• Don’t Forget to Blame the Environmentalists

    There’s one aspect of the Gulf oil spill not getting as much attention as it deserves. Now, I know there’s too much finger pointing at a time when we should be focusing all of our efforts on plugging the leak and cleaning up the damage to our coast.

    However, when the time does come to point fingers, we should not forget that it’s been the environmentalist’s intervention that has resulted in oil companies being restricted to drilling so far out to sea, which requires them also to drill so deep, making it all the more difficult to address catastrophes such as this.

  • President Obama and Rep. Sestak Disrespect Fellow Americans.

    I wasn’t going to address the growing Sestak job-offer scandal, but something about this event fascinates me; this is a real study in how politicians act and react when they’re in freak-out mode. Now I obviously don’t know what happened; I wasn’t in that meeting that everyone seems to agree, at least, occurred, and with that we can deduce that Sestak isn’t completely fabricating the event, as some have suggested.

    However, in observing the two-tiered reaction to this political crisis, it seems something untoward did happened, or either Rep. Joe Sestak or the Obama administration would have laid it to rest by now, because it’s not doing either any good. Why Sestak won’t give details? Some have suggested he’s concerned about the White House not backing his Senate run. Why the Obama administration won’t elaborate on the issue? Perhaps a high crime or misdemeanor was committed.

    So, now we have to wonder with this hesitation, why Sestak continues to stonewall, and what spin, or scheme, the President’s administration is concocting. When they finally deign to speak to the American people, it will have been after days and weeks, perhaps even months, of PR-crunching, lawyer-saturated, strategy meetings. One has to wonder what will be the result; I can’t imagine anyone delaying to this degree if there’s nothing wrong.

  • The New Democratic-Progressive-Socialist Party

    I’ve brought this up before, and I’ll probably bring this up again (okay, not probably, I will): How to deal with a powerful political party that wants to restrict your liberty?

    Some people, even some on the right, want to “deal” with modern Democrats, to compromise, as if this path is “reasonable.” The problem with this is, compromising liberty is never reasonable, and we need to understand that. When I say the Democrats want to take away my freedom, my Democratic friends wince, and even some of my Republican friends think I’m being too extreme. Bull…oney!

    One thing we have to remember is, the Democratic Party of today is not the Democratic Party of yesterday—the JFKs, Scoop Jacksons, and Zell Millers are long gone. While liberal-progressives have, at least since the turn of the 20th Century, found havens within each of the major parties to one extent or another, they now have apparent complete control over the modern Democratic Party, which has been transformed into a de facto Progressive-Socialist Party. The conservative Democrat, if there are any left at all since Zell Miller left office, and even the moderate Democrat, is in a steep decline toward political extinction.

    I felt the Republicans might be headed this way back in the late 1980s early 1990s with the rise of the so-called, Christian conservative-right. However, in an interesting development, it appears the Republican Party is undergoing a transformation of its own, but in a positive way, thanks in big part to the Tea Party Movement, and also in large part to…well, to, or in response to, President Obama and the progressive’s transformation, usurpation, of the Democratic Party.

    And even if you’re uncomfortable with saying the Democrats are attempting to abridge individual liberty, is there any argument that they’re attempting to restrict our individual liberty to at least some degree in almost every facet of our lives? Who could argue this with a straight face?

    If you don’t believe me, as to what constitute basic American values, then don’t trust me, trust those who founded this great nation, this great experiment in individual liberty and limited government. Read what George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, John and Samuel Adams, Thomas Paine, and John Jay had to say on the subject. They were very clear about their view of personal liberty and small government—let them teach us now.

  • Third Parties can Kill Liberty.

    In a day and age where folks, especially political folks, try to complicate issues, often to obfuscate the truth, it’s important to try to keep things in perspective and in context, and more importantly, keep it simple. One problem facing the conservatives, libertarians, and right of center independents is that of their opposing views.

    Within each of these groups are so-called pro-life and so-called pro-choice factions, those who advocate for an aggressive foreign policy, some for a more stay at home until we’re needed approach, as well as other conflicting positions. These issues may be arguable, but I think it’s important to put aside those arguments and to remember the essential common denominators all of these factions espouse: Individual liberty and limited government.

    If we can keep our eyes on this prize, we can accomplish a lot. If we can’t, we’ll see the pro-liberty/limited government movement fractionalized into actual and de facto third parties—the proverbial circular firing squad. On Rush Limbaugh’s show recently, a listener called to say he’d voted (written in) a Republican candidate he supported, who’d lost to Tim Burns in the primary, for Pennsylvania’s 12th District—the Murtha Seat!

    And what may have resulted from this “principled” vote? We get a likely vote for the Obama agenda, rather than a vote for liberty in office. And once again a voter lets the perfect be the enemy of the good. Should the Republican Party have supported this other candidate over Burns? Perhaps, but as with Rand Paul’s decisive victory in Kentucky, if the people want the person, whom “the party” backs won’t matter much.

    Limbaugh asked this caller if, as a Republican, he’d wanted to keep a Republican he didn’t like as much from office more than he wanted to keep a Democrat from office. The man said, “no,” but this is essentially what he did. Again the caller reiterated his “principled” stance in wanting to express his displeasure with the Republican establishment’s choice. The caller also indicated that when presented with only two choices this November, he’ll cast his vote for Burns.

    Come on people. Let’s think practically. And I’m saying this from the position of someone who used to be a principled moron when it comes to voting. In 1980 I voted for Libertarian Ed Clark, which was followed by wasted votes for Libertarian Party candidates Ron Paul in 1988 and in 1996 for Harry Browne—good people, but wasted votes. I have popular radio talk show host Michael Medved, who often addresses this subject, to thank in large part for my evolution, or perhaps more appropriately, maturation, in understanding there is nothing wrong with being a libertarian, but there’s a lot wrong, in major elections, with voting Libertarian.

    I now regret not having voted for Ronald Reagan and, my differences with him aside, I am still thankful to have come to my senses to have voted for George W. Bush twice, especially when considering what the alternative would have done to this country.

    Elections have consequences—boy, do they—and every vote counts. This current administration has shown me like nothing else in my life what Thomas Jefferson meant when he said, “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.” We get fooled into thinking that once liberty is achieved, it’s ours forever. On the contrary, liberty is only attained, and then we must jealously maintain and preserve it or we’ll lose it for sure.

  • Seattle’s principled Arizona stance–well, except for…

    So, the Seattle City Council is so damned upset with Arizona’s new immigration law, its collective moral principles dictate—nay, mandate—it must boycott its fellow state, and voted unanimously, 7-0, to do so.

    The council member’s courage is inspiring and its willingness to even forego revenues to the city coffers, attaching real meaning to what could have been a hollow gesture is…, oh wait, there seems to be a problem.

    What about American Traffic Solutions, the Scottsdale, Arizona-based company Seattle contracts for its Red Light Camera program? This is the program that catches alleged red-light runners at some twenty-nine Seattle locations, and then mails them revenue producing traffic citations.

    Hmmmm, a dilemma indeed: What is a principled, liberal/progressive, city council to do?

    Okay, I wasn’t being fair, that was a trick question. Of course they cast their principles aside and granted the one exception. Can you guess which Scottsdale, Arizona-based Red Light Camera company—perhaps one named, American Traffic Solutions—was exempted in the boycott resolution?

    But don’t fret, I’m sure it was all in the name of public safety and not city revenues; after all, we’re talking principles here, and I’m sure they take traffic safety just as seriously as they do border safety.

  • It’s the Liberty, Stupid! Just ask John Stossel.

    Yesterday I learned an interesting lesson while watching Stossel on the Fox Business Channel. John’s audiences tend to be infused with libertarians, which is fantastic. I find the ascendency of small “l” libertarians inspiring. However, I observed an interesting phenomenon from which we can all learn a lesson about taking a breath, or counting to ten, before we react to an emotional question.

    The issue on Stossel concerned government’s kneejerk “police” reaction into so many venues. One segment dealt with airlines charging for carry-on baggage. When John asked the audience something to the effect of whether or not charging “high” fees for non-checked baggage was good, even this libertarian audience booed.

    Although it was a reaction without contemplation, it was an object lesson in something I’ve been railing about ever since I first remember my grandmother saying, “There should be a law…” about some behavior she didn’t like: A good idea does not equate to a good law.

    I’m certain most folks in that audience felt the question viscerally, rather than intellectually, before answering it. And I’m not disparaging them; I may have answered a question put like that the same way, before having had a chance to think about it. How dare I imply a business shouldn’t be able to charge whatever they feel is a fair price for whatever service?

    Incidentally, the owner of Spirit, the airline in question, cleared up the issue for me by explaining Spirit’s ticket prices declined for all passengers by more than the carry-on fee, and only the “late” passengers who failed to prepay for carry-on luggage were charged the highest fees, because it causes delays. Beyond that, only carry-on that needed to be placed in overhead compartments required the fee be paid; passengers were still able to take carry-on aboard, which fit under the seats, for free.

    Hmmmm, never heard Senator Schumer explain that part, but he did get his mug on TV, so it’s all good. So what if he used his office to malign a private company; it’s not like we need companies like Spirit to do better business and hire more people or anything.

    This kneejerk, non-thinking-reactionary, phenomenon is partly why we have such initial groundswell for some proposals, which after further scrutiny, we often vehemently reject. This has been the case with many of the political left’s collectivist agenda, including the Healthcare Bill. This also explains the rapid-onslaught passage method necessary for this Democratic Administration’s success against the people’s wishes…but I digress.

    The point is our initial, non-considered, reaction to any policy proposal. Should people smoke, drink, ride a bike helmetless, drive a car seat beltless, play pro baseball and chew tobacco, or… (Fill in the blank)? Many of us might initially say, “No!” This is understandable, but the collectivists attempting to rule our every action—and thought if they could—hear, “No; (but also) There should be a law!”

    All of the above might be considered by some to be things people shouldn’t do, but the primary question is: Is it the government’s business to tell any individual American not to do these things? Of course not; the Constitution gives government no authority for such proscriptions. It’s only if you believe in collective “rights” over individual rights that this course makes any sense. And it’s not collective “rights” that made America the most successful nation in world history; the defining difference between the United States and other nations has been its declaration of and then striving toward individual liberty.

  • South Padre Island, Texas-Howdy, Paradise!

    Just got back from South Padre Island, Texas where my wife and I attended a great event for my police/firefighter motorcycle club. We’d never been to Texas, and you’d think we might have since the darned place is so big you could easily wind up there at some point—even by accident.

    We found it similar to Hawaii in look and feel, but without the sea-foam teal water or sweet scent in the air. But these were minor differences, and didn’t detract from the great time we had. All the Texans we met were extremely polite, genuinely friendly, and hospitable. The ubiquitous displays of American patriotism were stirring.

    And politically speaking, (you knew I couldn’t resist at least one comment) my wife and I commented that, some conservative/libertarian folks are saying, “If America fails there will be no place left on earth to go to find liberty.” They’re wrong; like U.S. Representative Davy Crockett of Tennessee reportedly said, “You can all go to hell; I’m goin’ to Texas.”

    We’ll certainly be back—hopefully just for vacation.

  • LIBERTY

    World political and social history is the story of the individual’s rise over the state, in order to create a better society. From the Greco-Roman limited democracies, to the Magna Carta, to the U.S. Constitution, humankind has moved toward greater individual liberty. And with America’s Constitution, a blueprint for true liberty around the globe came into existence. But there are those, even in America, who would impede this progress toward liberty.

    Liberty’s steady march has continued, primarily in America, but that’s okay; liberty is responsible for making the U.S. the greatest superpower the world has ever known. And this was despite having to fight an onslaught of totalitarianism such as Nazism, communism, and other forms of socialism worldwide, and sadly, also despite our own progressive-statist countrymen right here at home, who are working hard to “fundamentally transform the United States of America.” (We should have taken him at his word).

    America’s founders did a damn fine job defining liberty. They recognized that liberty is essential for human beings, and by extension their societies, to achieve their highest creative potential.

    Some would say the amount of liberty people have determines their freedom; wrong—either you have liberty or government abridges it to some degree, because certain unalienable rights define our liberty, rights which come from nature—God, not from government—man. One can’t dole out liberty by degree; it’s totalitarianism, which is imposed by degree.