Archive for the ‘News and Politics’ Category

Stop Labeling all Conservatives as “Fascist”

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

After watching a weekend of horrific events in Virginia (and the media dissection of the President’s reaction ad naseum), I hope that one positive lesson learned from all of this is for people to stop casually overusing the word “fascist” to label a person with a traditionally conservative political opinion.  This particular tactic is often employed by progressives in attempt to dismiss and marginalize an opposing point of view (and has become more common in the past year).  I’ve personally been subjected to such attacks–which usually leave me speechless, because they instantly tell me the person spewing them has no understanding of the distinction between the two. Here are a few facts:

  1. As implemented by Benito Mussolini, Italian fascism was a blending of the corporation and the state.  While businesses were still held privately, the economic direction, pricing, tariffs, supply and demand dynamics were all planned by the state.  I admit we certainly have problems with corporate lobbying in our government today, but conservative principle prefers laissez faire economics free of central planning.

  2. In the Third Reich, the Nazi party held extreme totalitarian control over its people. Under Nazi rule, the entire social and economic environment was directed by the state.  The state told you what products to make, who to sell them to, and at what price.  All of these notions conflict with conservatism.  In fact, the full name of the party is “National Socialist German Workers Party”.  Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past decade, I don’t think I need to explain to you how conservatives feel about socialism!
  3. The common belief today is to place fascists on the ‘far-right’ of the political spectrum.  This mostly has to do with the era of the 1920’s—when the wave of communism in Europe was so strong that the fascist opposition to communism placed them on the ‘far-right’ by default.  Fascists opposed left-wing egalitarianism, by using extreme and horrific government tactics to create a social hierarchy based on race.  Conservatives also oppose left-wing egalitarianism, but they prefer a social hierarchy based not on race but on class, and sorted out by natural market forces instead of government violence.
  4. Wikipedia defines fascism as “anti-liberalismanti-communism and anti-conservatism.”  Case in point: immediately after the violence in Charlottesville, we saw many conservative politicians such as Cory Gardner, Orrin Hatch, and Marco Rubio condemn the white supremacists.  This shows that their ideology truly has no place on the modern day left/right political spectrum.

We saw real fascists on display last weekend.  I hope that now people understand that labeling anyone with a conservative opinion as a ‘fascist’ actually dilutes the word, and trivializes the complex issues involved in today’s politics.  So, please stop and think before placing such awful and derogatory labels at someone just because you disagree with them.

 

 

Why your ‘Rights’ are at Risk

Monday, November 14th, 2016


This meme pretty much sums up my feelings right now.  If you don’t know who this guy is, his name is
Ron Paul.  In addition to having delivered over 4,000 babies as an obstetrician in Texas, he was also a three-time presidential candidate that disrupted the political scene between 2008 and 2012: by having the audacity to tell the country that both the Republicans and Democrats had lost their commitment to the Constitution of the United States.

I became an acolyte (a constitutional conservative, or ‘libertarian’ if you will) of this man shortly after President Obama was elected.   Since then, I have done my best to explain to friends, family, and strangers that the success of the United States was based on a foundation of a constitutionally limited government.

However, for the past couple of decades, we’ve gone away from a limited government, and in fact have granted more and more powers to the executive branch with every administration–all backed up by rulings of the supreme court.  Conservatives warned of the danger of this, but progressives rejoiced.  For the past eight years I’ve been laughed at and mocked by more progressives than I can count.  ”The constitution is just a piece of paper” they said.  ”The government can grant any right we push for”, they affirmed, never once considering that a government large enough to grant rights is also large enough to take them away.

Last Wednesday, as America grieved over the election of Donald Trump, I watched those very same progressives go into a complete panic.  ”All of our rights are in jeopardy!”, they screamed.  Healthcare, marriage equality, terminating a pregnancy, all at risk, because:

THESE WERE NEVER ACTUAL ‘RIGHTS’.

Rights are secured one way and one way only: in the Constitution.  Many times this document has been amended to add more rights (the right to be free of slavery, the right to vote regardless of sex, etc).  All of these rights were secured by the process enshrined in the constitution itself, and can only be eliminated the very same way.  But at some point we stopped following the rules.  Example: for 40 years Roe v. Wade withstood challenge after challenge, but why haven’t we ever solidified the right in the constitution once and for all, the proper way?

On November 9, 2016, the constitution became relevant to progressives again.  Millions of people scrambling to find out what can be done to limit the power of the president.  Some have even suggesting circumventing the electoral college and award the election based on popular vote–but this too would require a constitutional amendment.

We created a leviathan government, one that was gracious when it was benevolent.  But there is never a guarantee that will always be the case.  Did no one ever think that one day we’d hand the keys to this leviathan over to a madman?

I’m just as apprehensive of the next administration as any of you, but the constitutional conservative part of me just wants to scream “I told you so!”

The only solution to prevent tyranny is to return to the constitution and limit the power of the government.   The rights above that we want to protect must be detached from the traditional Republican/Democrat platforms, and pushed to be amended in the constitution.

We conservatives and libertarians invite progressives to join forces in this endeavor.  The only caveat is, once Trump is gone and someone you DO like gets elected, you have to maintain the same respect for the constitution, otherwise your rights will always be at risk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agressive Isreal and Palestine Protesters Desecrating MY State Capitol

Sunday, January 11th, 2009

I tuned into the evening news today and I was appalled at what I saw.  Not uncommon, there was a protest on the State Capitol over the conflict in the middle east.  However, what I saw on the news looked more like an aggressive standoff.  One group of people were waving Israel flags and shouting into bullhorns at another group waving Palestine flags, who were shouting back.  The tone was VERY AGGRESSIVE, and I even saw someone throw something at a car.

In my opinion, these people are discracing my state capitol.  Protests there are supposed to be PEACEFUL.  Yet, when I see Isreal and Palestine supporters screaming and yelling and throwing things, I think that their behavior is not much more peaceful than the behavior of the two nations they support.

The world (and the U.S.) seems so intent on creating TWO nations out of the holy land.  Why is this?  It is all ONE land, yet the Jews want their own country, and the Palestinians want theirs.

It shocks me that NO world leader (or anyone at today’s protest) has advocated for one, peaceful country in the middle east.  Especially when the U.S. has its own bloody and personal history concerning a “two-nation” land.

History lesson for you: In 1861 a group of states exercised their rights of federalism by withdrawing their membership from the Union.  The President, Abraham Lincoln, commanded over the bloodiest war in American History on the simple premise that “The Union MUST be endured, at any cost).  Lincoln never entertained the thought of TWO nations living side by side in peace.

How is the case in the middle east different that that of the U.S. in 1861?  The answer is RACISM.  Jews and Palestinians do not want to share a country together.  Imagine if the United States was split into different countries based on race: the Jews take California, blacks get Florida, Latinos get Texas, Italians get New York, etc.

Are you laughing at that thought?  Of course, that type of arrangement doesn’t seem feasible.  Would black people be upset when they are displaced from California?  I know I would not be too happy if Illinois became a “Polish Catholic Nation” and my family was forced to pack its bags.  Yet this same type of racial segregation is occurring in Israel/Palestine right now, and the United States, in true hypocritical fashion, is the biggest supporter of this violent arrangement.

Book Review: “Undaunted Courage” by Stephen E. Ambrose

Monday, December 29th, 2008

The following is a review I wrote on Amazon.com about the book, “Undaunted Courage”, by Stephen E. Ambrose.

While the main purpose of this book is a biography of Meriwether Lewis, the author includes all of the influential characters, events, and setting of the early 19th century United States, starting with the third President, Thomas Jefferson.

Jefferson’s vision of America is a country stretching from sea-to-sea.  It is as if Jefferson had an almost divine image of America.  This is a special land, entirely different from the Old World in Europe, which is precisely why it was so important for the United States to lay claim to the continent, and effectively remove the presence of British, French, or Spanish military forces.

If Jefferson were alive today, I think he would not be pleased with the United States’ military presence in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.  Jefferson’s Republicans would likely have held an isolationist view of our sovereign nation even up to today.  Americans do not belong in the Middle East today any more than British and French forces belonged in North America in 1903.

I was surprised to learn that Jefferson had originally thought that American Indians could be “civilized”, and become active citizens of the United States, whereas African Americans could never fully “assimilate” in Jefferson’s views.  Throughout the journeys of the Corps of Discovery, Lewis and Clark presented each tribe with a special speech, to inform them that they “have a new father”, and invited their chiefs to visit Washington and meet Jefferson.

This story predates the Trail of Tears and other stories of American genocide against Indians.  However, one quote from the book puts an interesting perspective on the attitude of Americans’: “How can an Indian tribe lay claim to thousands of acres of land that they ride across twice per year?”  Although Jefferson intended confine American settlers to the land east of the Mississippi, and allow the Indians to keep all land west of it, history has shown that no executive power was able to stop the progress of American Pioneers.

The stories of Lewis’s activities had a familiar feeling to me.  For example, while preparing for the expedition, Lewis contracted a boat builder to construct a large “keelboat” to travel up the Missouri river.  The contractor was very slow, constantly drunk, and failed to show up many mornings.  It reminded me of contractors that I’ve dealt with in my business, who have no sense of the urgency required by the customer.

As an outdoorsman, I was captivated by the adventures encounted by the party in the wilderness, all documented with great detail and passion by the author.  I have traveled through the rugged rocky mountains, armed with the most sophisticated technology of the 21st century.  Even now, it is no easy endeavor.  However, this party of soldiers made their way up the rockies, navigating by compass and sextant, hunting with muzzleloader, camping without shelter, and sewing clothing from buffalo hides.  Lewis was in his late 20′s, the same age as I am now, and he was co-captain to a group of 30 or so army privates, and navigator in a wilderness that no white man had ever been in before.  These feats alone are truly amazing!

In addition, the author makes sure to mention the importance of Sacajawea during the trip.  The majority of the party was made up of young adult men: American soldiers trained in hunting and survival.  However, in the group was this teenage Indian girl, who spoke no English whatsoever, and had her baby with her the entire journey!  How did she feel to have traveled for two years with this expedition?

I strongly recommend this book to readers who have a thirst for history of early United States, and also for those who have a keen interest in wilderness exploration and survival.  Many of the hunting and survival skills practiced by Lewis’s hired hunter, George Drouillard, can still be applied by today’s big game hunter and survivalist.

This amazing book has turned me onto further reading about the politics of Jefferson and James Madison, and how the “original Republican party” was meant to shape this country’s future.  I look forward to learning more.

Undaunted Courage (cover)

What The Bleep?!

Friday, December 12th, 2008

In amidst all the the Blago updates on TV and radio media in the past three days, I can’t help but laugh at the excessive use of the word “bleep” by reporters.

“I’ve got this thing. And it’s bleeping golden. I’m just not giving it up for bleeping nothing. I’m not going to do it. I can always use it. I can parachute me there,”

How can a serious journalist take himself seriously when uttering the word “bleep”, or turn it into a present-tense verb, “bleeping”?  Yet I hear the quote exactly as written above,  on NPR, Sirius news, CNN.  What’s wrong with simply using the electronic tone that everyone has recognized for years and is comfortable with?

Print media has also started using the word, as evident here:

“It’s a bleeping valuable thing, thing. You just don’t give it away for nothing,”

In similar fashion, any combination of common symbols would suffice.  May I recommend $*#&^*?  How about @&$(#!?

Furthermore, its not like the word they are “bleeping” out has any meaning these days.  You know what word it is.  It is by far and away one of the most versatile word and commonly used word in the English language (on an American construction site, it is the most commonly used word in any language).  It can be a verb, noun, adverb, adjective.  It can have a good, bad, or indifferent tone.  It can show excitement, disgust, aggravation, humor.

However, for good measure, the FCC has dictated that our children must never hear the word.  So instead, while watching the news with their parents, our next generation is adding the word “bleep” to their vocabulary.   Only their young developing minds will know the true meaning of the word.  As our language continues to evolve throughout the years, we may continue to “bleep” more and more words, until our culture communitcates by uttering continuous “bleeps” of different tempo and tone.

By tracing the news trail back a few days, I think I can pin Patrick Fitzgerald with the blame for starting this ridiculous nonsense.

“‘You can be the [bleeping] junior Senator from [bleeping] Illinois if you let me out of these [bleeping] handcuffs,’” Mr. Fitzgerald read from a transcript. “‘And if that mother-[bleeper] Barack Obama tries to [bleep] with me, I’ll [bleep] him up.’”

According to Mr. Fitzgerald, “When I say ‘bleep,’ he didn’t really say ‘bleep’ on the tape,” adding, “I’m going to keep making that joke until one of you [bleepers] laughs at it.”

I find it ironic that, of all the ethnic groups on the planet, none abuse the word more than the Irish in Chicago.  How fitting that Attorney Fitzgerald has inserted the proverbial bar of soap into the mouth of every news reporter from coast to coast.

“‘And if that mother-[bleeper] Barack Obama tries to [bleep] with me, I’ll [bleep] him up.’”

Please comment on my blog, explaining to me just how exactly you would explain that phrase to an inquisitive child. ;)