The most dangerous idea in history

Ideas have consequences. It’s a concept that not everyone understands. But little things, ideas you just take for granted without a second thought are often the kind of things that can make or break lives, nations, whole civilizations. Get a math historian to explain to you the importance of zero, or the significance of treating an unknown as a variable instead of a constant (it’s called Algebra) and you’ll see the difference between the Ancient world and the modern. Is this world something solid and independent of our minds or an illusion and outgrowth of our minds, probably something you seldom think about and most people probably couldn’t care about, and you’ll see the difference between Western and Eastern history.  While best known as a throwaway line in a less than spectacular movie the difference between “the United States are” and “the United States is” marks one of the most important turning points in American culture.   Little ideas, things that probably don’t occupy the most minuscule moment of the average person’s thoughts can change everything.  Or look at how a line in the Bhagavad Gita saying that every life has a purpose and everyone should strive to fulfill that purpose because of a misunderstanding of its true purpose is turned into the justification of the abhorrent caste system. Little things, like the use of the Greek word for reason to describe God are the things that allow a society to survive.

Why do I bring this up?  Because while some small ideas may vastly improve our lives and other small ideas may radically change them (maybe not for good or bad), some ideas are very, very dangerous because without exception–no matter the time, or place, or circumstances–they always lead to murder, tyranny, suffering, decay, and destruction.

And if you start from this premise that ideas do have this kind of power, what is the most important idea, the one that can mean the survival or death to a civilization?

Well you could look at politics, but politics is a two part situation: one is the people involved–and we have to ignore people because we can’t forget that while ideas have power to shape people and their actions, people are more than just the sum of the ideas of their culture.  There are people who live in cultures with abhorrent ideas who can rise above them, and people who could live in a society that embraced every truth in existence and still fail to live up to them–so when looking for the all-important ideas, we have to take human individuality out of the equation and realize that even the most abhorrent ideas will not corrupt everyone and the greatest ideas will not redeem everyone.

The other part to politics is the ideas of ethics which it is based on as a political system is nothing but seeking to create a structure where everyone can live what the root philosophy of that society sees as the good and ethical life.   Which means we have to look to ethics…but the values and rule of ethics themselves are based on basic metaphysical principles.  The “ought” of ethics comes from what “is” in metaphysics.  If you are a being that needs food to live, then you ought to eat something.  If what you are is a creature based in original sin, then you have a need to remove that sin from your being, then what you ought to do is whatever requirements the God you have sinned against requires of you.  If however you are a being trapped in a nightmare of delusion then you have a need to escape the nightmare, and you ought to meditate on a way to see past the delusion.  Now my examples here are a little simplistic, and the reality of how metaphysics transfers values to ethics is far more complicated in most cases.

However there is one idea that rises above all others and we don’t have to delve too deeply into complex philosophy to see how it has a very, very real effect on ethics, politics, and the real world.

This basic idea is that your soul has value.

Your soul, the thing that is you, has some value.  We don’t have to worry about the conflict of Eastern vs. Western civilization, or contemplate the Classical vs. Enlightenment vision of these ideas because these ideas have been there pretty much in the vast majority of cultures throughout history as a basic building block of civilization.

“It is God, and God alone, who has encased Himself as the soul in the many human beings He has created.”—Paramahansa Yogananda, God Talks with Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita

“My mind is part of God’s.  I am very holy. “—Lesson 35 from the Workbook for Student of A Course in Miracles

If you haven't read it, you should.

If you haven’t read it, you should.

Every other belief system has some connection between God and the soul. For Judaism, man is created in the image of God (usually interpreted that our soul is like God’s in its intellect and free will differing in degree not kind),

“God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him” Gen 1:27 (New American Bible)

In Christianity the Holy Spirit (as part of God) is within each of us,

In Greek Paganism you will see the Greek philosophers talk about that portion of our soul that is like a God,

In Eastern religions you have the statement Namaste (the god within me recognizes and honors the god within you),

“An eternal part of Myself [God], manifesting as a living soul in the world of being”  Bhagavad Gita 15:7

Even Buddhism which technically is agnostic in its beliefs on an all-powerful God, holds that the soul is something divine and the only thing that is real,

“Imagine a wide ocean with a golden yoke adrift upon it. In the depths of the ocean swims a single blind turtle, who surfaces for air once every hundred years. How rare would it be for the turtle to surface with its head through the hole in the yoke? The Buddha said that attaining a precious human rebirth is rarer than that.”—The Dalai Lama The Way to Freedom

I could start getting into other religions, but in every case you will see the human soul placed on a pedestal and often tied directly to the divine. It is the basis of all ethics as this is what gives human life intrinsic value above and beyond simple matter (if you track it back this is the basis of all “secular” Western philosophy and ethics, that human existence has intrinsic value).

And at its root this is why ethics works.  Because all of ethics rests upon the fact that the soul has value.  As it is connected to God, then intrinsically it is self-evident that the soul has value and if the soul has value then a human life has value. And this is why religion and spirituality is so important to ethics, not because we can’t be good unless God gives us a set of rules, but because without a connection between God and the soul, ethics has no grounding in metaphysics.

Without the value of the soul, then there is no reason why one life cannot be sacrificed so long as it makes two lives better.  There is no rational argument against slavery, because if there is not intrinsic infinite value to the soul then the worst form of utilitarianism comes to play and the rights and lives of any smaller group can be destroyed, sacrificed or exploited for the “greater good.”  (Certainly violence isn’t completely forbidden when you do believe in the value of the soul…but only in using it against greater evil).

Yeah that’s all well and good on paper, you say, but that’s not what happens in real life. Okay let’s put my theory to the test.

Are there any belief systems out there that deny the connection of the soul to God?  There are two.

The first is atheism. This isn’t hard to prove when you deny God and the soul, the value of the soul at 0 is a fairly natural extension.
The second is Islam.  But isn’t that a religion?  Well, yes, but only by the loosest definition (much in the same way Charles Mason is a human-being). Islam however has no scene in the Koran or the Haddith that states that man was created in the image of God. None. And whereas many prophets of the Old Testament and Jesus speak of the relationship between man and God, calling us his children, that he lives within us, etc…you find nothing even remotely comparable in the Koran or the Haddith. All you find is comments like 42:11 “there is nothing like unto Him [God].” This idea is repeated over and over in Islam. Every other religion at some level or another stresses the connection to God, that he is a part of us. Islam stresses that we are not like God in any way, completely disconnected from him in all ways. In this respect they are like atheism in disconnecting man from the divine.

And, low and behold if you compare the deaths caused by ALL other religions combined against those caused by Islam it a lot lower (which given that Islam is the newest one on the scene.*
Now as we have gone over previously deaths in war and conquest by all religions excluding Islam and atheists.  The low end for all religions save Islam for the last 2000 years has a high end estimate of about 96 million deaths.  Compared to a LOW END death count of 100 million for Atheism for the last hundred years (sorry atheists, but you have Communism and Nazism—two forms of government that sought to destroy religion in all its forms.  And don’t tell me that they shouldn’t count because they weren’t following what you think atheism should represent…if you want that argument, then Christianity isn’t responsible for a single death in the Inquisition because they weren’t following what Christianity should be.) Ideas have consequences.  The consequences of atheism happens to be killing more people than all religions in one-twentieth the time.  (Higher end estimates would put the atheist number near 150 million)

And let’s add Islam in there. The conquest of Persia (1 million), the conquest of India (80 million), the conquest of Africa (110 million), the Armenian Genocide (1 million), Iran-Iraq War (2 million)…we’re at 194 million and we haven’t even touched anything to do with terrorism.  Sorry atheists you may be butchers but you’re pikers compared to Islam’s history.

Now, we could haggle about including this or that but the fact of the matter is that by a large margin the two belief systems that don’t believe in the value of the soul seem to have a much greater ease at killing in massively high numbers.

Why? Because ideas have consequences.

Because murder is only wrong if you are doing harm to something of value…and rationally we can dismiss about the value of the body, or the impact one person can make.  We can rationalize a lot…but if the soul has value because it is part of the divine you can never fully rationalize it away, you can ignore it, you can come up with excuses, but that idea will more often than not prevent you from doing something contrary to that idea.  But if you don’t hold that the soul has value, then every other rationalization becomes relatively easy.  Excuses become numerous.  Utilitarian murder becomes justified because you have high ideals. The glory of God must be extended at any cost, because the glory of that message is clearly more important than a soul without divinity.  And the society, the good of the whole, the mother land, the father land, the collective is obviously more important.  Enemies can be slaughtered wholesale because their lives have no intrinsic value.  Obstacles can just be eliminated without remorse because of the state or prophet or whatever other bullshit you want to follow, because anything can be made to sound more valuable and important than an individual life (or a lot of them) when there is no inherent value placed on life.

Certainly there are people in religions that value the soul who reject this idea in thought and deed, and there are people within belief systems that deny its value that still intrinsically understand the truth that the soul does have value…but it cannot be denied that this simple idea is what builds civilization or the lack of it becomes the foundation of waves of conquest, genocide, and holocaust.

Ideas have consequences.  And all of civilization is based on this one simple point; the soul has value because it is connected to the divine.  And the denial of it opens the door for almost any evil.

*okay to be fair Scientology is the newest on the scene…but I haven’t seen much genocide from them, and if we’re going to be really honest, Muhammad was little more than just the L. Ron Hubbard of the sixth century.

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A look at Rand’s wacky announcement

Originally posted on Elementary Politics:

So Rand Paul announced he was running for President today.   The intellectually shallow demagogue who can endlessly spin off platitudes and meaningless statements whose deepest statements are in favor of isolationism and letting tyranny run amok the world is running!  How will I ever contain my excitement?yay_xander

Rand Paul You have to love that “not quite stable” look in his eye.

Now some may claim that Rand’s speech was pretty much the exact same speech Ted Cruz gave.  You know a long stream of hollow populist statements with no substance and no thought for the people on the right who like leftist voters are looking to blindly follow a Obama-like demagogue, but who mouths right wing talking points instead of leftist ones.
But in reality they are different.  For instance Teddy repeated the baseless lie that conservative Christians have been staying home in droves and not voting…despite the complete lack of…

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April Fools Day Post: In praise of the BUREAUCRAT

bureaucracybrazil
This April the First I thought we should give praise to that wonderful civil servant who thanklessly makes our lives better: The Bureaucrat.  The Bureaucrat is the most wonderful being in our government, a gift from God I am sure.  Effective, caring, beneficial and needed.  Never could any sane soul say that these are people who deserve to have their heads bashed in with a crowbar or that they ruin ever aspect our lives.   We need bureaucrats, and we need them in every aspect of our lives.  So I come not today to revile bureaucrats, but to praise them.

What would our lives be without the Bureaucrat?  It would certainly be far more expensive.  I mean it’s not like bureaucrats cost us billions upon billions of dollars in red tape.  No, because of bureaucracy every single aspect of our lives is almost certainly cheaper.  I mean can you imagine how much more expensive it would be if you did not have to seek permission from three different state agencies (at best) just to set up a small business.  How much more expensive would it be if you didn’t have to go back and forth from one government office to another, as you always get clear concise, non-contradictory answers from all the branches.  I can’t imagine how much more expensive things would be—they are so helpful giving concise directions/instruction and guiding you to the next step.

And without the bureaucrat, who would protect us.  I mean there are literally small children out there looking to sell lemonade without a business license, without filing the proper tax paperwork, without letting the health department inspect their kitchen, without filing with the labor board, and without making sure they are working in an area zoned for commerce. Without bureaucrats who would be there to fine these little wannabe anarchists and murderers.  I mean honestly can you think of anything more sociopathic and devoid of all ethics than a small child attempting to sell lemonade. Thank god we have bureaucrats to stop the madness and end the sociopathic behavior almost indicative of Nazism.  I mean think about it, if you were looking for how someone who would have been in the Gestapo during the Nazi regime and transplanted them into modern America, what would they be doing to still get their jollies off, hurting others without reason, gains glee from acting as inhuman as possible…they’d be selling lemonade without a permit.    And don’t get me started on those psychopaths who think that they don’t need a license to braid hair or teach yoga.  If it weren’t for bureaucrats what would we do in the face of such evil?

And let’s be honest, there is not a smarter bunch of people. One might worry that a job known for hiring felons; that you only need a high school diploma for and from which it is a labor of Hercules to fire for gross incompetence might attract the kind of people who would get fired from McDonald’s…but no there is no brighter group than the bureaucrat.  I mean who else could have been bright enough to hire so noble a patriot as Snowden, who had made it clear on several public internet sites that he had the intention of committing treason, to have full access to all of our secrets.  Only the bureaucrat my friends.  Only the kind of intelligence that would leave us mere mortals with a sense of dread and awe to behold it.  Faced next to the bureaucrat our minds pale in comparison.  Just look at their superior logic; that is beyond our feeble brains.  Only a bureaucrat has the prowess to understand that a city ordinance requiring you to cut down a tree and a county ordinance threatening you with a fine if you cut down said tree is perfectly fine.  Your petty mind may recoil at such things, but not the superior mind of the bureaucrat.  And this is why they are entitled to life-long jobs with little supervision, they are just better than us. Remember that the normal subtleties of life are beyond the masses comprehension

And speaking of them being better than us.  Do not forget that they are above suspicion.  And if the feeble minded dare question them then the feeble minded should be shamed and possibly fined.  These are the most honest people which is why so many are not required to pay taxes.

And let us not forget that they protect us in other ways.  For instance there are people with terminal diseases out there who think that just because they’re guaranteed to die long and painful deaths they have nothing to risk by taking experimental drugs that could cure them.  Silly people.  Were it not for bureaucrats these people with fatal diseases could take something that might kill them.

And have you ever seen a more honest group of people.  I mean when the hard-drives at the IRS all crashed at the same time, it was the noble bureaucrats at the IRS who told the American public that they were having technical problems.  They could have tried to hide it for months on end, but did they?  Did they?  I think we all know the answer when dealing with this group of moral pillars.

And there are things out there that could hurt you, like dating services and guns and travel clubs and pornography and buying coins…but thankfully through the brave efforts of bureaucrats in Operation Choke Point bureaucrats have done what they knew to be right and used pressure to tell banks to close bank accounts for people who have these kinds of business so they could not possibly do business.  Did bureaucrats wait for laws to be passed to give them the power to do these things? No.  Did they care that doing so was a major violation of the law?  Not in the least.  Why?  Because they care about you and they know far better than you what is good for you.  They alone know that you aren’t mature enough to handle guns…unlike our fast and furious friends to the South, who bureaucrats know are such wonderful people they need more guns.

Did I mention humble?  Oh what a humble bunch.  For people who know that not only is their word law, but that they are above the law.  But do they lord it over people by declaring that ugly fish are more important than people?  Do they act like they’re superiors by coming up with fake lists of patients seen while people die?  Do they treat Native Americans like children for over a century creating a culture of dependency?  Do they treat your time dismissively by spending hours looking at porn in the office?  Do they make you wait in endless lines, show no sympathy for your plight and reject paper for even the slightest flaw which common sense could clearly correct on the spot…I think we all know that answer of how these humble warriors are always looking out for us.

And let’s be honest we’re never safer than in the hands of the bureaucracy. I mean it’s not like there is actually a word for government employees looking to shoot up innocent people, I mean you’d have to go completely postal to believe that.

No, let us get down on our knees and thank our wonderful bureaucrats (really we have to, they’re cracking the whip right now) and dismiss those who say that more than term limits on politicians there needs to be term limits for bureaucrats, let us reject the foolish call for more oversight and harsher punishment for bureaucrats who break the law (as if such a thing would ever happen), let us perish the thought of hiring freeze and attrition, and certainly diminish the idea of firing them wholesale.  I mean it’s not like their unions paid politicians off to give them pensions so outrageous they will bankrupt every state, county and city in America given enough time.
bureaucracy
Let us remember that without bureaucrats Congress, the president, state legislatures, the attorney general, none of them could get done what they do without bureaucrats carrying out their every order.  Their noble work would never be accomplished without bureaucrats following and doing as they were told without question and with the patriotic zeal that never seeks to stop the free-market, or just human interaction— without them we would be nothing.

I dream of the day when all children desire and strive to be part of that holiest of holy groups – the BUREAUCRAT!

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Ten New Age Movies that Should be Made

Over at Elementary Politics I just completed a list of 10 films I think conservatives should make.  Now to balance out my beliefs, here are 10 films I think New Agers should make.   Why because, regrettably our ideas are not getting out there enough.  There is scientific proof that the afterlife exists (and not just for Christians but for everyone) and that reincarnation is a fact—evidence that it is our souls and our free will that dictate everything in our lives and that we are not the victims of fate or circumstance beyond our control…but so little of it gets out there.  There are the few good movies out there (What Dreams May Come, Dead Again, the early Shaymalan stuff) and there is some stuff that tries but fails at quality film making (The Celestine Prophecy comes to mind).  But there is so much out there that could be made that would help bring these ideas to public attention

The MessengersThe Messengers:  If you’re not familiar with this book you should go out and find a copy. The story of a man who through past life regression therapy finds out that he was Saul of Tarsus…better known as St. Paul.  And that he knew Jesus well before the road to Damascus.  As a film it has that thing Hollywood loves, parallel story lines (the modern story of the man finding out who he was and coming to terms with it, the ancient story of Jesus’ true teachings)—and both stories are compelling.  And while controversial (as if that never brings in box-office numbers) it tells a slightly more accurate story than most are familiar with.

the_alchemist

“What’s the world’s greatest lie?… It’s this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate.”

The Alchemist:  I will fully admit that previous attempts to bring Paulo Cohelo to the big screen have been less than spectacular (I actually enjoyed Veronica Decides To Die, but I realize that I’m one of the few people to actually see it and that if you hadn’t read the book it would have made little to no sense whatsoever).   But The Alchemist and its ideas that all of life has a purpose and is directed to that purpose whether you see it or not is a tale that should be brought to the screen. I’m not sure if it can be done without a healthy amount of voice over or narration to help the audience with some of the events and concepts (or at least quite a bit of exposition) but it can be done.

Waldo:  No not that one.  The short story by Robert Heinlein.  Not familiar with it?  Basically it’s The Secret if the secret were put into a futuristic sci-fi story.  Centered around a physically Waldodisabled, but mentally superior inventor named Waldo whose physical deformities mean that he has to live in the zero gravity environment or be just above a paraplegic. This handicap has caused him to be very estranged from others, living in space adds to it, and his extreme genius even further drives him apart from his fellow humans…and the jealousy, envy. And lack of empathy leads to Waldo becoming a misanthrope that puts Dr. Greg House to shame. But in amongst all of this, Waldo is presented with a problem that has to be fixed if the world economy is going to continue-the source for the world’s power seems to be failing. The answer Waldo discovers to this problem–that the science of the energy source is not the problem, but that thought creates reality, and it is the general misanthropy and cynicism/fear of the world that is causing the downturn/destruction block to infinite power. What follows is a recovery not just for the world but for Waldo himself.

Quite frankly a story that puts the Law of Attraction in terms that most people understand is something that is desperately needed. Yes the name of the protagonist is going to have to be changed…we all know what you thought of when you saw the title, but aside from that this could be one of the most effective ways to bring the idea of the Law of Attraction to the general public.

Stranger in a Strange Land
“Mike is our Prometheus — but that’s all. Mike keeps emphazing this. Thou art God, I am God, he is God — all that groks. Mike is a man like the rest of us. A superior man admittedly — a lesser man taught the things the Martians know, might have set himself up as a pipsqueak god. Mike is above that temptation. Prometheus… but that is all.”

Stranger in a Strange Land: Honestly how has this movie already not been made?  I realize that Hollywood has a terrible track record of actually appreciating Heinlein. But this is probably his most popular book. You would at least have thought the liberals of the 60’s would have done a poor job that showed they didn’t get anything out of it beyond the subtext of free love, but they didn’t (just as well, it would have been disappointing as that godawful Atlas Shrugged trilogy). But I still do not grok why it has never even been attempted. Am I the only one who can see Hugh Laurie playing the sharp tongued Jubal?

Portrait of Jennie: This was a great movie.  The story of true love separated by a fluke of Potrait of Jennietime and fate that the universe tries to atone for by ignoring the laws of time.  And it is actually one of those rare movies that was superior to the book.  So why does it need to be remade?  Two reasons.  The first is while it is a great movie with a New Age sensibility of time and destiny, and that love is a force that transcends all other limitations, it was a message that was not made particularly clear and only made sense to those who already understood what it was saying.  And I feel a very skilled writer could help make some of these ideas more accessible while not sacrificing any of the depth.  The second reason is that while Jennifer Jones does an Oscar worthy performance as Jennie         , the movie is actually about artist Eben Adams played by Joseph Cotton, an actor so inept, stiff and lifeless you’d think he walked out of an Ayn Rand novel*. It’s a testament to the power of the movie that it still shines when its lead actor who is in every scene is a man who makes Keanu Reeves look like Laurence Olivier.  I would love to see the power of the film with a competent actor at the helm of the narrative.

Lost HorizonLost Horizon: The story of Shangri-La, a mystical realm of peace and understanding hidden in the Himalayas.  Another great New Age tale that already has a film.  But the existing film has two problems.  One is that the early days of film had the problem that film decayed and Hollywood only discovered this part after many films had been lost. Lost Horizon is one of those films which could not be completely saved, as such there are several parts of the film that are missing. The second problem is that director Frank Capra decided that instead of just telling the story from a great book, he would insert his own political beliefs into the film.  This is bad enough, but the supreme irony is that his politics in this case is an argument for complete pacifism in a movie made one year before Hitler decided to acquire Polish real estate.  It doesn’t belong in the film in the first place, but in context it makes the rest of the film and its message look naive and foolish which it is not.

Just then Joshua (Jesus) stumbled through the gate and crashed into us. We were able to catch ourselves and him before anyone fell. The Messiah was holding the little girl’s bunny, hugging it to his cheek with the big back feet swinging free. He was gloriously drunk. “Know what?” Josh said. “I love bunnies. They toil not, neither do they bark. Henceforth and from now on, I decree that whenever something bad happens to me, there be bunnies around. So it shall be written. Go ahead Biff, write it down.”–Lamb, The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore, the wedding in Canna scene

LambLamb the Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal:  If you have not read this book you need to.  It is one of the most hilarious stories ever told.  The story of Christ’s life from someone who was actually there, Levi bar Levi, known to his friends as Biff.  Biff is Jesus’s (in the book called Josh**) devout friend and protector as they grow up together and then leave Judea so that Josh can learn to be the Messiah.  So, while searching out wise men in modern day Afghanistan, China and India, Josh learns the balance in Taoism, the serenity in Buddhism, and the wisdom of Hinduism…while Biff learns to blow things up with alchemy, martial arts, and the wisdom of the Kama Sutra.  The book is one of those rare works that can balance humor and grace.  And besides being so funny it needs a movie, it is a movie that shows that most of the world’s religions share more in common than they have separating them.

Illusions Bach

“Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they’re yours.”

Illusions: while I prefer Bach’s novella Jonathan Livingston Seagull I seriously do not see any way to turn that into a movie.  Even with CGI it still won’t work. So history of a barnstorming Messiah and his handbook of advice for how to be Messiah is the second best option.

Autobiography of a Yogi:  I am not usually in favor of biopics.  They’re so incredibly hit and miss that they turn me off for the Autobiography of a Yogimost part, and the better ones are often the ones that play fast and loose with the facts and don’t let them get in the way of a good story.  That said, the life of Yogananda and his message of the unity of religions and God is one that I feel people should be more familiar with.

Life before Life: This is a book that I think offers a lot of room to work with for a film. Life after LifeObviously there would have to be a lot of composite characters, but you could do well with a tale of single research looking into one case after another of children who have memories of their past lives. If the more close minded are going to put out made up tripe like Heaven if for Real (honestly I believe in near death experiences but have no faith in that kid or his family’s story) then a movie with actual research into what happens in the afterlife is something that should be out there.

Now certainly there are other stories that depict the principles we hold so near and dear, but I think these 10 would be an excellent place to start.

*It’s no shock that he’s the star of the few screenplays Rand wrote in her brief Hollywood career.
**It does correctly describe how the Aramaic name Yeshua become Jesus if you translate into Greek then English, but Joshua when you go straight from Aramaic to English.

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Obama wants Palestinians to have a state…and I want a pony.

bibi obamaSo Netanyahu has come out in favor of the rational plan that a two state solution is not an option.  The White House seems upset about this…but then again the White House is generally opposed to rational behavior.  Why wouldn’t you want to give a terrorist group state recognition.

But ignoring the obvious problems with this toward Israel safety let’s take a look at some of the other reasons why this is just about the dumbest idea known to mankind.

What laughably passes as a government.  If you will recall the last time the Palestinian people voted for a government they voted in Hamas. You know the same Hamas that calls for the death to all Jews in the world…yes that Hamas. They’re not thrilled with the U.S. either…(although, three guesses as to which U.S. president they really like,  … the U.S. public should probably be weary of a man whom terrorists feel comfortable with). This has to be the worst moment in the history of honest democracy since it was invented. The Germans at least have the excuse that Hitler didn’t actually come out and literally say he was going to kill the Jews (it might have been under the thinnest veneer in history, but as far as I know he never stated “We’re going to kill all the Jews,” not that the Germans couldn’t have figured that out by just listening to what he was saying, still he never stated it in precise uncertain terms), Hamas’ actual charter literally calls for killing all the Jews. And these are the people the Palestinian people elected—a political party with an actual charter that calls for mass genocide. Would you give a country to a group of people who when actually given a choice freely and willing chose evil? I know I wouldn’t.  (But then again how else do you explain 2012).

But this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Palestinian government. Because Hamas then just took over Gaza. Which is why Gaza was under complete lock down and the comically named “Freedom Flotillas” full of terrorist sympathizers and weapons keep trying to get into Gaza. If the West has any real morals we would sink the next one for Israel (preferably with an explosive that leaves no survivors…it’s a pretty clear line if you support the butchers in Gaza, you’re about as Anti-Semitic a son-of-a-bitch as they get, and I live by the general rule that the only good Anti-Semites are dead ones) long before it got anywhere near Gaza. Now some may claim that these flotillas were bringing humanitarian aid. It’s interesting how weapons now qualify as humanitarian aid. But if you still believe that the Freedom Flotillas were carrying only humanitarian aid please contact me—I have some lovely bridges to sell at rock bottom rates that I’m sure you would be interested in. But back to Hamas. After staging their little coup in Gaza the Palestinian government in the West Bank threw Hamas out and put in a bunch of non-Hamas members into the role of Prime Minister, the cabinet and parliament. In real governments when something this major goes on you hold elections to replace the vacant office…but as we already proved the Palestinian people to be morally bankrupt and fairly dumb by their last democratic vote we couldn’t do that so President Abbas just appointed a bunch of people (and that doesn’t sound at all like a petty dictator, no not at all). (And dare we mention that Abbas was a lackey for mass murdering terrorist Yasser Arafat?) And no new elections have been held. Half the so called country is in the hands of insurrectionists, the other half has a government which exists on shaky legal footing. Yes, let’s grant these jokers full status as a real country.

palestinian stateOh and let’s talk about the Palestinian economy. It doesn’t have one. There is no real industry to speak of. Half the population works in Israel. The entire country would be starving to death if it weren’t for U.S. aid to these terrorists (and who’s bloody brilliant idea was it in the first place to give these idiots money?) Israel has said they’re going to have no choice but close the borders completely if Palestine is granted full recognition (I say they should have done it years ago) and there is no way to ethically justify supporting a country so founded on terrorism and tyranny so the U.S. should pull out every single cent we send to them (and for good measure send them a bill for everything we have paid saying we want it all back).  But keep in mind this the Palestine that was given a thriving greenhouse and flower business by the leaving Israeli’s and instead of making money off of said thriving business they just destroyed what they could and went back to plotting genocide.  Yeah they deserve their own nation.

Oh but the poor Palestinians, you say. These are people who dress their babies up as suicide bombers and release those pictures. These are the people who danced in the streets on 9/11. These are the people who have made suicide bombing a recreational sport. And, oh yeah, these are the people who freely elected genocidal butchers as the government they wanted. Forgive me if my heart does not bleed for those who choose evil.

And then of course there is that tiny problem of where exactly is this country. There haven’t exactly been set borders. Now some terrorists, Anti-Semites and idiots have argued that Israel should go back to the so called green line of its original borders. This is stupid for two reasons. One, because those new borders that Israel has are because they won that land in the 6 Day War. For those of you who have been raised in an academic setting all too friendly to Palestinian terrors, let me give you a refresher on what the 6 Day War was. In 1967 Jordan, Syria and Egypt (with the help of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Kuwait, Tunisia, and the Sudan) attacked Israel with twice the number of troops that Israel had. Of course the advantage of being civilized and not barbaric terrorists is that you can defeat a force of superior numbers in only six days. And on the other side of this war where basically Israel stood against the ENTIRE Arab world by itself (because U.S. President LBJ was beyond a coward and worthless piece of crap to give any help…no he would rather destroy the U.S. economy with his War on Poverty…in case you’re wondering we’re still using his tactics and good lord are we loosing that war, might have something to do with the fact that socialism does and can never work) and they won. And they won land too. Now traditionally, to the victor go the spoils, especially when you weren’t the one to start the war. For instance if tomorrow Canada decided to invade and we beat them back but decided to keep lovely British Columbia, that would be more than ethical. (I choose the preposterous example partly because A.) it is silly and B.) because we already have invaded Mexico, we took one look around and left). To go back to the green line is to say, we’re sorry that those countries invaded you with genocidal goals, but the land you took from them in a very unfair fight against you was theirs, and they shouldn’t be punished for acting like pure evil.

The other problem with the green line it’s insane from a defensive position. I could go on for a while on why this is or I can show this video. I apologize for the over the top narration and music, it’s still completely accurate.

Oh and one more thing. Since any reasonable person knows that Palestine will just become a base to launch terrorist attacks against Israel with the intent of full on war against Israel (Iran seems to be preparing as we speak) this is only going to lead to an all out war. You may complain, foolishly, about the destabilizing nature invading Iraq and Afghanistan (destabilizing really, yes Iran is more powerful today than before the war, it was a trend they were on for two decades before we invaded, do you think they’d be less powerful today if we hadn’t tied up all their funds in supporting terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq?) Giving the Palestinians full recognition is just asking for an all out war to break out.

I know my attitude has a distinct “kill them all, God will know his own” feel, and I know if I were in a position of power and not just venting on a blog my actions would be a bit more measured than my words, but it is getting infuriating to deal with people who at every turn support terrorists and tyranny. There are only so many chances you can rationally give someone before there is no choice but to put them in a position where they can never harm you or anyone else again. And sadly when it’s a whole country that seems to have lost its mind on repeated instances I can’t help but get overly upset.

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Saving the Union By Means That Might Actually Work

In light of the FCC ruling that turns the internet, one of the most wonderful examples of the free market being able to run and rule itself into another government mismanaged utility it is clear that there are not enough checks and balances.   Obama is issuing executive orders that have no relation to the law or sanity.

Did we forget we're conservatives and we want to limit the power of the federal government?

Did we forget we’re conservatives and we want to limit the power of the federal government?

And our options are limited.

Congress can only do so much without a President willing to sign laws. I mean you could argue that the Republicans should do more, but they’re kind of Constitutionally limited by what they can do. So unless you want them to become as unconstitutional in their actions as Barry, you have to accept that the next two years is pretty much just stopping new idiotic laws getting out of Congress and keeping things running until someone with a brain and conscience can get sworn in. Just face it you can have the Republicans follow the Constitution, or can have them get things done by being just as lawless as Obama…but you can’t have both.*

And yes I have hopes that the majority of Obama’s current BS will be stuck in courts for the next few years, but it has become clear that we have let the Presidency accumulate far, far too many powers over the years and this needs to be corrected.

And giving power back to Congress or the courts clearly isn’t going to be an effective answer right now either.

So that leaves us with the states.

Legislative Control

It would be hard to see a more ideal time to get an amendment passed.

But how to get power back to the states

Well, right now:

31 states have Republican Control of both houses of their state legislatures.

8 states have Republicans in control of one house of the state legislature.

That’s 39 states where Republicans have a foothold.

…And only 38 States are needed for a Constitutional Amendment…

So if we word this correctly we could get a Constitutional Amendment.

Now a lot of people have been suggesting a Constitutional Amendment Convention to cover a slew of issues. While there are a few other Amendments I would like, that’s a terrible idea. If you give them enough rope they’re either going to get tied in knots or hang themselves. No, we need something direct and simple. That they’re all going there with a single simple Amendment, to work on the specific language and then send it to the states to ratify. As simply as possible, to get done what we need done, and nothing more to make sure that it doesn’t get bogged down.
And what have the last six years shown us? That there need to be checks on poorly passed laws and Presidents running amok with executive action. So may I suggest the following language:

(1) A two-thirds vote of the states may veto any law passed by Congress and signed by the President. A law vetoed in this way may not have that veto overridden by Congress.

(2) Any executive order issued by the President or a regulation issued by the executive branch can be voided by a simple majority vote of the states.

(3) The Senate by a simple majority vote may void any executive order or regulation issued by the executive branch or any of it’s departments or agencies.

That simple language would actually give the avenue to overturn just about everything Obama has done. The only thing he would continue screwing up would be foreign policy…and that we can’t do much about (because you do not want to weaken future Presidents in that area). And it would be a great check against any future abuse by a President, regulatory agency or weak willed Congress (and it might get people to care more about local elections).  And it should be an easy sale to the state legislatures as it gives them more power.

So how do we actually get this to work?

Well first write a letter to your state legislators (find them here http://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/) to call for a convention of the states to put forth this Amendment (or something like it) immediately. I would suggest flooding their email on a daily basis…and then share this article and try and convince everyone you know (no matter what state they live in).

*You could have them making a better case for their position, and I place this blame squarely on the shoulders of John Boehner. But the Republicans for dealing in reality and making the best of a terrible situation as a whole should not be yelled at with ignorant accusations of “traitor” or “RINO.”

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Education Savings Accounts and the Future of School Choice

“School choice is a catalyst for improvement in the public schools.”–Clint Bolick,V.P. for Litigation at the Goldwater Institute

Last week I attended the Phoenix School Choice Agenda put on by the Franklin Center for Government & Pub lic Integrity.franklincenter

The speakers discussed several aspects of school choice at the national level and how they are affecting the Arizona education landscape in particular.

Now while I get the objective to the overall benefits of school choice, and there are many, I think we should focus on what the biggest new thing in school choice is: Education (or Empowerment) Savings Accounts (ESA).

I am not being hyperbolic when I say that ESA’s are probably the mechanism which, we have all been looking for to get us far, far closer to money following students and allowing complete choice in education.

So what is an ESA?

Well let’s first go over some previous versions of school choice. Originally you had public and private school and if you couldn’t afford private school or afford to move to a nicer school district you were pretty much out of options (except for a few limited home schooling options). Then 25 years ago we had the beginning of charter schools (and the end of government and union monopoly…and they knew it which is why they have been fighting it every step of the way) as the first major addition to the system of choices. Now schools that were publicly funded and still had to accept everyone but could operate outside the bureaucratic nightmare that created the mess were there for parents who cared about their child’s education. And this caused some positive reaction by the public schools not just pushing magnet schools to keep students, but research has shown that the threat of losing students has caused public schools to improve their own practices which benefits the students who are not leaving for charters and magnets. Along with this you’ve had the push in the last few years for voucher programs which allow parents to have the state pay for privates schools to create even more choice in education which creates more competition and even better results overall.
But it is out of these voucher programs that the ESA’s grew. A few states had to scrap their voucher programs because their state constitutions were very clear about not funding religious schools…but while the state could not give a voucher to the school of a parent’s choice, they could give money to the parent with restrictions that the money must be spent on their child’s education, and then the parent was free as an independent contractor to spend that money on whatever they wanted, even a religious private school. This money given to the parents is the Education Savings Account. But what makes this better than just a voucher is that the money does not have to go solely to tuition. It can be spent on tutors, books, computers if your choice is to send a child to an online school, supplies for homeschooling, online programs…rather than giving parents choices of which school to send their child the field is now even wider that the parents can choose the best path for their child and not just pick from a limited list of schools!

Currently the ESA program is only active in two states, my home state of Arizona is one of them. Currently only specific students in particular subsets (students with a disability, students going to a D or F rated school, etc )  qualify for the program. If an ESA is approved the state will give 90% of what they would have given to the school now to the parent to use towards theirMilton Friedman Education_edited-1 child’s education..thus there is no financial loss to the school as the student no longer goes to school (the schools might complain about getting less money but from a normal business perspective you have to consider they aren’t educating that student anymore…no business would consider selling one less unit a loss…and if enough student leave that it hurts the bottom line, that school was doing very badly), nor is there a loss to the state fund as a student with an ESA is actually 10% cheaper.

The opportunities provided by these allow parents to escape failing schools to schools that meet their needs, but to also fund additional help through private tutors or purchasing the resources a student may need. And with the wider options than simply a voucher for tuition this will allow for more innovation and creativity in the resources offered to students.

Now this is still not having the money following the student in all cases to all places (the ultimate goal of the school choice movement) but when you think about it this is a major leap towards that goal.

As I said these are only in Arizona and Florida, but if you’re looking for a state issue to get behind, this issue probably more than any other issue facing the states (because the unions are in the hands of the courts, the brouhaha over standardized tests is just too crazy right now to have any sensible conversation) instead of the madness that are federal issues, this is the issue to work on. The more students that we can get money to follow the student the more we will the the best options for choice and this is one of the best inventions in school choice in years.

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AEI: The truths of Aristotle’s ‘Nicomachean Ethics’

Anyone who has read this blog for some time knows I hold Aristotle in a very high degree.  As such it is always great to see others also acknowledge his greatest work Nicomachean Ethics, which in my mind is the most important book every written in the history of the world.  This speech at the American Enterprise Institute about the importance of Aristotle’s works I think is something we should all take the time (it’s worth the hour and a half).

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Old Lies About Romney Make a Come Back with Populists…Time to Slap Them Down (AGAIN)…

By The Snark Who Hunts Back and The Conservative New Ager

Paul Ryan

The look on our faces every time these anti-Romney lies keep coming back.

So recently we’ve been seeing a string of complaints coming out the less intelligent, less thoughtful, and more populist/progressive quarters of the Right once again attacking Romney. And the problem is that the vast majority of these arguments boil down to two problems. The first problem is that they’re trotting out the same complaints that they used 4 years ago and were shown to be utterly without fact, basis, or sanity 4 years ago…and the second problem is that if you had a candidate to actually put up you would be singing their praises and not attacking the only competent candidate there is.   But the clearly the kind of people who prefer populists and progressives are the kind who like to repeat lies that have already been struck down, we might as well cover why these lies are horseshit once again…

Romneycare So the first thing that all small minded people claiming to be conservative like to point to is Romneycare. They claim it’s the origin of Obamacare.

romney5

The appropriate response to hearing that Romneycare and Obamacare are the same thing.

Let’s look at this claim. In reality the actual history of Romneycare is that the Massachusetts legislature proposed a universal healthcare measure. It was a measure that would have completely nationalized all healthcare in the sate of Massachusetts and made Obamacare look like a dream come true. Governor Romney knew he couldn’t just veto the bill (he vetoed 844 bills and line item measures, 707 of those vetoes were overruled…he must have known just vetoing it would have been a fruitless measure). So rather than just give a pointless veto that would be overruled and result in the death private healthcare (which would result in actual death) Romney went to the Heritage Foundation and they gave him the outline for what we now call Romneycare (individual mandates and all…which by the way are Constitutional under the Massachusetts constitution). So if Romney is a liberal for taking the advice of the most conservative think tank in America to stop a far more liberal bill…then what exactly qualifies as conservative? Are you only conservative if you get results? Then Reagan’s a filthy liberal for not destroying the Department of Education. Now the final bill that passed the legislature was not exactly what Heritage suggested and because of that Romney vetoed 8 portions of the final bill. These vetoes were overturned. There were further changes made after he left office (those are the really bad parts). But I’m sure that’s all Romney’s fault. And it gets worse if you get into the details of Obamacare and Romneycare, any attention to details shows that they are nothing alike. Add to that the promise last time to give immediate exemptions to the entire US via executive order and then work to repeal Obamacare…it is a simple fact that to attack Romney for the healthcare system in Massachusetts can only be made if you are completely ignorant of all the facts involved.

He’s a flip-flopper on social issues like gay marriage and abortion. 

more lies

Lies. The only thing the Romney side has going for them.

To call Mitt Romney a flip flopper on the issue of abortion is to say that no man may have a change of mind or heart in the span of nearly 2 decades. A flip flop is something that Obama does. A flip flop is when a politician says one thing and six months later they deny that they ever said it, while stating the exact opposite. What a flip flop is not is a politician who believes something in 1994 or in 2002, but receives a shocking change of heart in the year 2004 due to some new information or even just a new view on the issue(in this case Romney changed his view because of the stem cell research debate), and admits in 2011 that he no longer believes his previous position to be true or the best possible position for him to hold. Mitt Romney is no more a flip flopper on the issue of abortion than a woman like Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a flip flopper on the issue of her religion. As for the issue of gay marriage, another issue that Romney is consistently called a flip flopper on, the accusation bears very little merit as his opinion that gay marriage is a state’s rights issue has not, to my knowledge, ever changed. The only accusation that can be leveled on the issue is that he implemented the decision of the Massachusetts Supreme Court when it gave it’s verdict in 2003 on the subject. His position before and after that moment has remained much the same when it comes to state’s rights.

He’s for Gun control House retort Then clueless critics want to hit Romney over his stance on gun control. I’ve heard people say Romney is weak on the 2nd Amendment. Odd, given his B rating from the NRA.  Why a B and not an A? Well he seems to favor assault weapons bans, background checks (although as we now can do near instant background checks he doesn’t believe in the waiting period now), and slightly stronger control in cities.   Honestly, reasonable people, are any of those things wrong? Would I like someone who said something like it is the right of every American who is not a felon or mentally unstable to own a gun…and it is probably their responsibility to do so as well, or at bare minimum know how to use one. But I’m not getting that this year. The one bill about guns he signed in Massachusetts lessened state licensing laws for gun ownership…not exactly the gun control boogeyman he has been portrayed as…and certainly not the lunatics who tried to use a convoluted and criminal scheme to flood the cities with illegal guns as a justification to crack down on gun ownership.

He increased taxes in Massachusetts

romney3

Seriously? The populists feel comfortable making such a claim?

The claim is that Romney was a tax raiser is also outrageous when you consider where the actual $300 million in increased tax revenue came from. The concept of closing tax loopholes is not one unfamiliar to conservatives who want to fix the tax system. That is precisely what Romney did in Massachusetts, closing several loopholes in the state tax code which raised revenue.  Romney also reduced taxes in several ways, but was unsuccessful in convincing the state legislature (which was held by Democrats by a wide margin) to reduce the state income tax to the promised 5% from 5.3% where the legislature froze it, regardless of the fact that voters had successfully voted for a decrease to 5%. Like at so many other turns during his governorship, Romney’s hands were tied in fully accomplishing his goals by a Democratic legislature. Admittedly Romney’s administration did shift costs over to fees and licenses for many services, but this is more a libertarian solution to raising funds than a tax increase in any case, as it puts the fees directly on those using the service rather than taxing an entire populace to run a program.

He’s for Amnesty emma swanThen of course there are those that object to Romney’s realistic opinion that even after we shut down the border and put in e-verify that it’s simply not economically realistic to try and deport everyone who is here and came here illegally…nor is it legally sane to leave them as illegal immigrants. Yes, after we put in real border security, e-verify and reform the system to have the appropriate visa and worker program we still need to deal with the people who are here. Anyone who thinks the conservative answer is to expends tens of billions into rounding up every illegal and even more tens of billions (if not more) for the deportation trials of each of them (not to mention the even greater cost of political doing so). Such a policy is not conservative it is insane. Meanwhile Romney has in the past consistently stated a sane policy of border security, denying financial gains to illegals, but after those things have been resolved giving those who remain some form of legal status (at a cost):

“It’s very simply this, which is for those who come into the country legally, they would be given an identification card that points out they’re able to work here and then you have an E-verify system that’s effective and efficient so that employers can determine who is legally here and if employers hire someone without a card, or without checking to see if it’s been counterfeited, then those employers would be severely sanctioned.”

Gee what a concept, go after the employers and you kill the very thing that brings illegal immigrants in. Yes this will not solve the drug cartel problems, but this is one of the first steps to getting rid of the illegal immigration problem in this country.

“Our problem is 11 million people getting jobs that many Americans, legal immigrants, would like to have. It’s school kids in schools that districts are having a hard time paying for it. It’s people getting free health care because we are required under the law to provide that health care.”

And as far as I know he’s the only candidate who is consistently bringing up the problem that illegal immigration has on funding for schools. So, bravo Romney.

He was for bailouts

romney2

Ann is ready to slap the stupid out of someone.

Then there are those who say he was in favor of bailouts. Let’s look at his actual statements:

“Well, I frankly wish that the last Congress would have dealt with the stimulus issue and that the president could assign that before leaving office. I think there is need for economic stimulus. Americans have lost about $11 trillion in net worth. That translates into about $400 billion a year less spending that they’ll be doing, and that’s net of additional government programs like Medicaid and unemployment insurance. And government can help make that up in a very difficult time. And that’s one of the reasons why I think a stimulus program is needed. I’d move quickly. These are unusual times. But it has to be something which relieves pressure on middle-income families. I think a tax cut is necessary for them as well as for businesses that are growing. We’ll be investing in infrastructure and in energy technologies. But let’s not make this a Christmas tree of all of the favors for various politicians who have helped out the Obama campaign, giving them special projects.[italics added]

Wow, so his stimulus is across the board tax cutting! Exactly why are we opposed to that? And while we have become rather jaded when Obama says infrastructure repair, because I’ve yet to see a single pot hole fixed, let alone real work done…it’s not a bad idea in theory. Also notice in this January 2009 interview he predicted that we would have BS like Solyndra. Now let’s take a good look at all the actual things he proposed we should do…not one of those things is not an endorsement of capitalism and small government.

That he appointed liberal justices in Massachusetts jlaw As for Romney’s record with judges, it is true that he nominated more Democrats than Republicans, but it is also true that Romney’s governor council was composed of Democrats (chosen by the voters). His early appointments as governor were mostly Democrat and Independent, but toward the end he nominated far more Republicans, which makes sense in a Democratic state like Massachusetts where he would need to be more pragmatic in his appointments in the beginning of his term.  

That he believe in Global Warming

tumblr_n8knmhY13n1s2g6qao1_500

Certainly our reaction to when going through all these anti-Romney claims…seriously, how in the age of information can people be this ignorant?

It’s curious to me that Romney’s remarks on global warming would receive much attention at all. His comment that he believed the earth was getting warmer in 2011 is predated by the much more firmly worded statements he made in his book “No Apology” in 2010:

I believe that climate change is occurring–the reduction in the size of global ice caps is hard to ignore. I also believe that human activity is a contributing factor. I am uncertain how much of the warming, however, is attributable to man and how much is attributable to factors out of our control. I do not support radical feel-good policies like a unilateral US cap-and-trade mandate. Such policies would have little effect on the climate but could cripple economic growth. Oil is purported to be one of the primary contributors to rising global temperatures. If in fact global warming is importantly caused by our energy appetite, it’s yet one more reason for going on an energy diet. Scientists are nearly unanimous in laying the blame for rising temperatures on greenhouse gas emissions. Of course there are also reasons for skepticism. The earth may be getting warmer, but there have been numerous times in the earth’s history when temperatures have been warmer than they are now.

Whether I agree with his statements or not, which I have to add are hardly conclusive proof that he believes that Global Warming is either 100% man-made or a real danger to earth, the main issue with conservatives should always been if he plans to actually do anything about his belief that the world is getting warmer.  His statement “I do not support radical feel-good policies like a unilateral US cap-and-trade mandate. Such policies would have little effect on the climate but could cripple economic growth.” is proof enough that whether he believes in man-made global warming or not, he’s not interested in stepping in on a regulatory level.  Which should be our only real concern on that particular issue.

He lost to Obama

Reagan

So glad we don’t ever let people come back after they’ve lost. I mean after Reagan lost the second time in 1976 it would have been yet another disaster to let him come back and lose again in 1980.

Finally they like to point out that Romney lost. Twice. (Let’s ignore that Reagan lost twice before winning). But let’s looks at that last loss. Romney got a larger portion of the US population than any non-sitting Republican president in the last century. A larger portion of the US voted for Romney than for Reagan. Yeah real failure there. Second why did he lose? Well let’s see we all know that Hurricane Sandy and the good PR Obama got from that (thanks Chris Christie for sucking up to Barry as much as you did). We all admit that Romney’s program for getting voters out, ORCA, failed on election day for whatever reason it crashed, the 2014 election shows the GOP has fixed that program (had it been working the vote would have swung toward Romney). Finally Romney’s biggest campaign problem was he let the media define him as uncaring (a lie, but it’s what they portrayed)…which Romney has used the last two years to wipe away with public appearances, selfies from coach class and with various celebrities and slow jamming the news…that biggest problem is now gone. So the technology is fixed and the biggest weakness is gone…so if the weather will just cooperate we’ll win this time. Certainly this isn’t the entirety of the lies about Romney…but by now you should get the point.  If you bother to do the research, and we think you should, don’t just trust us (just as you certainly shouldn’t trust pundits who know they make more money when a liberal is in office) do the research for yourself.  Click the links we put in.  Read those articles. Do research of your own.  We want you to.  Because facts and reason show that we’re in the right.  Now if you had a fact based objection to Romney we’d be open to hearing it…but we just have yet to see one. buffy

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The witless comments of George Will

George Will has some very odd statements about Mitt Romney:

The read as follows:

It’s very hard to produce unanimity in America politics particularly in fractious republicans but Mitt Romney did so this week. There’s no one expressing the desire, the pent up desire, for another Romney campaign. Is the field weak? He doesn’t have that excuse. This is the strongest most diverse republican field since 1856. Is the party weak? They control 31 governors, seven of the ten largest states have republican governors, they control both legislative chambers and the governorship in 23 states with  251 electoral votes. The republican party is geared up for a very strong showing in 2016 and they do not need to look backwards.

Let’s look at this in pieces.

“It’s very hard to produce unanimity in America politics particularly in fractious republicans but Mitt Romney did so this week.” He acts every Republican was up in arms over this. They were not. Romney is ahead of all the national polls, the Iowa polls, and the New Hampshire polls. The only people that are upset are the predominately populist and Progressives for Jesus hack pundits. The actual base of the party seems to like Mitt.

“There’s no one expressing the desire, the pent up desire, for another Romney campaign.” Numbers and reality to the contrary.

2016 GOP field

Go on. Take an honest look at this bunch. And try not to laugh when saying this is a strong field of options.Ryan’s out.  Walker can’t win the national vote.  The rest beside Romney…well…

“Is the field weak? He doesn’t have that excuse.” Really? Please tell me who the strong candidates are. The brainless demagogue of Ted Cruz. The crazy and immoral libertarianism of Rand Paul. The latest bland and spineless Bush, a family of idiots and wimps. Perhaps you mean the liberal Rick Perry who will with one hand force unproven vaccines on women and with the other use in quite the liberal fashion tax money to give bribes to businesses to come to his state. Perhaps Chris Christie who intentionally sabotaged Mitt at the last moment in 2012 giving Obama lots of good press so that he could run in 2016 showing he places his own fat ego above the good of the nation.   Oh hey, maybe he means Mike Huckabee who even before Michelle Obama thought it was the place of government to tell us what to eat. No I’m sure it’s Ben Carson a man who has never had an ounce of executive experience in his entire life. Really George, I hesitate to say that were it not for the fact that we almost always have weak fields in the Republican party, this is one of the weakest.

“This is the strongest most diverse republican field since 1856.” George, loosen the bow tie. I say this for two reasons. One, in almost all cases, bow ties are not cool—you are not one of the exceptions. Second because it is clearly choking off oxygen to your brain.

“Is the party weak? They control 31 governors, seven of the ten largest states have republican governors, they control both legislative chambers and the governorship in 23 states with  251 electoral votes.” What does this have to do with the price of tea in China? So the Republicans are doing well, great, sounds like the perfect time to put up the most experienced and qualified person for the job since Calvin Coolidge.

But then again this is all coming from a man who agreed with all the other hack pundits in their lie that Romney was not a conservative in the first place. I think FOXNews may be over paying for this level of poor commentary.

“The republican party is geared up for a very strong showing in 2016 and they do not need to look backwards.” Ah the argument of 1980 on why we shouldn’t endorse Reagan…again. It was stupid then and it’s stupid now. We should go with the most qualified candidate. In this case it is pretty obvious who that is. Will seems to be making an argument that bears no semblance of reason or sanity.

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Who are Superheroes Supporting?

Originally posted on Elementary Politics:

Rand suporting Romney The endorsements of superheroes are very important…unlike this endorsement by a lunatic that didn’t pay off.

Here at Elementary Politics we are out to keep you on top of both politics and pop culture. As such we have noticed that tumblr has revealed these two things are both crossing and the cause of the upcoming film Captain America: Civil War.

But while it is all too clear that Tony Stark is backing Mitt Romney and Capt. Steve “let me end the surveillance state” Edward Snowden Rogers is unquestionably in the Rand/Ron Paul camp we decided to where other heroes were standing in their current support for possible presidential contenders.

tony civil war

capt civil wartony captcivil war

So we reached out to our favorite superheroes (and even a few villains) from our favorite movies (unless we otherwise state) and here is what they had to say…

Iron Man

Iron Man [from the movies]: “I successfully privatized national security and now…

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Top 10 Reasons to Hate Mitt Romney

Originally posted on The Long Version:

Top Ten Reasons To Dislike Mitt Romney

speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on Februar...

A lot is being said in the media about Mitt Romney not being “likable” or that he doesn’t “relate well” to people.

So after much research, here is a Top Ten List to explain this “unlikablility.”

Top Ten Reasons To Dislike Mitt Romney:

1. Drop-dead, collar-ad handsome with gracious, statesmanlike demeanor. Looks like every central casting’s #1 choice for Commander-in-Chief.

2. Been married to ONE woman his entire life, and has been faithful to her, including through her bouts with breast cancer and MS.

3. No scandals or skeletons in his closet. (How boring is that?)

4. Can’t speak in a fake, southern, “preacher voice” when necessary.  (Could learn a thing or two from Hillary, Al, or Barack in that area)

5. Highly intelligent. Graduated cum laude from both Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School…and by the way, his academic records are…

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The most and least conservative TV shows

Originally posted on Elementary Politics:

A little while ago the Libertarian (really they’re becoming a bit of a isolationist quasi-liberal outlet, but we’ll ignore that for now) magazine Reason released a list of the top 5 libertarian TV Shows and least libertarian shows.  As is all too typical of libertarians these days their best shows were just a little unwatchable (Penn & Teller’s okay in small doses but the rest can be ignored at best) and their worst list did include some terrible drivel but also attacked some great works of TV.

So since the sanctimonious writers at Libertarians shouldn’t go unchallenged, here are the five best conservative shows on TV and regrettably the five least conservative shows.

  1.     Buffy the Vampire SlayerBuffy Cast

“Make your choice. Are you ready to be strong?”

Buffy the Vampire Slayer as conservative?  As the move conservative? Yes and yes.  The people over at Brietbartagree it’s conservative and The…

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Limit the Power of Bureaucracy

shackles

Shakespeare was wrong. It’s not lawyers, but bureaucrats that need to go first.

Often I hear the call from conservatives that we should impose term limits on Congress. This sounds nice but when you think about it, such actions have never been shown to lead to better legislation and only have resulted in having a higher percentage of idiots in bodies of parliament. I know it sounds nice but it just doesn’t want to work…now if you want to go back to having the Senate elected by state legislatures we might get better laws, but I don’t think most people are willing to admit that basic truth…so let’s get back to term limits. Term limits on elected officials will do nothing to actually improve anything…but what about term limits on federal and state employees.

Think about it.

Who is more dangerous? The idiot legislator who poorly words a bill about needing a business license? Or the worthless little fascist who thinks it is anywhere in the realm of civilized behavior to cite a child for having a lemonade stand on their lawn? (Hint one might need to be voted out of office, and one needs to be beat to death with a crowbar. Take a guess which is which.)

Who is more to blame? The Congressman who votes for a terrible addition to the tax code because it was tied to a bill that would ensure the military in a combat will get live bullets…or the IRS agent who takes a malicious glee in fining you because you could not deduce what the regulations they wrote above and beyond the law in Navajo code actually meant? (Hint: one can be forgiven for being in an impossible position, the other would be joining the S.S. if they were still hiring.)

Who should you worry about more? The politician who breaks their promise? Or the VA official who lets veterans die so they can get a bonus. (Dante would have to create a new level of hell just to deal with some of the shit we have seen go on the last few years from bureaucrats.)

Who ruins your life? The arrogant Senator who just is so vain he will do anything to get on TV, even going as far as arguing that we should arm ISIS? Or jackbooted thug who thinks it’s okay to call out a SWAT team on people who are selling raw milk? (Tough call, but John McCain is a particularly vile politician, far worse than most politicians ranking below most rodents, whereas I would go as far as to that 99% of all state and federal employees are scum.)

My point is that bureaucrats are far more dangerous than the people who write the laws. Because bureaucrats are the ones who write the regulations that determine how those laws will be enforced (that’s also something that needs to change, but we’ll get to that some other time) and the ones who enforce those laws and those regulations. No system in history has ever been constructed without the assumption that some competence and common sense will go into the enforcement…the problem is there is no way to encourage any of that in the system we currently have. You hire people for passing a basic civil servants entrance exam and they basically have a job for life. They can kill people intentionally or through incompetence (as the VA, ATF, and CDC have shown) and nobody loses a job. They can break law after law, violate basic Constitutional principles, and blackmail and intimidate citizens like this were a cheap Banana Republic and while in a just society there would be scores of bureaucrats swinging form gallows they know they’re all protected because their criminal boss plead the Fifth in front of Congress (oh and let’s not forget the destruction of evidence…)

These are people who have no incentive to justly enforce laws, to use common sense, or to even show the slightest bit of human decency. They have a job for life and pension after that. This has to stop. And the simplest way to do that is put term limits for all state and federal employees*. For all non-management staff the most you can serve in government is 15 years or two nonconsecutive terms of 10 years.   For management you need to receive a promotion at least once every 4 years or clearly you’re not good enough to keep.

big governmentFor the non-management staff this has several benefits. First every bureaucrat knows that there is no such job security…and they will be more concerned with making connections in the private sector than making the private sector’s existence a living nightmare. Second they will not act with impunity…the person you write up today could be conducting your interview tomorrow.   Third, you actually have to do your job well and in a way that will get compliments given to your boss about you that they can put on the letter of recommendation that you’ll need when you’re booted out of government service. Trust me, no little girls are going to be written up for a lemonade stand under this system…because no one would ever hire that sociopathic son of a bitch if they had that albatross hanging around their neck. You’d have just about the same job prospects as a child molester…and I don’t really see anything wrong with that (seriously, how mentally disturbed do you have to be to do that?)

As for management positions in government…the system I have set up that requires constant advancement…well there is no way faster to make sure there is a position open to get promoted into than being the whistle blower to point out that Ms. Lerner is breaking more laws than you thought a human being possibly could and oh, that’s right, I made sure to bring copies of all the email she sent me where she admits to breaking the law. The upper echelons of government will self-police with a ruthless efficiency that Congressional Oversight could never hope to match.

Now I’m sure someone will argue that the high turnover will result in far more open positions and low skill employees…this is true. This will result in Congress shrinking the responsibilities of these offices or just outsourcing their functions to the private sector just to make the pissed off voters go away. Win-win.

Now I will admit that this may cause the welfare rolls to swell slightly (as many government employees aren’t exactly qualified for private sector work) but I think the cost saving of them not getting in the way of my life may justify this.

Stop lifetime employment in government and actually get much better government.

*I am willing to exclude county and local government as these will be harder to fill, and jobs like police, district attorney’s office, and teacher you may not want to have high turnover as these are just functions of local government. Similarly I am willing to concede similar exemptions for the federal government for the Defense, State, and parts of the Justice Department (attorney’s and FBI), and anything in the Intelligence branch—these again are

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Movies for Conservatives: Interstellar

Okay so this is a more in depth look at Interstellar. If you want the spoiler light version of the review then go to my review on Elementary Politics.


Okay you’ve been warned, spoilers ahead.

Interstellar

So first off you should know you’re watching The Odyssey.  Nolan’s movies are all based on a work of literature* and this one is no different.  Cooper is Odysseus and he faces many of the same problems.  He faces a tidal wave that blows him years off course, one of the crew is tempted by the lotus eaters promise to dream his life away (which is also an Inception reference)**, a fight against a two faced monster and a giant hole in the ground (between Scylla and Charybdis), betrayal (the cattle of Helios), constantly hearing the siren call of home, a trip to the underworld, and a return home only to set off on another adventure.  And while everyone forgets this, a good portion of The Odyssey is Odysseus’ son Telamachus searching for his father, but Nolan cooper and murphdidn’t forget this part, and has the second main part of this story being Cooper’s daughter, Murphy, in her search for the same answer Cooper is looking for: how to save humanity.  There is also a little Heart of Darkness thrown in (and they’re not subtle about this as they use the phrase Heart of Darkness…granted it was technically used to describe a black hole, but it’s really just foreshadowing, which is something Nolan always revels in).  The Heart of Darkness aspect comes into play with as Heart of Darkness is all about hearing how great a man Kurtz is for the entirety of the trip into the jungle only to find that he is a raving psychotic…in Interstellar we are inundated with hearing how great, how brave, how intelligent Dr. Mann is, only to find him to be a cowardly moron who doesn’t even know how to park a vehicle properly.

But enough about the literary origins of the story…let’s get to the thematic cores of the film.

This movie, as with all of Nolan’s films has a very strong theme of conservative values that glorifies the individual and abhors the mentality of collectivism.

“We used to look up at the sky and wonder at our place in the stars, now we just look down and worry about our place in the dirt.”

The story starts out sometime in the future (an elderly John Lithgow seems to remember the present as his childhood, so this puts it somewhere in the latter portion of the 21st century). The world has been overcome with “blight” a disease that has ravished wheat and other mainstays of food production leaving only corn alive–for now (a lesser director would have used global warming as a reason the Earth was dying, but Christopher Nolan is not a liberal hack). Humanity and innovation have come to a complete standstill and as farm land goes barren it leaves only dust storms to ravish the land. The parallels to the Dust Bowl of the Great Depression are unmistakable.  And just as in previous depressions we see the progressive mentality to rewrite history to convince people that their lives are only there to serve the greater good (the invention of the 4 freedom in the Great Depression, the malaise speech telling us that collectivism is the only way to survive, the attitude of “you didn’t build that’…all lies designed to make people give up on the nobility of the human individual and their soul)…in Interstellar it is:

Cooper: You don’t believe we went to the Moon?

Ms. Kelly: I believe it was a brilliant piece of propaganda, that the Soviets bankrupted themselves pouring resources into rockets and other useless machines…

Cooper: Useless machines?

Ms. Kelly: And if we don’t want to repeat of the excess and wastefulness of the 20th Century then we need to teach our kids about this Planet, not tales of leaving it.

Cooper: You know, one of those useless machines they used to make was called a MRI, and if we have one of those left the doctors would have been able to see the cyst in my wife’s brain, before she died instead of afterwards, and then she had been the one sitting here, listening to this instead of me which’ld be a good thing because she was always the… a calmer one.

This little scene not only shows how the government is more than willing to lie to get what it wants out of people, but also that the best in humanity, our drive to push forward, to reach beyond the confines of what we know.  Or to point to an earlier Nolan film, The Prestige, where Tesla points outs:

You’re familiar with the phrase “man’s reach exceeds his grasp”? It’s a lie: man’s grasp exceeds his nerve.

People, especially liberals, are afraid of the potential of humanity, and as both history and this film show, they will exploit any downturn to destroy the human need to be an individual and strive for greatness…after all “”You never let a serious crisis go to waste” is the liberal mantra.

But in this film it gets worse. In Interstellar it’s not just lying about the past, it’s lying about the future.  It’s lying that there is hope for what they call Plan A, the idea they can get the human population off of Earth and into space.  Of course this is a lie. There is no such plan…and in tune with the mentality of not looking for the potential of human nature they decided to give up and lie to keep people from panicking.  They don’t look for another option, they try for another solution they just give up.

And this leads into the liberal ideology of what justifies this lying.  As Caine’s Prof. Brand puts it “We must think not as individuals, but as a species” which are echoed later by Damon’s Dr. KurtzMann.  In fact Dr. Mann talks about sacrificing the people for a greater good and how empathy must be put aside…and all of this villainous talk sounds exactly like the environmentalist wacko’s who want to save the Earth by ending humanity…like Matt Damon.  I wonder if Matt Damon realizes that he was effectively hired to play himself to show that his rhetoric is evil.  Probably not.  But back to theme.  We see over and over again from the teachers, to Brand, Mann and even Cooper’s son the mixture of the idea that the individual is not enough, “We must confront the reality that nothing in our solar system can help us.” being coupled with the defeatist attitude that would allow for humanity’s extinction.  The movie is quite clear; collectivism will lead to destruction (just as it did in The Dark Knight Rises and The Man of Steel, just in case you think I’m somehow making this up—Nolan puts a clear hatred of collectivism in his films).

“We’ve always defined ourselves by the ability to overcome the impossible. And we count these moments. These moments when we dare to aim higher, to break barriers, to reach for the stars, to make the unknown known. We count these moments as our proudest achievements. But we lost all that. Or perhaps we’ve just forgotten that we are still pioneers. And we’ve barely begun. And that our greatest accomplishments cannot be behind us, because our destiny lies above us.”

interstellar-matthew-mcconaugheyOn the other hand we have the individual shown as the vehicle that will save humanity again and again.  It is Cooper’s courage and ingenuity that is needed and repeatedly saves the mission.  It is Amelia’s faith and hope that allows her to push through and start a new Earth somewhere out there in a far away galaxy without knowing that Cooper will soon be there to help her. And of course it is Murphy who is not only smart enough to figure out the riddle given to her by her father and what humanity will become…but it is very telling that even our future selves believe in the power of an individual, in the mind of a single woman to save humanity.  Even while in the Tesseract TARS expresses doubt in the ability of one person to solve the problem, and Cooper very clearly points out that it is possible for a single person can solve the riddle…but Cooper echoing his belief in the potential, shows that an individual person as a bridge and an individual person as a scientist have the potential to save humanity.  And this is especially poignant given that Murph was set by her school to be nothing but a farmer and by Prof. Brand to be nothing but a failure…or again in Nolan’s words from another work that apply quite well to Murph, “What if a child dreamed of becoming something other than what society had intended?  What if a child aspired to something greater?” They can save everyone, as we see over and over again in Nolan’s films.JESSICA-CHASTAIN-INTERSTELLAR

But what allows all of these individuals to be, is a strong connection to family.  I have to say that Nolan is a rarity in literature of any kind, a writer whose main characters all have healthy relationships between parent and child (honestly, show me an author who has a good relations between a parent and child as those between Thomas and Bruce Wayne, Alfred Borden and his daughter, Clark Kent and all of his parents, Cobb and his children, and now Cooper and Murph.  Most works are filled with angst and tension between parent and child, but refreshingly not Nolan).  Now I point this out as a conservative theme because it does show the correct attitude to family that is so often lacking.  Social “conservatives” (or as I like to call them Progressives for Jesus as they are not conservative in the least and would love to have a big government to enforce their own Christian of Sharia) have this perverted view that life, society, existence itself begins and ends with the family.  The point of marriage, sex, society is only to have children, raise them, and repeat the cycle.  You should notice that this hopelessly dull view of existence is basically the one shared by people like Prof. Brand who only is concerned with saving humanity in the sense of it’s genetic material…but we see in Interstellar a much more conservative view of the family not as something just designed to repeat a cycle but as a vehicle to achieving human happiness.  Cooper is first and foremost concerned with his children developing as people, not just surviving but living.  And this contrasts with his son’s myopic idiocy and Brand’s lying to his own daughter Amelia and his more or less adopted daughter Murph.  The villains of the story are only concerned with keeping their family intact as if the status quo is the only thing to worry about, they have no concern for the quality of life, only the quantity—a typical liberal perspective.

“Love is the one thing that transcends time and space.”amelia

And the bond that connect family is of course love.***   Love is at the heart of this film. While the individual is paramount for this story, it is the love between individuals that ties people together. Nolan never quite crosses into the realm of the spiritual in his films, but be it the nature of the dream in Inception or price of a soul in The Prestige, the spiritual is always hanging around the edges of his movies, gently influencing the theme (like hanging out behind a bookcase).  And here it becomes even more present than in any other Nolan film.  Love is seen to be like gravity in this film a force that transcends the laws of relativity and quantum mechanics (which is actually how thought seems to relate to physics…and to equate thought to love can’t just be a complete coincidence in a movie written by Nolan, a writer director/writer so careful with little details like this).  Love is vindicated as had they made the choice from love that Amelia proposed they would have succeeded without losing anyone else. And love is the force that the future of humanity uses to save it’s own past (which suggests that unlike every sci-fi vision of an evolved humanity, we have not left love behind but rather come to a far greater understanding it…if that’s not a spiritual message, I don’t know what is).

And if that isn’t enough, there is of course the central theme of the greatness of America (the nation that puts the individual and family at the forefront).  As always in a Nolan film America is shown for all its greatness…in this film it is no different.  We see that the people we are supposed to hate are tearing down the greatest moment of American history, namely that we walked on the moon.  We see the quintessential American pastime, baseball, being something loved by Cooper and Murph but also the sport that we take to space with us.  And of course take a look at the last scene, a scene about hope and adventure, where Amelia has set up a second Earth and we are left to imagine the future that she and Cooper will create on this new world…the last scene is of Amelia’s recently set up camp with the America flag center of screen blowing in the wind.

interstellar bookshelf

A final question what is it with cornfields?  Field of Dreams, Signs, Interstellar, Children of the Corn…Nothing ever comes out of a wheat or barley field…why is it always corn?

*Batman Begins is The Aeneid, The Prestige is Faust, The Dark Knight is Othello, Inception is the story of Theseus and Ariadne in the Labyrinth, The Dark Knight Rises is A Tale of Two Cities.  Even Man of Steel which was written and produced by Nolan is at its core an attack on Plato’s Republic.

**On two viewings I have noticed references to Inception, The Dark Knight Rises, 2001, Stargate, and Star Wars.  I’m fairly sure another viewing or two will reveal Star Trek and

***Just wait until I show that the central theme of each of the last seven Nolan movies has each movie tied directly to one of the four cardinal virtues or three theological virtues.

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