Author Archives: CrisAP

About CrisAP

Cris has been active in politics since college where he led the Republican campus group. Since then he has been involved in campaign drives and community activism off and on between his career of teaching high school English. In addition, Pace has spent the majority of life looking for truth in the world’s major religions finally settling on New Age belief as best representation of the truths of the world. He regularly blogs about both on his blog The Conservative New Ager. Cris is originally from Southern California but currently resides in Phoenix.

Kasich: The Liberal Zealot

Kasich So John Kasich has come out with a proposal to have a new department to spread Judeo-Christian ideas across the world globe. I think we all agree that this is possibly the dumbest thing that Kasich has said in a long line of dumb things, inane things to come out of Kasich’s mouth this campaign. However, this is particularly dumb because it is dumb for two very important reasons.
because it is in no way, shape, or form conservative and
because it is in no way, shape, or form in line with the ideals of America.
Now the fact that is not American has been dealt with a lot by many authors and I will certainly be dealing with that as well however I felt the need to deal with the fact this is about as far from conservatism as is possible.

The problem with Kasich’s plan isn’t that he is calling for the United States to want to get engaged in a global campaign of propaganda—there’s nothing wrong with this. We need to do this as we are in a world-wide competition with Russia, China, and Islamofascism. We need to take the forefront and explain why we are the superior philosophy. That capitalism, that liberty, that natural rights, that the individual, are the things government should be trying to protect not trying to put down (and let’s for the moment just gloss over how Kasich supports none of those things).
However, Kasich, needs to realize that we already have this.
This Radio Free Europe and radio liberty conducted during the Cold War were private organizations that work in conjunction with the State Department and the CIA.  And most of our pro-America propaganda came from State and the CIA.  We don’t need to create new departments—we just need to have the existing departments do the same things that they used to do  (you know their job). This does not require more government, this just requires the government we have to start doing the job it’s supposed to be doing.  But Kasich thinks we need to have new departments.  He’s wrong.  Just as he’s wrong on every entitlement spending  program, just as he’s wrong in understanding the role of government versus charity, just wrong in thinking that his religious views should dictate what law is.
Ah, but Kasich and his relatively few followers (how is that man is not already on the undercard stage?) will say, “But this job is so specialized we need to have a separate department handle it?”  And the correct response is: You made the same claim that Veteran Benefits were so specialized it needed to be taken out of the hands of the Department of Defense and made its own department.  Remind me again how well the VA is doing?  The same claim was made that Education was so important that the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare needed to broken up into the Departments of Health and Human Services and the Department of Education.  To a conservative, history shows that new departments for things that previous departments can do just creates such ungodly messes that three whole departments should be not be reformed (and certainly not broken up further) but completely annihilated for the sake of humanity.

But this should all be expected of a man who doesn’t understand that Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare are going bankrupt and need to be reformed, possibly privatized, but certainly cut in numerous ways. He doesn’t seem to understand that money just doesn’t grow on trees, it’s usually a very liberal premise Kasich is living off of. Unfortunately this is because he’s not actually very good conservative. He talks about how he’s balanced the budget in his state, but Ohio has one of the worst long-term debts of any state in the union; that’s not entirely his fault,
a lot of that debate came from before him, but he didn’t fix it. And he’s claiming he did—a typical liberal lot of denying reality. Further, if you look at his campaign in general there doesn’t seem to be anything he wants to cut, and let’s be honest here you can’t be conservative, look at this current budget and not want to take a machete to it.  Now a conservative will also say that they may not be pragmatic, that they may not be able to get that past congress and they may not want to promise what they can’t deliver (although that hasn’t kept Trump, Cruz, Carson and Paul from promising miracles that even Jesus wouldn’t be able to perform), but a conservative has to look at the budget and say I would cut most of this if I could.

Then again Kasich, has never quite understood even America, as demonstrated by his repeated talks about how he should be using his power as a government official to buy his way into Heaven with how many people he helped. He seems to think that you’ve ignored that the calls for charity and helping the needy are calls made to individuals, not to government, and that there are no parts in the Bible where it says and “render unto Caesar your charitable money so Caesar can distribute it to the poor as he sees fit.”

So now that we have determined that Kasich is not a conservative let’s look at his other lie.  That we should be spreading Judeo-Christian ideals.  Now as I’m sure everyone with a brain knows it

Was this a nation founded on Christianity?

See those five guys up there (Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, who is number 5?) those are the core group of the Founding Fathers. Or you can look at it as an Enlightenment Freemason (Washington), two Deists Franklin and Jefferson, and a Unitarian who denied the divinity of Christ (Adams).  Even if you expand the list to include other Founding Fathers it takes a while before you find someone who believes anything like the modern idea of Christianity.  Madison for instance opposed a law calling for recognition of Christianity (no denomination, just Christianity) as the religion of the land…the list goes on.

So anyone who thinks that these men thought Christianity should be the guiding light of all law, government and behavior is out of their minds.

However, do not fall for the knee jerk opposite view either.

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.–John Adams

The Founders did not believe in Christianity being the one sole and only guiding light of the nation…but neither were they a bunch of atheists.

They were religious men, deeply religious men whose ideas where deep and well-thought out enough that they often did not fit well into the simple dogma’s of this or that denomination. They did not believe in a religious government.  They believed in a government of law.  But it is a government of law that must be administered by people who were guided by their own religion.

The law should not be religious.  But the people should be.  But Kasich with his talk about how will he justify not using tax dollars for massive entitlement programs to St. Peter doesn’t seem to get this divide.

But more importantly I don’t think Kasich has the first clue as to what makes this country great and what makes Western Civilization great.  If it was just Judeo-Christianity that made this thing great why was it that the later pro-Christian era of the Roman Empire and the Christian Middle Age were so terrible compared to their earlier Pagan predecessors and Aquinas inspired Renaissance.  One name: Aristotle.  Before Christianity (and early dalliances with Platonism) took over there was more or less an Aristotelian flavor to government, and after St. Thomas Aquinas showed that the philosophy of Aristotle was not only compatible with Christianity but superior to the ideas of the previous millennium is when true growth returned to the West.  (It should also be noted that the Islamic Golden Age of the early Abbasid period was that brief period of time where Aristotle and reason held more sway than the Koran and insanity).  If Kasich doesn’t understand where the greatness of our nation comes from—and make no mistake the Aristotelian and quite secular flavor of the Enlightenment has more to do with it any religion—then how can he possibly try to sell those ideas.

Also I’m sure that’s going to go over really well with our Kurdish allies in the Middle East, the Buddhist allies we’ll need in China…and hell I’m sure this won’t alienate any of the more moderate Muslim groups either.  Great idea, John.  What other idiotic ideas do you have.

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Evils of Equality


“Freedom is life’s great lie. Once you accept that, in your heart, you will know peace.”—Not Bernie Sanders but you’d be hard pressed to find a place where he disagrees with this idea.

So I’m sure we’re all tired of Bernie and his cult of stupid praising equality.  They’re quite an illiterate bunch. I call them illiterate because if he had ever picked up a book he might have had the chance to see the obvious evil of equality. Bradbury, Huxley, Orwell, and of course most beautifully Vonnegut in “Harrison Bergeron” show the clear dehumanizing nature of equality. Further these idiots have clearly been living in caves as I know everything from The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, Star Trek back in the day to episodes of the Simpsons—not to mention a slew of movies have also dealt with how equality is really a terrible thing (and I mean movies of quality not just whatever the latest teen dystopia is). But for those of you who might not be sure why I’m suggesting equality is terrible let me explain.

As an English teacher by day I like to make sure we all have the same definition going in when we discuss something, so let us begin with a quick definition:

equality: noun, the state of being equal, esp. in status, rights, and opportunities

But that really doesn’t help us now does it?  Except in giving us the idea that things that have equality are essentially the same thing. This is why we have to break down equality into lots of different categories such as potential, rights, under the law, access to opportunities, abilities, and results. (Yeah I’m going to cover all of those.)calvin-coolidge-quotes.jpg

Now not all equality is bad, because in many ways we are perfectly equal. For instance we are all equal in our potential. We all have the potential to reach into that part of ourselves that is part of God.  In a more immediate sense we all have the potential to make our lives, and possibly this world, a better place than we found it (but again not everyone lives up to that potential).

We are equal in our natural rights. By definition we are beings with bodies, reason, free will, and souls. Because we have bodies we have the right to life, because without that right we could not use any of those other things we have. Because we have reason and free will we all have the right to liberty so long as it does not infringe upon the liberty of anyone else. Because we have souls we not only have a right but a moral obligation to pursue our Happiness because that is what we are made for. Wrapped up in the pursuit of Happiness while in this world is liberty but also the right to property to see the effort of our labor made manifest. We are all equal in these rights. No one has a greater natural right to liberty than another…although if you prove to be a danger to those around you, for the safety of everyone you can lose your right to liberty.

And because of the nature of government it must be enforced that we are all equal under the law. That the writing and enforcement of the law cannot, must not, favor one group over another. If we didn’t enforce strict equality under the law (which by the way we don’t with such wonderful ethical violations as Affirmative Action, and the DOJ’s current racist enforcement of voting rights laws) the system would be by definition corrupt.

And then there is this tricky one about access to opportunities. This is where equality stops. When conservatives and libertarians talk about equal access to opportunity they are speaking about something we are all equal in regards to. We all have a right to seek opportunities that will lead to our happiness, and while we don’t have this in real life because of the government, we do have the natural right to seek any job, any profession, any piece of property and try to achieve them. However, since we do not have a right to getting these things, only the equal right to pursue getting them, some of us will not achieve our pursuit. And in this respect individuals are not equal. Some will find success/happiness in the opportunities, some will not. And that is a fact of reality.

These are all things we are equal in because they all deal with potential. We all have these rights to do things as we choose, but notice nothing is guaranteed to us; we have to work for every end. Only means are rights not ends.*

Liberals, however, when they mention equality of opportunity they think of something else. They think of the evil which I spoke of in the first paragraph. When they say everyone should have access to the same opportunities, they don’t think with the addendum that conservatives do “so long as you have worked for them.” Do you want to have a pay check, a better job, a life-style where you can take 2 months, or a year off? Conservatives want you to have those things, so long as you work for them. Liberals just want to skip that little work point and just say you should have the opportunity to live that kind of life. To hell with whether you’ve earned it.

And that’s the problem with equality of results. It denies that people have to earn things; that they just have to be given things. And while the pragmatic problem is that when a government gives people things you have to steal them from others which is evil in and of itself, it reduces the incentives to actually produce. This is why communist and socialist nations produce less, because there is no incentive to produce more–only capitalism produces that. Don’t believe me, look at pictures of any Soviet breadline, then, go take a look at how many types of bread you have to choose from at the local Safeway.

But aside from the pragmatics that guaranteeing equality of results doesn’t work there is an inherent evil in equality of ends. First off people are not equal. One person is smarter, one stronger, one a better painter, one a great accountant, another a great teacher, another a great writer, another a great parent. People have different talents. Most of have two or three things we’re good at. A rare few are exceptional in multiple fields. A rare few are gifted in almost nothing. But each of us has different skills. Now while we all have our purpose on this Earth, it does not mean all of us will fulfill that to our fullest potential. And to treat everyone as if their gifts were all the same is to deny that which makes us good. To say we all get paid the same, or have equal rights to healthcare, states that your gifts and talents and efforts and character are worth the same as the most talentless, ungifted, lazy jerk. And that’s exactly what equality of ends is endorsing. It says that the most pathetic excuse of a human being is worth the same as you. It is to say that the person who has turned their back on making the world a better place should receive the same as the person who strives to use all their gifts to their fullest potential. It is to say that there is no difference between those who choose the best in ourselves and work to that end and those who fall to the worst in ourselves and work to no end but destruction.

You cannot bring the worst of us up to the level of the best of us unless they choose to bring themselves up to that level. Thus to say that everyone, without qualification, deserves the same payment, healthcare, means you deserve the same rewards, healthcare, place in society. Equality says you are worth no more than the most lazy, illogical, uneducated person in the world. Is that right? No it’s evil. Only by embracing the best within us and rewarding that, do we acknowledge that there is a difference between the best and worst within us. (And you’ll notice that those best among us then offer more opportunities through personal charity to others to let them shine as well). The only way to establish equality is to destroy those of skill and gifts because otherwise they would be a reminder to those who do not have those skills and gifts that they are not equal (go read Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron”)…equality means that no one should be more special than any other or shine out from the crowd (go read Huxley’s Brave New World)…it means you cannot exercise your liberty because the full use of liberty means you might be different and better (go read 1984). Equality in the way liberals mean it is slavery.

Yes we need equality under the law, equality of rights, equality to pursue our dreams because we are humans. But that which makes us human allows us to progress at different rates, which by definition means an inequality of results. And to go against that is to go against what makes us human. It is an evil that denies the best within us.

*Liberals will of course bring up handicaps here.  Guess what real handicaps didn’t stop Keller, Hawking, or Reeves, humans have potential because of their soul and their brain and for the vast majority of people with handicaps we have no problem making legitimate accommodations when people legitimately have something that is out of the norm that might offer a small stumbling block to them demonstrating the full potential of their mind.  As for mental handicaps, well we as a society take care of those who literally can’t take care of themselves—it’s an incredibly small group and this minuscule exception doesn’t actually challenge the idea of rights and equality of opportunity being more important than equality of results.

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Dear Conservative Talking Heads, We Need to Talk…

Originally posted on The Collision Blog :

I recently wrote a blog addressed to “real conservatives,” now I’m going to address their weird, quasi-cult ring leaders. I’m talking about Hannity, Ingraham, Levin, Coulter, Rush, Drudge, etc… If Anchorman taught us anything, it was clearly that those in the news can be really, really stupid.

Paul Ryan is expected to be voted in as speaker tomorrow, and the third GOP debate will take place tonight. Countless conservatives will watch on Twitter as their favorite conservative celebrity commentators live tweet their opinions on Ryan, or simply highlight what they feel is pertinent in the debate. In the coming days, these “leaders” will give their opinions to their faithful following, and many will take their words rather seriously when judging the candidates themselves, or Ryan’s ability to do the job of speaker. The problem is that many of them have become no better than DailyKos, Salon, and the like…

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Conservatives – Almost as many flavors as Baskin Robbins

Originally posted on Elementary Politics:

Right now there is a lot of debate over what is a Conservative and what is not. Recently in the race for Speaker of the House some idiots have actually called Paul Ryan, Jason Chaffetz, Trey Gowdey and several hard core conservatives, RINO (Republicans in Name Only).

At the point where someone actually thinks that Ayn Rand loving, budget cutting, small government extraordinaire Paul Ryan is a RINO you have you to look at the word RINO and go:


First off, they actually mean conservative and not Republican but we’ll give them that “CINO” makes even less sense than the drivel they’re currently shoveling; so kudos to the dimwits for getting that your acronyms should sound like real words.

But this doesn’t actually solve the inherent question of what is a conservative? There might have been a day we listed off a devotion to certain cardinal virtues, or perhaps listed…

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Dear “Real Conservatives,” We Need to Talk…

Originally posted on The Collision Blog :

Alright, Guys… We’ve all been listening to the “Freedom Caucus” news, and most are wondering what the ever-loving debacle is about. The heroes of the underground GOP “fight club,” representing all that is good and decent. Bla, bla, bla… We’ve spent the last few months hearing “establishment RINO” more times than we’ve heard our own name, and “amnesty” is now a word that has no real definition. Everyday I troll through Twitter and, without fail, find at least one “real conservative” that I dislike a little more today than I did yesterday, and a little less than I will tomorrow. It’s like when your friend has a child, and it’s adorable, precious, innocent, and you want to cuddle it. Then at three it starts wiping boogers on you and punching the family dog, but you’re like, “well, my friend still loves them, and I guess I should, too. Maybe they’ll grow out…

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Tomorrowland—fun with a good message.

Originally posted on Elementary Politics:

“Every day is the opportunity for a better tomorrow.”

tomorrowland posterDespite some bad reviews from ideologues on the right and the left Tomorrowland is a good movie—it’s not a great movie, but then again it’s not exactly targeted at an adult audience, so one would be insane to expect perfection.  But director Brad Bird, director of The Incredibles and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol has followed up his previous successes with another wonderful film—the problem is that while there are traces of depth in his work he still hasn’t managed to flesh them out into full fledged great art. So let’s deal with the spoiler free stuff first. First you should go and enjoy this movie.  It’s fun, it’s fast paced and has more than enough eye candy to keep you entertained.  It starts off with a quirky narration that goes back and forth between your two main characters competing for how…

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First Death Knell For Progressives For Jesus: How the GOP should handle rebranding without sacrificing principle in the face of America’s changing religious landscape?

Originally posted on Elementary Politics:

pew christians 8% drop for Christians. No one should be planning on winning with this demographic alone.

So this week a new study by Pew came out looking at trends in religion in the United States.  And as everyone seems to be reporting there are a lot fewer Christians.  Now a lot of the articles that have picked this up talk about shifts in society or politics but pretty much only from the stance that politics and alliances are static.

Now, certainly for Huckabee, Carson, Santorum, and Cruz and the other Progressives for Jesus (what used to be incorrectly called Social Conservative–but really it’s the progressive desire to institute your values as law, just with religion instead of secular beliefs) who think they can get into the office only by rallying the Christian vote, an 8% drop in their expected voters is a bit much.  Luckily, not only are those 4 idiots…

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More Movies Hollywood Should Make

movie ticketsDespite the fact that I’ve already suggested the list of conservative movies and spiritual movies that Hollywood should make there is the simple fact that Hollywood is getting a little insane in coming up with no new ideas.

As this video shows:

Now I think the one problem with this video is the complaint that too many movies are based on books…that’s not quite accurate, it would be more fair to say that too many movies are based on poorly written teen novels that pander to the lowest of the lowest common denominator.  There are good books out there that could make excellent movies, and along with a few new ideas let’s go through some other things Hollywood should make.

The Pendergast Novels.  I’ll admit that Hollywood hasn’t completely ignored this series by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child–after all they made a barely passable version of the first book in the series The Relic–the problem being that they actually wrote out the main character, FBI Special Agent A.X.L. Pendergast (It’s a sin as gracious as trying to make the Bourne movies but writing out the villain, oh wait, Hollywood did exactly that*).  This is a problem because while the characters of The Relic they decided to keep do make frequent appearances, it is Pendergast, the independent wealthy, intellectually accomplished, refined Southern gentleman of old money and his penchant for cases of bizarre and unusual natures that the books center around.  And this isn’t the worst thing that Hollywood has ever done because you don’t even have to redo the The Relic to do justice to Pendergast.  Just start a new franchise starting with The Cabinet of Curiosities and that would give you at least twelve tales of the FBI Special Agent taking on immortal serial killers, zombies, genetically engineered Nazis and a whole host of other foes.  Really, there is no legitimate reason why they haven’t made these into movies other than the fact they botched it with The Relic.

Christopher Moore’s Vampire Trilogy.  If you’re not familiar with Christopher Moore’s writing I feel very sorry for you.  Lamb, The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove, The Stupidest Angel (A heartwarming tale of Christmas terror), Fool, all of these novels should be read as they will leave you gasping for air and crying from too much laughter…but probably none would make for better film adaptations than his trilogy of vampire novels: Bloodsucking Fiends, You Suck, and Bite Me tells the tale of Jody, a shop girl, who has recently been turned into a vampire who while learning to live with her new condition meets Tommy, a clueless wannabe writer.  They of course fall in love.  Along the way their story may also be vampire cats, mouse ninjas, Abby Normal: Mistress of the Dark, bronzed pet turtles, turkey bowling, and an elderly oriental grandmother who speaks mainly in profanity laced slang.  I know that sounds insane, but trust me the actual story is far more bizarre…while being oddly tender.   We’ve been subjected to far too many bad vampire romances over the last few years.  Let’s have Hollywood redeem itself and give us a good one.

Freddy and Frederika.  Okay, I could have put this one in the list of films conservatives should make as it is one of the most patriotic books ever written, but more than that, it is one of the best comedies ever.  Dialogue that reads as a cross between the Marx Brothers, a Howards Hawks screwball comedy, and Monty Python covers every page of this novel, and it deserves to have the rapid fire delivery that all good comedy needs.

The Historian.  I could see a point being made that there are too many vampire movies out there and I already have another one on this list already.  Fair enough.  But there is a lack of good film in that vein…and if you can manage to transfer the quality of this race through three periods of time all to track down the villainous Vlad Tepes and stop his plan for world domination.

Good Omens.  It’s not so much that Hollywood needs this suggestion…production for this movie is in constant on again/off again mode.  This movie is the funniest the apocalypse is ever going to be and it needs to be made into a movie.  Hollywood, get this movie out of development hell and get it made.

The Great Good Thing.  This book by Roderick Townley is a children’s novel about what book characters do when we’re not watching them.  And in the middle of it all is Sylvie, a princess not content with her repetitive life of the same adventure over and over again. It is a story that would lend itself well to a CGI heavy children’s film (or just animate it) with a certain Wonderland feel.

Destiny’s Knights.  Yeah I’m just going to slip my novel in here. It’s a good fantasy story, certainly better than other books which were heavily plagiarized (not going to name names).

Joss Whedon should make more Shakespeare movies. In fact since he has already done the key Shakespearian comedy (Much Ado About Nothing) he should now do the greatest of the tragedies: King Lear.   Whedon alum Anthony Steward Head with a little makeup would now be old enough to play the role and if Whedon pulled some of his other long time favorites (Gellar, Hannigan, Carpenter) as his daughters could lead to an excellent cast that under Whedon could make the tragedy into the film that shows this as the most powerful of the tragedies that the slew of BBC and PBS attempts have so far failed at.  Now if Whedon wanted to really do something fun, he would do King Lear and Christopher Moore’s Fool –which is just a comedy version of Lear–filming at the same time with the same cast showing the same story as both gut wrenching tragedy and side splitting comedy.

The Thin Man.  Now, I’m not saying that the original films weren’t good, but they are a little weak on the mystery side.  Now imagine Depp and Jolie as Nick and Nora.  (I have no problem with the occasional reboot if there are generations between the original and the remake).

Mark Beamon novels by Kyle Mills. These books follow a slightly unorthodox FBI agent as he stumbles into one international incident after another. Eventually the books started getting weak, but the first four are strong enough to give this a chance at becoming a franchise.

True Lies 2:  This was a great action film, certainly one of the top 10 action films of all time.  And it probably should have had a sequel years ago.  However you could still get a sequel.  Now, I already hear the obvious complaint, Arnold is no longer entertaining, he’s no longer funny, and he’s actually kind of an ass.  All true.  Which is why the perfect True Lies sequel doesn’t really need Arnold all that much.  Start the movie with Arnold’s character getting killed.  Let the entire frustration over his waste of a governorship out and just give him the O.J. in a Naked Gun movie treatment.  The rest of the movie is Tasker’s wife and daughter (now an agent in her own right) tracking down the killers.  This works because Jamie Lee Curtis is still fiesty and funny…and as the original movie casted the daughter with Eliza Dushku (aka Faith the Vampire Slayer, and Echo of Dollhouse) you have a built in actress who you know can handle violence and wit equally well.

*You know I have no problem with changing books and characters when taking a book from print to screen…but that change should be justified either by the fact that it is necessary to make the story work on screen or be an actual improvement.  Writing out the actually interesting central villain and turning the US intelligence from a somewhat bumbling ally to the central villain was not justified with the Bourne stories.  They took a captivating story and turned it into trash.  So I’d be more than happy to see the actual Bourne novels turned into movies (I would also add the character of Jason Bourne in the books would have ripped that wimp Damon played in half in a matter of seconds).

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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

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.
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 MessengersT

he 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 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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