Monthly Archives: August 2011

I love stupid people…they’re so entertaining

So recently I was reading the blog of my friend The Snark Who Hunts Back  and she had reposted one of those loveable make your own video with two cartoon characters talking to each other videos. This one was focused on how hard it was to discuss anything with die hard liberals. For the most part it was more humorous than serious. I’ll be the first to admit that the Right also has some lunatics that won’t listen to reason either (Palin, Perry, Paul supporters to name just a few) so it shouldn’t be hard for people on the left to realize there are idiots among their ranks as well. It certainly wasn’t making a serious point that needed response.

Yet somehow it got a serious response…from an Obama supporter…who clearly knows nothing at all about economics. And while I’m working on a few blogs, even some current event ones, I know that sometimes it is more important to destroy the lies that keep persisting before they spread further than deal with new information too quickly because the stupid talking points that get repeated are regrettably what people base their opinions on. And as I know the Snark would probably respond herself, but is at the moment getting ready for an out of state trip, I thought it a fun time to rip apart just some truly terrible liberal lies. That and I’m just feeling petty and mean…yes I may have just gone on for two weeks about the need for forgiveness, but stupidity and ignorance should never be tolerated.

Sections will be lifted word for word, with no editing to change the meaning in context. You may also find the complete comments at the bottom of the Snark’s post if you think I have edited it unfairly.

“[…]and if you sharpen up some of the other Obama-side rhetoric, you have some good points to ponder.”

Really? No, I don’t think so. In fact I don’t think liberals have had a good point about economics in my entire lifetime. So I don’t need to “ponder” your points. I have run across them a thousand times already, subjected them to things like facts, reason, and real life and they have never stood up…never come even close to standing up…so not a lot of pondering is required anymore, I’ve already thought about these thing….you however may wish to actually study and think.

“For one thing, deficits are generally going to get worse during a recession, because tax revenues go down, but the cost of government goes up, and interest rates usually drop, so, hell yes, borrow money now!”

Okay I’m not seeing the causation of cost of government going up. Yes, governments since Hoover have responded to recessions and depressions by spending more because they listened to that utterly incompetent hack name Keynes…doesn’t mean that it must go up. In fact an intelligent government (obviously not one headed by Bush or Obama) would and could CUT spending. So it is not some kind of immoveable fact that deficits go up in a recession. Nor should they! Higher deficits lead to massive inflation, which in turns leads to a slower economy. More government spending always means more red tape which means a slower economy. More government welfare always means that the proper system of incentives that exists under capitalism is screwed up if not destroyed, which slows down the economy. If you cut spending and cut the deficit you would actually improve the economy. Borrowing more will only make things worse. Books to read for justification on these points would be almost any economics book by Thomas Sowell (although “Basic Economics”, “Applied Economics” and “Economic Facts and Fallacies” might be most relevant), “The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression” by Amity Shlaes, and for a more lighthearted look “Eat the Rich” by P.J. O’Rourke.

“And the stimulus did work, if you agree that gaining 100,000 jobs a month is better than losing 500,000 jobs a month. A bigger stimulus would have worked better, and more stimulus spending now would do more good.”

I want some of what you’re smoking. Oh wait, no thanks, it’s clearly the same stuff that Paul Krugman is smoking. The easy insanity of Keynesianism. Or as someone else put it “Keynesian economics is easy, even for stupid people. More thought and analysis are required to understand why it has not worked as it is supposed to.”  Stimulus doesn’t work. It can’t work. The economy must go through high and low points to maintain health, trying to skip the low points will only result in a lower and longer low point.

And your statement about 100,000 jobs a month is just perplexing. The economy has not added 100,000 a month, and it has seen a massive amount of people becoming underemployed and even more just giving up and not looking for work. It is stalled because of the government not letting the economy hit its low point and begin a recovery on its own which must and will happen. The only question is when (sooner being better than later) and how bad will that bottom be (the longer we take to get there, the worse it will be). Further where do you get laying off 500,000 a month? That would be about 18 million people since Obama took office. Do you really think that the TARP and the OBAMA stimulus saved us 18 million jobs? Exactly what industry was doing so bad that 18 million jobs would have been lost? If Bush had let a couple of banks fail maybe a few hundred thousand would have lost their jobs…but they would have been quickly rehired by the other banks which bought what was left of their competitors at fire sale prices which would have left the banking industry far more stable in the long run than it is now. The car industry perhaps? Nope if GM had gone under, their competitors would have bought their equipment and plants at low prices, hired people to retool the factories and equipment and then probably hired back most of the employees…and as an added bonus, you wouldn’t have more GM (i.e. some of the worst POS cars on the road, even the brand new ones are POS) and the car industry would be more stable…and as an added bonus the U.S. government probably wouldn’t have engaged in criminal slander against Toyota. The fact is that without TARP and the Obama stimulus in the short term yes it would have been worse…but if we hadn’t had those two truly abhorrent pieces of legislation we would actually be in a much better recovery right now.

“You know what makes things worse in a recession? Cutting spending. “
No that would be wonderful. That would mean that there would be less red tape and less interference which means the economy could actually begin to recover. Cutting spending will help reassure businesses, especially small businesses that they can get back to work without the fear of interference, regulation, and crushing taxes. Cutting spending will signal that we have returned to sanity, rather than the fear that Obama propagates right now.

“Laying off hundreds of thousands of state and local government employees.”
Actually that would also be good as there is no such thing as a government employee (outside of the armed services, and maybe a few people at the FBI and State) that is not grossly overpaid and in all likelihood utterly incompetent. Get rid of as many of them as possible. Pink slip whole Federal Departments. Sell the post office to UPS, FedEx and DHL, you’ll see faster, cheaper, more efficient service that will not incur the obscene cost of government healthcare, government salaries, government pensions. Cutting 100,000 government employees and not stealing that money from businesses and tax payers would mean 2 to 300,000 more jobs in the private sector.

“Canceling or postponing infrastructure, research, and modernization projects.”

Again if you privatized those things, they would be cheaper and more efficient.

“Incidentally, the video-maker is seemingly unfamiliar with the filibuster, along with other ways the Republicans thwarted the President while still a minority in Congress. There’s a limited shelf life on that strategy, however.”

Really. So you’re saying that Obama was hindered by Republicans filibusters in the Senate. Interesting when you consider no such filibuster ever occurred. EVER! And if the GOP was going to filibuster something…don’t you think they would have done it with Obamacare? The GOP in the Senate is a large group of liberal Republicans who would willingly follow him into much of the liberal delusions if they thought they could still get reelected. And if you’re saying that Obama didn’t do things because of the threat of a filibuster…then I must ask is he also afraid of his shadow? Butterflies? Monsters in his closet? Bringing up the threat of a filibuster as the reason why Obama has not been able to get anything done just once again portrays him as a truly incompetent excuse for a leader.

“If Obama wins in 2012, while Republicans lose ground in the House of Representatives, we’ll see some movement.”

Finally you say something correct. If Obama did win and the House did move to the democrats, yes we would see movement. First into a worse recession. Then into the greatest depression. Then finally into the dustbin of history never to return.

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Filed under Budget, Capitalism, Congress, Conservative, Debt, Economics, Education, Evils of Liberalism, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, liberal arrogance, Long Term Thinking, Obama, Problems with the GOP, Taxes, Unjust legislation, Welfare

Let’s Send Obama to the Vatican for an Economics Lesson (via International Liberty)

I'm normally disappointed when religious figures comment on economics, particularly since they often turn the individual call to charity into a blank check for government-coerced redistribution. This runs contrary to individual choice, free will, and morality. So I'm delighted that Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, writing for  L'Osservatore Romano, the quasi-official newspaper of the Vatican,  persuasively explains how higher taxes simply encourage a downw … Read More

via International Liberty

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Laws for the GOP to pass: Sane Teacher Certification

I don’t know if this could be a federal law or just have to be 50 state laws. Let’s have it be both so that we never have to deal with the BS I’m about to deal with.

So I went to go renew my teaching certificate today. It was a fairly painless process but I was reminded that I need to get more hours of “professional development” before my next renewal in six years.

Let me run down what I’ve had to do so far to get my credential in Arizona.

I had to have a credential in another state (I had two, California and Washington, they have since expired). To get the Washington Credential I had to earn a degree in English, minor in Education, pass a background check, and complete a student teaching program.

I had to have 60 hours of Structured English Immersion training. (60 hours of learning how to help students for who English is not their first language…it boils down to having some idiot tell you to treat high school students like elementary school kids with lots of games and visuals. It was 60 hours of my life that was wasted and I’ll never get back. Actually more than 60 if you count travel time.)

45 more hours of professional development. More being told to draw and act out and play with high school students. I have never used a single thing I learned in any of this because to do so would be to insult the intelligence of the slowest student I’ve ever had. I’m an English teacher, not one of these hours was dedicated to learning anything about English, grammar, writing, or literature above a 3rd grade level. Given that I primarily teach Juniors and Seniors this was all but another 45 hours of my life that was wasted.

I had to take a test on English Literature. The SAT’s were harder. And given that I have a degree in English from one of the best colleges in the nation, this too was insulting. 3 hours of my life wasted. Plus the money I had to pay to take the test.

I had to take a test on teaching skills. It was half vocab test and half what would you do in this situation questions. A trained monkey could have passed it. More money and more time wasted.

And my favorite, I had to take a test on the U.S. and Arizona state Constitutions. Because that’s relevant to my job as a teacher of English (primarily British literature if I have anything to say about it). There was actually a question about the article in the AZ state Constitution that deals with mining rights. HOW IN THE NAME OF GOD WOULD AN OBSCURE ARTICLE IN A STATE CONSTITION BE RELEVANT TO MY SKILLS TO TEACH?!!!! More time and money wasted.

Just about the only legitimate thing I had to do since leaving Washington was A) complete two years of teaching full time, and B) get my background check renewed.

Everything else was an utter waste of my time.

The tests, the hours of professional development, all worthless. Now I might respect the tests if they had been relevant to teaching, but they weren’t. Just about anyone who went to college should be able to pass those tests (of course I do live in Arizona, home of ASU)

And just to show that this isn’t just me bitching, here’s another person pointing out the system is broken. 

Teaching is an art, not a science. There is no way to test on paper whether someone is going to be a good teacher or not. Yes, there are some basic classes that everyone needs. They need classes in their subject area. They need at least one class in every subject they will not be teaching (the four subject primary and secondary education are English, History/Social Sciences, Science, and Math). They need classes in general psychology and developmental psychology. They probably need at least one class in acting because good classroom teaching involves putting on a persona that is not necessarily who you are in real life. You need a course or two in curriculum development and implementation. And maybe a course on the history and philosophy of education. There, that’s your major and minor right there.

But no, states all seem to think you need more and more and more useless “professional development” which develops nothing. You know what actually develops a teacher? Teaching! Actual teaching. It’s an art form; the only way you get better at it is by actually doing it, followed by moments of reflection and discussion with other teachers. But certainly not so-called professional development! Now I’ve been lucky and the schools I have worked for have provided this requirement for their teachers (at great cost to the company) but if you aren’t so lucky then you have to take college courses at your own expense (courses which will likely teach a teacher nothing!). So really it’s all a big scam for the colleges and states, they get to charge money for all these courses.

Do you think all this worthless education, much of it at your own expense, is going to drive out some people from the field? Probably does. Not the great teachers, no. They’ll stay because to them teaching ranks up there with breathing and water as basic needs. And it doesn’t drive out the incompetent teachers either, because they usually know they have nowhere else to go…but it drives out all of the mid-level teachers—the ones who may never inspire a student, will get the job done and teach something. You think that may have any negative repercussions…like not being able to fire the morons because you can’t replace them with anything other than another idiot.

Trust me teaching hasn’t changed much in the last few thousand years. One of the single best forms of teaching is called Socratic Discussion, it was a form of teaching used in fifth century BCE by Socrates, it hasn’t changed much since then. You don’t need to be caught up on studies or professional journals; you just need to be passionate and self-reflective.

All these piles of requirements and tests and professional development and hoops and money are a farce. States need to change their requirements to be as follows:
A) B.A. or higher in the field you’re teaching (or at least it’s tangentially related).
B) An education minor
C) A background check every few years
D) Completing a student teaching program
And for that you get a provisional certificate.

Add on three years of teaching experience and you’ve got a life time certificate because this is not something that needs to be renewed ever. If you knew it at one point you will know it until senility fully sets in.

States, get rid of all this BS….oh and make all teaching certificates for all 50 states completely reciprocal in all states.

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Filed under Arizona, Congress, Conservative, Education, GOP, Government is useless, Laws the GOP should pass, Long Term Thinking, Teaching, Unjust legislation

Weekly Meditation: The 4th Chakra and forgiveness Part II

Last week I said that there are two parts to forgiveness. The first is understanding why you need to forgive others; the second is understanding the motives and intentions involved in any action that requires forgiveness. Now in two blogs we went over why we need to forgive others, mainly because it releases us from carrying a burden of not forgiving them more than forgiving them itself. Now we come to the second part, understanding why people do things that would require forgiveness (and in a roundabout way why we should forgive ourselves for all the things we regret).

So why do people do the things they do? Well, the short answer is of course that “It seemed like a good idea at the time.” That phrase pretty much covers every action in the history of human existence. But it’s not very helpful in understanding people and why they sometimes do stupid and terrible things. Now I could go back to those blogs on people being stupid and not thinking long term, and that is a factor, but it’s not the entire story. As this is one of the more spiritual blogs I feel no reason to not bring up the concept of the ego. In the New Age sense the ego is part of your mind (or at least it wants you to think it is). For whatever reason that it came into existence, the ego is the part of yourself that believes God does not love you. In other words the ego is that part of your mind that is, quite frankly, insane. It believes something that is antithetical to nature, but while insane it’s not stupid. The ego knows the minute you fully realize and know that God loves you it will cease to exist…and generally speaking even the insane have a drive to continue to exist. So the ego has created a web of layers and deceits to try and keep you from realizing it is driving you insane. The first level of this deceit is convincing you that it is you. That this voice telling you to give into your worst desires, to put off what you know you should do, to ignore thinking to hold radically contradictory desires and thoughts. It is listening to this voice that causes us to do stupid things, things we regret, things we need to feel forgiveness for.

(In case you’re wondering the next levels of deceit are convincing you that you are being pulled by a force for good and a force for evil—think of the cartoon devil and angel on your shoulder—which makes you not look for the evil hiding within your own mind and also makes you think that your nature as a perfectly good creation of God is not true and that you yourself are not the force for telling you to ignore the ego. The ego then creates in your mind the idea of the devil which puts the ego well out of your range and makes it seem far more powerful than you could ever oppose, when all you really need to do is ignore it. And in a final Kyser Söze move the ego convinces you that the devil it created doesn’t exist…thus you don’t even have a foe to defeat and no one to blame but yourself for everything that is wrong, and never think to look for the ego.)

But let’s deal with that first level (if you can defeat the ego there is no reason to worry about the other levels). You listen to the ego and you do something you regret. You feel despair, guilt, regret, self-reproachment, and a whole host of other negative emotions. You feel worthless because of the mistakes you’ve made, and the ego will constantly remind you how worthless and beyond forgiveness you are, because it knows that if you do forgive yourself you will realize you have no need for it, you will see that its’ belief system is insane and must be discarded. So the ego has a vested interest in not only pushing you to do things that you will regret but also making sure that you constantly regret them and live within that guilt. The ego is a clever little bastard, it whispers to do things you will regret then condemns you for doing them, and it wants to keep you going round and round like that so you never have time to recognize what it’s doing to you. Or you go around and around trying to earn your forgiveness and trying to redeem yourself.

Why do we do the things we do? Because we listen to our lowest nature (our ego). All of us are better than our lowest natures (even though some of us choose to never rise above them). All of us can move past our ego and our worst inclinations. But the first step to that is forgiving ourselves.

How can I be forgiven you say? I’ve done terrible things. I’ve hurt people. No matter how I try I keep doing what’s wrong. How can I be forgiven? Well there is trying to reprieve through good works and making the situation that you feel guilty about better and mending whatever hurt was made. And this works sometimes. But it’s not exactly forgiveness. I remember hearing or reading once that “if someone was worthy of forgiveness then no forgiveness would be needed” (if you know the source and exact wording for where I’m taking this from, please tell me) and working to make up for what you did can sometimes work. The problem is that so often the small slights to the great pains we cause aren’t just physical things that can be mended and the emotional and psychological trauma we cause can never be undone in the sense of making it as if it never happened. That is why we need forgiveness…so yes if you can actually make up for what you’ve done, make up for it…but otherwise we are still left with the question of how can I be forgiven?

And the answer is you already have. God forgave you the moment you did whatever you did that you think you need forgiveness for. Last week I began this discussion of forgiveness with a quote from one of my favorite TV shows “Forgiveness is an act of compassion […] It is done because someone needs it not because they deserve it.” If it is an act of compassion, then a being of infinite love can do nothing but forgive you for everything you do, whether you ask for it or not, God already forgave you. Keep in mind from God’s perspective this is only a dream from which his Son will one day wake up from, there is no need to forgive what is done in a dream. A couple nights ago I woke up from a dream in which I had killed someone…for a couple of seconds of cognitive dissonance before I fully realized it was a dream I thought I had actually killed someone…but it was a dream. I didn’t need to be prosecuted; I didn’t need to feel guilt or self-loathing (which I had for those first few moments upon waking). Felt the guilt but didn’t need to be forgiven. And this is where we are with most of our regrets. We feel we need to be forgiven, we feel the guilt, we need to forgive ourselves even though we probably don’t need to be forgiven. So how do we forgive ourselves? Well there is trying to always listen to the best in us, which acts as a wonderful defense against the guilt. There is learning to forgive others because this teaches us that everything can be forgiven and allows us to forgive ourselves (yes, there is a deep level of psychological understanding of the phrase “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive others their trespasses against us”), and there is telling ourselves we have already been forgiven that we do not need to carry around the guilt. This is not a call for amorality, because it’s no good if you again go and do something you’re going to regret, but you do need to forgive yourself for everything you have done that you regret. That was in the past and so long as it stays in the past there is no need to carry the guilt any longer, just remember to always strive for the best within you and you can forgive yourself your lapses (which you will have). But each time you truly forgive yourself you give your ego less and less control over you and thus will do fewer and fewer things you will regret.

In the end you and everyone else did something regrettable because you made a mistake and listened to the ego. No need to continue that mistake and cart around the guilt and let it destroy you. You need to forgive yourself and others so long as you have a true desire to not do it again.

 

So for this week you only need forgive yourself every time you feel regret or guilt.  If you need to do something to try and make up for what you have done, but most of all forgive yourself.

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Filed under 4th Chakra, Chakra, Charity, Faith, Fear, God, Happiness, Heart Chakra Love, Long Term Thinking, Love, Meditation, New Age, People Are Stupid, Prayer, Purpose of Life, Religion, Spirituality

McCain needs to go

One of my favorite bloggers “Dirty Sex & Politics” has a wonderful post on what a worthless SOB John McCain is.  Apparently the RINO not only was one of Obama’s chief defenders in getting rid of Gaddafi, he was also  one of the biggest backers to arm Khaddafi with lots and lots of weapons.  (McCain apparently was so stupid he didn’t realize that the some 50 ways to spell Qaddafi in English does not mean they are different people.)  Fair warning the blog isn’t G-rated.

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Filed under Arizona, Evils of Liberalism, Foreign Policy, Government is corrupt, Libya, Problems with the GOP, Reading Suggestions, War on Terrorism

Sorry…

Going on vacation for a few days, so there won’t be any new blogs until Monday (Sunday at the earliest).  Sorry.

But please feel free to go back and read some of the older blogs…as most of the stuff is more philosophical it’s not exactly dependent on recent events.

Or if you get bored with that you can always buy a copy of “Republicans and Reincarnation”.  In fact you should do that.  Go right now and buy the ebook (I think it’s $10 at my publisher’s web site…just clink on the link to the left…also available in Nook and Kindle editions).  And to sweeten the pot I will make this offer, the first three people to write coherent reviews (just telling me I’m an idiot or having bizarre ramblings don’t count) and let me repost them on this blog I will not only refund you the cost of the e-book, but I will send you a signed copy!

 

And you still need more of my writing after reading “Republicans and Reincarnation” you could always go buy a copy of my fiction novel “Destiny’s Knights.”… it will soon (a year or so) be republished with whole new sections so this first version will become very rare.  And when I reach the bestseller list…well…just saying…rare copy of a best selling author’s book…

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Libya: Waste of Money

Wow.  Last night I was almost getting ready to write a blog saying, okay, I’ll give Obama some credit for helping get rid of Gaddafi…but that I was going to have to hold off actually congratulating Obama because I would have to wait to see if the new rebel government would actually turn out to better than Qadhafi and his sick regime.  I’m glad I didn’t post that last night.  Why you ask?

Have you read the new Libyan Constitution?  You know the one that states Sharia is the basis of all law.  You know Sharia, that wonderful legal philosophy that women are somewhere below shit, and non-Muslims are somewhere below women.  There’s also some Draconian legal codes and rampant animal abuse in terms of health codes.  I’d call it barbaric, but frankly historically most barbarian tribes were more civilized than the codes set down in Sharia.

I’m glad we just spent a BILLION dollars to get rid of a tyranny so that we can replace it with a tyranny.  Oh wait, maybe I shouldn’t be so glad about that.  In fact that’s more like a complete waste of money.  Thanks Obama, because you weren’t wasting money in enough places as it was.

Yeah Afghanistan is as much a waste…but at least we tried to create a democracy…failed miserably, but we tried.  And Iraq actually looks kind of  stable at the moment, so the investment there might not be a complete waste.  But in Libya we spent a billion dollars just to trade tyrannies.  And I’m a little worried we may not have backed the lesser of two evils.

You we could have spent nothing and still have had the same outcome, a tyranny.  Who knows maybe the fighting would have gone on longer and more tyranny supporting people would have killed each other.  It’s like the battle of Stalingrad, it’s doesn’t matter who loses, because so long as the two tyrannies fight and kill each other the rest of the world wins.

This is what happens when you enter a war without an actual purpose.  You need a purpose (Obama) and need a plan to get to that goal (Bush), in the absence of one or both you’re an idiot (Obama and Bush).

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Filed under Afghanistan, Constitution, Debt, Economics, Evils of Liberalism, Foreign Policy, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Libya, Obama, War on Terrorism

Laws for Conservatives to Pass: Executive Order Oversight

One of the things that makes me like Michele Bachmann is that she has said that if elected one of the first things she is going to do is go through all of Obama’s executive orders and throw out most of them. After all, Obama has been giving executive orders that not only are not popular, that put the whole nation under some loose kind of rendition  (yeah, you nearly forgot about that one didn’t you), executive orders creating more czars than a Bolshevik could possibly deal with, putting in rules specifically rejected by Congress on the deportation of illegal aliens , and of course an executive order that will allow the EPA to shut down power plants.

There's a check or balance missing somewhere here

Let’s see he can veto any law he wants, and now apparently he can write any law he wants on his own, and dare we forget he has the audacity to tell the Supreme Court that it doesn’t have the right to interpret the Constitution differently from him…what do you call it when a single person has all the powers of government invested in themselves?

Now some very, very foolish people have argued that the right of executive orders needs to be done away with. That’s insane. The executive office could never operate if it did not have the ability to issue orders on how to carry out laws. However executive orders are meant to clarify how laws will be carried out, not to write new ones, and certainly not to trump the power of the legislative branch.

Now I would prefer this to be a Constitutional Amendment, and will probably argue for that when I get around to writing a book on all the Constitutional changes that need to be made (but that is years off right now) but for right now it seems that this might only require a law (it may require a Constitutional Amendment, but I’d love to see Obama try to defend some of the shit he’s done with these orders publicly). Congress needs to pass a law that says that any executive order can be taken up by the Senate and voted down by a majority vote. This would return some of the power to the Senate, as the upper house of the legislative branch is supposed to have over the powers of the Presidency in order to check rampant insanity (like what we see with Obama), and offer just another check and balance to the system. Remember it was never supposed to be efficient or powerful.

Now as far as I can tell such a law wouldn’t require a Constitutional amendment since the power of executive orders isn’t exactly a power granted to the president in the first place. So Congress reasserting its right to be the sole legislative authority shouldn’t be a stretch constitutionally (although as I said, this might just make a good amendment anyway).

I think the Senate should have the right to look at any executive order and decide whether it is in line with the laws they have already passed. And if not the right to vote it down. If an executive order isn’t brought up within a year of it being issued it will just be assumed to have passed the bar.

Notice what you’re arguing if you don’t like this. You’re saying that a President can just issue orders of how the entirety of the federal government will act and behave and no one has the right to overrule him. That’s effectively a law, a law without any checks and balances involved in its creation. To give one branch, literally one man, that much power is beyond insane.

For generation this power has mostly been used only to fill in the grey area that comes in with enforcing most laws…but then there came Obama who decided that he should just legislate from the Oval Office whenever he felt like it. This is insane. Even if you agree with everything Obama has done, you have to know that someday a conservative will return to the White House, that’s inevitable, do you want someone you disagree with to have this much uncontrolled, unchecked, unfettered power? I don’t trust Obama, but even if you do, can you honestly say you trust every single person who will ever hold that office to not use that power like a dictator? I doubt it. There needs to be a check on this power. And since it is effectively a law, but one that the legislative branch did not pass, it should be held to a lower standard (only half of one branch has to vote it down).

Yes executive orders are a necessary part of the system. But it is a power that can easily be abused and it needs to be curtailed

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Filed under Civil Liberties, Congress, Conservative, Constitution, Declaration, Economics, Environmentalism, Evils of Liberalism, Founding, Free Will, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Illegal Immagration, Laws the GOP should pass, Long Term Thinking, Michele Bachmann, Natural Rights, Obama, Tyranny, Unjust legislation

Books for New Agers: Temple Of The Winds by Terry Goodkind


And so we come to the fourth book of the Sword of Truth Series. Wait weren’t the other books “Books for Conservatives”? Yes, yes they were, but the theme of this book more suits a spiritual lesson than a political one.

First, of course, my very brief synopsis that tries not give out spoilers for the whole series but still makes it seem like a book you should read. In this volume Richard and Kahlan have to deal with Emperor Jagang’s first major move against their kingdom: the releasing of a deadly plague that threatens to kill everyone in their kingdom. And the only way to stop it is to betray one another. It really sucks to be the hero sometimes.

But it is this threat of betrayal that leads directly into the book’s main theme, the Wizard’s Fourth Rule:
There is magic in sincere forgiveness; in the forgiveness you give, but more so in the forgiveness you receive.

(Yes, there is a reason this is getting published on the same day as this week’s meditation).

The Sword of Truth Series is based quite heavily on Ayn Rand’s Objectivist philosophy (this will become really evident when we get to the 9th rule which it takes word for word from Atlas Shrugged) but in many ways Goodkind has created a philosophy somewhat superior to Rand’s beliefs in these books. Rand is famous for saying that there are only two ways to deal with people, through reason and through force. This sadly completely ignores the third way people interact with each other—through love. And it’s moments like this that show Goodkind knows much more than Rand.

As I suggested in the meditation for the week, forgiveness helps you out. Not forgiving someone for something often takes far more energy, far more time, far more effort in our lives than forgiving them and moving on. And it’s very refreshing to let it go and not carry that around anymore. In fact it’s almost cliché to list the psychological benefits to forgiving people even if you don’t tell them you have forgiven them, whereas holding onto grudges creates long term health problems from the constant stress. But more than the physical benefits, it is the spiritual benefits that this rule provides that are more important.

Whatever religious tradition you follow, there is likely a theme of forgiveness, of letting go of the past and moving on. The reason for this is that within every rational religious tradition is the idea that there is something of the divine within us. We sometimes do not live up to that, but forgiveness is the recognition that the divine within us is more important and more lasting than any mistake. Forgiveness lets you ignore the dark part of our lives and admit that those times are temporary and already past, that what exists now is only that part of the divine.

Forgive. Not necessarily forget, someone may screw up to the point where you can no longer trust them, but you can still forgive them even if you never trust them again. But you do need to sincerely forgive those around you because it is the only way to see yourself as something better than a collection of your mistakes, which we all have made. We probably all fall short of perfection in living up to this rule, but that doesn’t mean we should give up in trying to live up to it. Just forgive yourself the moments where you were not your best and move on.

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Filed under 4th Chakra, Art, Ayn Rand, Books, Books for Conservatives, Books for New Agers, Charity, Faith, Free Will, Heart Chakra Love, Individualism, Love, New Age, Novels, Reading Suggestions, Sword of Truth

Brutal and Funny Anti-Obama Video (via International Liberty)

Do not watch this if you disapprove of the F-word. But you'll probably laugh if you click the video. Even though I'm posting this video solely for the humor value, I feel compelled to nag everybody with a reminder that the balance-the-budget message is misguided. We should be striving to shrink the the burden of government. And if you address the disease of too much spending, you automatically … Read More

via International Liberty

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Meditation of the Week: The 4th Chakra and Forgiveness

“To forgive is an act of compassion, […],  it’s not done because people deserve it. It’s done because they need it.”–Marti Noxon

The 4th chakra deals with compassion and love. And one of these most important parts of compassion is the ability to forgive. There are two parts to forgiveness, one is understanding why you need to forgive others, the second is understanding the motives and intentions involved in any action that requires forgiveness.

I’m going to deal with this in two parts. One this week, one next week.

So the first part, why do we need to forgive others?

Think about most of the things you could forgive other people for. It’s not that they punched you in the face, or ran over your dog, or burned your house down. Yes things like that happen, but let’s be honest, most people’s lives are not soap operas with disasters and massive interpersonal drama and conflict occurring every two minutes.

No it’s the small things that we hold grudges over, that we despise in others. The small inconsiderate remark, the forgetting to ask if you wanted anything at the store, the ignoring what you said yesterday, the not responding to your emotional state which strikes you as inconsiderate. Think of all the little things that cause you to hate one person over another. There all these minor little things.

Not let me ask you, does everyone hate that person for the same reasons? Probably not. You dislike some people for certain behaviors they have…and other people hate other people for behaviors you find just ignorable. Why is that?

Let me give a personal example which comes from recent attempt to drum up publicity for this site by commenting on other people’s blogs.

A couple days ago I tried to respond to a Palin supporter on their blog. I argued that Palin is not a conservative. They responded by calling me an idiot leftist hack who was lying. I responded with a long detailed argument (with links and quotes to prove my point). I also made a statement about his lack of manners in insulting me in a previous comment without actually challenging me on a fact (because I always love being called a leftist…anyone who knows me ever think the word leftist would ever be applicable to me?). After sending the remark I realized I had poorly phrased the last comment about his lack of tact and sent a second response to clarify my comment. This rather cowardly person published my second comment, which out of context just made me sound dumb if not crazy, but not the first one. Oh then he once again went into a vicious attack on my character and how I was an idiot. Needless to say I had an emotional reaction that was less than positive. Had this person been within slapping distance…well you get the idea. It seemed so petty to edit the argument in a way that didn’t even acknowledge that there was possibly a valid argument. And if there is one thing that I hate it’s people who do not engage in rational argument but rather only rely on name calling.

But then I thought for a second. Yeah the man was clearly an idiot and a sad excuse for a human being. (And maybe, just maybe, the first comment somehow got lost in the internet and it’s not his fault for not posting it). But do I hate people who disagree with me? No. I have several friends who I probably don’t agree with them on almost anything political or religious. (One of the people Republicans and Reincarnation is dedicated to is a very liberal Christian, certainly not the target audience of the book). It’s the lack of reason in their argument, the pettiness, and the utter vitriol of their response.

And then upon further reflection, I realized these are qualities I dislike in myself. And that’s why I think I responded so harshly to seeing them in others. I am very proud that I have never insulted a person who has commented on my blog in the responses to their comments…but oh have I wanted to. I will attack arguments, I will disagree, but I have never just called someone who left a comment an idiot just because I disagree with them. But we know I have it in my statements against Obama and Krugman just to name two. It’s not one of the most pleasant parts of me and I try to keep it under control…and it’s seeing it let loose without any control that drives me insane. Have there been times when I would rather just ignore morons and not deal with their stupidity because they disagreed with me, as this person did to my comments. Yeah, I hope I have risen above that more than fallen victim to it, but the desire is there sometimes. To see someone so blatantly show that side without the grace to move past it infuriates me.

I hate lazy people, because all too often I see myself as quite lazy. I hate stupid people, because I sometimes go back and ask what the hell was I thinking. And it’s seeing these qualities I dislike in myself that I try to constantly beat down given free and complete reign over other people that annoys me to no end.

Now go back and look at all the people you dislike. Yes I’m sure within that group there are people you justifiably hate because of their evil beliefs and actions (we can all hate Nazis, communists, Islamists, and child molesters because these are people who willingly traffic in pure evil…ignore the examples of unadulterated evil, you don’t need to even consider forgiving these people until you get to Sainthood, and then it might just be considering it, not actually doing it), but focus on the people who aren’t evil incarnate. Who aren’t monsters, but you hate them. Now be honest…do you see in them things that you would like to get rid of in yourself? Do you see in them the parts of you that you would change only magnified? I would say that this assessment, that we dislike in others that which we dislike in ourselves, probably applies to the 90% of the people we dislike.

This is why you need to forgive them. Because you need to forgive yourself. Every time you hate someone for something that you hate in yourself it’s you saying you can’t forgive yourself all the mistakes you have made in the past. It’s treating these lapses in perfection as if they are something that cannot be overcome.

Now I know this is hard. I know we all read the Bible, or the teachings of Buddha, or the Bhagavad-Gita, or A Course in Miracles and read the passages on forgiveness and think, yeah that must be easy for those who are divine, the rest of us it’s not too easy to forgive. I understand that mentality, but you need to admit that it’s a mentality we need to move past.

So for this week let me suggest a half-way point.

Every time someone does something that infuriates you, that you think they should be slapped repeatedly for, first you need to take a moment and think, does it infuriate you because it’s putting a mirror to your own worst inclinations. If so, I promise yourself that right then and there most of your rage will dissipate. But the next thing you need to say to yourself, you don’t need to say it to them,

“I forgive you for being human and not always living up to perfection. I pity you that you let your worst inclinations rule you. I thank you for reminding me to always act in the direction of my best inclination and not my worst.”

Yeah there is a little condescension in that, but baby steps here–You don’t have to be a saint tomorrow. And as you do this, if each time you can remember to focus on your heart chakra and see it getting brighter with a bright jade green light so much the better.

You don’t have to say they’re right. You don’t even have to give them the satisfaction of hearing anything from you. Or you can still critique them, but make sure it is criticism to improve their behavior not just to berate them. (For instance if you think I’m not going to do a whole blog just dedicated to what an evil witch Sarah Palin is, you’re crazy…I just won’t email it to the idiot because that would serve no purpose).

Just try to forgive all the little trespasses against you this week. And forgive yourself if you forget to do it every time. You’re only human.

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Filed under 4th Chakra, A Course in Miracles, Chakra, Faith, God, Happiness, Love, Meditation, New Age, Purpose of Life, Religion, Spirituality

Books for Conservatives: Blood of the Fold by Terry Goodkind.

I just bought the new Goodkind book which reminded me it had been a while since I reviewed a book in his Sword of Truth Series. We left off with the first two wizard’s rules:
People are stupid
And
The best intention can lead to the worst consequences.

Both are basic principles of any rational form of conservatism and thus we come to third book of the Sword of Truth series Blood of the Fold.

This is probably one of the weaker books of the series, to be honest. One of the strengths of the series from a plot and character point of view is the relationship between its two heroes Richard and his wife Kahlan. A book which has them together for almost none of the book thus comes off as rather weak. It, in many ways, is bridge piece between the first two books which pit Richard against the villain Darken Rahl (a fascist lunatic) and the villain of the rest of the series, the Emperor Jagang (a tyrant who believes in all the evils of socialism and wishes to force it on everyone). (With villains like this it becomes obvious why I love this series for more than just the wizard’s rules). This book also has a secondary villain who represents the small-minded religious fanatics that we are all tired of dealing with. I suspect that the religious fanatics may have had a larger role if the book had been written post 2001, but as it was it was written in 1996, when religious fanaticism was more annoying and less genocidally deadly in the view of most Americans. The writing is still crisp and enjoyable, but I will admit the plot is a little weaker than most of the other books in the series—but it’s a necessary part of the series (you can’t just skip the dull chapters in a book and you can’t skip the duller volumes in a series and expect either to make sense.)

Now what still makes this book well worth the read is, as always, the Wizard’s Rule that forms the core theme of the book: Passion Rules Reason.

“Letting your emotions control your reason may cause trouble for yourself and those around you.”

And, as with all the rules, we all fall victim to its warning at some point.

For instance a couple weeks ago I misread an article on a law passed by liberal California. I missed a key contingency in that law while reading the article. I became so giddy in being able to once again insult liberals that I ignored that key part of the law. Now this law was ridiculous (moving to get rid of the Electoral College) but it was not as suicidally stupid as I first thought it to be. But rather than do my usual thing of wait a day or two to publish an article that deals with real issues (the flippant humor can usually go out immediately, but I like to usually let bigger ideas sit for a day or two so I see if there is anything I need to add/change) I was so eager to once again stick it to liberals I published the blog as soon as it was spellchecked. My passion for showing up liberals checked my reason, and a day later when someone pointed out that I had missed that rather important point in the law I had to take the post down.

And don’t roll your eyes; we’ve all leapt before we looked. We’ve all acted on emotion before thinking.

And often following emotion without reason only leads to destruction. Do you think those rioters in London were driven by emotion or logic? Do you think Islamic fanatics are driven by passion or reason? Do you think almost all marketing is playing to your heart or your mind? Notice it’s Democrats who play toward hope and change and Republicans who play to $14 Trillion Debt and dull budgetary cuts…who is playing to reason and who more to logic? (Not that Republicans are guiltless in playing to emotion…I’m just saying when is the last time you saw a rational argument laid out by a Democrat?)

And of course more than any other emotion we fall victim to: fear. A terrible emotion that holds us back from doing what we need to, what we should do, what we have to do. Often in the battle between fear and logic, I’m sorry to say logic does not always win. How many people have not stood up to a dictatorial boss, even though logic said it was the right thing to do because of fear? How many people have passed up a good investment opportunity because of the fear it might fail…or more predominantly how many people bought homes they couldn’t afford because of the fear that the price would go up even higher if they didn’t buy now. How many budget deals were passed because of the fear that our credit rating would go down if we didn’t even thought reason told us that the credit rating was going down because of our debt, not because we didn’t take on more debt. I can think of at least one. How many trillions were spent because we were afraid that we would have a depression if we didn’t spend, ignoring the fact that deficit spending never helps an economy?

Yeah, fear is an emotion that rules us too often. An emotion that needs to be eradicated if you ever have the chance.

Now, that is not to say that you should never act on emotion. There are lots of times you should. But, contrary to some odd Vulcan logic, it is because passion and emotion are actually logically called for in those instances. Reason will tell you when and where to follow your heart…however just listening to your heart will never tell you when and where to use your brain. Which is why we all need to listen to our brain first, and our heart second.

I know this isn’t easy. Never has been. Most of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, the cornerstone for all rational systems of ethics and morality, deals with training and habituating your emotional responses to be in the right degree at the right time.

Or think of it this way. When you are lead by passion instead of reason, you are far more likely to transgress those first two wizard’s rules. When following only your heart, you are more likely to make stupid mistakes in judgment. When following only your heart you are far more likely to care only about your good intentions and not about the long term results of your actions.

And passion will always rule reason if you don’t train your passions to be subordinate your reason and will. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.

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Filed under Aristotle, Books, Books for Conservatives, Fear, Purpose of Life, Sword of Truth

Why Obama is not worried about the debt…

I was rewatching the “Obama is a flake” video I posted yesterday and I suddenly understood the Obama economic plan.

Obama stated that:

There are 57 states

That the Constitution was written 20 centuries ago (which would mean it was written sometime between the birth and death of Christ).

That tens of thousands of people were killed in a disaster that killed 11 people.

Obama habitually exaggerates numbers to make them sound more impressive.  Facts be damned.

And then one just needs to look at basic human psychology.  We all have, at times, the problem of “I am the world.”  Habitual liars think everyone is a liar because they think everyone is like them.  Thinking rational people who always question every thought they have are shocked to find that other people don’t do that too.  Vicious scheming people assume that everyone is scheming against them because that’s what they would do.  People who make up facts to justify their points assume that everyone is making up facts so why should they listen to anyone.  I am the world.

So if Obama habitually exaggerates numbers he must be assuming everyone else is doing the same.

So if you tell him that the debt is 14 Trillion dollars, he knows you’re just exaggerating and it’s only like a million or so.  We can pay that off.

When you tell him that’s he’s spending 10 Billion dollars a day, hey you’re just making that number larger, and he’s only spending a couple C-notes a day…that won’t bankrupt anyone.

When he’s warned that nearly 10% of the public is unemployed, why worry, it’s really only like 1%, you just made the number bigger to make it sound impressive.

Suddenly his economic policies sort-of make sense.  He’s working with a completely different set of numbers than you and I  are.

It suddenly makes sense why he doesn’t seem that worried that’s he down in the polls by double digits.  Because really we’re just exaggerating, the American public still worships the very ground he walks.

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It's entirely possible that I could be nostalgic for a world that never existed… (via The Snark Who Hunts Back)

but I like to think that's not the case. You read the history books and watch the news reels from the World War II and there is something there that the American (and British and European, but I was inspired to write this after watching Captain America, so…the American theme seems appropriate) people are missing today. The ability to judge right from wrong. We've gone from a country that, from at least the view of popular history, came together … Read More

via The Snark Who Hunts Back

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Is Obama a flake?

Chris Wallace asked Bachmann if she was a flake.  He should have said “How do you respond to the extreme element of your critics who claim you’re a flake.”  But there is someone who might just be a flake….

…now if Bachmman, or any Republican had said something this stupid would the media have just ignored it, or would it have been front page humiliation?

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Filed under Election 2012, Michele Bachmann, Obama