Category Archives: Conservative Philosophy

The Left’s Greatest Mind-Trick: Politicizing Emotion

irrationalThe greatest mind-trick in the left’s entire arsenal is politicizing emotion.  Once one accomplishes that, there is no limit on a government’s mandate to take action, since there are no rational limits on emotion.

Take the following emotionally extreme examples into consideration.  Is it right or wrong to kill a baby for a million dollars?  How about murdering a school full of children for a billion dollars?  Or how about shooting a family member for a trillion dollars?

As horrendous as it is to contemplate committing any of these foul acts, the monetary amount, itself a reflection of material resources and human labor, doesn’t have any bearing on whether or not something is right.

Now, consider the welfare state.  Is it right or wrong to help a poor person?  What about providing for children’s education?  Or making sure that everyone has health coverage?  These things appear self-evidently right, and therefore the cost doesn’t matter to the left.  Scarcity and how resources are employed don’t enter into the equation.  Voluntary or involuntary, it doesn’t matter how these things are done.  So it doesn’t matter if government forces people to do something or not.

Now consider the case of gun control laws, which have no factual evidence to back up their effectiveness, given real-world constraints.  Guns cannot be un-invented — only taken away and put into some people’s hands, but not others.  But since guns make leftists feel yucky, it’s best to have the government make them disappear.

Since so many on the left are dominated by feelings, and not animated as much by concern for facts and reason, most don’t care about the consequences of their actions.  They just hope that things will get better.  This is not to say that left-wingers are stupid; they are rather expert rationalizers and sophists.  They put the cart before the horse — emotion before reason.

Today’s typical totalitarian leftist is thus not a jackboot-wearing thug, but an overly sensitive, cardigan-wearing milquetoast, whose obsessions about feelings make him immune to rational argument.  The danger of granting the government endless power to do good, like everything else, is rationalized away or dismissed by the leftist, since even the thought of making peace with an imperfect world makes him uncomfortable.  This is why the left will never learn from history: the past is only prologue to the coming utopia, which will be perfectly just and fair.

Leftists are convinced they are on the side of right.  They don’t care about the cost; they care about humanity.  Due to their preoccupation about humanity, they don’t particularly care about individuals (ask any leftist what he thinks about the tens of millions killed by avowed socialists).  This does not mean that leftists are hard-hearted; rather, they tend to be hyper-sensitive stars in their own imagined melodrama.  And furthermore, their emotion-centrism does not rule out calculation and cunning, since their entire thought process is focused on effecting power, which they believe will be used for good.  The ends justify the means.

Left-wingers tend to be crusaders who love everyone so much that they are willing to stick others with the bill for any cause they deem fit.  Save the planet, even if that means some people suffer.  (See malaria and DDT; ethanol subsidies and world hunger; fracking and man-made global warming hysteria, etc.)  Wage an endless and self-defeating war on poverty, meanwhile impoverishing the nation.  Rationalize away human nature, as if punishing productive behavior and subsidizing idleness will not damage an economy over generations.  We are equally poor, but the left feels better for having tried.

Such slipshod thinking makes all discussion about debt pointless.  It doesn’t matter what rational limits one wants to impose on do-gooderism; the leftist just perceives the arguer as evil for even suggesting that there are limits, let alone that there should be limits.  And the obvious fact that government cannot cure all the world’s ills is lost on him.  As Thomas Reed wrote, “[o]ne of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation.”

Aggravating this delusion, if someone suggests that he owns his own life, the leftist has two reactions: first, that person is selfish and greedy; and second, that socialist schemes are perfectly compatible with freedom and democracy.  Of course, they aren’t — as the shrewder political observers since Alexis de Tocqueville have been able to figure out.

Democracy values each man at his highest; socialism makes of each man an agent, an instrument, a number. Democracy and socialism have but one thing in common-equality. But note well the difference. Democracy aims at equality in liberty. Socialism desires equality in constraint and in servitude.

Human beings don’t need coercion to do what’s right for themselves, but coercion is needed for human beings to force others to sacrifice on their behalves.  The way to make the world better is simple: people should stop using coercion to make others serve them, and people should serve themselves.  Economy and society should be free and respectful of individuals.  This is what the market system is about: serving oneself by serving others, and specifically, by offering goods and services in exchange for money.

Oh, but that’s so heartless!

“But what is the conservative’s response to all the world’s suffering?” the leftist screams.  “What are we to do about [name the anecdotal case of misfortune]?  Do conservatives really want to do nothing?”

The best answer is captured by Frederic Bastiat.

Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.

The principled answer to the leftist who believes he is on the side of right, and therefore that the means to his ends are inconsequential, is that no one is born into this world owned by anyone else, including the abstract concept of “society.”  An argument against such reasoning is implicitly an argument for the enslavement of some human beings to others.  Since this is anathema to the state of nature and is self-evidently a grotesquery, all rational justification for omnipotent government is ruled out.  A human being’s life is his own means and end-in-itself.

Since civilization flourished due to reason and not pure emotion, as agricultural and productive organization allowed human beings to employ resources in the environment to better their situation, the politicization of emotion, or the use of force to back feelings, leads to anarchy and social destruction.  Leftists should consider this well before believing that any particular misfortune obligates the socialization of suffering, forestalling but never removing accumulated ruin — whether through the means of debt or through the mass wreckage of human lives.

Running counter to this history of social disaster, the Constitution is the pinnacle of reasoned political science and the legal barricade against the mob mentality that drives majoritarian democracy.  Demagogues arise under such a system of government, because they promise the majority the spoils of government looting, meanwhile stoking the flames of populist passions. The rule of law and the scientific method were developed precisely to protect human beings from the hazards of acting on raw emotion and ignorance.  Democratic politicians and left-wing activists, on the other hand, thrive on these human vulnerabilities.

Cross-posted at American Thinker.

Winning The Gun Rights Fight

Our friends at Firearms Policy Coalition added a post this morning that we at Conservative Daily News believe is worth sharing. The post below is reprinted with permission. Please be sure to visit FPC and help support them in their fight for your rights.
Firearms Policy Coalition

The new gun rights culture is worth fighting for – and we’re winning

If you’ve spent any time reading newspapers, listening to the radio, or scanning the Interwebs lately, it’s apparent that American gun owners have a significant challenge ahead to defend the Constitutionally-enshrined fundamental (read: inalienable) right that secures all of the others. That’s doubly true for residents of states like gun-ban happy California and Illinois, places where ‘logic’ means doing more of what provably doesn’t work.

Our answer to these calls for a coordinated assault on our individual liberty, is, of course, the truth. And old-fashioned hard work – lots of it. Those are the underpinnings of FPC, and I’m proud to say that our team, both staffers and volunteers, are committed to bringing truth and hard work to the table in abundance over the coming months and years. We’ve set out on a course to unite like-minded organizations and people across the United States for one singular purpose: defend our – your – Second Amendment rights.

The battle for judicial acknowledgement of our right to keep and bear arms was, in large part, won in 2008 when attorney Alan Gura triumphed over the District of Columbia in the landmark decision of D.C. v. Heller. (We can quite literally thank Alan and co-counsel Robert Levy and Clark Neily – three amazing and dedicated men – for securing our right to keep and bear arms and doing what was right in spite of fierce opposition… and not just from those who oppose individual liberty.) The path forward from there was predictable: the Supreme Court followed its Heller decision with a reaffirmation of the fundamental nature of our Second Amendment rights in McDonald v. Chicago (decided in 2010) and applied the Second Amendment to the states and local governments. Chicago had argued that (to paraphrase), ‘fine, so Heller said there’s this Second Amendment thing and maybe the Constitution does mean what it says, but that only binds the federal government – not us. We need the ability to really, really ban guns because our current outright gun ban… erm, we want to be able to experiment with gun bans… erm, well, just treat us differently, ok?

Not so fast, said the Supreme Court. Fundamental rights are fundamental!

Since then, a number of significant Second Amendment victories have been seen, such as the two huge U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal wins in – where else? – Illinois. First Ezell v. Chicago [plus a string of wins in places like North Carolina and Maryland], and most recently Moore v. Madigan… the momentum for the recognition of what we’ve all been saying for years (and years) is building. We see public opinion continue to trend strongly not just in favor of gun ownership, but against gun control policies such as those proposed by extremist gun control groups like Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, and the Brady Campaign (formerly Handgun Control, Inc. and Million Mom March).

Gun rights has become more fun, positive, inclusive, and diverse; we’ve outgrown the outdated stereotype of wood-stocked duck and deer guns, smokey back rooms, and middle-aged white males. America is not just responding positively to, but embracing our modern-day culture – and the evidence is everywhere: gun ownership and purchases are off the charts, record numbers of people have handgun carry permits and carry for self-defense outside their home, people of all genders, races, ages, and walks of life are becoming invested in awesome shooting sports like IDPA and USPSA, the History Channel’s firearms-based television program Top Shot has massive viewership (former Googler and California native Chris Cheng won Top Shot season 4), the AR-15 platform rifle – truly the Modern Musket – is the most popular long gun in America, compact carry handguns are outselling supply, and… the Flash Bang holster.

The only people not getting the message that gun rights are civil rights and here to stay are some opportunistic, ideologue politicians, Hollywood celebrities, and blooper-reels like Michael Moore and Piers Morgan.

Yes, we have a lot of work ahead of us. It’s not going to be easy, and it’s certainly going to take every single gun owner in America to come together, set aside whatever other differences we have, and join together as civil rights advocates for this, our Second Amendment. We are going to lose some battles along the way. But we will win in the end, because we must. And Americans have always risen to meet their challengers. So we shall again, now.

Be informed. Be resilient. Be confident. Be considerate. Be who we are.

I love our new culture, and I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of it with you.

-Brandon

Brandon Combs is the Second Amendment Foundation’s Director of Programs and Outreach, CCRKBA’s Director of Advocacy and Coalitions, Executive Director and Secretary of the Calguns Foundation (CGF), President of Cal-FFL, a board member of the NRA state affiliate California Rifle and Pistol Association, and a proud gun owner. He also thinks titles should be shorter than a Tweet. When not volunteering for gun rights and individual liberty causes, he enjoys spending time with his Akita, Holly, and traveling.

In Deep with Michelle Ray – Meet The Twisters

When: Thursday, December 20th, 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific

Where: In Deep with Michelle Ray on Blog Talk Radio

What: Join Social Media Director of ConservativeDailyNews.com, Michelle Ray (@GaltsGirl) as she discusses the issues that impact America.
twisters-twitter

Tonight: I am joined by @TheTwisters to have a candid discussion about family values in America and why nine women who met on Twitter decided to jump head first into politics. Please follow all of The Twisters on Twitter: @0402sgrl, @1SupremeGoddess, @Conservativeind @asskickymchotti, @runedart, @hipechik, @suzibasterd, @flyingpatriot, and me… @GaltsGirl

The West is the Best, But May Die Like the Rest

When a civilization fails to preserve itself from threats arising from within, which can be physical, material, or ideological in nature, it is at risk of collapse. This collapse is typically followed by anarchy, and ultimately tyranny; which can be of the mind or by the sword. When a civilization fails to defend itself from threats arising from without, it can be infiltrated or invaded. The civilization can be corrupted, subjugated, absorbed, or destroyed.

Civilizations rise when they are ideologically sound, and fall when they become ideologically corrupted. Cultural traditions provide the ideals that city-states, societies, colonies, states, and nations hold aloft as the guiding lights for greatness. Cultures define good and evil, right and wrong, and virtue and vice. Civilizations thrive on open information, free communication and social feedback mechanisms, like democratic elections and sound currency. Cut off human communication, and social systems collapse; they often revert to collective violence to futilely preserve the order.

Government coercion therefore reflects a failure of civilization. Debt and deficits are signs that a people are becoming detached from economic reality, and are immorally and unrealistically living at the expense of future generations. Rationalization of unsustainable lifestyles involve a corruption of language; and entail censorship in the final act when the exploited rise up against their exploiters.

Turning upside down who is being exploited by whom is thus a key strategy of socialism; it leads to civil war, or an intra-societal war, instead of an organized cooperative overthrow of the exploitative state. Scapegoating is a clear sign of a civilization in collapse: as Ayn Rand pointed out, the Nazis had the Jews, the Soviets had the kulaks, and Americans have the rich. When people are unable to accept personal responsibility for their own lives, they vote for a party that reflects this mental weakness.  The democratic party eggs this on and thrives on it. Socialism is in many ways the codification of an ethos of avoiding personal responsibility.

The ancient Greeks had a double-edged word for revolution and stagnation termed stasis. Stasis is that state when an existent polity has stopped believing in fundamental ideals necessary for societal cohesion and order; it is a state of fugue and entropy that disorients the citizenry by removing the institutional, cultural, and traditional framework that gives rise to a relatively predictable, stable, and orderly life. Stasis produces a mental state of aimlessness and desperation for strong leadership; it can give rise to tyranny, military adventurism, and hubris.

It is important to note that the rise of Western Civilization did not emerge from a utopian vision of mankind, but one which sees man as a political and vain animal that must be given the opportunity to compete with others for power and wealth, without holding out the possibility of political or economic domination. Thus the Madisonian idea, derived from the Baron de Montesquieu, of divided powers and checks and balances.

The philosophies of the Enlightenment hold out the promise of a better, more peaceful and prosperous world by acknowledging that men are capable of knowing their own self-interest and pursuing it, while allowing others the opportunity to do the same. If reasonable men can agree to these rules, then society can become collaborative, prosperous and enjoyable. If they reject them, then man is locked into a constant political war for resources.

These ideas and ideals can be categorized as “rational self-interest” and extended to imply not only political but also economic principles. Rational self-interest entails mutual cooperation and trade of the fruits of one’s freely chosen labor so that people in a just societal order can pursue happiness of their own accord and allow others to do likewise.

The proper and dignified life for man is one of personal challenge and triumph over obstacles, and the laissez-faire economic order provides all but the most helpless, clueless, and lazy the opportunity to eventually succeed. This is not to say that we cannot help one another, but help must be freely given, not coerced by exploitative politicians and their parasitical clients. Which brings us to another aspect of the Enlightenment, economic freedom built on the premise of private property.

Private property is indispensable to freedom, because without private property, one is vulnerable to the whims of the state or the collective. Without private property, one lacks the mental security and the sense of self-determination necessary to work in the confidence that the fruits of one’s labor will not be seized. Furthermore, one must be allowed to own and pursue wealth not only because it is key to freedom and prosperity, but also because it is conducive to peace.

When one has the freedom of opportunity to pursue wealth and ascend in social esteem and influence, then one has an alternative to the unabashed struggle for political power, which alternatively would imply economic control. History teaches that when a small group of elites have political and economic control, men are enslaved, persecuted, and oppressed in order for the elites to perpetuate their privileged status in society. Yet many fail to take such a hard-won historical lesson seriously. They fail to understand the historical struggle against tyranny that gave birth to the founding principles of life, liberty, and property.

Why do millions of Americans refuse to acknowledge or react to the dire threats to our nation? While many citizens are alarmed at the unchecked growth of government, there are still millions of apathetic, ill-informed, ignorant, parasitical, moderate, or progressive Americans who are unable or unwilling to see the dangers mounting from such growth. They cannot see that the increase of government power is directly related to the multiplication and exacerbation of our problems, which are economic, social, and national security-related.

This is because a nation becomes most vulnerable when the majority of people become removed from objective reality through the perversion of rational self-interest; this is how people’s ability to perceive threats is disabled.

The government uses a number of tactics to disarm people’s willingness or mental awareness to oppose the threat that comes from the growth of its power. It makes government power appear to these people as harmless, compassionate, or even desirable. It uses the false appearance of self-interest to “jujitsu” the system to collapse; it mainly does this by issuing paper money, which appears to be money, but it is not real money (Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises defined money as a “store of wealth”).

Since there is a “deal of ruin” in a nation, as Adam Smith put it, entire generations of Americans can live at the expense of future generations. The industrial base is gutted as people transfer into education, civil service, or bureaucratic jobs, who serve a growing number of clients of the welfare state.

The ultimate result of the corruption of rational self-interest is the collapse of the American system of ordered liberty, and, due to the ignoble state of all of Europe, the demise of Western Civilization. Intellectual leadership will be key to restoring the institutions that can preserve and promote any sense of rational self-interest for each citizen; an incremental return to citizens living in accordance with objective reality and the human psyche is therefore paramount to success.

The Triumph of the State

An Englishman once observed that the presidency (if we may be lenient enough to call it that) of Barack Obama had taken on the vestiges of the once-deposed ancien régime. Yet this ascendancy to the ranks of divine royalty by the left’s anointed one should be no surprise, given that is has been the priority of America’s elites for over a century to reverse the gains of The Enlightenment.

To understand how this tragic turn of affairs has come about, we must first assess the constituency of the modern American left, which we may describe as a criminal syndicate of megalomaniacs, casuists, and an endlessly expanding list of victim clientele.

Progressives purport to break down social hierarchy and thereby usher forth a never-before-seen utopian world order; but inevitably their anti-institutional agenda produces a stranglehold on the body politic, leading ironically to social ossification into the most primitive of class structures: A pyramid of power elites, a secular priesthood (sophists and entertainers), apparatchiks, and the great unwashed masses.

For those familiar with history, the parallels between the culmination of the leftist program and the pinnacle of stratified societies in ancient civilizations are too unmistakable to miss.

It should be noted that although America’s road to serfdom began in earnest under Bush’s presidency, during which the squealing Democrats lined up like pigs with their curly-q tails in tow to back all manner of statist excess: the Patriot Act, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (for all intents and purposes, the Congress abrogated its responsibility to declare war), as well as the massive expansion of Medicare.

The presidency of Obama built upon Bush’s police state infrastructure and meanwhile institutionalized a permanent state of economic chaos. The whiff of totalitarian ambition is now unmistakable.

It is crucial to recognize that the reason the United States is being transformed into a neofeudal society is not due to any particular party, but due to the fact that we are swimming in the modern manifestations of primitive ideology: Mysticism and socialism.

What the world is currently experiencing, threatening the upheaval of freedom in the West, and thus on the entire planet, is a convergence of European etatism and American welfare statism. What is the basis of this convergence, and to what condition of humanity is it leading?

Unbeknown to the majority of people, who are disposed to ignoring how ideas rule their lives, the source of the universal drive to construct the all-powerful State is political ideology. Essentially, it can be summed up as the left’s non-conscientious program to erase The Enlightenment.

To appreciate the significance of such a program we must turn to the history of ideas, and how certain philosophies reflect and drive specific kinds of politics. Recognizing first that the American and European political experiences are quite different, we must proceed along two tracts.

First, Europe. We begin with The Enlightenment, the political philosophical movement best encapsulated by John Locke, but abutted by Scottish Enlightenment philosophers such as Adam Smith, David Hume, and Adam Ferguson.

Locke disintegrated the premises of the “Divine Right” of kings by invoking rational argumentation and Christianity itself. Locke would inspire such American revolutionists as Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson, whose thoughts represent key touchstones connecting the European and American political experiences.

Briefly following the American Revolution, the French undertook their own program to rid themselves of the ancien régime. Unfortunately for France and the whole of Europe following, the Frenchmen did not take seriously the entirety of the tripartite schema of liberté, égalité, fraternité,” which conflated ‘liberty’ with ‘libertine.’ The democratic fervor in France, which dispensed of the monarchy of King Louis XVI, was whipped up into the Great Terror, followed by the Thermidorean reaction against the Jacobins, ushering in the emperor Bonaparte. The bloody turn of events proceeded as the American Founders familiar with the cautions of Edmund Burke might have foreseen, save the participant in the French Revolution Thomas Paine.

The Prussians, aghast at the brutal effectiveness of the nationalistic French under Bonaparte, were driven even further along in their proto-nationalistic impulses by romanticism and the thinking of the statist-collectivist Hegel. Hegel’s vision of the unity of the universal in the particular, and the particular in the universal, is the essential drive of all totalitarian regimes.

Multi-culturalism, diversity, and tolerance under the rubric of submission to the state is the perfect Americanized expression of this Hegelian ideal. We must only briefly mention the German philosopher’s pupil Karl Marx in order to more fully appreciate the significance of Hegelian thought in both American and European history.

Karl Marx’s materialist dialectics represented the perfect ideological canon to destroy not just capitalism, but all economics based on reality (based on the assumption of scarcity, viz.). Marxism’s assertion that change is synthetic wars against reason itself, and the Aristotelian assumptions that underpin Western notions of causality. Marx’s philosophy, if taken seriously, destroys social orders, leading ineluctably and inevitably to dictatorship.

Back to Hegel. Today’s left, not just in Europe but in America, are not followers of Marx in the pure sense, though they instrumentalize Marxian concepts such as class warfare, but are more driven to the Idealism of Hegel. Fusing Hegel with the nihilism of Nietszche, the categorical imperative of Kant, and the pragmatism of William James and John Dewey, today’s New Left carries out a program of social re-engineering using lies, myths, and “critical theory.”

Critical theory, developed by the Frankfurt School of neomarxists, is the deconstructive program that asserts no positive remedy for mankind except to destroy capitalism, whose assumption of private property is the lynchpin that undergirds the individual freedoms espoused by The Enlightenment.

The Frankfurt School was led most notably by Theodore Adorno, who reworked Marxian radicalism into a more Hegelian idealist program and then set up the Institute for Social Research at Columbia University. Adorno and his colleage Max Horkheimer would go on to write The Dialectic of Enlightenment, a critique of The Enlightenment that is the core text of Critical Theory.

Other European neomarxists, such as Gyorgy Lukacs and Antonio Gramsci, would inspire the New Left in America. Saul Alinsky, one such neomarxist who taught the “radical pragmatists” in his charge that the ends justify the means, changed the attitude of leftists towards power and exhorted them to seize it at all costs. And that is precisely what the self-styled Alinsky followers Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton did.

The Marxist redistributive policies of Europe are leading it inexorably to their nadir. The last bastions of fairly free economies are descending along their rosy welfare-paved paths and converging towards their inevitable immolative ends. Their spectacularly ugly fates will be partly due to unfavorable demographics and partly due to quixotic social welfare schemes that defy human nature. Men do not seek out punishment for achievement, but they will take the road of least resistance to failure if subsidized by the state; and particularly if cheered on the entire way by the anti-competitive elites who cynically and gleefully wield its monopoly of coercion.

The trajectory of Europe is the vision of America’s future: The triumph of the state, and the return of the pre-modern, arbitrary rule of self-appointed elites, shameless fawned upon by sycophantic intellectuals. And beneath their petty heights of arrogance and condescension, shuffle the great, brooding underclass of humanity — perpetually in need and perpetually restrained from improving its own lot.

Note: Published originally at American Thinker

Election Aftermath – I’ve Just Decided To Not Have Children

Shortly after the announcement was made that Ohio went to Obama, a friend tweeted this:

If I had to point to something that worries me most about our current economy and cultural climate, it would be the sentiment expressed in this tweet. I talk about value systems regularly, in every venue of conversation that I have available to me. I believe that the only things that will change the course this country is on are a dedicated effort to move our political and popular culture away from the ideas that spawned entitelment and dependency.

Tim is not alone in his reservation to bring children into the world. His decision is a rational and thoughtful one. But, it is one with devastating effects to our economy and value system. In 2011, the US birth rate hit a record low, and the economy was the most cited probable reason for the drop, according to a recent ABC article. Additionally, our labor force participation recently hit a 31 year low, and our current economy has nothing in place that promises a quick return to significantly higher rates. With the increase in retirees, the continuing easing of means testing to receive entitlement and disability benefits, and the steady decline in birth rates and employment, the number of people working to support these systems has reached levels that make the programs unsustainable by traditional funding.

Economy aside, the value system that made America a prosperous and charitable nation has all but vanished. Today’s children are assaulted from all sides with information and experiences that shape their world views and future parenting decisions. They are no longer taught that hard work means probable success. They are no longer taught that providing for your family is an unyielding responsibility. They are no longer taught thrift and savings to meet goals. Instant gratification and a safety net of epic proportions have all but removed failure and adversity from most children’s lives.

It is no easy suggestion that our entire culture needs to change and no easy task to see that change happen on a grand scale, but I cannot fathom that the US would again be the beacon of light and opportunity that it once was without a move away from instant gratification and entitlement mentalities. Parents, future parents, this falls on you. Make the time to parent, become aware of, and control, the influences in your children’s lives, and accept that the people your children become is largely your responsibility. You know, be the change.

To do these things, we have to have children. I do not suggest that you have children “for the greater good”, but I would hope that you don’t decide to not have them because of the greater bad. Tim is a friend of mine. It wasn’t his tweet that inspired this post, but the way my heart broke when I heard him say the same to me on the phone. He is the kind of friend who I would like to see become a parent, should he want to do so.

Economy relies on families, it should not destroy the potential of creating them.

Can Republicans Win?

This election is a bitter pill. The future seemed so clear to conservatives, both social and fiscal. Another four years of Obama would fundamentally change this country in a move towards socialism.

Of course, the odds were stacked against a Republican win. There are more Democrats than Republicans and they came out in almost the same numbers as in 2008. Pretty hard to beat them without getting every single registered Republican to vote and we didn’t. Still did the Republicans not go out en mass?  Was there a lack of confidence due to all the negative press received by Romney? Could it be that some Republican voters really thought a Mormon president would be worse than one with a Socialist agenda???

Good Grief.

So, there will be much hashing and rehashing of the campaign and we’ll save that for another day.

Today, as we recover from the shock and sadness we have to wonder, can Republicans win?

Not only are there more registered Democrats but remember the 47%, that much ballyhooed number thrown out by the Obama camp?  It looks like Mitt Romney was right. He could not reach them. Why? This group included a large number are those who work but at lower income jobs who qualify for tax credits and get back more than they paid in (it’s redistribution pure and simple.) And an un-proportionally large group of these people are on Aid for Dependent Children, Food Stamps, receiving reduced rent and you remember those free phones.  The Obama administration was pleased to report that more people today are eligible for food stamps than at any previous time. They see this as a positive. And for them it is.

After all, who would bite the hand that feeds them?

Let the rich guy pay more taxes. Remember, in the European royalty, there are those with much who ‘help the little people’.

So, does anyone really expect the government ‘assistance’ to drop during the next four years? When those who receive ‘entitlements’ (and I’m not talking about Social Security or Medicare which hard working people pay in to) become the majority will Republicans ever be able to regain power?

It doesn’t look good does it? How soon before we run out of money and those who have become comfortable with the entitlement mentality riot in the streets? How soon before we look like Greece?

In a socialist society the government claims to have the best interest of the people at heart. “Feed the children,” they will say, but the children become so dependent on those handouts that they lose desire to improve themselves. In today’s society with the internet, television and video games we are inviting our youth to become self-absorbed. Without strong parental leadership and/or religious values many will choose to continue this life into adulthood.  Why have personal responsibility when there is someone to take care of you? You have nearly free food and rent so no need to work. There is free contraception so no need to have a moral compass and take any responsibility for your actions. The government will see that all your needs are covered…or so they say.

The Republican Party has two years (House of Representatives election and maybe take back the Senate) to get a plan in place. Can the Tea Party unify the GOP? Can we unite to vote for the best candidate rather than turn our noses up at one who might only be 70% in line with our ideals?

We have two years to convince those on entitlement programs that their life is not the American Dream and to motivate them to work for a better life. Or maybe we can’t reach them. Maybe we have to look for those who do believe in personal responsibility and have a willingness to work for a better life.  Maybe right now they are registered Democrats but just need to learn how they have more in common with our conservative values. But most of all we can’t have Republicans sit home on their asses, letting victory. . . and our way of life, be snatched away from us.

It’s going to be an uphill climb.

Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Open Letter To Obama

Competitive Enterprise Institute has drafted an open letter to President Obama outlining their suggestions to move America back in the direction of freedom and prosperity. Let us hope he reads and heeds it.


“Dear President Obama,

We at the Competitive Enterprise Institute wish to congratulate you on your victory. We look forward to working with you and your administration on the full range of policy areas we research.

We would like to offer some suggestions we believe will contribute to a more free and prosperous America. We ask you to consider them in the spirit of cooperation in which they are offered.”


You can read and download the PDF HERE

A Clear Choice–Join Me.

Okay America. It’s down to the wire. You know this country needs to change direction and together we can do it. But it’s not going to be easy. Democrats outnumber Republicans. There are already rumors of voter fraud. A whole lot of people like the idea that the government takes care of everyone (though you and I know better.)

We don’t want a nanny state. We don’t think second place is good enough. We don’t want to accept 8% unemployment as the new normal. It’s time for a change.

That change will come with the election of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. Sure they might not have been your first choice. Sure they might have more money than you do. Sure they might be of a different religion. But today, at this point in time, the candidate who can best lead us to a better tomorrow is Mitt Romney. And you know it.

Still,  look at the numbers. In order for Mitt Romney to win we must be out there in such overwhelming numbers that no cheating will matter. On Tuesday we need to hit our polling places with the same excitement as people did Chick-fil-A. Remember that day? Remember how we wanted to support a business that faced unwarranted criticism just because the owner spoke out about his religion?

The time is now. Don’t listen to the pollsters. They may have an agenda. They may want to dampen our enthusiasm and try and hold down the vote. Don’t let them.

There may be people at the polls hoping to suppress our vote. Take your camera and film them. And then go vote anyway.

It doesn’t matter your party. You know that the far left agenda of the Obama administration has weakened our country. Do you want the path of socialism and big government, a nanny state where restrictions are placed on people’s religion? Or do you want a strong America; one that strives for greatness; one that understands our Constitution and the freedoms we are granted? It’s time to change the direction. We can be great again.

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have a positive plan for America. But to win they’ll need every vote. In the Reagan years the ‘silent majority’ were called upon to act. Today we need everyone again. We cannot afford to stand silent.

If you have friends who think they might just sit this one out share this video.

The choice is clear. We have two very different directions we can travel. This year, I’m going to the right; choosing smaller government, individual freedom and personal responsibility. I’m also voting for life; both for the unborn, for the elderly and for those with special needs. All have value; they’re not just numbers in a bureaucrats file.

When I vote I hold my autistic son’s hand. He can’t talk so I must speak for him. But if Matthew could talk he would tell you this is an easy choice. His hero soldiers like Mitt. His hero Chuck Norris likes Mitt. His super hero Marine Grandpa likes Mitt.

Come join us Tuesday, we’ll be in line.

Hurricane Sandy: Obama’s Social–Worker–in–Chief Moment

Obama urging the National Weather Service to find more bad weather before the election.

Hurricane Sandy — much like Barack Obama — turned out to be an over–hyped phenomenon that failed to deliver. Our portion of the storm in Northern Virginia was so weak the Multicultural Commissars didn’t even bother to give it a Hispanic name, like last summer’s “derecho” (formerly known as “severe thunderstorm”).

I tried to lend a hand and come up with a culturally–sensitive name, but Spanish for “Sandy” is still “Sandy,” making it tough to appear cutting edge during a TV broadcast.

“Hurricane” translates as “huracán” and the resulting “Huracán Sandy” fails to advance the cause of linguistic arrogance. It doesn’t compare with changing the perfectly good name of “Bombay” to “Mumbai.” All that did was confuse millions of Americans looking for a particular large city in India. (The Indians already knew where it was.)

Besides, where does one draw the line? Does the “pecan sandie” cookie become the “sandie pacana?”

There were houses smashed by downed trees in my neighborhood — certainly a disaster for the affected homeowners — but nothing to compare with the “derecho.”

Even during the height of the hype, my household preparations were limited to bracing for a potential power outage. Since our family has never associated bowel movements with natural disasters, we even missed the ‘Assault on Food Lion.’ Because we don’t feel compelled to buy a pallet–load of toilet paper anytime it’s overcast for three consecutive days.

The local paper wrote of a Dominion Power repairman that just missed being drowned by rising floodwaters. But who noticed the unsung American Disposal Services crews braving wind and rain to pick up household trash during the beginning of the blow? While government employees, enjoying the shutdown, watched from their front window.

Naturally Obama’s media amen chorus and the administration itself, are doing their best to politicize the storm. There was extensive damage in New Jersey and New York. So the WaPost proclaims, “Storm provides Obama with a commander–in–chief moment.” Which only goes to show the mainstream media (MSM) thinks we’ll believe anything.

The attack on the consulate in Libya provided Obama with a genuine “commander–in–chief” moment where he could have affected events on the ground, which is something “commanders” do. But Obama failed miserably.

Hurricane Sandy provides him with a Social–Worker–in–Chief moment, a situation with which community organizers are much more comfortable. Obama took a helicopter tour while the wind was still blowing. Yet FBI investigators had to wait weeks before they could visit the ruined consulate in Libya, only to discover the scene hopelessly compromised by hundreds of journalists and sightseers who didn’t wait for administration approval.

And to show benighted conservatives how fortunate we are to have Obama in the White House, the WaPost adds: “Rarely, if ever, has a president had to deal with such a major disaster so close to Election Day…”

What’s “rare” — in fact unprecedented — is the MSM allowing an administration to take a bye on a disaster like Libya so close to an election. Governors in New York and New Jersey call Obama for help and he’s Johnny–on–the–spot. SEALs in Libya call for backup during an attack that kills four Americans, including the ambassador, and get an administration brush off.

If only Libya had a few more votes in the Electoral College.

The story also includes a breathless blow–by–blow of his day.  During a videoconference Obama uses the MSNBC slogan as he orders the bureaucracy to “lean forward on this.”

Then he holds a conference call with utility executives and “underscore(s) the urgency of restoring electricity,” as if the people at PEPCO were unaware their customers depend on electric power.

This is busy work in a pathetic effort to look engaged and presidential. It compares unfavorably with Obama’s trip to a Las Vegas fundraiser the evening we learned of Ambassador Stevens’ death.

The New York Times editorial page weighed in with, “A Big Storm Requires Big Government,” possibly indicating the NYT believes severe weather to be a recent invention.

Maybe they have a point. How could we do without FEMA officials “embedded in states’ emergency operations centers” getting the latest from local police, local fire and local officials. Then trying to decide how to give tax dollars taken from the states, back to the states after Uncle Sam has taken his cut for overhead, motivational speakers and government employee awards.

How did we survive disasters before Jimmy Carter’s FEMA got involved?

When I think of the abandoned buildings, the decaying harbor and the rusting trolley cars — all this could have been prevented if only Washington had helped after the San Francisco earthquake.

To say nothing of the vast desert, formerly known as Chicago, after the fire of 1871…

Obama’s War on Energy is about Control

When one thinks of energy, the thoughts about economic growth rarely come into play.  In fact, most take it for granted.  It charges our iPhones, laptops, and Kindles, but it also is the lifeblood that keeps our economy growing.  It’s also the critical element that keeps our health services running.  It allows us to channel our resources elsewhere – to be more productive during the day.  However, we’re starting to see a shift occur through the policies of the Obama administration.  This radical reconfiguration of our energy infrastructure will be disastrous in the long run, and some in the media don’t seem to care.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Thomas Pyle, President of American Energy Alliance, Robin Millican, Policy Director for Institute for Energy Research (IER), and Dan Kish, Senior Vice President for Policy at IER on October 26 to discuss this issue further – and how it’s currently shaping the outcome of the 2012 election.  I mentioned the study Professor Gabriel Calzada conducted on Spain’s green energy investments and how he predicted a bubble, which seems to be bursting on the Iberian Peninsula.  Most disconcerting was the fact that for every green job created – 2.2 jobs were lost as a result.  In fact, Professor Gabriel Calzada found himself targeted by liberals and the Center for American Progress, John Podesta’s bastion of progressivism, as a consequence of his study concerning Spain’s green energy economy.  Nevertheless, regardless of the outcome in Spain, President Obama plans to use it as a model and apply it here, which would enter a more aggressive phase if he were reelected on November 6.

Furthermore, IER conducted a study on the impact of green energy initiatives in Germany.  Here are the key points:

  • Financial aid to Germany’s solar industry has now reached a level that far exceeds average wages, with per worker subsidies as high as $240,000 US.
  • In 2008, the price mark-up attributable to the government’s support for “green” electricity was about 2.2 cents US per kWh. For perspective, a 2.2 cent per kWh increase here in the US would amount to an average 19.4% increase in consumer’s electricity bills.
  • Government support for solar energy between 2000 and 2010 is estimated to have a total net cost of $73.2 billion US, and $28.1 billion US for wind. A similar expenditure in the US would amount to about half a trillion dollars US.

 

  • Green jobs created by government actions disappear as soon as government support is terminated, a lesson the German government and the green companies it supports are beginning to learn.
  • Government aid for wind power is now three times the cost of conventional electricity.

However, one area that is salient to American voters is coal.  Obama’s War on Coal has been brutal for thousands of families who live in states along the Appalachian Trail.  With new greenhouse gas regulations the EPA is doling out, it’ll prevent the creation of new plants and is scheduled to shut down 10% of existing coal plats that are operational today.

Pyle warned that there will come a time when the economy will begin to grow again and the energy infrastructure that President Obama and the environmental left envision for America will not be adequate to meet the demands of commercial expansion. There’s no special switch we can turn to get our power back to appropriate levels for economic development. Furthermore, it doesn’t help our long-term energy development when government shuts down coal mining, offshore drilling, or puts the kibosh on the Keystone Pipeline.  As a result, the Gulf States, Alaska, Colorado, and Wyoming are suffering under Obama’s war on energy.

While the Environmental Protection Agency has the reputation of being a ‘protector,’ they have recently become the heaviest portion of the boot that is on the throat of American enterprise.  One thing the United States can never compete in again is the labor market.  However, with the derivatives from oil/gas/and coal such as petrochemicals, smart phones, computers, Kevlar, shaving cream, toothpaste, and gum – we can still retain our economic vigor.   However, EPA regulations are making it harder to produce such products for American and international markets.

Dan Kish, Senior Vice President of Policy for IER, noted how the air is cleaner and the water is better. In fact:

Since 1990, nationwide air quality has improved significantly for the six common air pollutants. These six pollutants are ground-level ozone, particle pollution (PM2.5 and PM10), lead, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and sulfur dioxide (SO2). Nationally, air pollution was lower in 2008 than in 1990 for:

  • 8-hour ozone, by 14 percent
  • annual PM2.5 (since 2000), by 19 percent
  • PM10 , by 31 percent
  • Lead, by 78 percent
  • NO2 , by 35 percent
  • 8-hour CO, by 68 percent
  • annual SO2 , by 59 percent

Additionally, the EPA has affirmed this claim.

 As a result, life expectancy has increased dramatically – which is an effective metric at gauging the socioeconomic health of a nation.  Yet, the EPA feels that more needs to be done, despite that fact that states have their own safety and health provisions, which are tailored to accommodate the environments of each respective state.  However, given the dependency mentality of the Obama administration, the EPA insists on a one-size fits all model.  I guess the principles of federalism have taken a back seat.

Concerning coal, we have 497 billion short tons, which is enough to power the country for over 500 years – at our current levels of energy use.  When you incorporate Alaska into the picture, it dwarfs the lower forty-eight, with 10.38 trillion short tons for our use.  As a result, the United States is the ‘Saudi Arabia’ of coal.  And not all coal is used to generate electricity.  Thirty-eight percent of coal can be used to make jet fuel.  Fifty percent of all freight loads carried in the country are comprised of coal.  In fact, 25% of all rail revenue is derived from coal transportation.  What happens if that were to disappear, which is what the Obama administration wants as the end game in this power play.

We current use 1 billion tons of coal a year.  China uses 4 billion tons a year.  As a result, even if coal were to cease of an arm of the American economy, the effects on global CO2 emissions would be de minimis at best.  Kish noted how coal consumption has increased in Europe.  The reason is simple.  It’s cheap.  It works great, and is good for electricity.

Pyle touched upon the moral aspect of energy, which is seldom reported on in the press.  He reiterated the fact how 40% of India’s population don’t have access to affordable energy.  Kish noted how villages in Africa keep their kids to school, although they would like to send them there, because every available hand is needed to collect biomass to keep the home warm, to cook, and possibly fend themselves from predators at night.  If those kids were able to go to school because they had affordable energy, and access to it, increased economic activity from their education would have a ripple effect upon their community. Energy allows people to savor and spend their time more efficiently and purposefully. Until the Industrial Revolution, life expectancy had flat lined around age thirty for years, which saw a dramatic increase when people were able to utilize their time more efficiently due to proliferation of energy resources.

An example of the economic benefits in expanding our energy development can be seen in North Dakota.  Dan Kish recently visited the state, of which 97% isn’t owned by the government, and noticed the economic boom that has occurred from extracting the shale oil from the Bakken formation.  Williston, North Dakota has the busiest McDonald’s in the country.  A entry-level worker could earn up to $90,000 in his first year alone working the rigs.  In fact, five to ten years ago North Dakota wasn’t even a player in oil production.  Now, it’s ranked #2 – behind Texas – producing 18 million barrels of oil in March of 2012.  In all, between 2008-09, it’s proved reserves have increased from 543 million barrels to 1046 million barrels.  Some farmers, who’ve sold their land rights, are earning as much as $150,000 a month from the royalties.  Although, the monetary values is based on volume, but it’s possible.

As a result, North Dakota’s unemployment rate remains at 3%, the GDP per capita is well above the national average at $50,096, it’s spurred a budget surplus of $ 1 billion dollars, and increased the workforce from 5,000 in 2005 to 30,000 in 2012.  Here’s to prosperity.

We have the resources to be energy independent.  Pyle mentioned that in 1944 it was estimated that America’s proven oil reserves amounted to about 20 billion barrels.  However, from 1945-2010, the United States production exceeded 176 billion barrels of oil.  That’s because proven reserves tend to increase in volume as we continue to explore for more energy resources.  Case in point, the Bakken Shale.  However, the boot of the EPA and government regulation seems to be aimed at halting this process.  It’s because government, especially the one we have now, is set on breaking the independent arms that are harvesting these resources to the will of the state.  It’s about centralization of energy distribution. It’s trickle down government incarnate.

Last May, IER Policy Director Robin Millican spoke at an Americans for Prosperity rally in McLean, Va. There she said that the military has become victim to these government policies.  In her speech, she noted how the Department of Defense signed a $12 million dollar contract with two biofuel companies to produce 450,000 gallons of the advanced liquid.  In short, it’s incredibly expensive.  This ludicrous expenditure is grounded in the words of Navy Secretary Ray Mabus who said “We are doing this for one simple reason: It makes us better fighters…our use of fossil fuels is a very real threat to our national security and to the U.S. Navy ability to protect America and project power overseas.”  I’m sure the environmental left enjoys this change in course, but as Millican pointed out, the federal government has a portion of land in Alaska called the Naval Petroleum Reserve which is specifically set aside to meet the energy demands of the military.  Yet, we are going to pay companies to make fuel for our armed forces that is four times more expensive than standard fuel.

Additionally, Millican also delivered some remarks about the $500 million dollar loan allocated to Solyndra.  A company principally financed by George Kaiser, who was also a huge bundler for the Obama campaign in 2008.  In all, big government breed corruption, crony capitalism, and dependency. She aptly pointed out that these subsidies are not meant to better society, but are goodie bags to the politically connected.  She says, “look no further than a government funded program that relies on a stamp of approval from a group of unelected bureaucrats who have no technical experience.” The process in determining which system maximizes efficiency is not rigorous and comes down to nothing more than corporate welfare.  Continuing with the narrative of waste this administration has incurred due to its quest for clean energy initiatives, Millican detailed the Section 1603 program that has allocated $20 billion dollars in cash payments, not loans that need to be repaid, to companies that install solar, wind and geothermal properties.  Congress wants to extend this program for an additional year at the tune of $3 billion dollars.

Relating to AFP’s media campaign, Millican discussed the $529 million dollar loan to Fisker, which produced the $100,000 dollar Karma automobile that is principally made in Finland.  Is this investing in America? Ms. Millican astutely pointed out that renewables only constitute 1.5% of our entire energy consumption, but get the majority share of the funds allocated from Congress.

If Mitt Romney is elected President of the United States on November 6, it’ll be partially due to Americans’ disgust towards Obama’s war on energy – specifically coal.  The war on coal has affected thousands of families who live along the Appalachian Trail.  An aspect the Obama campaign should’ve taken more seriously since Virginia and Pennsylvania are both battleground and coal-producing states.  Currently, the small town of Grundy, Va is under siege by federal regulators who are preventing them from expanding their runway at the local airport because of coal.  It’s a three-year battle, which is really an assault on the American Dream.  The expansion of the airport would allow corporate jets to land, which could possibly spur economic development in Grundy and the surrounding counties.

Debra McCown reported on Grundy’s war with federal regulators back on October 17. I wrote, in a previous post, that since “the original airport was built on a piece of land made flat by surface mining by United Coal Co., which gave the land to Grundy,” the government won’t allow them to expand the runway.  It’s big government run amok.

McCown also reported in The American Spectator on October 22 “more than 5,500 people turned out Sunday afternoon at a mountaintop park in remote Buchanan County to show their support for coal.” She noted how the mood of the crowd exuded a certain dubiousness since most of these workers have an uncertain future, especially if Obama is reelected.   McCown quoted Jerry Shortt, who said, “the only promise Obama kept was to kill coal.”  “Jerry Shortt [is] a coal miner from Richlands who was laid off temporarily right after Labor Day — and learned Friday that for him, along with 189 other employees at the mine where he worked, the layoff would be permanent,” according to McCown.

She also noted that the EPA regulations that will be the harbingers of death for the industry.

First, new air emissions standards prompted utilities to announce the closure of dozens of coal-fired power plants, cutting the demand for coal and costing jobs. In some cases, utilities chose to convert those units to natural gas, which because of new technology for extraction has become relatively cheap and plentiful. Rules for coal-fired boilers have also affected factories and other facilities that use industrial boilers.

Second, a new proposed EPA rule would require any new coal-fired power plants to be constructed with technology to control carbon dioxide emissions — technology that’s not been fully developed. With this proposal, even state-of-the-art coal burning technology, like that being used at the new power plant that just opened in nearby Wise County, couldn’t be permitted, utility officials have said.

On the water pollution side, coalmines are now subject to new restrictions in obtaining the permits needed from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Targeted specifically at mountaintop mines in Appalachia, according to industry supporters, the change effectively prohibits modern surface mining and has also created significant problems for deep mining.

With the state in a statistical dead heat, the policies from the Obama administration to gut this business, and leave the families of those involved with coal mining in destitution – might be a deciding factor in how Virginia might vote on November 6.

The Washington Times’ Ben Wolfgang reported on October 23 that Obama’s crusade to destroy coal has put Pennsylvania in play.  More than anything, if Romney wins PA on November 6, it’ll be a very short election night.  While West Virginia was never going Democratic, Democrats there have eviscerated the Obama administration over recent coal miner layoffs.

Energy giant Consol announced Tuesday that it will idle its surface mining operations in Mingo County after failing to secure necessary Clean Water Act permits from the EPA.

The Miller Creek surface mine facility has been in operation for decades, and the company had planned to construct the new “King Coal Highway” as part of a reclamation project after mining is complete. Coal mine employees, Consol said, would eventually have been assigned to the highway project, once the coal supplies had been exhausted.

Democrats in the state, already angry with the administration’s “war on coal,” unloaded on the EPA on Tuesday afternoon.

“I am incensed and infuriated that the EPA would intentionally delay the needed permit for a public-private project that would bring so many good jobs and valuable infrastructure to communities that so desperately need them,” West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said in a statement.

For those affected, it’s called a “regional genocide.”  For government, it’s a shift towards a cleaner future, despite the data suggesting otherwise.  At the end of the day, it’s about government controlling more of the means of production through our energy consumption.

Hurricane Sandy – How To Help

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As Hurricane Sandy begins to weaken and pass, cleanup efforts and relief are needed.  Here is how you can help through the American Red Cross.

NOTE – Only use reputable charities and organizations in order to avoid scams.

FINANCIAL HELP

Financial donations help the Red Cross provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected by disasters like Hurricane Sandy. To donate, people can visit www.redcross.org , call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to someone’s local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

The Salvation Army is also accepting donations for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.  You can donate online by clicking on the following link: https://donate.salvationarmyusa.org/disaster

Also with the Salvation Army, you can contact your local branch HERE to find out if items are needed such as food, clothing, children’s toys, or other goods.

NON-MONETARY HELP

You can also help in non-financial ways.  To donate blood or platelets, please go to the American Red Cross Blood website:  http://www.redcrossblood.org/make-donation now to find a location near you where you can help.

RED CROSS APPS

More than 235,000 people have downloaded the free Red Cross Hurricane App Friday when Sandy began approaching, making it one of the most popular free apps. The app gives up-to-date weather alerts, information on open Red Cross shelters, a toolkit with a flashlight, strobe light and alarm and a one-touch “I’m Safe” button that lets someone use social media outlets to let family and friends know they are okay.

People have been using the app to find shelters, to set up locations for the app to monitor, to make a disaster plan, and learn what steps they can take to stay safe. The app is available in Spanish just by changing the smart phone setting to Spanish before downloading.

The First Aid app puts expert advice for everyday emergencies in a person’s hand. Both can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.

 

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Colonel Terry Fobbs – A Conservative Soldier Warrior For America

Always possess courage, leadership and faith in a loving God to continue to inspire the nation’s noble warriors with honor, duty and service for country.

Colonel Terry Fobbs has passed on to join the hundreds of thousands of America’s soldier warriors who have brought honor and integrity to America through war and peacetime service.  For many Americans the patriotic service of the citizen soldier has personally touched their lives and families as in many wars, like in Afghanistan, or in defense of America’s sovereign interests around the globe. What is truly remarkable about the nature of the conservative soldier warrior is the noble spirit that engages the heart to go forward into battle and not away from responsibility.

The pillars of courage which Americans have seen in their own family’s sacrifice when a son or daughter has volunteered to seek a greater cause than a backyard barbeque or a quick political posting that denigrates a soldier’s service, is heartwarming. America has always been home to the hypocrite and the coward, because that is the nature of hypocrisy and cowardice; to run, to hide, and to pitch rocks until the soldier has secured their freedom. Even in the Revolutionary War, there were cowards who would rather sale out their freedom for the comfort of powerless slavery.

But the nation, and the soldier warrior need not be concerned about the coward or the hypocrite, for their kind would do more harm than good if they could find momentary steel in their hollow backbone.

The greatness of the conservative warrior soldier is found in the heart of a soldier and officer like Colonel Terry Fobbs, who decided that even in the midst of national civil rights turmoil in his native Detroit and in protests in the streets over Vietnam, he saw the higher purpose. He volunteered to defend the U.S. Constitution and to protect it and the nation with honor, duty and courage, because where others sought baseless complaints to identify with, he sought solutions that would strengthen America.

That is the trademark of a true American soldier warrior.  It did not matter that there were protesters cowering in groups with signs of dissent or hiding behind their marijuana cigarettes, and peace pipes, America’s true heroes who protected those rights, knew to avoid duty, honor and service is to surrender one’s values, one’s principles and eventually one’s nation.

If America is to remain free, its soldiers have to remain above those who love to stand against protecting the nation, and who would rather find a way to elect political leaders who attempt to negotiate away America’s freedoms, its borders and its sovereignty.  The weakness of those who talk away the nation’s freedoms are never as strong or as enduring as the Colonel Fobbs of this nation who stand up and fight to defend and strengthen the pillars of freedom.

Veteran’s Day is fast approaching and it is important, yes even essential that each American takes the time to embrace as well as to celebrate their very own Colonel Fobbs or Sergeant Wagner or Private Garcia in their family.  Take the time to understand and embrace with your heart what it means to have their honor and their courage.

Fifty years ago, on May 12th in 1962, in an address to the U.S. Military Academy, General Douglas MacArthur described the loyal patriotic devotion that military leaders like Colonel Terry Fobbs possessed.  He affirmed that military leaders and soldiers must display three cherished and necessary qualities.

 

 “Duty, Honor, Country” — those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying point to build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, to create hope when hope becomes forlorn.”                 General Douglas MacArthur

The nation has long admired the nobleness of soldiers who answer the clear clarion call to duty, honor and service. Soldiers like Colonel Terry Fobbs did so during the Vietnam era, the cold war era, Desert Storm and even taking leadership in police action in Kosovo and other military engagements in America’s defense.

Soldier warriors do not relish a fight for fighting sake.  They relish freedom; they relish principles of courage that is both moral as well as biblical.  They relish honor, which gives them the ability to possess on the battlefield the will to preserve against unimaginable odds, because their cause is noble and it is just.

General McArthur insisted that the nobility of service as a soldier and warrior for America’s freedoms was based in the true essence that only the soldier and military leader stands as the Nation’s war guardian.

Colonel Terry Fobbs did not depart the nation through his death, because warrior soldiers like Colonel Fobbs do not disappear.  Their honor, their bravery, their righteous service to this nation is part of the ever evolving fabric which makes America unique. America’s safety is their creed. America celebrates the profession of the soldier warrior that Colonel Terry Fobbs devoted his life, both military and civilian career to.

 “Yours is the profession of arms, the will to win, the sure knowledge that in war there is no substitute for victory, that if you lose, the Nation will be destroyed, that the very obsession of your public service must be duty, honor, and country.”  General Douglas MacArthur

COL (Ret) Terry Fobbs — December 4, 1952 – October 22, 2012

Colonel Fobbs’ service never faltered, never failed.  Courage, leadership and faith in a loving God to continue to inspire the nation’s noble warriors with honor, duty and service for country.

We collectively say thank you good and faithful warrior.

 

Old Soldiers Never Die

Playing With Horses and Bayonets

 

The debate last night was very boring.  I’m enthused about voting Barack Obama out of office and I think Mitt Romney will win this election, but I definitely see why people probably switched off the debate to watch Monday Night Football or the San Francisco Giants game.  In all, polls show that President Obama pulled ahead of Governor Romney, but this is the least important of all the debates.  Luckily, following the first presidential debate, the resulting clashes follow along a decreasing scale of importance and viewership.  This race is Romney’s to lose.

The one point of the debate where I found myself becoming increasingly frustrated was Libya.  Romney played it safe when it came to this area ever since the president slammed him in the last debate concerning the politicization of the tragedy.  He didn’t want to come off that way again. However, it was a frivolous point since the president dithered on releasing all the details about the attack and exuded gross incompetence in protecting our diplomats abroad. Romney still should have gone after Obama hard on this front.  It’s one of the main reasons why Romney is on par with the president concerning the issues of terrorism and foreign affairs.  It’s a salient event that casts doubt on Obama’s competence as commander-in-chief,  and Romney failed to pull the trigger.

This hesitance or prevarication was demonstrated by the governor in the previous town hall debate during the question about ‘assault weapons.’  He could have doled out a haymaker by mentioning Fast and Furious, but muddied the response and failed to capitalize on this administration’s negligence that has led to American deaths abroad.

While they both agreed on Syria, Romney could have hit Obama on the fact that his withdrawal from Iraq, which was done to placate the anti-war left of his coalition, has allowed for President Assad to survive.  Iranian supply planes fly over Iraqi airspace with impunity since they don’t have the capability to defend their own skies.  Iraq doesn’t even have air-to-air fighters.  Furthermore, on the notion the president made concerning Romney’s foreign policy prescriptions having been proved wrong, the governor could have hit back with The Surge in Iraq – and Obama’s opposition to it.  The Surge proved to be a success, decreased the sectarian violence, and paved way for political cooperation.

Nevertheless, some of my conservative colleagues felt Romney did poorly – that he had lost the election.  I tried not to be such an Eeyore this time.  Granted, I had my doubts, especially during the month of September, but the first debate changed the game.  Romney has altered the entire electoral map. Women have greatly attributed to the Romney surge and that’s where I wanted to see how they reacted.

To no one’s surprise, men reacted more positively during the last presidential debate, and most of that energy went towards Mitt Romney.   Women were bored.  Their level on engagement mostly flatlined indicating that not only was this a very boring debate, but Obama failed to sway them – which he desperately needs to do.  I guess that Huffington Post article detailing how women are more engaged in foreign affairs, which was spun to cast some hope that this debate could be decisive for Obama was wrong (shocking).  In the end, it’s the same as it ever was in the post-Cold War era.  Foreign policy, as an issue, doesn’t win you votes at home anymore.  Obama won the most unimportant debate of the election and the polling show it.

It ‘s still an election about the economy. As Dafydd Ab Hugh noted earlier today, “the Luntz focus group also found that whenever Romney managed to drag the economy into the conversation, he won those portions of the debate, big time.”  Like Bush 41 before him, Obama is falsely assuming that killing bin Laden, ending the war in Iraq, and deescalating the war in Afghanistan will win him votes, and give him room to construct a bloc of support that’ll push him to victory.  The problem is that the so-called ‘savings’ from Iraq and Afghanistan, if there are any, are cancelled out by his new one trillion dollar health care entitlement – and the taxes that will be excised as a consequence of that.   Second, bin Laden being dead doesn’t help Americans find jobs.

Ace of Spades posted early Tuesday morning that:

…as far as changing votes, 24% said they were more inclined to vote for Obama, 25% for Romney. On the question of who was qualified to be Commander in Chief: 60% said Romney was. 63% said Obama was. PPP did a poll. It had Obama winning. But here’s the unkindest cut, from @DKElections (Daily Kos Elections). I’ve changed the tweet a little to make it more readable.

Weird: Among indies in @PPPPolls, 47% say they’re more likely to vote for Romney, 35% less; 32% say they’re more likely to vote for Obama, 48% less. But indies thought O won debate 55-40, voting for him 46-36

Not weird. Romney’s strategy was correct. He gained some ground. Even though the “independents” skewed strongly to Obama.

Obama’s whole campaign — and his debate strategy — has been to “win the newscycle” and lob a bunch of small-bore attacks and micro-appeals. He keeps doing that and doing that.

I’ve been saying this for a while: You can win every newscycle and still lose. Because people don’t vote on whatever dumb story you pushed into the newscycle. They’re voting the the future, and the country, and their children. A lot bigger stuff that binders full of Big Bird

John Fund posted on NRO that the:

mini-debate [that occurred] went to Mitt Romney as he relentlessly repeated his major themes — the president’s last four years haven’t worked, take-home pay is down, 23 million are unemployed or underemployed, and the national debt has grown from $10 trillion to $16 trillion. Since far more Americans ultimately vote on domestic concerns than foreign policy, Romney was smart to reserve his sharpest criticism for Obama’s fiscal and economic record. Those points hit home, and Obama seemed a bit surprised and on the defensive when trying to justify his domestic record.

If you wanted to construe this debate as a victory for Romney, as some conservative commentators did, then you could say that his pivots to the economy and the deficit, which aren’t extraneous to foreign policy since we’re in such a fiscal mess, were the factors that allowed Romney to eek out a win.

Guy Benson noted that Romney also needed to pass the commander-in-chief test, which is to show the American people your confidence in handling our national security, understanding the threats we face, and demonstrating that you can be trusted with nuclear weapons.  I agree that Romney passed assessment, as did David Gergen, albeit he could have been more aggressive.  On the other hand, Obama’s aggressiveness over shot the mark with some saying it “diminished” his role as commander-in-chief.  He’s already president.  He didn’t need to crank it up to eleven, which some independent voters might find off putting.

Regardless, it doesn’t matter that Ed Schultz, liberals, and some conservatives thought that Romney’s debate performance was horrible.  It doesn’t matter that both candidates agreed on some issues.  It REALLY doesn’t matter that foreign policy guru Rev. Al Sharpton believes that Mitt Romney missed international affairs in school.  Sorry, Reverend – but the world does understand Mitt Romney of foreign policy.  While a ‘win is a win,’  its effect is rendered de minimis when nobody cares. Monday’s debate just wasn’t all that important.

Here’s today’s polling posted by Spades to prove it.

Gallup’s numbers were late today. When they finally posted, Obama gained a point to 46%; Romney’s lead shrunk from 6 to 5. No change in registered voters from yesterday (48-47 Romney).

Here’s an important finding, from @conartcritic. In a poll conducted Oct. 1st through 21st, Gallup found the party affiliation of the country very nearly evenly split:

@ConArtCritic

Gallup survey of party affiliation pref for 1-21 Oct: Dem 34.3% GOP 34.1% Ind 31.6%

CAC’s conclusion: It’s not D+7, or 6, or 5, or 4, or 3, or 2, or even 1 anymore. It’s D+0. It’s all even.

Meanwhile, ARG posted a New Hampshire poll showing Romney up by two points.

Rasmussen: Romney 50, Obama 46 (see update at post’s end).

Rasmussen Swing States Only: Romney 50, Obama 45.

This is now the third time Romney has hit the 50% mark in the combined swing states in the past four days and is the biggest lead either candidate has held in nearly three weeks.

The needle hasn’t shifted.

So, when it comes to playing with horses and bayonets, Obama should just his keep focus on updating his resume since he’ll be looking for a new job after November 6.

Originally posted on Hot Air.

Billy Graham Endorses Biblical Values

The Reverend Billy Graham is encouraging us to vote based on biblical values.  Rev. Graham placed ads in the Wall Street Journal and Ohio newspapers this week launching a national advertising campaign.

“We are at a crossroads and there are profound moral issues at stake,” Graham said in the ad. “I strongly urge you to vote for candidates who support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and woman, protect the sanctity of life, and defend our religious freedoms.”

“The legacy we leave behind for our children, grandchildren and this great nation is crucial,” he continues. “As I approach my 94th birthday, I realize this election could be my last. I believe it is vitally important that we cast our ballots for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and support the nation of Israel.”

The campaign comes on the heels of a supportive meeting with Mitt Romney. Romney’s Mormon religion has been seen by Evangelical Christians as a cult and not a true Christian religion.  Last week the GEA website removed Mormonism from their list of cults paving the way for an evolved relationship.

While not a direct endorsement of Mitt Romney Billy Graham’s statements are reflective of a growing concern of the leftist policies promoted by the Obama administration.

For more information or to print your own posters visit the Billy Graham website.

 

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