Category Archives: Conservative

Conservative Values versus a myriad of extremists

A government professor of mine once stated that all governments were a balance between three different values: Equality, Order, and Liberty. No one value can be pursued without cost to the other two. The ideal society would actually be the one that keeps these three points in balance. However, as we look around modern parties and political movements, the logic of balance seems nowhere to be found.

Four Cardinal Virtues

Individual have the 4 cardinal virtues: Temperance, Moderation, Justice, Fortitude…but these are the basis for the three political virtues: liberty, equality, order. They all have to work together or not at all.

Liberals, socialists and progressives seek equality at the cost of order and liberty finally reaching their ideal society, a Communistic state where everyone is equal but in the end utterly worthless as equality requires none be higher than others, thus all talent, all incentives, and all goals have been destroyed leaving society to collapse before the equally unimpressive slaves that it has created. In a state where all are equal there can be no order because power cannot be vested (even through law) in another thus nothing can keep law and civil society together thus at best everything is merely slave to the whim of the herd (law by the same methods created reality TV)…and there can be no liberty, as liberty leads to exceptionalism, and no one can be better than anyone else

The growing fascist movements of Greece, the tyranny of Vladimir Putin, and the vile wretchedness of Islamofascism, value order above all else. But for there to be complete order there can be no liberty because if people can choose for themselves, they will sometimes choose wrong and this inevitably leads to some level of chaos, some crime, some disorder. And in the ordered state there can be no equality, as equality requires that all are subject to rules, and for the ordered state to work no one can watch the watchers because they are the final authority, otherwise there is no way to control and maintain order.

Libertarians and anarchists view liberty as the end all be all of all politics. But where there is perfect freedom there can be no equality, even before the law, because there can be no law if there is nothing but license to do whatever you want. And there can be no order in the fully liberated state as the law who would hold back those who do not recognize the rights of others cannot exist.

And finally populists don’t particularly view any of these as all that important. Yes populists want equality when someone is doing better than them, which is why businesses and businessmen are evil and need to be reined in…but they strangely don’t care about equality when they’re doing better, which is why even Ron Paul brought back millions in pork to his district. They care about liberty, for themselves…but for anyone else, eh, it’s not that important. And order is important, so long as it’s in my general vicinity, enforced by me, and I don’t care if it’s not in my line of sight. (And please understand why I have been hitting the populists posing as conservatives a lot lately, your average Democratic voter has always been a populist. Their activists and politicians maybe progressives, but the voters are populists who just care about their entitlements and what will be given to them).  Here regrettably, is the rather large body of people whom Trump and Cruz pander to.

Meanwhile there is the real conservative viewpoint. That these three virtues of a society must be held in careful balance. That the extreme of any one of these because a dystopian nightmare (Liberty, Order, Equality…Lord of the Flies, 1984, Harrison Bergeron…or for the less well read, Mad Max, Hunger Games, Divergent…or if you prefer history, Somalia, Nazi Germany, Revolutionary France). That a society without these three to guide them is just as bad as one where only one is followed (I’d give an example but modern politics seems to be it and the last few years of Rome seem to be the only places dumb enough to try such an abhorrent idea in practice). Only the society that balances these forces is a prosperous one.

So what is the guiding star of conservatism that makes it so different from these other ideologies? Well, not to sound like a dozen other blogs on this site but the answer is once again, Aristotle.

Aristotle, for all his flawed understanding of politics (give the man a break, there wasn’t much reliable history to work with in the 4th century B.C. and you can’t expect him to have prescience of what was to come), understood that in politics, as with ethics, it is not a question of ends OR means, but a question of ends AND means. Those who value equality or order only value an end of making everyone equal or making everything peaceful. Those who value liberty only value the means of liberty not the result of what such anarchy brings. Only balancing both ends and means work.

And Aristotle saw the correct end to focus on. The end to all human life is Happiness. And society, family, education must all be structured to ensure Happiness for the greatest number of people. Now because Happiness requires freedom of choice and personal growth, not everyone will reach happiness no matter what a government/family/society does, but it requires liberty and the ability to exercise free will. But because Happiness requires some ability to plan and control your own life, it requires order to some degree. And because the point is to provide Happiness (or the opportunity to pursue Happiness) for the most people as all are equally human and equally deserving at birth of achieving Happiness. None of these on their own can lead to Happiness, and all must work together.

And this is why other belief systems don’t work; they’re not aimed at Happiness.

For instance look at misnamed “social conservatives” (Progressives for Jesus might be a better way to put it). They keep saying that the point of marriage is to have children. As if having children is an end in itself.   And they keep bringing this up as a reason why they opposed gay marriage. Now there are good reasons to get rid of marriage as a legal concept (and replace it with legal civil unions and let religion handle marriage without government interference) but it is not just the Progressive mentality here to have the government take control of everything. It is the missed sense of what the end of things are. They view the family as a means to creating another family. The family, society, everything in the view has no purpose but to serve itself. You have to have marriage to create children. You have to raise children so they lead lives where they get married. They get married to have children…over and over again. There is no point to the individual life (unless you want to get into some bizarre servitude to God, which views God as a master and the individual the slave…but no serious reading of any sane religion even comes close to that.) This is why social conservatives tend to be not only bad at politics but their own religion. Social conservatives should go back and read their Aquinas who makes it clear that “the principal end of matrimony, namely the good of the offspring” and that “the secondary end of matrimony, which is the mutual services which married persons render one another in household matters.” Notice how in the second point it is the betterment of each other (i.e. the individual’s happiness) that is the point of marriage. Just as every social institution is supposed to place the Happiness of the individual as a goal. Parents should be concerned with teaching their children the knowledge, ethics, and character that will allow them to be happy adults. Schools and other societal organizations should be focused on encouraging people to be the best they can be with the goal being individual Happiness. Social conservatives’ problem, like all progressives, is they think society is the end goal, it is not; the good of individual is the goal.

Then you have Libertarians who don’t even consider ends and just, like good Kantian idiots, look at means. And liberty is the only mean they care about. Oh they may say that freedom leads to individual Happiness, but they ignore that just because the exercise of free will is necessary it is not sufficient. (Just as Milton Friedman said that “History suggests only that capitalism is a necessary condition for political freedom. Clearly it is not a sufficient condition.”) Let’s take a look at what sometimes appears to be the only thing that libertarians think about: The War on Drugs. Okay, I will concede that the War on Drugs has been handled idiotically. I will concede that if a person should be able to use drugs in the privacy of their own home if they’re not hurting anyone. I concede that the power to prosecute the War on Drugs has led to massive costs and an intolerable level of corruption in the name of the War on Drugs. But in all this the libertarians fail to admit some very simple things. They act like the people who take drugs are all just innocent little lambs who are the victims of an unjust police power. prison violent

nonviolent

Oh, look it would appear that as incarceration went up crime went down…shocker.

Let me set the record straight: They’re criminals (whether they get caught and convicted or not, they’re criminals). They have the mentality that the rules of society, their long term well-being, and how their actions may hurt others are of absolutely no concern to them so long as they get a moment of pleasure. At best that is vilely hedonistic, at worst it has a bit of a sociopath in it. Libertarians like to pretend that you have otherwise innocent drug users in one group, and in another you have real criminals. And that the fact that we have a massive prison population proves that this War on Drugs needs to end. The problem is that you don’t have two different groups; you have a Venn diagram where criminals and drug users are often one in the same. Libertarians like to point to the increasing prison population, but they always conveniently forget that as prison populations go up violent and non-violent crime go down. They ignore that often drugs are used to put dangerous criminals away when other more serious charges don’t have as much admissible evidence. So there are benefits to the War on Drugs. But not willing to admit that drops in the murder, rape, theft rates is a good thing, libertarians only care about the liberty to do drugs.   They don’t advocate that we should focus more on the cartels, the gang distributors, and legalize personal home use (all things which would still probably round up the worst real criminals while not hurt the people who can actually handle personal use)…no they have to argue that we should just legalize all drugs. No concern for order, just liberty’s most perverse form, license…and no Happiness for anyone.

The other difference between libertarians, Progressive for Jesus**, and real conservatives. Unlike Libertarians, conservatives understand that laws do need to be structured not just to protect rights but to encourage habits that will typically lead to a healthy society and Happiness in individuals (for instance unless we switch to a flat tax having tax credit for charity; the fact that we can’t just get rid of civil union side of marriage, and that we do need a safety net of some kind***; providing minimum standards for education to make sure all students receive a basic minimum of education) but unlike the Progressive for Jesus we must do so in a way that limits (or at least poses as few limits as possible) to the good that liberty provides (deciding what counts as a marriage and what doesn’t, when gay marriage provides the same benefits; spending money and resources checking on what people do in private that hurts no one; dictating what to include content wise in education; etc.).

Being consistently conservative is difficult. It requires balancing numerous issues of the needs of individuals, the long term good of society, Liberty, Order, Equality. And it’s a constantly shifting point because what creates that balance in one era may be totally unbalanced in another. Proper government needs to be directed toward the Happiness of individuals. It needs to balance our needs for liberty, order, and equality. When it does not do these things it creates bad laws. And it is so easy to get lost in caring only about your own want (populists) or one of the political virtues at the expense of the others. Right now we need a lot more liberty, but we cannot forget that it is the balance and the good of society and the individual that is our true goal—not just liberty for the sake of liberty.

Of course none of this is really new…the people who real conservatives look toward as a guide post made it quite clear that liberty, or order (tranquility, defense), or equality (justice, general welfare) were all equal political virtues that had to be held in balance of each other…

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

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

*Now I know that I have heard some people have claimed that the FBI is merely shading the numbers—that they’re not counting things the same way to make things look better than they are. I’ve heard that claim from LOTS of people. But you know what I find interesting, I can’t find that claim on any think tank. None. Liberal. Conservative. Libertarian. Nobody. You would think that conservatives would have hit Clinton or Obama for skewing the data, or liberals would have hit Bush. But nobody seems to questions the FBI’s stats…nor is there any jump that you would see if you changed the criteria, it’s a slow progression. So either everybody and I mean everybody, is on a massive conspiracy to slowly skew the crime numbers, or crime really has been dropping.

**You thought I wasn’t serious, but I am. I am using that from now on.

***Libertarians, before you yell at me that we need to get rid of welfare entirely, please remember that Friedman and Hayek both said we need a safety net because having people in real poverty (the kind you see in the third world) creates people who seriously have the choice of steal or die, at which point it becomes a need for them to steal and as we all know from the example of Jean Valjean, utterly unjust to punish them.

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Yet another Federal Department to do away with…The Department of The Interior

While the Department of the Interior has been in the news for some fairly ridiculous reasons lately, that does not undermine the fact that it is unquestionably one of the worst uses of government power in D.C. which is actively working every day to keep Americans in poverty and hurt the economy.

doe-org-chart.jpg

Born of an era before we had executive level offices that were not necessarily under a cabinet department, the Department of the Interior was originally conceived of a place to stick all the internal brick-a-brack that didn’t really belong in other departments but were federal government domestic issues.  Most of the things originally put in this department (like the Patent office) no longer are in the Department of the Interior.  And what is left is utterly useless.

Bureau of Indian Affairs
But of the things originally put into the Department of the Interior, possibly the worst of all of them is regrettably still around: Bureau of Indian Affairs, this long standing national disgrace, no matter what the eventual fate of the Department itself, must be eliminated.  You know all that land the Natives Americans live on, their Reservations?  Guess what they don’t own it.  The federal government through the Bureau of Indian Affairs owns it, even the land houses are built on.  Therefore those living there can never get a loan, never turn their property into capital, never actually enter into the 21st century economy because they don’t actually own their own homes and property. They’re just like a 3rd world country with welfare payments (also provided by BIA).  You have to look no further than a Reservation for proof that the welfare state destroys the people who it attempts to “help” and you can blame the BIA and Dept. of the Interior for being the ones who destroy the lives of these people.

And we need to address this issue first because unlike most of the problems in the Department which boil down to give it to the states or sell it to the private sector and close the offices, this disaster of a longstanding government travesty has more intricacies given how deeply we have screwed over, and more importantly how deeply we are screwing them over this very minute, this one group.

Before you ask, yes we are going to get rid of every bit of this god-awful department, but just closing it isn’t the way to do it.

I propose to the following actions
Every Native American currently getting checks from the government just for existing will get a lump sum check equivalent to ten years worth of payments, this should give them an appropriate buffer to either do things they never were able to do on the dole (like get an education and job skills, which sadly is all to often a story on the Res.) or to invest in their own future even if they are already leading a productive life.  As much as I hate welfare you can’t cut people off cold turkey and expect them to thrive…but given the particular evil of this department I don’t trust a slow step down either—so lump sum payment and we’re done with that.

At the same time everyone living on the reservation will get a half acre of land put in their name.

All other reservation land will be given to a corporation in the name of the tribe. Members of the tribe living on the reservation will get 1000 shares, those not living on the reservation but still recognized as members of the tribe get 500 (numbers are of course up for debate, but I understand tribal benefits for many tribes already follow this or similar models).  So everyone now has land in their own name and the rest of the land is held by a corporation.
Thus they can now get loans, use the land and houses as collateral, invest, develop and generally work to improve their own lives with all the same rights that all other Americans (seriously it is just disgusting how we do not grant basic property rights to this one group).  (And personally I wouldn’t mind giving large plots of other federal land to the reservations to also be included in their corporate holdings, they will almost certainly take care of it and make more money off it than the government ever could).  Every reservation will then be incorporated as its own county and thus will only have to deal with state and federal governments. Finally all the casinos will be granted 100 year grandfather clauses from state government interference (I don’t  like getting involved in state issues like that, but no need to further screw over the tribes, 100 years is more than enough time to find some other source of income or come to some understanding with the states they reside in).  The casinos will of course go to the ownership of the tribe’s corporation.
From there they are free to win or lose based on the laws of free enterprise and capitalism.  That much property should be a good head start, but this way from this point forward they would be treated not differently than any other American (seriously how has the government not stopped treating them as second class citizens yet..how was this never part of any Civil Right’s movement?)  Then you won’t have moments like the government getting to decide if land the tribe considers sacred will be used for mining ) (although my suspicion is that if they were actually making money from a lease of the land personally, like most rational folk profit is very sacred).

Of course the Dept. of the Interior is still a huge mess.

 

Look at all the land they own. This needs to end.

Government land in US.png

National Parks Service

Okay here’s an easy one.  Just give the land and responsibilities of these over to the states.  I’m fairly certain someone in Phoenix has a better idea of how to take care of the Grand Canyon than someone in D.C. So that goes for every federal park. The f

Office of U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Sounds like such a pleasant name for people utterly hell-bent on destroying all progress and quite possibly human civilization.
That line may sound hyperbolic, but these are idiots who enforce the utterly idiotic Endangered Species Act. Let’s ignore that it was private business that brought back the bison and the bees. Now let’s look at what this office does.  For instance they’re involved in saving the Delta Smelt.   A worthless evolutionary dead end that has no ability whatsoever to adapt even to its own environment, and that is about as important to any ecosystem as Obama is to maintaining world peace. To save this worthless excuse of a fish the state of California (originally under orders of the this useless office, but now through efforts of their own idiocy) is dumping over a trillion gallons of water into the ocean to save the smelt.

Yes in California, a place where there is a drought, where serious water rationing is in place, where water is at a premium…the government is forcing people to dump over a trillion gallons of water into the ocean to save a useless fish. I’m sorry but the destruction of billions of dollars in agriculture (and the relating economic benefit) is clearly more important than a damn fish that no one but the US government cares about.

Oh yeah and even for the low low cost of destroying California, once the breadbasket of the world, the smelt is still dying..why because nature is about killing millions of species, the Endangered Species Act is not more intelligent than the simple rule of life since the first single celled lifeforms: adapt or die.

All other decisions made by US Fish and Wildlife are equally disastrous and equally stupid.

The Endangered Species Act needs to be overturned in whole and this department needs to be closed (if you want to charge all the employees with crimes against humanity for the massive economic damage they do on a daily basis, ethically that’s fine by me too.)

 

If you actually care about animals, trust the private sector and charity to handle this, they can.  If you hate animals and people keep the Fish and Wildlife around.

US Geology Survey, Bureau of Land Reclamation, Bureau of Mining Reclamation
If these serve any purpose, which is doubtful, it’s something the states can handle at probably half the price.

Office of Insular Affairs
This office actually does need to be kept around since they’re the management of all those territories we still have (which is a federal issue).  But it can go on as an executive office, you don’t need a whole department for it.

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
These are the geniuses who told B.P that drilling close to the shore was dangerous and you have to drill further out in the ocean for it to be safe.
Yeah they’re useless.

And finally we get to the problem we’ve been hearing about so often lately

Bureau of Land Management

247.3 million acres.
That’s how much land BLM has.  One-eighth of the US.
Most of that land isn’t park land, it’s grazing land, it’s land with resources, it’s land that could be sold either to the states or the private sector for a huge profit (didn’t we have a debt we needed to pay off?)

There is no reason for the government to own any of that!  There is barely a reason that states should own this land.
This land needs to be sold off.  Granted many people depend on this land for their livelihood and I have no problem with offering them to buy the land they have been leasing at whatever the market place for such undeveloped land is…but if they don’t want to buy it the land needs to go up for auction—probably over the course of a few years as putting that much land on the market at once would collapse all prices, but the government does not need to own this land.  And not only because there is no reason for the government to own it…but because as with all things, they’re losing money on it. Only the federal government can charge people to use land that just sits there and requires little to no upkeep other than what nature provides or what people will pay you to do and still lose money on it.

 

 

We don’t need to get into how unbelievably corrupt and inept and inept the people at BLM are because they shouldn’t exist in the first place.  Even if they weren’t mentally challenged sociopaths they still shouldn’t exist so their extensive laundry list of moral and intellectual failings is a moot point (unless you want to throw them all in jail, which I’m okay with, but first sell the land and close the office).  As a quick intermediary we can just sell the land to the states, but the federal control has to be ended now.

Energy Management
Finally we have the Office of Energy Management (not to be confused with the same office in the Department of Energy).

I’m simply going to quote you from their own web page:

As the lead Federal agency responsible for the protection and sound development of the nation’s natural resources, the Department of the Interior has a special obligation to be a leader in energy management and conservation. As such, bureaus and offices across the Department are committed to conserving energy and water resources, eliminating waste, increasing renewable energy use, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impacts by optimizing the use of energy efficient and water conserving technologies. Bureaus and offices are also striving to incorporate energy efficiency, water conservation, and sustainable practices into the decision-making processes during the planning, design, acquisition, renovations, operations and maintenance of buildings. The Office of Acquisition and Property Management (PAM) coordinates these important Department-wide efforts.

And what in the history of the US Government makes you think that they’re in any way competent to do any of that?
Yeah close this boondoggle as well.

So again, we have a terrible organization that needs to have every single one of its responsibilities either privatized, sent to the states or just ended.

 

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Filed under Budget, Conservative, Constitution, Environmentalism, Evils of Liberalism, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Uncategorized

Departments to Eliminate: The Department of Agiuculture

 

Old joke: An employee at the Dept of Agriculture is crying in the employee cafeteria. A co-worker comes by and asks him what is wrong and why is he so upset?
Answer: My farmer died!

Without question the Department of Agriculture needs to be dismantled. It’s not a particularly large Department. It only runs at a $149 Billion a year which, in the era of a $18 Trillion debt, is cheap. But the fact is that its $149 Billion spent on what is unquestionably the most useless Department in the Cabinet. If the Republicans are serious about cutting the budget and lowering the debt then killing this department is unquestionably a symbolic must (populist however love this boondoggle and don’t think about killing it–Teddy, looking at you).

What few legitimate functions the Department does serve could easily be taken up by the private sector or state governments with greater efficiency and lower costs (and on a few of those private sectors ones, the Federal government could actually make some money by leaving the issues to the private sector).
Don’t believe me? Well let’s take a look at all the divisions of the Department.

Agricultural Marketing Service: As the name suggests it’s government trying to control the market in agriculture. Oh, and this is also the agency that does a bang-up job monitoring bacterial contamination in food (I fail to see how a private agency driven by a good old fashion profit motive competing with other private companies for the same purpose couldn’t do a better job here than government workers who by definition are less qualified and less accountable than their private sector counterparts. You get rid of worthless things like this and the inept FDA I will bet you Safeway, Walmart, Whole Foods, Costco will all immediately create business to do their own checking which will compete with each other and keep each other honest…not to mention the fact that profit motive dictates that customers dying quickly of contaminated food and thus don’t buy more products).

Agricultural Research Service: Research funding into how to make agriculture more effective. Yeah definitely something for the private sector to be doing as by definition research for private business should be on the dime of those businesses not the tax payer.

Animal and Plant Health Service: This division does a lot of wonderfully useless things. My favorite being enforcing the Honeybee Act which prevents honeybees coming into the US from outside sources (and the way the law reads it doesn’t just mean Africanized honey bees)…didn’t I read somewhere that the bee population is down in the US?  Yes I did...but then I read how private sector fixed this problem all on their own (a problem which probably was partly the fault of the government). Makes you wonder how this divisions stupidity may have effected a species that did quite well on its own.…

Center for the Nutrition Policy and Promotion: These are the geniuses who come up with the food pyramid that’s heavy on starch (and you wonder why the nation is so fat), and likes to tell you what you should and shouldn’t eat like a good intrusive government. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that these are also the idiots who have a hand in coming up with the asinine BMI chart that says everyone but size 0 supermodels are obese.

Economic Research Service: Just the word economic in any branch of the government sends chills down my spine. But basically all this department does is collect numbers. Oh and waste tax payer money while collecting numbers, they do that too.USAgri-orgchart

Farm Service Agency: I don’t know a whole lot about farming, but I do know that if there needs to be regulation of farming at some level it shouldn’t go beyond the state level. There is no conceivable reason why we need a federal branch looking into how farms are run.  None.  Absolutely none.

Food and Nutrition Service: A bunch of welfare handouts that should at least be handled by state governments not the federal government. In an ideal world those state governments would roll those programs themselves back to nothing, but one thing at a time.

Food Safety and Inspection Service:
This is this the organization that incompetently looks after the safety of our food along with the FDA (not only do they suck at doing their job, it’s two different agencies that suck at doing this). Trust me if we broke this and the FDA up into two private companies that bid to get the contracts to ensure the safety of food (trust me the supermarkets will invest heavily in these businesses to ensure they never have to make another recall and the bad press that comes with those) then we would have better food and less tax dollars being stolen from us.

Foreign Agricultural Service: WTF? This is the organization that makes international deals for US produce. Why don’t farmers and private traders make these deals? Because government likes to get its stupid fingers into EVERYTHING. I seriously doubt there will be any disasters (and probably fewer starving people in Africa) if we get rid of this waste of an agency.

Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration: This group supposedly regulates the market and encourages competitive trading practices. Read that sentence again. Only the government thinks that it can regulate and increase competition at the same time despite the fact that they are patently opposed to one another.

National Institute of Food and Agriculture:
More wasted dollars on research that the private sector could do just as well.

National Agricultural Statistics Service: More number collecting. But a different number collecting group than the other number collecting group in the USDA that is wasting your money. Because why waste you money on one agency that does nothing, when you can get two agencies for the price of two (or twenty knowing federal accounting).

Natural Resource Conservation Service: Because companies and private farmers don’t know how to run their farms for long term profit…oh wait they probably know how to do that better than the government.

Risk Management Agency: More trying to control the market through regulation. Don’t private companies and co-ops have their own risk management? Why do we need to double up on the tax payer’s dollar?

USDA Department for Rural Development: Again this is the private sector’s responsibility, not the governments.

And finally
The Forrest Service: First off, why is the Forrest Service not under the Department of the Interior? Secondly with heavy regulation, could we again spin the costs for this off to a private company to tend the forests, make deals with loggers to thin the forest (which needs to be done more if we’re going to avoid these yearly massive fires we have) and shoulder the burden of those massive forest fires.

So private companies that run things for less and with better results to replace the FDA and Forrest Service and maybe a hundred people to enforce regulation via heavy fines for violators now under the Department of the Interior. Shouldn’t cost more than a couple million (maybe even a profit when you figure we’re going to be leasing all that forest land out at a healthy fee).

There is nothing legitimate that this Department does that cannot be done by the private sector. And there is a lot that just doesn’t need to be done. And even more that is being done that shouldn’t. I still can’t figure out which of these useless branches is giving out subsidies to grow tobacco or not grow wheat, but I do know that we give out $20 Billion every year if farm subsidies. Here’s money to grow tobacco which we can then sue the tobacco companies for selling. Here’s money not to grow wheat so we can artificially raise prices (a prime cause of hunger in the third world). Here’ money to grow corn to be turned into ethanol the most worthless alternative fuel in existence because when you factor in the energy and gas required to harvest that corn it comes out to not only being expensive but costing more in fuel than it can produce (government efficiently at its finest). Oh and that’s acreage going to grow corn for ethanol that is not being used to feed people.

This is without question the most useless Department in the government and it needs to go away forever.

So why do I bring this up? I mean this isn’t all that timely a point. Well I bring this up because recently Ted Cruz listed 4 Departments he really feels need to be eliminated…now while I would probably cut it down to only 5 Departments (and give me some time I will detail exactly how I would like that done), Teddy only listed 4 Departments (Education, Housing and Urban Development, Energy, and Commerce)…but not the most reviled of all Departments, the one even more useless than Education, Agriculture? Why would any conservative ever not put Agriculture as one of the first things they would love to kill. Well the answer is Teddy isn’t a conservative, he’s a populist, and in this case a populist pandering at the moment to farmers in Iowa.

 

 

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What do you do with a problem like ISIS?

 

 

What do you do with a problem like ISIS? You kill them. Every last one of them. Quickly swiftly, with as little collateral damage as is possible, but with the knowledge that collateral damage is still less than what they would have been killed.   And then you go back in and rebuild the bombed out areas and keep them under control until the people are ready to rule themselves, no matter how much time, money, and lives that takes.

 

ISIS in Iraq

This could have been prevented…and long term there are solutions, but we need a leader willing to do something and intelligent enough to think long-term.

However to do this you would need a commander-in-chief who was capable of accurately judging a situation and had the spine necessary to see the plan through. You would need advisers who could see long term, project the numerous problems that would occur, plan to deal with them, and have back up plans to those plans. You would need a legislature that would be willing to also see long term and put the good of humanity above petty gain and if necessary put their political futures in jeopardy to do what is right. And allied nations that believe the same would also be nice.

 

I don’t think we’ve had that in a very, very long time. We might have had a good C-in-C around occasionally, even a few with good advisers…but I can’t think of the last time we had everything you would actually need working all together.

 

Now we could assign blame…Carter for allowing the Westernization of Iran and Afghanistan to stop and both nations to fall to religious lunatics and communist butchers respectively (really this is all Carter’s fault, had he had anything resembling a spine or a brain none of this would ever have happened). One could blame Reagan for keeping the psychos in Iran busy with another enemy and repeatedly bloodying the nose of Soviets in Afghanistan…were mistakes made, but unlike everyone else on this list he made significant strides in pushing the forces of evil back (strides that could have been kept if the next four idiots had half a brain between them, sadly they don’t). If Bush the elder had a foreign policy I’d be surprised—there was some lingering Reagan in his understanding of needing to get Saddam out of Kuwait, but his isolationist tendencies predominated over his complete inability to think that something might need to be done after pushing him back to the border. Clinton did his best to ignore everything. W. wanted to be an isolationist like daddy, however 12 years of morons finally came to a head, and isolationism wasn’t exactly a sound policy on 9/12 (it isn’t ever a sound policy, but even idiot isolationists have a problem maintaining that when there are that many dead). The problem is that while he seemed to understand you need to face evil and kill it, he didn’t understand the second part of neo-conservatism—that you have to rebuild the nation that you’re going into and maintain control until they can continue on their own in the correct direction.

 

iraq-execution

Even if you are the dumbest president ever…how do you just sit there when this is going on?

So let’s boil this down to 4 sets of problems: being busy somewhere else with bigger problems (Reagan), not dealing with anything (Carter, Bush 41, Clinton), and doing something but doing it badly. The 4th would of course be called full on retreat and arming the bad guys…I can’t think of who might have committed that sin—cough—Obama—cough—

 

So while I blame Carter most of all for not doing anything and preventing decades (possibly a century) let’s focus on where W. went wrong as he was the only one who directly acted on these problems.   More importantly it’s what he didn’t do, and what we should still do (as anyone who thinks we can avoid ever going back there is crazy).*

 

1. The first thing we should have done was we should not try to keep people together who don’t want to be together. The borders of Iraq are so arbitrary and haphazard I just can’t imagine what the hell was going through the mind of British politicians after WWI when they broke up the region. Iraq should be at least three nations: Kurdistan in the north, what is traditionally called the Sunni Triangle, we could give it the name Babylon, and a Shia nation in the south let’s still call it Iraq. If you want it might be a good idea to have a 4th nation, let’s call it Mesopotamia, for all the areas in there that aren’t majority, Shia, Sunni, or Kurd.

 

Now some would say that creating Kurdistan would have angered Iran and Turkey (and a few others). Is this really an argument? As if those nations love us so much. Who cares about them? Kurdistan would actually provide a large buffer state (with some mild loyalty to the US) in between a lot of other nations.

 

The goal should be to create nations that can be self-sufficient and seek to actually keep themselves together, not just to keep the maps the same. Breaking Iraq in to 3 or 4 nations would have made each nation more stable, less likely to breed internal strife and hatred and with each nation first and foremost seeking to keep its own autonomy rather than looking for outside help to swing control away from parts of the nation they didn’t agree with.

 

We should all remember that before we were a nation we were 13 states, and those states only came together under a single constitution when they saw it was in their own best interest. Forcing different nations together into one government doesn’t work unless they want to join together (notice the failure of the EU—it should have made Europe stronger as a whole, but their inept behavior and the arm-twisting methods of trying to force their rule on Europe is just backfiring).

 

2. Build walls.

I think we have learned the hard way in this country that you need walls on a border. When it comes to nations good fences make for good neighbors. If we put up a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, just watch how fast Mexico would get their act together as they would no longer have a release valve for all their disgruntled citizens. And it is even more so the case in Iraq.
If we had built walls—and I do mean walls, not fences, something big enough to stop both people and large military movements—between Iraq and all its neighbors (especially Iran and Syria) we first off would not have been dealing with years of Iran sending terrorists across the border to destabilize the nation. And had we built a real wall at the Syrian border we would not have seen ISIS move in to Iraq so easily. Even more so if we had broken the nation up and built walls between the other nations.

 

3. We learned from the aftermath of WWI that you can’t just leave a nation after you defeat them, you have to rebuild them (Obama being functionally retarded seems to have never learned this). And from our successes post-WWII we learned that this is not a quick fix project. It takes time to rebuild a nation. I have said this numerous times on this blog, but it bears repeating. You can’t have a nation under the rule of tyranny for decades; then have a war to remove that tyranny and then just expect everything to be all well and good within a year.

 

It takes time. It takes time to rebuild infrastructure. Roads. Water systems. Electricity. Communications. Hospitals and schools.   Court systems and police. And it takes years of supervision to make sure they know what they’re doing and to instill into a people the traditions of a democratic republic. You can’t just hand it off in a year. It just doesn’t magically appear…and to think that is crazy. And to all the racists out there who like to say well Arabs aren’t fit for democracy (usually they use the phrase “that part of the world” but it’s the same racism). Bullshit. Anyone who says that conveniently forgets that with generations of experience with democratic institutions it took over a decade of failure and near constant threat of failure and revolt before we got a Constitution and government that actually worked. It was complete mess between the signing of the Declaration and the ratification of the Constitution…I know everyone forgets this little point, but it can’t be forgotten. We also didn’t have a clue as to what we were doing at first. It takes time, and between Bush and Obama rushing out with over eagerness and turning the place over to the Iraqi’s (and Afghani’s) far to quickly. And that is entirely unforgivable for both of them.

 

4. You can’t deal with bad people by being nice to them. You can’t just let them go and expect them suddenly not to be vicious psychopaths. Bush let all of the captured Iraqi army go without properly vetting them, and Obama will trade major terrorists for treasonous scum at the drop of a hat. We should have kept the entire Iraqi army under lock and key until we had the chance to vet each and every one of them, and the terrorists in Guantanamo should rot there until they’re dead. If you have a problem with that you clearly have no ability to see that long term terrorists are going to present you with three options, they kill you or other innocent people, you kill them or you imprison them.

 

5. We have to admit that this childish attitude of “It’s not our problem” is suicidal. It will always become our problem. Tyranny never stops growing until it is stopped by an outside force. The idiots who now want to let Iran handle this are absolutely clueless. In an Iran vs. ISIS battle the result is the same, the winner winds up with Iran’s nuclear technology and the sense that God is on their side. That danger far outweighs whatever short-term benefits might be gained by having these two groups kill each other.   And whatever is left after that battle will have no opposition to stop them from spreading out of the Middle East…and no matter who wins it will be bad news for Israel and the U.S. The intelligent move is to deal with this long before it gets to us.

 

6. We can’t do anything right now. Because to do what needs to be done will require a leader with brains, ethics, and a spine. Obama has none of those. What it requires is a leader who can look at the bodies of 10,000 soldiers coming home and not see his falling poll numbers but rather how the 10,000 now prevented it from being 10,000,000 innocents later (Bush failed miserably at that). And right now at most I can only expect Obama to root for ISIS or Iran to win and then conquer America because he sure as hell does not have the interest of this nation at heart. So until we can get a real leader (and a Congress that can back them up) this is only a theoretical discussion. The other issue is the cost to a nation tremendously in debt with no real sight of turning that around in the near future – this also requires a leader who understand economics so that we can push forward for ourselves and then do the we can stand for what is right.

 

But that theoretical discussion has to be made and it has to always end with the U.S. and its allies always pushing back on tyranny, always making sure to take the time and effort to build functioning democracies, and always looking toward the long-term…because if you think Iraq or Afghanistan was expensive this time, just remember that until we solve this, these will be problems that keep drawing us back again and again and again, and it isn’t even naïve to think otherwise, it’s pathetic and below the level of thought you should feel comfortable demonstrating in public.

 

 

 

*Not to mention the fact that most of this is a good answer in dealing with any dictator in any part of the world.

 

 

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Filed under Conservative, Evils of Liberalism, Foreign Policy, politics

Conservative Values versus a myriad of extremists

A government professor of mine once stated that all governments were a balance between three different values: Equality, Order, and Liberty. No one value can be pursued without cost to the other two. The ideal society would actually be the one that keeps these three points in balance. However, as we look around modern parties and political movements, the logic of balance seems nowhere to be found.

Four Cardinal Virtues

Individual have the 4 cardinal virtues: Temperance, Moderation, Justice, Fortitude…but these are the basis for the three political virtues: liberty, equality, order. They all have to work together or not at all.

Liberals, socialists and progressives seek equality at the cost of order and liberty finally reaching their ideal society, a Communistic state where everyone is equal but in the end utterly worthless as equality requires none be higher than others, thus all talent, all incentives, and all goals have been destroyed leaving society to collapse before the equally unimpressive slaves that it has created. In a state where all are equal there can be no order because power cannot be vested (even through law) in another thus nothing can keep law and civil society together thus at best everything is merely slave to the whim of the herd (law by the same methods created reality TV)…and there can be no liberty, as liberty leads to exceptionalism, and no one can be better than anyone else

The growing fascist movements of Greece, the tyranny of Vladimir Putin, and the vile wretchedness of Islamofascism value order above all else. But for there to be complete order there can be no liberty because if people can choose for themselves, they will sometimes choose wrong and this inevitably leads to some level of chaos, some crime, some disorder. And in the ordered state there can be no equality, as equality requires that all are subject to rules, and for the ordered state to work no one can watch the watchers because they are the final authority, otherwise there is no way to control and maintain order.

Libertarians and anarchists view liberty as the end all be all of all politics. But where there is perfect freedom there can be no equality, even before the law, because there can be no law if there is nothing but license to do whatever you want. And there can be no order in the fully liberated state as the law who would hold back those who do not recognize the rights of others cannot exist.

And finally populists don’t particularly view any of these as all that important. Yes populists want equality when someone is doing better than them, which is why businesses and businessmen are evil and need to be reined in…but they strangely don’t care about equality when they’re doing better, which is why even Ron Paul brought back millions in pork to his district. They care about liberty, for themselves…but for anyone else, eh, it’s not that important. And order is important, so long as it’s in my general vicinity, enforced by me, and I don’t care if it’s not in my line of sight. (And please understand why I have been hitting the populists posing as conservatives a lot lately, your average Democratic voter has always been a populist. Their activists and politicians maybe progressives, but the voters are populists who just care about their entitlements and what will be given to them).

Meanwhile there is the real conservative viewpoint. That these three virtues of a society must be held in careful balance. That the extreme of any one of these because a dystopian nightmare (Liberty, Order, Equality…Lord of the Flies, 1984, Harrison Bergeron…or for the less well read, Mad Max, Hunger Games, Divergent…or if you prefer history, Somalia, Nazi Germany, Revolutionary France). That a society without these three to guide them is just as bad as one where only one is followed (I’d give an example but modern politics seems to be it and the last few years of Rome seem to be the only places dumb enough to try such an abhorrent idea in practice). Only the society that balances these forces is a prosperous one.

So what is the guiding star of conservatism that makes it so different from these other ideologies? Well, not to sound like a dozen other blogs on this site but the answer is once again, Aristotle.

Aristotle, for all his flawed understanding of politics (give the man a break, there wasn’t much reliable history to work with in the 4th century B.C. and you can’t expect him to have prescience of what was to come) understood that in politics, as with ethics, it is not a question of ends or means, but a question of ends and means. Those who value equality or order only value an end of making everyone equal or making everything peaceful. Those who value liberty only value the means of liberty not the result of what such anarchy brings. Only balancing both ends and means work.

And Aristotle saw the correct end to focus on. The end to all human life is Happiness. And society, family, education must all be structured to ensure Happiness for the greatest number of people. Now because Happiness requires freedom of choice and personal growth, not everyone will reach happiness no matter what a government/family/society does, but it requires liberty and the ability to exercise free will. But because Happiness requires some ability to plan and control your own life, it requires order to some degree. And because the point is to provide Happiness (or the opportunity to pursue Happiness) for the most people as all are equally human and equally deserving at birth of achieving Happiness. None of these on their own can lead to Happiness, and all must work together.

And this is why other belief systems don’t work; they’re not aimed at Happiness.

For instance look at misnamed “social conservatives” (Progressives for Jesus might be a better way to put it). They keep saying that the point of marriage is to have children. As if having children is an end in itself.   And they keep bringing this up as a reason why they opposed gay marriage. Now there are good reasons to get rid of marriage as a legal concept (and replace it with legal civil unions and let religion handle marriage without government interference) but it is not just the Progressive mentality here to have the government take control of everything. It is the missed sense of what the end of things are. They view the family as a means to creating another family. The family, society, everything in the view has no purpose but to serve itself. You have to have marriage to create children. You have to raise children so they lead lives where they get married. They get married to have children…over and over again. There is no point to the individual life (unless you want to get into some bizarre servitude to God, which views God as a master and the individual the slave…but no serious reading of any sane religion even comes close to that.) This is why social conservatives tend to be not only bad at politics but their own religion. Social conservatives should go back and read their Aquinas who makes it clear that “the principal end of matrimony, namely the good of the offspring” and that “the secondary end of matrimony, which is the mutual services which married persons render one another in household matters.” Notice how in the second point it is the betterment of each other (i.e. the individual’s happiness) that is the point of marriage. Just as every social institution is supposed to place the Happiness of the individual as a goal. Parents should be concerned with teaching their children the knowledge, ethics, and character that will allow them to be happy adults. Schools and other societal organizations should be focused on encouraging people to be the best they can be with the goal being individual Happiness. Social conservatives’ problem, like all progressives, is they think society is the end goal, it is not; the good of individual is the goal.

Then you have Libertarians who don’t even consider ends and just, like good Kantian idiots, look at means. And liberty is the only mean they care about. Oh they may say that freedom leads to individual Happiness, but they ignore that just because the exercise of free will is necessary it is not sufficient. (Just as Milton Friedman said that “History suggests only that capitalism is a necessary condition for political freedom. Clearly it is not a sufficient condition.”) Let’s take a look at what sometimes appears to be the only thing that libertarians think about: The War on Drugs. Okay, I will concede that the War on Drugs has been handled idiotically. I will concede that if a person should be able to use drugs in the privacy of their own home if they’re not hurting anyone. I concede that the power to prosecute the War on Drugs has led to massive costs and an intolerable level of corruption in the name of the War on Drugs. But in all this the libertarians fail to admit some very simple things. They act like the people who take drugs are all just innocent little lambs who are the victims of an unjust police power. prison violent

nonviolent

Oh, look it would appear that as incarceration went up crime went down…shocker.

Let me set the record straight: They’re criminals (whether they get caught and convicted or not, they’re criminals). They have the mentality that the rules of society, their long term well-being, and how their actions may hurt others are of absolutely no concern to them so long as they get a moment of pleasure. At best that is vilely hedonistic, at worst it has a bit of a sociopath in it. Libertarians like to pretend that you have otherwise innocent drug users in one group, and in another you have real criminals. And that the fact that we have a massive prison population proves that this War on Drugs needs to end. The problem is that you don’t have two different groups; you have a Venn diagram where criminals and drug users are often one in the same. Libertarians like to point to the increasing prison population, but they always conveniently forget that as prison populations go up violent and non-violent crime go down. They ignore that often drugs are used to put dangerous criminals away when other more serious charges don’t have as much admissible evidence. So there are benefits to the War on Drugs. But not willing to admit that drops in the murder, rape, theft rates is a good thing, libertarians only care about the liberty to do drugs.   They don’t advocate that we should focus more on the cartels, the gang distributors, and legalize personal home use (all things which would still probably round up the worst real criminals while not hurt the people who can actually handle personal use)…no they have to argue that we should just legalize all drugs. No concern for order, just liberty…and no Happiness for anyone.

The other difference between libertarians, Progressive for Jesus**, and real conservatives. Unlike Libertarians, conservatives understand that laws do need to be structured not just to protect rights but to encourage habits that will typically lead to a healthy society and Happiness in individuals (for instance unless we switch to a flat tax having tax credit for charity; the fact that we can’t just get rid of civil union side of marriage, and that we do need a safety net of some kind***; providing minimum standards for education to make sure all students receive a basic minimum of education) but unlike the Progressive for Jesus we must do so in a way that limits (or at least poses as few limits as possible) to the good that liberty provides (deciding what counts as a marriage and what doesn’t, when gay marriage provides the same benefits; spending money and resources checking on what people do in private that hurts no one; dictating what to include content wise in education; etc.).

Being consistently conservative is difficult. It requires balancing numerous issues of the needs of individuals, the long term good of society, Liberty, Order, Equality. And it’s a constantly shifting point because what creates that balance in one era may be totally unbalanced in another. Proper government needs to be directed toward the Happiness of individuals. It needs to balance our needs for liberty, order, and equality. When it does not do these things it creates bad laws. And it is so easy to get lost in caring only about your own want (populists) or one of the political virtues at the expense of the others. Right now we need a lot more liberty, but we cannot forget that it is the balance and the good of society and the individual that is our true goal—not just liberty for the sake of liberty.

Of course none of this is really new…the people who real conservatives look toward as a guide post made it quite clear that liberty, or order (tranquility, defense), or equality (justice, general welfare) were all equal political virtues that had to be held in balance of each other…

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

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

*Now I know that I have heard some people have claimed that the FBI is merely shading the numbers—that they’re not counting things the same way to make things look better than they are. I’ve heard that claim from LOTS of people. But you know what I find interesting, I can’t find that claim on any think tank. None. Liberal. Conservative. Libertarian. Nobody. You would think that conservatives would have hit Clinton or Obama for skewing the data, or liberals would have hit Bush. But nobody seems to questions the FBI’s stats…nor is there any jump that you would see if you changed the criteria, it’s a slow progression. So either everybody and I mean everybody, is on a massive conspiracy to slowly skew the crime numbers, or crime really has been dropping.

**You thought I wasn’t serious, but I am. I am using that from now on.

***Libertarians, before you yell at me that we need to get rid of welfare entirely, please remember that Friedman and Hayek both said we need a safety net because having people in real poverty (the kind you see in the third world) creates people who seriously have the choice of steal or die, at which point it becomes a need for them to steal and as we all know from the example of Jean Valjean, utterly unjust to punish them.

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Filed under Aristotle, Capitalism, Conservative, Constitution, Happiness, Long Term Thinking, philosophy, politics

Rick Santorum’s Perverted View of America

“I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”—Thomas Jefferson (Notice the use of the singular “mind” and “man”…if he had meant society he would have said “minds of men” but rather this is a statement against tyranny over even a single individual…yes he was a little lax on fulfilling that depending on the complexion of the individual in question…but I’m going for a philosophical concepts here, not the fact Jefferson had personal issues.)

So  uber-liberal and Christian Sharia supporter Rick “I will trample every freedom history has ever known to establish my theocracy” Santorum seem to be back in the press with a new book and vain desire to be the center of attention.  Now while I comb over some of his newer garbage and lies it might be helpful to remember why Rick Santorum is literally the walking embodiment of everything wrong with the Republican party, the reason we lose elections, the reason we have driven away libertarians and moderates, and the godsend of liberals and progressive everywhere.

Putting the “Fun” back into psychotic fundamentalism

So let’s take a look at Rick Santorum’s older book, It takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good:

“It wasn’t a freedom that celebrated the individual above society. It wasn’t a freedom that gave men and women blanket permission to check in and out of society whenever they wanted. It wasn’t the freedom to be as selfish as I want to be. It wasn’t even the freedom to be left alone, with no obligations to the people we know and to the people we don’t yet know. The Constitutional Convention’s freedom, American’s traditional freedom–or the better word, as I defined it earlier, liberty–was a selfless freedom, freedom for the sake of something greater or higher than the self. For our founders, this liberty was defined and defended in the context of our Judeo-Christian understanding of humanity. Often, in fact, American liberty meant the freedom to attend to one’s duties–duties to God, to family, and to neighbors. Our founders were in the business of constructing a nation, a political community. No-Fault Freedom, a freedom from every tie and duty, provides no basis for that project: it is a principle of division and social deconstruction.” (44)

Okay this is perhaps more frightening than anything I have seen Obama say.  Granted Obama’s actions are those of a petty banana republic dictator trying to create a fascist state…but he’s an idiot and doesn’t do it well.  Most notably he can’t come out and defend his statist collectivist views.  But here we have Rick Santorum doing that very articulately.

Let’s take this monstrous evil apart bit by bit.

It wasn’t a freedom that celebrated the individual above society.

 

Yes the Founding Fathers believed in none of that tripe that said individuals “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  Oh wait.  Notice how liberty is joined with the pursuit of Happiness.  Happiness (capital H) is an Aristotelian concept that an individual has reached the completion and fulfillment of their life through the expression of personal virtue, not through the collectivist service to virtue that Santorum suggests here.  A society cannot pursue Happiness, only an individual can.  A society cannot have a right to life, only an individual can.  But, Santorum wants you to believe that Jefferson, Adams, and Franklin who worked on the first draft put a social right in between two individual ones.  And if you believe that one I have a lovely bridge to sell you.   Further, pursuit of Happiness is an expansion of John Locke’s right to property (his original rights were the right to life, liberty and property and no one in their right mind ever thought Locke was talking about social rights not individual one).  If, as Santorum dishonestly suggests, the Founders held society above the individual then that would mean the right to pursue Happiness as a more evolved idea of property, was only for society, which would mean that property should only be held by society and not the individual….and you wonder why I consider Santorum a filthy socialist?

And of course the Founders held the good of society above the good of the individual.  Which is none of them ever broke any of the laws that were for the good society for personal gain—so long as you ignore that John Hancock made a fortune as a smuggler.  And if you put the good of society ahead above the individual then you would see the need to pay off the debts incurred by a massive war fought partly to defend you from the French and not complain about the numerous taxes levied to pay off that debt…oh wait no they would rather risk “their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor” than pay those taxes.  By the way Rick, honor is also a personal virtue.

Notice also some of their complaints

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

All of those are actions by the British Government attempting to bring about the “public good” but at the expense of personal liberties.  Notice Rick, how the individual is not being sacrificed for the good of the whole by the Founding Fathers.

Notice also phrases like “To secure the public good and private rights” from Federalist 10 by Madison, which seems to place the individual on equal, not subservient, value to the public good…you know kind of like how Christ put the individual on equal footing to everyone else when he quoted Leviticus and said “Love your neighbor as you would love yourself.”  Ignorant, and evil, collectivists like Santorum also seem to miss the second part.  But I shouldn’t expect someone as zealously passionate about his religion to actually read the book they claim to follow.

It wasn’t a freedom that gave men and women blanket permission to check in and out of society whenever they wanted.

As Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and George Washington did quite often.  And stop me if I’m wrong but wasn’t America founded by people who wanted to check out of society and start a new one, wasn’t this nation founded by people who wanted to check out of the society of Great Britain, wasn’t westward expansion driven by rugged individuals who wanted to check out of society and go west (which was, last time I checked part of the Founding Father’s vision).

 It wasn’t the freedom to be as selfish as I want to be.

Which I’m sure is why Jefferson said “But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”  It might be easy to assume Jefferson held the attitude to all private actions that didn’t hurt anyone.

Or try this one from their contemporaries Adam Smith

“It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages.”

Selfishness is what defines human progress.  But Santorum wants to think in the very plebian and uneducated way of sin and virtue.  Selfishness and Selflessness.  It shows that he had done little to any study of the philosophy of the Founding Fathers, nor does he know anything about his own Catholic doctrines…as study in either would lead him back to Aristotle who saw each virtue to have two vices not one (but you know when I looked up Santorum’s education, it came from the Dickenson School of Law, named after John Dickenson, a man so morally bankrupt that he is the only person who had the chance to sign both The Declaration of Independence AND The Constitution AND refused to sign both.  It’s good to see Santorum is keeping up with that legacy of opposing what is right and good and true).  But back to Aristotelian virtue.  It is not a choice between selfish and selfless it a choice between the virtue of rational self-interest and the vices of narcissism and selflessness.  Rational self-interest is where one puts ones needs, wants, and desires first but not at the expense of others, where one’s rights are on equal foot with the rights of others, and where we treat others with compassion, not just because we have the duty to them, but because it makes us feel good.  Santorum confuses selfishness, caring about your own concerns, with narcissism where you care ONLY about you and damn how others are affected by your actions (one might say this is the behavior of a sociopath, but even most high-functioning sociopaths take the needs of others into consideration as a means to their ends…so it’s hard to find a lot of examples of this particular evil.  Most evils in the world are caused more by short sightedness and ignorance, not by narcissism).  Strangely however, Santorum’s constant grabs for power at the expense of civilization itself if he ever got power is miraculously excluded.

 It wasn’t even the freedom to be left alone, with no obligations to the people we know and to the people we don’t yet know.

I think he is trying to pervert Edmund Burke’s definition of society (and by extension) as “a partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born.”  But a partnership is not an obligation.  The partnership Burke spoke of was to not view government as a joint stock company like short sighted East India Trading Company he had to deal with (the GM of it’s time) which was designed only to make a quick buck, what he was talking about was that society and law should be made with the long term good in mind.  That we should not solve our problems by heaping problems on future generations.  But if it is trying to pervert Burke he forgets that Burke was probably America’s chief proponent in Britain of our argument to King George III and Parliament that said we have a God-given right to be left alone when we choose so and our only obligation to you, our parent country and society, is to “hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.”

There are however no “obligations” or “duties” in this, only the basic ethics to not intentionally harm others (i.e. future generations) but we have no obligations other than the ethical injunction to not maliciously and unjustly harm others.  Yes our Happiness depends on maintaining healthy friendships, but our Happiness is a duty only to ourselves. We are the ends of our own life, not the means for which society can use to achieve it’s ends.

It is the freedom to be left alone.  Who the hell does this man thinks made this nation?  A bunch of people who just sat in society and always worked in it or those who constantly moved west when they got tired of society.  Don’t like society, move to America.  Don’t like the first colonies’ society, move West.  Don’t like the colonies society, cross the Appalachians.  Not thrilled with the society of the new Union, cross the Mississippi. So on and so on.  Don’t like the state you live in, move to another. Don’t like the way things are done, create something new.

Oh and I hate to make this observation, but I have never in my life known a person with an IQ over 110 who doesn’t long for at least some point of each day where they have the freedom to be left alone, who doesn’t want time with their own thoughts…who wouldn’t yearn for days to be left alone if not longer…what does it say about a man who not only doesn’t want that freedom, doesn’t understand it, but actually wants to outlaw it?

The Founders would have agreed with their contemporary Adam Smith that our obligation is to ourselves and to reason because through these two things naturally develop empathy and compassion…and without a rational self-interest there can be no empathy, compassion or ethical behavior.  And I don’t think there was enough short sighted idiocy in all 13 colonies to make them agree with this disgrace of an American named Santorum.

The Constitutional Convention’s freedom, American’s traditional freedom–or the better word, as I defined it earlier, liberty–was a selfless freedom, freedom for the sake of something greater or higher than the self.

Yes, they were after something higher than one person: property and property rights.  And the Happiness of the individual.

I don’t know how selfless it was, as it was very much for the defense of personal property and the right to shoot anyone, be they an individual or a tyrannical government, who dared think they could take your hard earned property…but it was for something greater because they knew that if you could not control your own fate through work, property and achievement there could be no Happiness.

But this man clearly doesn’t believe in Happiness…no, like a good little Kantian he only believes in duty and obligation.  (Please, remember that Kant is the philosophical basis for Communism and Nazism).

 For our founders, this liberty was defined and defended in the context of our Judeo-Christian understanding of humanity.

Could someone please tell me what Judeo-Christian values are?

Would that be the Enlightenment/Thomist-Aristotlian view each person was personally responsible for themselves.  Perhaps the Puritan/Protestant view that salvation of self was a personal matter and that each person is saved or damned based only on their own merits as an individual.  Couldn’t be the Unitarian view that Franklin and both John and Abigail Adams had that took that Protestant view of individual relationship to God even further and saw it not only as personal but private as well.

Perhaps it might be the in line with the view of the Bill of the Rights of Englishmen that more or less implied that since we can’t possibly know the mind of God we’re not going to legislate in such a way that suggests one religion is more right over another….you know one of those British things that the Founding Fathers actually wanted to continue.  Shame you don’t want to continue that Rick.

Might it be that Judeo-Christian understanding of humanity that a Catholic like you should know, that of St. Thomas Aquinas, who in the Summa Theologica stated that “human law does not prohibit every vice from which virtuous men abstain, but only the more serious ones from which the majority can abstain, especially those that harm others and which must be prohibited for human society to survive such as homicide, theft and the life.”  Hmm…even Thomas Aquinas seems to recognize the importance of personal property rights (and this was still before the only ethical means of economic dealing, laissez-faire capitalism, had really been codified in both law and practice)…shame a man from 1200 is centuries ahead of Rick Santorum (but frankly people in 500 BCE were centuries ahead of Santorum).

Often, in fact, American liberty meant the freedom to attend to one’s duties–duties to God, to family, and to neighbors.

No you have a duty to yourself.  If we are made in God’s image then there is nothing higher we can serve than our self, our reason and intellect which makes us the equals of God if we choose to use them, our free will which according to the Christianity you claim to follow is something no other being in existence has been given.  Yes, if we are being true to ourselves, our reason and our will we will be compassionate and kind to others and wish them the best and help them when we can, but because “love [them] as we love [ourselves]” not because “we love them more than we love ourselves” (I seem to not remember that little distinction in the Bible).

 

Duty, a fascinating word.  As in duty based ethics.  The ethical system of fascists and communists everywhere.  Thank God the Founding Fathers were versed in logical people like Aristotle, Aquinas, Locke and Adam Smith who recognized that it was self interest that caused people to be good and the goal of society to provide the tools to become a good person if they choose to be (but never forcing a person who is not harming others to be something that they do not choose to be)—they thankfully never gave into the evils that the word duty has created other the course of history.

Sad they didn’t have the DSM-IV around yet…they could have also looked up Dependent personality disorder.  (Which is pretty much the opposite of a narcissistic personality disorder, which is apparently what Santorum thinks anyone has if they have even the smallest concern for their own well-being).

 Our founders were in the business of constructing a nation, a political community.

This is perhaps the only correct sentence in this quote.  Of course the Founders thought of it as one joined together by mutual consent rather than forced upon people.  A society of individuals joined in common cause, not a group of slaves with duties to carry out.

No-Fault Freedom, a freedom from every tie and duty, provides no basis for that project: it is a principle of division and social deconstruction.

I will not disagree that people are often at their best when they are involved in society and working to better it (there are of course numerous exceptions, which Santorum might have heard about if he ever actually read something)…but it only yields something good for everyone when it is done by choice with the goal of personal fulfillment being equal or higher than the wanting to do good for others.

The point of society is to produce the highest good and the highest good is personal individual Happiness.  Granted the best society is the one that allows (not brings, because Happiness can only be achieved, never given) for the most people to reach that Happiness…but that Happiness can only be achieved in a society free of preposterous concept of duty…individuals are good by nature and choose freely to help others, they do not need moral obligations to enslave them to do so.  Rick Santorum fails to realize this, and fails to realize everything that is good in this nation.

***

British historian Lord Acton observed, “Liberty is not the power of doing what we like, but the right to do what we ought.”

What Santorum insanely proposes here is that “Liberty is not the right to do what our reason tells us we ought, but the obligation to be enslaved to invented obligations to one man’s narrow definition of God and to everyone else in society of others. “

Which sounds like one the Founding Father’s actually supported…and which one do you think Adams, Hamilton, Washington, and Jefferson would be drawing lots as to who got to shoot Ricky for treason?

This man and his vile beliefs is everything wrong with the Republican party.  It is not conservative, but it taints the banner of conservatism by claiming to be so.

 

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The Rise of Modern Populism

When the Tea Party came onto the scene a few years ago I liked their stated principles…but I had worries, worries that they weren’t the deeply principled conservatives they claimed to be. I worried that as they grew they would sacrifice the principles of conservatism– which when held to will always be good for society as a whole and for the future, but sometimes be hard on the individual in the present—would be sacrificed for the ease of populism.

Time has proven that my worries were correct. I hate it when I’m right about things like this.

So what do I mean by Populism? By Populism I mean a system of political belief that endorses anything that seems to offer a short term benefit to the masses which it attempts to play to. This depends on a lot of us vs. them mentality because it has to attack people who appear to be against the Populist agenda. But unlike liberalism which also has to rely on this us vs. them mentality, at least when compared to Populism, liberalism has at least some ideological consistency. Populism will take any short term solution available so long as it provides immediate benefits to the constituents of the Populist group, damn whatever the long term consequences of that position may be. Populism is the party of “stay out of my life” and “don’t take my money in taxes”…”but feel free to do so to anyone else, in fact feel free to impose my beliefs on everyone else”. It’s cronyism for the people who can’t afford lobbyists…and it is just as vile and destructive as corporate cronyism.

“But the Tea Party isn’t a Populist Party! It’s conservative!” The Tea Partier claims. But in reality it’s not a conservative group…it may have been when it started as anti-Obamacare, anti-tax, anti-regulation, anti-big government group…but as it’s grown it has become something else entirely.

Don’t believe me?

Okay let’s look at the facts.

Now first off I will state up front that part of the problem is that there is no core to Tea Party. It’s a diffuse group of vaguely joined individuals. It has no single head, no single organization, no single direction (this is part of the problem and I’ll get to that later). This is part of what makes it Populist, by remaining as 3000 groups under a general banner, each subsection can play to it’s own little group and doesn’t have to worry about any consistency in philosophy.
Then there is now a pervasive anti-corporation tone in everything the Tea Party says and does. “Common Core was funded by big business” “Congress needs to choose between Big Business and the people” “Big Business only stands for corporatism!” Implicit in all of this is the central core of populism that the government must side either with the people or the corporation. That it must choose those with money or without. That it is the haves or have-nots. Workers of the World, cast off you chains you have…wait a second.   Did that just really, and I mean really quickly, and rather easily devolve into Marxism? You know why I was able to do that in only a couple sentences? Because it’s the same mentality at the root of both populism and every form of liberalism. That government should be for me* and when it is for me it has to be against someone else. Meanwhile if you’re a conservative you realize that there is little difference between a person or a corporation…in both subsets you will find good and bad, ethical and unethical, harmful and helpful…but most of all you will find among both groups a short term thinking that looks only to their own needs disregarding the needs of anyone else. A person will take every government handout they can and end up with a take home pay almost 20 grand more than I make working 50 hours a week—but this is no different than a corporation looking to put up tariffs or rules to help itself from having to deal with competition. Both are full of people and organizations that only look out for their own interest.   And there is no picking between the two, and there is no changing the underlying human nature that causes both excesses. But there is limiting government so that it cannot pick winners or losers. There is limiting the powers of government so that while a needed safety net for individuals (and yes it is needed, even the gods of Capitalism, Friedman and Hayek, would point out that a safety net is needed) and forgiving bankruptcy laws to help corporations be productive feature of capitalism’s creative destruction rather than just an unending source of misery to all associated. Conservatives say that the choice is not pick between the two but to limit government’s ability to pick between the

populism

This picture is a perfect example of populism…You don’t have a right to be heard, you have a right to speak but no one has to listen to you…but the populist view because you speak people should be forced to listen to you.

two. Go listen to any Tea Party spokesperson…do they sound like they’re on the not picking side…or do they make it a choice between the corporations and the people.

You see populism with the Tea Party in it completely forsaking capitalism in favor protectionism. With the recent TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) agreement you see a very strong Tea Party/Populist move against the trade deal because it doesn’t offer protections for American products. Now any capitalist be they from the Chicago or Austria school will tell you the important thing is that you lower taxes if you have two countries with tariffs on each others products and only one country drops it tariffs and the other doesn’t it doesn’t matter because there will be more trade and everyone will prosper because of that in the long run. It would be better for both nations to drop their tariffs, but to say I’m not going to end mine unless you end yours is not only economically suicidal but pathetically immature. But the Populists are throwing a conniption fit over the fact that in this trade agreement Japan is keeping tariffs to protect their farmers (all this shows is that Japan is still idiotic when it comes to understanding macroeconomics). Who cares. Now I have not been over every line of this trade agreement and there may be many reasons to hate it that I am not aware of, but if the only argument against nations all over the Pacific lowering tariffs and trade barriers is because the politicians of one nation are being particularly daft in playing the Populists for their constituents doesn’t mean we should shoot ourselves in the foot over this. But just watch the Populists drive this one home just like they did with NAFTA.

And I would love for you to show me one Tea Party person in the Midwest who hates ethanol/agriculture subsides. Yes those Tea Party folks hate big government…unless it benefits them and their constituents.

And how can we forget that wonderfully Populist idea of us vs. them when it comes to the idea of the people vs. “the establishment.” “The establishment” a group more shady and secretive than the Illuminati, and possibly with goals more nefarious. Now I can never get a full list of “the establishment”… now it certainly involves Boehner (despite the fact that he keeps getting his hands tied by the Tea Party) and McConnell (despite the fact as Ann Coulter points out you’d have to be absolutely clueless to not think Mitch McConnell is a conservative)…and most likely Eric Cantor, although I can’t think of anything he’s done to undermine conservatism. It may or may not include Paul Ryan depending on whether or not it’s high tide or low tide. It certainly can’t include lifelong RINO John McCain because supreme divine goddess Sarah the infallible endorsed him over a Tea Party candidate in 2010, and Sarah wouldn’t endorse anyone from the establishment, so he and his al-Qaeda supporting ways can’t possibly be part of “The Establishment.” After that I’m a little fuzzy on the roster.** But “The Establishment” is the all powerful force that controls all the strings in the Republican party and they must be taken down…though it’s unclear exactly who must be taken down. But strangely it must be taken down with candidates who make the most insane statement you can find. And Democrats seem to like these challengers…but the fact that our enemies love these people apparently has no bearing on anything.

And finally, Populists like their liberal counterparts are very big on emotion and very poor on logic. Just look at how anyone in the Tea Party reacts to a suggestion that we should use some strategy in how we go about trying to win a campaign. No. No. None of that strategy bullshit. There is no such thing as the moderate or swing voter there is only rallying our base and getting them to vote…because I don’t care what numbers you throw at me, we lose only because our base doesn’t come out to vote. No. No. NONE OF YOUR NUMBERS AND FACTS THAT MIGHT SHOW THIS TO BE UTTER FANTASY. We should never appeal to the middle with the things we agree with the middle on (economics, liberty, small government, pro-entrepreneurial laws and regulations, less red tape, lower taxes, getting out of their lives and taking less of their money), NO! We must only talk about social issues and support candidates who hold to these issues 100% of the time without fail (and I can’t find justification for these social issues in the constitution). There must not be any compromise at any time for any reason (even if that reason were to actually further our cause). THERE MUST BE NO COMPROMISE! BECAUSE WE MUST ONLY ACT ON PRINCIPLE AND EMOTION. THERE MUST NOT BE ANY REASON OR STRATEGY, that way lies RINOS and “The Establishment.”

And this is just the tip of the iceberg.  If we wanted to get into every issue I could show the populist overtones in the Tea Party are more prevalent than the conservative ones.

And I blame the fact that the Tea Party has degenerated so far on a very few in the GOP, certainly Palin, DeMint, Levin, Malkin and Hannity have all done more than their share to fan the fires of idiocy, but more than anyone I blame Michael Steele (see I don’t rely on some mysterious “Establishment” I can tell you exactly who I blame). He got so annoyed at the idiots like DeMint and Palin who started the whole movement going off the rails by endorsing really preposterous candidates that he worked to cut them off from funding entirely in 2010 rather than begrudgingly bringing them into the fold and making the Tea Party just the grassroots part of the GOP, Steele and his subordinates tried to distance the GOP from the Tea Party. Way to go Michael…I see that got you a cushy job over at MSNBC, I see they reward hurting the GOP well over there. Had we cared more about strategy back then we would have embraced the Tea Party (even though they had some populist undertones even back then) which would have prevented this divide, prevented them from going full Populist, and would have actually worked to quash the Populist themes of the Tea Party.

But that is over. And it cannot be changed. The only thing I can say is that for real conservatives we can only make it our goal to appeal to both the Tea Party and the moderates, the conservative beliefs are what needed to prevail. We need to be even more aggressive in our ground game than the Tea Party during the primary season to prevent the craziest candidates form winning and we need to do our best to make sure that they don’t sulk and stay home come October and November. Remember that no matter who get the nominations for all the offices, “Establishment” or Tea Party either is probably BETTER than a Democrat.

*You know a lot of libertarians hate Lincoln for his Constitutional violations and war crimes, a lot of economists hate him for his complete lack of understanding of economics, a lot of principled people hate him for the fact that the had none…but if there is one thing that I loathe Lincoln for it is the phrase “For the people.” You can find “Of the people” and “by the people” in the Declaration and Constitution…you can’t find “For the people.” It is Lincoln who first brought the vile populist idea that government is there for you into general thought. And for that and that alone he should never be listed as one of the good presidents.

** I will just have to ask for a members list next time I’m at the monthly “Establishment Virgin Sacrifice to Ba’al”…listening to the Tea Party I assume we do that sort of thing here in “The Establishment.”

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Some in the conservative movement seem to be out to destroy Republicans with their closed minded behavior

 

Lately I have noticed a very strange resurgence, once again in an election year, of the most idiotic branch of religious closed mindedness popping up in political forums.  And it seems to keep coming from the right…do these people want to lose or are they just too stupid to realize that this constantly hurts the party and actually getting anywhere with any of their ideals?

 

Let me start off by saying my problem is not Christianity, Christ, or organized religion in general. I may have a few issues with some of the core metaphysical concepts within Christianity, but there is nothing in the ethical code of Christ (at least in the way I read it, some others, say Calvinists or Liberation Theology reads it in a truly abhorrent way, but that’s part of what this column is about).

 

What my problem is that not only are the craziest forms of Christianity making a very vocal comeback, but they’re doing it in a way that is distinctly political. And as this is coming out on what should be conservative outlets (really they’re being rank populist outlets).  But let’s go over a few of these highlights I’ve found (really for everyone I point out here there are at least 10 other articles in the last 3 months I could point out, which suggests a much larger groundswell of the dumbest of the dumb).

 

The first I would like to point out is an article titled 7 Reasons I’m A Conservative, Not A Liberal. Among the many reasons, some of them quite valid, he gives the idea that he is a Christian as a reason why he is a conservative. I hate this point mostly because it exhibits such an ignorance of philosophy that while I try to be articulate on the blog, it leaves me a sputtering mess of anger and outrage in real life.  Note to all Christians, it is not Christianity that gives conservatism its moral back.  Christ may give you many of your moral codes, but his words can be equally interpreted towards socialism as towards capitalism (as has been done by many liberals). It is Aristotle and Aristotle alone who gives conservatism the virtue based backing that makes it the only successful belief system in existence.  Just take a look at history. Before Aquinas grafted Aristotle onto Christianity you had the Dark Ages, after Aquinas showed us that Aristotle was the way, you had the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution and the spread of liberty throughout the world. When was the very brief Golden Age of Islam that you hear about (but never see its effects in modern culture) it was the 90 or so years that the Mutalizite Sunni’s grafted Aristotle onto Islam. Why is Europe failing…just find for me an Aristotelian idea anywhere on that god-awful failing continent…or anywhere in the Democratic Party for that matter. Granted those are only two examples…but just wait for the day India, China or Japan grafts Aristotle onto their culture and watch the world take off in a way you’ve never seen. You’re a conservative because of Aristotle not Christ. Please have even a basic understanding of philosophy before you feel the need to state things.  Second, yes you do need the religious backing of Christianity to make Aristotle’s philosophy work. Specifically you need the idea that the human soul contains a spark of divinity (found in the Holy Ghost and the idea that man was made in God’s image).  But this is not an idea that is unique to Christianity. It’s actually found in every single belief system that is not atheism or Islam.  So please don’t act like Conservatism is only a Christian thing, it’s not.  It never has been.  Most of Founding Father conservatives you admire and respect (Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, Hamilton) were deists who tended to doubt (Washington, Hamilton, Madison) or outright deny (Adams, Jefferson, Franklin) the divinity of Christ. We need to accept that conservatism has little to anything to do with Christianity because all this belief does is drive away people who from other religions who would otherwise agree with us on everything. But, way to go. Putting out an article that I can only assume you believe will convince people they should be conservatives…and only accomplishing the exact opposite.

Then of course I saw this one also from the supposedly political Townhall.com We are not all the children of God.  Because that’s right let’s attack random pieces of theological doctrine on a political website, I’m sure that will do wonders to help this make us a big-tent party centered only around conservative principles. Let’s also ignore such statements as “Adam, which was the son of God” (Luke 3:38) and “Blessed are the peacemakers:for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9). No, no, only the narrowest most closed-minded interpretation of Protestant belief must prevail in our party…are you people intentionally daft or do you not realize you have become your own worst enemy.

But speaking of the worst aspects of Christianity, let’s talk about this little article.  Resurgence of Calvinism.  Dear God in Heaven?  Really?  The most idiotic, anti-Conservative, anti-individual, anti-libertarian philosophical movement in history is making a comeback. You know I used to debate a rather useless and idiotic atheist and his main point was always to attack Calvinism as proof the religion was stupid and among my many points of why he was wrong was that Calvinism wasn’t exactly a major theme in modern Christianity (my other points that he was tumblr_m9ut29DAnM1r1x0cco1_500debating a Christian and that just because one subsection was dumb doesn’t mean that all forms of religion are still valid and a strong plank in my point that this particular atheist was a waste of space and volume), but it still hurts that this rise in this idiotic strain of religion is on the upswing.  And I don’t care what the differences are between the old and new versions of this belief, because at their heart they still both deny free will, a cornerstone belief for any conservative, any republic and any successful free society. To deny free will is to deny the very thing that makes America: the natural rights of liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.  But when you look at the people championing this new Calvinism it’s people who claim to be conservatives.

 

Now these are just three examples.  But I’ve seen more.  A lot more. It’s just becomes repetitive and boring to go over all of them.

 

Now it may be that I’m just seeing what I want to see, a general rise in the stupidity of social conservatives, and the confirmation that bias is making me select the information that supports my thesis and ignore everything else…but I’ve looked and between the Tea Party shifting from a purely small government, pro-liberty, low taxes party to one that wants to rail about social issues at every turn, from the endorsement of social conservative loons like Cruz and Palin, from DeMint’s almost psychotic pivot at Heritage from a economic and foreign policy think tank to one that focuses on social issues as it’s primary concern…I’m not seeing anything to disprove my thesis that there seems to be a distinct rise of the vocal closed minded social conservatives who act as if their way is the only way and all who disagree with them to even a minor degree are somehow not conservatives when conservative philosophy should deal with fiscal matters, property rights concept and foreign affairs doctrines only when it comes to politics….conservatives believe in the power of faith and God and the necessity for them in society but we also should believe that we never put them in a position where government has any power over them.

This is dangerous.  This is supposed to be big tent party. We’re supposed to be the party of small government. Of personal liberty and responsibility. Of capitalism.  And these are values that exist not only on the brand of Christianity but in almost all religions.   These statements only drive away the people we should be reaching out to and showing your personal ethics match up with the GOP. It’s not a problem to hold deep religious convictions, it’s in most cases admirable…but while those convictions may drive you, you can convey them in a way that doesn’t turn away people who do not share your exact brand of convictions.   And these people who feel that conservative politics is only for their particular brand of religion need to shut up, because they are hurting the politics they claim to support, or they just need to go away because their bigoted ‘my way or the highway’ attitude is far more in line with liberalism that believes it’s perfectly okay to use any and all means to force people to agree with you.

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I’m getting tired of some of the populists out there who claim to be conservatives…

In a recent article on Brietbart:

‘Renee Ellmers Thinks For Herself’: Rep. Calls Ingraham ‘Ignorant’ In Pro-Amnesty Meltdown

There are several very bizarre things.

1. Is this bullshit that all reform is amnesty?  The Republican principles are quite clear that they will not be amnesty.  If you can read you can see that…clearly most of the media and 100% of talking heads are effectively illiterate as they seem to miss this point.

 

2.  From the headline you’d think that it was pro-reform Ellmers who had a breakdown when to anyone with two good ears it was obviously Ingraham who got overly emotional about the issue from the get go and started responding irrationally.  The hack who wrote up this article was quite stupid to include the audio as his attack of Ellmers was as unjustified as Ingraham’s points.

 

Heritageimmigration

Keep in my by Laura Ingraham’s logic…Heritage is a liberal organization in line with La Raza because they said the system is broken. Now I am having some issues with Heritage’s social and education issues…but I wouldn’t go as far as to say they’re liberal.

3. Ellmers was attacked for saying we have a broken system, which Ingraham took offense to because that is something La Raza and liberals say.  Millions of people and drugs coming over an unprotected border no matter who is in control, huge welfare payments to illegals, public services being ruined because of exploitation by illegals, no effective way of dealing with this in the short term…you know I don’t care if La Raza and Chuck Schumer or even Karl Marx, Adolf Hitler and Satan were the ones who first said the words “broken system”…it’s a broken system, just because the opposition also uses the term doesn’t change the fact that it’s broken.

It’s broken.  This is a fact.  If it were any more broken we’d have to call it Obamacare.

 

I’m really convinced that Laura Ingraham doesn’t have the first clue what the free market is.

 

4.  Ingraham starts going off that businesses just need to start providing a living wage if they want to attract workers…remind me again exactly who sounds like a liberal here.

 

5.  Ingraham says it’s terrible that businesses are being driven out of existence because illegals are offering the same service for less money…and that anyone who doesn’t support her side of deport them all is against the free market.  So being for undercutting your competition is against the free market…wait, what?  The fact that people who are willing to work for less get the job isn’t conceding that the free market doesn’t work it’s 100% proof that it does.  The free market has no bias to where you’re from or how you got here, it only cares about what you do and what you’re willing to pay or work for.  Yes they broke the law to get here, and yes a functioning free market requires rule of law in terms of property rights and contract law…but the laws being broken here are not the laws specifically tied to the idea of the free market Laura.
6.  Also apparently according to Ingraham the government is there to ensure that higher wages are paid.  And this is from a Tea Party person…and to think I claim the Tea Party has ceased being conservative and is now 100% a populist movement.

 

7. Ingraham also seems fairly pissed off about the idea that Americans are lazy, and that to say this is somehow un-American.  Laura, the vast majority of the country either sat at home or voted for Obama.  Ispo facto.  Americans are lazy.  At least some of them are.  To deny this is just preposterous.
Its great Laura your mom was a hard-working blue collar worker who did low paying jobs to get you through life.  Just because your mom exists doesn’t mean that everyone in the nation has a strong work ethics.  They don’t.  This is also a fact.

Further the problem isn’t the illegals who want to work.  For decades, hell generations, no one cared about people coming up from Latin America (legally or illegally), working and earning money.  That was the free market and for the most part everybody loved it because everyone benefitted.

The problem is not the illegals who want to work.  It’s the ones who bring their kids to get educated and families to get food stamps and medical care on our tax dime.

I’m sorry but if you want to deal with this real problem then you have to do a few things.

(A)  You have to build a way to keep new illegals from getting into the country…oh, look, that would be the first part of the plan that Boehner, Paul Ryan, Renee Ellmers are actually proposing…too bad Laura that in your mob mentality you were ignorant of this fact.

(B)  Then you would have to reform the immigration code to reward people coming here who want to work and who have the skills to work.  Again that is part of the Republican plan that any non-ignorant person would know…obviously not Ingraham.

(C)  You would then have to deal with the illegals who are here…and that leaves a few options…Deport them all at astronomical cost, which the Republicans being the fiscally sane party are not for… or amnesty, Reagan tried that because he still thought that all illegals were the kind that just wanted to work, experience has shown that doesn’t work and that’s why the Republican plan doesn’t include amnesty (and to claim it does isn’t just ignorance, it’s an out and out lie)…or the Republican plan fines them and lays huge restrictions on them if they want to stay, deport the relatively small amount that don’t want to take this option, and never allow those who came here illegally to have citizenship if they don’t want to go to the back of the line and start the way everyone else has to.

Anyone with a brain can see that the Republican plan is exactly what we need.  Yes we need to work out the details. But just saying that nothing needs to be fixed by denying that the system is broken is foolishness and idiocy.  And I am getting tired of this very kind of idiotic populism that seems to have infected so many supposedly conservative pundits and voters.

 

 

 

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Filed under Conservative, Economics, Illegal Immigration, Long Term Thinking, People Are Stupid

Why we need to raise the age of just about everything to 26 (or higher)

Why we need to raise the age of just about everything to 26

 

You know a while back there was a big brouhaha about the fact that Obamacare required that children be allowed to stay on their parents insurance until they were 26. Now there were many multiple valid claims about this–that it was unconstitutional government use of power, that it wastes money, that it would cause a death spiral of insurance coverage, that it was an entitlement giveaway to just buy votes. All accurate and valid objections of idiotic action by the government. But of all the objections the one that wasn’t really that valid was that 26 year olds are adults. Seriously?  I know this is legally a fact, like the idea that corporations are individuals, a pleasant legal fiction that has no relationship to reality. But unlike the legal fiction of corporate personhood which needs to be defended if you want society to properly function, this idea that you legally are an adult when you turn 18 needs to eliminated.

 

I mean have you met most people in their early 20’s?  It would be hard to find a group less like adults if you tried.

 

Let me speak in generalities for just a moment (those to whom this does not apply will find this an all too accurate indictment of their fellow early twenty something’s). The majority of people in their early 20’s are self centered, short sighted, inexperienced and overly emotional with few useful skills. In some ways they are like 2 year olds, but not as cute.  Now certainly they’re not as stupid as Michelle Obama thinks they are claiming they don’t know how to handle knives or cook for themselves (but in her defense look at the mentally challenged dunce she’s married to, so she may have a skewed vision of age and intelligence), but while not the complete idiots liberals think (and hope) they are, they’re not fully ready to accept all of the responsibilities that get thrust on them when they’re 18.  They’re simply not.

 

Let’s be honest, the ages of 18 and 21 are holdovers as rights of passage have more to do with practical issues of previous eras and not anything to do with realities of intelligence and maturity.  And it certainly has nothing to do with science as we are beginning to see that the risk aversion portions of the brain (the part that tells us: It might not be appropriate to engage in immature behavior, like say, voting for a worthless idiot who is promising you free stuff) does not fully develop until late 20’s by 30 at latest. 

 

 

brosurance

And before you accuse me of having a low opinion of 20 somethings…just remember what the left thinks of them.

So let’s deal in reality a little more and raise the age of full rights as an adult to at least 26 (if not 30, because if your brain only stops developing at 26, logically you might want to have a few years using that brain and get used to it before being thrown into the deep end of the pool).

 

Does this mean that I want people living with their parents until they’re 30?  No.  Hell no.  (Although that does appear to be the goal of Democrats based on the last few years of their economic planning).  But that just because you get to move out doesn’t mean you you’re ready for everything.  Think about it, it’s silly to say, ‘oh you’re 18 and just moved out, here is a long list of things we didn’t trust you with last month and in addition to trying to figure out how to support yourself, we’re going to give you all these other options and responsibilities you have no experience how to deal with  Yes we need to give people at 18 or 21 the legal right to sign contracts so they can sign a lease and get out of their parents immediate circle and learn to live on their own, but we don’t need shove everything on them all at once before they’re prepared for it.

 

Further this needs to be done because of the changing nature of education.  Whether the state led Common Core standards (as opposed to the federal Race to the Top program which very ignorant pundits call Common Core, because there are some very ignorant pundits who probably could have used a more standards based reading curriculum out there) succeed or not in becoming standard practice, the fact is that the day is coming where you will see consistent standards across the board in this nation.  And once you have that you will see more and more students held back.  And this is a good thing; it is one of the dumbest things in world to think that all six year olds are at the same level on the same day.  And holding back students a year (and in some cases two or three) will help a lot of students actually succeed where before they would have failed their entire time in school.  But this will also mean that you will see more people graduating high school at 19 and 20 (and maybe even a few at 21).  Do you really want someone voting who hasn’t even had a government course yet (and let’s think about how little is actually covered in a high school government class…if you don’t even have that, I certainly don’t think you should be deciding what to do with my tax money).  And even more to the point as more students succeed in elementary and secondary education because of these standards holding them back making sure they actually get the information in the first place, you will see more and more students getting through trade schools, and their A.A.’s and B.A.’s, (which will be great for the economy)…but will also mean that people will likely be in the bubble of undergrad education for even long periods of their life (and the last thing we need is those people voting)…which will in turn mean they will get an even later start in life.

 

Let’s just admit that society is changing and change our attitude toward the legal concept of adulthood to match.

 

And when you think about this there are so many wonderful advantages to this.

 

What would I include in this?

 

Well, first, we need to raise the voting age.  It should be raised to 30, but I’ll take 26.  Yes you can make the argument that some 18 year olds are mature enough to vote, but guess what, if they’re mature enough to vote then they’re mature enough to understand that there are anywhere from 2 to 5 of their fellow 18 year olds who are not mature enough to vote and they’ll probably be more thankful to not have 5 idiots cancelling out their vote.  Now some will say that we lowered it to 18 because if you’re old enough to serve in the military then you’re old enough to vote…forgetting that this was an argument about the draft (a program that will never be instituted again because the military prefers an all volunteer force and modern technology has made it possible to fight a war without having to draft). Trust me if we ever get into another war the magnitude of which we have to call a draft, whether 18 year olds can vote or not will be the very least of your worries.  And you know what I’m more than willing to put in some exception for those who wish to serve their nation having the right to vote earlier, hell I’m even willing to put in some kind of rules, like in the description in Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, we will find you something to do if you don’t meet the traditional physical needs of the military if voting before 30 means that much to you (if you’re willing to give 4+ years of your life to your nation, we’ll find you something to do and give you the vote).  But back to voting, before I digress too much, anyone who has studied exit polls knows that without the 18-29 voting block you will get much, much more rational, sane and intelligent representatives.

 

But it just doesn’t end there.

 

Libertarians, what if we raised the age that one could take drugs from 21 to 26 and imposed very heavy punishments to those who sold to anyone under that age. If you made that argument you would be able to deal with almost all the people who very rationally argue “what about the kids” and you would be able to push much more effectively on your legalization arguments (which would in turn reduce much of the waste and corruption that comes from the war on drugs).  No one would really care what someone in their late 20’s or older puts in themselves (so long as they do it in the privacy of their own home).  But please remember this does need to come with near Draconian measures to against those who can’t keep it in private and those who would provide such substance to anyone under 26…think about it Libertarians, it’s a near perfect silver bullet for one of your favorite issues.

 

And social conservatives, you should also embrace this? Why, because I think the existence of Girls Gone Wild and other such videos (not to mention nearly every other week hearing about a woman in this job or that being fired for having done porn briefly in college despite any of her current rational and mature behavior) proves that 18 year olds might not be the best age to allow men and women to decide when to get into this industry.  I’m not getting into the argument here of whether or not there are people who do enjoy being in this industry and can do it without being psychologically scarred…all I’m going to say is that I think we can all agree an 18 year old isn’t qualified to make that important a choice that will haunt them for the rest of their life.  (Liberal feminists you should also be on board with this).

 

And liberals you should also be on board with this as it will require parents to be financially responsible for their children longer, which you think is a good thing.

 

And economic conservatives, before you read that last sentence and throw a hissy fit, let’s also say that you can’t get ANY welfare benefits until you are fully adult, you’re the responsibility of your parents until then.   And consider how many liberal parents will suddenly start teaching some self control to their children if they know at 16 they’ll be responsible for them (and any spawn they have) for another 10 years not 2.  Now think of the dropping welfare roles that could follow.  So conservatives, keep calm, reread the last paragraph and use it convince your liberal friends.

 

Really there is no group that shouldn’t be in support of this.  Except maybe demagogues who only stay in power because of easily fooled adolescents.  Yeah Barry I mean you.

 

 

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Filed under Conservative, Constitution, GOP, Long Term Thinking

Milton Friedman on the problems of government in medical care

This is a rather long lecture by Milton Friedman on the issues of government in medical care.  As it is so long I’m not going to write a lot, but you should watch it because, despite being over 3 decades old, every word is still very relevant.

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Filed under Capitalism, Conservative, Economics, Evils of Liberalism, Government is useless, Health Care, Individualism, Long Term Thinking, Natural Rights, Obama, Taxes, Tyranny

Ways to win in an election year #1

 

Rather than starting with something heavy like “read more” (and trust me that one’s coming). I would like to focus on something very small that makes a huge difference.
And that thing is what you wear.

Now if you’re the kind of person who is reading blogs on how Republicans can win elections, odds are you have a T-shirt or two that has a political message. But how often do you actually wear it?

Probably not. You probably wear it around the house or when you’re with close friends…but I get it, why wear something that might cause friction when you don’t have to.

But you see here is the problem–right, wrong, or indifferent wearing political material in public has very relevant consequences. It allows people to identify those with similar beliefs, which in turn allows people to know about opportunities. It allows for them to know that they aren’t alone and that they maybe should get involved or at least vote (if you’re feel alone in your beliefs you may feel inclined to just stay home because what difference will your vote make? Especially in the primaries). And let’s face it, those middle voters who don’t seem to make up their minds until the very second they step into the election booth, while I loathe their inability to make a decision based on anything but stupid things like name recognition or the fact that ‘people like me relate to him.’* Liberals have us beat on this. They do. They put the faces of their god-kings on everything they can at every chance. And this does affect people in the middle. They look at one sign that drapes themselves in the faces of their scum covered nominees…and they see us, where a Republican shirt is few and far between…if the Left is so willing to put the faces and names of philanderers and murderers on just about everything they own, including what they wear…and with the exception of staffers for a campaign you really don’t see that on the right. Why? For the simple mind of your average independent/moderate voter** a line of thought never occurs that we on the Right don’t revere our elected officials as the second-coming versus the Left which has to deify their leaders might have some difference in how much we wear their names. They just know one side is really hyped and the other isn’t. And to the moderate mind this means they should be excited about the one that other people are excited about.

And before you call my cynical view of people totally baseless, let me ask one question: How is anything I’m suggesting any different than the psychology behind any ad firm trying to generate buzz about a product by handing out free T-shirts with the product name. Seeing the name generates interest. Be it sales or votes. It works. It’s that simple. Again it doesn’t matter if it’s right, wrong or indifferent. It just is how things work.

So what does this mean?

It means that if you want to start doing those little small things that will win the House, the Senate and build the groundswell that will give us all of Congress and the White House for the first time since Eisenhower (for the first time since Coolidge if we’re talking about conservatives instead of merely Republicans), well, then, you have to wear your Republican gear everywhere.

Everywhere.

(Okay maybe not work, because nobody likes the jackass who makes everything about politics in the break room… …before you ask, no I’m not that guy.)

enumerated-powers_design

Admit it, you want a shirt that references the enumerated powers of the Constitution.

When you go out there better be something very prominently conservative on you. I don’t care if it’s for a candidate, for the party or just something conservative. (Okay I have to put this up because I would be crazy if I didn’t…the Conservative New Ager Store and the Damn Straight Politics Store 
…but we all know that there are more than enough conservative T-shirt producers out there if you don’t like those). I particularly recommend candidate shirts because it gets the candidate’s name out there and allows you to contribute to the coffers of the candidate at the same time, so two things in one.

I know a lot of you will dislike this because it’s almost an invitation for very annoying liberals to harass you and get into political arguments when you’re just trying to go out and buy a gallon of milk.

But ask yourself, if I’m right and this can sometimes help sway a moderate voter (as everything we all know about advertising tells us) then isn’t a little annoyance in the short term worth it to get the liberals out of power?

*Yes why should who has better economic plans or who won’t end up bankrupting this whole place leaving a wasteland for your grandchildren to try to rebuild…let’s ask the important questions like ‘Who would I rather have a beer with?” The easiest way to win an election would be to ban morons from voting but as that’s not going to happen anytime soon…we have to play the game that exists not the game we should be playing in a just and intelligent world.
**I don’t want to hear it. Independents and moderates are the worst of the worst. For all their idiocy and in many cases evil Libertarians and Liberals at least stand for something. What do you guys stand for? The right to go through life utterly clueless of everything around you but still thinking you have some right to decide how the a government you pay attention to only once every two years for maybe 2 days affects all of us. Also it should be clear that I’m not speaking to moderates. I don’t particularly care if anyone thinks I’m alienating some with this…trust me I’m not. Moderates are too busy looking up pop culture facts to be reading a hyper-dense political blog like this.

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Filed under Congress, Conservative, GOP, politics

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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Filed under American Exceptionalism, Conservative, Election 2012, GOP, Government is corrupt, Mitt Romney, Obama, Paul Ryan, People Are Stupid, politics

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

Movies (or TV shows) that understand Economics #3 Ducktales

 

Ducktales“You can never get something for nothing”—Scrooge McDuck

So just three days into this series on movies and TV shows that show valid economic principles here at the Conservative New Ager and the guys over at Breitbart.com run ‘SPONGEBOB’ CRITIQUES WELFARE STATE, EMBRACES SELF-SUFFICIENCY.  Stop stealing my ideas Breitbart.com, you can’t just rely on me to keep giving you good stuff.

Well we here at the Conservative New Ager can play the children’s cartoon and economics game too.  And the cartoons I pick are better.

As surprising as it may seem the show Ducktales actually understood economics fairly well…at least better than anyone in Washington D.C.

This isn’t just because one character happens to be a billionaire who prides himself on being a self-made man (duck?). But even just understanding the virtue of earning one’s way…no the cartoon actually understood inflation better than anyone at the FED.

Take a look. (Cartoons may not be your thing, but it’s only 5 minutes and it does show that everyone in D.C. is an idiot).

“That’s exactly what I’m afraid of: easy money. I don’t trust any dollar that I haven’t earned.”—Scrooge McDuck

So regrettably, even though my entire generation was given a lesson in the fact that you can’t print money without it causing inflation, no one seems to have learned this very important lesson.

(Or worse they’ve been idiotic Austrians who think that shiny metals are somehow not fiat money and also missed the more complicated point that the money supply has to grow with the economy).

And while I probably could find a few more good economic lessons in the show if I had time enough (and didn’t mind my brain turning to mush and seeping out of my ears) but I think the most important lesson (and the one I specifically remembered after all these years) is that you can’t just print money without it having massive negative consequences.

That’s right, even the writers at Disney know that Paul Krugman is a blithering idiot who is a detriment to human society.

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Filed under Capitalism, Conservative, Economics, Education, Long Term Thinking, Movies, Movies for Conservatives, Paul Krugman is an idiot, Popular Culture