Saturday, June 30, 2012


Obama versus Romney--too close to call

Why is this race for the Presidency so close?

What can possibly cause about half of our population to remain fixated on Obama, his lies, and his progressive/socialist policies? Considering all of the negative information about Obama and his presidency that is readily available, it seems to be some sort of weird miracle that there are still so many people in his camp. It is as though people like him and they are willing to ignore his personal failings, his administration’s failings, and his terrible policies for the nation, which is a tragic form of madness!

In a hundred years I would never have imagined that so many of us are progressives/socialists/communists and not staunch middle-of-the-road conservatives. So I began to search for a few reasons for this truly odd behavior.

Reason number 1: The demonization factor. Radical progressives have demonized so many good rightist leaders and politicians that the average citizen has been swayed away from his normal beliefs.

Reason number 2: Buying votes. By sending money continuously to many of our citizens in need, or by promising new and better benefits, through all of the entitlement programs and policies he has either fostered or biased, the latest being Obamacare, Obama and his party have outright bought the votes of many citizens.

Reason number 3: Lying about taxes. By disguising the Obamacare tax situation, he has gotten away with a large tax increase, which allows him to disperse even more largess to his constituents.

Reason number 4: The Biased Media. Not only does Obama have the Bully Pulpit of the office of President, he has by far the majority of the media in his camp, so that he is blessed with a favorable press regardless of the actual situation. Most newspaper pressrooms and TV news programs are 9 to 1 left- leaning.

Reason number 5: Deviousness. Liberals, progressives, socialists, and communists are the most devious, lying people in existence, and use their smarts to further the leftist cause very loudly by nasty means. Their leftist cause is defined for them by a few so-called elites that actually do not have the interests of Americans or the nation first in their minds: their focus is on gaining power for themselves and their supporters to rule and prosper. They are constantly tearing down their center and right adversaries with fabricated or blown up accusations that end up being dead wrong, but the damage has been done in poorly attentive minds before the retractions slyly and quietly surface.

Reason number 6: The convinced minorities. Three major groups of people believe that the Obama administration and the Democratic Party have their interests at heart more than do Republicans. These are the Blacks, the Hispanics and the Muslims, that, taken as a block, count for quite a percentage of our citizenry.

Reason number 7: Ignorance. Unfortunately, many of our citizens are not well informed about Obama and his leftists and where they are taking the nation, and in their ignorance they accept the propaganda of the Democratic Party as the true stuff. Some are reflexive voters that follow the party every year out of pure habit, not realizing that the party of today is not their party of yesterday. I also suggest that many of our citizens do not know very much about their own government, how it operates, and whether those in government power are following the Constitution or not in their lawmaking. Worse, they don’t even care, it seems.

Reason number 8: The Conservative Alternative. It seems that we conservatives have not articulated the conservative message effectively to the majority of citizens in a timely and straightforward manner. We appear to use sound bites that are not readily contrasted with the leftist message, and we appear to refuse to lay our message out in detail, perhaps fearing that it gives too much ammunition to the enemy on the left.

Reason number 9: Leftist Drift of the Congress. A startling fact has emerged recently regarding the membership of the Socialist Party of America. Fully 70 of our congressional representatives are now, or were recently, members of this socialist organization according to this party’s October 2009 news letter. Our congress has been infiltrated by socialists, as has our presidency. These representatives are carrying the leftist message, and the anti-conservative message, however disguised, to their constituents throughout the nation, and thus further influencing voters leftwards. Conversely, that these men were elected to office means that they appealed to their constituents.  Fully 33% of Americans now look upon socialism favorably, again according to this party’s October 2009 newsletter, which illustrates the success of these, “our” representatives, in influencing us towards socialism.

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Monday, June 18, 2012


What is Conservatism?, he asked! (Revised!)

My reply when asked what the main tenets of conservatism were.

You should be well-aware of the main conservative lines of thought by now, and of the various spokesmen for that movement over time. But, perhaps not. The message has been distorted by many who haven’t paid attention to the larger scope of the movement, but rather would seize upon some minor ploy and call it to be true of all conservatives. This is one of the characteristics of the liberal approach in their battle to remain relevant in the face of the financial disasters that progressive liberal policies in government have wrought on the nation for many years, culminating with the Obama $3 Trillion splurges. You should be well aware also that Republicans are not all conservatives, and that even libertarians have flirted with the Republican party at times.

It should also be obvious that I can speak only for myself on conservatism, although there are major threads of policies most conservatives I know seem to espouse. Some of them that come to mind at the moment that I will sketch out are:

1. Fiscal responsibility, balanced budgets accounting for, and paying down, our debts, spending within revenue, and not deficit spending except in truly dire emergencies, together with paying down our debts promptly.

2. Social responsibility, maintaining our American social institutions intact, and not giving in to those who want radical change.

3. Strong defense of the nation, and the freedom and liberty we all enjoy. Freedom and liberty are enhanced when there are strong laws supporting property rights.

4. Strong defense of the sovereignty of the nation, its prerogatives and its borders against the onslaught of internationalism. The world community of nations remains largely either immoral or amoral and is not to be trusted.

5. Equality for all and equal opportunity for all, and not an enforced equal outcome.

6 Support for the Constitution as plainly read, and not considering it a living document to be changed at the whim of a few. There are provisions for necessary changes in the Constitution itself that protect the citizens from unwanted changes. We must maintain rule by law and not by men.

7. Limited government, with well-defined boundaries, but also taking into consideration the growth of the nation.  The use of the phrase "the general welfare" in the act of law-making must be highly constrained.

8. Natural rights, natural duties, and natural law, as most recently spelled out in The 5000 Year Leap by W. Cleon Skousen with his 28 principles taken from the founders.

9. Religious freedom, along with the other freedoms: speech, association, movement...

10. The duty of judges to interpret the law and not to create it, and to defer any creative solutions to the legislature.

11. Supports capitalism and free markets insofar as practical, with regulation as needed, while taking into account the economic impact of too strict a set of regulations.

12. Supports strong family values and encourages their adoption by those who have strayed from this path.

13. Supports States Rights as an essential balancing factor in federal governance.

14. Supports defense of the nation against terrorism at home and abroad, and utilizes sane anti-terrorism methods within and without the nation.

15. Careful introduction of changes where clearly needed and generally approved. The clear threat of unintended consequences is always shadowing every law change, and it should be taken into account by every means possible.

16. Subsidiarity where possible, which devolves decision-making to the lowest possible level of governence. This is essential to block the progress of collective federal governence.

17. Support states financially in their efforts to produce students qualified to succeed in life, with a sensible curricula, and able to analyze and think for themselves, and not to be brainwashed in the dogmas of the left. This must be done with no strings attached whatsoever, except the use of the funds for education purposes only.

18. Moral rectitude based on the wisdom of the past regarding ethics and morality, especially that of the Christian faith.

19. and lots more…!

As Brad Minor*, drawing upon Kirk and others, published in American Conservatism, and added to by me:

1. Realism, not Relativism.*

2. Skepticism, not Progressivism. *

3. Evolved Order, not Constructivism. *

4. Federalism, not Statism.*

5. Capitalism, not Collectivism. *

6. Theism, not Secularism. *

7. Sovereignty, not Internationalism.

8. Personal Responsibility, not Central Solutions to All Problems.

9. Moral Rectitude, not Hedonism.

10. Firm rejection of progressive liberalism, socialism, communism, and pacifism.

11. Charity, not welfare, insofar as possible, but aid the truly needy.

12. Defense, not Appeasement.

Of course, the Devil is in the details, but the blog owner would not appreciate publication of the entire Encyclopedia of conservative thought here, or even one volume!


Friday, June 15, 2012


The Death Penalty

An eye for an eye?

Despite philosophical analyses of recent publication, I remain convinced that the death penalty is necessary and justified, and is a good deterrent to murder in most cases (but not all!). I do agree that the justice system is flawed in some murder cases, and that the system should be fixed somehow–a fix that, not being a lawyer, I cannot propose. Cost arguments are not appropriate in my opinion, since they are both expensive propositions: 60 years of living costs in jail versus, say, 25 years of living and retrial or appeal costs.

Why am I convinced of the worth of the death penalty? Mainly because I looked into my own internal thinking on the idea, and concluded that it does indeed deter me from murder, because I value my own life so highly, and do not want to have it taken away from me permanently. I believe it acts in a similar manner for us all, with the exception of the man with no conscience at all, and no value for life.

Proof of false convictions supported by DNA evidence is a good result, but I suggest that we are gradually catching up with the backlog of such false convictions, and are now using DNA evidence ever closer to real time to exonerate or convict suspects. If so, we should see a significant reduction in false convictions of this kind going forward. A reduction of false executions to zero is most probably not possible, so those of us that still believe in the death penalty must reckon with this imperfect result, and help work to reach that zero mark.

A convicted murderer enclosed in a cell for 23 of 24 hours and isolated from the prison population is still able to live life in his conscious mind, to think, to dream, to plot, to hate, to love, to court women, and to fantisize; a life of the conscious mind that his victim no longer has. Why should the murderer have that opportunity?


Saturday, June 09, 2012


A Conservative’s Agenda

A partial list of issues that perhaps Romney will pursue.

Obviously, I do not have any startling insight into what Romney would do if elected, since I am nowhere close to him or his people. Not to miss an opportunity to say something about what I think needs doing, however, here are a few ideas from my personal grab bag:

1. Regulations: There should be a thorough review of the regulations and Executive Orders instituted by Obama with the intent to rework them to promote fiscal responsibility, job creation, and a sane environmental policy.

2. Administrative Agencies: The enormous welter of agencies that have grown up in the last four or five administrations, now over 1,700, needs to be thoroughly examined for overlaps, redundancies and improvements, or even elimination, not to mention a hard look at the books for fraud and abuse. In this process, the senior levels of management across the board need to be examined for willingness to support Romney policies, and not Obama policies, and either let go or shifted to non-impacting positions, and replaced with willing executives.

3. Energy: Do what is necessary to open up oil drilling wherever there are good finds, and get the pipeline situation solved. Ensure that the coal industry has what it needs to produce all the coal needed both profitably, and as cleanly and economically possible . Promote R&D for new energy sources, and make it simple for new starts to get through the regulation maze. Restore nuclear energy to a favorable status, and streamline the approval process, while remaining mindful of safety requirements. Get firm control of the EPA.

4. Government Unions: Outlaw them and phase them out over a few years. Restore the government pay scales and benefits to a par with industry over time.

5. Judges: Begin the process of vetting appointees to judgeships across the nation that meet the goals of good legal minds, willingness to interpret the Constitution and not actively work to change it, and that are conservative in outlook. No judicial activists, please.

6. Small Businesses: Take a hard look at the workload imposed on small businesses to meet a host of regulations, and make every effort to reduce the load as far as possible.

7. Healthcare: Start over. repeal Obamacare. Ensure it is a free market solution with minimal government intervention, possibly based on the existing Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security structures, but streamlined and cleared of fraud and abuse, and put on a sound financial basis (not sure how all of this can be done, but it must be!). Phase it in over time, and allow existing participants to continue as is.

8. Spending: Spending levels must be reduced to lower significantly or clear the current trillion dollar per year deficits over the next decade, and to make headway in serious reductions to the national debt. This must involve every government agency and program currently existing or about to come into existence, including all entitlements. This cost review parallels #2 above.

9. Taxes: Serious consideration to some form of Flat Tax should be given, so long as all of the current tax programs are halted in turn, thus avoiding the horror of both a progressive income tax and a Flat Tax. I believe that Article 16 of the Constitution needs revision. Everyone should pay something in taxes, even if a mere token results. Taxes whose sole purpose is redistribution of wealth must be banned.

10. Defense: This major function of government must be maintained at a war-winning level, perhaps not at the level of being able to fight two major wars simultaneously, but at least one of them, plus fighting a limited conflict somewhere, and defending the US and its possessions. The war-fighting gear and equipment, aircraft, ships, tanks, missiles, and ordnance must be first-rate and continually modernized to “avoid technological surprise” as the old saying goes. From a cost point of view, the gross level of expenditure in constant dollars would probably fall near where it is now, or a tad less.

11. Various Subsidies: All subsidies should be reviewed for possible reduction or elimination by law over time.

12. Education: The entire federal government education edifice should be reviewed for reduction or elimination, with the exception of student loans. The fundamental job here is for the states, not the federal government. There should be a needs-based allocation of grant funds for states, but without any federal strings attached. The basic courses being taught and the slant which has most recently been taught must be changed to return to thorough preparation for succeeding in life tomorrow in this nation, and including vocational training where possible. Teachers and professors that hold to a liberal view and cannot fall in line with this new direction must be released. Students must be exposed to many forms of thought, but they must not be brainwashed by flaming liberals.

13. Foreign Policy: First of all, it must be made clear that the US will not accept any incursions into and reductions of the sovereignty of this nation in any form, whether UN-sponsored or otherwise. Second, we should downplay the role of the UN where it affects our goals and directions, since as a voting block most of the states are anti-American and work to our disinterest with a large sum of our money every year. That money should be reduced substantially. The organization is corrupt and should not be trusted. We should promote a coalition of what we understand as democratic states to adjudicate world conflicts. Let the UN be a forum for sounding off, but as a governing and limiting body it is not acceptable.

14. Social Issues: The first issue in this category is abortion. My own preference is to ban all abortions, except in specific cases of triage, where the life of the Mother is at stake, and where there has been a rape. Abortion on demand is killing, and a clear violation of the Ten Commandments.

The second issue is same-sex marriage, which I believe is not necessary, in that all of the privileges of marriage can be had via civil unions or contractual agreements, thus obviating the necessity for expanding the definition of traditional marriage arbitrarily.

15. Immigration: I believe that immigration must be attacked simultaneously on many levels, including: 1) Regaining virtually full control of our borders; 2) Ensuring that illegal immigrants currently in the nation are rounded up and deported over a reasonable timeframe; 3) That the Obama initiative is carried out fairly; 4) That a well-policed migrant worker program is devised and set to work; 5) That we adjust our quota system to favor those who have talent, skills, education, experience and satisfactory prospects of earning a living; 6) That the program and policies allowing chains of relatives to gain admittence be dropped; 7) That the automatic citizenry provisions be eliminated for those born in the US to non-citizens; 8) That companies using imported workers be held financially accountable for them, and ensure that they meet the provisions of residency and work permits; 9) That we must solve the high crime rates originated by Hispanics and break up the gangs; and finally, 10) that our entire law enforcement manpower be given licence to question and arrest suspected illegal immigrants. There is much more that needs to be done, but I have hit the highlights here.

(There is a book on national directions that needs to be written, but I have neither the knowledge, the energy nor the inclination to attempt it, so I will punt now!)

To the degree that Governor Romney adopts these directions once he is elected, or something similar and perhaps even better, I will be quite pleased.

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Friday, June 08, 2012


Where Goes the Economy?

Whether you use quantiles or broad class deliniations such as lower, mid- and upper-middle class, the key issue must be jobs at all levels that yield the money needed to live and advance. Jobs started being difficult to find in many areas of the nation some years ago, as least a decade, as the main drivers of the economy began to slow down, such as housing, autos, and general construction, to name some big ones. This undercuts the lower classes first, and the middle classes second. Upper classes, especially at the elite levels, have simply driven their Caddys, Rolls, or Jaguars another year, postponed buying a bigger home, and perhaps not replaced a departing servant or two, or thought it best not to travel as much.

Entrepreneurs have reined in their expectations throughout the Obama years, I believe, because of the twin question marks of healthcare cost uncertainties and regulation impacts whose full costs on all manner of enterprises have yet to be well-understood. Manufacturers, likewise see uncertainty in the market and have reduced their output and their staffing. Consumers have done the same, and reined in their outlays because of a lack of confidence in the market and job insecurity. The looming yearly Trillion dollar debits and Multi-Trillion dollar national debt have had their impact on confidence across the board as well, all of which seriously affects the job picture.

Thus, it isn’t surprising that over the past decade upward mobility has suffered and has left many trapped in their class through lack of money. Opportunities for advancement have not been as available to them, and even the job they held has been at risk, witness the approximate 14 million unemployed, including those who have given up looking, as well as the 8.2% officially recorded.

To highten the difficulties, many were encouraged to commit to mortgages that ended up being a foreclosure millstone around their necks, because of bankers being goaded by the government into handing out money to millions of dubious customers, and then selling the bundled mortgage papers to the world with disastrous results in the depression and job losses that followed.

Jobs==>money==>education==>better jobs==>more money==>better lifestyle==>upward mobility…..but this chain has been broken, seemingly at every transition.


Saturday, June 02, 2012


Darwin and ID--A Brief Comment

There is a lot of noise in the channels of Darwin versus ID

Most adherents of Intelligent Design have very carefully and firmly differentiated themselves from creationists. This includes Michael Behe, William Dembski, and Stephen Meyer, the latter having perhaps written the most definitive tome on ID—Signature in the Cell. None of these scientists, and that is precisely what they are, ascribe to the 6,000-year creation meme, nor do they ascribe to equating design with a designer, and hence God. They merely observe in nature that there are highly regular structures that appear to have the quality of having been designed.   It was Dembski that devised a logical test for that quality.  They leave the ancient saw: “Who designed the designer” to philosophy and religion.
Abiogenesis, or the origin of life, has been excluded from Darwinism, where Thaxton among others have suggested that it is difficult to begin the evolutionary process without accounting for how DNA information was created in the first place and only then passed to succeeding generations of species. 

Further, in considering evolution as descent with modification, they argue that the random selection process is completely inadequate to construct in an unplanned manner either the collection of molecules found in the human cell, or their purposeful functions, or the information transfer processes that these molecules perform, all leading up to Man.

One critical point they cite is the so-called pre-Cambrian explosion of fully formed body types with no precursor intermediate forms. Not only does this aspect mitigate against Darwinism, but also the fact that from that period till now further limits the time for random modification evolution to about 500 million years, and not the 13.7 billion years since the Big Bang, or even the 4.7 billion years since the formation of Earth.
Of course, there is the stopgap idea of Punctuated Equilibrium to try to make it all work anyway. There are several mathematical calculations whose results indicate that 500 million years is simply not enough time for the complex structures of primates to be formed by blind chance (Dembski, among others).  Then, too, they cite the rather obvious facts that species breed true, and that true examples of species cross-breeding are not found.

Michael Behe introduced the concept of irreducible complexity, which states that for an animal to be functionally complete there is an irreducible set of organs, limbs, feeds, and controls without which the animal cannot function. This leads to the conundrum of how such animals could be constructed by successive small modifications when the modifications from nature are random and unplanned, but the poor animal needs all of its minimal parts working together simultaneously, and they cannot be acquired instantly, plus, there are no prior versions of the animal or its parts in the pre-Cambrian set of species. It is my understanding that all attempts so far to disprove these allegations have been abject failures, but I am sure that there have been later tries that could possibly have been more successful. In that case, I would want to see the evidence, and never mind the author.

Yet another hit on ID comes from the circular reasoning used by publishers. Since there have been few peer reviewed publications on the subject, ID isn’t accepted science, so ID is refused publication. The fact is that a number of key books on the subject, including most on the reference list below, have been peer reviewed, as have a number of articles in scientific publications.

The attitude I abhor is the closed-minded one that says Neo-Darwinism is absolutely right, it is settled science, the ID people are not scientists, and what’s more, we will explain all of these anomalies sooner or later, given time and resources. These are most unscientific attitudes.

Anomalies indeed! Why such a theory has to be so sacrosanct is beyond my comprehension, and champions of these statements appear to me to violate the dictum of science that you follow the data and the evidence wherever it takes you. Thesis is, or should be, contrasted with antithesis and the synthesis that follows. Darwinism has been a productive concept in many ways and deserves respect, but it isn’t a theory without flaws and knowledge gaps.
1.   Signature in the Cell, Stephen C. Meyer, HarperCollins, 2009.
2.   Why Us? James Le Fanu, HarperCollins, 2009.
3.   Intelligent Design 101, H. Wayne House Editor, Kregel  Publications, 2008.
4.    Intelligent Design, William A. Dembski, InterVarsity Press, 1999.
5.   Darwin’s Black Box, Michael J. Behe, The Free Press, 1996.
6.   The Darwin Myth, Benjamin Wiker, Regnery, 2009.
7.   Doubts about Darwin, Thomas Woodward, Baker Books, 2003.

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