessation programs.  So, California's use of the money comes as a shock:
 Between 1998 and 2010, just 6 percent of the money collected from a massive lawsuit settlement and from cigarette taxes went to tobacco interdiction and education programs, the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last week, far below federal spending guidelines for effectively curbing tobacco use.

California lawmakers in 2003 used the tobacco industry payments as collateral on bonds to help close the state's general fund deficit.

"California gave away all its (tobacco) settlement agreement money. None of it went to tobacco control. It should have," [American Cancer Society lobbyist Jim] Knox said.
Source here.  That's right, California used the money as collateral against bonds to try to close the 2003 general fund deficit.  This exposes the lie that this money is being used to help educate people and help them stop smoking.  As usual, money collected in California will be used on wasteful spending. 

The second story is simply sick.  It really does make California look like a dirty addict lying in the gutter robbing mommies with strollers to get its fix.
After the 2001 terrorist attacks, California lawmakers sought a way to channel the patriotic fervor and use it to help victims' families and law enforcement. Their answer: specialty memorial license plates emblazoned with the words, "We Will Never Forget."

Part of the money raised through the sale of the plates was to fund scholarships for the children of California residents who perished in the attacks, while the majority -- 85 percent -- was to help fund anti-terrorism efforts.

But an Associated Press review of the $15 million collected since lawmakers approved the "California Memorial Scholarship Program" shows only a small fraction of the money went to scholarships. While 40 percent has funded anti-terror training programs, $3 million was raided by Gov. Jerry Brown and his predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to plug the state's budget deficit.

Moreover, the California Department of Motor Vehicles has been advertising the plates as helping the children of Sept. 11 victims even though the state stopped funding the scholarship program seven years ago. The specialty plate fund continues to take in $1.5 million a year.
Source here, emphasis mine.  You should be disgusted.  They're playing on your patriotism and compassion for the families of victims of 9/11 to steal more money to squander.   When individuals collect money for a charity under false pretenses, they go to jail for it.  California just keeps lying in the hopes its citizens will give more money the government can steal from the families of 9/11 victims.

Prop 13 isn't California's problem.  It never has been.  Out of control spending by our irresponsible legislature is the problem.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Origins of the Progressive Movement: Woodrow Wilson

While I don't necessarily agree with everything posted here, it's refreshing to see the truth told about a founder of the Progressive Movement, Woodrow Wilson.  Here's the post.
"The blunt fact is that when [under Wilson] America was introduced to the War State in 1917, it was introduced also to what would later be known as the total, or totalitarian, state."

People were arrested and indicted for casual remarks made in private conversation. It was not the New Left of the 1960s that actually invented the claim that the personal is the political – it was the United States government.

A great wave of repression came down on "the freest people in the world," as Americans liked to call themselves. Government gumshoes, federal, state, and local, delighted in following up idle charges of "disloyalty," "treason," "pro-Germanism," and "slacking."
Woodrow Wilson was bad enough that he made About.com's 8 worst presidents in history list (incidentally, #8 is George W. Bush--where's President Barack Obama for extending and expanding policies objected to by advocates of freedom on the Right and the Left?).  The list comes with a clear Left political spin, but still makes good points:
The lowlights of his administration include the Sedition Act of 1918 (which criminalized all radical criticism of the government), the Palmer Raids (in which he ordered the arrest and attempted illegal deportation of over 10,000 people), and numerous specific instances in which he ordered dissenters to be silenced. America under Woodrow Wilson was a nation under lockdown.

Leftist Denigration of Our Troops on Memorial Day

This is sick stuff.  If you are profanity averse, please don't follow the link to the comments collected by the Twitchy team.  Here's the link.  Some of the tamer, yet still reprehensible comments include:
Why do people regard soldiers as heroes? They're paid murderers who kill on the orders of their government. Nothing heroic about that.—
Conor Furlong (@ConorFurlong) May 28, 2012

.@weavves I said all soldiers are either rapists, murderers or enablers of the same. This is not a false statement.—
A Gay Dog (@moewytchdog) May 28, 2012

.@LilyOutLoud No troop is a hero, all soldiers are scum.—
A Gay Dog (@moewytchdog) May 28, 2012

There is nothing honorable about serving in the US military. Good people join the armed forces, no doubt. But that's tragic, not heroic.—
Charles Davis (@charlesdavis84) May 27, 2012 
Thanks to our brave and heroic troops, these people have the right to say these things.  The rest of us can condemn Lefties like these for such ignorant comments, however.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

What is a Socialist?

The average socialist is a person who lacks either the work ethic or innovative genius of a wealthy person, yet coveting the fruits of that industry seeks to obtain it by employing the coercive force of government to steal the labor of the wealthy person.  He is no better than a "charitable" slaveholder, for any "good deeds" he may engage in are accomplished not through his own efforts, but by the stolen property and work of others.

The wealthy socialist is a hypocrite who, unsatisfied with the power his own fortune brings, seeks greater power and lucre by leading and inciting masses of average socialists.

What Right and Left Really Mean

"Right" and "Left" don't mean what the media and liberals (but I repeat myself) tell you they do.  In fact, American Leftists (regardless of their preferred label) are doing all they can to bury the American meaning of the terms, and they have an agenda for doing so.

Leftists in America want you to think of the European meaning of Right and Left when you hear the terms.  In European parliaments, radical revolutionaries (Communists) are traditionally seated on the far left and military dictatorships (like fascists) are seated on the far right.  Most Americans think both of those are bad, and they're correct, both European Right and Left are terrible options with regard to freedom.

Fortunately, that's not what the Founders meant when they used Right and Left.  Have a look at the below picture to illustrate the concept.



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Larger, slightly nicer image here.

The idea the Founders used charted government power, not party or philosophy.  On the left, we have tyranny, or statism of any sort.  This includes communism, fascism, dictatorships of every sort, and so forth.  Any big, controlling government goes on the left.  No government control at all goes on the right.*  The Founders didn't want anarchy, because with no government, each person is obliged to constantly defend his or her own life and property, leaving no time to go out and pursue prosperity.  Nevertheless, the Founders leaned so far to the right that their first attempt at unifying the colonies, the Articles of Confederation, had so little power it fell apart.  Their next attempt was the Constitution of the United States of America, which has worked out fairly well.

Lefties, who will call themselves liberals or progressives to avoid the term "statist" which Americans know is bad, have a specific agenda in lying about what Right and Left mean in America.  Most Americans favor smaller government and low taxes.  They'll even agree to fewer services in order to make that happen.  So the Left can't be honest and say, "We want big, controlling government that steals most of your money in taxes."  Instead, they have to say, "We're better than the alternative!"  If you see Right and Left as the founders did, though, they're clearly not better than the alternative.  So they need a boogeyman to point to.  Enter the European meaning of "Right," associated with Fascism.  We all know Fascism is bad.  Hitler is our prototypical villain.  Thus Right must be bad, since nobody wants to be a fascist.**

One important task of conservatives, who are by far the largest ideological group in America, is combat the Left's redefinition of these terms.  Conservatives are on the American Right.  We favor small government, because small government doesn't steal from you or kill you.  Most Americans are on our side, the Left has just confused them about what our side is.

Additional Notes

These thoughts aren't directly to the point of the post, but they're important.  This scale has real ramifications for today's political parties.  Anybody, from Teddy Roosevelt to John McCain who calls himself or herself "Progressive" is a Leftist.  Progressivism is big government with a really appealing-sounding name. 

The above picture contains more than just the Left vs. Right scale.  Additional concepts there include proper governance, which should be bottom up to maximize human freedom.  Any problem that can be solved within the family should be.  If it goes beyond the family's capability to solve, the town or community should be involved in solving it.  If they can't, then county government is the next appeal, then state government and finally as a last resort, federal government.  If you understand this, it becomes clear why the federal government has no business educating children or telling you how fast you can drive through your community.  For more, read Cleon Skousen's "The 5000 Year Leap."

*"Hey, I've seen anarchists protesting with Occupy Wall Street!" you might note.  "They aren't on the Right."  No, they aren't.  Those are Lefties that understand anarchy isn't stable.  It always transitions into something, and usually after a period of anarchy, people will accept just about anything, including Tyranny/Statism, which is their real goal.

**Ironically, even if we were to accept the American Left's idea that we should define Right and Left the European way, they'd still be worse.  Fascism has slaughtered somewhere between 10 million and 20 million people.  Communism has slaughtered nearly 100 million human beings.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Priest Removed From Ministry Due To Sex Abuse Allegations Now Works for the TSA in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The CBS 3 I-Team has learned that a Catholic priest who was removed from the ministry over sex abuse allegations now holds a sensitive security post at Philadelphia International Airport.

The security checkpoint between Terminals D and E is a busy place where thousands of people – including lots of kids – pass through every day. But you might not believe who the I-Team observed working as a TSA supervisor at that checkpoint this week: Thomas Harkins.

Until 2002, Harkins was a Catholic priest working at churches across South Jersey. But the Diocese of Camden removed him from ministry because it found he sexually abused two young girls. Now, in a new lawsuit, a third woman is claiming she also is one of Harkins’ victims.
Full story here.

Fire the ineffective, disgusting, ogling, groping TSA now.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Real Class System in America

Watch it.  'Nuff said.

Fair Pay

"A group of Democratic female senators on Wednesday declared war on the so-called 'gender pay gap,' urging their colleagues to pass the aptly named Paycheck Fairness Act when Congress returns from recess next month."

The problem with the claims of the senators is that the "gender pay gap" has been thoroughly debunked.  The details are here, and below is a summary.

1. Men are far more likely to choose careers that are more dangerous, so they naturally pay more.
2. Men are far more likely to work in higher-paying fields and occupations (by choice).
3. Men work in less desirable locations.
4. Men work longer hours than women do.
5. Men are more likely to work on weekends.
6. Even within the same career category, men are more likely to pursue high-stress and higher-paid areas of specialization.
7. Unmarried women who don't have children actually earn more than unmarried men.
8. Women business owners make less than half of what male business owners make, which, since they have no boss, means it’s independent of discrimination.

Something Business Insider points out you may not have known:  Women In Tech Make More Money And Land Better Jobs Than Men.

So, this gender pay gap isn't real.  For the sake of argument, let's say for a moment that it is.  Rather than passing an unneeded law, Democrats should lead by example.  President Obama should order that the White House not pay women 18% less than men, and Senate Democrats should not pay women less than men, either. 

Clean your own house first, Dems, then tell me about how I need to clean mine.

Who is Gary Kleck?

In ongoing discussions on firearms and the 2nd Amendment, I started seeing information an a criminologist named Gary Kleck.  I found him very compelling.  I was most impressed by his intellectual honesty.  He's very liberal.  He doesn't care for guns.  He was willing to follow the evidence and publish without bias what his research showed him, however.

There's more information on him here.  Some relevant quotations:
[Gary Kleck] is a member of the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International USA, Independent Action, Democrats 2000, and Common Cause, among other politically liberal organizations He is a lifelong registered Democrat, as well as a contributor to liberal Democratic candidates. He is not now, nor has he ever been, a member of, or contributor to, the National Rifle Association, Handgun Control, Inc. nor any other advocacy organization, nor has he received funding for research from any such organization.

 Up until about 1976 or so, there was little reliable scholarly information on the link between violence and weaponry. Consequently, everyone, scholars included, was free to believe whatever they liked about guns and gun control. There was no scientific evidence to interfere with the free play of personal bias. It was easy to be a "true believer" in the advisability of gun control and the uniformly detrimental effects of gun availability (or the opposite positions) because there was so little relevant information to shake one's faith. When I began my research on guns in 1976, like most academics, I was a believer in the "anti-gun" thesis, i.e. the idea that gun availability has a net positive effect on the frequency and/or seriousness of violent acts. It seemed then like self-evident common sense which hardly needed to be empirically tested. However, as a modest body of reliable evidence (and an enormous body of not-so-reliable evidence) accumulated, many of the most able specialists in this area shifted from the "anti-gun" position to a more skeptical stance, in which it was negatively argued that the best available evidence does not convincingly or consistently support the anti-gun position. This is not the same as saying we know the anti-gun position to be wrong, but rather that there is no strong case for it being correct. The most prominent representatives of the skeptic position would be James Wright and Peter Rossi, authors of the best scholarly review of the literature.

[Subsequent research] has caused me to move beyond even the skeptic position. I now believe that the best currently available evidence, imperfect though it is (and must always be), indicates that general gun availability has no measurable net positive effect on rates of homicide, suicide, robbery, assault, rape, or burglary in the U[nited] S[tates]. This is not the same as saying gun availability has no effects on violence--it has many effects on the likelihood of attack, injury, death, and crime completion, but these effects work in both violence-increasing and violence-decreasing directions, with the effects largely canceling out. For example, when aggressors have guns, they are (1) less likely to physically attack their victims, (2) less likely to injure the victim given an attack, but (3) more likely to kill the victim, given an injury. Further, when victims have guns, it is less likely aggressors will attack or injure them and less likely they will lose property in a robbery. At the aggregate level, in both the best available time series and cross-sectional studies, the overall net effect of gun availability on total rates of violence is not significantly different from zero. The positive associations often found between aggregate levels of violence and gun ownership appear to be primarily due to violence increasing gun ownership, rather than the reverse. Gun availability does affect the rates of gun violence (e.g. the gun homicide rate, gun suicide rate, gun robbery rate) and the fraction of violent acts which involve guns (e.g. the percent of homicides, suicides or robberies committed with guns); it just does not affect total rates of violence (total homicide rate, total suicide rate, total robbery rate, etc.).
       ---Gary Kleck, Address to the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council Panel on the Understanding and Prevention of Violence (Apr. 3, 1990) (prepared statement, on file with the Tennessee Law Review).

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

U.K. Has More Violent Crime than the U.S.

You may recall that I posted some time ago about the fact that the U.K. under-reports gun crime by about 60% to pretend their gun control policies work.  From that article:
Data provided to The Sunday Telegraph by nearly every police force in England and Wales, under freedom of information laws, show that the number of firearms incidents dealt with by officers annually is 60 per cent higher than figures stated by the Home Office.
Full article available here.

The U.K. doesn't allow its citizens to do much to defend themselves at all.  I've always contended that such policies only embolden criminals.  A report by the European Commission and United Nations seems to confirm this:
Britain's violent crime record is worse than any other country in the European union, it has been revealed.

Official crime figures show the UK also has a worse rate for all types of violence than the U.S. and even South Africa - widely considered one of the world's most dangerous countries.

The figures, compiled from reports released by the European Commission and United Nations, also show:

* The UK has the second highest overall crime rate in the EU.
* It has a higher homicide rate than most of our western European neighbours, including
   France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
* The UK has the fifth highest robbery rate in the EU.
* It has the fourth highest burglary rate and the highest absolute number of burglaries in
   the EU, with double the number of offences than recorded in Germany and France.

But it is the naming of Britain as the most violent country in the EU that is most shocking. The analysis is based on the number of crimes per 100,000 residents.

In the UK, there are 2,034 offences per 100,000 people, way ahead of second-placed Austria with a rate of 1,677.
Full article available here.

This doesn't take a lot of imagination to figure out.  If you were a criminal, would you prefer to victimize people who might be willing and equipped to fight back, or would you go after helpless targets?

CCW Facts

The following excerpt comes from an op ed by Steve Chapman arguing for shall-issue CCW permit policy in anti-gun Illinois. 
If you're in a minority of 48 to 2 on an issue, you may be seeing truths that other people miss. Or you may be refusing to admit reality. In the case of Illinois' refusal to allow citizens to get permits to carry concealed handguns, it's the latter. It's the only state but Wisconsin that doesn't allow it. But there is a glimmer of hope of change: The Illinois Sheriffs' Association has endorsed a law to afford Illinoisans this type of protection.

There is not much risk in allowing such permits to law-abiding people. When Florida pioneered the idea in the 1980s, critics warned of a surge in gun battles among those granted this privilege. But it never came to pass, there or elsewhere.

In 21 years, Florida has had to revoke an average of eight licenses a year for crimes involving a gun--out of more than half a million permit holders at any given time. Says Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck, "If the United States had a crime rate like that, we'd think we were in Switzerland."
Full column here.  Steve goes on to assuage the fears of gun-banners by suggesting that guns should remain "banned from bars, airports, government offices, schools, churches, stadiums and the like."  I understand he's mitigating the discomfort banners feel at the very thought of firearms, but I vehemently disagree with that part.  A lawful citizen is a lawful citizen regardless of location, and should never be stripped of her or his 2nd Amendment rights because of someone else's unfounded fears.  This is very well demonstrated by the Luby Massacre, where Suzanna Hupp might easily have stopped the massacre had she not been obeying Texas law by not bringing her gun into a restaurant.  George Hennard felt no such obligation to follow the law.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Conservatism

I usually don't just post photos, but this one was powerful enough to share.


Photobucket

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Same Sex Marriage Solution

President Obama's recent announcement has same sex marriage back in the news, and we're hearing the same arguments we've all heard before.  There's a simple solution that people would accept.  Before I approach that, there are some important points to make.  Same sex marriage isn't inevitable.  It isn't the same as traditional marriage.  Where it's been legalized, it's been used to attack the beliefs and rights of those who oppose it.

That last point is actually why I oppose same sex marriage.  It may come as a shock, but unlike most same sex marriage opponents, I don't actually care who marries whom or what anyone does in her or his bedroom.  There are other important reasons to oppose same sex marriage.  As a libertarian I do demand freedom of conscience and freedom from coercion.  That applies to those in same sex relationships and to faith groups and others who don't accept such relationships.

My solution to the issue isn't a new concept.  It was mentioned by Elton John during the aftermath of the passage of Proposition 8 in California.  It's also a very libertarian solution:  get the government out of marriage completely.

Marriage is a matter of faith and conscience.  Those who would use it to further a political agenda will never meet with anything but staunch and vehement opposition as befits the ill-intentioned use of anything sacred.  So, leave marriage to faith groups.  Let them marry whomever they choose.  Some faiths will solemnize same sex marriages and others won't.  In time, shifts in membership will determine what model works best.

Government essentially treats marriage as a contract, and from a civil perspective, that's all it is.  Government should issue a civil union to any couple that seeks it and treat all such contracts equally.  It's simple.  It's fair.  It prevents extremists from using marriage as a weapon against those who don't share their agenda.  It allows complete freedom of conscience, equality of everyone before the law, and freedom from coercion.

Finally, it would very likely pass in nearly every state in the union.

Update:  Orson Scott Card weighs in on the extremist agenda with regard to SSM.  (Hat Tip Mark)
If you like OSC, more thoughts regarding CA's Prop. 8 with ramifications for any state and the federal government.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

English in California

I've written before on the importance of language.  I wish I had more resources, because in California, there's something we can do about it.

Article 3, Section 6 of the California Constitution reads:
SEC. 6.  (a) Purpose.
   English is the common language of the people of the United States of America and the State of California.  This section is intended to preserve, protect and strengthen the English language, and not to supersede any of the rights guaranteed to the people by this Constitution.
   (b) English as the Official Language of California.
   English is the official language of the State of California.
   (c) Enforcement.
   The Legislature shall enforce this section by appropriate
legislation.  The Legislature and officials of the State of
California shall take all steps necessary to insure that the role of English as the common language of the State of California is preserved and enhanced.  The Legislature shall make no law which diminishes or ignores the role of English as the common language of the State of California.
   (d) Personal Right of Action and Jurisdiction of Courts.
   Any person who is a resident of or doing business in the State of California shall have standing to sue the State of California to enforce this section, and the Courts of record of the State of California shall have jurisdiction to hear cases brought to enforce this section.  The Legislature may provide reasonable and appropriate limitations on the time and manner of suits brought under this section.
I'll never support frivolous lawsuits, but this isn't frivolous.  Anyone in CA has standing to sue to to enforce English as the official language of California.  It's time to do it!  If you have the resources, this something you can do to shut down Balkanization and extra expense to taxpayers in California by preventing millions of dollars of printing of materials in other languages. 

What started me thinking about this today was an excellent post by Victor Davis Hanson, "Can California be Fixed?"  The answer is "probably."  Number 6 of his 10 suggestions is:  "6) Mandate one official language for state publications and office business."

We've done that.  We now just need to enforce it!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Socialist Hyprocrisy

I've come to believe that all governments devolve into systems to steal money from the masses for the benefit of the government class.  Communism is particularly obvious and awful about this.  Promising egalitarianism, leaders seize wealth, privilege and power while cruelly limiting the personal and economic freedom of the masses.  Socialism often isn't much better.

Socialist leaders are often the worst of hypocrites, railing against the rich, preaching egalitarianism and then just enriching themselves further.  France's newly elected hypocrite-in-chief is no different.  From the London Evening Standard:
Francois Hollande, 57, who “dislikes the rich” and wants to revolutionise his country with high taxes and an onslaught against bankers, is in fact hugely wealthy himself.

As well as the spacious Paris apartment he shares with his lover Valerie Trierweiler, Mr Hollande owns a palatial villa in Mougins, the hill-top Cannes suburb where artist Pablo Picasso used to live.

It is valued by the Official Journal at 800,000 euros (£642,000), and is just a short drive from Hollande’s two flats close to the promenade in Cannes. They are priced at 230,000 euros (£185,000) and 140,000 euros (£112,000). Mr Hollande has promised to cut his pay by 30 per cent after he is officially sworn in as president next week, but he will still be on 156,000 (£125,000) a year, plus fabulous expenses and other perks.
There's more, so if you're interested, have a look at the article linked above. If you think President Obama is any different, see my recent post on Michelle Obama's spending at your expense.

Theft of the wealth of others is one of the things the Founders tried to prevent by carefully limiting the U.S. government's power in the Constitution.  Any promise to "take care" of us if only we give our government a little more power should be strenuously resisted and vehemently decried for what it is:  an avenue to steal our liberty, labor and hard-earned property.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Ron Paul and Earmarks

This post arises out of a discussion with a fellow on twitter.  It's a guy I like and respect.  He's a staunch Ron Paul backer.

It started as a discussion of Mitt Romney, and how he's a bad candidate.  He's big government.  He compromises even on important issues.  Both are true and I'm in full agreement.  The gentleman told me we must not compromise if we're to preserve the Constitution.

My strategy was a bit different.  I feel like we need to do whatever it takes to preserve the Constitution.  If that means voting for Romney who won't replace a conservative judge on the SCOTUS with a liberal one should a vacancy arises, I'll hold my nose and do it.  That doesn't mean Romney's my guy or the GOP is my party.  It means I don't see any other viable options to preserve the Constitution.

So, why not vote for Ron Paul?  I've been troubled by this issue for some time.  It's about earmarks, explained here and here.  The response is quite convincing, but I'm not sure I'm completely comfortable with it.  He's either sincere or being a very, very weaselly politician on the issue.  When in doubt, and with no evidence to the contrary, I try to give the benefit of that doubt to the person involved.  Judge for yourself:



I don't think that Ron Paul can win a general election, but I'm not a big fan of advocating against voting against one's conscience because to vote one's conscience might split the vote.  It really will come down to what each individual feels is truly best for the country's future.

More Hypocrisy from the Left

I was flabbergasted when I read part of this Los Angeles Times article.  Here's what really shocked me:
Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian released the following details about potential traffic tie-ups:

"For those driving on Laurel Canyon Boulevard and connecting streets north of Ventura Boulevard, please expect delays and/or road closures from about 5 to 8 p.m. If you live south of Ventura in Studio City, the LAPD has advised us that local access to the area will be virtually sealed off from about 8 to 10 p.m., meaning all local residents will need to show a current photo ID for home access." 
So, we have to secure President Barack Obama visiting George Clooney's house for a fundraiser by making people show photo ID, but we don't have secure the future of our nation by requiring photo ID to vote?

This is the same city council that compared Arizona's law requiring proof of lawful presence* to something from Nazi Germany and won't impound the cars of unlicensed drivers out of "fairness," wants you to show photo ID to get into George Clooney's neighborhood.

I'm fine with showing photo ID.  To function in our society, adults must have a photo ID nearly without exception.  I do object strenuously to the hypocrisy of the Left in requiring it in some cases, but demonizing such requirements in others.

*Note that federal law requires immigrants to show proof of lawful presence, too.

Candidate Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney wasn't my first choice as a presidential candidate.  I do  have to admit that what he did with the 2002 Winter Olympics and what he did with Boston's Big Dig give me some hope.

I'll never be happy with big government, progressive policies.  If we want those, we can just reelect President Obama.

However, Romney would probably do a better job fixing the economy since he has a deeper understanding of how to foster business growth than President Obama does.  Another advantage is that his history suggests he won't try to label all of his challenges "inherited problems" and blame the last president for failed policy after failed policy. 

Further, I firmly believe that if one more liberal supreme court justice is appointed to replace any retiring conservative justice, we'll lose the 1st, 2nd and 4th Amendments in short order.

Like most things in politics, Mitt Romney is a compromise, but I'm increasingly seeing him as one I can support.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Liberal attacks on Romney not going very well

There's been a trend developing in the liberal attacks on presidential candidate Mitt Romney.  Anything they attack him on, President Obama has done worse.

First, it was the dog, Seamus.  The Romneys took him on family vacation, strapping his kennel to the top of their car.  At some point, poor Seamus had bowel trouble.  Ann Romney says he got his jaws on some turkey from the counter which was the source of the problem.  That's very plausible, since Seamus evidently rode up there often and there's only the one report of bowel trouble.  However, even if Seamus had been upset, I still think that's better than eating him.  President Obama ate dog meat.

Then there was polygamy.  Those crazy Romneys.  When Congress passed an anti-polygamy law targeting the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the church challenged the seeming violation of the 1st Amendment all the way up to the Supreme Court.  They lost.  Polygamy was abolished.  In the mean time, some families fled to Mexico.  Romneys great grandfather was evidently one of these polygamists.  President Obama's family engaged in polygamy a bit more recently, though.  His Dad was a polygamist, making his marriage to Obama's mother unlawful.  So, President Obama is literally the bastard son of a polygamist. That seems much worse than being several generations removed from the practice.

Today the big news is that Mitt Romney was evidently a bully in high school.  Bad, I agree, but he's apologized for it.  At least he picked on another boy, though.  It turns out Obama liked to bully girls when he was in middle school.

I'd say Team Obama should switch to talking about issues, but they really don't have any policy successes to point to.  One thing is clear.  They should probably lay off Mitt Romney's past.


Obama's Milquetoast Position on Gay Marriage

There seems to be only one issue where Obama is a huge supporter of the 10th Amendment, and that's same sex marriage. 

Today the news is heralding Obama's now spoken support of SSM as a "gutsy" move, because it might hurt him in the general election.  As Breitbart's Big Government site points out, the excitement is premature.

By insisting this is a states' rights, or 10th Amendment issue, Obama sidesteps having to do anything about his newly announced feelings on SSM, so it's pretty milquetoast.  It also leaves us with a few uncomfortable questions for the President.

In the past, the Democrats have always equated any advocacy for states' rights as a call for the return of slavery.  By his own party's arguments, is President Obama now an advocate for slavery, or do the Democrats need to drop this tired and disingenuous argument?

As a new fan of states' rights, will Obama admit that a state like Arizona has the right to insist its law enforcement officers protect the citizenry from illegal aliens?  (By the way, states absolutely have the right to help enforce immigration law, as pointed out here.)

Was this announcement forced by Joe Biden's remarks in support of gay marriage, as many people are saying?

Was this not so gutsy announcement an attempt to appear courageous in light of the memo President Obama had drafted that would have blamed failure on the military had the Osama bin Laden raid ended badly?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

President Obama Comes Out in Support of Same Sex Marriage

I did not anticipate this until after the election, especially given that North Carolina just became the 32nd state to vote down gay marriage by referendum, but here it is:
...I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama told Roberts, in an interview to appear on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Thursday.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Thanks Snopes and Margaret Thatcher

I was looking up the origins of the oft-quoted "The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." I knew it was Margaret Thatcher, but the original quotation may be even more powerful than the simplified version. From Snopes:
Although the quote has been simplified a bit, it does essentially reflect a statement made by Margaret Thatcher during an interview with journalist Llew Gardner for Thames Television's This Week program on

5 February 1976 (a year after Mrs. Thatcher won the leadership of the opposition Conservative Party, and three years before she became prime minister). In response to a series of questions by Mr. Gardner about the timing of Conservative plans to bring down the majority Labour Party in Parliament, Mrs. Thatcher said:

Q: There are those nasty critics, of course, who suggest that you don't really want to bring [the Labour Party] down at the moment. Life is a bit too difficult in the country, and that ... leave them to sort the mess out and then come in with the attack later ... say next year.

A: I would much prefer to bring them down as soon as possible. I think they've made the biggest financial mess that any government's ever made in this country for a very long time, and Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people's money. It's quite a characteristic of them. They then start to nationalise everything, and people just do not like more and more nationalisation, and they're now trying to control everything by other means. They're progressively reducing the choice available to ordinary people.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Veterans fire back on Obama's narcissistic ad

The Obama administration can point to probably just one thing they've had a hand in that has popular approval:  taking down Osama bin Laden.  So, it's no surprise they'd try to campaign on it.  Unfortunately for them, it's also perhaps the one thing they shouldn't try to use or take credit for.



Just as a note,Clinton's statements about a downside if the mission failed are completely inane.  What happens when our special operators die on a mission that doesn't go well?  It's covered up.  You don't hear about it in the news.  The families get letters that don't reveal what the special operators were doing, and the whole matter gets classified.  Obama took no risk, but he's happy to take all the credit that should actually go to our soldiers.

Update:  it turns out that there was a back up plan.  If the raid had failed, President Obama had planned to blame the military.  So, there really was no risk for him at all.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The spending habits of candidates' wives

The left made a big deal about Ann Romney wearing an expensive shirt recently.  Much like focusing on dog stories, it turns out that's not a great idea if they want to help President Obama get reelected.

First, it turns out Michelle Obama really likes expensive clothing. 
From Balenciaga and Helmut Lang to Michael Kors and Marchesa, the first lady has been known to wear some big name, and expensive, designer fashions. Last week alone, Mrs. Obama was spotted in two different L’Wren Scott cardigans, priced between $2,000 and $3,000.

Last Thursday, Mrs. Obama wore the designer’s peach embroidered cardigan to a Take Your Child to Work Day event at the White House. The very next day she wore another, similar version in white with red embellishment to greet troops at Fort Stewart, in Georgia, with the president.
...
Mrs. Obama is familiar with the public tweaking for her pricey choices. During her Hawaiian vacation last December, the first lady was spotted wearing an almost $2,000 sundress by designer Sophie Theallet to church on Christmas day. Later, she allegedly donned a $950 Comme des Garcons skirt for a visit with troops and their families.
Source here.

Michelle doesn't limit her expensive tastes to clothing, though. 
From Jodi Kantor’s The Obamas, pages 90–91:

Even the president made uncomfortable jokes about why his wife needed so many things. Behind the scenes, aides said, the Obamas were concerned about money: the president’s books could only sell so many copies, and it would be years until he could write more and the first lady could write her own. From vacation rental homes big enough to accommodate the Secret Service to all the personal entertaining they did at the White House, their lifestyle had grown fearsomely expensive.
Source here.

Now that is expensive, and that's given mostly free travel and other expenses charged to the taxpayer.

I'm still baffled by the idea from the Left that I should be more concerned with how the Romneys spend their own money than about how the Obamas spend mine.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

"Forward" is rather Backward

The writer of this column was very charitable in his introduction:
The Obama campaign apparently didn't look backwards into history when selecting its new campaign slogan, "Forward" — a word with a long and rich association with European Marxism.
 Actually, Mr. Morton, I'm pretty sure they did look back and knew exactly what the slogan referred to.  They just figured no one would care anymore.

Read the full column here.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Day

May Day should be a day of solemn remembrance of the more than 70 million men, women and children killed by communist policies.