Thought You'd Never Ask

Just mouthing off -- because I can.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

First principles from the American founders: "to secure these rights"

The elite can't understand these Tax Day Tea Party gatherings? I wanted to share with you this illuminating speech by John Lewis, delivered at the Charlotte, North Carolina Tea Party protest last week. (A written transcript of his Charlotte Tea Party Speech is here.) As Professor Lewis wrote,

My own talk focused on the moral aspects of the crisis. I contrasted the elevated view of man and his rights that is enshrined in the American founding documents, versus the cancerous view of man and the phony rights that dominate today. I noted that those who think that such events must be financed by billionaires have no conception of autonomous individuals with independent minds, and thus cannot understand people who come together out of love for liberty....

These tea parties are expressions of an emotion, outrage, that is directed against a rising tide of taxation and increasing government coercion. But emotions are not guides to life, and will not tell a person either how to oppose a motivated socialist movement, or how to formulate a rational alternative. Unless some intellectual focus is brought to these events, they are likely to fade into irrelevance.

Thanks to attending two Tax Day Tea Party protests, I feel (yes, it is a wonderful feeling) that we are no longer alone, marginalized, or powerless in wanting to return to the first principles of our country's founders in determining from here on forward what this country is to be and do. And beyond feelings, I am encouraged by seeing more and more evidence that the movement of likeminded people to bring about the necessary changes is starting to coalesce around some principles of how to make it happen.

Because not only is socialism immoral; socialism never works. And socialism is what we are headed for if patriots like the Tea Party advance guard don't start pushing back and becoming active in sounding the alarm and clarifying what's at stake for ourselves and our kids. "We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth."

As Ayn Rand said, the United States was the first and only moral nation in history. We will not let it slip away without a fight. We need to regain the vision that our Founders had, asserting our rights as autonomous human beings. Let everyone know that it is a fight not just of economics or politics, but of morality.

SIDEBAR: A new review of Atlas Shrugged with comparisons to recent events (via Ace).

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Oh my God

Another flabberghasting story of how Obama relates to religion and vice versa: Power Line sums up the latest flap about the White House requesting Georgetown University to cover all references to Jesus ("signs and symbols") to be seen in the background of Obama's speech. So true, this crux of it:

According to CNSNews, the White House asked Georgetown to cover up all signs and symbols behind the Gaston Hall stage. Why would the White House ask? Why would a Catholic school accede? Is it written somewhere that before Obama crows three times, Georgetown will deny Jesus?
It's hard to decide who is acting worse here: "The White House," or the Christian school administrators who should know better, but who acceded to the bizarre and disrespectful request. As we keep shaking our heads and saying: "Cover-ups, renamings, revisions, denials. It's just like Orwell's 1984." Real shocker that these Catholics are so spineless and willing to go along.

Reminds me of the earlier story when school administrators (and even a Methodist minister) in Virginia deemed the sight of the Christian cross in a Christian chapel offensive to non-Christians and banished it to a closet.

Way to stand up for the Lord.

But it is always instructive to remember the true revealed character of these mortals who purport to lead us in spiritual--and political--matters. Thank God for the freedoms we still have in this country to worship and live as we feel led, not as we would be led by some "leaders."

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Friday, April 17, 2009

A modern Christian's philosophy of life

Here's a thoughtful Rick Warren sharing a few ideas of what he thinks life is all about. I found it interesting, and I must admit I have always thought of life as a series of mountains and valleys, too. Maybe he's right about the two rails. I am sure he's right about the problems that come with money and notoriety and the pleasures of having lots of money with which to be truly charitable. It is also important, I think, to always remind oneself that the real point of the well-lived life is not necessarily to be comfortable and happy. I am also sure that some days the to-do list goes nowhere and you have to be very sure of what the important bottom line is. "Feed my sheep" was a pretty clear directive. So was "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind." No matter how reduced or how expanded our personal, national, or global circumstances become, these will always remain attainable daily goals to strive for, as long as there is life and breath.


Obama's vision: unsustainable

So sez Charles Krauthammer, and gives his reasons. That's why there were tea party protests. Not too hard for anybody to understand, other than the liberals and the ignorant who don't want to know.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tax day protests: I wuz there

I attended two April 15th Tax Day protest rallies yesterday, surprising even myself. The first (photos above and below) was during lunch hour at a small town square, attended by about 400-500 very patriotic, very well-behaved, very (quietly, civilly) angry people of all ages, from babes-in-arms to many elderly white-haired seniors, including an impressive phalanx of veterans from WWII and more recent wars who led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. All of us proudly claimed the name of "right-wing extremists" exercising our rights with a deafening cheer. The honking from the passing traffic responding to our protest signs was energetic and encouraging.

The second rally I attended, with friends and my teenaged son, was reportedly one of the bigger crowds gathered among the 800 protests yesterday. I am congenitally allergic to crowds, but I felt the sacrifice was worth the effort, and so it was. As I told my son, showing up to swell a crowd with one more warm body is the very lowest form of patriotism, but sometimes even that is necessary.

My sign: "Limit politicians not prosperity." On the flip side: "Bailouts are for losers."

My son's sign: "Greedy politicians stole my future."

I saw a lot of families with teens and children there. In fact, I saw ordinary, middle-class working Americans and their families there, the kind of people our political leaders claim to want to represent, protect, and look out for.

Since I went to high school and college in the late 1960's and early 1970's, it felt decidedly weird to now be in my 50's and taking my son to his first protest rally. How things have changed in our country that this has now become a possibility, let alone a necessity.

Yet yesterday's protests were totally unlike the stereotypical protests I watched while I was in college or living in San Francisco (with screaming, out-of-control hatred displayed by hormone-soaked anarchists and anti-Americans, carefully schooled in street theater and civil disobedience, throwing and breaking things, targeting the cops, and shouting obscenities).

Yesterday's grassroots protests were like an all-America-loving, Fourth of July celebration. Bonds were formed that will bear future fruit. Patriotism and love of country was rampant yesterday--along with a lack of faith in our politicians and a deep concern for where they are taking our country. This is an amazing and crucial distinction. Our country has never seen anything like what happened yesterday.

Let's hope yesterday will be the new start of some much better governance in our deserving country than what we've been suffering under for way too long. Let's hope some people who want to hide their heads, or protect their little fiefdoms (of money, power, prestige, or intellectual gravitas) at the expense of the American people will finally start to hear a new message calling for some real change and will decide to listen, understand, and join us.

Some tax day tea party photos here.

The supposed cluelessness of President Obama (not a politically profitable stance for him to persist in).

John Boehner happened to sum up my motivation pretty well:

"They've had enough of Democrats forcing taxpayers to pick up the tab for more wasteful spending instead of working together to make the tough fiscal decisions Americans are forced to make each and every day. They've had enough of seeing their hard-earned tax dollars wasted on pork-barrel spending that won't create jobs, rebuild their savings, or get our economy moving again. And they've had enough of Congress and the White House mortgaging our children and grandchildren's future by saddling them with mountains of debt destined to bankrupt our country," Boehner said.

--except that you can add I've had enough of Republicans dodging real solutions and forcing taxpayers to pick up the tab for more wasteful spending as well. I think it's about time to eliminate the corrupt power of our political elitist class of unaccountable and non-transparent overlords by abolishing the IRS, enacting the Fair Tax, and instituting term limits. One or two terms and get out and get a real job. And no government pension for you. It's public service, dammit, not a career of power.

You see, I am not just angry and protesting, I am offering solutions. And there will be more to come from the American people awake to the needs of our country. Leaders and the media who wish to ignore this do so at their own peril.

UPDATE: More photos of Tax Day "tea parties" around the U.S. The biggest, most "stimulative" grassroots uprising since the 1960's. It is the former Silent Majority no longer willing to stay silent.

UPDATE (read the whole thing):

All those in the media had to do was read a few of the signs to "get it." The complaints were pretty straight forward: Stop the spending. Get out of our business. Let us keep more of the money we make. Stop the bailouts. For some reason such common sense concerns were beyond the comprehension of most of those reporting on the events....

(Via Maggie's Farm)


Saturday, April 11, 2009

After some 100-plus days of the Obama Presidency...

...I have to say it is as bad as I feared.

The international implications.

The domestic implications.

The erosion of our civil liberties.

Bad legislation.

Broken promises.

Double standards for tax cheats and other Democrat scofflaws.

It's guaranteed there's more to come.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Graduation advice

50 Things Every 18-Year-Old Should Know (via Maggie's Farm)

The Neal Boortz Commencement Speech

What to look out for in college: the indoctrination classes (avoid them, unless you are a fighter--or a blogger).

What to look for at college: the thought-reformistic diversity orientation (segregated or unsegregated) and the dorm indoctrination. Freshmen are the unsuspecting captive audience. How these groups are granted the power to subject other adults to this kind of nonsense, with the approval of the colleges and universities, baffles me.

My advice: Look on it all as a big adventure, which it is. Practice your God-given rights to being a skeptic, making your own decisions, and maintaining your own level of self-respect, integrity, and privacy. It's called growing up.

UPDATE: Oh yes, some films I'd recommend for young people about to go off and start their own lives: "Ticket to Heaven" (the danger of religious cults); "Indoctrinate U" (the danger of campus political correctness); "Free to Choose" (Milton Friedman's 1980 television show). Also, a few books to consider. Forewarned and educated is forearmed.

UPDATE: Other skills to acquire on the way to adulthood.

Any other suggestions?


Apt words

Socialists believe in government ownership of the means of production. Fascists believed in government control of privately owned businesses, which is much more the style of this government. That way, politicians can intervene whenever they feel like it and then, when their interventions turn out badly, summon executives from the private sector before Congress and denounce them on nationwide television.

By Thomas Sowell (via Bookworm Room).


Obama bows to King of Saudi Arabia, but not to Queen of England

I like the explanation that Obama was aiming for a head-butting.

I have to post this "news" (old to many of us) because my Dreamboat hadn't heard about it. He's a hardworking guy with a job that consumes most of his waking hours (when he's not watching Turner Classic Movies), and who gets his "news" from the New York Times and Jim Lehrer's NewsHour on PBS.

And in another note to my darling, Michelle Obama put her big mitts all over the Queen of England in a highly inappropriate breach of protocol. The ever-correct Queen was gracious enough to help smooth over the gaffe. The media gushed with double standards.

At least the Obamas weren't as bad as the Italian Prime Minister.

And at least such behavior is better than accordion-bucking! Although at the rate our President is making mistakes and embarrassing us, accordion-bucking may well be the least surprising item of what's next on the Presidential agenda.

You probably also haven't heard about JournoList yet, have you? It explains the curious case of multiple headlines, which I have been noticing since the Bush administration.

Oh well, and Bush is a chimp and Sarah Palin's family is trailer trash! What else possibly matters?

We now return you to serious life.

UPDATE: Final words. Yup:

This has nothing to do with the bow or handholding. The question as to the meaning of the bow is open to interpretation. My take is, let him bow all night if it achieves America’s energy and security objectives. It could have been a simple mistake by a neophyte President who hasn’t yet grasped just how powerful he is.

This issue here is about how easily Obama and his team will lie and expect the media to cover it up, which they pretty much do. Almost all news sites have the word bow in quotes like “Obama “bows” before Saudi King.”

The bottom line, can anything that comes out of this White House be trusted if they are willing to lie over something so small? The White House is telling the American people that our eyes are lying to us. We collectively are misinterpreting the video says Team Obama. I don’t know about the hope part, but that sure is change.

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Driving out "the rich"

A few thoughts on driving that evil Rush Limbaugh out of New York City...and all the other rich fat cats "rich enough to pay more taxes and not even notice," as too many liberal onlookers like to say...

Where can individuals maximize their opportunities? My ancestors migrated from Germany to Upstate New York for better economic opportunities. Five generations later, Upstate New York was no longer so business friendly, as New York City political power bilked it as a cash cow (and the New Deal years followed by more unionization had killed off so many of the farms and manufacturing firms). My parents left Upstate NY for California in the 1960s, still railing against Rockefeller's oppressive NY state taxes and confiscatory, Albany and NYC, big-government philosophy. In comparison, California was a great land of opportunity for awhile, when the aerospace and other industries were still booming in a business-welcoming atmosphere. Now California has followed NY state into the liberal, tax-and-spend, nanny state, anti-business trash basket. All but one of my family members have long ago fled or been driven elsewhere. And we are not fat cats.

When I got married my husband and I wanted to live in California--to us it was the most beautiful and culturally interesting place in the world to live--but it was clearly uneconomical to do so. In order to best further ourselves and raise a family, dependent in large part on what our "middle class dollars" could purchase, it was obvious we should leave. My husband went on a national job market, and has been on one ever since. We never wanted to live in the South, but it turned out we have spent years in North Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia. These states welcome business, and consequently offer jobs, lower taxes, and good places to buy a home, find decent schools, and raise kids.

Anybody who says people won't relocate to better themselves doesn't understand much. The process has been going on for generations. Unfortunately now I see my kids as facing relocation to other countries to find the same opportunities we once found here, thanks to the federalization of non-business-friendly policies and philosophies. The taxpayer has become a cash cow to Washington, and the freedoms that were once our heritage and our glory are eroding.

America refused to understand and appreciate the engine that made success possible, and is in the process of killing it off. When you go after "the rich" unfairly, as Washington, New York, California, and other governments are now doing--when YOU, Mr. Liberal-Socialist in power, decide how much is "fair" for "the rich" to "progressively" bear in the name of "social and economic justice"--you have killed off the principals of fairness, individual freedom and the right to lawfully-earned private property in this country that once caused opportunity and wealth to grow for everyone.

Greedy, envious, thieving fools wielding the power to destroy. I don't mean the rich, who earn their money. I mean the politicians and liberals who feel and appropriate the right to redistribute other people's earnings according to THEIR thieving intentions masquerading as virtue. And the moochers who have no scruples about accepting the money. Until you erect another Berlin Wall, the people who can will flee their thieving, greedy power.

UPDATE: "Let's Tax 'Em at 80%" (via Maggie's Farm).

AFTERWORD: "What does “economic justice” mean, except that you want something that someone else produced, without having to produce anything yourself in return?" Thomas Sowell

UPDATE: Bankers jumping ship for better international jobs. Any Econ 101 student could've predicted this. Yet our lawmakers pretend it doesn't happen or doesn't matter.

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Sunday, April 05, 2009

It can't happen there!

Oh but yes it could! A Tea Party protest in Santa Barbara, diehard liberal hotbed! I love it, especially since Santa Barbara is my former "home" town. Next will we see an April 15th Tax Day Tea Party in Isla Vista? Well, sorta:

15 Apr 2005, 10:00 PM - The Isla Vista Tea Party
6507 Del Playa Dr.
Isla Vista, CA 93117
Cost: FREE
Description: We are playing a special "coming home" concert this
Friday night!! Its been almost 1 year since we played a show in IV!
Finish your taxes and come out and party with us until you pass out!
We will be waiting for you, drunk.

That sounds like Isla Vista. I'd rather be in Santa Barbara!


And "NO" to National Health Care

One more post before I disappear on vacation. One of the biggest things that sticks in my craw and makes me gag is the fact that my country and/or its leaders would even BEGIN to think about nationalized or socialized health care, as the Democrats and Obama are always doing. Since when does the government do ANYTHING better for consumers than private competition does in keeping markets, products and services available, flexible, affordable, and responsive to consumer demands and needs?

This is what we want? The government cutting "life-prolonging treatments" to save money?

Because that is what we'll get. Government-provided stuff comes from finite pies, unlike market-driven stuff. With politicians taking their big cuts right off the top.

It needs to be made evident to every American who wants the government to provide so-called "free" health care that THIS is what they are advocating for. Killing people in order to spread out the suddenly finite (and ever-shrinking) available services to a much lower level of efficacy overall, as administered and restricted and decided by politicians and bureaucrats.

There is no nice way to gloss it over and stay truthful. Even by those trying to pose as "compassionate" liberals. Or those trying to make people believe that "single-payer health care" or "universal health care" (sounds so equalitarian!) is not socialized medicine. Nice try, liars. There are lots of better ideas out there.

It is also true that government intervention into the health care market place in the past (by making employers provide health benefits, injecting Medicare into the health system, and mandating draconian legal, medical, and insurance regulations) is what has screwed up our health care system to the point where it is now--limping along, dragging with it inflated costs, crippling paperwork, and a huge factor of corruption and waste.

Let me repeat: it is GOVERNMENT MANDATES that have crippled our health care system to this point, and which continue to do so. It is not a free-market failure. The free market is still trying to work around the government-imposed burdens and is doing a better job here than other nations with socialized medicine do. Socialized medicine is no solution. The example of Massachusetts is fast-acting and illustrative.

Because decisions coming out of Washington will be affecting the health and welfare of my family (parents, children, their children, and me and my Dreamboat), I'll be going to the mat on this one. I'm afraid nationalized health care will indeed be passed over my dead body. I'll do everything I can to make sure people understand what's at stake.

UPDATE: Speak of the devil: Here's a good place to start.

UPDATE: "That's not medical care: that's government policy." When government gets involved in things it tends to screw them up. As Democrat Daniel Moynihan said, "Somehow liberals have been unable to acquire from life what conservatives seem to be endowed with at birth: namely, a healthy skepticism of the powers of government agencies to do good." Or, as Britain's Dan Hannan puts it, in delivering a warning after 60 years' experience with socialized health care: "As long as you have a socialist system, no amount of extra spending is going to rescue it."

UPDATE: British dental care: "That’s what happens when you have one provider, and the provider screws up. There are no alternatives. There is no marketplace to adapt and provide. Everything simply collapses."

UPDATE: John Galt, MD. Doctors not accepting new Medicare patients. This is not news. But it will increase as Baby Boomers get old. And that means the very people who need medical help and expected the government to supply it will not be able to get it. So that provides an incentive for politicians to use government to force those meanie doctors to submit to socialized medicine. Which, of course, will solve everything. The initial foot in the door will bring the final slam for all of us.


Read this, then go enjoy spring

I haven't been blogging much lately. My blog posts (yes, I've noticed too) have devolved to be very little of my own writing, and just repostings of links I find useful. That's because I have been busy (and writing, happily!) in other, more productive venues, which tends to sap most of my time and some of my interest. I am also enjoying my family, as my son finishes up his senior year, my mother remains well and active (and continues to buy me lunch), and my housewifely chores and the joy of being outside call to me. I am reading and devoting time to political activism. I am also very encouraged these days by all the many extremely eloquent, rational, and determined voices on the internet offering real hope for change on the national scene of politics, as opposed to the phony "hope" and fake "change" still dribbling and crashing out of the New-New Deal Washington. Nobody really needs me to be another, lesser, chronicler right now, and thank goodness for that. I am unworthy, but the fate of the nation lies in some great hands (that is, the informed individual citizens of America, not the amateurish, gaffe-prone, ineffectual, disgusting and embarrassing Obama administration).

Instead, I am off to celebrate Palm Sunday at my church, and then I will be packing for a "stimulative" family trip to Disneyworld. It is Spring. The sky is blue, the flowers and trees are blooming. Go forth and enjoy the pleasures of life while you have them.

And we have many pleasures, and many, many blessings to enjoy and give thanks for.

And here is a wonderful manifesto posted this morning at Maggie's Farm which I can heartily and thoroughly endorse. This is a favorite excerpt:

Since we at Maggie's view individual liberty, and the responsibilitities which accompany it, as an almost religious, if not religious ideal, we must view those who wish to diminish liberty as enemies of man and of human dignity....

Yes, it speaks to me and for me. Read it all, why don't you.

It seems to me that with such expressions so numerous on the internet and off these days, and with the Tea Party movement gaining momentum, we have turned a real corner in this land. Freedom-loving individuals in the U.S. will not go down without a fight, that's for sure. And I may put this bit from Maggie's Farm's masthead description on my Tea Party sign:

Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.

I believe that is our God-given right, defended for us by the generation of 1776. Freedom! Exercise it responsibly, but exercise it and give thanks for it every chance you get.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

The longest journey begins with but a single step

or, "Why the Tea Party Movement Is Important to Us." I like both the essay and the comments. There is fundamental change becoming a groundswell. Saying: "Enough!" And not even the media double-standard and the Wikipedia editors will deter us. We are getting around it now.

All via Instapundit.