Monday, February 13, 2012

Never Battle With George Soros When Death Is On The Line!

George Soros - Spooky Dude - has made some comments recently about the Republican race, particularly aimed at Mitt Romney.  The reaction to his comments have been quite amazing, in my opinion, mostly because some on the Right have actually taken his comments at face value. face...value.

In an interview with Fareed Zakaria, Soros recently said this:
ZAKARIA:  "So you think Mitt Romney, if elected, would pursue a stimulus program?"
SOROS:  "I think — I’m pretty sure that would happen."
Soros had previously said:
"If it’s between Obama and Romney, there isn’t all that much difference except for the crowd that they bring with them."

Rush Limbaugh's response to this was: "He's endorsing Romney. 'Romney, that's cool, no difference, I could go either way that way.'"
Newt Gingrich, of course, used Soros' words for exactly the purpose that Soros intended them: “I think for most Republican voters, the idea of trying to nominate a Soros-approved candidate is not a very appealing idea.” Newt's claims about Romney being Soros-approved earned four Pinocchios.

Many anti-Romney Bloggers and Tweeters have used the comments to support their theory that Romney is not electable against Obama and that Obama actually wants to face Romney in the General Election.  It is an interesting theory, but is it really wise to cite Soros as an ally just to take a shot at a candidate you don't really like?
Here's the most important question: Does anyone really believe George Soros is going to speak honestly about the Republican race?  If Soros and Democrats really do want to face Romney, would Georgie say something that - taken at face value -  is likely to eliminate Romney from the GOP nomination?  I mean, we aren't really taking George Soros at his word, are we?
I always chuckle when some host asks a Democrat strategist (usually on CNN) something like, "What do Republicans need to do to beat Obama?"  The "strategist" then goes on a rant about someone that is clearly not what the Republicans need to do.  It's like asking Bill Belichick at halftime what the Giants need to do to beat them in the second half.  Such a stupid question would get a stern rebuke and dismissal from Belichick.  And yet they just listen as a Democrat gives Republicans "honest" advice.  It's so altruistic of them to want to help their opponents.

Trying to guess what is really behind George Soros' statements is like trying to guess which glass Wesley put the iocane powder in.  For that debate, see here.  It is the same with James Carville, Paul Begala, Donna Brazile, etc.  We cannot take any of these fools at face value.  They want to divide, confuse, and mislead people regarding the Republican race.  Why wouldn't they?  They want to win in 2012!  The only way to know who the Dems want to see and who they don't want to see in a General Election is to follow the money...and the money leads to:
Obama spends $$$$$$$$$$$$ to attack Mitt Romney!!!
(here) (here) (here) (here) (here) (here) (here) (here)
I found those - and other - links without any trouble.  With the same amount of effort, I found no Obama attacks on Santorum.  Shouldn't that tell us something about who Obama actually wants to face?  We shouldn't listen to Soros, or CNN talking heads, or Newt Gingrich (who is making arguments for the left)...we should look at where the Left is spending money.  It's all on Romney.  Would any reasonably intelligent or cunning person spend money attacking a man he didn't fear?  The man Obama fears, is the man we should nominate to face him!  Mitt Romney.

The moral of the story: Never Trust George Soros When An Election Is On The Line! (or ever)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Teaching Children About "Fairness"

Life Isn’t Fair
By: Garrett R. Hall

Michael heard the familiar deep roar of his dad’s car as it accelerated up the curving driveway.  He dropped his ball and ran to the car with outstretched arms.  

“Daddy!” Michael yelled happily as his dad opened the car door.  

“Hey buddy!” Michael’s dad bent down and hugged him.

As father and son walked to the house, Michael asked his father, “Can Ben have a ride in your car sometime?”


As they reached the door, Michael stopped abruptly.  “Dad, why do you get to drive that fancy car?” 

“Because I bought it,” Michael’s dad replied. 

“But, why can’t Ben’s dad drive the same car?” 

“Well, I suppose he can drive the car, if he can afford it.”

“But Ben said his dad can’t afford it. He told me his dad doesn’t make enough money at his job.” 

“That may be true,” Michael’s dad said. “If it is, Ben’s dad could try to get a job that pays more or he could get a less fancy car.”

“That doesn’t seem fair,” Michael said. “Why should you get the car and not him?”

Sensing Michael wouldn’t be satisfied with simple answers, his dad paused and said, “let me change my clothes and then we will talk in the den, okay?”

Michael’s dad went to his room to change his clothes and ponder what he would say to his son.  He knew he had to be sensitive to the child’s concerns and questions about fairness, but he also knew he had to give his son a responsible explanation about some realities in life.  Not comfortable that he would strike the balance with sufficient grace and expertise, he knelt down and prayed for guidance.

Feeling reassured, he called Michael into his den.  “Michael,” he started.  “You asked me about fairness.  What do you think fairness means?” 

Michael looked around the room, determined to come up with the right answer.  “Fairness means that everybody gets a chance.” 

“That’s a good definition.  So, if ten men line up for a race and start on the same line and the fastest man wins the race, is that fair?” 

“I guess so.” 

“What if they race ten times and the same man wins every time?  Is that fair?” 

“Well, it doesn’t seem as fair.  The other guys should get to win too.”

“I see your point and it would be nice if everyone got to experience the thrill of breaking the ribbon as they crossed the finish line first.  But, our definition of fairness was that everyone would get an equal chance; not an equal result.”

“What if the fastest guy was just born with faster legs?  That doesn’t seem fair either.”

“You’re right; it doesn’t seem fair and I have no answer for that, except that maybe the other guys should work to get stronger legs and practice their running technique until they can get faster.  Or, they could accept that they weren’t blessed with the fastest legs and find something they’re better at.  Or, they could keep running and trying to improve on their best times.  We can find great happiness in working hard and improving our skills.  It doesn’t guarantee us any worldly victories, but getting better at something is a worthwhile skill unto itself.”

“But there aren’t any trophies for beating your best time,” Michael said in a discouraged voice. 

“If you’re doing something just for the trophy, then you are missing the main point.  Not that setting a goal and striving to win the trophy is a bad thing, because it isn’t.  We all need motivation to help us make the sacrifices necessary to improve.  But, the real reward is working hard, making sacrifices, and doing your best.  Other people may not see a trophy, but they will see your dedication and discipline.  The guy who won the trophy may not be the guy who worked the hardest, right?  The guy who worked the hardest may not ever get a trophy, which is why trophies are just metal objects that signify who crossed the finish line first.”

“I like trophies,” Michael replied.

“So do I,” Michael’s father said with a smile.  “You see that trophy on my desk?  My city-league basketball team won that trophy two years ago when we won the championship.  When I look at that trophy, I think of all the hard work and practice we put in the win it.  Do you know how many years I have played in that league?”


“Twelve years – even before you were born.  Do you see any other trophies on my desk?”


“That’s because we didn’t win any of the other years.  We have come in second place, third place, even last place.  We worked hard all those years, but for whatever reason we didn’t win.  We improved and we had fun, but we didn’t win.  That doesn’t mean those years weren’t important or valuable; it just means we didn’t win and I wouldn’t want a trophy if we didn’t win.  But, when we did finally win, it made receiving the trophy so much more valuable to us.  The trophy represents something more to me than just a golden basketball player on a mount.  It represents sacrifice, dedication, and admittedly some good fortune.”

“Dad…what does this have to do with Ben’s dad not getting a car like yours?”

“Good question.  I guess my point is that we are all blessed with different skills, talents and opportunities.  I was blessed tremendously and all that I have I owe to God for blessing me.  On top of those blessings, I have worked extremely hard, sacrificed and had some very good fortune.  For whatever reason, I have been able to use those talents and good fortune to make enough money to provide us with the things we need and to afford some things that we probably don’t need; like my car.  I don’t know Ben’s dad well, but he seems like a good man who works hard.  I don’t know why he can’t afford a car like mine, but it doesn’t mean he’s any less of a person than me.  It doesn’t make me better than him.  It just means I have the car and he doesn’t.”

“But it still doesn’t seem fair that he can’t have a car like yours.”

“Who says he can’t have a car like mine?  Those cars are at the car lot right now.  There are salespeople waiting there who would love to sell the same car to Ben’s dad.  Ben’s dad has the ability to make money and no one is saying he can’t buy the car – except maybe his wife.”  Michael’s dad chuckled to himself and then looked at his son.  “Don’t tell mom I said that.  Anyway, Ben’s dad has the freedom to buy the car; it sounds like he lacks the money.”

“Right.  So why should we get more money than them?”

“I don’t know, Michael.  There could be a thousand reasons and since we don’t know their situation, we can’t answer that.  But having extra money to spare is also a responsibility that I take very seriously.  Your mom and I do what we can to help those in need.  God doesn’t bless us with money so we can be greedy; he expects us to be generous.  Some of my greatest experiences in life have come from being in a position to and choosing to help those in need.  I don’t know why I have been so blessed, but it also has required sacrifices of our family.  I can tell you there have been a few Friday mornings when I have left for work and have seen Ben’s dad packing up the family car with camping gear.”

“Yeah, they like to go camping a lot.”

“I like to go camping a lot too.  Why shouldn’t I get to go camping as much as they do?  Is it fair that I have to go to work while they are off camping?”

“I don’t know.  That doesn’t seem fair either.”

“You’re right.  I think the point is that life isn’t fair – at least not when you look at it using money, or fast legs or camping frequency as a measuring stick.  These are imperfect comparisons and comparing ourselves to others is not a healthy way to go through life.  The best way to find happiness in your life is to work hard, have faith and be grateful for the things you have.  If you’re not grateful for the things you have, you’ll never be satisfied no matter how much stuff you get.    In the end, the car doesn’t matter and having more or less stuff than someone else doesn’t matter.  What matters is who you are and who you love.”

“So life isn’t fair?  That’s what you’re telling me?”

“Life isn’t the same for everyone; fairness depends on how you look at things.  Just because something isn’t the same for one person to the next doesn’t automatically make it unfair.  It is wise to worry less about fairness and worry more about being the best person you can be, being grateful for what you do have and helping those who are in need.”

“So, can we trade your car for some more camping trips?” Michael asked excitedly.

Michael’s father hugged him, then held him by the cheek and said, “We’ll see.”

Michael then bounded out of the room with the carelessness of youth, leaving his father alone in his den.  He sat quietly, staring out the window into the driveway.

“And here I thought I was teaching him…”

GOP Candidates' Favorite Logical Fallacies

I love logical fallacies.  I don't so much like to use them, though we all use them, but I love to point them out and discuss them.  Politics is saturated with fallacies, especially when it comes to campaigns.  I have followed the 2012 GOP quite closely, so I compiled a list of logical fallacies and have attributed a few fallacies to each candidate, based on which ones I think each candidate uses most often.  The candidates are listed starting with the most logical (in my opinion) to the least logical.  I also threw Obama, the media, voters and occupiers at the end, just for fun.

Ron Paul – 

Argument from repetition (argumentum ad nauseam) – signifies that it has been discussed extensively until nobody cares to discuss it anymore.  Ron Paul doesn't really introduce new ideas, he just keeps hammering away at the same issues.  It doesn't mean the issues aren't important, just that people don't care to listen to him anymore.

Slippery slope (thin edge of the wedge, camel's nose) – asserting that a relatively small first step inevitably leads to a chain of related events culminating in some significant impact.  Paul often paints a grim picture of what will happen if we take certain smaller steps.  It doesn't mean they will or won't happen - I happen to think he's right most of the time - but they are not guaranteed to happen.

Mitt Romney – 

If-by-whiskey – an argument that supports both sides of an issue by using terms that are selectively emotionally sensitive.  Romney doesn't want to alienate voters so he often works hard to navigate a path that will please both sides.  I attribute much of it to practicality - and I don't mind it so much - but it is a fallacy nonetheless.  Of course, the "Whiskey" fallacy had to be applied to the most stone-cold-sober candidate.

Kettle logic – using multiple inconsistent arguments to defend a position.  This is one that people lob at Romney a lot.  I don't necessarily agree with the criticism, but I can see why some feel that way.  I think the bigger problem for Romney isn't multiple inconsistencies to defend A position, but using inconsistent arguments to defend various positions.

Rick Santorum – 

Cherry picking (suppressed evidence, incomplete evidence) – act of pointing at individual cases or data that seem to confirm a particular position, while ignoring a significant portion of related cases or data that may contradict that position.  I think Rick does this a lot, but it largely goes unnoticed.  He attacks Romney on RomneyCare/ObamaCare but overlooks some valid differences between the two.  See my previous post about Santorum.

Inconsistent comparison – where different methods of comparison are used, leaving one with a false impression of the whole comparison.  Kind of the same issue discussed above.  Santorum oversimplifies when convenient and overcomplicates when convenient.

Newt Gingrich 

Ignoratio elenchi (irrelevant conclusion, missing the point) – an argument that may in itself be valid, but does not address the issue in question.  People say Newt is a great debater, but it is largely because he doesn't address the questions asked and instead goes on his own tangent.  See response to John King in South Carolina.  This may make for great debate theater, but it is illogical.

False analogy – an argument by analogy in which the analogy is poorly suited.  Newt is King of bad analogies.  He recently analogized his not making the ballot in Virginia to the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Pay attention; they're all over the place.

Appeal to ridicule – an argument is made by presenting the opponent's argument in a way that makes it appear ridiculous.  Most of the time when Newt says "baloney", he is appealing to ridicule.  He says "baloney" and then paints the argument in question as silly or stupid.

All Candidates (Ever) 

Red herring – a speaker attempts to distract an audience by deviating from the topic at hand by introducing a separate argument which the speaker believes will be easier to speak to.  Do I really need examples here?  This the foundation of political rhetoric.

Straw man – an argument based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position.  Again, a staple in politics (and religious debates).

GOP Voters 

Nirvana fallacy (perfect solution fallacy) – when solutions to problems are rejected because they are not perfect.  Where is the Ronald Reagan of yesteryear?  GOP voters compare candidates to Reagan, they criticize the GOP field because there is no perfect candidate, they call for a brokered convention on the assumption that a perfect candidate will emerge, etc.  Not going to happen.  Pick the guy who can beat Obama and unite!

Moving the goalposts (raising the bar) – argument in which evidence presented in response to a specific claim is dismissed and some other (often greater) evidence is demanded.  Voters do this with candidates all the time, especially candidates who they don't feel are "true conservatives".  Speaking of "true conservatives"...

No true Scotsman – when a generalization is made true only when a counterexample is ruled out on shaky grounds.  "No TRUE CONSERVATIVE would [insert your own qualification for a true conservative]."

Debate Moderators – 

Proof by verbosity (argumentum verbosium, proof by intimidation) – submission of others to an argument too complex and verbose to reasonably deal with in all its intimate details.  A moderator will ask a very complex question about health care, or poverty, or immigration and say "Take 60 seconds to answer that."  Yeah, that's not going to happen.

Media –

Appeal to poverty (argumentum ad Lazarum) – supporting a conclusion because the arguer is poor (or refuting because the arguer is wealthy).  Mitt Romney is wealthy, therefore he cannot relate to the poor, he isn't "one of us", etc.  No mention of John Kerry, George Soros, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, etc.

Texas sharpshooter fallacy – improperly asserting a cause to explain a cluster of data.  Example: Rick Santorum wins 3 states in one must have been caused by [1 reason].


Note: Most fallacies apply to Obama, but I had to pick just a few...

Appeal to equality – where an assertion is deemed true or false based on an assumed pretense of equality.  See the last 3 years!

Special pleading – where a proponent of a position attempts to cite something as an exemption to a generally accepted rule or principle without justifying the exemption.  Super PACS, Libya, lobbyists, Let's Move, etc. etc. etc. 

Appeal to spite – a specific type of appeal to emotion where an argument is made through exploiting people's bitterness or spite towards an opposing party.  Class warfare, health care debate, Paul Ryan budget, elections, Fat Cat Bankers, Wall Street, Oil Companies, 1%ers, etc. etc. etc.

Occupiers – 

Argumentum ad baculum (appeal to the stick, appeal to force, appeal to threat) – an argument made through coercion or threats of force to support position.  This is their whole platform!

Has Talk Radio Flip-Flopped on Romney?

In 2008, prominent Conservatives endorsed Mitt Romney as a true Conservative.  Believe it or not, Romney was viewed by many as the Conservative alternative to John McCain.  I know, John McCain; big deal.  But, it is simply interesting to note that anyone thought Romney was a Conservative.  Romney's 2008 endorsers included: Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham, Rick Santorum, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Hugh Hewitt, Dennis Prager and Sean Hannity.  Remember, this all happened in January and February of 2008.

Back up approximately two years.  In April of 2006, Mitt Romney was Governor of Massachusetts and for many months had been working out a solution for reforming State health care laws.  On April 12, 2006 Governor Romney signed into law the Massachusetts Health Care Insurance Reform Law (aka "RomneyCare").  When it was enacted, RomneyCare, while not without its critics, was applauded by many as a practical, "conservative" solution.  The Heritage Foundation, one of the Nation's most conservative think tanks, wrote an article touting RomneyCare. 

"[T]o allow people to go without health insurance, and then when they do fall ill expect someone else to pay the tab for their treatment is a de facto mandate on providers and taxpayers. Romney proposes to take that option off the table, leaving only two choices: Either buy insurance or pay for your own care. Not an unreasonable position, and one that is clearly consistent with conservative values."  The article then explains how Romney "got downright Libertarian" (a nod to limited government) in working out all the issues with health care reform.  It continued: 

"A conference committee of the Massachusetts legislature is now hammering out the details of the final legislation. Given that Massachusetts has a legislature in which Democrats outnumber Republicans by about five to one, the fact that Romney's proposal has gotten this far is itself a testament to the power of good ideas - as well as to the political skills of one particular governor and his team."  Read the whole article here.

Now back to are some of the things prominent Conservatives were saying:

Rush Limbaugh

"I think now, based on the way the campaign has shaken out, that there probably is a candidate on our side who does embody all three legs of the conservative stool, and that’s Romney. The three stools or the three legs of the stool are national security/foreign policy, the social conservatives, and the fiscal conservatives. The social conservatives are the cultural people. The fiscal conservatives are the economic crowd: low taxes, smaller government, get out of the way." Rush Limbaugh, February 5, 2008

Rick Santorum

“In a few short days, Republicans from across this country will decide more than their party’s nominee. They will decide the very future of our party and the conservative coalition that Ronald Reagan built. Conservatives can no longer afford to stand on the sidelines in this election, and Governor Romney is the candidate who will stand up for the conservative principles that we hold dear.  Governor Romney has a deep understanding of the important issues confronting our country today, and he is the clear conservative candidate that can go into the general election with a united Republican party.” Rick Santorum, February 1, 2008

Laura Ingraham

Romney was described by Laura Ingraham as "the conservative's conservative" and "a class act" when she enthusiastically introduced him at CPAC 2008.

Ingraham was clear and compelling and her praise of romney was unstinting. She not only declared that Romney was proud to be a conservative, but that he "embodies conservative ideals," and she lamented that "virtue is kind of an outdated word these days." Laura Ingraham, CPAC 2008

Sean Hannity

"...having come to know and like all of these guys, I'm making a decision on issues. And if you ask me who the conservative, the most conservative in the race is, that most represents my values at this time, it is by far and away, Governor Romney!” January 31, 2008, Sean Hannity Show

Mark Levin

Let’s face it, none of the candidates are perfect. They never are. But McCain is the least perfect of the viable candidates. The only one left standing who can honestly be said to share most of our conservative principles is Mitt Romney. I say this as someone who has not been an active Romney supporter. If conservatives don’t unite behind Romney at this stage, and become vocal in their support for him, then they will get McCain as their Republican nominee and probably a Democrat president. And in either case, we will have a deeply flawed president." - Mark Levin January 31, 2008 

To be clear, RomneyCare was already law when all of these statements were made.  It was out there for everyone to see and investigate.  All of these individuals knew about it and yet, they claim that he's a Conservative worthy of their endorsement.  Well, he must have done something in the meantime to signal that he isn't actually a Conservative.  Nope.  If anything, he has been consistently Conservative and has done much to help the cause - especially in the 2010 elections.

So, why the apparent flip-flops?  If Romney hasn't done anything in four years to reverse his Conservative course, what could possibly have made these people change?  One word - a dirty word - OBAMACARE.  In 2010 the Country was in an uproar because Obama was trying to shove a National health care system down the people's throats against their will.  Now, there is a time to discuss the differences between ObamaCare and RomneyCare (Yes, they exist and some are valid) but this article is not intended to do that.  Suffice it to say that the whole ObamaCare drama was a debacle and a huge mistake for this Country.

The point is, these talk radio personalities and others knew the intricacies and statistics on RomneyCare and still endorsed him.  No one criticized them, because the blanket outrage over anything ____Care didn't exist.  But, when the debate over ObamaCare heated up, it seems these individuals turned on Romney.  I'm not trying to be critical of the individuals, because all of them have my respect for what they do on a daily basis.  I just find it interesting how they have, for the most part, skirted this issue and continued on with their criticisms of Romney.  In my opinion, Levin and Ingraham have been the most critical, and theirs were two of the more forceful and glowing endorsements.  Levin has since passionately criticized others for endorsing Romney in 2011.

Some have defended their endorsement saying they did it only because Romney was the most Conservative.  Well, re-read those endorsements.  There may be a hint of that in one or two of them, but they genuinely endorsed him as A CONSERVATIVE.  RomneyCare hasn't changed, Romney hasn't changed (perhaps he's come further to the right) and Romney's record hasn't changed...outside influences have changed.  But, principles are principles, regardless of what popular sentiment is at the time.  So, my question to these individuals is: were you principled in 2008 or are you being principled now?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

President Obama's Keystone XL Delay Ticker

Santorum's 10th Amendment Hypocrisy!

Rick Santorum appears to be a decent conservative candidate who gained a lot of momentum with his three recent victories. Still, Santorum has had the luxury of flying under the radar so we don't really know how he will stand up the increased scrutiny whereas Romney has been attacked by Santorum, Gingrich, Perry, Paul, Huntsman, Obama, the DNC, etc. Ron Paul is the only candidate to have really criticized Santorum, even though Santorum has been extremely negative toward Gingrich and Romney for many weeks.

Santorum's main talking point has been the individual mandate. In particular, he has hammered Romney relentlessly on RomneyCare claiming it to be "government-run top-down medicine." He is clearly not buying Romney's 10th Amendment argument nor his pledge to repeal ObamaCare since he enacted RomneyCare as a Governor. In the Florida debate, he said, "According to Governor Romney, that's OK. If the state [enacts a mandate], that's OK. If the state wants to enforce it, that's OK." Romney has claimed that his State - dominated by democrats - wanted health care reform so he did it in the most conservative way possible. Santorum dismisses this argument saying that principle matters more.

Santorum is obviously against the individual mandate, but where he gets into trouble is when he refuses to accept that there are differences between Federal ObamaCare and State RomneyCare. He appears to be glossing over the 10th Amendment argument. This may be problematic for him considering his 10th Amendment/representative government defense for voting against a right-to-work bill. He claims that his state didn't want it so - even though it is a conservative principle based on the Constitution - he didn't want to go against his state. Below is the transcript of a debate he had with Ron Paul:

MR. SANTORUM: Congressman Paul knows, because we've talked about this before, I've already signed a pledge and said I would sign a national right-to-work bill. And when I was a senator from Pennsylvania, which is a state that is not a right-to-work state, the state made a decision not to be right to work. And I wasn't going to go to Washington and overturn that from the federal government and do that to the state. That's a very different -- different position.

REP. PAUL: May I --

MR. KING: Quickly, sir.

REP. PAUL: Yeah, the response should be, yes, I understand that. That's the way politics works: You voted the way you thought was best --

MR. SANTORUM: Well, representative government.

REP. PAUL: -- yeah -- for your state. (Applause.) But as president, are you going to represent South Carolina or Pennsylvania? That's really the question. (Applause.)

MR. SANTORUM: Well, maybe -- maybe you didn't hear what I said. I said I would support a national right-to-work law and sign it into law, and would support and advocate for one. (Applause.)

Full Transcript

So, he voted against a state right-to-work bill because the State didn't want it and he wanted to respect "representative government." But, he has pledged that if elected President, he "would support a national right-to-work law and sign it into law, and would support and advocate for one." Sounds somewhat similar to Romney's take on RomneyCare, except that the 10th Amendment argument is reversed. Romney's argument is pro-10th Amendment, while Santorum's argument is pro-Federal government. One can argue differences between right-to-work and a mandate, but the similarities between the arguments/justifications cannot easily be dismissed.

Santorum said, "I wasn't going to go to Washington and overturn that from the federal government and do that to the state." He wouldn't do it to his State as a Senator, but he would do it to ALL States as President? That is not a strong 10th Amendment position.

In addition, given Santorum's reluctance to accept Romney at his word regarding whether he would actually repeal ObamaCare if given the opportunity, it is important to note Santorum's pledge to advocate for and sign into law a right-to-work bill, even though he opposed it in Pennsylvania. Can he be taken at his word? If Romney can't be trusted, then how can Santorum?

Oh yeah, he also fully endorsed Romney as a Conservative in 2008 (2 years after RomneyCare was enacted): “In a few short days, Republicans from across this country will decide more than their party’s nominee. They will decide the very future of our party and the conservative coalition that Ronald Reagan built. Conservatives can no longer afford to stand on the sidelines in this election, and Governor Romney is the candidate who will stand up for the conservative principles that we hold dear.  Governor Romney has a deep understanding of the important issues confronting our country today, and he is the clear conservative candidate that can go into the general election with a united Republican party.” Rick Santorum, February 1, 2008 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Conservative Pride!

Hi! My name is Garrett and I am a conservative. As long as I can remember I have always known in my heart that I was conservative. As a youngster when the other kids talked about unfairness and they reveled in receiving participation trophies I was thinking about smashing the trophy on the ground and kicking butt the next time. When they railed against traditional families, I was glad I had a mom and a dad who loved me. It was hard. I never felt like I fit in. There were times when I questioned my conservatism, but I would just deny it and bury it. I even tried to be liberal, but I couldn't fake it. The conservative urges within me were too strong to deny. Finally, I got tired of living all the lies and pretending to be something I wasn't. When I was 18 years old, I told my parents that I was conservative. I suffered a lot of rejection from friends and family but some of them have come around. My parents struggled with it, but they have grown to accept me for who I am.

I think it's important to point out that I did not choose to be a conservative. God made me this way. It is unfair for others to ask me to expand my thinking and accept things like homosexual lifestyles, because that would deny who I really am. It's difficult to be a conservative in this liberal world. We are constantly the butt of jokes and the objects of scorn, even from the President of our own Country. But, today I am proud to be a conservative. I am glad God made me this way, even if it does make things difficult for me sometimes. We are all different and you need to be tolerant of me and accept my lifestyle and ideas. To do otherwise, would make you a hateful, divisive, and oppressive conserva-phobe!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Small Business Owner Discusses Taxes, Business, & Freedom With a Liberal

[An excerpt from Liberal In Nature. Andrew, a self-proclaimed liberal, is on a helicopter flight into the wilderness. His pilot, Arlen, is a small bussiness owner and Tea Party member. This is an excerpt of their conversation]

"Did you see the elections the other night?" Arlen asked.

“Nope. I didn’t see it,” he replied to Arlen.

“Bloodbath, man,” said Arlen gleefully. “Dems got creamed. Only a few of them survived. Even our Senator got the boot. ‘Bout time!”

Andrew could hardly stay in his seat. He wanted to jump up and throw Arlen out of the helicopter. How could he sit there and take political jabs from an uneducated pilot?

“’Bout time for what?” Andrew asked. “’Bout time a right-wing nut jumped in and ruined everything? ‘Bout time the country completely went off the deep end? ‘Bout time idiots were in charge of the government? What a crock!”

“Hey, just expressing my opinion. Just wanted to see some new blood.”

“New blood? So you don’t care about good policies; you just want to see some new blood. That new blood is going to take us all down. That new blood is going to ruin everything.”

“Well, old guy almost took me down. Carbon taxes, pollution taxes, business taxes; all these taxes hurt a guy like me. Says my helicopter ruins the environment so he punishes me for flyin’ it. Funny thing is, he’ll take some extra cash to make it all better. If he really cared about the environment and I was hurting it, why not shut me down completely and save the environment? What’s more money gonna do? But, I gotta pay it and not ask questions. Here you are, probably thinking my copter is killing the environment too, but here you’re riding in it. What am I supposed to do? Had to sell my other copter and let go of my people. Gotta pay the bills. Tough times. Now it’s just me runnin’ the show here. Just want some new blood, hopefully some new ideas.”

“There are no new ideas coming. Those political hacks don’t know what they’re doing. They are ignorant zealots who have no idea how to transform this nation.”

“Nation don’t need no transforming. Just need more jobs; need more businesses. I run a business and I don’t know what’s goin’ on. Maybe I’ll hire someone and then I get hit with another tax and then I have to fire that person. That don’t feel good. Everything’s in limbo. Don’t know what next month’ll hold for me.”

“If you understood anything about economics you would know that it’s all starting to trickle up. It’s coming; or it was coming until the conservatives took over. Now I don’t know what will happen except that they will cut all the programs we worked hard to start and they will slash government so it won’t be able to take care of us.”

“Don’t need government to take care of me; just need it to leave me alone. I do fine on my own. I work, pay my taxes, feed my family, go to church, watch a game on Sunday. I’m okay without the government.”

“Going to church has really helped you a lot I see,” Andrew said sarcastically looking around at the beat up helicopter.

“Done me just fine. I’m a pretty happy guy; got no problem with anyone. Don’t have to cut people down to make me feel better ‘bout my life. Just live life and treat others good.”

Well,” Andrew said.


“Just live life and treat others well,” Andrew replied. He hated it when people used “good” instead of “well.”

“I don’t know much,” Arlen said. Andrew nodded his head in an exaggerated fashion. “But, I have run this business for thirty years. Been flyin’ in these mountains since I was eighteen. My business has survived a lot but it barely survived this last year. It’s a scary time. Got a pit in my stomach that won’t go away. I worry about my kids and my business all the time. Here I’m flyin’ high over the trees in a beautiful place talkin’ to you but I’m really thinkin’ ‘bout making the payment on my house and you haggled me pretty good so I will hardly make money on this flight. Not complainin’; it’s just how it is. You ever run a business?”

Andrew hesitated. He knew that he had never run a business and he got defensive every time someone asked him that question. He had taken a few business classes in college so he felt like he understood the concepts better than most of the uneducated people who were running businesses. Besides, he had read so many political books on the economy that he thought he was practically an expert on the subject.

“I’ve studied business extensively. I know what is involved,” Andrew replied authoritatively.

“You ever feel that pit in your stomach? You ever feel the weight of everything coming down on you after you’ve taken a gigantic risk? You ever go home and look at three kids who have no idea that food might not be on the table the next day and you feel guilty because you know it, but you can’t tell them? You ever have to write checks to departments of government you’ve never even heard of? Meanwhile, your wife is out at garage sales trying to buy cheap clothes for the kids cause there’s no money left and those cute buggers are growin’ like weeds?”

Arlen paused. He was getting choked up so he looked out his window. He wiped his cheeks with his oily gloves.

“I know there’s people who got it worse than me. We try to give to the church and help those folks. I volunteer my copter when someone goes missin’. We make meals for folks who got nothin’. We try to do our part to help the needy. But, just seems that we can handle that and don’t need the government babysittin’ and takin’ our money to take care of people who aren’t doin’ a lick of work tryin’ to get into a better situation. Those people only see a bit of that money anyway seeing how the government wastes so much of it. I just think things need to change. We’re not going to make it the way we’re going. Got that pit in my stomach all the time. Won’t go away. Wake up in the middle of the night worrying. Can’t eat as much. Can’t relax and take my mind off of it. It’s always there.”

Andrew was fuming. He couldn’t believe what this guy was saying. He clearly had bought into the conservative, tea party crap and didn’t have the education to see through to reality.

“That’s a nice story,” Andrew started sarcastically. “But, I don’t think you really understand what the government does. Those people who benefit from the government would have nothing without us. They have a right to have the things that others have and we have an obligation and duty to give it to them. It’s not fair for some to suffer and experience poverty while a few of us have it all. They deserve some of that. They deserve to live the American dream just like the rest of us. If Tea-partiers got their way, those people would all die of starvation and pneumonia while everyone else – all the good Christians – stand aside and watch. It is such hypocrisy. It is so wacko I can’t even begin to describe it.”

“I think you misunderstood me. I’m not saying I don’t care about those people. In fact, I do care a lot and that is why I think they should have a chance to stand on their own. See if they can make the American dream happen for themselves. American dream don’t guarantee anything except that you have freedom to make something happen. It’s got nothin’ to do with money or status. It’s about freedom and opportunity. Poor man can still live the American dream, while a rich man can miss it. I had nothin’ growing up. Barely finished high school. Had nothin’ lined up; took a job fixin’ engines. That moved into working on helicopters. Did that for years. Saved up some money and bought this helicopter from a fella’ who couldn’t get it to run. I worked on it and fixed it and then got my pilot’s license and became a pilot. Business has been up and down but it’s my business and I can make of it what I want. Maybe not your American dream, but it’s mine and I’m happy with it.”

“That’s great but you got that chance. Some people don’t have that chance. They are stuck and can’t get out of their situation. That is where the government helps them. What would they do without it?”

“Maybe somethin’. Maybe nothin’. Who knows? But what do they do with it? Most them folks don’t go nowhere cause no one gives ‘em a kick in the butt. When I was eighteen my dad told me to get out and find a job so I did. My friend’s dad didn’t tell him nothin’; just let him sleep in the basement, gave him food and stuff. He’s still there. Never forced to go out and get somethin’. Shame too. He was a smart kid; coulda’ been somethin’ great if he’d been pushed out the house. Instead he goes from job to job not caring about anything. Lives off the government. Never been pushed; never felt that pit in his stomach.”

“Again, great story but not really reality. Studies have shown that government programs do help people improve their situations.”

Andrew stopped himself. He was getting into too much detail and he was letting Arlen control the conversation. He had wanted to just finish the conversation and move on to his adventure in the wilderness but he couldn’t let it go. He had to put Arlen in his place. Andrew instinctively resorted to his campaign rhetoric.

“If you think the tea-partiers know what they’re doing, then you’re either ignorant or dishonest. All of those candidates are wackos. They have no experience, they have radical ideas and they are incredibly stupid. Not to mention the fact that they are bigots, homophobes and racists. The fact that they won any election from city council to the Presidency just validates the ignorance of the American public. It just shows the sad state of affairs of those who vote. They are so easily swayed by promises to cut spending, reduce the deficit and shrink government. They don’t understand that, first, it will never happen. Second, if it did happen, the country would fall apart. People need the government. The government creates jobs and opportunities. The government runs important programs, protects citizens, regulates industries, protects the environment, and helps people who cannot help themselves.”

“Your tea party candidates are just ignorant Joes who want to play dress-up politician but they don’t know how things really work. They have no idea how to run a country because they’re idiots and they don’t have the intellectual qualifications to be in politics. And here you are complaining about government when you have probably never even been to Washington D.C. You’re a simple pilot who flies up and down and around the mountains. What kind of experience do you have? Where have you been and what have you done? People like you voted out the only chance we’ve got and you probably couldn’t even name the Vice President. People like you chose for everyone else and you have never even been to a college class. What do you know about the economy? You get your information from Fox News or from your Pastor.”

Having dealt Arlen a heavy blow, Andrew leaned back and stretched his legs.

“I only know what I’ve experienced. I only know the fear of taking a big risk and having to make things happen each day. Those politicians, they get paid regardless of what they do. Most of ‘em never run a business. Most never got those letters in the mail from the Department of Revenue or Labor and Industries or Treasury. I don’t think they get it. Oh well. What can I really do about it? I’m just one person. Cast my vote and then hope someone gets it right.”

“You can get educated and vote for the right person, first of all. Second, you can pay your taxes with pride and patriotism, knowing that you are supporting the country. If you do it grudgingly as you apparently do, it is as if you didn’t do it,” Andrew knew he had heard something like that before, but couldn’t remember where it came from.”

“I don’t give to the church grudgingly. Don’t help people grudgingly. Don’t give meals or service to people grudgingly. I have a choice in doing those things. No one is forcing me so I get to choose and believe, which makes me a better person. It is true charity and love. Got no choice in paying the government. Don’t make me a better person. Don’t help me overcome selfishness. It’s just pay or get in big trouble.”

“You are helping the country. It is a patriotic thing to do. Take pride in it and enjoy that feeling of knowing that you are helping people.”

“Helping or enabling?” Arlen questioned as he banked the helicopter hard to the right.

“Enabling?” Andrew was furious at this point. He couldn’t believe this man was so ignorant and ungrateful for everything Andrew and his colleagues had done to help his state and the country. He was amazed that people like this pilot were allowed to vote. He thought they should come up with a simple test to determine voter eligibility. Prerequisite questions would include: Do you believe the fact that people and corporations are causing climate change? Do you believe that it is the Government’s job to take care of its people? Do you believe that there should be more equality in wages and overall wealth? If anyone answered “no” to any of the questions, they should be prevented from voting.

“Sometimes you have to – “ [End of Excerpt]

To learn more about Liberal In Nature click here.

Ronald Reagan: President of My Childhood

Ronald Reagan was the President of my childhood. I was still quite young when he was President, but I fondly link him to those early, impressionable days. I didn't understand policy back then, but I could discern between authenticity and phoniness. Reagan passed the test. We had a picture of him in our home and I think I assumed that in some way he was a family member. I still kind of feel that way.

Perhaps my most poignant memory of Reagan was praying for him each night. My family prayed for him and I remember praying for him individually. I continued this practice through Bush I, but stopped in the Clinton years; partly because I was then a cynical teenager and partly because I didn't know if my prayers would matter on him. I admit; not a great attitude and now I encourage my children to pray for Obama and the Country as a whole. If nothing else, it teaches them about agency - one of God's greatest gifts.

My true appreciation for Reagan's policies has developed over the last decade. Most importantly, I relish his belief in the power of the individual! As I read and watch videos of speeches I am touched by his love for this Country and his distain for evil. He was a gentleman, but he wasn't timid. He had fight, but it didn't seem mean or malicious. He had a light-hearted manner that I find remarkable given the things he dealt with.

In the end, Ronald Reagan will always be the President of my childhood. And he will always feel like Grandpa Ronnie to me. I won't ever look for the "next" Ronald Reagan, because I don't believe there are men like him anymore, but I certainly hope there are many men & women who adopt his belief in the individual, his integrity and authenticity.

This is one of my favorite Reagan videos, which shows his great gift of humor:

10 Quick Points On "Halftime In America"

Here is the text of the "Halftime in America" ad featuring Clint Eastwood:

It's halftime. Both teams are in their locker room discussing what they can do to win this game in the second half. It's halftime in America too.

People are out of work and they're hurting. And they're all wondering what they're going to do to make a comeback. And we're all scared because this isn't a game.

The people of Detroit know a little something about this. They almost lost everything, but we all pulled together. Now Motor City is fighting again.

I've seen a lot of tough eras, a lot of downturns in my life; and times when we didn't understand each other. It seems that we've lost our heart at times. The fog of division, discord and blame made it hard to see what lies ahead. But after those trials, we all rallied around what was right and acted as one. Because that's what we do.

We find a way through tough times and if we can't find a way then we'll make one. All that matters now is what's ahead. How do we come from behind? How do we come together? And how do we win?

Detroit's showing us it can be done. And what's true about them is what's true about all of us
This country can't be knocked out with one punch. We get right back up again and when we do the world's gonna hear the roar of our engines.

Yay, it's halftime, America...and our second half is about to begin.

My 10 Quick Points on "Halftime in America":

1. It's not halftime; it's already the 4th quarter.
2. We need a new Quarterback.
3. Some of our own "teammates" have bet against us.
4. The announcers, referees, ballboys, fans, cheerleaders, and some of our coaches & players are supporting & helping the other team.
5. The halftime drink of choice for many is Koolaid.
6. It's not the knockout punch we should be concerned about; it's the continuous jabs.
7. If we get knocked down, there will be no one there to help us up.
8. "Coming together" sounds good but won't do it; we have to come together on the right principles.
9. In order to succeed in the second half, you have to look back at the first half & make adjustments.
10. The answer is simple; we must go back to the playbook (the Constitution).

Saturday, February 4, 2012


This is an excert from my book, Liberal In Nature, in which an elderly man (Michael) discusses religion and Jesus' teachings with a self-proclaimed liberal (Andrew). While this excerpt was not written specifically to address President Obama's recent use of Jesus' teachings to support tax hikes and other Government programs, it does cover the necessary points to illustrate how disengenuous and hypocritical Obama's words were. Enjoy!

"...I hate this talk about God-given rights and the power of the individual as if individuals can just choose their own selfish path and leave everyone else behind. Most people don’t have the first clue what is good for them. That’s where government comes in. People still have their freedom; the government just provides guidelines and safety nets.”

Andrew looked at the old man triumphantly, as if the argument were certainly over. He actually pitied the man for a brief moment. He knew there was no way the man could argue with his facts. Andrew hoped Michael would just concede so he wouldn't have to embarrass himself by trying to answer. But, Michael calmly cleared his throat and countered.

“I agree that not all individuals know what is best for them, but who is anyone else to tell those people what is best for them? People make mistakes and hopefully learn from them. That’s how progress really happens. That is how people learn what is best for them. If they don’t have the freedom to make mistakes, how can they ever achieve their full potential?”

Andrew shifted in his chair. The pain in his back shot through his body as he moved, but he ignored it and continued the argument.

“So are we to just turn everyone loose? Every man for himself? Hooray for the power of the individual? What about the power of society? Wouldn’t Jesus want to help people? How about ‘What would Jesus do’? That’s what I don’t get about Christians; they claim to be so religious and then they turn their backs on the poor and needy. They’re just a bunch of hypocrites.”

The old hermit looked at Andrew inquisitively. “Do you know the Bible?”

“I know enough. I was forced to go to Sunday School when I was a kid.”

“So what do you think Jesus would do?”

“He wouldn’t be a greedy, racist homophobe.”

“What would he be?”

“If He were real, He would help people. He would go out of his way to make sure there was no suffering, no war, and no pain. He would protect those who can’t protect themselves. He would eliminate inequality and unfairness. He would heal everyone and make this world a better place.”

“So, you do believe in Him?”

“I never said that. I’m just speaking from the beliefs of Christians since they are the ones who believe all these things and they are the ones who do the opposite.”

“Isn’t it a bit unfair to use their own God against them when you don’t even believe in Him? That just seems a bit hypocritical as well. It would be one thing if you believed in Him and believed all those things you said about what He would do, but since you don’t believe those things and since you don’t believe in Him, can you really speak to what He would do if He were here?”

“I am just making the point that their “Savior” taught certain things and they don’t even follow them.”

“Perhaps if you look a little deeper, you will understand a bit more. Jesus didn’t heal everyone and in fact instructed His disciples to not teach and heal certain groups of people. Jesus didn’t say there would be no suffering. Jesus didn’t promise people they would not experience pain. He didn’t say life would be fair and equal. How would you even define equality? Jesus certainly didn’t. He tried to make the world a better place but didn’t force anyone.

He taught, exhorted and encouraged, but never forced anyone to be charitable. He gave people choices and explained consequences and let them govern themselves. He did not get involved in the government. He did not pass civil laws or play politics. He rendered unto Caesar what was Caesars. He railed against politicians and those who did good to be seen of their fellowmen. Even when He healed, it wasn’t a free handout. His healings were earned through faith and usually followed with an encouragement to “sin no more” or to follow Him. When various people came to Him he sometimes responded with love and mercy and yet He sometimes responded with sternness and justice.

Why He chose one or the other, none of us knows, but we do know that He knew the hearts and minds of those people and we can assume He did and said what was needed in order to help the individual. Sometimes He presented a test for someone to pass or fail. Sometimes He simply offered an invitation. He knew the difference and He knew when to use one over the other, or something in between. The point is, no one knows what Jesus would do in a given situation because we don’t have His perfect mind and we don’t know the hearts and minds of the people around us. So, we probably shouldn’t invoke Jesus into political discussions to support our point of view - especially if we don’t actually believe in Him.”

Michael finished and looked at Andrew, who was staring at the floor as if he hadn’t heard anything the man said.

“Religion is responsible for so much of the world’s suffering,” Andrew said suddenly. “So many wars have been fought, so many people killed, so much hatred; all in the name of religion.”

“Perhaps. But perhaps those wars were fought and those people killed because of man’s need for power. Political motivations are almost always at the center of wars. Pure religion seeks to help men and women overcome that lust for power. It focuses on selflessness and humility. Men go to war when they ignore pure religion and succumb to their own carnal lusts for power and glory.
While it is true that some use religion as a banner to justify their own selfish desires, you can hardly blame the religion itself. Religion doesn’t take away man’s agency. It doesn’t force people to agree with it. If you want to go, you can go. If you don’t want to go, you don’t go. If you want to donate money to the church, temple or synagogue, you can. If you don’t want to donate money, you don’t have to. Each person has his or her own choice and pure religion strives to influence people to make selfless choices that will lead to long-term happiness, rather than short-term pleasure.” [End of excerpt]

You can learn more about the book, which tackles most of the major political issues of our day at