timely quote

Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president.

Theodore Roosevelt

Friday, December 26, 2008

What does Obama do first?

There's an article on Yahoo by the AP asking about Obama's first 100 days. They ask, "Where does Obama place his priorities during the first 100 days?" It's an almost worshiping article that can't seem to decide which major issue Obama will think is the most important. Should he pull out of Iraq, raise taxes or spend more huge amounts of money that the country doesn't have?

Apparently his aides are putting together a program that could cost $850 billion over two years, but no decisions have been made about where the money will go. That's after the $700 billion bailout that republicans didn't want (and so far hasn't worked), and now a new bailout for the auto industry. The estimates for the total repaid cost of this money is over $5 trillion.

These socialist programs are going to stand a good chance of bankrupting the country, or necessitate raising taxes on everyone, not just the "richest Americans."

What's interesting about the article is the quotes explaining how Obama can set priorities quietly, to avoid offending anyone, how he can "address" issues like healthcare overhaul by appointing committees to push it to the back burner without people thinking it is being ignored and how he can discuss projects "without setting specific dates for completion."

Sounds like they're saying he has the opportunity to present more vagaries and obfuscations. He hasn't made any decisions, he doesn't have any timelines, and hasn't put forth any plans. Good way to get in to the first 100 days.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Remember

Remember, in this time of sales, shopping, avarice and covetousness, why we celebrate this day.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."
Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Are there plans for a modern Constitutional Convention?

According to WND, there have been 32 states that have voted to call a new Constitutional Convention. Article 5 lays out the requirements for creating Amendments to the constitution, and only a couple of restrictions to what the convention would be able to do.

From Founding Fathers:
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.
Basically, the Article 5 says that Congress can call for Amendments with a 3/4 vote, and states can call for a convention with 2/3 of the legislatures voting in approval. So if 34 states vote for a convention, we get one.

To determine what this means, we have to consider the history of the creation of the Constitution.

First, there were the Articles of Confederation.

The Articles of Confederation created a loose collection of existing states where almost all of the power was retained by the states. There was a weak, delegate filled congress, and it's purpose was to provide a single face to the world at large, and maintain good relations between states. The AoC was completely unconcerned with the government of people, except that it defined the relationships between the states themselves. There was no statement of rights because that was a state issue.

Many statesmen, including George Washington, became concerned that the idea of a strong "America" was becoming lost in the states refusal to comply with the Articles. The states were passing abusive laws and infringing on the rights specified in the Declaration of Independence. There were several attempts at amendments to the Articles, but due to the requirement of 100% states' approval, none passed. In 1786, James Madison suggested that the Virginia Legislature invite all states to discuss commerce, and during this "commission," a motion was endorsed to create a "Grand Commission" in Philadelphia in May, 1787. The purpose of this convention was to determine ways to improve the Articles.

The first thing that was done was the decision to work in secret, and the second decision was to basically invalidate the Articles of Confederation.

Of course, this turned out to be a good thing. The AoC were weak and would not have been able to hold the states together. The end result would have been multiple country-states and the failure of the great American Experiment. The document we ended up with was a compromise between hard-core federalists like Alexander Hamilton and hard-core anti-federalists (state-based government only) like Patrick Henry (who declined to attend, but was vehemently opposed to a strong federal government).

While I may write an essay, one day, on the convention itself, suffice it to say that over the course of four months, the Constitution was written. It was a collection of procedures and powers specifically granted to the newly created federal government. It laid down the structure of government, created all three branches of government, the procedures for elections, and most everything necessary to run this new federal government.

After it was approved by the convention, the battle for ratification began. Of course, Madison, Hamilton and Jay wrote the Federalist Papers in support, and Patrick Henry and various others produced the Anti-Federalist papers against. After the convention, George Mason, one of the convention members, became one of its biggest opponents because, "It has no declaration of rights." After quite a bit of debate, James Madison crafted the Bill of Rights, which was ratified along with the constitution.

The purpose of this very brief history of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 is to illustrate what can be accomplished by such an assemblage of people. The delegates to this Grand Convention were tasked with modifying the Articles of Confederation, and instead decided that the existing documents did not provide the appropriate government to maintain the "more perfect Union." The delegates were all established, well respected statesmen, and most had been involved in the war of Independence. They had seen the face of tyranny and understood what would be necessary to prevent it.

So if there were a "Great Convention" today, who would you send to it? There are no restrictions on how the delegates are selected. Congress determines how the delegates are chosen. Would Congress elect the delegates? The State Legislatures? Would there be a vote of the people to determine the delegates from each state? Would the people be involved at all? What great statesmen exist today that you would trust with the recreation of The Constitution of the United States of America? Could such a document even be created today?

Since Article 5 does not put any real restrictions on what can be done in a Con-Con, one simple amendment could be proposed or, as before, the entire Constitution could be thrown out. The convention could have almost limitless power. Congress and the president could place no restrictions on this group of people. They could propose whatever they wanted.

According to the existing constitution, a vote of 3/4 of the states' legislatures can approve an amendment. While I have difficulty believing that it's possible for the entire Constitution to be invalidated, with the political environment today, it is not difficult to imagine a convention that removes some of the more "troubling" provisions of the constitution. Article 2? Freedom of speech? The individual right to bear arms? The prohibition of search and seizure? The assignment of powers to the states? All of those have been challenged recently and would certainly be targets of this new, modern day Con-Con.

Changing the distribution of powers between the branches of government, consolidation of federal powers, submission to world organizations, a fully federalized system, the constitutional establishment of welfare programs and distribution of wealth, creation of new "rights"; all of these could be included. One would have to be daft to think that the process wouldn't be affected or influenced by the political lean of the current administration.

Already there have been multiple infringements on the rights laid out in the Bill of Rights: unchallenged but unconstitutional laws passed by congress, unconstitutional rulings by courts all over the country and presidential edicts that push the limits of the law. None of these can hold the proverbial candle to what a new Con-Con could create. Of course, the new documents would have to be ratified, but as the original Con-Con changed those rules from 100% to 75% of states required for ratification. This new Con-Con could change the ratification requirements to suit its particular purpose.

Given the current political climate, and without any real way to limit the scope or purpose of a new Constitutional Convention, creating a new convention would be incredibly unwise. While the language of the current Constitution could certainly be considered antiquated, the principles put forth are far from it. They are more relevant today than ever before. History may well consider the Constitution and Bill of Rights to be two of the most important documents ever written. Discarding them now could very well be the beginning of the death of these United States of America.

Edit: Even I can get confused. Replaced "5th Amendment" with "Article 5" twice at the beginning of the essay.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The ruse that is The Transition

There is a poll on CNN.com that shows 79% of 1096 adults polled think that Barack Obama is handling the transition well. 78% of those people believe that Obama will be a "uniter," and 76% have a favorable view of him.

He sure is talking a good game. And it's paying off.

Even recent unfavorable news stories haven't damaged his reputation in the national media, not that I'd expect them to. Pay to play in Illinois? "We...I didn't have any knowledge."

He has made up semi-presidential seals and the "Office of the President-Elect." Funny that the press hasn't mentioned that there is no office of the president-elect.




























By the way, that little bit of Latin: "vero possumus," can be roughly translated to "yes we can." Nice. At first I thought it would mean something about playing dead when things get scary, but that will be determined at a later time.

He's started to sound awfully center-left recently. Very moderate. Some of the plans on his change.gov site have changed to be less far-left sounding. He's lulling people in to submission. After all, think of the children, or we're just trying to help people, or we have to do something.

He's installing a cabinet that screams socialist, but no one seems to notice. Leftover Clinton staffers, hardcore leftists from Chicago, all manner of democrat...oh and a caretaker Defense Secretary. Gotta have that (bi-partisan) goat. Smart man, though, as almost all of his appointments are people that could be considered real opponents later on. If things go bad and he has to fire Hillary Clinton, her political career is over.

So what you have is a socialist, appointing other socialists and talking like he's a moderate to get the conservatives to like him, too. I'm not buying it, but according to the poll above, way too many people are. These people are more interested in their couches and sitcoms than government, and if people don't get up, it's going to be the downfall of this country.

Of course, he's really pissing off the moonbats over at places like huffpo and kos because he's talking all center and stuff. Just wait guys. Things will get worse. Once he has to fire a few cabinet members for not doing enough to stabilize things, you'll get some real socialists in there.

He wants to federalize the states responsibilities, and make the government the source of all good things. He's meeting with Al Gore to discuss how to push the green agenda without annoying too many people this time. I'm sure he'll sign all of the punitive accords and treaties drawn up by countries who won't have to abide by them, which will slow energy development and raise energy prices. Hello Kyoto.

But his plans sound so reasonable, and the arguments for them are loaded: "You don't want people to have jobs?" "You don't want children to have healthcare?" "Why shouldn't people making minimum wage make more?"

Of course I want people to have jobs and kids to have healthcare and people to be able to make a living wage. What I don't want is the government providing all of these things. None of those things are guaranteed in the constitution. Only that you get a shot at it. If the government tries to make us all winners in this game of life, there will be no reason to try anymore. After all, we'll win anyway.

Right now, he's doing everything right, and working to secure the power and "gravitas" he needs to really lead the country down the road to socialism. This transition is most certainly a ruse, designed to help the sheep relax. We can't relax. We have to stand up.

What can I do? I can talk to people, logically, without useless rhetoric. I can do research and present information here. I can write to my representatives in government and make my views known. I can join organizations that support my views and rights. This is the game we have to play, and we need to play it while the rules still allow us to do so.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Obama still has a pile of money after campaign

From FoxNews:

Apparently, Obama's campaign chest still contains over $30 million, and the discussions are on as to whether he gets to use it to create "a grass roots network" to support his agenda, or to put it into the party to help pay the debts of the various candidates and organizations.

I think the answer is obvious. In accordance with his own stated principles that rich people deserve to pay more taxes and wealth needs to be redistributed, he has no right to have that much money, no matter how hard he worked to raise it. He needs to divide that money up and send each one of us a check for $.01. I think that's the only fair way to handle it.

Remember what Rich Moran says (D VA):
We have been guided by a Republican administration who believes in the simplistic notion that people who have wealth are entitled to keep it and they have an antipathy towards redistributing wealth and they may be able to sustain it for a while but it doesn’t work in the long run.
Come on, Obama, cough it up. Stand up for your principles and lead by example.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Palin snubs Oprah

I guess turnabout is fair play. The big O is whining that Sarah Palin has made time for everyone but her.
"I said I would be happy to talk to Sarah Palin when the election was over… I went and tried to talk to Sarah Palin and instead she talked to Greta [Van Susteren]. She talked to Matt [Lauer]. She talked to Larry [King]. But she didn't talk to me.”
Ok, wait a minute. This is Oprah, right? I'll admit, she didn't have either candidate on her show, and she said she wasn't going to use her show as a platform, and I'll have to assume (since I don't watch Oprah) that in the one hour a day that the Oprah show is on, she didn't. But the other 23 hours a day she was giving speeches for Obama and appearing with Obama. She was out there all day and all night. A constant figure at Obama campaign stops. She endorsed him in May 2007. I guess she thought no one would notice.

So after speaking for Obama for over a year, showing her left wing bias, and saying that she didn't want to have Palin on her show, she's surprised that she can't get an interview with Palin now that the election is over.

I say good on you, Gov Palin. Oprah could have tried to be unbiased on her show and had multiple candidates on. But she didn't want to be unbiased. She left it out of her show and spent her time stumping for Obama. Now, she wants to have Palin on and ask her about killing moose and if Africa is a continent and if she really did throw tantrums. I don't think that would be a useful interview, and apparently neither does Gov Palin.

Just remember this:

Thursday, November 27, 2008

What am I thankful for?

I lost my three remaining Grandparents this year, and while I miss them every day, I have so many things to be thankful for.

I am thankful that I had so many years to enjoy my Grandparents' company.
I am thankful that I have both my parents.
I am thankful that I have a wonderful wife of almost 18 years.
I am thankful that I have two wonderful teenagers (yes, really)
I am thankful that I have a strong and independent sister.
I am thankful that I have a job.
I am thankful that I enjoy that job.
I am thankful that I have friends I enjoy spending time with.
I am thankful that I don't have to cook the entire Thanksgiving meal this year.

I am thankful that I have so may things to be thankful for, that I can't remember them all.

What are you thankful for?

Update: I'm thankful that the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade got Rickrolled by the Foster's Home float. That's awesome.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Terrorists targeting westerners in Mumbai

From FoxNews

Estimates of the dead range from 50-100, but the most common number right now is 80. Reports say that the Muslim Terrorists (FoxNews) or gunmen (CNN) are targeting westerners. Some of them were heard yelling to find out who had British or American passports.

As I sit in my living room reading the story of terror in India it occurs to me how much I have to be thankful for.

Those injured or dead, and their families, are in my prayers. God keep you and protect you in that foreign land.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Breakdown of Obama's Weekly Address

Obama said several things that concerned me.
  1. Congress must put more tax money into the economy.
  2. The government must put 2 million people to work.
  3. Create a "green" energy economy with $150 billion.
  4. Create a Social Healthcare program.
  5. Giving any child who wants it an education.
I'll go through these one at a time.

Congress must put more tax money in to the economy:
Next week, Congress will meet to address the spreading impact of the economic crisis. I urge them to pass at least a down-payment on a rescue plan that will create jobs, relieve the squeeze on families, and help get the economy growing again.
So we're looking at a new rebate of some sort, combined with another business stimulus of some sort. Maybe the automakers, maybe something different. The problem is, we're in the hole almost $1Trillion already because of what's already been done. And Obama hasn't even gotten started yet. We're already asking OPEC countries for $300 Billion.

The consumer is supposed to put more money in the economy, not the government. Things will smooth out, and the economy will will rebound. Let's give people a chance to calm down. Don't make big changes right now. Voting another huge bailout or creating another huge program we can't afford won't help.

The government must put 2 Million people to work:
That means putting two million Americans to work rebuilding our crumbling roads, bridges, and schools.
This is obviously a reference to his "voluntary" service program. First, the roads, bridges and schools are state property. The state governments are responsible for their upkeep. Is the federal government going to start usurping the states authority? Wouldn't that be in violation of the 10th Amendment? Also, the federal government already employs more than 1.8 million people. Do we need to pay more?

Creating a "green" energy economy with $150 Billion:
It means investing $150 billion to build an American green energy economy that will create five million new jobs, while freeing our nation from the tyranny of foreign oil, and saving our planet for our children.
So where do we invest $150Bn to create an economy? What is a green economy? We know he wants to bankrupt the coal industry and put it out of business. So what will he do with all of those jobs? I guess he means to create an industry around climate change. The next Kyoto Protocol will be just as damaging to the economy as the first would have been, had we subscribed to it. How is this supposed to help?

Creating a Social Healthcare program:
It means making health care affordable for anyone who has it, accessible for anyone who wants it, and reducing costs for small businesses.
Ah, Socialized Medicine(tm). The holy grail of Democrats over the last couple of decades. It sounds so reasonable. Everyone needs healthcare, right? Except that it's not the government's job to provide it. The Constitution doesn't guarantee healthcare, or jobs or cars or TVs or anything.

Above and beyond that, The size of the program would be staggering. The amount of money it would take to either control the entire healthcare system, or subsidize it enough to make it "affordable" would be gargantuan. Hundreds of thousands of people. Doctors would work for the government and not be making any money. I like my doctors rich and happy. Driving nice cars. I don't want a pissed off, government employee type doctor.

Look. I have insurance. I don't pay too much for it. I can get in to the doctor with little or no notice if necessary. My family and I are healthy and happy. Those who aren't as lucky as I, have the ability to go see the doctor too. There are already programs to help people who don't have insurance. If the government gets in the business of providing healthcare, how will it be payed for?

Anyway, look at England's social medicine program. Yeah, that's what we should aspire to.

Giving any child who wants it an education:
And it also means giving every child the world-class education they need to compete with any worker, anywhere in the world.
Again, it sounds so righteous. We all want our kids to get a good education, right?

My problem here is that an education is not a guarantee, and it's not the federal government's job to provide the education. While I believe in the idea behind the No Child Left Behind program, I think it was poorly done. The idea was to provide testing to make sure that children are actually learning what they need to learn. It turned into a school punishment tool.

If the government gets in the business of providing college education, the entire system will become watered down. If anyone can get in to college, regardless of academic fitness, then the degree will mean nothing.
___________________

Obama's socialist programs will be hugely expensive, leading to higher taxes across the board. There is no way to create these kinds of entitlements and giveaways without incredible amounts of money. That money will have to come from somewhere. Obama is already trying to lower the public's expectations.

I thought as soon as Obama was elected, everything would Change(tm) and everything would be better. Wasn't that what he said? I guess this was the change he meant. More taxes, more programs, more entitlements and less Pursuit of Happiness.

Your Weekly Address from the President-elect

Well, I am just getting started on my migration back to SUSE linux and I'm waiting for my backup to run so I can wipe this computer.

While I was waiting, I found an article on the front page of FoxNews titles, "Obama, I have a Plan." Since I've been waiting to hear anything specific, I figured I'd check it out. The article is short on specifics, not surprisingly, so I searched for the radio address transcript.

I found it at the Office of The President-Elect, Change.gov. Huh. I'd seen it, but it never struck me. There is no office of the president-elect. Nice.

So here is Your Weekly Address from the President-elect. Enjoy.



It would be better if he'd beat on the desk and yell some. You know, he is certainly holding true to what he said during the campaign, and that's what scares me. Explain to me how this isn't socialism he's describing. Please.

A New Book for my Reading List

From World Net Daily:

Hilmar von Campe was a member of the Hitler Youth, and later a Nazi soldier who fought in Yugoslavia against the Red Army. He was captured and later escaped. He is now a U.S. citizen and author of "Defeating the Totalitarian Lie: A Former Hitler Youth Warns America."

Because it has abandoned moral absolutes and its historic Christian faith, the U.S. is moving closer to a Nazi-style totalitarianism, warns a former German member of the Hitler Youth in a new book.

"Every day brings this nation closer to a Nazi-style totalitarian abyss," writes Hilmar von Campe, now a U.S. citizen, and author of "Defeating the Totalitarian Lie: A Former Hitler Youth Warns America."

Von Campe has founded the national Institute for Truth and Freedom to fight for a return to constitutional government in the U.S. – a key, he believes, to keeping America free.

"I lived the Nazi nightmare, and, as the old saying goes, 'A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument,'" writes von Campe. "Everything I write is based on my personal experience in Nazi Germany. There is nothing theoretical about my description of what happens when a nation throws God out of government and society, and Christians become religious bystanders. I don't want to see a repetition. The role of God in human society is the decisive issue for this generation. My writing is part of my life of restitution for the crimes of a godless government, of the evil of which I was a part."

...

"Democratic procedures can be subverted and dishonest politicians are like sand in the gearbox, abundant, everywhere and destructive," he writes. "What I see in America today is people painting their cabins while the ship goes down. Today in America we are witnessing a repeat performance of the tragedy of 1933 when an entire nation let itself be led like a lamb to the Socialist slaughterhouse. This time, the end of freedom is inevitable unless America rises to her mission and destiny."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hypocrisy in full view in Congress

The Democrats in Washington told the big 3 automakers today that they have to show a business plan before any bailout will be considered. They have to prove they're going to use the $25Bn responsibly.

*blink*

Are these the same people that gave THREE QUARTERS OF A TRILLION DOLLARS to a man who has no idea how he's going to spend it? With no oversight? And no accountability?

"If they make sense and as they've met the criteria the leader and the speaker have laid out, then we'd like to move forward and be of assistance," said Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., chairman of the Senate Banking, House and Urban Affairs Committee.

Dodd and Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., head of the House Financial Services Committee, will manage the negotiation with the heads of General Motors, Chrysler and Ford Motor Co.

Aren't Dodd and Frank the same people who helped start the sub-prime problem we have now?

So the Dems in Congress have the nerve to require that the automakers prove that they are going to responsibly spend the money. Now, yes, flying out in the private jet to beg for money because you're broke is in bad form, and they need to quit hemorrhaging money, but congress? Being concerned about how the money is spent?

Apparently Pelosi and Reid have no sense of irony. Personally, I think Pelosi and Reid need a lot more supervision with the money they spend.

Reid said the auto industry executives that testified on Capitol Hill this week did not "convince the Congress or the American people that this bailout will be their last" or stop the bleeding from the troubled industry.

"Until they show us the plan, we cannot show them the money," Pelosi added

Pelosi said that Congress wants to help the automakers because "survival is essential to maintaining our manufacturing and industrial base and that industrial base is essential to our national security."

Nice. The bailout is all about national security. Must be ok then.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Nanny State in Oklahoma?

I'm going to go a little closer to home tonight. A local Democrat lawmaker wants to require schools to weigh children 16yo and younger, calculate BMI and send letters to the parents of children over or underweight. The scaled and related equipment would cost less than $3 million.

Democrat Representative Richard Morrissette says, ''If they're malnourished in some way, that is some form of abuse. This is not meant to be punitive; it's meant to help children."

But Think Of The Children! (tm)

He says that 11 other states have some sort of BMI program.

You know, I don't care what other states do. I know that here in Oklahoma, we want to raise our kids ourselves. It's my job as a parent to teach my kids how to eat. I don't need anyone, ANYONE, telling me how to raise my kids.
The intent of his legislation is to educate parents and to bring about opportunities for better health for children who aren't eating the right kinds of food, he said.
If Morrissette is so fscking worried about the childrens' health, why doesn't he take that $3m and put it in to DHS and get some good caseworkers. He can focus on the real child abusers.

Then, he can introduce a bill that would get pizza hut and taco bell and everything fried and no accessible fresh vegetables out of the schools. We have two major school districts where I am, and the food my kids eat at school is better than the other district, but still not worth much.

Then, he could re-institute physical education in schools. One hour a day would be plenty. Send the kids outside and let them run around. Let them play games. Get the phones and games and outside books out of school and send them outside to play.

But don't parent my children. If someone is abusing their children, take them away. Put the parents in jail. That's the law. It's a good law.

I want the teachers at my kids' school to be able to teach them what they need to learn. If that means they have to discipline my kids to get them to pay attention, so be it. Sometimes you have to get their attention. But they don't need to rear my kids. That's my job.

Of course, the case could be made that Morrissette is a racist. After all, repeated studies have shown that minorities have a much higher rate of obesity at almost all age groups. So I guess Morrissette is saying he wants to target minorities because they're overweight.

Also, obesity used to be a sign of wealth. These days, since it is less expensive to eat food that is bad for you, obesity is a sign of poverty.

So Morrissette is targeting poor minorities with his plan. He must not think they're very good parents. If I were one of his constituents, I wouldn't ever vote for him again.

Ok, I'm sure his thought processes didn't run to that particular logical conclusion. That's because I don't think he thought about it much at all.

Update:

I wrote my state Representative and Senator an e-mail about this issue.

I assume you’ve heard about Rep Morrissette’s proposal to force weigh-ins for children under the age of 16. His reasoning is that some underweight children could be abused. He wants to spend $3m on scales and related equipment. I heartily disagree with this idea.

Just to get it out of the way, that $3m can be spent in several different ways, any of which could benefit abused children.

If he is really concerned about obese or underweight kids, let’s focus on the root of the problem, not the symptom. Overweight kids already know they’re overweight. Instead of stigmatizing the children who are of “incorrect” weight, why don’t we focus on the wholly unhealthy food schools are feeding children. Or that most kids are no longer required to participate in real PE anymore, and most competitive games have been removed from what PE there is due to, “some kids would have to lose, and that’s bad for their self-worth.” If that’s it, consider that self-worth is built at home. Kids with two parents have better lives. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1571/is_/ai_14922840

In the end, this is a ridiculous proposal, which involves the state government in something that is none of their business. Personal responsibility has to come in to play somewhere, and that is something that can’t be legislated.

Thanks

The Line is Here

I found a new blog through Liberty Girl. I'm linking to one essay, but Ted is going in my blogroll.

The Line is Here: This IS my Veteran's Day Post

He writes like I want to.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bailout gone bad

From AP/Yahoo:

After all of the furor about getting the bailout together to buy mortgages and help the poor lenders who can't make good money decisions, Paulson changed his mind.
Faced with exasperated lawmakers upset by shifts in bailout strategy, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson launched a spirited defense Tuesday of his handling of the $700 billion program and expressed fresh reservations about tapping the pool for mortgage guarantees to relieve skyrocketing home foreclosures.

Members of the House Financial Services Committee grilled Paulson for not doing enough to help distressed homeowners and for failing to force banks that get some of the bailout money to specifically use it to bolster lending to customers, one of the prime reasons behind the rescue package.

"It is essential" that some of the bailout money be used to ease foreclosures, said the panel's chairman, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., a key player in shaping the package that Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed into law Oct. 3.

The Democrats in congress are going crazy over this. Here's the best quote:
"It appears that you seem to be flying a $700 billion plane by the seat of your pants," said Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-N.Y.
We gave Paulson $700 BILLION, because he said we had to fix the mortgage problem. Now it's not enough to fix the mortgage issue, so he wants to give it to credit card companies and other lenders.

Oh, also, he doesn't think he can spend it all before January 20th, so after that, Obama will get to determine how the money is spent. That's quite an inauguration gift.

I think maybe he just wanted to take all the money and dive in it like Scrooge McDuck.

Monday, November 17, 2008

McCain bows down

Well, McCain has apparently forgotten all the things he said about Obama's policies and politics during the campaign. They had a meeting, and posed for pictures. Afterwards, when asked if he was going to help the new administration he said, "Obviously."

The two former rivals met in Obama's transition headquarters in Chicago. Obama said before the meeting that he and McCain planned "a good conversation about how we can do some work together to fix up the country, and also to offer thanks to Sen. McCain for the outstanding service he's already rendered."

Umm...wow.

Am I the only one who read, "Good boy. Now go back to Washington."

If Obama is so bad (remember the ads McCain ran?) why would you want to work with him? He is a socialist who wants to create a civilian defense force while cutting military funding, increase the taxes on the only people who pay the taxes and give that money to the people who don't. He wants to give immunity to millions of illegal immigrants, who will get some of that money, too. He wants to play nice with governments who help the people who want us dead and think we're the great satan. He wants to force everyone to contribute to a government controlled retirement account (another one, different from SocSec).

These were all the things that McCain fought against in his run for the presidency, and now, he wants to help Obama "fix up the country."

That's quite a change.

From CNN:
"It is in this spirit that we had a productive conversation today about the need to launch a new era of reform where we take on government waste and bitter partisanship in Washington in order to restore trust in government, and bring back prosperity and opportunity for every hardworking American family," they said.
A new era of reform. I don't like his ideas of reform, because they come straight out of 60's Chicago. I think that if there is a huge rally around Obama for the next four years, there will be a culling in Washington at the next election.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Bill Clinton's international deals could cause SoS Clinton problems

According to the AP, via Yahoo: Bill Clinton's worldwide fundraising for his foundation could cause problems for the (unasked) possible new Secretary of State...Hillary Clinton. There's even been talk that it could cost her the appointment.

Man, there's a lot of speculation on the details of something that's not happened. :)

Over the last few years, Sen Clinton has criticized China for arresting people who don't agree with them, Brazil for poor working conditions, Dubai for a business deal to buy a British company and Kazakhastan for human rights abuses. Former President Clinton has solicited donations or made business deals with each of the above. He has raised Over $350M for his foundation, which finances his library in Arkansas.

With all of the reported donations and deals that Bill Clinton has around the world, there will be speculation of conflict of interest, which could severly damage the credibility of the United States around the world. Will Secretary of State Clinton be considering her husband's business interests when she's talking to China, Dubai, Kuwait, Qatar, Morocco or Saudi Arabia?

There's already been some questionable "talks" with the former president:

Louis Freeh, the FBI director under the former president, said Clinton sought a library donation from Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah during a discussion of the investigation into the deadly 1996 bombing of Khobar Towers U.S. military dormitory in Saudi Arabia.

Freeh wrote in his book "My FBI" that the FBI was trying to get Abdullah to let the FBI question suspects the Saudi kingdom had in custody and that Clinton failed to pressure Abdullah.

Clinton denied Freeh's account, and has said his business dealings and foundation fundraising pose no political conflicts for his wife. The former president has so far refused to identify donors to his foundation.

Unfortunately for Sen (SoS) Clinton, Bill won't make that determination.

Matt McKenna, a spokesman for the former president, declined to comment on any potential difficulties that Clinton's activities could pose for his wife should she become secretary of state or whether the former president would alter any of his fundraising or other activities to avoid potential conflicts.

Of course, there could also be a few Clinton family squabbles. Can Bill Clinton step back from the spotlight enough to let his wife truly step up to be the diplomat she would have to be? Can the narcissist share the mirror?

Bill Clinton has cultivated the image of a senior statesman since leaving the White House and often makes speeches abroad. That role could be diminished if his wife were representing the Obama administration on international issues.

First, there has to be an appointment.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Clinton reportedly offered Secretary of State job

According to CNN, Pres-Elect Obama is talking to Hillary Clinton about the Secretary of State position in his administration. The story is backed by several sources, none of them named, so take it with a grain of salt.

"There was a serious discussion to determine whether, if offered secretary of state, she would accept it," said a source close to the Obama transition team.

Another source close to the Obama transition team said that asking Clinton to be secretary of state "has been of great interest to Obama for a while. You've got to assume that Hillary Clinton did not come to visit the city of Chicago."

Over the course of the past 24 hours, sources close to Clinton have softened their one-time solid public position that she would not be interested in a Cabinet post. Those sources now say Clinton is clearly contemplating various ways in which she can serve the Obama administration.

So Hillary Clinton is softening up to the new administration, after being offered the promise of power. Secretary of State is a perfect position for her. She can fly all over the world, bowing down to oppressive regimes while allowing them to set our foreign policy.

Clinton, however, remained mum Friday about the speculation over the meeting.

Clinton went to the meeting Thursday with Obama because "she knew Obama wanted to talk about whether she would have a role in the administration," according to two sources.

Obama and Clinton met in Chicago, Illinois, at the request of the president-elect, the sources said.

However, Clinton said, "I'm going to respect his process, and any inquiries should be directed to his transition team."

Rahm Emanuel denied his offer until the day the press said he accepted. We'll see.

I'm still waiting for the bi-partisan part.

folly's follies

Well, I've been looking for a place to post some more personal stuff: the non-political. I think this will do.

folly's follies

Here I'll talk about lifting weights, food, work, shooting and an informal beer review here and there. I do enjoy a nice beer.

So kick back and enjoy the ride; I'll try to make it interesting.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Principles of Conservatism

I just found this essay over at Gates of Vienna. It covers the Ten Principles of Conservatism. The essay at GoV is by Dymphna, and the original principles are by Russel Kirk, adopted from his book 'The Politics of Prudence.' Read both.

Dymphna provides some incredible insight into the basis of conservatism. The original has made my Required Reading list on the right.

Kirk provides detail and analysis, but I will post the principles here with no comment. Anything I said would sully the incredible insight of the original author.

First, the conservative believes that there exists an enduring moral order.
Second, the conservative adheres to custom, convention, and continuity.
Third, conservatives believe in what may be called the principle of prescription.
Fourth, conservatives are guided by their principle of prudence.
Fifth, conservatives pay attention to the principle of variety.

Sixth, conservatives are chastened by their principle of imperfectability.
Seventh, conservatives are persuaded that freedom and property are closely linked.
Eighth, conservatives uphold voluntary community, quite as they oppose involuntary collectivism.
Ninth, the conservative perceives the need for prudent restraints upon power and upon human passions.
Tenth, the thinking conservative understands that permanence and change must be recognized and reconciled in a vigorous society.

Seriously, go read them.

Ron Paul said something I can agree with. Really.

I figured I'd start this with a quick lesson in the 10th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Just in case you haven't yet read the Constitution, it doesn't give the federal government a whole lot of power. Since then, the power has been more and more centralized to Washington. This is contrary to Conservative thinking, which provides more power to the states.

Ron Paul has an Op/Ed at CNN.com that is worth a read. Now, I am not a Paul supporter, and I am not a Libertarian. But sometimes, people we don't really agree with say some pretty good things. I don't agree with everything in his piece, but the basic premise is sound.

In the rise and fall of the recent Republican reign of power these past decades, the goal of the party had grown to be only that of gaining and maintaining power -- with total sacrifice of the original Republican belief in shrinking the size of government.

Most Republicans endorsed this view in order to achieve victories at the polls. Limiting government power and size with less spending and a balanced budget as the goal used to be a "traditional" Republican value. This is what Goldwater and Reagan talked about. That is what the Contract with America stood for.

The opportunity finally came in 2000 to do something about the cancerous growth of government. This clear message led to the Republican success at the polls.

Once the Republicans were in power, though, the promises faded, and all policies were directed at maintaining or increasing power by trying to whittle away at Democratic strength by acting like big-spending Democrats.

This was part of the "new tone:" not responding to Democrat attacks and reaching across the aisle to create new spending and programs, all the while hoping the Democrats would like us more and quit saying bad things. It didn't work then, and it won't work now. Look at some of the greatest triumphs of the last eight years - McCain-Feingold and No Child Left Behind, written with and for Democrats. And John McCain's name showed up in many more.

Because we allowed the Democrats to not only frame the debate, but also set the rules and determine who could participate, the Republican Party spent eight years letting the left side of Congress speak without rebuttal. And that led to November 4th of this year.

Since the new alignment of political power offers no real change, we will remain on the same track without even a pretense of slowing the growth of government. With the new administration we can expect things to go from bad to worse.

Opportunity abounds for anyone who can present the case for common sense in fiscal affairs, for protection of civil liberties here at home, and avoiding the senseless foreign entanglements which have bogged us down for decades and contributed so significantly to our fiscal and budgetary crisis.

...

How can a party that still pretends to be the party of limited government distance itself outright from these views and expect to maintain credibility? Since the credibility of the Republican Party has now been lost, how can it regain credibility without embracing these views, or at least showing respect for them?

I concluded my answer by simply stating the Republican Party had lost its way and must reassess its values. And that is what needs to be done in a hurry.

But it might just take a new crop of leaders to regain the credibility needed to redirect the Party. It certainly won't be done overnight. It took a long time to come out of the wilderness after 40 years of Democratic rule for the Republican Party to take charge. Today though, time moves more quickly. Opportunities will arise. The one thing for certain is that in the next four years we will not see the Republic restored. Instead the need for it will be greater than ever.

...

To ignore the political struggle and only "hope for the best" is pure folly. The march toward a dictatorial powerful state is now in double time.

All those who care -- and especially those who understand the stakes involved -- have an ominous responsibility to energetically get involved in the battle of survival for a free and prosperous America.

I know a lot of people who are "hoping for the best" right now, and in the past, I have been one of them. I can't imagine not being involved today. We are in a position like no other in the last hundred years. We have the opportunity to reconstruct the republican party in a more conservative image.

We will need new people and a stronger desire to make this country everything we believe it should be. The recreation of the democrat party has begun, with a much more socialist slant to the policies and rhetoric. Most of the people who voted for Obama probably didn't understand what he really stands for. They will, soon enough, and conservatives need to be prepared to provide a real alternative, not just another version of the same thing.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Secrets and Leaks

From New York Times and FoxNews

The first private meeting betweek Obama and Bush seemed to go well, except for the NYT reporting the contents of the private meeting.

According to the NYT, Mr. Bush indicated at the meeting that he might support some aid and a broader economic stimulus package if Mr. Obama and Congressional Democrats dropped their opposition to a free-trade agreement with Colombia, a measure for which Mr. Bush has long fought, people familiar with the discussion said.

So pretty much, the Obama camp goes public with just enough detail to make it look like Bush is only worried about his legacy, and then Representative Rahm Emanuel, indicated on Sunday that no such deal linking auto-industry aid and a stimulus package with trade pacts was in the cards. “You don’t link those essential needs to some other trade deal,” Mr. Emanuel said on ABC’s “This Week.”

So the Obama "people" are telling the NYT details about a private meeting between the sitting and incoming president.

The outgoing and incoming presidents met at the White House in private, without staff.

So where did Obama's people get the information to leak to the NYT? According to FoxNews, Senior aides to both men said the two issues were part of a long discussion about automakers and the ability of the trade deal to help not only the economy but also a key ally.

If you ask me, Obama is characterizing the conversation the way he'd like it to have gone. "Mr President, I'd like to talk about helping GM. You know, Deutsche Bank has downgraded GM and projects that the company can't continue operations past the end of the year without assistance."

"Well, Barry, let me tell you what. Your boys over there in congress have been beating me up about this Columbia free trade thing. If you think you can get that done, then we can talk about GM."

Democrats close to both Mr. Obama’s transition team and to Congressional leaders seemed willing to call Mr. Bush’s bluff, calculating that he would not want to gamble that G.M. — an iconic, century-old American corporation with business tentacles in every state — would fail on his watch and add to the negative notes of his legacy.

The language they are using is framing the debate. Rahm Emanuel says that the auto industry bailout is an "essential need" and establishing free trade with our ally Columbia is "some other trade deal." And the President was "irked." We can't let them set the rules like this.

Obama had asked Bush to help the sagging auto industry during their private meeting in the White House, senior aides to both men said. Bush stressed the need to work with Colombia, but said efforts to make it sound like a horse trade were unfair and inaccurate, an aide told FOX News.

A senior administration official suggested that Obama be careful to keep his counsel and perhaps is unfamiliar with the long-held tradition of keeping confidential conversations between presidents.

Asked if the leak affected what appears to be a very smooth transition so far, the senior Bush aide said, "It won't affect what we have to do ... but it was disappointing. I think the Obama folks will be backing off this pretty soon."

Podesta did just that later in the day, saying that the press "mis-reported" the conversation. "While the topic of Colombia came up ... there was no quid pro quo in the conversation," Podesta said. "The president didn't try to link Colombia to the question of an economic recovery package going forward. They talked about both of them."

Sounds like they reported it as it happened. Obama and Bush had a private conversation, then Obama spoke about it with his people. Emanuel came out to bash Bush about trying to bargain bailing out another major industry for free trade agreements. Then they backed off after they got called on it.

We can't stay on the defensive like this. We had eight years of being on the defensive, holding to the "new tone." We can't be shrill or offensive, but if something like this comes out, we can't let it go. We have to speak up. Nietzsche said, "Be careful when you fight the monsters, lest you become one."

Veteran's Day

On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs

First, thank you to all veterans, past and present. Your sacrifices make life in America possible.

I understand the purpose of Veteran's Day because I was Navy from 1990-1996. I joined at 19 because I was lost and needed direction. I grew up a lot in the Navy. I met my wife (now my wife of almost 18 years) and we have two wonderful children and a good life. I learned discipline, I discovered my work ethic, I completed creating myself.

I spent the majority of my time on a minesweeper driving over underwater mines and making them blow up. I didn't get to go to the gulf, but I knew many people that did. I spent my time touring Europe and we swept in the north sea for several weeks. We helped find and blow up some old WWII mines...they make a very big boom. It is a really cool thing to see. There are literally thousands of mines left outside of the major shipping lanes.

I got out in 1996 after watching Bill Clinton gut the military for two or three years. He made me the conservative I am today. Once I saw what he was capable of with the military, I started looking at everything else he was doing. I didn't like what I saw.

It takes a special person to spend a full life serving their country. It also takes a special person to live with a military member for a lifetime. So this Veteran's Day, remember to thank the veterans for their service and sacrifices; and veterans, don't forget to thank your spouse.

Also, take a minute to remember all of those who have come before us. Those that have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Remember that they had families...wives, children, mothers and fathers. They all deserve our gratitude. If you know the family of an MIA or KIA serviceman, take the time to tell them you are grateful for their sacrifice. If you are that family, please accept my gratitude and sympathy for your suffering.

Celebrate Veteran's Day the right way. By celebrating veterans.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Obama's missing web page found

I'm sure you've all heard of the missing agenda from change.gov. It was reported in the Washington Times and liked through WorldNetDaily.com. Well, thanks to Israpundit, I found TeamSarah.org(registration required).

TeamSarah linked to someone who had copied all of the text out from the agenda pages and made it available here. So if you need a link to something from the old change.gov pages, you now know where to find it.

And if you expected someone's cousin's dog's former owner in that, you're not alone.

As for the pages disappearing, “We are currently retooling the Web site,” said Obama spokesman Nick Shapiro.

Edit: these pages are still available on barackobama.com.

A couple of stories

So Howard Dean is stepping down as the DNC chair. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. We knew who Dean was. We knew what to expect.

Who Obama will appoint is anyone's guess.

Based on his promise to be bi-partisan and his current hard-left administration picks, I have a suggestion for Obama for the DNC chair.

Karl Rove.

Come on, Obama. Hold up to the promise.

In other news, Terry McAuliffe (the former DNC chair) is talking about a run for Virginia Governor. Guess what his platform would be. Come on, guess.

Change. Yep. Really.

"I think I can make a difference. I think I can go out and fight for people. I think I can create jobs. I think I can take this state in a new direction, and the thing I'd like to do, too, is to come out with some big, bold ideas. I think that's what this state has to hear," McAuliffe said in the interview.

Big, bold, new ideas. That's deep.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Here comes the change

From Yahoo News, but there's a second version of this story. Read both.

President-elect Obama's transition chief said Sunday the incoming administration is looking to reverse President Bush's executive orders on stem cell research, oil and gas drilling and other matters.

It looks as if President-Elect Obama is starting already.

"There's a lot that the president can do using his executive authority without waiting for congressional action, and I think we'll see the president do that," Podesta said.

"They want to have oil and gas drilling in some of the most sensitive, fragile lands in Utah," Podesta said. "I think that's a mistake."

There's a great quote from Harry Reid about possibly keeping Defense Secretary Robert Gates: "He's not even a Republican," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said. "Why wouldn't we want to keep him? He's never been a registered Republican." Heh. Diversity.

Rahm Emanuel would not commit to a Democratic proposal to help the auto industry with some of the $700 billion approved by Congress to for the financial bailout. Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a letter Saturday to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson that the administration should consider expanding the bailout to include car companies.

"Obama's advantage of course is he'll have the House and the Senate working with him, and that makes it easier," said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond. "But even then, having an immediate impact is very difficult to do because the machinery of government doesn't move that quickly." Executive orders "have the power of law and they can cover just about anything," Tobias said in a telephone interview.

But the Republicans are promising to stand up and resist...with smiles.

"There is going to be, I think, a willingness to try and get things done," Representative Eric Cantor said. "But at the end of the day I think you will see a Republican Party in Congress serving as a check and a balance against Mr. Obama's power and Speaker Pelosi's power."

"It's going to be a cheerful opposition," said
Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind. "We're going to carry those timeless principles of limited government, a strong defense, traditional values, to the American people."

We'll see if that works. Here's to hoping.

Hey Joan, I'm beginning to think you're right. Think there's anything to salvage up there anymore. Think anyone up there is useful?

Rahm Emanuel says he's not "Hyper-Partisan"

From CNN.

So I guess Rahm Emanuel is going to "Change" (yes, he can...:) now that he is chief of staff for Obama. His record is very partisan, his voting record is 98.5% liberal, and the BBC's profile of him says he is an "aggressive operator".

He is described as a democratic bulldog. In the BBC article, Paul Begala described him thusly, "He's got this big old pair of brass balls," he said. "And you can just hear 'em clanking when he walks down the halls of Congress."

Govtrack.us lists him as a "Rank and File Democrat."

With Obama picking Emanuel, Podesta and other historically partisan democrats, I'm starting to wonder when the "bi-partisan" starts.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

SCOTUS deciding if Obama has to produce original birth certificate

Just a quick post on the possible Obama citizenship issue on this article from over at Atlas Shrugs. I'm not going to offer much opinion as I am not a lawyer, but it looks as if the SCOTUS is giving Obama until 12/3 to respond to a Writ of Certiorari, which requires the concurrence of four Justices. The SCOTUS will decide if it needs to look at Obama's birth certificate at that time.

What's interesting is if the SCOTUS decides that he is not a "natural born citizen," then the electorate may be invalidated. There's no telling what may happen in that case.

I'll end it here because a lot of much smarter people have been discussing it over at Atlas Shrugs.

But go sign the petition. Do it now.

Edit: Honestly, there is some debate as to the veracity of the claims made by the lawyer (Berg) in this case. The only documents I can find on the SCOTUS site show denied applications for injunctions, but it doesn't look as if the Writ was denied (if you can do that). Remember, I am not a lawyer, and I don't even play one on TV. I don't understand why the Obama doesn't just produce the BC. He's causing even more furor with his silence.

In the end, we'll all love Big Brother

I pulled this story from the GoV Daily News Feed. The linked story links to several other stories, all related. Ex-Dissident posted about part of this a couple of days ago, but there's more information now.

Congress is now talking about cutting military funding by 25%, or $150B. What does Obama want to do with this previously-military funding? Create a Civilian National Security Force.

Wow. What?

Let's see. We have sheriffs at the county level. Local city police. We have State troopers. Some states, like Texas, have their own separate state police force (Rangers). Then there's the CIA, FBI, NSA, Federal Marshals, Air Marshals, post office investigators, ATF, the National Guard, the reserve military, the Coast Guard and the active duty military.

Add this to Obama's plan to require school children to serve 50-100 hours of mandatory community service. Then he wants to turn the (tax-funded)AmeriCorps funded Public Allies program into the Universal (sic)Voluntary Public Service. And for serving, he'll pay for your college. All of this sounds quite like 1984, but more recently, it's straight out of 'Rules for Radicals.' Get the children early and teach them the socialist way before their parents can teach them otherwise. Bill Ayers (yes, again) has spoken about this exact style plan.

The endgame here is simple. Even if Obama can't turn the country into a socialist workers' paradise, he can teach our children to create it.

It won't matter for very long though. After a couple of "voluntary retreats," we'll all love Big Brother.

Edit: WND is reporting that the change.gov page was changed from "require 50 hours..." to "set a goal of..." And they have screenshots.

He who controls the past, controls the future.

Goodnight Grandmama




















Today, November 8, 2008, I lay my Grandmama to rest.

I remember many things about my Grandmama. Her firm voice, her strong conscience, her steady faith. She was always there with a kind word, a gentle hand and an oreo cookie. She was a kind, gentle, wonderful person and the world is diminished with her death.

Mary grew up in a different time. Families had nothing and managed to survive anyway. She came from a broken home and lived with her mother and grandparents. her grandfather was a preacher, and set her on the path of faith early on. She survived the death of her mother, a strong and beautiful woman who wrote poetry and songs to inspire others to faith.

She survived an ineffective father and an abusive step-mother, living the life of Cinderella. She survived the second Great War, volunteering her time while her husband-to-be was risking his life in support of freedom. She survived the death of her oldest son from cancer, keeping only a single flower from the casket in remembrance. She shed no tears in public. "I have to take care of Jim now."

She brought three wonderful people into this world and raised them to be as strong and independent as she was. Over the years she took on several careers. Mother, wife, assistant, realtor, business owner, gardener, chief cook and bottle washer. She had a love of flowers, first day lilies, later iris. Even with all that, she couldn't make a pie crust to save her life.

She was married almost 65 years, a mother of three, a grandmother of four. She was a strong and vibrant woman until dementia came and took her away from us. Almost four years she lived an existence surrounded by, but devoid of family, love, memories and faith. These were the hardest times, and her death was almost a relief. She is home now, with her husband and son.

I strive to live a life she would be proud of, and I pray that one day I will see her again, strong and vibrant as she ever was. She'll have an oreo.

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray thee Lord my soul to keep
If I die before I wake
I pray thee lord my soul to take

Goodnight Grandmama. Love you.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Interesting Thoughts on the Economy

I read something interesting over at ConservativeBeachGirl, and I wanted to expound my thoughts on it here. She said, "We're effectively "outta there" for a bit BUT conservatives ALWAYS have to come back and clean up the mess the Democrat Socialists seem to make even in spite of their better judgement."

Politics reminds me of college football sometimes. When you're down, every win is important, when you're doing well, a 10 and 2 season is poor.

Look back a few years. Carter hosed the economy up. Reagan came in, lowered taxes in a historical manner and fixed it. Everything looked good, and every little thing was a disaster. The tech boom started with Reagan's pro-business policies and Clinton got luck to inherit it. During the Clinton years, every gain was a victory. Then Clinton screwed the economy up with higher taxes, and started the crash. George W Bush inherited the crash, lowered taxes and cleaned up after him. Everything looked really good, and every little thing was a disaster.

Then some businesses broke the law, and congress started telling mortgage companies who they had to loan money to and the economy began sagging. Bush broke ranks with conservatism and got the government more involved with the bailout.

I guess now we'll get some higher taxes, more government spending and programs, and higher debt. Every little gain will be an important victory. Difference is, this time, I think we're really going to pay for the victories.

The only question is if Obama can mess it up enough in four years to be a single term President, or if we'll need eight to learn the lesson again.

Wow. Hey media? Don't make him think or anything.

I just watched Pres-Elect Obama's first press conference, and I was rather underwhelmed. Is he still campaigning for the office? He didn't say anything new. You can watch any number of his speeches and hear the same thing. "Accelerate the assistance to the middle class," "Help people who need it most: the middle class," "Extend unemployment benefits for the middle class," "Tax relief for the middle class."

The questions were very telling also. "What kind of dog will you get," was my favorite. He was asked about raising taxes, but didn't give an answer. The press tossed him some real softballs, and he umm'ed and ahh'ed his
way through them.

I also looked at Change.gov, the website dedicated to the transition to the new world ord...ahem...new administration. My, but he has quite the tax plan. He's going to cut taxes to 95% of the working people, give everybody (middle class) a tax rebate check, eliminate the capital gains tax for small business, and bring the taxes for people over $250K a year back to 1990's levels.

Then, he's got all this new spending he wants to do. These programs are a little more difficult to find, but they get expensive quick. He's going to enact a new windfall tax to spread the wealth around. He's going to give money to "green" businesses to create "5 million new green jobs." I have heard figures in the $1T range. So after talking about lowering the deficit and national debt, he's planning on borrowing over $900B in the next several months to finance the bailouts he's planning.

You know, I really want things to go well over the next few years. I don't want to see this country fail. I'm not opposed to him succeeding. I just don't think it will happen.

I will not be nasty or attack Pres-Elect Obama with pointless personal attacks. I will be much nicer than the dailykos type, leftist Chimpy McHalliburton Bushitler crowd. My purpose is to illuminate the policies Obama wants to implement. I will use his own words and actions to show his true colors. He has been elected President of the United States. I do and will continue to respect the Office of President. Although I didn't vote for Obama, and I do not believe he is the best choice for our country, I hope that he succeeds as president because if he succeeds, then we all succeed. I do not, however, agree with his stated policies, and I do not think that those policies will be good for the people of this country.

He's already picking former Clinton staffers like John Podesta. He's pulling his friends from Chicago. He's appointed Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm to his economic team. Michigan has been in a recession for over a year.

This does not bode well.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ahmadinejad Congratulates Obama

Well this is one I hadn't expected, but I'm not sure why I wouldn't have. After all the reports of celebrations around the world and other leaders talking about how America will be liked again (oh goody).

Fox News is reporting that Mad Jad has spoken in congratulations to President-Elect Obama.

Iran sees Obama's victory as a triumph over the unpopular policies of U.S. President George W. Bush, who repeatedly clashed with Iranian leaders while in office over Iran's nuclear program and its opposition to the U.S.-led invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Ahmadinejad went on in his Thursday message to say that "nations of the world" expect changes from Obama -- mostly that he will change current U.S. foreign policy.

That policy, Ahmadinejad claimed, was "based on warmongering, occupation, bullying, deception and humiliation, as well as discrimination and unfair relations" and has led to "hatred of all nations and majority of governments toward the U.S. leaders."

Ahmadinejad also said that Obama is expected to replace such a policy with "an approach based on justice and respect, as well as lack of intervention in the affairs of others."

"Yay! We got rid of Bush, and now Amerikkka will leave us alone so we can destroy Israel in peace!"

Israel is already concerned: In Jerusalem, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, a contender for prime minister in her country's elections, warned against any dialogue with Iran -- a first sign of Israeli disagreement with the incoming U.S. administration.

"Dialogue at this time is liable to broadcast weakness," cautioned Livni, who is head of the governing Kadima Party. "I think early dialogue at a time when it appears to Iran that the world has given up on sanctions could be problematic."

Watch his actions, hear what he says...make a decision

Letter to Senator McCain

I took a minute to send Sen McCain a note about the recent attacks on Gov Palin. These attacks, by they way have been handled remarkably well by the Governor. I admire that she hasn't been willing to even respond to the unfounded and undocumented accusations being thrown at her from behind a screen of anonymity. I am enclosing the letter in whole.

Sen McCain, I am a deep conservative, and have always been concerned that you seem to lean to the left as often as you do. I was generally unsure of voting for you, until you picked Gov Palin as your running mate. She seems to be very conservative, and the choice bodes well for your claims of leading from the right.

Unfortunately, we know now that it was a losing effort, and President-Elect Obama will be sworn in to office in January.

I believe that Gov Palin was the one bright spot in your campaign, and I think she has a tremendous future in American politics.

But right now, people that you employ are trying to destroy her reputation. They are making accusations that they're not backing up. They're not willing to put their names on the reports. I have difficulty with anonymous reports, and it looks like Gov Palin takes the same view.

My request to you is that you spend at least as much time defending Gov Palin as you did defending Sen Obama against attacks on his character during the campaign.

You chose her, and she was a very good choice. If there were "gaps in her knowledge" or "tantrums" thrown at the daily briefings, then someone didn't do their job very well. I have difficulty believing that someone could be incompetent enough to miss that kind of problem with a potential running mate.

So call your people and tell them to stop. The race was lost, and it was lost because no one can point to what your campaign was about. I still can't really say why you wanted to be elected. Senator Obama had a very easy slogan. Obama=Change. He beat that in to our skulls for months.

We are now the party in opposition, and the last thing we need to do is attack our own. Especially when we're attacking the future of the Republican Party.

Thanks.

If you have time, go to McCain's website and let him know that we hear his silence.

Edit: I got the form letter response from the website. At least people are coming out in defense of Gov Palin now.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama picks Chief of Staff

Well, he’s getting started. Obama has picked Rahm Emanuel as his Chief of Staff. Emanuel was a Clinton policy advisor for six years, and is now a democratic Illinios congressman. He is definitely far left, and he is certainly a tough politician.

We’ll just have to see what Rahm Emanuel thinks about Obama’s support for Palestine.

Here’s a little recent info about Emanuel from The Next Right.

The next few weeks will be very telling as to how the new administration will shape up, and what kind of policies we can expect from an Obama presidency. Who he picks for cabinet posts, what he discusses as his 100 day priorities and the democratic congress’ reaction to the run-up to inauguration will be interesting to see.

I am concerned about many things I think he’ll do, based on his words and voting record. We’ll see how founded my fears are.

Edit: Emanuel is denying the offer at this time. Waiting...

Edit: Looks like the early reports were right...Emanuel has accepted the offer to be Chief of Staff in the new Obama administration. Strike one.

Day One

Today, November 5, 2008, on the day my Grandmother passed from this earth, I begin. Last night, Barack Hussein Obama became the President-Elect of the United States of America.

This is an historic time, and an historic event. Not because he’s an African American, although that is significant. It's because he is the first avowed socialist to make a serious run for, not to mention get elected to, the office of President. He has admitted in speeches and interviews that he “chose my friends carefully” and wants to “spread the wealth around.” He attends socialist functions, he endorsed the socialist Senator Bernie Sanders; he spoke at the memorial service for Saul Mendelson. He attended church for 20 years listening to the Rev Jeremiah “God Damn America” Wright, has a new pastor who is just as racist and radical, and began his political career in the living room of William ''Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home, kill your parents, that's where it's really at'' Ayers.

He spoke in private to Mahmoud Abbas in support of Palestine’s right to Jerusalem, asking that the conversation be kept secret so it didn’t hurt his chances with the Jewish voters. He holds, or has held, Indonesian citizenship under the name or Barry Soetero, and was educated as a Muslim there while under the care of his adoptive father, Lolo Soetero. There have even been serious questions about his country of birth, and a suit in federal court to determine if he was born in Hawaii or Kenya.

He has voted consistently in favor of total gun bans and other forms of gun control. Obama and Congressional Democrats have said that he will cut funding for the military. Obama will pull the troops from Iraq and ask Iran to be nice and quit trying to make nuclear weapons. He has promised to meet with the leaders of countries that sponsor terrorism without preconditions.

He has promised to nationalize public healthcare by requiring private companies and doctors to cover the costs of healthcare, regardless of ability to pay.

He has denied the desire to re-impose the Fairness Doctrine, but “supports media-ownership caps, network neutrality, public broadcasting, as well as increasing minority ownership of broadcasting and print outlets," i.e. re-regulation of the broadcast media by the FCC. He has voiced a desire to increase taxes on the people who work hard to make this country great: the entrepreneurs, the small business owners and the middle class. He has promised to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire, thereby raising taxes on everyone who pays taxes. These increases are required so he can distribute the money to the people who choose not to work. These are Marxist principles. Karl Marx said, "From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need." Again, Barack Obama says we should spread the wealth around.

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Here’s what I think. Based on his statements and voting record, I think that he believes that the Constitution of the United States of America should include a guarantee of success as opposed to a guarantee of the freedom to succeed. I think he believes the government should provide success even to those who don’t earn it. I think he believes that the government should be the source of all good things.

I wholeheartedly disagree.

I believe that "A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have."

I believe that each person should benefit according to the work that they do, and it is not government’s job to determine what I or anyone else needs. The harder I work, the more I do, the better off my family and I are. If I choose not to work, then I choose to be poor. Are those who cannot work due to infirmity or handicap? Of course there are, and we have social welfare programs to help people who cannot help themselves.

Are there people who choose not to work? Who believe that it’s not fair that I do well while they struggle? Are there those that believe that the government owes them money, or healthcare or a retirement? There will always be people like that. The problem we have now is that there will soon be a president who believes the same thing. Obama wants to take more of my wages in taxes to provide a living for those who will not provide for themselves.

I believe that a government that is scared of guns is a government that is scared of dissent and disagreement. The Second Amendment was put in place, not only as the means to protect the new country from attack, but also as a safety valve in the case that government stopped obeying the will of the people. An unarmed populace is a defenseless populace. A hopeless populace.

The Second Amendment is very simple. A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Shall not be infringed. Not difficult.

I understand ensuring that criminals can’t by guns. Those laws are already in place. I certainly don’t want violent people bent on harming me and my family being better armed than I am. But if someone breaks in to my home and threatens me and my family, I will protect them by whatever action is necessary, including violence. There are some states and cities that allow prosecution of homeowners that protect themselves with legally purchased guns in their own homes. Luckily, I don’t live in one of them.

Read the Federalist Papers. Read the Constitution. Read the Bill of Rights. Educate yourself in what the Founding Fathers said and meant. It’s all out there.

We now have four years of righteous and responsible political resistance.

I believe as Ed Howdershelt said, “There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."

I used the ballot box yesterday. Today it’s time for the soapbox. God forbid we ever go past that point again.