Thought You'd Never Ask

Just mouthing off -- because I can.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Why thumbs down on Ron Paul

Not all conservatives or libertarians agree with Ron Paul. A Conservative Teacher gives a good explanation here (with which I agree):

...Ron Paul is not the direction that the Republican Party should go, and young people, conservatives, and Tea Parties should be fully aware of why Ron Paul is not a serious candidate for anything beyond "Important Congressional Critic of Stuff."

Ron Paul engages in and encourages conspiracy theorists, his newsletters of the '80s and '90s were filled with anti-Semitic and racist rants, and he sometimes shoots at his allies in Congress more than he does his enemies. Sometimes I indulge in fantasies about returning to the gold standard, withdrawing all troops from abroad, and living in a libertarian fantasy world, and then I wake up and grow up and realize that a lot of that stuff that Paul preaches is childish and unrealistic, and that's okay except that he doesn't realize that it is childish and unrealistic.

I guess when I was younger, I was a libertarian, but as I am getting older, I am becoming a solid conservative, and looking less and less at Ron Paul as someone who is a valid model to emulate. A lot of my students read his stuff and get enthusiastic about him, and they did about Obama too, and that bothers me, because both have visions of the world that don't match reality. It's okay, they'll grow up someday too and become conservatives.
In short, Ron Paul is a tad too over-the-line and out of touch; an example of ideology run too far amok. His past racist ties are very troubling and unsavory. Although he sometimes expresses good ideas, and seems to have the courage of his convictions, he is not somebody I want to be affiliated with. It troubles me that evidently a lot of young people see him as a cult figure in a similar way as many did for Obama.

UPDATE: And he's ignorant about economics and history. I hope the Tea Party movement doesn't embrace this guy.

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The bipartisan agreement is against Obamacare

I kept waiting for somebody to mention that in yesterday's televised "pretendathon" at Blair House, but I don't think anybody did. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin did a pretty great job of explaining the basics, though, as did all of the Republicans, I thought--they came prepared and looked like adults. Betsy does a spot-on wrap-up of the event, including this excerpt (do go and read the whole thing):

The Democrats want to use federal money to try to cover as many people as possible regardless of what that plan would do to the budget and health care costs. They illustrated their points with heart-breaking stories about sick people without insurance. They seem to think that we should remake 1/6 of the American economy based on anecdotes. The Republicans want to drive down health care costs through market-driven solutions. Republicans made the point that [it is] government interference in the markets that [is] actually helping to drive up costs. You can offer all [the] soothing language you want about bipartisanship, but there is a reason why there are two different parties. They disagree on how to address those problems.

Did anyone mention that Obama and the Dems do not need to "bring health care to America" (as some woman from San Francisco put it this morning on "The Morning Joe") which already has the best health care system in the world? Did anyone mention that health care is and should remain a personal choice, and that there is no moral or Constitutional justification for socializing the majority's health care decisions in the name of serving a minority? Did anyone mention that the Democrats' plans are unpopular with and unwanted by the majority of Americans? Did anyone point out that if the Democrats will let go of their notion of a "comprehensive" health care reform package, they and the Republicans can work together on instituting some no-cost specific fixes that can start saving both the government and individual Americans money right away?

Did anyone mention the Republicans have had these ideas out there and on the internet since last summer?

Did anyone mention the absurdity of the Democrats holding onto these outrageous notions in light of all the Americans suffering in this economy, without jobs, about to lose their homes?

Who is out of touch here? Who was schooled and who listened? Who has the "face of gridlock"?

(I have to admit, I want to hear more, much more, from Vice President Biden!)

UPDATE: Today I am a little less angry at Republicans. I have to admit only Republicans seem to do this kind of thing. Let's see more of that.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

The birthday of a great man

Today is George Washington's birthday. Power Line gives a fitting commemoration. I read another tribute to Washington to my daughter this morning at breakfast from William Bennett's The American Patriot's Almanac. Washington was clearly a man put in place and protected by Providence, as he himself recognized. It is natural to wonder "Did angels protect him?" once you know his astounding story. And he was only one (though perhaps the most important one) of the heroes who brought about our nation together. But his own contemporaries recognized his greatness.

Today should be a day of thanksgiving for our hero. Every child should know him as the father of our nation, "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen." And if you don't know who said that about him, you should learn it today, in honor of his birthday.

My daughter and I are wondering if anyone will mention George Washington or his birthday today at school--including her teachers. I told her, if nobody else mentions him, you do it.


UPDATE: My cynical guess was correct: not one person mentioned George Washington to my daughter yesterday, besides me. Not one teacher, administrator, or student. My daughter mentioned that it was his birthday to two of her friends, and I am very proud of her for not letting the day go unremarked. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson would be spinning in their graves if they could see what goes on in my little corner of the suburbs, let alone in the highest offices in Washington, D.C.

It does not escape me that my children have studied Martin Luther King, Jr. every year in their public schools, sometimes at great (and warranted) length and depth--and yet they receive so little instruction in our founding fathers and mothers. My daughter had never heard the sobriquets "Father of his country" or "First in war, first in peace...." and no one at her school mentioned the passing of Lincoln's birthday, either. When I pointed out the inequitable attention being paid to Martin Luther King, Jr., my daughter spoke up quickly, "But he was awesome!" "Indeed he was," I assured her. "But so was George Washington, and without him it's possible we'd be speaking with British accents today." My daughter wouldn't mind THAT fate (she thinks British accents are COOL), but she got the point. No thanks to her school.

Our PTA is the the same as the teachers. They sponsor a contest every year to get the children to write essays about their heroes (my daughter is thoroughly sick of the contests, and now writes to make sure her essays won't be chosen). Having sat in on a PTA meeting, I finally heard the inside scoop--the "heroes" they want to see in the winning essays are not Founding Fathers, or achievers who cause children to aspire to greatness, like Mark Twain (about whom my daughter one year naively wrote). No, the PTA and the teachers want the hero essays to evoke emotions in the readers. They want the winning essays to be about "heroes" who are ordinary, unknown contemporaries who have surmounted personal challenges or disabilities or who have launched local charities. They want the children to develop character and aspire, but on how small a scale!

There's nothing wrong with such "heroes" with a small h. But why the monolithic disparity in attention paid between "small h" heroes and true Heroes we should all venerate and remember? Why are our teachers neglecting to teach our children about their country's history? Why are our teachers failing to take pride in, and instill recognition of, what should be our people's highest common values?

Is this reason enough for a mother like me to complain to the principal of this high-achieving, award-winning school?

Or am I just being a (yet again? constantly?) culturally backward crank railing uselessly, who would be better off homeschooling?

When is it time to fight, and when is it time to bail and leave the others to their fate? Or do we all sink or swim together?


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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

And here is a random video Valentine for all my lovelies. Enjoy your day.

Big hat tip to Meow.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Snow





For a little while, it hides a multitude of sins, and looks angelic, uplifting.

Today, not so much. The reality of slush and mud return.

Why they come to America

Here's a person writing about why he chose to leave the "Old Country" and become an American. Can you recognize who wrote these words, or guess the era, or the "Old Country" from which he fled?

I became clearly convinced that a large family such as mine would not find a suitable domain, nor would thrive happily in a small and close land, one afflicted moreoever with unnatural conditions, such as [the Old Country]; and that on the other hand, the great American union with its vast area, free institutions, and incalculable future would offer every human force the freest and greatest space in which to move about.

In addition, there was the consideration that the political convictions animating me and which I wished to instill in my children through upbringing and example were not in favor with the government in my native land. Therefore, I would either need to alter the way in which my children were brought up and be untrue to myself, or expose them forever to the government's disfavor.

I also considered it to be an inestimable gain to make free beings of my descendants; to secure for them the awareness the republican always posesses of higher human dignity; to keep them from the hypocrisy and toadying that seems to be the near unavoidable lot of the subject -- especially in [the Old Country]; to exempt them from the tormenting, eternally gnawing sense of dissatisfaction with the political institutions of the land, with the inequality of status, with the extravagant military which devours the marrow of the people, with the thousand obstructions to industry and trade, with the nobility's, officers', and officials' conceit, with the general tutelage and intervention of the police force in every circumstance, with the lack of freedom of press, etc.; to make them participants under a constitution which does not permit the interest of any dynasty or caste to exist in opposition to that of the people, and so prevents the eternal and unavoidable conflict brought forth in monarchial states by this opposition, a constitution which leaves all conflict between church and state completely to its own, and one which does not allow the government to interfere authoritatively in the most sacred of family affairs, the upbringing of children, in order to permit the adolescent generation only so much light as the ruling system of government considers harmless.

It was also my fervent desire that my descendants -- especially the latter ones who would call America the land of their birth -- would come to the great happiness existent with a strong and proud sense of nationalism, a feeling which will always be denied the [Old Country-dweller] as long as his homeland continues to be so miserably torn apart, and without which, true and meritorious civil happiness is not conceivable, much less a love of the homeland which is alive, prevailing and predominating above all.

Here's a brief bio of the author. (Maybe you recognized the convoluted grammar of 19th-century German-style rhetoric, in what has to be one of the longest run-on sentences you'll encounter today.) Of the 12 children this gentleman and his wife raised, at least two sons were standouts who contributed greatly to their new homeland.

These were the kinds of people who appreciated America to their very cores, and who built America. Reading these sentiments I wonder if we present-day native Americans can still offer such a homeland and such a shining sanctuary to deserving, legal emigrant refugees--or even to ourselves, our own children, and our own descendants.

Are we living up to our ancestors' dreams for us?

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Saturday, February 06, 2010

More than a third of Americans say they have a positive image of socialism


They are ignorant.

Meanwhile, "big business is rated positively by 57% of conservatives. Less than half of both moderates (46%) and liberals (38%) have positive images of big business."

That's because big business is now tainted by the antics of crony capitalism in America--big companies that go crying to Washington for "special favors legislation" to muscle competitors out of the free market.

We've certainly got our work cut out for us.

Keep circulating the antidotes. American needs her Tea Party patriots more now than ever (including the Democrats among them).

Via Power Line and Instapundit.


UPDATE: At least here's some good polling news.




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