Friday, July 9, 2010

We've Moved!!!

Hey, party people! Just wanted to apprise you all that I'm moving my political blogging over to Rational Conservatism, joining the top-notch team of bloggers my friend Jeff is assembling.

Per the mission statement:

I’ve long advocated a type of conservatism that I’ve not found to be nearly prevalent enough in society. I believe that Humans are both rational and emotional beings. I find no contradiction in this either. Indeed, it is the blending of the two that gives humanity its depth and its capacity for sustainable growth. By growth, I mean economically, personally, societally, spiritually and in other ways that are not coming to mind.

Pure reason is insufficient, and so is pure emotion. To be ruled by either is folly.

Rational Conservatism is to allow oneself to be informed by both, and to do so uncapriciously. The dispassionate consideration of values, reason, emotion and the impact of each before coming to a conclusion is the essence of Rational Conservatism.

This is not intended to become a dry collection of academic writings that no one wants to read. Instead it should serve as a window into not only the conservative mind, but the conservative soul. (Yes, conservatives have souls)

So, if you're interested, please add us to your Google Reader and join in the fun!

Also, we're still recruiting writers, so if this looks up your alley, let me know, and we can look into adding you to the team!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Sanctity of... Property?

When the Founding Fathers penned the Declaration of Independence, they borrowed from British philosopher John Locke - but with a marked alteration. Where Locke cited "life, liberty and property" as three Natural Rights endowed to mankind by its Creator, the Founding Fathers delineated the unalienable rights as life, liberty and "the pursuit of happiness," and it is the role of government to protect these rights.

Does this mean, then, that the Founders valued the tangible of property less than they cherished the vague pursuit of happiness (whatever that means)? How do the two ideas relate - or do they?

Life, liberty and property are inextricably bound up together. In order to sustain life, there must be industry. But industry is robbed when there is no respect for or protection of property - and when there is such a respect, and people have the liberty to pursue what they do best, then a society thrives on a macro scale, and individuals are happy as they improve their lives and pursue their interests.

Locke went so far as to argue that a threat to property was a threat to the essence of life itself.

So, those were Locke's thoughts on the matter. But did the Founders agree? I'd say that John Adams's view is one politicians today should hear. Adams said:
The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist.
I love this concept, particularly in today's political climate that sees my beloved America slipping toward a socialist society in which lawmakers feel they have the right to play Robin Hood in order to help the needy.

Did you realize, though, that it was considered downright unconstitutional for the government to redistribute wealth until the Butler case in 1936 changed that precedent and interpreted "general welfare" to mean giving federal funds to the poor and needy. Contrast that concept with this 1795 Supreme Court ruling:
No man would become a member of a community in which he could not enjoy the fruits of his honest labor and industry. The preservation of property, then, is a primary object of the social compact... The legislature, therefore, had no authority to make an act divesting one citizen of his freehold, and vesting it in another, without a just compensation. It is inconsistent with the principles of reason, justice and moral rectitude; it is incompatible with the comfort, peace and happiness of mankind; it is contrary to the principles of the social alliance in every free government; and, lastly, it is contrary to the letter and spirit of the Constitution.
(This, of course, once again reinforces my issues with judicial review - what right did the court in 1936 have to turn its back and fundamentally shift the nation's thinking toward government-funded charity?! ... But that's an entry for another day.)

James Madison (my personal favorite Founder) put it like this:
Government is instituted to protect property of every sort... This being the end of government, that alone is not a just government, ... nor is property secure under it, where the property which a man has in his personal safety and personal liberty is violated by arbitrary seizures of one class of citizens for the service of the rest.
The fact of the matter is that equality and liberty simply cannot coexist. They are mutually exclusive - they have to be. If we are free to excel, then inevitably, some will fail. If everyone gets the same results, regardless of their labors, then they are not free, for an outside party is forcibly taking one man's increase and giving it to another who did not earn it.

Equality of opportunity is liberty at its best. When you see someone excel, doesn't it inspire you to do the same? Who doesn't love those American Dream stories of the poor kid from the streets who has a stroke of genius and creates an entire industry, changing the world with passion, determination and tenacity? When they succeed, we all benefit - not because their gain is stripped from them, but because that spark of ingenuity creates opportunity for others. It doesn't take away pieces of the economic pie from others; it expands the pie for all.

Furthermore, that economic freedom to succeed or fail has major social implications, as pointed out by renowned economist Dr. Ludwig von Mises:
If history could prove and teach us anything, it would be the private ownership of means of production as a necessary requisite of civilization and material well-being. All civilizations have up to now been based on private property. Only nations committed to the principle of private property have risen above penury and produced science, art, and literature. There is no experience to show that any other social system could provide mankind with any kind of the achievements of civilization.
Scottish economist Adam Smith's theory of a free market economy dovetailed with the American founding - his seminal The Wealth of Nations was published in 1776, and its emphasis on liberty meshed perfectly with the Founders' views. Thomas Jefferson called it the "best book extant" in the realm of political economy. So, naturally, as the Constitution was the basis for American law, Smith's concepts became the basis for America's economy.

And how did that work out for us? The United States became, far and away, the most prosperous nation on the face of the Earth until the early 1900s, when progressives began tinkering with the system, imposing tax after tax. Not surprisingly, after a century of such fiddling, our economy is hurting - and yet, not seeing the forest for the trees, lawmakers seem to think the solution is to impose yet more taxes and to increase the government's chokehold upon the people's pocketbooks.

Personally, I'd like to see a return to respecting private property rights. Locke had it right - when people take something and improve upon it, then they take ownership of it, for their labor and special touch has upped its value. The object then becomes an extension of the individual. There is a spiritual nature involved in work - yet another post for another day - but somehow today's society has lost touch with the innate value of a solid work ethic. Instead of worrying about feeding the poor for a day, we must teach them to fish and inspire them to excel so that they, too, can gain the intangible benefits that come from diligence. That will help them to truly pursue happiness far more than handouts ever will.

* Giving credit where due, all of the quotations in this post were pulled from W. Cleon Skousen's The 5,000 Year Leap, from his 14th principle of freedom, in particular. The commentary, however, is from my heart and mind. Skousen just gave me some good materials from which to springboard. AMAZING book, by the way. If you haven't read it, you must!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Harry Reid: The Grinch who stole Congress?

*Photo courtesy of

Lame, lame and more lame.

I just got an email about how Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is threatening to torture lawmakers by making them miss Christmas in order to force a decision on the health care bill (er, debacle, in my humble opinion).

Here's the word from the North (San Diego) County Tea Party Patriots:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid threatens to be the Grinch who stole Christmas. Sen. Reid is saying that he will keep the Senate in session to shove government takeover of health care down our throats on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

This is an outrage! It shows the an absolute disrespect to the most sacred Christian holiday. In an era of political correctness, it is stunning that the Senate Majority Leader is willing to disregard the most sacred of Christian holidays. [Sidenote: Sad to say Reid is a Christian - and of the Latter-day Saint variety, at that. Gives us a bad name!]

In addition to shunning the Christians of America, he is preventing the Senate staff members on the Hill in DC from going home for the holidays. The staff members in Senate district offices will also have to pull longer hours. This will prevent them from being able to spend the Christmas holiday with their families around the country.

Now, there is a major winter storm warning in Washington DC. If the weather is as bad as predicted the ability to travel in and out of DC will be very difficult over the weekend. If the travel is difficult over the weekend, then it will back up into next week making it even more difficult for travel next week during a peak travel period.

If this bill passes the Senate in 2009, the taxes on the health care bill will go into
effect on January 1, 2010 but the benefits do not go into effect for another four years. How can it be so important to pass the bill in the next few days when benefits do not begin for years? How can the Senate be so disrespectful to Americans?

It is time to call your Senators to express your frustration about these actions. Call your 2 Senators in DC today and call their district offices as well. In addition to calling your 2 Senators, call the targeted Senators listed below.

Our intelligence on the Hill tells us that the Senators still undecided about the health care bill are: Sens. Webb. Warner, Ben Nelson (of Nebraska), and Lieberman. Be sure to call these Senators as well to tell them to vote no on the health care bill. If you have trouble calling the DC offices, call the district offices.

Sen. Ben Nelson, Nebraska
DC Office Number: 202-224-6551, DC Fax Number: 202-228-0012

Washington, D.C.
720 Hart Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: 1-202-224-6551
Fax: 1-202-228-0012

7602 Pacific St.
Suite 205
Omaha, NE 68114
Tel: (402) 391-3411
Fax: (402) 391-4725

440 North 8th Street
Suite 120
Lincoln, NE 68508
Tel: (402) 441-4600
Fax: (402) 476-8753

Scottsbluff - Tel: (308) 631-7614
Kearney - Tel: (308) 293-5818
South Sioux City - Tel: (402) 209-3595

Sen. Jim Webb, Virginia
DC Office Phone Number: 202-224-4024, DC Fax Number: 202-228-6363

308 Craghead Street
Suite 102A
Danville, VA 24541
Phone: 434-792-0976
Fax: 434-972-0978

Hampton Roads
222 Central Park Ave.
Suite 120
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
Phone: 757-518-1674
Fax: 757-518-1679

Northern Virginia
7309 Arlington Boulevard
Suite 316
Falls Church, VA 22042
Loehmann's Plaza

756 Park Avenue, N.W.
Norton, VA 24273
Mail to: 756 Park Avenue, N.W.
P.O. Box 1300
Norton, VA 24273
Phone: 276-679-4925
Fax: 276-679-4929

507 East Franklin Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: 804-771-2221
Fax: 804-771-8313

3140 Chaparral Drive
Building C, Suite 101
Roanoke, VA 24018
Phone: 540-772-4236
Fax: 540-772-6870

Washington, D.C.
248 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-4024
Fax: 202-228-6363

Sen. Mark Warner, Virginia
DC Office Phone Number: 202-224-2023, DC Fax Number: 202-224-6295
459A Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-2023
Fax: 202-224-6295

180 West Main Street
Abingdon, VA 24210
Phone Number: 276-628-8158
Fax Number: 276-628-1036

101 W. Main Street
Suite 4900
Norfolk, VA 23510
Phone Number: 757-441-3079
Fax Number: 757-441-6250

919 E. Main Street
Suite 630
Richmond, VA 23219
Phone Number: 804-775-2314
Fax Number: 804-775-2319

8000 Towers Crescent Drive
Suite 200
Vienna, Virginia 22182
Phone: 703-442-0670
Fax: 703-442-0408

Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut
DC Office Phone Number: 202-224-4041, DC Fax Number: 202-224-9750

So, folks, there you have it. Hit the phones and remind your Senators what really matters this Christmas season - spending time with family and not burdening future generations with massive amounts of debt to unconstitutionally foist universal healthcare upon us all.

Let freedom ring (from those phone lines)!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Joe Legal vs. Jose Illegal

Hey there, readers!

Been a while, hasn't it? Sorry about that - almost immediately following my last post, I lost my job, got walking pneumonia, moved out of state and started a new job and a new life (oh, and I did a production of The Sound of Music in there, too, as executive producer/Sister Sophia). It's been a little nutty, to say the least, but now that the dust is settling, I'm hoping to get back into the swing of blogging here, giving my take on the latest political happenings.

And on that note, the information below came to me in a forward, and I thought it was too good not to pass along. These numbers are astounding.

Do people not realize that if someone's reaping the benefits of the system without paying into it, they're stealing? Or do they truly, honestly not care? Maybe it's because "The System" is this nameless, faceless entity - "The Man" and all that. But you know who it really hurts? You and me, my friends and family who have to subsidize hundreds and thousands of freeloaders. It simply is not fair. It's wrong.

I think former Rep. Ron Packard (R-CA) summed it up wonderfully:

"Giving assistance to illegal immigrants who broke the law to enter this country undermines the integrity of our laws. Every dollar spent on illegal immigrants is a dollar denied to taxpaying citizens."

And so, without further adieu...

Joe Legal vs. Jose Illegal

You have two families: "Joe Legal" and "Jose Illegal." Both families have two parents, two children, and live in California.

Joe Legal works in construction, has a Social Security Number and makes $25.00 per hour with taxes deducted.

Jose Illegal also works in construction, has NO Social Security Number, and gets paid $15.00 cash "under the table."

Ready? Now pay attention...

Joe Legal: $25.00 per hour x 40 hours = $1000.00 per week, or $52,000.00 per year. Now take 30% away for state and federal tax; Joe Legal now has $31,231.00.

Jose Illegal: $15.00 per hour x 40 hours = $600.00 per week, or $31,200.00 per year. Jose Illegal pays no taxes. Jose Illegal now has $31,200.00.

Joe Legal pays medical and dental insurance with limited coverage for his family at $600.00 per month, or $7,200.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $24,031.00.

Jose Illegal has full medical and dental coverage through the state and local clinics at a cost of $0.00 per year. Jose Illegal still has $31,200.00.

Joe Legal makes too much money and is not eligible for food stamps or welfare. Joe Legal pays $500.00 per month for food, or $6,000.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $18,031.00.

Jose Illegal has no documented income and is eligible for food stamps and welfare. Jose Illegal still has $31,200.00.

Joe Legal pays rent of $1,200.00 per month, or $14,400.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $9,631.00.

Jose Illegal receives a $500.00 per month federal rent subsidy. Jose Illegal pays $500.00 per month, or $6,000.00 per year. Jose Illegal still has $ 31,200.00.

Joe Legal pays $200.00 per month, or $2,400.00 for insurance. Joe Legal now has $7,231.00.

Jose Illegal says, "We don't need no stinkin' insurance!" and still has $31,200.00.

Joe Legal has to make his $7,231.00 stretch to pay utilities, gasoline, etc.

Jose Illegal has to make his $31,200.00 stretch to pay utilities, gasoline, and what he sends out of the country every month.

Joe Legal now works overtime on Saturdays or gets a part time job after work.

Jose Illegal has nights and weekends off to enjoy with his family.

Joe Legal's and Jose Illegal's children both attend the same school. Joe Legal pays for his children's lunches while Jose Illegal's children get a government sponsored lunch. Jose Illegal's children have an after school ESL program. Joe Legal's children go home.

Joe Legal and Jose Illegal both enjoy the same police and fire services, but Joe paid for them and Jose did not pay.

You see how this works now?

If anyone votes for or supports any politician that supports illegal aliens...
Then that person is part of the problem..

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Obamacare Supporter Bites Off Elderly Protestor's Finger

This bizarre-but-true story really makes me wonder how such maniacal frenzy can drive people to such outrageous behavior. I mean, when is the last time that you got so worked up in a political debate that you BIT OFF A STRANGER'S FINGER?!

The L.A. Times reports:

Authorities are searching for a healthcare reform activist today who they said bit off the finger of a 65-year-old counter-demonstrator during a fight at a rally in Thousand Oaks.

“It all started with their difference in philosophy over healthcare reform,” said Senior Deputy Eric Buschow of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department.

The incident occurred about 7 p.m. Wednesday at a “We Can’t Afford to Wait Vigil” organized by affiliates of the activist group, which drew supporters of President Obama’s healthcare plan, Buschow said. The rally also attracted several counter-protesters, he said.

During the rally at Lynn Road and Hillcrest Drive, near the Oaks Mall, the two men got into a heated argument and began fighting.

“At which point, one man bit off the left pinky of the other,” Buschow said.

The injured demonstrator then drove himself to Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center about a mile away, he said.

Ilyse Hogue, director of political advocacy and communications for, called the incident “a regrettable act of violence” in a statement released this morning.

“While we do not have any more facts about what happened than what we saw in press accounts, MoveOn condemns violence in all forms,” Hogue said. “We support the Ventura County sheriff’s investigation into the situation. It is in our firm hope that this event does not detract from the tens of thousands who were out peacefully making their voices heard for health care reform and a public option.”

Authorities said they are looking for a white male in his late 40s or 50s who was last seen wearing black shorts and a black shirt.

“We’re still trying to figure out who was the aggressor,” Buschow said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Ventura Sheriff’s Department at (805)
494-8201. -- Ruben Vives

Unbelievable, honestly. I understand that this is a hot-button issue on both sides of the aisle, but resorting to physical violence is totally unnecessary. And that does go for the injured man, who threw the first punch. That was stupid of him in the first place.

But still. Just plain wrong.

Everything's Amazing, Nobody's Happy

Well, I'm not a fan of the thought of capitalism crumbling, obviously, but I loved this clip. It's pretty danged true!!! We're in such an age of entitlement that we often overlook so many of our modern marvels.

I love being on the cusp of the old way and the new way - like, I distinctly remember my first time going online, the first time I saw a cell phone, etc. My little 12-year-old sister will never be able to understand how things were pre-Internet!

In other news - I will be one of those people in a mere 36 hours to fly across the country in five hours or less. Thank you, modern technology awesomeness. Fall asleep in Long Beach, wake up at JFK. I promise not to take it for granted!

Dr. Krauthammer's Take on the Obama-Nation

I received this email today and thought it was too good not to share. I've heard Dr. Krauthammer on Fox News before and find him to be extremely thoughtful and intelligent. His analysis here makes a lot of sense.

Dr. Charles Krauthammer is on Fox News. He is an M.D. and a lawyer and is paralyzed from the neck down. A close friend went to hear Charles Krauthammer. What he says here is a summary of Dr. Krauthammer’s comments. The ramifications are staggering for us, our children and even their children. Last Monday was a profound evening, hearing Dr. Charles Krauthammer speak to the Center for the American Experiment. He is a brilliant intellectual, seasoned and articulate. He is forthright and careful in his analysis, and never resorts to emotions or personal insults. He is neither a fear monger nor an extremist in his comments and views. He is a fiscal conservative, and has received a Pulitzer Prize.

He is a frequent contributor to Fox News and writes weekly for the Washington Post. The entire room was held spellbound during his talk. I have summarized his comments, as we are living in uncharted waters economically and internationally. Even two Democrats at my table agreed with everything he said! If you feel like forwarding this to those who are open minded and have not yet drunk the ‘Kool-Aid,’ feel free.

Summary of Dr. Krauthammer’s comments:

1. Mr. Obama is a very intellectual, charming individual. He is not to be underestimated. He is a cool customer who doesn't show his emotions. It's very hard to know what's behind the mask. The taking down of the Clinton dynasty by a political neophyte was an amazing accomplishment. The Clintons still do not understand what hit them. Obama was in the perfect place at the perfect time.

2. Obama has political skills comparable to Reagan and Clinton. He has a way of making you think he's on your side, agreeing with your position, while doing the exact opposite. Pay no attention to what he SAYS; rather, watch what he DOES!

3. Obama has a ruthless quest for power. He did not come to Washington to make something out of himself, but rather to change everything, including dismantling capitalism. He can’t be straightforward with his ambitions, as the public would not go along. He has a heavy hand, and wants to level the playing field with income and capital redistribution. He would like to model the USA to Great Britain or Canada.

4. His three main goals are to control ENERGY, PUBLIC EDUCATION, and NATIONAL HEALTHCARE by the Federal government. He doesn't care about the auto or financial services industries, but he got them as an early bonus. The cap and trade will add costs to everything and stifle growth. Paying for FREE college education is his goal. Most scary is his healthcare program, because if you make it FREE and add 46,000,000 people to a Medicare-type single-payer system, the costs will go through the roof. The only way to control costs is with massive RATIONING of services, like in Canada . God forbid!

5. He has surrounded himself with far-left academic types. No one around him has ever even run a candy store. But they are going to try to run the auto, financial, banking and other industries. This obviously can’t work in the long run. Obama is not a socialist; rather he's a far-left secular progressive bent on nothing short of social revolution. He ran as a moderate, but will govern from the hard left. Again, watch what he does, not what he says.

6. Obama doesn’t really see himself as President of the United States , but more as a ruler over the world. He sees himself above it all, trying to orchestrate & coordinate various countries and their agendas. He sees moral equivalency in all cultures. He is not concerned about American sovereignty and is allowing foreign interests to determine far reaching American policy decisions. His apology tour in Germany and England was a prime example of how he sees America as an imperialist nation that has been arrogant, rather than a great noble nation that has at times made errors. This is the first President ever who has chastised our allies and appeased our enemies!

7. He is now handing out goodies. He hopes that the bill (and pain) will not come due unt il after he is reelected in 2012. He would like to blame all problems on President Bush. He has a huge ego, and Dr. Krauthammer believes he is a narcissist.

8. Republicans are in the wilderness for a while, but will emerge strong. Republicans are pining for another Reagan, but there will never be another like him. Dr. Krauthammer believes that Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty & Bobby Jindahl (except for his terrible speech in February) are the future of the party. Newt Gingrich is brilliant, but has baggage. Sarah Palin is sincere and intelligent, but is an unlikely candidate in the future. We need to return to the party of lower taxes, smaller government, personal responsibility, strong national defense, and state’s rights.

9. The current level of spending is irresponsible and outrageous. We are spending trillions that we don’t have. This could lead to hyperinflation, depression or worse. No country has ever spent itself back into prosperity. The media is giving Obama, Reid and Pelosi a pass be cause they love their agenda. But eventually the bill will come due and people will realize the huge bailouts didn’t work, nor will the stimulus package. These were trillion-dollar payoffs to Obama’s allies, unions and the Congress to placate the left, so he can get support for #4 above.

10. The election was over in mid -September when Lehman brothers failed, fear and panic swept in, we had an unpopular President, and the war was grinding on indefinitely without a clear outcome. The people are in pain, and the mantra of change caused people to act emotionally. Any Democrat would have won this election; it was surprising it was as close as it was.
11. In 2012, if the unemployment rate is over 10%, Republicans will be swept back into power. If it's under 8%, the Dems continue to roll. If it's between 8-10%, it will be a dogfight. It will all be about the economy.

I hope this gets you really thinking about what's happening in Washington and Congress. There is a left-wing revolution going on, according to Krauthammer, and he encourages us to keep the faith and join the loyal resistance. The work will be hard, but we’re right on most issues and we can reclaim our country, before it's far too late.

Do yourself a long-term favor by sending this to all who will read an intelligent assessment of the big picture.

Our future and our children's future will depend on understanding what is really going on in Washington D.C. !! It really IS up to each of us to take individual action!!