Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Faith and Politics

For those that don't know me personally you might be interested to know that I am not one of those conservatives that is devoted to my religion. In fact I don't have a religion to call my own. But that does not mean that I dislike those like President Bush who see things in terms of morally right and wrong. To the contrary, I respect our President greatly and admire his courage in taking a stand in the ongoing fight against terrorism. What does irk me are those, I won't mention names, that feel that Bush is an exceptionally religious President (overshadowing even the likes of President Reagan). Okay, I'm going to mention names just not all of them. During the solemn moments of President Reagan's burial his son, a pronounced liberal, took a moment to bash Bush for "wearing his faith on his sleeve." This, Ron Jr. proclaimed, was something that his father would have never done. I would ask that all liberals who have suddenly found solace in the memory of President Reagan as a man that "wasn't as bad as Bush" to reexamine President Reagan's record. In fact his most prominent speeches, those with the most lasting impact, feature a very devout Reagan differentiating the United States from the Communists based upon among other things religion. For an excellent analysis on this topic please refer to the following article. Before anyone makes a snide remark I will point out that it did come from the National Review Online (a place that I seldom visit), but it was written by a man I respect greatly. Give it a chance:

The Man Who Called Out Evil

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Tuesday, June 29, 2004

The Liberal Media Strikes Back

Now I know from where you’re sitting now the immediate assumption is that this article will be much like every other conservative rant against the media. For the most part this is true, but I simply could not sit idly by and watch the garbage that I stomached while watching Hardball on MSNBC tonight. I’ll be the first to admit that I’d rather not have my news commentaries (I say commentary because I consider that drastically different than actual news programs) “fair and balanced” but the liberal spin sputtered out by Andrea Mitchell, who is married to Alan Greenspan of all people, made me literally ill.

For those that haven’t seen it, I’ll be referencing the campaign video available on Bush-Cheney 04’s website called “Kerry’s Coalition of the Wild-Eyed.” If you have not seen this video I suggest you go to http://www.georgewbush.com/News/ and watch it. This video among other things displays ads and statements made against the President by a large coalition of angry Democrats. Some of these men were very respected politicians, who in many ways are not done justice by their news clips used for this ad, but along with those politicians were two ads submitted to a contest sponsored by Moveon.org. Those like Jordan can attest to the fact that I immediately cried foul when I saw these ads several months ago and thus it came as no surprise when I was happy to see that Bush struck back by showing these ads in his “Coalition” ad. Why not show the American public just how extreme some, not all, of Kerry’s supporters have gotten?

This said, I now return to the issue of Mitchell’s questions posed to Senator John McCain and former Governor Howard Dean tonight on Hardball. She asked both of these men what they thought of President Bush’s ad that compared Dean and company to Hitler. At this point I began to shout obscenities at my television, as this type of misinterpretation cannot be tolerated. Howard Dean answered her question by calling anyone that would use Hitler in their ads “un-American” and unfit to be President. Senator McCain essentially dodged the question, taking a moment to tout his own straight-talking and bipartisan rhetoric. All I can say is that I’m baffled that the left-wing (and their lackeys in the media) has somehow managed to adopt a holier-than-thou rhetoric toward their own ads.

I know at this point many would like to point out that the two Hitler ads used by Bush were not actually sanctioned by Moveon.org. I admit this is true. The ads were created for a contest that Moveon.org sponsored, in which (and I’m sure Jordan will correct me should I get any of these facts wrong) anti-Bush ads were to be submitted. These ads were not the winners, nor did they get any special recognition, but they were displayed along with all of the other submitted ads on the contest’s website. They gained fame as and amidst growing public pressure Moveon.org pulled the ads from public viewing. But now that I’ve said all that, let’s put it aside and examine the real issue. How can anyone in good conscience call this the despicable action of the Bush campaign? To do so is to completely ignore the message behind the Bush ad. The Democrats that support Kerry have said some incredibly outrageous things, some of which, according to Howard Dean at least, is un-American. But instead of simply telling the story like it is, people like Mitchell insist upon shaming the Bush campaign for using the ad in their ad. Where were these members of the media when only Fox News and the RNC were reporting on these ridiculous ads? I guess we can simply chalk it up to the fact that the mainstream media must have “missed” them, but now that they are finally covering their existence let’s try to get the facts straight. These ads were created to undermine the Bush Administration’s foreign policy and not to perversely compare Dean and company to Hitler. To suggest anything else would be to completely ignore facts and report simply on personal ideology and that is something we cannot stand for in this country.

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Thursday, June 24, 2004

The Dirty, Dirty "T" Word

Byron, this one's for you man. But everyone should read it too.

http://www.nationalreview.com/nrof_nugent/nugent200406240933.asp

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Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Tales from the Crypt (or, An Update from the California Legislature)

Greetings from the great and golden state of California. I wanted to give everyone an update of life in Sacramento. It’s getting to be that time of the year again, budget time. It’s everyone’s favorite time of the year here in Sac-to. Time to steal from the people and create needless waste, YAY!!!

One of the major issues this year has been education, as always. California has had the top rated public school (I’m talking about higher education now) system in the country for a long time. It is also the cheapest public school system in the country. This is thanks to the “Master Plan for Education” dreamed up by our good friends Pat Brown and Jesse Unruh back in the 1960’s. (Personally I would have picked a name that sounded a little less like something out of Germany in the late 1930’s, but no one asked me.) The idea is that higher education in the Golden State should be free and open to all. This is such a wonderful idea, I agree with it. BUT! Clearly, this is too idealistic. So every year tuition to the UC’s and the CSU’s goes up slightly every year, however, it remains the lowest in the country. This year was fun because students came and ran laps around the capitol, they called it the “Capitol run-a-round”. These darn kids are so clever! But then of course, they got tired, so they started roller-bladding around the building. Sorry, that’s cheating. I’m getting sick and tired of people calling in and bitching and moaning to me about the budget. I can’t do a damn thing about it. Oh well.

It is also coming to another deadline for passing bills. Oh my, I could talk about the type of legislating that takes place here for days. A Republican thought it was a good idea to “rap” on the Assembly Floor last week. I was ashamed, very ashamed. The Democrats here have passed bills to take rights away from parents. A bill was passed that no longer allows teen to go to tanning booths. I have to particular problem with this bill, except for the clause that states, even with parental consent, it is illegal. Why does the government know what is better for a child than his or her own parent? This seems to me to be very hypocritical. Especially when I hear the popular Dem phrase, “Reps want to make government so small that it fits into your bedroom.” Fine, make that claim if you like, but be consistent for fuck sake. This is the same concept except it involves parenting rather than sex.

There is also a proposal by State Treasurer Phil Angelides to repeal the sales tax exemption on farm equipment and diesel fuel. This proposal is fueled by his hatred for farmers and his desire to run for governor in 2006. California is the leading agricultural state in the union. As of 2000, eight of the top ten agricultural producing counties in the entire country are in California. California exports more than $6.5 billion a year in food and agricultural products worldwide. It is obvious to me that agriculture is important to our state. The State should work to assist California farmers, not punish them by taxing them out of business. This proposal would absolutely cripple the agricultural industry in the state. California is the leading agricultural state in the union. According to Angelides, eliminating the agricultural tax breaks could save the state more than $103 million. What he fails to consider is the increase in unemployment that accompanies all tax increases on businesses, large and small, agricultural and industrial alike. There are more than a million jobs in the agricultural industry as well over $60 billion in personal income generated in the state of California. Both of these figures would plummet severely if the state were to raise taxes on farmers. Instead of farmowners paying farmworkers, so that the workers can support their families, this money would be funneled into the state government’s budget so that it can be wasted in many different ways, such as the creation of another superfluous agency or additional levels of needless bureaucracy.

Unfortunately, there is too much crazy stuff for me to talk about in one post. This one is already too lengthy. I will continue to provide updates from the hell that is the California State Legislature.

If I have offended any of my less conservative friends. I apologize, this was not my intention. As I always say, politics is not personal. It's not my fault if you're wrong though. Ha!

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Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Liberal media? No way!

Since my previous list was mocked, i have decided to continue to use it because it doesn't require me to type extraneous words.

1. Watching CNN's Newsnight with Aaron Brown last night (gasp!): THIRTY MINUTES went by before any coverage of the execution of Paul Johnson was shown. Instead we were entreated to the first private space flight, Bill Clinton's book, and guess what, more of Abu-Ghraib!

2. Since we had a 'lovefest' for Ronald Reagan, I guess it's only fitting that Bill Clinton gets his own appreciation week too. As I watched segments featuring excerpts from his memoir, I wondered why Clinton would list the WORST day of his PRESIDENCY as telling Hillary the "truth" instead any of the following:

1993: World Trade Center Bombing: "only" 6 dead.
1995: April 19th Oklahoma City Bombing: 168 dead.
1998: U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania: 224 dead, > 5000 injured; 12 Americans killed.
2000: USS Cole attacked in Yemen; 17 sailors killed, 39 injured.

3. The editorial pages of the New York Times, LA Times, and various other publications, along with the poison-well of college academia, refuse to acknowledge the dangers of this world. There are people out there who will stop at nothing to terminate our existence. We have already seen this in the grisly and disgusting beheadings of Daniel Pearl, Nicholas Berg, Paul Johnson, and now (just today) Kim Sung Il show the enemy that hates everything that we stand for. You might not like everything about America, but you can't deny what is obvious in the images that the liberal media wants to cover with coverage about how bad America is.

Here's an excerpt from a WSJ editorial today:

Yes, let's have a debate, but let's stop this self-battering, which is weakening us in the only place where al Qaeda can never penetrate, the core of who we are. Instead of pulling together at such a crucial time to prevent even more lethal attacks in the future, we are displaying a divisiveness that energizes our adversaries. They know us better than we know them. Their strategic kills in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and beyond are aimed at breaking our resolve to root them out at home and hunt them down abroad before they can do us more harm. We will not win every battle, but we will only prevail in the war on terror when we unite, not as Republicans and Democrats, but as Americans.

Ms. Burlingame is the sister of Charles F. "Chic" Burlingame III, the pilot of American Airlines Flight 77, which was crashed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.

this isn't a matter of being republican or democrat as Ms. Burlingame said above, nor is it conservative or liberal. It's a matter of right and wrong; good and evil. I'm sorry if you lack the moral clarity to even understand that, but given the deteriorating moral state of this nation, I am not surprised that America has been so slow to understand how much danger, evil, and hatred there is for anything American.

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Monday, June 21, 2004

The Supreme Court

Ah, the Supreme Court, an never-ending amusement to watch as law is so whittingly constructed from the bench. Occasionaly, the decisions that are made restore your faith in the system, ripping you from the cynicism that there is nothing concrete that the Supreme Court will hold firm. Others pound that deep fear into our psyches convincing us that our system of "checks and balances" has surrendered too much power to those in black robes.
Today, let me first begin by praising the Flag Day decision last week. The protection of our pledge of allegiance is a very fundamental action, that should have never had to be instilled by a Supreme Court to begin with. Indeed, the Court got off without having to rule on the actual issue, by dismissing the case for the lack of standing of the complainee. Yet even still, the pledge of allegiance will now again be safe in our classrooms, and continue to be taught to a new generation of Americans. For there is nothing wrong with pledging one's allegiance to this fair nation that was founded under God, and in which we now live. But lest I take this post to a totally other topic, I will quickly move back to this week's Supreme Court ruling.
Today, there were 2 big rulings. One: a unanimous decision written by Clarence Thomas, stating that malpractice suits must be heard in Federal Court. For those of us who are alway looking for more tort reform measures, we must sympathize with the court's decision in this case. The Federal Court system will prevent the phenomenon of "runaway juries" that award outlandish punitive damages. In theory, this could help to make healthcare more affordable, and it could help to keep doctors in a profession that had become steadily more risky in many states.
Unfortunately, this decision must also be weighed against the law as it stands. Justice Thomas cites ERISA as having specified that these types of cases be handled in Federal Court. Although the Supreme Court must certainly make the legislature follow its own laws, to extrapolate upon one particular, and unfollowed part of a law, that has no constitutional foundation, to overturn the status quo is a risky manuever that should not be taken loosely. Many states had already started to put into place tort reform legislation, and those states that did not, were losing Doctors, and suffering from increased insurance premiums. This is the way legislative action eventually balances. Although the action taken by the court was likely a good one, it like any other activist action, should not be the way things are done.
Second big decision was on the right of a person not to give their name when they are being questioned by a police officer. In this case, the Court ruled 5-4 that a person has no such right. But here, although I am sure I disagree with the reasoning provided, I find myself in sympathy with the dissenters, Stevens, Breyer, Ginsburg, and Souter. It is a ragtag crew, and one I rarely find myself aligning beside, but in this case I must give a knod in their direction. One of the most paramount components of the United States of America is that it is a country of limited government, and government of authorized powers. Although in the nations founding there was to be no national police force, various federal agencies, and even local police have assumed that role. It is a Justice system built upon the idea that the government is not always right, and that corruption of authority should not be an enescapable plight for the citizenry. It is a government that ultimately is of the people,not of any elite or establishment. An integral part of this, and the founding era citizenries fear of too strong a government produced the Bill of Rights. Cardinal to the issue at hand among these ammendments was the 5th specifying "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." If a person cannot himself remain silent in the presence of a police officer without therein committing a crime, than would not he be forced to be a witness against himself. Justice Kennedy displayed his incompotence when, as reported by the WSJ "The ruling left the door open for what Justice Kennedy said would be an unusual case in which revealing a name would be incriminating. But he said generally, disclosing an identity is "so insignificant in the scheme of things."" It is not for the Supreme Court to deem the relative importance of a particular testimony that would be made by an accused individual, but rather for he, the citizen, who must be made to bear witness against himself to make that determination. When such evaluations are made is when we get into the very slippery slope...."if he does not have anything illegal then why does it matter if we search it" or soon in Orwell's language: "if you committing thought crime, than why does it matter". The interaction between officer and accused must always be a very delicate one. Does this mean that very bad people get off on technicalities? Yes. Is it worth risking that for our essential liberties? I believe so.

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Flag Day Forgotten

June 14 was Flag Day and I hardly heard a word of remembrance. It passed like any other Monday without a second of thought for the symbol of our nation. In honor of this special day, Congress has again begun consideration of a Constitutional amendment that would overturn Texas v. Johnson (1989). For many the supposed entitlement to absolute freedom of expression is a socially accepted norm, but with renewed consideration for this amendment we all need to stop and consider the implications of such an action. Is Congress right to assert its power over a run-away judiciary? I am one of those that feels Congress is appropriate in its actions against the Court in this matter.

For those not familiar with the lengthy history involved in Texas v. Johnson I’ll begin by introducing the case as it is vital in understanding this sensitive issue. Johnson was a protester outside the 1984 Republican National Convention, who among other things disagreed with the policies of President Reagan and several Dallas corporations. To voice his opposition to these two incredibly different entities he burned an American flag while onlookers chanted. No one was physically harmed by Johnson’s actions, though some people were seriously offended by his choice to burn a flag.

The Supreme Court’s ruling defied the long held precedent that there are indeed limitations on First Amendment rights. The O’Brien test set forth in United States v. O’Brien decided that if the government were to have an important interest in regulating “nonspeech” they could accordingly infringe upon certain First Amendment scenarios when nonspeech and speech were combined. Thus, if the government had a legitimate reason for stopping an action they can prohibit that action even when it is accompanied by “expressive” elements. The Court unfortunately found though that Texas’s statute, which decreed that flag burning was illegal, lay outside the grounds of this test due to the fact that its infringement on speech, or rather expression in this case as there was no real speech involved, was content based. Therefore the expression could not be prohibited simply because certain audience members take offense.

Since the Court ruled 15 years ago Congress has time and time again attempted to assert its authority over the matter. Like I said previously, I couldn’t agree more with Congress’s attempts. The proposed amendment passed the House, 300 – 125, with overwhelming bipartisan support and is currently being considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Last time the Senate considered the matter it lost by only several votes, making many question whether this time around the states might be discussing a highly contentious issue by year’s end.

The current amendment being considered would give Congress the power to prohibit the physical desecration of the American flag. That is an important distinction; it would not itself actually prohibit the destruction of the flag (though a Congress that would pass an amendment would surely pass the law itself). While I still feel that an amendment should be written and passed not giving Congress the power to prohibit flag burning but rather the states, I still support Congress’s actions here.

The “expression” that is flag burning is an interesting exception to expression/speech for me. Flag burning itself is not actually a communicative action. If I light a flag on fire, what exactly am I saying? Common perception would lead people to believe that I was voicing my opposition to the government or a current war. But in the case of Mr. Johnson his burning flag served a dual purpose, outrage against Reagan and also outrage against Texas corporations. Now, I for one am happy to protect actions of speech and expression when they further the cause of informed democratic proceedings or education, but we cannot regard flag burning under this banner.

Attention should also be paid to the content of Rehnquist’s dissent in Texas v. Johnson. To paraphrase, Rehnquist simply states that the flag is a venerated object in our country and there is no reason why those that wish to speak ill about the government, an action perfectly justifiable, could not find other means of expressing their sentiments. Burning a flag is not the only means to the desired ends, and thus the actual expression is not even being prohibited by outlawing flag burning, but just a very specific action.

To some though, outlawing flag burning represents the first step down a slippery slope as we devolve into an Orwellian “Big Brother” government. This simply is not true. Freedom of speech has always had limits ever since its adaptation from the Common Law and its adoption in the First Amendment. Libel and fighting words are just two examples of speech that have never found protection within the realm of the First Amendment. Therefore we must acknowledge that the right to free speech comes with a level of responsibility. Now, I can hear liberals groaning before I even type this line but I’m going to do it anyways: when the first Congress envisioned the First Amendment, or for that matter interpreted the Common Law, they saw an opportunity to speak your mind with a level of accountability. Everyone has the right to say and ”express” their feelings and thoughts, but that does not mean that they are immune from any sort of legal recourse. Thus flag burning falls under a heading of this sorts; everyone is free to burn the flag although that does not mean that their personal choice is not one that can bring about dire legal consequences.

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simple revelation

Wow, I just had what may be an epiphany.

We fought a war in Iraq for oil. All we ever do in the Mideast is for oil.

Wait, how much is gasoline now?

Put this together for me: fight a war for 'oil' yet our gasoline for our cars are 'expensive'. I can't seem to find the correlation between those two.

I decided I should use simple and broad terms because that's how simple this revelation is.

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Sunday, June 20, 2004

Abortion, Reagan and a National Moral Crisis

I would like to make some comments on the above posts. I will divide my response into two main areas. The first thing I want to touch on is the courts themselves. The second is the issue of abortion.

First to the judges. I think you guys have all been very correct about liberal judges riding ruffshod over the constitution. However, there seems to be the idea nothing can be done about this or that we have to wait for a justice to meet his Maker. This is not the case. If the Supreme Court ends up striking down the partial birth abortion ban then Congress should exercise its powers under article III and pass the exact same bill with one amendment that reads: the Supreme Court shall have no power to review the constitutionality of this act. The Constitution gives the Congress the power to limit the Court's appellate jurisdiction. The more obvious solution is to just pack the Court- you don't even need to pack the Court, just threaten to pack it.

Both these things might seem politically unfeasible but I am pretty sure that the limiting of the Court's jurisdiction was used by the Clinton's in their giant Healthcare bill. If the Dems cry foul then it can be pointed out that they voted for the same things years before.

The second issue, and the one near and dear to my heart, is about abortion in general. You guys have characterized partial birth abortion as murder which I am in complete agreement with. The issue I have is that you say abortion becomes murder at some point but you don't define where that point begins. Kris brought up the point that if we don't know when life begins we should err on the side of caution. I agree with this but it is not the strongest agrument that can be made. Also, when facing people who think that aboriton is a fundamental right you must make the case that abortion kills and therefore cannot be a right because it goes contrary to that which is the basis of all rights- life itself.

I think that there is a little thought experiment which can help explain why abortion at any stage is murder. Pretend for a moment that you've just had your first child. Now let's say that you have a book. On the first page is a picture of you holding the child the day it is born. ON each subsequent page there is a picture of what the child looked like the day before until the last page has a picture of the child at conception- just the sperm and egg united. Now ask yourself the question, on what page does the child become a human? On what page does it cease to have the right to live. The obvious answer is that there is no point at which you can distinguish between the child in your arms and the child at conception. It is a continuous unbroken process that begins at conception and continues till death. Every abortion is just as much a murder as any other one.

Since I know there are so many admirers of Reagan who will read this piece I urge you to read this article by Reagan which he wrtoe in 1983 for The Human Life Review. As the intro states this article was unsolicited. Notice how Reagan goes after the Supreme Court's use of its power and also the evil of abortion itself.
http://www.nationalreview.com/document/reagan200406101030.asp

Abortion has is the gravest moral crisis that our society faces today. It undermines the dignity of human life and makes man an end instead of a means. Forty million of our fellow Americans have already been robbed of their right to life. If this evil is to be defeated we would be wise to listen carefully to the words of Reagan and give our most thoughtful consideration to this issue.

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Thursday, June 17, 2004

On the Segregation of America

For four hundred years, societies on the North American continent have been immigrant societies. The earliest residents, the American Indian tribes, followed their food over the land bridge. English puritans fled the disintegration of English society to found Boston and Plymouth. Cavaliers fleeing Roundhead persecution establish themselves in what is now North and South Carolina. Quakers fleeing Anglican persecution land in modern Pennsylvania. These fledgling settlements grow into 13 prosperous colonies. In all thoses cases, immigrants arrived seeking a better life. Moving into the 19th century, waves of immigrants start pouring into the Eastern ports. At first, they come from western europe, but soon from eastern and southern Europe and Ireland. Like their spiritual forbears, they face pain and suffering. They seek solace in the "old ways" from the "old world." At the same time, they feel a fierce loyalty to the land of opportunity. The first generation born in the United States grows up in two worlds: America and the ethnic neighborhood. They learn English, as well as a bastardized native language. They, like their parents, also fiercely loyal to America. Generation follows Generation, and while the old ways are still important, each successive group saw themselves more as Americans than as Italians, Germans,Poles, Jews, Slovaks, and Irish. Thus, the nations, religions, and ethnicities of the world combine in the American melting pot and become American.

Something, however, has changed this fundamental aspect of American identity. We no longer hear the rhetoric of assimilation and evolution that we might have read in the novels and newspapers of the early 20th Century. Indeed, we hear nearly the opposite. In the educational establishment we hear calls for bi-lingual education, for the recognition of pidgin English, for "support centers" for every conceivable minority group. On the national stage, it is always a call for some kind of special rights or privilege based on group membership. These perversions of democracy are known collectively as "identity politics."

In the simplest terms, identity politics is the practice of demanding something on the basis of membership in a particular group. In its crudest form, we can see identity politics at work in Hitler's Anschluss with Austria, or the annexation of Czechoslovakia. In subtler forms, identity politics has produced Affirmative Action of all kinds.

The first part of "identity politics" is "identity." This concept basically develops in response to the question "who am I?" Identity is a function of choice. Moreover, "to identify" with a particular group requires two things: first, that you be a member of the ethnic/religious/social/sexual group. If you are not a member, but try to identify as one, you cannot "identify" with that group. Second, you must agree with the political agenda that the group adheres to. Thus, someone like Shelby Steele, an African-American conservative, is not "black." He is instead a "sell-out," which means that he "betrayed" his own people by allying with an "opposing" group, namely conservatism.

The second part of "identity politics" is, well, politics. This brings to bear the "full might" of alphabet soup (the various identity groups have a fetish for abbreviation) on the issues of domestic policy. Again, it assumes a homogeneity of opinion within a group and that a handful of members can therefore speak for all members. What is good for one segment of the group must necessarily be good for all segments of the group.

This particular post has gone on too long. I will therefore cut it short and continue at a later point.

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Monday, June 14, 2004

Back from D.C.

I wanted to start by thanking Byron, Kris, and Charlie for letting me crash at their place this last weekend. For those of you who don't know, I was back in D.C. this weekend to attend the public viewing of President Reagan lying in state. This was an extrmemely powerfull and moving event for me. I was honored to have been able to thank such a great man for his contributions to America.

I also have to say that I'm jealous of all you guys working in D.C. I'm back to work today after my quick vacation. Stay tuned for my thoughts on the Michigan State Legislature, the Clintons, and other crazy things in this country.

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Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Reflecting on America (June 9, 2004)

I attended the funeral procession today along Constitution Ave out of respect for President Reagan. I was inspired and filled with a renewed sense of optimism to see so many crowd the sidewalks to see our late President pass through a city that he had such an impact on. A real sense of patriotism and pride exuded from the crowd as the soldiers passing by were greeted with applause and cheers. If you were to tell me that Americans were selfish, egocentric, and apathetic towards...well, America...I wouldn't have believed you after seeing today. I am proud everyday to be an American, but today was extra special.

Seeing little kids wave flags and singing patriotic songs instilled some hope in me for the future of our nation. Too often these days we are taught all about the wrongs of our country. It never seems to be enough of what is right. Maybe I am just infected with the perennial optimism that Reagan always had. I only hope that Reagan's legacy and qualities are not forgotten as we move on. And perhaps America will someday still (in the words of Reagan) "travel the road ahead with liberty's lamp guiding [our] your steps and opportunity's arm steadying [our] your way."

God bless Ronald Reagan. And God bless America.

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Hamilton or Reagan

My roommates have been giving me grief about my lack of posts. I hereby remedy the situation.

Like a good CMC leader in the making, I will do what everyone else is doing: talk about Ronald Reagan.

The New York Times, that bastion of journalistic integrity, ran a story this morning about a small war raging between Republicans on Capitol Hill. Now, they aren't fighting over how best to defeat the Democrats, or how to best return to good conservative fiscal policy. The Republicans are fighting over how best to legitimate the Cult of Ronald Reagan in US currency.

Apparently, this has been a movement for a considerable time under the surface of American conservative politics. (The fact that so many people have dedicated so many hours to this project is testament to the failings of modern conservatism. We focus too much on past success, without looking towards future possibilities.) The fruit of the work has been the campaign to put President Reagan's face on the ten dollar bill.

The notion is absurd.

Don't misunderstand: Ronald Reagan was a great President, certainly the greatest of the last fifty years and definitely ahead of FDR for the 20th Century. His policies led to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the incredible economic growth of the Clinton Presidency. However, it does not do to replace with a great man an even greater man.

Alexander Hamilton deserves his place on the paper currency. His skills in finance and politics prevented Jefferson's attempted infanticide of our new Republic. Along with James Madison and John Jay, Hamilton authored the Federalist Papers, which defended and supported the new Federal Constitution against the ravages of the anti-Federalists and the threatened chaos of disunion.

Hamilton's influence with Washington, his dedication to public probity, and his intense patriotism all helped ensure the passage of the National Bank Act. Through his political ability, Hamilton laid the ground work for a strong and united American nation. It is to Hamilton, ultimately, that we owe our power and influence.

If we must enshrine Reagan further (He already has an airport), then let him replace someone who can be replaced. I'd say replace Sacajawea, but no one uses those fake coins and Reagan deserves better. Reagan on the Hundred, replacing Ben Franklin, makes the most sense. After all, it seems to me that Reagan stood for the wealth and prosperity of the American nation. What says "Prosperity" better than a $100 bill?

**PLEASE NOTE: I do not intend disparagement to Ben Franklin, who is certainly one of the greats among the Founders. Franklin, however, was very well-loved by the French, whereas Hamilton was hated by the French. Which makes him a beter person.

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Monday, June 07, 2004

Thank you Mr. Reagan

"Gentlemen and ladies, I hate inflation, I hate taxes, and I hate Communism. Do something about it."
- Ronald Reagan

God bless Ronald Reagan. He did so much more for America than we can ever thank him for.

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Sunday, June 06, 2004

Remembering a Legend

“Whatever else history may say about me when I’m gone, I hope it will record that I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears; to your confidence rather than your doubts. My dream is that you will travel the road ahead with liberty’s lamp guiding your steps and opportunity’s arm steadying your way.”
-Ronald Reagan 1992

And so ends President Reagan's long and arduous battle that slowly took him into the twilight of his life. I want to thank all those that expressed their concerns and thoughts towards me yesterday, but I also want to make sure we all take a moment to remember that there are those that have been hurt more than me by President Reagan's tragic passing. As Craig so eloquently put it, we should all take a moment to say a prayer, send our regards, or transmit our thoughts in any way, toward the Reagan family who have endured so much over the past 10 years.

Many people ask me why I am so attached to President Reagan as a political figure. While I did grow up while he was President, I was far too young to have actually been moved by him. President Reagan was reelected right after my first brithday. He left office when I was only 5 years old. Finally, his farewell to the national political scene came when I was just learning about politics at the old age of 8. He truly did move America, but unfortunately I was not old enough to appreciate it. Yet despite all this Ronald Reagan is now as close to a political role model as I can find. His strength, his optimism, and his courageous vision for America not only shaped a decade but it shaped me.

Ronald Reagan brought with him a resurgence in American pride and most of all reverance for our institutions and Founders. His tax cuts, against all odds, ushered in an era of economic prosperity. His monetary policy helped slow inflation. But most of all, he took down the "Evil Empire" making America the unchallenged world power. Reagan firmly understood that prosperity at home would spell success abroad, and it was this mentality that made America great for years to come.

I know that nothing I can say here will ever do justice to the man the world has just lost. But the time to move forward has finally come and we should all take a moment to breathe a sigh of relief. America cannot replace a leader like Ronald Reagan but we can take the lessons that he taught us throughout his eight years in office and give them new meaning and life in the next generation of leaders. It's fitting that 20 years ago today, on the 40th Anniversary of D-Day, Ronald Reagan spoke these words:

"We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we may always be free."

To you Mr. President I say that this generation will never forget the lessons you have taught us. We will always remember your words and your strength, and through that remembrance America will always be free. June 5 is now more than just the day before D-Day, it is the day that the world learned just how special you were President Reagan. Thank you for all that you did Mr. President; you will be truly missed.

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Saturday, June 05, 2004

Bidding Farewell to A Great American Hero

President Ronald Reagan has died at his home in Los Angeles.


We all must step back and remember his wonderful legacy.

May our prayers be with the family.

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Thursday, June 03, 2004

Interesting observation

Before I take off for Washington, D.C., I thought I'd share a few observations today while running a few errands:

While I was waiting at In-n-Out in the drive-thru, there was a Chevrolet Suburban ahead of me with several very interesting bumper stickers. I'll leave you to muse on these for the next few days:

Give war a chance.

First Iraq, then France.

Boycott Jane Fonda that American traitor bitch

If you take away the 2nd amendment, I'll kill you and your family and your friends.

Ted Kennedy's car has killed more people than my gun has.


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Wednesday, June 02, 2004

The Democratic Party: Truly, the Party of Compassion

As I was driving home from work yesterday, listening to the radio, I had an epiphany. What was it you ask? Let me tell you. I finally got it. I understand. I have finally realized that Democrats really are the people that care about people and what happens to them. I have been so absolutely furious about the media coverage of Abu Grahib that I missed the bigger picture. Forcing an Iraqi prisoner to stand naked, handcuffed to a bed, with women’s underwear on his head is just plain inhumane. I cannot believe that our troops would do something that horrible.

It is this same great and mighty Democratic Party that has been outraged for the last two days. They cannot believe that a conservative judge would rule that women should be allowed to have a doctor crush the skull of their baby. Then the doctor vacuums out all the baby’s innards. Then finally, the baby is dismembered and removed pieces by piece out of the woman’s birth canal. Liberals find it just mindboggling how this can be considered humane while we can’t put women’s panties on a murder’s head.

Oops, that’s right. It is the Republicans who are outraged at the judicial activism of the liberal judge.

It is truly a sad day to see beyond the facade of the liberals. They think that putting panties on a murderer’s head is next to the worst thing on the planet. While at the same time, they applaud the 9th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals for ruling that it is unconstitutional to legislate against infanticide. Seriously now, this is not about abortion. I don’t care if you’re pro-life or pro-choice. I can understand arguments for both positions, and there are valid arguments. This is not what this is about. This is infanticide. Abortion is terminating a fetus before it has developed enough to exit the womb. Infanticide is the process described above when the baby could be born, and can feel the pain of the dismemberment.

Let me say that I do not believe that we should ban all abortions. I think that there are some valid arguements for abortion. I am talking only about partial-birth abortions. I maintain that there is a difference.

The 9th Circuit Court is out of control. It is out of touch with the rest of the country. There is no other Court of Appeals in this country that gets its decisions overturned a majority of the time. That is an absurd statistic. If the 9th Circuit Court hands down a decision, it is more likely that it will get overturned in the Supreme Court than to be upheld.

It baffles me how the Democrats can prevent the appointment of federal judges and play politics with our judicial system while the 9th Circuit Court is so blatantly out of control. Do they not see the hypocrisy in that? Of course they don’t we talking about liberals here. We need to find a way to put the rampant judicial activism in this country in check.

If I have offended any of my less conservative friends. I apologize, this was not my intention. As I always say, politics is not personal. It's not my fault if you're wrong though. Ha!

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Tuesday, June 01, 2004

It is our choice

With memorial day weekend now fading away, we must reflect upon the state of our nation. We cannot for a moment shrug off the commitment that the men and women of the American Armed Forces have made to The United States and to the American way of life. Liberty comes at a price, and it is wonderful that there are those that are willing to take a stand for what they believe.

Many foreigners look at the political parties in the United States and rather snoodily dismiss them as "very similar" or "identical". Admittedly, when we cast our ballot in November, we will not be choosing between dictatorship and democracy, or between capitalism or communism. We will, however, be making a choice. Our nation is at a cross-roads. No longer can the political question be written off as a policy distinction that discriminates one party from another; rather, we are at a time where the very concept of morality and virtue is up for political discussion.

Many liberals are insulted by the idea that the Republican party would try to claim a monopoly on such ideals as "patriotism" or "personal responsibility". Indeed, they might be correct to question how one party can have dominion over such fundamental ideals. In fact, the Republican party certainly does not incapsulate the rightful domain wherein which these issues lie. Unfortunately, the influential members of todays Democratic party entirely shy away from these discussions.

The Democratic Party no longer consists of those compassionate souls who are looking after the working class, or who are interested in the extension of civil rights to all people. Although some of these individuals still vote Democratic, the party elite are dominated by those wealthy Easterners and University Professors who question whether there is anything that is not conditional upon societal pretext. Abortion, marriage, contraception, and other important moral discussions are not coming to fruition now because of an agressive right wing that is trying to strip anyone of their rights, but rather because of a rising liberal mind set that is terrified of the status quo. For many, to respect the United States is to endorse emperialism and corporate corruption. To study the nations history honestly is to corrupt the nation's youth with unsavory and biased information. To bring a child up to know right from wrong is to impose your standards upon him.

Big brother should certainly not be the imminent source of morality in a society, but those who participate in the formation of laws should not be afraid to discuss the moral implications of an action. Though many may scoff at someone who justifies their action because it is "the right thing to do" there are others that will at least respect the effort that is made. Unfortunately, the Democratic Party of today refuses to even go that far.

The question this November is not what you believe in, but rather whether or not you believe in anything at all.

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