Monthly Archives: January 2014

GOP Statement of Principles on Immigration: Text and Analysis

Here is the new GOP Statement of Principles on Immigration.  Unlike every commentator, I would like you to read it first before giving my opinion.

PREAMBLE

Our nation’s immigration system is broken and our laws are not being enforced. Washington’s failure to fix them is hurting our economy and jeopardizing our national security. The overriding purpose of our immigration system is to promote and further America’s national interests and that is not the case today. The serious problems in our immigration system must be solved, and we are committed to working in a bipartisan manner to solve them. But they cannot be solved with a single, massive piece of legislation that few have read and even fewer understand, and therefore, we will not go to a conference with the Senate’s immigration bill. The problems in our immigration system must be solved through a step-by-step, common-sense approach that starts with securing our country’s borders, enforcing our laws, and implementing robust enforcement measures. These are the principals guiding us in that effort.

Border Security and Interior Enforcement Must Come First

It is the fundamental duty of any government to secure its borders, and the United States is failing in this mission. We must secure our borders now and verify that they are secure. In addition, we must ensure now that when immigration reform is enacted, there will be a zero tolerance policy for those who cross the border illegally or overstay their visas in the future. Faced with a consistent pattern of administrations of both parties only selectively enforcing our nation’s immigration laws, we must enact reform that ensures that a President cannot unilaterally stop immigration enforcement.

Implement Entry-Exit Visa Tracking System

A fully functioning Entry-Exit system has been mandated by eight separate statutes over the last 17 years. At least three of these laws call for this system to be biometric, using technology to verify identity and prevent fraud. We must implement this system so we can identify and track down visitors who abuse our laws.

Employment Verification and Workplace Enforcement

In the 21st century it is unacceptable that the majority of employees have their work eligibility verified through a paper based system wrought with fraud. It is past time for this country to fully implement a workable electronic employment verification system.

Reforms to the Legal Immigration System

For far too long, the United States has emphasized extended family members and pure luck over employment-based immigration. This is inconsistent with nearly every other developed country. Every year thousands of foreign nationals pursue degrees at America’s colleges and universities, particularly in high skilled fields. Many of them want to use their expertise in U.S. industries that will spur economic growth and create jobs for Americans. When visas aren’t available, we end up exporting this labor and ingenuity to other countries. Visa and green card allocations need to reflect the needs of employers and the desire for these exceptional individuals to help grow our economy.

The goal of any temporary worker program should be to address the economic needs of the country and to strengthen our national security by allowing for realistic, enforceable, usable, legal paths for entry into the United States. Of particular concern are the needs of the agricultural industry, among others. It is imperative that these temporary workers are able to meet the economic needs of the country and do not displace or disadvantage American workers.

Youth

One of the great founding principles of our country was that children would not be punished for the mistakes of their parents. It is time to provide an opportunity for legal residence and citizenship for those who were brought to this country as children through no fault of their own, those who know no other place as home. For those who meet certain eligibility standards, and serve honorably in our military or attain a college degree, we will do just that.

Individuals Living Outside the Rule of Law

Our national and economic security depend on requiring people who are living and working here illegally to come forward and get right with the law. There will be no special path to citizenship for individuals who broke our nation’s immigration laws – that would be unfair to those immigrants who have played by the rules and harmful to promoting the rule of law. Rather, these persons could live legally and without fear in the U.S., but only if they were willing to admit their culpability, pass rigorous background checks, pay significant fines and back taxes, develop proficiency in English and American civics, and be able to support themselves and their families (without access to public benefits). Criminal aliens, gang members, and sex offenders and those who do not meet the above requirements will not be eligible for this program. Finally, none of this can happen before specific enforcement triggers have been implemented to fulfill our promise to the American people that from here on, our immigration laws will indeed be enforced.

Personally, I like it.

It puts border security first and that more than anything is what matters.

Now some of the more idiotic pundits have complained about the lack of details, but these are the same people who would complain that a detailed statement would be impossible to achieve and then would then critique the Republicans as cowards and RINOS for not getting everything that they promised.  The sad fact is that most “conservative” (or so they claim) pundits would rather attack the GOP than Democrats any day.  So, yeah, it’s a bit vague, but it’s only a statement of principles, it’s supposed to be vague.  Some of the details will be worked out at the GOP get together this week, and some will be worked out in getting a deal struck that can get through the House and Senate (or at least one the Senate would pass if Reid wasn’t an obstructionist who didn’t prevent Obama from having to veto it).  Like adults (as opposed to liberals and pundits) the GOP is actually trying to do what is right and create a bill that can get through Congress.

Some of these same dumb pundits are claiming that last part is amnesty.  Which makes me question if pundits have basic reading skills.

 What they wants in not amnesty…but they also not dumb enough to think that we can just ignore the realities on the ground. Even if we get the needed upgrades to border security and enforcement we still have millions of people here and the cost of rounding them all up and deporting them is too high to make that viable. So we have to find a pragmatic (not perfect, but pragmatic) solution to deal with the problem without bankrupting ourselves just to uphold a principle (something about cutting off your nose to spite your face comes to mind). And that is what this plan is. So please don’t call it amnesty. It’s not.  I want you to read this again

Rather, these persons could live legally and without fear in the U.S., but only if they were willing to admit their culpability, pass rigorous background checks, pay significant fines and back taxes, develop proficiency in English and American civics, and be able to support themselves and their families (without access to public benefits). Criminal aliens, gang members, and sex offenders and those who do not meet the above requirements will not be eligible for this program. Finally, none of this can happen before specific enforcement triggers have been implemented to fulfill our promise to the American people that from here on, our immigration laws will indeed be enforced.

That is not amnesty.  That is dealing with a problem in the most pragmatic and just way possible that isn’t some pie in the sky dream of what we could do. And notice it still doesn’t grant citizenship, they’ll still have to get to the back of the line if they want that.

Now if someone has a legitimate critique I’d like to hear it, because all I have seen so far is a bunch of whining by pundits who somehow feel controlling one half of one branch of government puts us in a position to dictate terms.

This is not the vile Senate bill by a long shot and it has everything I want or provides a pragmatic alternative to the things I would wish for.  It’s nice to talk about what we would like if we could have everything we want, and we should keep those things in mind, but we also need to be adults and deal in reality.

Meanwhile this shows to me that the GOP is both forward thinking and living in reality.

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News you may have missed 1/28

Oklahoma May Get it Right: Marriage and Government Don’t Mix

Taiwan: The Connection Between Economic Performance and Security

WORLD VIEW: CHINA THREATENS MILITARY SEIZURE OF SOUTH CHINA SEA ISLAND FROM PHILIPPINES

Virtue and the Pursuit of Happiness

Anti-Semitism is an international threat once again The next time we fight a World War can we make the cost worth it by destroying this evil once and for all?

How big government hurts black Americans the most
Forget global warming, worry about the MAGNETOSPHERE: Earth’s magnetic field is collapsing and it could affect the climate and wipe out power grids

World View: China banks halt domestic cash transfers as fund bankruptcy looms

The message of 3 classic Frank Sinatra songs you need to hear

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Why I’m A New Ager

So the other day I was asked by a friend “what does a New Ager believe?”. And I gave my usual piss-poor answer of “It’s kind of hard to explain. It’s a mix of a lot different beliefs.” And while this is true, it’s still not a great answer. Not that other religions are easy to explain, they’re not, every religion is complex and difficult to understand…however, those other religions have these useful books or pre-vetted collections of belief or maybe one or two major beliefs. “What does a Buddhist believe?” You have an answer “The teachings of Buddha and reincarnation and the releasing of karma.” “What does a Christian believe?” “The teaching of Christ as reported in the New Testament, love and forgiveness for all.” Now different denominations have variations, but those variations can be summed up in a sentence or two.

I’ve tried explaining my beliefs before to people, but have often come up to immediate challenges. There have been a lot of challenges involved with this before I even answered: If I didn’t believe in the Christian God how did I explain the problem of evil? If you believed in a more active God than eastern traditions why didn’t God just wake us up from this nightmare that is reality? If I wasn’t a Christian how come I still talk about the father, son, and Holy Spirit? How can I believe in any of the things I do since it was all contradictory? As you can see I do not always run into friendly audiences. So, I realize that as very few are going to initially agree with this interpretation, but before you raise

Who are you?  What do you believe in?

objections, read the whole thing.

So here goes trying to describe my beliefs of what it is to be a New Ager (and I fully acknowledge that other New Agers out there may have different takes on this). Now if you know me I would say the most important distinction of religion is the acts of the its followers, but since in the broad strokes almost all religions advocate for the pretty much the same external actions (with only minimal differences–and I’m excluding the act of fanatics here)–thus the ethical differences between New Age belief and more traditional beliefs is probably not the most efficient way to distinguish New Age belief. So let me go to the more useful metaphysical relationship of God to Mankind.

The first is if you were a parent and your small child was having a nightmare so powerful that they couldn’t wake up, you have two options. Either (1) you can slap your screaming crying child to wake them up or (2) you can hold them, rock them, and speak to them soothingly hoping that your voice will lead them out of their nightmare. Now most parents will probably choose option 2. Option 1 might be faster, but it certainly isn’t all that humane.

The second thing I want you to consider is that in dreams time and identity doesn’t quite work in the traditional sense. I think it’s probably safe to say we’ve all had a dream that seemed to last for days, maybe even weeks, but our perception of time was only part of the dream. A dream that lasts ten minutes in the physical world seemed to drag on in our mind for days. Also we’ve probably all had a dream were there is more than just ourselves in the dream. Our dreams often have a quite large cast, but really all of those people in our dreams are nothing but images of us taking a different form. Some of us may even have had a dream where we perceive the actions of two characters in our dreams at once.

The third idea I would like you to hold in your mind is the Christian relationship of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. If you live in the Western world you should be familiar with this relationship…and since I don’t think I have too many readers in Outer Mongolia I’m going to just assume you already know this idea.

Now with those three ideas in mind let me tell you a story. God created the Son. You know this story up to this point. But then the Son had this terrible idea…God might not love him. This is a preposterous idea because God is an infinite being contemplating and giving love. But where the Son should have laughed at such a strange idea, the Son instead fell into a deep sleep (or the equivalent on an infinite non material universal scale). Now in this nightmare that the Son slipped into a whole universe was created with the pieces of the this infinite consciousness of the Son splitting apart into billions of pieces. Just as we may perceive more than one role in our own dreams, the infinite mind of the Son was able to perceive from billions of perspectives. The problem was that this fear that God does not love us latched onto each and everyone of those pieces and formed what New Agers call the ego. The ego is an embodiment of that base fear that we are separated from God, and it is attached to each piece of the Son’s consciousness, what we call the soul. This world is nothing but a nightmare in the mind of the Son (kind of like the Hindu belief that this world is a dream of the Brahman).

Now many complain that a loving god would not allow his Son to experience such a nightmare. But remember, as I pointed out in my first idea, a loving parent doesn’t just smack their child until they wake up. They hold them and speak to them, hoping that voice will bring their child out of their nightmare. In this case that voice appears in this nightmare as what is common called the Holy Spirit. Further as I pointed out time can get awfully fuzzy in a nightmare–What appears as thousand of years here is barely a moment in the reality of true existence. From God’s perspective this nightmare lasted barely a moment in eternity.

At this point the I think most people will understand when I say each of these pieces of consciousness, i.e. humans, are trying to free themselves of their egos and fear and reach a level of Enlightenment a la Hinduism or Buddhism. Ideally, of course the ultimate goal is for everyone to shed their ego/fears and return to the level of being an awakened Son of God. This might engender a idea that we must think collectively and put our own well being second to the good of the whole and others as our goal cannot be reached until all beings reach enlightenment…but that’s actually a false line of logic, as you can’t help anyone else until you yourself reach enlightenment. As such New Age belief requires not only the follower to not give into fear (i.e. you absolutely can’t be a “God-fearing” person as other religions might ask of you) nor can you ascetically withdraw from the world and condemn all the world’s pleasures as sin because that is also giving into the ego’s false belief that sin exists. What you say, of course sin exists! Not really, if this world is only an illusion there can’t actually be anything that God condemns us for, because to God doesn’t admit this world exists, thus there is nothing to condemn and nothing for God to forgive. Yes there are terrible things that happen in this world, but it’s acts of violence against ourselves, or actually against illusions we have created, certainly not against God or God’s laws. But the ego uses your guilt to keep your soul tied to it. I could go on, but to cut this short (and give me future blogs to deal with) the New Age belief is that Enlightenment will only be achieved through the full expression of ourselves and realizing that we are the Son of God and have a infinite power and nothing to feel guilty about because God loves us and anything contrary to that though (fear, guilt, uncertainty) is what keeps us in this nightmare.

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News you may have missed 1/21

Iran is racist Who would have guessed

Some questions for proponents of income redistribution

Five examples of the Law of Unintended Consequences

Darrell Issa: Obama administration waging ‘a war on guns’ with ‘rogue’ ATF sting operations

Krauthammer: Weakness Of Senate Benghazi Report Is It Blames Buildings And Not Individuals

Paul Ryan Gets Grilled By Hugh Hewitt Over Budget Deal Cutting Military Pensions

“First of all, nobody in this country deserves more support, not a single person in this country deserves more support from their fellow citizen, from the taxpayer, than our men and women in uniform, than the people who go fight for our freedoms. I think it’s just, I want to say that to begin with. Here is the background on this problem we have. We have a readiness crisis. I think you know about this. If you think that I wanted to do this or enjoy doing this, that’s not true. Had Mitt and I won that election, this would not be required. This would not be necessary. What do I mean when I say all that? You’ve got three big budget problems staring at the Pentagon right now. You’ve got the Obama budget. It cuts $487 billion dollars from the Pentagon to begin with. That’s point number one. You’ve got the Defense sequester. That cuts another $500 billion dollars on top of the $487 billion dollars. The budget agreement attempts to alleviate some of that sequester cut. It alleviates $31 billion dollars of it. So after the budget agreement, you’ve got the Obama $487 billion dollar cut to the Pentagon, then you’ve got a $469 billion dollar cut with the Defense sequester left intact, hitting the Defense Department. Then the third point is you’ve got pay and benefits, which are growing very, very quickly. It’s a demographic thing that’s just like what’s happening to the rest of the country, that is consuming more and more of the military’s budget. And that is leaving readiness destroyed. We are about to go to a Navy that is smaller than since before World War I, very few of our Army and Marine brigades are combat ready, are getting the training they need. We’re flying old airplanes in our Air Force that need to be replaced, and we’re pushing the replacement of those planes out another five years. I could go on and on and on, only to say that we have a real readiness crisis. And so we were not able to put back into the military budget nearly as much as we wanted to, like what my budget that passed in the House does. And so we’re trying to find a way of saving more money for the military, to keep the savings within the Pentagon’s budget, to try and address this military crisis. As you know, there’s a commission underway to address military pay and benefits. That commission is supposed to report its findings this spring. One of the reasons why we put a two year delay in this law for this particular provision is to give the military, people in Congress on the Defense committees, the Pentagon, time to change this if this commission thinks there is a better way to go. When we took a look at this particular provision, we looked at who can bear the savings more. Do we want to go after people who are 62 and above, you know, Tri-Care benefits? We didn’t want to do that. We took a look at the Bowles-Simpson. Bowles-Simpson does away with the COLA completely. We looked at making sure that military retiree pensions are always superior to their civilian counterparts. As you may know, civilian federal workers have to contribute money toward their pension from their paycheck. The military does not. They don’t have a cost of living increase at all. It’s zero before they reach the age of 62. And as you know, military retirees do. One misnomer I want to clear up is that this does not affect veterans’ benefits. It only affects military retiree benefits, which is 17% of the people who actually serve, just to put it in perspective, not to diminish the point, but to put it in perspective.

[…] What this does is says their cost of living increase is not as fast as an older person when they turn 62. It’s consumer price index minus one percent. When they turn 62, all that money goes back into their pension. Their pension benefit goes back up to reflect what they had lost, and then their pension grows at full CPI after they reach the age of 62. That savings stays with the Pentagon to help us buy more equipment right now to make sure we can address our readiness issue. And it’s delayed for two years that if we think there’s a better way to fix this problem, we’ll do that, and we bought ourselves two years to do that. And that’s what this does.”

Paul Ryan on the cuts he didn’t want to make but as we didn’t win he had only bad options and had to pick one.

Pundits and whiners, live in the real world for a moment.

Researchers Are Making A 3D Printer That Can Build A House In 24 Hours The age where a mass amount of labor is needed for production is coming to an end…get used to it.

A Balanced Approach to Patent Reform: Addressing the Patent-Troll Problem Without Stifling Innovation

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News From An Alternate Universe (one not filled with idiots):

[January 20th 2014 (From an Alternate Universe)]:

His first year in office has been a hectic but rewarding one…depending on who you ask. According to Republicans Romney has presided over the greatest economic recovery in the nation’s history while reestablishing America’s place in the world as the shinning city on the hill. According to Democrats he is taking credit for gains made by former president Obama, targeting his political adversaries, making the world unsafe while hurting the average American.

The battle between narratives began even before Romney began his term of office. Shortly after Romney squeezed a close victory over Obama.  Aided by several close calls in Senate races Romney had apparently not only won the White House but also a GOP controlled House and Senate. However this victory was not one that would give Romney much pleasure. Within hours of the election Democrats filed numerous lawsuits claiming voter irregularities (which eventually led to Justice Scalia asking White House counsel exactly which Obama voters were turned away by the Black Panthers). Screams of the Republicans stealing the election continued throughout the month (and never fully stopping through the first year of Romney’s presidency with news outlets like the New York Times running at least

If you listened to some in the Libertarian party, these two are to the left of FDR...sane people know there is a difference between these guys and their opposition.

one story, on inconsistencies of the election every month).

But December turned to brighter news when 230 companies in The Fortune 500 announced that they would be putting in place major expansions in the US and around the world, similar moves by smaller companies were seen in every industry. At this point, Obama, in what critics have described as the pettiest speech in presidential history, took to his last televised speech to state that these massive expansions were proof that his policies worked and that all of America would come to regret their choice and Romney’s policies would erase all the gains that they were now beginning to see.  Republicans and several CEO’s responded that the sudden economic growth was in response to Obama leaving and the hope that came with a new president–but that hasn’t stopped Democrats from calling the past year’s growth the Obama Renaissance. Those economic gains in average increase of take home pay of $3,000, unemployment dropping to 6.3% despite record high workforce participation numbers, a slowing of inflation (believed partly due to the ending of quantized easing they immediately followed President Romney’s signing of a  bill to audit the Federal Reserve). Part of this economic growth is being attributed to the lower regulatory burden due to Romney revoking 95% of all Obama and Bush era executive orders regulations within the first 3 months.  But also being attributed to this is the complete hiring freeze for all non-military positions put in place by the Romney administration in an attempt to lower federal work force due to attrition, and through the mass exodus in many government offices after Romney put in place internal reviews in all department in the wake of the IRS scandal.

A main point of the early days of the Romney administration was seeing the immediate repeal of Obamacare.  Pushed through with only minimal support from Democrats (although insiders on the Hill admit the bill was not stopped in the Senate as no one wanted to be blamed for the disaster they believed would come from more provisions being put in place).  Republicans have charged that their putting in special funds for preexisting conditions, repealing the bans on insurance crossing state lines, and reform of patent laws and FDA regulations regarding drugs have already helped to lower insurance prices and increase overall coverage.  Democrats have charged that this has still left millions uninsured, even though more companies are now offering medical insurance plans as group plans that can cross state borders have dropped rapidly in price.  Vice President Paul Ryan spoke specifically on this point saying that if Obamacare had been allowed to stay in place then millions would have had their insurance canceled and the Republican plans have saved Americans from this outcome.  In rebuttal the always erudite former Vice President Joe Biden called Ryan’s statement “Not just malarkey but fucking bullshit.  There is no proof that anyone would have lost coverage.  That’s just a Republican lie. No one would have lost their coverage.  No one would have lost their doctor.”

As the Republican takeover of the Senate has allowed Romney to pass over 42 points of his 59 point plan already, the
planreduced spending and regulations are being claimed by business to be responsible for most of the economic recovery being seen across the country as well as helping economic recovery in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Republicans specifically point to the fact that fuel prices have dropped by nearly a dollar on average with the advent of higher levels of fracking, shale oil production and the construction of the Keystone pipeline.

President Romney has not been as lucky abroad in all foreign matters.  With the support of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, and Qatar (and the rumored support of the Egyptian military and Jordan) the U.S. and Israel conducted heavy tactical strikes on all Iranian nuclear bases and Revolutionary Guard bases.  While publically condemning the actions of Israel and US, Middle Eastern governments have made no move against Israel.  Democrats in the US have claimed that Romney is a warmonger like Bush before him.  The Romney administration and Secretary of State John Bolton have been quick to point out that Hezbollah has made no attacks on Israel since the strike on Iran and has begun to disintegrate as the brewing civil war in Iran has dried up all funding for the terrorist network.  However this has not saved the President from critiques from his own party.  Senator John McCain has pointed out that without Iran to funnel Russian resources to former Syrian dictator Assad, Assad regime quickly fell.  McCain has called Romney a butcher for letting Syria fall to al-Qaida linked terrorists, stating that “only a fool would have backed butchers like the rebels in Syria.”  Some have claimed hypocrisy on McCain’s part for early support of the rebels and that he is merely continuing in a pattern of always attacking his own party when it will get him good press, but the McCain spokespeople have dismissed this.

Secretary Bolton has also pointed out that American strength has caused China to relinquish its saber rattling efforts in the South Seas and put more pressure on North Korea, where a military coup has resulted in placing the military in power and Kim Jong-Un in front of a firing squad.   While there are claims that there was CIA help in the coup, which has resulted in record numbers of relief workers being allowed into North Korea and claims that the work camps are being disbanded, liberals like former Senate Leader Harry Reid state that the US foreign policy had nothing to do with this and Kim’s regime would have toppled even under Obama’s leadership.

As President Romney has encouraged increased trade in Eastern Europe with three new trade treaties, Easter Europe is also feeling an economic boom.  This has placed Russia on an odd footing as Poland, and Hungary have put orders with American defense contractors for large shipments to reinforce their militaries.  This has been signaled as a sign of strength against President Putin’s attempt to flex his muscles over Eastern Europe. Putin has been attempting to make new in-roads around the world since the fall of his allies in Syria and the Iranian attack, but has been thwarted repeatedly by economic prosperity being brought by American investment across the globe.

President Romney pointed to his policies having helped make Iraq and Afghanistan more stable in a long term process to fully get out of Afghanistan and to remove even advisors from Iraq earlier this month from a speech in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, once the site of a major battle during the early days of the Iraq War.  Romney was heavily criticized for responding to Iraqi requests for more advisors, weapons, and Special Forces units near the beginning of the year.  “We have made great strides to bringing peace to both Iraq and Afghanistan,” Romney said in his Fallujah speech, “but as much as we might want to just leave these two battle fronts, that is merely a short term vision.  We have to make it so that we not only can leave, but that we don’t have to come back.”

Romney has also taken heavy criticism from the right. Commentators like Mark Levin and other pundits associated with the Tea Party have repeatedly said that while his economic plans are doing wonders he has not pushed hard enough on social issues.  “Yeah sure, stopping all funding from going to Planned Parenthood is a start, but this RINO has made no effort to push to outlaw gay marriage or abortion.”  Romney has responded to some of these critiques often with his repeated line, “Just as I said I found it odd when the Massachusetts Supreme Court found the right to gay marriage in the Massachusetts Constitution John Adams wrote, I also find it odd that some people seem to find powers over state business in the Constitution Madison wrote.  I am personally opposed to some of these things, but I don’t see anything in the Constitution that gives me the right to do anything about this.”

Attorney General Rudy Giuliani has also been a sticking point for the Romney administration’s first year.  Hitting the ground running with investigations in the Fast and Furious, Benghazi and IRS scandals (among others) has drawn nothing but calls of partisanship from Democrats.  While IRS official Lois Learner and former UN Ambassador Susan Rice have been indicted on numerous charges the actual targets of the investigation, former Secretaries Holder and Clinton are still unindicted—but rumors continue to swirl about their eventual trials. Also a contention point with civil libertarians is the prosecution of former NSA contractor who after leaking sensitive information to reporter Glen Greenwald about the inner workings of the NSA was captured and extradited from China.  He currently has no access to the press and is under indictment for espionage and treason. Both Secretaries Bolton and Giuliani assure the press that Snowden will stand trial and that they will seek the death penalty.  While the full extent of what information he stole from the NSA is still unclear, sources within the intelligence agency suggest he stole more than enough information to ruin US intelligence.

While there have been some critiques from the Tea Party that Romney has not put in long term reforms on the budget, Vice President has pointed out, “Look, we spent most this year cleaning up the mess left by the last presidency.  We have bills on the table to reform Medicaid, Medicare, other long term debt issues, and immigration coming up this year.  We couldn’t get everything done in one year if we wanted to do it right.  We are actually in the black for this coming year, if only by a small amount, and with any luck we will place major reforms that will allow us to start paying deep into the principle of our debt next year.”  Ryan added, “You have to deal in reality, while we have control of the Senate we still have to make sure we have enough support to get past filibuster rules.  I know some pundits want us to revoke those rules but that would degrade everything the Senate stands for in being a deliberative body and we have no desire to ruin the nature of the republic just to get a few more bills passed.”

Overall, despite the booming economy, President Romney’s first has been met by attacks from many sides, with both the left and the right unhappy with him. Still the White House seems confident that they will be able to put in all of their desired reforms within the next three years and keep the economy growing and American stable.  “My hope is that I don’t have to run ever again.”  With the State of the Union just a couple days away it is believe the the President’s theme of the speech will be a continuation of his campaign theme taking the form of line which has been leaked by White House insiders “If you believe in America and get out of its way, which we have, you will see a force of innovation, creation and hope that can never be rivaled.”

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News you may have missed 1/13

As it is an election year, it is more important than usual to focus on the news so that we can all be better prepared to counter any liberal lie that may come our way…but if you can’t speed read who has time for that?  Thus, I’m going to try going back to something I used to do and every week have a highlight of articles you may have missed in paying attention to only the top stories or just didn’t have time for at all.  Obviously, if you have time you shouldn’t use just me, but hopefully I’ll turn up one or two pieces that you missed and will enjoy.

Israel and Peace: A current analysis of the problems presented by Palestinian refusal to accept anything the resembles peace.

10 Surprising Government Programs That Are Costing You $10.2 Billion  Just a brief highlight of a few of the programs wasting your money.

6 KEY STATES TO WATCH IN 2014 ELECTIONS  Just so you know where to keep your eyes (and perhaps efforts on if your state is securely red in all categories)

Proposed IRS Rules Would Stifle Free Speech

choosewisely

Choose Graphics Wisely

Some needed advice on how to go about making political arguments on the internet.

 

 

 

 

 

Obama’s war on the poor

Real Unemployment Rate Of 11.5%

Don’t believe the whitewashing by the White House, this is not a recovery.

 

Ted Cruz Still Half Canadian

Gee, Ted, it’s not that hard to get rid of…one might think that you’ll all show and not even a little substance (and be honest here, to call this substance is reaching).

 

ANALYSIS: Obama’s 2014 strategy — my economy sucks

Thanks to Obama, Islamist militants will be the ultimate victors in Iraq and Afghanistan

6 Lies Millennials Must Reject

Who’d a-thunk it? States that vote Republican have higher volunteer rates than states leaning left

 

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How pundits and pervasive lies are preventing us from moving forward…

republicans

We need to get our priorities and our facts in order if we’re going to move forward.

A friend of mine, a person whose opinions I deeply respect, said to me “you know it’s really sad that McCain got more votes than Romney.”  And this struck me as very odd, because, if you go and look up the actual totals you’ll see that Romney (60.933 million votes) got more votes than McCain (59.948 million)…about a million more for any liberals who may be reading this (I know you guys have problems with basic math, so I’m just trying to help).

So yes it would have been sad if a conservative like Romney had done worse than a RINO sack of shit like McCain among Republican voters, but it simply isn’t the case. What is sad, however, is that this vicious lie has been repeated so many times that even intelligent people have begun to believe it (like McCain’s lies about Romney being liberal, or most of what Barry has done to further the philosophy of the Big Lie).

And most responsible for this is a certain group of pundits who seem dedicated to this lie that Romney did worse and the secondary lies that go on to explain why Romney got fewer votes–that we lost because we didn’t focus more on social issues, that we have to become isolationists, that we need to have versions of welfare and cronyism of our own, that the government needs more power in certain sectors–you know the Santorum platform…oh, wait it’s all those Ricky supporting dipshits who are the ones who are primarily behind this lie.   It is the same reason that these pundits need to latch onto the minutiae of actual conservatives and scream bloody murder over small problems, but will conveniently ignore the multiple and serious problems of their new Tea Party darlings…not because they’re doing this out of deep conviction, but out of fear.  The fear that if an economic conservative actually wins at this point then their insane social “conservatism” will be discarded by the whole of the nation.  Fear that at this point if a real conservative wins in an environment that they can do something then their meal ticket of peddling anger will dry up.  They’re afraid of the truth that economic and foreign policy conservatives can win, then all the nutty ideas proposed by these pundits will fall by the way side.

But why am I ranting about this?  I’m ranting about this because this is a very illuminating piece of the conservative movement’s larger problem:  We need to look at what does and doesn’t work in elections for Republicans.  And this is something we haven’t done in quite some time.

Even the postmortem of the election by the RNC Party didn’t really get to the heart of what the actual message needs to be.  So let’s look at the history of the Republican Party and what candidate victories actually are.

The history goes something like this: Republicans don’t tend to do well.  Just accept that.  At least conservatives don’t do well compared to liberals on the whole.  We don’t do well getting people out, we don’t tend to inspire.  This is not because we have bad messaging,  this is not because we have bad candidates, this is because all we have to offer is a lot of what people don’t want to buy.   We offer responsibility.  We offer hard work.  We offer gains through effort, merit, work and trial of blood, sweat and tears.  We offer real gains, but real gains aren’t easy compared to Democrats and progressives just promising the world.  ‘We’ll take it from the rich and give it to you, yes you.’  To hell if it will actually work, it’s such a nice dream that people just want to hear it over and over and over again.

But let’s look at the actual cases.

election figures

Here are the numbers.

Here we have the elections, winners, the number of people who voted for both parties, the percentage of the vote and voter turnout.  But raw numbers like this are kind of meaningless.  And we have to consider all three, because a candidate who loses with a high turnout rate might actually have been a better candidate than a candidate who won with a low turnout rate.   Think of it this way: you have two salesmen.  One salesman only sells 25 items to a group of 100 people, another salesman sells 30 items to a group of 200 people.  Now you might want to say that the salesman who sold 30 items is a better salesman–but he’s not because he only got 15% of the group that he was talking to, the other salesman got 25% of the people he was talking to.   So if we just like a percentage of the votes we’re just looking at the 30 and 25– but if we look at the percentage of the vote in context of the voter turnout it begins to look a little different.

And the numbers go like this from the Republicans who got the largest share of the general population.

Percentage of population

Now who got a larger portion of the population than Romney to come out?  Obviously not most Republicans…but let’s look at the specific instances…You have W.’s 2nd run, Reagan’s 2nd, Eisenhower’s 2nd and Nixon’s first run against Kennedy.  Now while not a firm rule, the fact is that the prestige of being president or being Vice President does help (and you see this with Democratic candidates as well). That leaves Wendell Wilkie (who was running against FDR’s third term, so some of the outrage against the idea of a President running for a third time might be somewhat to blame), and Eisenhower’s 1st run. Now with Eisenhower, you have something almost better than being President, you have the title Supreme Allied Commander.  Also you just have to generally exclude Eisenhower’s runs and Nixon’s first run as they weren’t running so much on a platform of policies, but on the name Eisenhower.

Now you can disagree with my logic of excluding some or all of these, but you have to admit that Romney got a larger portion of the nation to come out and vote for him than most Republicans.

So not only did Romney get a larger number of votes than McCain, a larger share of the population than McCain,

This man knew what he was doing. It wasn’t perfect in all ways and he was up against an opponent who promised the world and cheated to get what he couldn’t get through giveaways…but Romney provides us the model for the kind of candidate we need.

and a larger share of the population than most Republicans throughout recent history, let’s not say Romney failed because let’s look at the fact he beat out Reagan’s first run for presidency.  Romney got a larger share of the population to vote for him than Reagan did.  Romney did better than Reagan did in 1980.  Think about that.  Also think about the fact that Reagan almost didn’t win the election in 1980. In 1980 there was a third-party challenger who took away a lot of votes from Carter, and that’s why Reagan won, not because Carter was such a bad president—no the American public is kind of stupid in that respect, they won’t even vote out a terrible person??—no it’s that a challenger came in and stole some of the Democratic Party votes.   Just as Republicans won in 2000 because Ralph Nader came in and stole votes from Gore, just as Bush lost in ‘92 because Ross Perot came in and stole votes.  The sad fact is that in ’80, ’92, and 2000 it wasn’t so much because people liked the winner so much it’s because the incumbent had a challenger siphoning off some of their votes.   And that’s a sad fact, had there not been a challenger, in 1980 we would’ve been stuck with two terms of Carter.  It’s not an idea per se that people are voting for, sometimes it’s just to feel that they can be different.  (It doesn’t appear that (the perpetually appearing to be stoned) Gary Johnson siphoned off enough votes to make a difference, but who knows how many people he convinced to at least stay home, so thanks Gary go fuck yourself.)

So I don’t want to hear that Rodney was a terrible candidate because Romney pulled out people in a way that no other Republican in recent memory seems to be able to do.  And one of the reasons he was able to do this was because Romney didn’t really focus on social issues.  Yes he said he was personally socially conservative but in no way, shape, or form did he ever give the impression that he was going to legislate on that. Notice that he was not going to stand in the way of law.  He did not feel it was the government’s responsibility, especially the federal government’s responsibility, to change and dictate morality in laws.  Romney got people out because he talked about the only two issues that are important: the economy and foreign-policy. Liberty here and liberty abroad.

Now yes you can claim that social issues did come up in the form of idiots like Todd Akin (the man should’ve taken Karl Rove’s advice and shot himself)– but that, an issue with social conservatism, if anything, lost Romney votes.  Social conservatism and those who preach it are the worst enemies of economic liberty and international peace, not its greatest defenders (they’re also their own worst enemies because good economic policy will create the institutions in society that social conservatives love…and they’ll do it without forcing it via law)

‘But, but, I was told by a single idiotic pundit (who shall remain nameless) that had only the Christian voters come out Romney would’ve won.  It’s the fact the evangelicals stayed home, the conservative evangelical voters stayed home and Romney lost.  Actually if you look at the breakdown that’s not quite accurate.  And in fact most of the groups dipshit pundits  want to point to as having been driven off by Romney, actually did better with those groups.  All these claims that Romney was a RINO (made only by people too illiterate to actually read his record) or that we needed a more socially conservative candidate are based on the myth, no, not myth, bald face lie, that conservatives stayed home and didn’t vote for Romney.  I can’t find any actual evidence that can substantiate the claim that the social conservatives did not turn out for Romney.  So anyone who talks about conservatives staying home, and not turning out and not getting out the vote is full of crap.  Now granted we may not have been able to make as many moderates come out, but the fact of the matter is, let’s be honest here, Obama was just manufacturing votes in a lot of the swing states.   In addition Romney’s grand get out the vote program ORCA seems to have crashed (a little too conveniently on Election Day) which hurt in getting out those otherwise moderate voters who leaned towards Romney (but a lot of these problems seemed to have been resolved through RNC efforts in the 2013 governor elections).  The long and short of it is that no one should ever be claiming this bullshit lie that the psychotic populist pundits want to keep proposing that Romney, couldn’t get voters out. He did.  People should not be buying this lie that because he wasn’t a social conservative we lost.  That is not the case.

We lost for a few other reasons.  As I’ve stated before it wasn’t because social conservatives hurt us…so whining to crazy social conservatives or lunatic libertarians is not the answer.  The answer is to get another economic conservative like Romney, and do better on the ground game.  Do better on getting people out…and this is not entirely the responsibility of the candidate.  We cannot be the party of individualists but think that the party on high is the one responsible for winning this thing.  We have to be better at being a grassroots party…and thus I am going to start (hopefully weekly, but you know how I get) suggestions that every single conservative should do to help get conservatives into every level of government to help shrink the size of said government.

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Filed under Conservative, Election 2012, GOP, Long Term Thinking, Mitt Romney, politics, Tea Party

A Meditation for the New Year

So recently I saw on Facebook a friend post an idea about how to treat the new year. This was such a good idea I thought I should share it with everyone because it works as a wonderful year long meditation.

Positive thoughtsTake a jar, preferably a clear one so you can see how the things will pile up, and every day write down a list of the good things that happened to you that day. Big things, small things, totally inconsequential things from ‘got a raise’ to ‘Starbucks was really fast today’ and everything in between. Keep it somewhere you can see. For instance I put my first one in at midnight last night–“It’s not 2013” (godawful year, I’m glad it’s over).  Even if it’s something that happens everyday, put it in there, everyday.  Anything positive is good and it must be put in there.

Since, due to the law of attraction, our thoughts create reality, focusing on every positive thing again will help reinforce the positive thoughts and emotions in our life.  Seeing the jar fill up will help keep us in a good mood as it will be a visual cue to think about all the good things that happened to you over the year.  And, if worst comes to worst, then you can empty  the jar on the ground and read every single one as you put them back into the jar, until the memories of the joy brings you back to happiness (or at least out of depression).

thoughts create reality

Now, I assume like all of us, there are going to be things that seem so terrible that we can’t just give them up.  Which is why I bought a second jar.  Whenever I won’t be able to completely push aside one of those negative ideas, I am going to also write it down, (and probably just spend a quick minute to think of any other negative things that are haunting the peripherals of my mind and put them in too) put them in the second jar and light them on fire.  (Please only do this if you can do it safely.)   Even if it doesn’t get rid of them it will be a wonderful cathartic experience to see that which I don’t want in my life burn and go away.  (I find asking the Archangel Michael to cut all chords of energy to that which I find negative also helps.)

Happy New Year

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Filed under Faith, Meditation, Spirituality