My First Trip To Starbucks

I had ridden by the place several times over the years, but never dared to enter it's walls. It seemed like a different world, a different culture. I wasn't really that curious about the place though. I don't like coffee and my stereotype of the type of person known to hang out in there was quite unappealing.

But then it happened. My wife and I had a little bit of time to kill yesterday afternoon and she asked me to do the unthinkable. She asked me to go with her to Starbucks. I initially refused vehemently. There was no way that I would be caught dead in that place. Not only that, but surely the patrons would figure out that I was an outsider and demand that I leave, perhaps even refusing to serve me. She insisted that I come though, saying that she really wanted to see me in there.

Upon entering, my stereotype was quickly verified. Right there on a piece of living room furniture was "pony-tail guy" reading a book. At one table were these two thin, neat looking, young men. They looked like they were really close friends, really close. A few of the people in there actually had textbooks. Some were wearing those really small eyeglasses, the kind Brittney Gilbert wears. Some people were reading and some were having discussions, but I don't think any of them were talking about who they were going to vote for in the Republican Primary. I knew right away that I didn't belong there. I wanted to leave. My lovely wife could see how I was feeling. She was quite amused.

After ordering, we sat down and I inquired about this strange culture. I couldn't believe that a business survived by selling coffee and having people come in, sit down and talk to each other. She became irritated with my wanting to leave and said that we had nothing in common. I agreed and then reminded her of how that was a good thing. "Would you really want to be with me if I was the type of guy that hung out in Starbucks?", I asked. "I guess not," she said.

Finally she finished her coffee and I got out of there, never to return again.


Huckabee, The Leader Of The Christian Left

Finally, a conservative pundit is attacking the campaign of Mike Huckabee.
Bob Novak writes:
Who would respond to criticism from the Club for Growth by calling the conservative, free-market campaign organization the "Club for Greed"? That sounds like Howard Dean, Dennis Kucinich or John Edwards, all Democrats preaching the class struggle. In fact, the rejoinder comes from Mike Huckabee, who has broken out of the pack of second-tier Republican presidential candidates to become a serious contender -- definitely in Iowa and perhaps nationally. Huckabee is campaigning as a conservative, but serious Republicans know that he is a high-tax, protectionist, big-government advocate of a strong hand in the Oval Office directing the lives of Americans.

Novak is right. Huckabee is no conservative. He is a big spending, bleeding heart liberal. Sure he may be "socially conservative", but that term is an oxymoron.

In fact, anytime the word social is put in front of the word conservative, just go ahead and cross out the conservative part, because the politician in question surely isn't one. Huckabee is a disaster. In fact he is even less conservative than George Bush, the President who expanded government even more than Lyndon Johnson.

Huckabee, Guiliani, no this isn't your father's Republican Party. It might be your father's Democratic Party, which by the way, looks quite conservative compared to today's Democrats.

Novak sums up the evolution of the Republican Party with this statement:
The rise of evangelical Christians as the motive force that blasted the GOP out of minority status during the past generation always contained an inherent danger if these new Republican acolytes supported not merely a conventional conservative but one of their own.
The danger is a serious contender for the nomination who passes the litmus test of social conservatives on abortion, gay marriage and gun control but is far removed from the conservative-libertarian model of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan.

As one of those conservative-libertarian, Goldwater/Reagan types, who also happens to be an evangelical, that truth breaks my heart. Regardless of the way the media covers most church types, they are actually more in line with modern liberalism than conservatism. Most are not really that conservative at all, but part of that group once called Reagan Democrats. If you don't believe me, ask the average Baptist what he or she (especially she) thinks of TennCare? Why do you think we have TennCare in this Bible Belt state?


Jena Six Idiots Are Nothing New To This World

Jason Whitlock has written an excellent article about the Jena 6, in which he does something very unusual for a modern journalist, he relies on facts. He exposes the truth behind all of the made up stories and the unnecessary black eye that this small southern community has received, thanks to poor journalism and one man's "moral" mission.

Every journalist, every blogger, and every private citizen that jumped to conclusions without looking into the facts is..... How do I put this? You all are nothing but a bunch of idiots, stupid gullible idiots. I know that sounds harsh and mean, but it is true. You people are dangerous and you are precisely the reason that our country should be more like a republic and less like a democracy. You are why populist politicians exist and you are precisely why this republic will eventually vote itself into bankruptcy.

But you all were not born out of the situation in Jena, you have always been with us. You were in Russia in 1917 and Cuba in the 1950's? You were there when Marie Antoinette lost her head. You were in Italy screaming "Il Duce", and in Germany chanting "Heil Hitler". You were in Louisiana cheering along Huey Long, and in Alabama clapping for George Wallace. You were there making a spectacle of yourself at the Scopes Monkey Trial. Remember the McCarthy hearings? Yeah that was you. Flag burning and gay marriage? Yep, you again. Global warming hysteria and class envy? Guess who? You people are easy to manipulate, easy to stir into a mob. That's because you don't think. You act on your emotions. Your main characteristics are fear and envy, which makes you a magnet for the populist and his clever manipulation. Thanks to you, we'll probably end up with an inferior government run health care system. I could go on and on, but the bottom line is, you people are idiots. If you all would just think, and not take the words of an entertainer/journalist or rabble rousing populist at face value, then maybe you would not cause so much harm.

Just please, use your brains. If that is too much to ask, then please please, promise that you will never vote again. Please!


Should Have Been A Pardon

Well at least he did something. He should have pardoned him though.

What a miscarriage of justice. Scooter Libby was convicted of lying about a crime that never happened. The so-called leaker was actually Richard Armitege, but he really didn't leak anything. Fitzgerald knew that no crime had been committed, yet he still questioned people. Why? If it was evident that the issue did not fall within the statute, for what reason did the special prosecutor continue on?

We all know the answer to that question, don't we? What is so nasty and stinky about this whole thing is that many on the left realize all of this to be true, and that what happened was not exactly right, yet they still approved. They are so full of hatred, that they are willing to allow a special prosecutor to go on a fishing expedition in order to send somebody, anybody to jail. Libby's trial and conviction was nothing but political theater. It never should have happened.

Ironically, the President's Justice Department allowed Sandy Bergler to get off with a slap on the wrist for stuffing classified documents in his britches. Bergler is a Clinton guy and Libby is supposedly a Bush guy. Weird. He sells out his own and lets an opponent get off Scott free.

Amidst all of the statements today, they are still telling the same lies over and over again.
First, President Bush said any person who leaked would no longer work in his administration. Nonetheless, Scooter Libby didn't leave office until he was indicted and Karl Rove works in the White House even today. - Melanie Sloan, lawyer for Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson

She knows that neither Libby nor Rove leaked anything and she knows that her client was not covert as defined in the statute. Still though, she suffers from diarrhea of the mouth.
Until now, it appeared that the President merely turned a blind eye to a high ranking Administration official leaking classified information. The President's action today makes it clear that he condones such activity.- John Conyers

Another liar. Conyers knows that Libby did not leak classified information, but he realizes that the media will not challenge him. If Conyers really cared about classified information being leaked, he would call for the arrest of fellow Democrat Patrick "Leaky" Leahy.
The President's decision to commute Mr. Libby's sentence is disgraceful. Libby's conviction was the one faint glimmer of accountability for White House efforts to manipulate intelligence and silence critics of the Iraq War.- Harry Reid

Speaking of diarrhea of the mouth. This guy ought to be diagnosed with oral IBS. Reid and everybody else in Washington knows that Joe Wilson was the real liar. Is there suddenly something wrong with discrediting a liar. If the liar is on your side, I guess there is.

The sad fact is that the general public mostly believes these lies. Like I said earlier, the media refuses to challenge these habitual liars. I wonder if any of them remember the Mark Rich pardon. Oh but that was different. Right.


Cats Are Liberals

Nothing exemplifies the welfare state better than the life of the average cat. My cats Rolo and Harpeth are perfect examples. Their food and water bowls are always full. They come and go as they please, sometimes staying out all night doing God knows what. They are incredibly ungrateful, sometimes sharpening their claws on the furniture and laying in the laundry basket. They have everything they need, yet they still whine and moan as if they are entitled to more. When they get in fights or become sick, they receive free health care. They never take responsibility for any of their behavior. They have an entitlement mentality, passed down from generation to generation. They refuse to work and they lay around all day.

Now I realize that all liberals aren't cats. Some liberals are idealistic and hard working. They are the ones who enable the manipulative felines.

Wait a minute, does that make me a liberal? Aaagh!


Nativist, Xenophobic, Or How To Argue Against Enforcement of Immigration Laws

Racism, xenophobia, and nativism. If you are a left winger and looking to enter any discussion about illegal immigration, be sure to arm yourselves with those words. They offer you your best chance of victory. Never ever try to argue on an intellectual basis. Forget about the message. Just gun for the messenger. If you do this, victory is yours, regardless of how wrong you are.

I really don't understand the cynicism that people like S-Town Mike have toward their neighbors. Do Mike and his friends, like commenter Ginger, really believe that every one who opposes illegal immigration is a hate filled racist? If they do believe that, no wonder they are so angry.

After hearing this story yesterday, I reacted like most people. A very bright young student, a track star at TSU, and a future law school student, was killed yesterday by a drunk driver. That alone is enough to leave you bothered. Every life is valuable regardless of one's potential, but it especially hurts when an all American girl like this has her life cut short. Maybe we are wrong to seemingly put more value on this young lady's life than others. I don't know, but that's not the point. The point is, a young person was killed by a drunk driver.

Not only though was she killed by a drunk driver, she was killed by a drunk driver who was in this country illegally. But wait, it gets worse. Not only was this guy in this country illegally, but he was arrested four other times for various crimes, including car burglary and public intoxication. That's four times that this man was in the custody of law enforcement without being sent home.

I don't know what sources Mike uses to make his judgments about conservatives, but his immediate assumption that racism has fueled this discussion is just plain wrong. Are people angry and upset? Yes they are, but I haven't seen any protesters walking up and down Nolensville Pike wearing sheets and hoods. No the anger that most Americans feel today, is not aimed at the illegal aliens themselves.

The anger that most Americans feel today, is squarely aimed at the government. Americans don't hate Mexicans. Most Americans probably understand the reasons why illegals come here. As far as the government is concerned though, the average American feels betrayed. They feel like their President, their Senators and Congressmen, their governor, and their state legislators do not care about them nor listen to them. The public has grown increasingly cynical because they lobbied hard to have a fence built, and it has barely been started. The President that they helped elect, has resorted to calling them names, the same names used by lefties like S-Town Mike. When private citizens took time out of their lives to go down to the border and do a job that the government should have been doing, the President even called them "vigilantes". That kind of stuff has left the public angry and they have a right to be angry. When the average American looks at our government, he sees a collection of men and women who pander to special interest groups, rather than the public they are supposed to represent. Some of those groups even represent people that are in this country illegally.

Personally, I am pretty liberal on immigration. I believe we should change our laws to make it easier for people to come here. I also believe we should spend whatever amount it takes to build a fence along the southern border. As far as amnesty is concerned, I don't really care. But before we even start talking about granting anybody amnesty, we need to erect that fence. After we build that fence, then we can talk about amnesty. What is the point in having laws if you are not going to enforce them? The cynical side of me believes that laws passed by Congress merely amount to lip service. They calm the masses for a little bit, while not really amounting to anything. That's why I haven't paid much attention to the immigration bill debate. It just seems like business as usual.

I don't have much else to say about this subject, except that I am tired of seeing descent people labeled racist and xenophobic. That just isn't right and it is far from the truth.


Recovering Southerner Syndrome

Dinesh D'souza on Mike Nifong and the Duke professors.
Nifong seems to be suffering from Recovering Southerner Syndrome. This is the ailment, first named on this blog, in which Southerners feel so guilty about slavery and segregation that they perform undignified backward somersaults to prove that they are "not really Southern." When they encounter something Southern--like white Southern frat boys at a party--their mind immediately conjures up images of segregated water fountains and they draw their swords and go into Crusader Against Racism mode. Viewed in this way, Nifong saw himself as a kind of white knight slaying the dragons of Southern bigotry. Nifong was not alone in this: dozens of Duke professors reacted to the incident in exactly the same way.

It's like this. You will never ever see me treating black people "differently". Not better, not worse. If you really care about black people and believe that we are all created equal, then treat them the same way you treat white people. Let me warn you though. If you do, there is a good chance you will be labeled a racist.


Reagan and the Wall

Yesterday was the anniversary of Reagan's Berlin Wall speech where he famously said, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall."

Of course if you listen to the revisionists, Reagan had nothing to do with the wall coming down or the Soviet Union falling to pieces. No, he merely just happened to be at the right place at the right time. To them, Gorbachev was the hero. Yes the communist who tried to save communism and the loser of the Cold War is the one they admire, not Reagan, not Thatcher.

Lech Walesa knows the truth about Reagan though.
When talking about Ronald Reagan, I have to be personal. We in Poland took him so personally. Why? Because we owe him our liberty.

As do many.

When liberals talk about human rights, they often mention protesters and even a little peanut farmer from Georgia who used to talk about the subject, while never really doing anything. But no man has ever done more for human rights and liberty than Ronald Reagan. He didn't protest. He confronted evil and demanded change. Yet, the so called human rights crowd hated him. Weird.


The Dirty Word "Profit"

John Stossel is spot on as usual. He asks:

When did profit become a dirty word?"

I wish the oil executives would face the media. They could say something like:

"What are you complaining about? What do you think we do with our profits? Buy fancy cars and homes? Well, we do, actually, but nearly all the money goes to looking for more oil and following environmental rules that you want us to follow. You should want us to make more profit. Anyway, we make less profit per gallon than your beloved government takes in taxes."

Envy, which happens to be one of the seven deadlies, is what drives American populism. I have a question for all of you economic populists that often complain about the gap between the rich and poor. If you make a rich man less rich, what does it gain the poor man? The answer is nothing. Milton Friedman once said, "Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another."

Left wing populism my friend, is the very definition of an economic fallacy. It doesn't make sense, but then again it doesn't have to. All it has to do is make people angry and envious, so that when they vote, they will vote Democrat.


Would You Liberals Please Stop Calling Bush A Conservative

It is really getting old. It seems like that every time I or anybody else writes something about the philosophy of conservatism, or right libertarianism, someone from the left enters into the argument by telling us how much George Bush sucks. Even though I and others have repeated this a million times, I will go ahead and do it again, GEORGE BUSH IS NOT A CONSERVATIVE. If you have a brain, perform a Google search and find out how conservatives define conservatism and compare it to the way that George Bush has governed. Better yet, read some conservative writers and even listen to some talk radio (skip Hannity, he is an idiot). You will find that, not even Rush Limbaugh considers George Bush to be a conservative.

I realize that it is a lot easier for you to just throw in "George Bush sucks" to every philosophical discussion, but by doing so you are revealing yourself to be an idiot. Perhaps you are okay with that. It sure seems like it.


Heaven Forbid, A Business Is Making Money

Populist anti-oil company post of the day:
First of all, there’s nothing “free” about this market: the world runs on oil. There’s no other alternative. We all have to use it, like it or not. Even if you bike to work. Even if you have a wood stove. Unless you’re a hermit that lives like Jeremiah Johnson, you’re as much a part of the oil economy as everyone else, and you need oil.

Oil companies also control every aspect of their product’s production and distribution, from the drilling to the refining to the price at the gas station. There’s little room for the “free hand of the market” to work in a commodity monopoly.

So if you’re pissed off about the price of gasoline, there’s really very little you can do about it.

Oil companies are the only businesses that ever get criticized for making money. When they were losing money, like they did when the price of oil was low, nobody cared. But now that they are making money, everybody freaks. I don't get it. Energy is the most heavily regulated industry in the country. The very people who stir up populism against the oil industry also happen to be the very people who push for more regulation of it. They also are the very people who have prevented a refinery from being built in the last 25 years. They also are the very people who have successfully prevented increased oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska, and the Rockies. They also are the very people who oppose nuclear power plants. Not only that, but they also are the very people, who believing in man made global warming, actually cheer high gas prices because they think it might lead to less demand. Then they turn around and stir up populist rabble against the oil companies. To make matters worse, the common man buys that nonsense.

Think about what the blogger is saying in her post. "Oil companies also control every aspect of their product’s production and distribution, from the drilling to the refining to the price at the gas station." So in other words, oil companies spend millions of dollars drilling for oil, and operating refineries that convert it into gasoline. Since they invest the money and take the risk, should they not receive a profit?

Government spends nothing. Government takes no risk. Yet government gets 38 cents for every gallon of gas sold by oil companies.

She also says "First of all, there’s nothing “free” about this market: the world runs on oil. There’s no other alternative." First of all, that is not true. There wasn't any oil in the 18th century and people still survived. But I will go along with her and agree that the free world would not enjoy the standard of living that we have today if not for oil. You might say that oil is the fuel of a free society. Knowing that, why do we hate the people who deliver this precious commodity? What if they just decided to stop supplying this need? What would we do then?

Over the last ten years, the economies of China and India have blossomed. The United States has also prospered. As a result, demand for oil and gasoline has increased tremendously. Like I said earlier though, our government has not allowed the oil companies to do anything to support the supply side of this equation.

Gas is much higher than it was last year and yet Memorial Day travel actually increased. Still some of us expect prices to go down. There is no such thing as a business that lowers the cost when supply is low and demand is high. There never has been.

We are living in the most prosperous time that this country has ever seen. I don't like high gas prices anymore than the next guy, but before I ever start complaining, I will probably begin cutting back on things like that super cable package and eating out a couple of times a week.

People stop bitching. If you don't want to pay high gas prices, drive less or buy a small car. Get over it.


Larry Flynt and the Loving Preacher

Larry Flynt has written an incredibly interesting article with the heading "My Friend, Jerry Falwell". He discusses Dr. Falwell's lawsuit with Flynt and how the Supreme Court had correctly ruled in his favor. I am not really an expert on that case. In fact, I am not an expert on any case, being that I am not a lawyer. But I will say that regardless of how offensive Flynt's parody was, I am really proud that our Supreme Court put the Constitution ahead of personal feelings. Falwell had a lot of bad moments, but that suit was one of the worst. Sometimes it is better to let things go and to think about how awesome it is to live in a country where people are still allowed to express themselves freely.

Flynt's article paints a picture of Falwell that I have always believed to be true. I have always thought that the public persona and the man were two different people. I don't think Falwell ever hated anybody. Believing that homosexuality and pornography is sin, doesn't mean that you hate gays and pornographers. Obviously, he didn't hate Flynt. Obviously, he loved him.

I really don't understand why people think it is healthy to hate people that they "consider" to be hateful. Do you think that you are hurting the people that you are hating? No, you are only hurting yourself with that poison. You are only making yourself miserable. Last week, when Falwell died, I abstained from shaming the people who said nasty things about Dr. Falwell. If anything, I felt compassion for them. To have that much hate inside must be a miserable existence.

God bless 'em.


Pay Gap = BS

I took on the subject of the gender pay gap last week. Steve Chapman of the Chicago Tribune has also written about the subject.
As the report acknowledges, women with college degrees tend to go into fields like education, psychology and the humanities, which typically pay less than the sectors preferred by men, such as engineering, math and business. They are also more likely than men to work for nonprofit groups and local governments, which do not offer salaries that Alex Rodriguez would envy.

As they get older, many women elect to work less so they can spend time with their children. A decade after graduation, 39 percent of women are out of the work force or working part time -- compared with only 3 percent of men. When these mothers return to full-time jobs, they naturally earn less than they would have if they had never left.

Even before they have kids, men and women often do different things that may affect earnings. A year out of college, notes AAUW, women in full-time jobs work an average of 42 hours a week, compared to 45 for men. Men are also far more likely to work more than 50 hours a week.

That my friend is called truth. I know it doesn't fit into the liberal template of America being racist, sexist, and homophobic, but it is truth.

There was one other sentence in the article that stuck out to me. Always remember that when liberals use words like fairness, what they mean is more legislation and less liberty.
The three leading Democratic presidential candidates have all endorsed legislation to fix the problem.

Of course they have.


Capitalism Is Freedom

John Norris Brown has been kind enough to respond to my request, and has written an excellent definition of conservatism. The reason I say it is excellent is because it sounds a lot like mine, which was of course perfect.

Not only do I want to comment on a specific passage in JNB's definition, but I also want to criticize AC Kleinheider's criticism of it. The Appalacian Scribe wrote:
I believe that capitalism is the most moral and just economic system. I recognize that it is not perfect, but it is as close as any human system is likely come.

As a response to that passage, AC wrote:
This love of capitalism, bowing at the altar of free trade, all of it. It is not conservatism. Capitalism, Socialism, Comunism are not moral or immoral. They are amoral. Communism is the godless, souless ideology that Reaganites said it was but if Communism is the devil then Capitalism is one of his minions.

Oh my goodness, where does one start?

Economics is more than numbers. Economics is a study of human nature. The best economists are the ones who tend to understand human nature the best. Capitalism is not some type of economic system imposed on people by government. In fact, if there were no government involvement at all, people would naturally be capitalists. Capitalism is the result of individuals being free. Socialism or communism, on the other hand, go against human nature. The only way that the Utopian ideas of Karl Marx could ever be implemented is by the point of a gun. Regardless of how good they sound, human beings are not naturally collectivists.

Obviously capitalism is not perfect. That is because free people are not perfect. Would you rather they not be free though? Would you prefer that the masses be controlled by some large intrusive government, ran by only a few powerful men?

There is no such thing as freedom without economic freedom and capitalism is economic freedom. More government always means less freedom and there can be no socialism without big government.

AC goes on to say:
Conservatism is about preserving the good of tradition. It is about recognizing the imperfectability of man and the human condition and going on from there.

When I was about 21, the local paper published an editorial that referred to the hard line communists in Russia as conservatives. I wrote a letter to the editor that blasted them for using that term to describe people who subscribe to communism, which is a left wing economic philosophy. For me, the conservatives were the ones wanting to get rid of communism and bring about capitalism, which meant freedom. In my mind, communist equals liberal. Maybe I was wrong. Based on AC's definition, the hard line communists were "preserving the good of tradition". They were "recognizing the imperfectability of man and the human condition".

No wonder some people shudder when they hear the word conservative. I believe in traditional values, but more than anything, I believe in freedom. I believe in individual liberty. I don't believe that mankind is perfect. But I especially don't believe that a government, which is also made up of men, is better suited to correct those imperfections.

If AC is conservative, then I am liberal. Not only that, but modern liberals are also conservative, for it is they who want to maintain the status-quo, which is New Deal/Great Society socialism. No wonder he gets along with them so well.


The Tragedy of Modern Environmentalism

John Stossel writes about how much technology has improved the environment. He even suggests that the environmental movement should be cheering technology and the free market, instead of working against it. Of course deep down, Stossel knows as I do, that the "environmental movement" is not really about the environment at all. It is actually more about stopping the growth of capitalism.

One thing that Stossel doesn't mention in his article is how much technology and development could benefit the people who live on the continent of Africa. "Environmentalists" though, would rather the African people be poor, undeveloped, and with shorter life spans. Africa is the real tragedy of the environmental movement.

The so called "environmentalists" of today happen to be the same people who support high taxes on high income earners. Go figure. Notice that they never support raising taxes on wealth, only taxes on income. You see they already have their fortune. The same is true as far as their "environmentalism" is concerned. They already have the modern luxuries that come from increased technology. They already have a high standard of living. They never propose to get rid of any of their "stuff" though, do they? But they feel so good about themselves when they fly into Africa and spend time convincing Africans that it is better for them to use solar electricity, a source of power that only keeps their small hospitals working for a few hours a day. Then they get back in their limousines, ride back to the airport, get on their big jets and fly back home and enjoy a little bit of air conditioning. Oh, but they "feel" so good about themselves.

Collective Guilt versus Individual Responsibility

Thomas Sowell writes about the aftermath of sixties collective guilt.
During the 1960s, the idea spread like wildfire that whatever you were lacking was someone else's fault -- society's fault. If you were poor, whether at home or in some Third World country, you were one of the "dispossessed" -- even if you had never possessed anything to dispossess you of.

He also touches on the subject of gun control.
Since murder is illegal everywhere, why would someone who is unwilling to obey the law against murder be willing to obey a law against getting a gun -- which is easy to get illegally?

That sentence seems seems so logical to a logical person. How can anyone think otherwise? I just can not understand the way these people's minds work. If you outlaw guns, do you really think that criminals are not going to acquire guns? Do drug users have a hard time finding dope? Would outlawing porn get rid of the porn industry? What about gambling or even prostitution? Why can't you apply the same rationale to guns that you do to things like porn and drugs?


Conservatism Defined By Glen

I have always considered myself to be a conservative. As early as I can remember, I was interested in politics. I was ten years old when Ronald Reagan was elected in a landslide. During my teen years, I was probably the only kid in my school that had a subscription to National Review. I became a huge fan of William F. Buckley and my favorite show was Crossfire, which featured Patrick Buchanan.

So what is my definition of the word conservative?
My definition of the word conservative is almost synonymous with the classical definition of the word liberal. As much as a I criticize people today who call themselves liberal, I actually consider myself to be one. Not only that, but I consider modern liberals to really not be that liberal at all. By calling myself conservative or libertarian (more on that word later), I am simply giving in to the fact that over the last century, certain words have taken on different meanings.

I believe in a small, less intrusive government. No I am not an anarchist. I believe that some government is necessary for any society. The role of government, as I see it, is to protect it's citizenry. Taxes should be collected for that simple purpose, as well as the day to day costs of government. When governments spend tax receipts on wealth redistribution and the subsidizing of farming and industry, government increases it's power and the individual loses power. That word individual, is very important to my definition of conservatism. I believe in individual rights as opposed to collectivism. Equality at the starting gate is one thing, but when a society seeks to achieve equality at the finish line, individualism and the incentive to produce is undermined.

My belief in individualism and personal liberty influence my belief that capitalism is the true manifestation of liberty. I have been accused of being an advocate of business, but that is not true. I am an advocate of free market capitalism. To only be an advocate of business, I would have to support tariffs and corporate subsidies. I do not and I do not believe that subsidizing business is in any way conservative. I believe in free markets and free trade with our neighbors, while still supporting the sovereignty of the United States of America.

As far as immigration is concerned, I believe that our economy can only benefit from increased immigration. If it were not for the welfare state, immigration would probably not even be an issue. We have an immigration problem in this country because we have a demand for immigrant and migrant workers. I am not for open immigration, but I do support making it much easier for immigrants to enter this country. We should liberalize our immigration laws and then increase our border security. Unlike most conservatives, I believe it is silly to try to deport all 20 million illegals. In fact it is logistically impossible. We should grant them amnesty, liberalize our immigration laws, put up a fence, and then start enforcing the new laws.

Foreign Policy, Libertarianism, and Neo-Libertarianism
If what I have written so far sounds like libertarianism, then that is fine. I am quite alright with the term libertarian. In fact, many people who call themselves social conservatives share very little in common with me. I do not believe that government should enforce morality and pass laws that protect people from themselves. I do not believe in outlawing sin, or forcing people to give to the poor. That doesn't mean that I think people should practice a sinful lifestyle or be selfish with their blessings. Government should only pass laws that keep order and protect individuals from violent acts. I realize though, that in a republic, representatives will inevitably pass those intrusive laws because it is the will of the people. Knowing this, I accept that we sometimes have to be pragmatic. I don't believe that politics is an all or nothing game. Sometimes you have to take what you can get. This doesn't mean that I have abandoned my principles though. Like Milton Friedman, I oppose the existence of the Fed, but I also realize that the Fed isn't going away. Some institutions, like the welfare state, are too embedded into our culture. To end them would cause a crisis for the dependent. The best we can really do is to stop their growth, rather than end them.

Although others have labeled me a neo-conservative on foreign policy, I disagree. If everybody that supported the Iraq War four years ago was a neo-con, then the majority of this country and British liberal Tony Blair would be neo-cons. I was at first puzzled about going into Iraq, but Colin Powell's presentation at the UN changed my mind. Maybe I was snookered and made into a fool, but it doesn't matter now. Maybe in a few years I will write about the mistake of going into Iraq, but I will never disagree with the idea of fixing that which we broke. Leaving now would be bad for America and bad for the world. We have to get the country on it's feet and then leave. Hopefully this will happen sooner, rather than later.

So what is my foreign policy philosophy? As far as I am concerned, I am just a standard realist. I am not an isolationist and I do not believe in aggression. I dislike war. Perhaps you think that entering Iraq was an act of aggression, an example of preemptive war. I disagree. If you have ever been in a fight on a playground, then you know that the fight starts long before the first punch is thrown. When you are standing there staring at each other, you better hit first if you expect to win. Of course you can still win by waiting for him to hit you, but why would you want the black eye when the fight was inevitable anyway? In hindsight, Iraq obviously wasn't much of a threat. But at that time, we didn't have the luxury of hindsight. This experience has taught me to be much more cautious in the future. Still though, regardless of whether I support future intervention or not, I do think we should always adhere to the pottery barn rule.

This is what I consider conservatism to be. I am very interested in finding out what others think. I am sure that many disagree. I am going to ask Nathan McIntyre, Bob Krumm and Roger Abramson, Patrick Joubert, Nick, Daddio, Jay Bush, John Norris Brown, Katherine Coble, Mark Rose, Nathan and Sarah Moore, MCO, Blake Wylie, Right Truth, T-Man, Terry Frank, Rob Huddleston, AC Kleinheider, Clark Stooksbury, Bill Hobbs, and Nate to maybe tell me what they consider conservatism to be. I realize that many of you completely disagree with my definition. I am just interested in some good discussion. If you weren't mentioned above, but would like to respond, please go ahead. I apologize for leaving you out.

The Offended Culture

Our present day culture has morphed into something strange and weird. Rather than showing outrage over real substantive issues, we spend unlimited amounts of energy on a person's words. Everyday we sign onto the Internet or pick up the newspaper, somebody has offended somebody else and is having to apologize.

There are some really serious issues out there facing the black community today, but the two self appointed leaders of black people, have spent the last week trying to bring down some shock jock. Almost 2/3 of every black child today is born into a single parent home, which is about a 50% higher rate than in 1960. If Al and Jesse cared at all about black people, they would be screaming at the top of their lungs for black men to take responsibility for the children they helped bring into this world.

Imagine how much good these two men could do if they directed their energy toward something that matters. But prison ministries and Promise Keeper conventions don't pay as well and they don't make you nearly as famous.


Global Warming Hysteria Harms Africa More Than Global Warming Ever Will

The thing that I find most interesting about this "climate change" report released by the world socialist organization (the UN), is that it predicts a bleak, horrible future for the people of Africa. I say BS. If the UN gave one iota about the people of Africa, they would support the development of that continent. They would allow the people of that continent to drill for oil and to mine for coal. They would encourage them to use electricity and to build hospitals. Global warming hysteria, rather than global warming itself, is what is harming the people of Africa. These UN "scientists" met in Kenya a while back. They flew into the country in jet planes, and rode into their meetings in limousines. Meanwhile, they were encouraging the people of Africa to use only solar power and wind power, which provides very little electricity. What a disgrace!


Time In A Bottle

One of my hobbies is to go to YouTube and watch old music video clips. For some reason this morning, my late father was on my mind. He used to love Simon and Garfunkle, so I sat there this morning and watched a couple of old Simon and Garfunkle clips and remembered my dad. Then I remembered how we used to listen to Jim Croce's song "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown". So naturally, I did a Jim Croce search. While doing so, I came across an old video of the song "Time in a Bottle". The video of Croce spending time with his wife and his son, coupled with the beautiful music and lyrics, really hit me hard.

Like the young child in that video, my father also died when I was young. Losing my dad at ten years old was a pain that words can not explain. Any description that I could give you would be an understatement. It was the most profound moment in my life. It has been 27 years and I still hurt, even today.

When I pray, I don't ask God for much. I mostly ask for Him to give me the strength to accept His will and remind me of Romans 8:28. The one thing I do ask for though is that I live long enough to be a father to my son and a husband to my wife. I just want to be there when my son has questions that only a father can answer. I want him to grow up seeing me show his mother the love and respect she deserves. Every boy needs a daddy around. Single mothers are awesome. They work hard and do the best they can, but having a good daddy around is priceless.

The lyrics to "Time in a Bottle" really apply to the way I feel about my family. I really do cherish every moment and at the end of the day, I wish that we could have had more time together. Time is precious, much more so than any material possessions. I don't feel sympathy for people that don't have a lot of money, nor do I envy those who do have material wealth. What I do have compassion for though, is the husband or wife who loses their spouse, or the child who will never really know his father. I have compassion for abused children, raped and battered women. Wealth is not money and poverty is not a lack of money. Have you ever seen a rich person weep over the casket of a loved one? Have you ever seen a poor man play in the park with his child? Would not the rich person crying over that casket, give everything away for just a little more time to be with the person they love?

It is good to work hard and to enjoy our wealth, but we should always make time for the ones we love, because when it is all over, time is the one thing we will wish we had more of.
Please take the time to watch this video clip.


More From the Theocratic Left

Earlier this week, Hillary and Obama, both United States Senators, made political speeches in front of church congregations. Now we have John Edwards, no relation to Puritan preacher Johnathan Edwards, claiming that Jesus would be appalled at how our government has failed to redistribute wealth to it's poorest citizens. John Edwards, by the way, is a multi-millionaire who made his fortune using junk science to sue doctors that deliver babies.

Whenever laws are passed that infringe on their libertine value system, many on the left scream "theocracy". But oh how conveniently certain liberals bring up religion when discussing government expansion and wealth redistribution.

Religion is something to be practiced, not enforced. That not only goes for morality, but also benevolence.


Martians Deal With "Inconvenient Truth"

It turns out that the United States isn't the only planet getting warmer. Mars is also heating up. Yes, after a couple of centuries of the Martian industrial revolution and the fact that the average Martian won't give up their SUVs, Mars is experiencing catastrophic Martian-made global warming.
A few Martian scientists disagree with the idea of Martian-made global warming, blaming solar activity and citing simultaneous warming on earth, but most of those scientist have been found to receive money from the Martian oil industry. The more respected scientists have declared Martian-made global warming to be a consensus. The only thing to do now is to impose more taxes and restrict Martian economic growth. As Marvin the Martian put it, "It is time for the average Martian to deal with this 'inconvenient truth.'"

Tax Cut Myths Debunked

Terry Frank links to a Heritage Foundation release that uses facts, yes I said facts, to debunk tax cut myths. In a society, such as ours, where demagoguery, class envy, and class warfare rule the day, it is nice to see someone reference facts when discussing fiscal policy.

But you know, when it comes to economics, most liberals aren't interested in facts. They really aren't even interested in what they claim to be their goal, which is helping the little guy. Like I said in this post, if they were interested in raising more revenue for the purpose of having more money to spend on social programs, they would support tax cuts. The best way to "soak the rich", is to give them a tax cut. But many liberals aren't really interested in raising more revenue. Punishing the high achievers is much more important than helping the low achievers. In modern liberalism, the best way to make everybody equal is to make them equally miserable.


Who Loves Ronald Reagan and Why

After typing the last post, I went to YouTube and typed in the words Ronald Reagan. Sometimes I just like to hear and see him speak. His words are inspiring.

Some people do not like Reagan, but many more do. In fact, I think the national media was surprised by the way the country reacted to Reagan's death. Just like film critic Pauline Kael, who once said, "I don't know how Richard Nixon won. I don't know anybody who voted for him," most in the media never understood what Ronald Reagan meant to the average American. In spite of his two landslide victories, they probably never knew anybody who voted for him.

It is laughable when big media journalists claim to be unbiased. It is not as if they are lying when they make that statement though. They actually believe they are telling the truth. They actually believe that most people think like them and see the world the way they see the world. They actually think that they are mainstream.

But they are not mainstream. Most Americans have never even been to New York, much less attended Columbia University. Most Americans don't even make enough in one year to cover tuition at Columbia. Most Americans even have the gall to think that they know more about how to run their lives than do Ivy League elites.

We don't have any Ronald Reagans today. The Republican Party has reverted back to the way it was pre-Reagan, which is not much different than the Democrats. Sadly though, populism is still alive and well. On the so called right, we have a Yale graduate and Harvard MBA, stirring up the common folk with the gay marriage issue. On the left, we have the usual wealthy elitists fanning the flames of class envy for their own selfish interests.

Both of these groups prey on and benefit from the worst in human beings. The right populists use fear and bigotry to their advantage, while the liberal populists benefit from envy, one of the worst of the seven deadlies.

Ronald Reagan was much different. He brought out the best in human beings, that proud, patriotic, and hard working spirit that built this republic. He reminded us that we were great. He referred to the United States as a "shining city on the hill." He didn't grow up in a wealthy family. He grew up poor, the son of a town drunk. He wasn't wealthy enough or educated enough to attend an Ivy League school. Instead he attended a small college in Illinois. He became a sports announcer and later an actor. He lived and embodied the American dream. Reagan was one of us. He never became one of them. As a matter of fact, most Republican elites despised Reagan. They considered him to be a simpleton, not smart enough to be President. The Presidency was supposed to be reserved for people like them, not people like Reagan.

Reagan was elected when America was at its worst. High taxes had crippled our economy by taking away the incentive to create wealth. Our self-esteem was at an all time low. Intercontinental ballistic missiles were pointed at us and at the Soviet Union. We were losing the Cold War and Eastern Europe was still being held captive by communism. Radical Islamists in Iran were holding Americans hostage and there was nothing we could do about it. When Reagan left office, the American economy was growing, and we had won the Cold War without ever firing a shot. When he was elected in 1980, America was weak. When he left, America was strong. Reagan reminded us that we were the greatest nation on the face of the earth, a "shining city on a hill."

He also made his share of mistakes. He wasn't perfect, but he was the best we ever had. This country needs another Reagan. The Republican Party needs somebody who actually believes that government is not the answer. We need peace through strength. When I look at our current Republican President and I gloss over the 2008 candidates, I feel discouraged. What happened and how did we get here? I don't know, but I do know this. We need another Reagan, another common man who believes that human beings serve themselves better than any government ever could.


Polish Honor the Great Liberator

Liberals often engage in revisionist history when discussing the Cold War. According to them, the Soviet Union would have ended regardless of who was President during the 80's. We all know that is nonsense though.
We aren't the only ones who know this. The Polish love Ronald Reagan so much that they are willing to erect a statue in his honor. Ronald Reagan truly was the "Great Liberator". If you disagree, read this article by Lech Walesa, which includes the following:
When talking about Ronald Reagan, I have to be personal. We in Poland took him so personally. Why? Because we owe him our liberty.

Thank God for Ronald Reagan.


The Rich Pay Taxes, The Poor Do Not

From Newsmax,
Congress’ Joint Economic Committee disclosed that the richer half of the American population pays nearly 97 percent of income taxes. Most of that, 54 percent, is paid by those in the top 5 percent, Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) disclosed.

I posted on this subject Friday and used the New York Times as my source. Nobody commented and argued the other side. I wish they would have. In fact, consider this an invitation. Read my post from Friday and tell me in the comment section of this post how those facts are wrong and that the rich "don't pay their fair share". Go ahead. Please.

I Am So Sick Of The Term African-American

Rather than reinvent the wheel, I will just link to, and copy from a post I wrote in May of 2005.

While recently reading an article about the first black president, William Jefferson Clinton, I became a little bugged by his usage of the term, African-American. I thought to myself, if Bill Clinton is the first black president and we are now supposed to call black people African-American, why do we not call Clinton the first African-American president?

Blacks in this country have undergone a number of name changes over the years. Most of the old photographs and video of the segregated south show signs with the words whites and colored written on them. Now that really did not make sense. Colored could have meant anything. Of course we all know that colored meant black, but it still seemed like a stupid label. Later on, it became acceptable to use the term black to describe someone of African descent. Although it is not politically correct today to call someone black, most black people are okay with it. In fact they are quite proud to be black.

But where did the term African-American originate and when did it become politically correct to hyphenate someone who is a natural born American citizen? I can understand why a first generation African immigrant would call himself African-American. That makes sense. It just seems wrong though to hyphenate a group of people who were born in this country and are as equally a citizen as anyone else. What is so odd is that some black people in America are not even 50% descended from Africa. Although I am one quarter Italian, you would not call me Italian-American would you? Yet you would call the very European looking Vanessa Williams, African American. And what about Tiger Woods? How does he still get to be called African-American? Wouldn’t it be just as correct to label him an Asian American?

The term Native-American is another one that doesn’t make sense to me. Is not everyone who was born in the North American continent a Native American? That would also make Tiger Woods a Native American, in addition to being an African-American and an Asian American. You say that the term Native American is reserved for those who are members of the tribes that inhabited this land before the evil Europeans came along, but did those people actually originate on this continent? Did their ancestors not cross the Bering Straight a few thousand years ago?

Forgive me for all of this foolishness, but it just seems silly that we have to label people like we do. Why don’t we just end all of this nonsense and stop using all of these labels. America is most definitely a melting pot. Regardless of what skin color you are, or where your parents came from, we are all equally American. I love the story of how Bear Bryant used USC running back Sam Cunningham to integrate Southeastern football. After Cunningham had run all over Bama’s “skinny white boys”, the Bear brought Cunningham into the Alabama locker room and said, “this is a football player”. He didn’t say, “This is a really good African-American football player." He said, “This is a football player." Later in the 70’s when the team was fully integrated, a sportswriter asked him how many black players he had on the team. The Bear said, “ We don’t have any black players, we only have football players”.

Why can’t we just call people American? I still think everyone should be proud of their culture and try to preserve it to a certain extent, but in the end we are all American, regardless of where our ancestors originated from or how they got here. I am sorry, but you will never hear me identify an American with a hyphen. I guess that makes me politically incorrect. Oh well.


Francisco's Excellent Money Speech

Just like many of you, one of my favorite books is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Yesterday, while I was doing some things around the house, I listened to part of the audio version. I was only listening to the book casually, not really paying much attention, when Francisco started his money speech. I immediately had to stop what I was doing and listen.
Only the man who does not need it, is fit to inherit wealth--the man who
would make his own fortune no matter where he started. If an heir is equal to his money, it serves him; if not, it destroys him. But you look on and you cry that money corrupted him. Did it? Or did he corrupt his money? Do not envy a worthless heir; his wealth is not yours and you would have done no better with it. Do not think that it should have been distributed among you; loading the world with fifty parasites instead of one, would not bring back the dead virtue which was the fortune. Money is a living power that dies without its root. Money will not serve the mind that cannot match it. Is this the reason why you call it evil?

I especially like that part. Human beings do not need handouts. What they need is character. If they have character and ambition, they will not need your money, they will make their own. Take many of these lottery winners for instance. Did money solve their problems? If you are poor white trash and you win the lottery, what are you now? Well of course you are nothing more than rich white trash. Soon you will be poor again. If you took from a wealthy entrepreneur and redistributed his money to the lazy, in a matter of years the bums would be poor again and the entrepreneur rich.
Let me give you a tip on a clue to men's characters: the man who damns
money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it.

You bleeding hearts disgust me. When you give a man something for nothing, you take away his honor, his self respect. You turn money into something to despise not respect. No wonder there is so much drug abuse in the projects. No wonder they sell so many lottery tickets to people on government assistance. When you don't earn money, you don't respect it. If you really want to help these people, stop "helping" them. Make them earn their income. Then and only then will they have self respect. Then and only then will they value money.