Category Archives: politics

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.

 

 

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Budget, Congress, Conservative, Corporate Welfare, politics

Kasich: The Liberal Zealot

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

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

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

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

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

Was this a nation founded on Christianity?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Election 2016, politics, Uncategorized

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

By The Snark Who Hunts Back and The Conservative New Ager

Paul Ryan

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

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

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

romney5

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

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

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

more lies

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

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

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

He increased taxes in Massachusetts

romney3

Seriously? The populists feel comfortable making such a claim?

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

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

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

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

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

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

He was for bailouts

romney2

Ann is ready to slap the stupid out of someone.

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

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

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

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

That he believe in Global Warming

tumblr_n8knmhY13n1s2g6qao1_500

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

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

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

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

He lost to Obama

Reagan

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

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Election 2016, Mitt Romney, politics

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.

 

 

Leave a comment

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.

Leave a comment

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

Common Core, why I support it and you should too

 

Common Core State Standards.jpg

So it was pointed out to me that while I have repeatedly ripped apart the Anti-Common Core people showing their positions to be contradictory, baseless or just the worst in typical liberal/populist propaganda, I have never pointed out why I like the Common Core Standards. So here goes.

 

First let’s define what we mean. Common Core Standards (linked here) are a collection of standards drawn up by the National Governor’s Association (NGA). They cover reading, writing, and mathematics. They do not define what will be taught, what goes into textbooks, or do they create worksheets. It does not have anything to do with allocation of resources in the school or how teachers teach. There are some recommendations about how to make math a more pragmatic, real life application approach to math, but most of the complaints in the media have nothing to do with the Common Core math standards. These are based on the current administration and their education department interference – Race to the top.   These two different concepts should not be combined.

 

Before we get back to why I love the standards I can already tell I’ll have some objections to the above paragraph. But I heard Common Core was a federal take over…no you’re thinking of the White House’s Race to the Top program which like the list of the previous 60 years of federal education programs boils down to we’ll require schools to do random things (some stupid, some okay) and throw money at them. Race to the Top does require states to adopt Common Core, but no state is required to follow Race to the Top, just as no state has to adopt Common Core, and many states were getting ready to adopt Common Core before Obama even got into the White House. But I heard Common Core requires this or that stupid text book. No, those textbooks and those text book companies were always stupid. In fact studies have been done that the new text books that say “Common Core Compliant” are actually the pre-Common Core versions (word for word) with a new sticker slapped on. But on the news I saw this terrible worksheet a student had to do and they said it was Common Core. You must not watch the news much as those stupid worksheets have been around for decades before anyone thought of Common Core. But the teachers and school administrators are saying everything they’re doing is because of Common Core. Here’s a hint, most teachers and school administrators are either liars or incompetent (in many cases both)…there’s a reason we had to come up with bare minimum standards for them to follow, namely, they were too dumb to be trusted on their own. Repeat after me Common Core is properly only used to refer to the Common Core State Standards. It is not Race to the Top, it is not textbooks, it is not the behavior of teachers. It is only standards. They may call all these other things Common Core…but if you call a fish a bird it doesn’t mean that it’s a bird. The only thing that is actually Common Core is the Common Core State Standards. Everything else is not Common Core and you should berate anyone who says otherwise for their ignorance.

 

Okay back to the standards themselves.

 

Common Core is a set of standards created out of an initiative from the governor’s council.  It has two main parts Math Standards and English Language Standards (Reading and Writing).  Things like as a Student will be able to do X at Y grade level.

An example standard reads (this is for reading at the 11th and 12th grade level):

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.7 Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem (e.g., recorded or live production of a play or recorded novel or poetry); evaluating how each version interprets the source text. (Include at least one play by Shakespeare and one play by an American dramatist.)

That’s all it is as can be seen here http://www.corestandards.org . (Again please go read them).

 

It was meant to replace each state’s individual standards so there is more consistency and a higher standard throughout the US.  It also allows for states to use only one standardized test (which saves costs for the states as development costs are now shared for one test) and also allows for us to actually see which states are meeting requirements.  In most cases (but not all) the standards are higher than what the state had before.  Are the math standards high enough? No. But they’re higher than they were before in most cases and states, schools, teachers, and students can always go beyond the bare minimum of the standard.

 

Beyond suggestions of the kind of reading (as in primary sources, or analysis papers) and questioning to be done at each grade level there are no History, Government, Science or other kinds of standards.

 

There is almost no content requirements to be narrow on.  The only Common Core standards even remotely related to Social Studies and Science are the language ones that more or less boil down to “Read Primary Sources”.  It requires only a few works that HAVE to be read by students: They have to read something by Shakespeare, the Declaration, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, Gettysburg and I Have a Dream. That’s it. Other than that it’s pretty much open game for teacher selection so a bad teacher could still choose bad works to try and indoctrinate, but as the standards focus more on the higher level skills (Analysis, Evaluation, Synthesis) if they’re actually teaching the standard then they should be teaching students how to question and analyze (after that it’s up to free will of the student).

 

Why do I think this is all a good idea?

Well first of all teachers are like most people. Most of them will do the minimum required of them. As the standards before Common Core were much lower in almost all the states…this at least means that the minimum they have to do will be higher. Some might complain that this will amount to teachers only teaching to the test…but that is a problem with the teacher not the standards or test. A bad teacher will always teach to the test because that is the minimum they can get away with…and if you don’t have a test it’s not like they’ll suddenly go in great teacher mode, no, they’ll show videos and talk about their feelings all day. Great teachers will have no problem with these standards as their teaching is probably already well above the minimum. (Oh, and to the recent string of whiny teachers who thought that anyone should give a shit about their screeds about how education was becoming nothing but testing…you have no one to blame but yourselves. Even if you were among the competent teachers, which I seriously doubt, you were among the teachers who were voting for unions and supporting them when they protected your inept colleagues. Teachers are to blame for not beginning to police their own long before this.) Standards/testing have always been around to determine if everyone is getting an average amount of data from the course – whatever that is – so this statement of teaching to the test is silly.

 

I like this because it is better economics. Not only in the fact that we’ll save overhead costs in not having to have 50 different state tests…but because this will lower a bar for people who have children. If standards are equal everywhere then you never have to worry about “but if we move to this state will Sally fall behind” greater mobility in geography will translate to greater economic prosperity everywhere.

 

When and if the standards are implemented even half-way competently you’ll have a justification to fire bad teachers who can’t even teach to the test to the minimum standards. Further this will be a fair basis by which we can judge which students need to be held back.

 

Further despite bizarre claims to the contrary, these standards are a great thing for school choice movement. These people are apparently not actually paying attention to one of the biggest problems with the school choice movement: bad schools. The central claim of the school choice movement is that bad schools will go out of business …but regrettably that implies that every parent wants their child to learn. Regrettably I can tell you that some parents just want their kid to get a diploma, or worse they’re just looking for a baby sitter…whether they learn anything isn’t even a concern. And thus schools with really low standards that won’t bother them with homework or parent-teacher calls or requests to meet to discuss Johnny’s progress are very popular with this group. And these excuses for schools give liberals ammunition against the entire school choice movement. And independent testing can help separate them…but testing alone won’t do it because you also need high standards. Why? Well there are some alternative schools that are set up to cater to students who have trouble—they look for the students who have flunked out of three or four schools already…as might be expected the pass rates on tests of these schools are rather low…but they did take a group that everyone else got 0% and in turn got 30% to pass…to only look at the pass rate is say that these schools took toxic waste, turned it into water and you want to complain they didn’t turn it into wine. High standards (and the school creating curriculum to match those standards) help differentiate these schools which are seeking to help the high risk student from the paper mills which just seek to give every student a diploma and collect their funding no matter what they learned. These standards will get the terrible schools out of the market and will strengthen the school choice movement as a whole.

 

And on a personal level I certainly won’t mind if elementary and middle School teachers are finally required to teach basic grammar so that I, in Senior English can actually focus on poetry and philosophy…and not, you know, my usual fair of “How to use a comma.”

 

Now the problem is that each state is implementing Common Core in a different way.  Some are adjusting their history and science standards, and some (usually the liberal ones) are adding PC blame America BS into the standards.  Also several companies that make teaching material, handouts, textbooks and such are also making liberal tripe and giving their product names like “Common Core History.” The implementation and the products which bear the name Common Core are in a lot of cases really dumb and should be opposed–Not because it is being called Common Core but it is bad regardless of what you call it.

 

I would compare this to trying to teach Shakespeare.  In the hands of bad teacher the high moral, hilarious comedy, and near libertarian critique of corrupt government could become a diatribe of trite feminism, bad psychoanalysis, and cheap Marxism…but it is the teacher not the Shakespeare that is to blame.  In the same way Common Core is perfectly fine…it’s the idiots trying to put it into practice that are the problem.

 

Let’s deal with a few pointed criticisms about the Standards themselves. Some critics claim that the standards aren’t high enough to get students into high end colleges…well no kidding, they’re minimum standards, they’re what every student should learn and every student isn’t going to MIT. Others, usually the same organizations that claim they’re not high enough…please make up your mind…but even if they’re still not high enough (and that is the case in some places) they are almost always well above the previous state standards and I know of no state that adopted Common Core that found their standards dropping.   Besides which you need to start at a basic minimum and then each year you can start raising the bar. This could go a long way to stopping the graduation of students who can not read, write or comprehend English or Math.

 

Some complain that the problem with the standards is that they were written in an undemocratic way without public feedback and comment at every level…yes because all the regulations we have from the government with that level of feedback are just so wonderful…and all documents that were composed without public comment (like the Declaration and Constitution, which the CCSS require students to read) are just so terrible and like Common Core should be abolished because of their anti-democratic methods of being created. Also private companies were hired to help write the standards…and as we are a good capitalist nation we hate private companies…wait, no.   The problem with this set of complaints is that it never actually asks if the standards are any good. They are. It doesn’t matter who wrote them or the process of them being written, unless you can point to me where the standards themselves are lacking this is just a demagogue tactic to whip up baseless hatred of the standards.

 

The Common Core reading list has books on it that are terrible! Yes the suggested reading list has some books on it that I would never teach. But here’s the thing, I don’t have to teach them. It’s an extensive list of suggested works that you don’t even have to follow. All it says is that the books are of the level we’re looking for at certain grade levels, when planning for your English course, try to have the books you pick to be on par with the ones listed here. Yeah the list does include some real tripe, but I hazard to think what any educational institution would have cut if they tried to make the list more restrictive…better to have the list be broad and then have parents judge the teacher’s by the books they pick (and if you don’t like the books get your kid a new teacher or new school) or a new book.   If you cut the list down to just Shakespeare and the other classics it might give truly inept teachers the appearance of knowing what they’re doing. Better to not restrict the freedom of teachers, and even suggest a few pieces of dung, and then you can easily spot the bad teachers by the ones who pick those worthless books.

common core

Yes just look at how terrible some of those suggestions are…clearly signs of how evil the Common Cores Standards are.

 

So to sum up. Just about everything you hear complaints about isn’t the actual Common Core standards. The Common Core standards themselves are fine and will, if implemented lead to some but not all of the reforms we need to make in education (while making some of those other reforms easier to implement).

Leave a comment

Filed under Common Core, Education, People Are Stupid, politics

April Fool’s Day Post: Secret Documents Reveal Democratic Plan to Undermine the Right From Within

Exclusive, The Conservative New Ager has, this April Fool’s Day, been shown recently uncovered documents that show conclusively that the Republican Party has been infiltrated by liberal moles hell-bent on destroying the Republican Party from within.

 

What’s this you say? Liberal infiltrators within the Republican Party? Yes!

 

And no I’m not just referring to the fact that liberals have been heavily funding “libertarian” candidates to divide votes against conservatives. No the plan appears, according to these documents, to go much further (beginning with the open push for open primaries – we now see the underlying liberal reasoning).

 

While the documents do not list exactly who is involved or where money is being funneled to, the plans and tactics for the double agents are laid out clearly. For instance, one document states:

 

Liberal infiltrators are to always bring up abortion.   Polls show that while Americans are not in favor of the Democratic position of abortion on demand at tax payer expense, the natural American tendency toward liberty finds it even more offensive to claim “”If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down”. Gallup studies have shown that despite claims otherwise, 71% of Republicans favor keeping abortion legal in one form or another…yet a vocal minority within the Republican party, which these documents show are on liberal payrolls, are hammering a point that in no way appeals even to the base of the Republican party and certainly not to the majority of voters. Further these documents suggest that DNC forces have also paid off the media to only cover these infiltrators which explain why the media gives these comments so much play and not real fiscal comments from the Republican Party. These liberal infiltrators have started even attacking what the vast majority of Republicans and independents believe is a valid purpose of abortion, aborting children with severe medical challenges to spare them the living hell of a

Dinner?

Hmmm….

life like that. Further these liberal infiltrators are being paid to make Republicans look mentally challenged by suggesting that abortion is the cause of our economic woes with truly brain dead statements like “The reason Social Security is in big trouble is we don’t have enough workers to support the retirees. Well, a third of all the young people in America are not in America today because of abortion, because one in three pregnancies ends in abortion.” Quotes this insane assumes that conservatives believe that children have one purpose – to support the elderly – which if that isn’t the ring of liberal propaganda then what is… there is nothing there about the conservative beliefs in individualism, personal responsibility and freedom of choice – whatever those repercussions are.

 

These documents were obtained in light of the fact that despite being a traitor worthy of hanging for his crimes, Edward Snowden did reveal what liberals consider data security. The field agents of the Conservative New Ager just strolled into the DNC headquarters and asked for access to the computer systems claiming to be tech people called in to repair an unspecified problem. The stoned hippie behind the desk was apparently more than helpful in providing our investigative team with all the documents they needed.

 

As such deep cover agents have been sent into the Republican Party to pose as conservatives, they work tirelessly to offend moderates and even Republicans as liberals are desperate to get votes for themselves or at least deprive Republicans of votes by having those voters veer towards the perpetual waste of a vote known as the Libertarian party.

 

In addition to the abortion issues, similar DNC drafted talking points for these infiltrators include making statements against gay marriage (when the majority of moderate and even conservative voters would rather you just get government out of religion and just have legal civil unions for everyone) or focusing on other issues that any idiot would know would not drive moderates away.

 

It is unclear exactly who in the Democrat Party came up with this plan and who is funding it (or even that anyone at the DNC could possibly have the foresight to think up something this clever)…or who in the Republican Party was too stupid to not notice what was going on. But as insiders begin to comb over the paperwork it becomes clear that this is the only thing keeping the Democratic Party alive as the Republicans would sway the vast majority of independents and libertarians if they were just running on conservative economic values.

 

Documents do not make it clear exactly who these people are but there are clues within the paperwork. For instance one such infiltrator is listed as a former Governor who during their term of office threatened violate contract law (something conservatives hold as sacrosanct) with contracts the state held with private corporations, raised taxes on those corporations, encouraged large federal spending projects to nowhere, advocated that the budget to the Department of Education be expanded, endorses the worst candidates (even liberal scum) whenever possible, and takes government subsidy money for their TV shows. One wonders how moderates could be so dumb to accept such a clearly vile liberal shill as a conservative, but you betcha they are just that dumb.

 

Other infiltrators are suggested to have endorsed arming al-Qaeda in Syria. One even appears to be a massive closet case who never met a government spending program or bribe he didn’t like.

 

To spot these liberal infiltrators according to these documents, the following positions should be noticed:

(1)  They make wild baseless claims about abortion rather than just pushing to end all government funding of it.

(2)  They believe that gay marriage is an abomination rather than the conservative belief that government should get out religion, and only do civil unions for any two consenting adults leaving marriage to religion and religion alone.

(3)  They attack other Republicans.

(4)  They treat conservatism as a belief that can only exist within Christianity despite the fact that the moral basis for conservatism can be found in just about every religion on Earth.

(5)  They attack corporations as something inherently evil or do not hold other basic conservative/capitalist views like the sacrosanct nature of contracts – personal property rights.

(6)  They speak in terms of populism accidentally dropping liberal talking points like “living wage” or feel that competition is a bad thing.

(7)  Having no understanding of the difference between the idiotic federal Race to the Top (Obama’s plan) and the intelligent state led Common Core standards and treating them as if they’re the same thing.

It is almost certain that anyone who traffics in statements like this is clearly on the DNC payroll and following their direction/talking points.

 

When informed of this GOP chair Reince Preibus stated that, “When you think about it this actually makes sense. I mean the only other option would be that the Republican Party was laced with absolutely suicidal morons who don’t understand the principles of real conservatism and have no desire to win….wait what, this is an April Fool’s Day post and none of this ever happened. We actually have a minority of the party that really are that dumb? Well shit. We’re doomed aren’t we?”

 

Well shit indeed. Guess we had better start teaching true conservatives ideals starting with fiscal responsibility.

1 Comment

Filed under Constitution, Election 2014, Evils of Liberalism, GOP, Humor, politics

Obama To English Dictionary–Smidgen in Obama means “So much you can’t even imagine it” in English

No list of links for this week.  Because this is the only news story you need to see.

Watch this video. 

This shows the systemic corruption among the government at present to try and silence all political opposition.  Working between the IRS, the FBI, OSHA and other agencies working against political opponents of the President.

This is what the President calls, ‘not a smidgen.’

Leave a comment

Filed under Civil Liberties, Government is corrupt, Obama, Obama Ceasar, politics

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.

Leave a comment

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.”

1 Comment

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.

3 Comments

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

Movies that understand economics #5 and #6 Other People’s Money and Pretty Woman

Movies that understand economics #5 and #6 Other People’s Money and Pretty Woman

Now I have covered both of these movies before, but Pretty Woman and Other People’s Money, so no need to waste your time on a summary of the plots, cover one of the most important economic concepts that people tend to misunderstand: Creative Destruction.

Other People's MoneyIn general, creative destruction is when a company that is not producing as well as its competitors is removed, for one reason or another, from the economy, and the resources it once had are taken up by more innovative and productive members of the economy.  In more practical terms it is when a company begins to fail and stops making profits, when it no longer has any new way to innovate and refuses to change with a changing economy, that investors or venture capitalists come in, buy up the company and sell the pieces to companies.  In short liquidation.

And never have I seen such a perfect description of what economists call creative destruction than in Other People’s Money:

Amen. And amen. And amen. You have to forgive me. I’m not familiar with the local custom. Where I come from, you always say “Amen” after you hear a prayer. Because that’s what you just heard – a prayer. Where I come from, that particular prayer is called “The Prayer for the Dead.” You just heard The Prayer for the Dead, my fellow stockholders, and you didn’t say, “Amen.” This company is dead. I didn’t kill it. Don’t blame me. It was dead when I got here. It’s too late for prayers. For even if the prayers were answered, and a miracle occurred, and the yen did this, and the dollar did that, and the infrastructure did the other thing, we would still be dead. You know why? Fiber optics. New technologies. Obsolescence. We’re dead alright. We’re just not broke. And you know the surest way to go broke? Keep getting an increasing share of a shrinking market. Down the tubes. Slow but sure. You know, at one time there must’ve been dozens of companies making buggy whips. And I’ll bet the last company around was the one that made the best goddamn buggy whip you ever saw. Now how would you have liked to have been a stockholder in that company? You invested in a business and this business is dead. Let’s have the intelligence, let’s have the decency to sign the death certificate, collect the insurance, and invest in something with a future. “Ah, but we can’t,” goes the prayer. “We can’t because we have responsibility, a responsibility to our employees, to our community. What will happen to them?” I got two words for that: Who cares? Care about them? Why? They didn’t care about you. They sucked you dry. You have no responsibility to them. For the last ten years this company bled your money. Did this community ever say, “We know times are tough. We’ll lower taxes, reduce water and sewer.” Check it out: You’re paying twice what you did ten years ago. And our devoted employees, who have taken no increases for the past three years, are still making twice what they made ten years ago; and our stock – one-sixth what it was ten years ago. Who cares? I’ll tell you. Me. I’m not your best friend. I’m your only friend. I don’t make anything? I’m making you money. And lest we forget, that’s the only reason any of you became stockholders in the first place. You want to make money! You don’t care if they manufacture wire and cable, fried chicken, or grow tangerines! You want to make money! I’m the only friend you’ve got. I’m making you money. Take the money. Invest it somewhere else. Maybe, maybe you’ll get lucky and it’ll be used productively. And if it is, you’ll create new jobs and provide a service for the economy and, God forbid, even make a few bucks for yourselves. And if anybody asks, tell ’em ya gave at the plant. And by the way, it pleases me that I am called “Larry the Liquidator.” You know why, fellow stockholders? Because at my funeral, you’ll leave with a smile on your face and a few bucks in your pocket. Now that’s a funeral worth having!

Creative destruction is often depicted by people who don’t understand economics as evil.  But as shown in both movies, the victims of liquidation are not just randomly picked companies that are targeted just because some evil businessman wanted to hurt someone.  In both films it is made clear that companies that become victims of the kind of takeovers that end in liquidation are not the victim of the investors and liquidators…but victims of failing to change with the time, victims of bad managements, victims of not adapting as any business must to survive because, with the exception of Coca-cola, no company has discovered a recipe for success that should never be changed and subject to innovation.

And both speak to the fact that the goal is not just to hurt people (in Other People’s Money, as shown above he points out pretty-woman-1how creative destruction leads to investments that will benefit people, and in Pretty Woman in describing how the employees are not just going to be thrown out).

And while creative destruction usually works by allowing more productive companies to use the equipment, land, and human capital more effectively, both of these movies show that it can take other forms.  In Other People’s Money it is in the form of changing the operations of the company to fit the new economy, in Pretty Woman is it putting the company under new and more competent management (don’t kid yourself, that’s what happened—old management was destroyed and new creative management under Richard Gere’s company was taking over, if the owner’s name on the letter head wasn’t changing is irrelevant).

Economies are a lot like ecosystems. In both the rule is adapt or die.  And in both you need carrion feeders who can allow the dead material to work its way back into the cycle of birth, death and rebirth.  Some people who don’t understand his important function may view the work of liquidators in economics, or carrion feeders in nature as repulsive, but only because they don’t understand the valuable and needed process that they perform. If you do not have something that can take the dead and dying companies and move their resources to where they can be of more help (like, oh, by saying this or that company is too big to fail, and thus preventing it’s needed death) you only get systems that continually get worse and worse and a drain on the economy and as it so happens the taxpayers and it will fail again given time because it did not change – sometimes smaller works out better – more competition more innovation.

Leave a comment

Filed under Capitalism, Economics, Long Term Thinking, Movies, Movies for Conservatives, politics

November, movies, and being thankful for property rights

It’s November…which means Thanksgiving (and Chanukah this year) and as with every year I remember this video about what we should all be thankful for:

Now I can give you one great educational video after another on the beauty of economics in action, like this one…

Or I can regale you with long and detailed, well thought-out arguments by Friedman, Sowell, Hayek, Williams, or myself….but let’s be honest, you’re reading this blog, you already get it…but most people don’t get economics. “The Dismal Science.” Most people don’t know anything about it beyond that rich people are evil and that the Dow Jones number on Wall Street and the unemployment numbers are all you need to know about. Maybe also something about the debt. Maybe. And where do they get these terrible ideas (besides willful ignorance in an age of information)…why popular culture, of course.

And who can really blame them with such thrilling examples in pop culture as Justin Bieber telling a reporter that it was such a shame that his body guard didn’t have enough insurance to pay for all of his pregnant wife’s needs and had to pay out of pocket, which is why we need more government healthcare (shame that the bodyguard didn’t work for someone who, I don’t know, could afford to give his employees better healthcare). Or even when it’s not the functionally retarded you still see a complete lack of understanding about economics, as in the case of the show Once Upon a Time…the town has been there for 20 years, and no one from the outside world can find it, yet somehow the technology, the cars, the fashions, and even the news all seems to come from the outside world (that is one hell of a curse to constantly be providing all of those supplies and resources). I could list more examples of popular culture having no conception of economics than Scheherazade had stories.

Keynes

This is more or less how Hollywood sees economics…

This is a problem. Because while it is easy to get people to see the light of reason once you make at least one in-road…with the majority of culture showing something quite different than the realities of economics it becomes rather odd to see something correct. However, there are a few films and TV shows that show a bare minimum understanding of economics and over the course of this month, leading up to our wonderful Thanksgiving, I will be going over a couple dozen movies that actually do show the correct fundamentals of economics that when understood can only lead to capitalism.

I not only hope that you read and enjoy but that you begin to share a few of these to help others understand what real economics are is.

Leave a comment

Filed under Capitalism, Conservative, Economics, Movies, politics, Popular Culture

Real Change in Education: Part I

 

There is a lot of brouhaha over Common Core right now. Education Personally I am tired of idiots blaming every stupid Obama Administration policy, every idiotic Dept. of Education directive, every factually incorrect statement made by a book publisher, and every dumbass move by an individual state on the Common Core.  The Common Core is minimum standards dealing with math, reading and writing and a nation wide test that comes with those standards.  Is it as high as we really need?  No, but it is higher than what most states used to have. …but guess what, any state that adopts Common Core can put in standards that exceed it.  Also the Common Core standards were a state pushed initiative, not a federal one, so stop saying this is overreach by the federal government—it isn’t.

We are conservatives, we’re supposed to be the informed and educated people…but if we keep stupidly blaming things that have nothing to do with the Common Core on the Common Core then we appear uninformed.

This link above goes to the actual Common Core standard.  Read them before you attack them. 

We don’t blame science because liberals shout their BS religion of global warming.

We don’t blame the Constitution for the fact that liberals violate our rights in the name of the Constitution.

Common Core State Standards.jpg

Common Core Standards are good..the problem is that any idiot publisher can put the words “Common Core aligned”

Then why should we blame the Common Core standards, read them there is nothing wrong in them because some idiot liberal states are doing a lot of things that aren’t in the Common Core (but using its name).

The standards are fine.  Read them and tell me if you find anything objectionable…it’s certain that liberal states and the way they’re implementing them/adding to them that is the problem.

If we don’t attack the right thing, if we don’t understand who the enemy is, then we won’t win.

But since some people need to attack something in education let me suggest 9 other things we could focus on that would actually lead to better schools.

 

1.Get Rid of Useless Professional Development

Tied to a lot of complaints about Common Core is the whining about it will cause teachers to teach to the test.  This (A) assume that one on can only teach the standards and nothing else and (B) that teachers can only teach in one way.  In reality there is a simple truth—Bad teachers will only ever teach to the test, good teachers will always teach what is on the test and go beyond. The reason you have standards is that you’re trying to limit the damage done by bad teachers.  I know everyone likes to point out all the terrible points of No Child Left Behind (and there are many) but the fact is that putting in testing put in a lower bar that even bad teachers had to meet.  This was a great thing because you at least had a standard, any standard, in some parts of the country finally and not just bad teachers skating students without any concern for whether or not they learn anything.  And teaching to the test is teaching the minimum standards which is what we want if the standards are high enough.  Tests are supposed to reflect the items learned – duh!

If you actually want teachers to not teach to the test then get better teachers, don’t get rid of the test.

And how do you get better teachers?  Well the first thing you need to do is get rid of the things that drive good teachers out.

One of those things is professional development.  What is professional development, you ask?  Standards vary from state to state, but professional development is a requirement that to keep your teaching credential you have to take so many hours of professional development or courses so that you can continue to improve as a teacher.  It sounds like a good idea, that teachers should continue to refine their craft.  But while it sounds really nice, it isn’t.  What it turns into is taking state approved courses on teaching strategies that no competent teacher would ever use or lectures on information that has no discernable use in education.

For instance I had to take a two week professional development course last year on “Structured English Immersion” to keep my Arizona teaching credential.  Structured English Immersion is fancy teacher speak for “how to teach English to kids who don’t speak English.”  It cost me several hundred dollars to take this course.  I teach high school and not a single thing discussed in this waste of my time and money could ever even theoretically be used in a high school course. Professional development is supposedly there so we can learn the most up to date research on child development and teaching practices…but strangely enough the most recent study listed in the course material was published during the Bush Administration (no…I don’t mean W.). Yeah real cutting edge right there.  Not to mention the entire tone of the course was that you have to coddle children who don’t speak English and not encourage them to actually learn English, speak in English, read English and use English in every aspect of their life (you know, what actually works).

All other professional development is like this.  For instance I’m also going to have to take a few college courses between now and then (again out of pocket) to keep my credential up.  Now while I’m going to try and pick courses that relate to my field, most teachers pick college courses that relate to Education…Education courses are a lot like the above described Structured English Immersion…outdated bullshit that will never help you reach students.

And we charge teachers for this…because teachers make so much money that they can just easily drop money on things like this without any worry.

Or maybe a lot of good teachers realize they can get jobs in other fields that don’t attempt to fleece them at every turn (you don’t want to see my fees that I also have to pay to keep up my teaching credential).

But, some schools pay for their teacher’s professional development, so it’s not like every teacher is getting fleeced (they’re just losing time).  A lot of public schools have in-service days every year to ensure their teachers get their hours.  On average they’ll hold about 5 of these days a year…now let’s say your school of 700 students has 20 teachers, each teacher making $52,000 a year on average (over the course of about 190 contract days, or about $273.68 a day), so to have those teachers take out 5 days out of the year for this sort of in-service professional development costs the taxpayer $27,368.42 a year for a school of only 20 teachers (plus of course the costs of time it took to set this up, to bring in someone to do the training or have a teacher trained to do the training, and the costs that administrators will also participate in this stuff…so let’s round it up to $30,000).  $30K a year for each school in America paid with taxpayer dollars (2009/2010 – 98,817 total public schools = $2,964,510) wasted on irrelevant information that won’t help you be a better teacher.

How about this, let’s just require every teacher to get a subscription to the Journal of Higher Education and Kaplan which will actually keep them abreast of research in education and save about $29,000 a year by not having this bullshit.

The fact is this is a scam.  It’s a scam for states to make money off approving the courses, off of charging teachers over and over again, for the colleges that make money after forcing teachers to participate.  In all my years teaching I have had nearly a month of my life taken up in professional development…not one iota of it was worth a damn.  Teachers get better by teaching, by observing other teachers, by talking with their colleagues and by self-reflection.  THEY DO NOT LEARN BY SITTING IN STUPID COURSES HEARING OUTDATED MATERIAL THAT IS NOT RELEVANT TO THEM.  This is a scam for states and colleges to make money and nothing more.  It wastes taxpayer money and drives out competent people from the field who have better things to do than deal with this stupidity.*

 

2.  Fire Administration.

Administrators are something that schools tend to pile on.  Superintendents. Assistant Superintendents.  Principals.  Vice Principals. Deans. Counselors.  This list could go on for a very long time.  In fact since 1970 non-teaching staff has grown by 138% while student enrollments have grown only by about 8%.  Any test standard you want to look at for quality of education has remained about the same in that time.  So all those paper pushers seem to do nothing…but they do get paid. And if you think teachers getting paid 52K a year is high, you should see what administrator’s charge.

I think it is safe to say that 90% of school administrators and non-teaching staff are there only to fill out federal/state/local red tape.  Get rid of the red tape and get rid of most of the administrators.  They serve no real purpose.  And the few that do serve a purpose are grossly overpaid.

And more often than not they serve as a hindrance to good teachers rather than help.  The fewer administrators you have I promise you, you will see an improvement in the quality of education.

At the very least the next time your local school tries to pass a bond or tax ask them how many administrators have been axed and how many have taken major pay cuts.  If everyone doesn’t fall into one of those categories then vote anything they want down until they make serious cuts of useless people.  Do it for the children.

 

3.  Hold Back Students Who Aren’t Making the Grade

This year Arizona is making a lot of news by saying they are probably going to hold back a whole 1,500 third graders who aren’t ready to move onto 4th grade. 

Lots of people are whining about how this hurts the poor students who are already struggling…What people should be bitching about is that we’re not holding students back in grades K-2 and 4-11 as well—and in all 50 states and all U.S. territories.  If children don’t understand something they need to be held back in the grade they were having problems in until they get the needed understanding.  I don’t care about complaints of self-esteem…trust me students will feel much better about themselves if they aren’t constantly behind and constantly feeling like they’re too stupid to get it.  And holding them back a grade can help in preventing this.  Not everyone progresses at the same rate mentally and some students (a lot of them in fact) need to be held back.

And the added bonus is that teachers in higher grades will now no longer be wasting time going over concepts from previous grades because half the class should have been held back at some point or having to waste half their day on the kid who should have been held back two or three times.  This means all the students will get more out of every single course.

Coming tomorrow suggestions 4-6

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Capitalism, Conservative, Constitution, Education, Government is useless, Long Term Thinking, People Are Stupid, politics

GOP, Let’s ask what worked and what didn’t…

Do you ever wonder…

If Republicans would spend as much energy and time on attacking Democrats as they do their own party, if they might actually get somewhere?

So the last couple of weeks have once again revealed that the Republican Party’s perpetual need to shoot itself in the foot.   This of course is a side effect of who is in the Republican Party.  Unlike the Democrats (and people who voted Santorum, and Paulbots) most Republicans (both the conservatives and libertarians in the party) tend to be free thinkers…which means we don’t march lock step with the commands of the party and/or our chosen savior to blindly follow.  Unfortunately, while usually a good thing, this does lead to a little bit of a problem when trying to organize. We are all going our separate ways while our opposition, while idiotic and wrong, marches to the beat of a single drummer and provides a single, constant, well defended wall that we cannot break by not working together.

Does this mean that we should all just march lockstep just like they do?  No.  But it does mean we should try to think more long term than they do and work toward our long term goals rather than doing what feels good at the moment.

The shutdown is a good example. We should have never made this about Obamacare because even just a bit of forethought would tell us that if we did that then the only way to win was to hold a shutdown all the way through until the new congress is sworn in in 2015 (because we know damn well that Obama and Reid are too damn stupid to admit that their law is a horrific nightmare), and this only works if (A) Republicans hold firm (which we know isn’t going to happen) and (B) that the American people see that it’s the Democrats who are at fault and the House is doing what it’s supposed to in using the power of the purse (these are the people who voted for Obama, do you really think they’re going to see that?).  If we want to get rid of Obamacare then the first, thing we need to do is get rid of the Senate.  Nothing happens until then.  Nothing.  But we had short sighted fools going their own way saying we can stop this here and now (exactly how when we don’t hold the Senate, White House or Supreme Court is a bit beyond me… I actually saw a conservative commentator complain that the GOP is giving in even though the GOP “is in a stronger position than it was during the partial government shutdown in 1995/96.”  Yes right now with control of one house we’re in such a better position than in 1995/96 when we controlled both the House and the Senate and had Dick Morris screaming in the White House to give into the GOP.  We’re in such a stronger position now than we were then.  (What the hell are some conservative pundits smoking?)

But no, some genius thought that Obamacare was the line in the sand to draw—to hell if Ryan’s work on saving the budget would actually lead to more long term good, to hell that letting Obamacare go forward would be its own worst enemy, no let’s draw a line in the sand on this silly item.  So we shut down everything over Obamacare, and thus we killed all our other options.  Good call.  But once we were in the shutdown we should have not budged an inch.  Yeah getting there was dumb, but, a lot like getting your girlfriend pregnant, it may have been a series of shortsighted choices that got you into this situation, but now for the sake of intelligence and character you only have one option.  Did we hold firm? No.  Why?  Because again we can’t hold a united front.   When we were holding firm we had people insulting Republicans that they were RINOs and were going to get primaries out (so if you’re a Republican who really does believe that you will hold the line better than the Democrat who would trounce your Tea Party replacement, if you really believe that you’re doing what is best for the country you have to make a deal to ensure you keep your seat and that a Democrat doesn’t take it…not saying everyone was this noble but I’m sure one or two were).

Then we were even more stupid.  We had Republicans vote for the damn compromise (that gave us nothing).  This I don’t quite understand. It could pass the Senate without a single Republican vote, and it could pass the House with only a few Republicans voting for it (or just staying home and not voting at all).  Did we organize anything like this to at least be able to say that ‘We did not vote for this crap, this is the Democrats and all the Democrats.”  Nope, we didn’t even organize that well.

And as I hinted above, it’s not just the elected officials.  We attack our own, shout everyone down as RINOs at the drop of a hat.   Now some will say that I’m attacking the Tea Party…actually I’m only attacking part of it.  I’m beginning to notice there are two parts to the Tea Party. One is the “let’s shrink government in power, size and expenditure” let’s call this the Values Tea Party…then there seems to a second side, the “Everyone who does not agree with me 100% is a goddamn RINO and must be purged from the party.”  Let’s call this the Ideological Tea Party.  One side wants to win and is willing to make logical concessions if they need to but is just tired of the GOP ALWAYS making concessions even when they don’t need to…the other side wants the goddamn Spanish Inquisition (which I really wasn’t expecting) and purge all non-believers from the ranks of the Republican party (of course as it’s a constantly shifting set of values it’s hard to say what is and isn’t real conservatism to these people…but if you don’t perform a miracle right now and end Obamacare, overturn a hundred years of bad court decisions, revoke 200 years of bad executive decisions, clean the tax code, impeach Obama, destroy all terrorists, and turn water into wine you won’t vote for them…and anything short must be because you’re a filthy RINO and not, oh I don’t know, because you’re only in control of one half of one branch of the government.)

What I think some people don’t realize is that we need Republicans from all parts of the country to win (even blue states) which means that those Republicans have to be more moderate than say a Republican from a completely red state.  There are Republicans who are moderate on some things (mainly social issues).  There are Republicans who come from very blue states but believe they should honor their constituents beliefs on certain things (I don’t particularly like people who feel this way, but I find the people who bitch the most about these Republicans are the same ones who use “the will of the people” as justification for why legislatures should do this or that…pick one and only one, should legislatures use their own judgment (a republic) or should they be beholden to the will of the people (a democracy).

Goldwater Reagan Buckley RINO

RINOs as defined by some in the Tea Party right now.

By the standards that the pundits are now setting up William F. Buckley Jr., Ronald Reagan, Barry Goldwater would be considered RINOS (let me remind you that Reagan as governor passed more liberal laws than Romney, for much the same reason, because he was dealing with a very liberal legislature, and as president he cut LOTS of deals with the Democrats).

Do you think perhaps, that as a voting block we’re beginning to get a little strange?

Yes there are few very legitimate RINOs who will sell the party out at the drop of a hat.  McCain, Graham, Christie.  I’m probably forgetting a couple more.  BUT THE VAST MAJORITY OF GOP actually do believe in what they are doing, they may be wrong in that belief, they might get a better deal if they held out, but just because they are wrong in a tactical belief doesn’t make them liberal.

Establishment vs Tea Party

This picture should not even exist. We have bigger problems, namely liberals. Until they’re gone we should not be attacking each other.

So first off to anyone talking about putting up a primary challenger to any Republican they disagree with I want you to ask two questions.

First.

Will the Tea Party candidate you’re supporting win in an election against the Democratic challenger in that state/district?

And you need to be very, very honest here.  I liked Sharon Angel and Christie O’Donnell…but they were bad calls for Nevada and Delaware…and if you don’t think it would have been better to run a more moderate Republican and remove Harry Reid from office, you’re crazy.  Absolutely crazy.  This is the old Buckley Rule: Vote for the most conservative candidate who can win.  Because even the most moderate Republican is better than scum that is Harry Reid.

Now this may not be enough.  Because let’s be honest there are scum that jump ship when the Senate gets to that 50/50 mark.  And again you need to be honest here when you ask:

Will this the elected official you’re trying to get rid of jump ship if given a chance?

For people like Lindsey Graham and John McCain, yeah vote them out.  They’ll backstab the Republican Party every chance they get and will switch to Democrats if they’re offered enough if the it ever gets that close (As say when Jim Jeffords back stabbed the Republicans, changed parties and gave the Senate to the Democrats in 2001). They’re Democrats already for all intents and purpose because they have no character (oh, I would like to thank Sarah Palin for supporting McCain over the Tea Party candidate…thanks Sarah, you really helped the Republic with that move.)

So if it’s yes to both answers, sure get a primary going.  Even if it’s yes to just the second answer, get rid of the idiot. But if they’re just a moderate Republican who doesn’t always vote with the party but will give us control of the Senate or let us keep control of the House, they’re better than a Democrat. As we have learned, who controls the houses of Congress has massive authority and it is better that we dethrone Harry Reid even if we have to have every seat go to a moderate. Standing on principal when it will only hurt your cause in the long and short run isn’t standing on principal—it’s idiocy.

So just as a little reminder

There’s an election about a year away.  We need to hold onto ALL of our seats in the Senate (which means it might not be bright to primary out a moderate if that means the libs will pick it up…even a moderate Republican can still give us control of the Senate, which we’ve learned can be a very powerful thing) and we need to pick up at least 6 more seats.

Now might be the time to remember that as much as we hate some in our party we hate the Democrats even more.  We can purge the party when we’re in a position to…in the mean time I might actually like to not have to see Harry Reid’s stupid face for another few years…

Schmuck in Cheif

This man and all he represents is what we should be working against…not each other.

Or did you want to have Harry Reid in charge of the Senate if, god help us, another Supreme Court Justice needs to be replaced?

Leave a comment

Filed under character, Congress, Conservative, GOP, Long Term Thinking, People Are Stupid, politics, Problems with the GOP, Tea Party