• Tea Party Anniversary: Northgate, Seattle, WA

       

     

     

     

    Today my wife and I were privileged to attend the Tea Party recharge rally at Northgate. People’s signs were chuckle-provoking and inspirational and we got this sense, along with several folks we spoke with, that we Tea Partiers, we proud members of the “angry mob,” just may be getting our sea legs for this demonstration stuff after all. And judging by the number of one-fingered salutes Seattle liberals, who were kind enough to make the effort, shot at us, we’re certainly having an impact. Their looks of pained contempt were priceless. However, the honks and thumbs-up of support far outnumbered those flipping us, what my old English teacher used to call, the: Digitus Imputicus—yes, even in Seattle.

     

    It’s curious how the left maintains such contempt for us Tea Party patriots simply practicing a political expression the left had turned into a veritable art form over the last half century—well, minus the violence and trash.

     

    When we attended the seminal Tea Party at Westlake in Seattle last year we stood uncomfortably with other virgin demonstrators, our hearts open to accepting a new and necessary patriotic movement. The one thing we feared was that this movement would lose momentum or die completely. Well, a year later we’re refreshed, reinvigorated; where as we felt somewhat out of place last year, today we felt like we were exactly where we were supposed to be expressing our First Amendment rights with exactly the people we were supposed to be with.

     

    The timing seems right for the convergence of a perfect political storm this fall, and we anticipate a terrifying tempest—for the left, and a magnificent future for America. 

  • Robin Hood: Wealth Redistribution, or Tax Revolt?

       

     

     

     

    The current previews for Ridley Scott’s new upcoming movie: Robin Hood, starring Russell Crowe (which look excellent by the way), has me thinking about the venerable medieval legend and his lingering influence in our modern society. Stealing from the rich and giving to the poor at first glance seems to many to be a “good,” populist notion. But one that on second glance should give us, as a nation not of men, but of laws, pause. However, it is also a notion that needs a third, and more thoughtful, glance.

     

    I think most of us who feel pleasure at the phrase, take from rich, give to poor, do so with the assumption that rich equals bad, while poor equals good. There are of course as many good rich people as there are bad poor people, and vice versa. This is the problem with idealistic assumptions. Of course, Marxists would prefer the phrase be left alone, with no thought given it what so ever. After all, what else is Marxism if not: stealing from the “rich” and giving to the “poor?” And if that’s what Robin Hood was really all about, I don’t think it would have enjoyed such enduring universal legacy.

     

    A second glance tells us that it’s just as immoral, unethical—wrong to steal from the rich as it is to steal from anyone. Should we have to put the specific theft through some sort of technical analysis before determining if it is right or wrong? Now, I’m not saying there aren’t degrees that can make one theft worse than another. For example, stealing food from a poor person compared with stealing it from a rich person. One is obviously worse than the other, can have more critical consequences for the one than the other, but the issue is not the degree, but whether or not both acts are wrong? Yes, of course they are both unequivocally wrong.

     

    When we watch or read about Robin Hood, even we libertarians and conservatives feel a visceral kinship with the Squire of Sherwood Forest as he takes up the cause of his legitimately oppressed people. The reason Robin has such universal support comes from the third more thoughtful look at the issue. In the most popular telling we know, Robin doesn’t indiscriminately steal from some anonymous “rich” class, and the wealthy “victims” in the story need to be taken in the era’s context. Robin Hood’s world was a feudal one, with a strong monarchy, temporarily run by an unscrupulous Prince John, while the benevolent King Richard I (the Lion-Hearted) was away fighting in the Crusades. This backdrop is critical to Robin’s (who is loyal to Richard) motivation.

     

    The local government of the time consisted of wealthy land owners and government officials representing the crown (Prince John) and deriving their “authority,” from it. In contravention of justice, the land owners and government officials imposed abusive taxes on those who could least afford it, and the methods of tax confiscation were often brutal.

     

    In the end the Robin Hood story is more a tax revolt, than some social wealth redistribution scheme, and this is what I believe most Americans cheer. Nowhere in the most popular telling of the legend do I recall Robin Hood espousing stealing money from honest earners to give to anyone else. On the contrary, Robin “steals” (or expropriates) money (property) from the “rich” (government) and then returns it to its rightful owners, the “poor” (the people), from whom it was originally confiscated (stolen).

     

    To be consistent, stealing is stealing regardless of the target or any good intentions. However, it provides necessary tension in fiction, and I believe the “theft” portion only serves as a metaphor for returning to the people taxes unfairly collected by government. In that vein, we could use more “stealing from the ‘rich’” (government) and “giving to the ‘poor’” (tax cuts) today.

     

     

     

      

     

     

     

     

     

  • How to Stop Spending–Stop Spending!

       

     

     

     

    Excuse me? Did I really hear President Obama give a speech yesterday actually lamenting the national debt and admonishing that we can’t pass this kind of debt on to our children? Is he kidding us?

     

    Isn’t that kind of like one guy beating another guy with a shovel and lamenting the beating has to stop and then declaring he has to find a way to stop the beating, all the while he continues the beating?

     

    And now he’s convening a commission to explore ways to stop spending (stop the beating). I’m just a lowly street cop Mr. President, but here’s a clue as to how you can stop spending: STOP SPENDING!

  • 1: Reduce Spending; 2: Reduce the Size of Government; 3: Return to the Constitution

       

     

     

     

    I forget which radio blabbermouth I was listening to the other day, blabbermouth being a term I use with irreverent affection, poking fun more at myself than the blabberer, who congealed an issue for me, which has been floating around in my head as sort of an amorphous cloud.

     

    Doesn’t matter who it was, being the talk-radio/news junkie that I feel I have to be these days, because I don’t trust the government no matter who’s been in charge, the point made me sigh in relief, and I’m grateful—I think it was Glen Beck.

     

    I’ve wondered how you can get a significant majority of Americans to agree on anything political these days. One way is to distill what most want down to a very few, but imperative issues. Blabbermouth—sorry, I mean Glen—mentioned three primary issues that seem to unite the tea parties, conservatives, and even moderates, which comprise a significant majority of Americans today. One: Reduce government spending. Two: Reduce the size of Government. Three: Return to the U.S. Constitution.

     

    If we did nothing else, but adopt this common sense trio, America would be well on its way to solving its significant problems. The catastrophic, progressive/liberal experiment, which has significantly interrupted our Founder’s uniquely American experiment of individual liberty and self-government, should be declared dead and tossed out to join its parent, Marxism, as President Ronald Reagan declared, “…on the ash-heap of history.”

     

    Progressivism may be a more inocuous-sounding term, but like Marxism, it has been repeatedly demonstrated as dangerous to liberty and should rightly be extinct, but there are always leftists who maintain the irrational position, “If only we did…,” thinking more or less of something would have made the difference, and thus their “socialist utopia” realized. Sort of like the prominent New Deal liberal, Idaho Senator William E. Borah, who, after the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939, famously declared, “Lord, if I could only have talked with Hitler, all this might have been avoided.”

     

    If I were to be generous, which I’m not inclined to be with statists, I might grant that some progressives may be well-meaning, even if only within their own delusions, but they have also duped themselves into thinking the dystopia they’ve actually created, which they usually find away to blame on capitalists, could be transformed into a utopia, if only….

  • Polls Show Fickle Americans

       

     

     

     

    So, the President gives a State of the Union speech that by many accounts was mediocre at best and rambling, whiny, and bordering on nasty at worst. Regardless of this flat performance, opinion polls following the speech showed up to a four-point “up tick” in the President’s approval numbers. Excuse me?

     

    What exactly changed after that speech? I’m perpetually amazed by polls, even the good ones. I’m not saying they’re not accurate, certain polls, Gallup, Zogby, Rassmussen to name a few have been quite accurate. What I have to ask is, who are these people answering the polls, whose opinions seem to shift with the winds as easily as a dandelion seed drifts in the softest of breezes.

     

    Are Americans really that fickle? Are we really so swayed by pretty, or in this case, plain Jane words? I wondered aloud last summer when the President’s many international faux pas and some outright embarrassing bungles failed to result in more disapproval from the American people. I questioned if people were so invested in their presidential choice that they were willing to suspend their disappointment and cling to their—well—hope.

     

    Whether it was because of his charm, his relative youth, his being the first black president, whatever; people seem to be, and I’m guessing based on these latest and other polls, the biggest benefit of the doubt I’ve ever heard given to any president.

     

    Well, it’s not unusual for the President to get some “up tick” in polls immediately following a State of the Union speech. But a point or two is more the norm, unless he hits it out of the ball park; in this case, it was a swing and a miss, but some people are apparently deciding that’s just as good.  

  • Does Private Property Exist in American anymore?

       

     

     

     

    What is it about people, Americans (I almost gag when I even think it), who think nothing of assuming they have a right to dictate how his neighbor uses his own property when it has no real impact on him?

     

    I was listening to John Carlson’s radio show yesterday on KVI 570 Seattle (welcome back John) and he did a segment on neighbor A filing an official complaint with government because neighbor B cut down an araucaria (Monkey Puzzle tree)—on neighbor B’s own property.

     

    I love trees. I hate it when my neighbors cut down trees I enjoy looking at. It especially annoys me when it’s a new neighbor; I mean, why did he buy the place if he didn’t like it the way it was? If you don’t like trees, move to Nebraska or Kansas for Pete’s sake, not western Washington State. But, should I also have a say when my neighbor sells his classic 1965 Ford Mustang and buys a butt-ugly 2010 purple Prius? Ridiculous, right? His tree; his car; what’s the difference?

     

    I can look up and down my street at any moment and see things I don’t like: The Obama signs lingering in livingroom windows, the grotesque “art” assaulting the view, and the guy up the hill who just spent a couple years, annoyingly, renovating his house. However, I have to admit the house turned out great, but then he goes and paints the damn thing some lime green shade that looks like it runs on electricity—yuck! But, it’s simply not my business.

     

    Our American liberty is under assault like never before and unfortunately, rather than just overzealous, progressive politicians and bureaucrats, we have to worry about our own Gladys Kravitz neighbors sticking their noses into our business because it offends their anti-liberty sensibilities. What a shame it’s come to this in, of all places, America.