Thursday, December 17, 2009

John McCain is supporting Henry McMaster...

Just got an email from McCain giving his support to McMaster for SC Governor.

Well, I wasn't leaning towards McMaster. Now I know I will not vote for him!!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Politics Makes Strange Bedfellows

Politics Makes Strange Bedfellows

California is set to have its citizens vote via referendum on the legalization of pot in 2010.  As of now, it is legal for medical use despite it being illegal per the Federal government.  Without telling my actual stance on the legalization of marijuana let me list some pretty significant "pros" that will come out of California's social experimentation.

First, the Federal government will be shown to be the actual paper-tiger that it is when it comes to drug enforcement.  Long has the US spent BILLIONS on chasing drug dealers and as far as I know the drug trade is tougher and deadlier than ever. No return on our investment!  If California legalizes pot, marijuana producers go legal or get shut down via market forces. (Do you buy beer/wine/liquor from a bootlegger or from Foodlion or BiLo?)  Chasing drug dealers...good!  Putting drug dealers out of business and not spending Billions chasing them... better.  As well, now California municipalities can tax the drug and use those funds to chase crack, meth, and cocaine dealers.  Or fund addiction centers, head start school programs or build prisons! (Knowing California it will be wasted on a typical liberal agenda.)

Second, the legal precedent of California standing up to the US government will trickle down to all states.  California legalizing marijuana will actually make it easier for states like Texas, South Carolina Vermont, Iowa and others who consistently try to protect State's Rights, to do so.  That means telling the Federal government "NO" even if they pass massive healthcare legislation that has no Constitutional backing.  That means telling the Federal government "NO" to education mandates that are not right for South Carolina.

Finally it lets California, a pretty diverse and representative sample of the US, conduct the social experiment of legalizing weed.  We, in SC, get to sit back watch this either be a success or a complete failure.  Perhaps test scores will drop and kids become more lazy than they are now.  Perhaps people are constantly late for work, zoned out at work and always have the munchies.  Maybe California collapses on itself in a drug educed haze.  Maybe.  Or, they enjoy Billions of dollars in new tax revenue, cut crime and show the Federal government that we are 50 sovereign states in one union of mutual support and protection, not one 350 million person state in need of a massive government Nanny.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ha!!!! I love being right!

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100017393/climategate-the-final-nail-in-the-coffin-of-anthropogenic-global-warming/

Tons of info out there on this stuff.

The idea that the educated scientific community is self-monitoring and in any way judicious within its own ranks is finally shown to bogus.

This is an indictment of all "peer reviews" that continue to be an incestuous mutual-aid-society. RIFE WITH GROUP-THINK!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Flute? Manly?

Can you be manly and play the flute?

Uhhhhh. Yeah actually.

Coolness

...all apologies to Ron Burgundy.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Pageland Nobel

With so much going on nationally and statewide, I have neglected what is going on right here in our lovely town of Pageland (I will comment on Obama's "Peace Prize" however.).  A mayoral race is a foot, as well as three districts on the town council.  This past Thursday night I had the privilege of listening to most candidates state their case and respond to several questions concerning the future of Pageland.  First let me comment on the turn out.  I was happy and disappointed.  There was a larger crowd than I expected, as well there seemed to be some sincere interest in the outcome of these political races.  I was however very disappointed to not see more Black or Hispanic listeners.  Now, I had my back to the entrance so if someone slipped in late I did not see them.  But, the point remains.  I would have preferred a more representative crowd.

Candidates were allowed to introduce themselves and were then asked a serious of questions.  Without a doubt Joe Steen (council candidate) and Brian Hough (mayoral candidate) won the day.  Both Hough and Steen spoke clearly about the future of Pageland and what it needs to more forward.  Town Councilman Hough spoke with confidence and with more specificity often referring to facts and figures that the other candidates generally did not utilize.  Steen laid out a motivated vision for Pageland with a cornerstone of increased industry and jobs to increase the tax base of Pageland. 

David Whitaker also convinced me he is a qualified candidate for Mayor.  While he does not have the experience that Brian Hough brings he has obviously taken the time to inform himself and seemed more knowledgeable than any other candidate, Hough excluded.  If Whitaker doesn't win the Mayor's race this go-round I would very much like to see him try again or pursue a council seat. 

In terms of actual "content" the candidates were polite and attentive.  Decorum was never tested and the hot-button issues that can be so divisive were handled with care.  There is one more event on the 20th of this month held by the Chamber of Commerce.  I hope to see more in attendance as well as a more representative crowd.  Perhaps those candidates with public speaking jitters will shed those and other front runners will emerge.

The IgNobel Peace Prize

Last week most of the world was stunned when the Nobel Peace Prize was given to our President, Barack Obama.  Over the years this prize has become less about peace and more about ultra leftism.  Jimmy Carter, the worst US President ever, has received one.  Al Gore got one.  As well as Yassir Arafat.  Not to mention 1976 winner Betty Williams who confessed to school children once that she wishes she could "kill Bush," referring of course to George W. Bush.  Oh, and lets throw Kofi Anan in that mix too.  The guy who presided over the expansion and corruption of the UN, including sweet-heart deals for his own family.  So, Obama is in great company.

Basically Obama received an award for not being Bush.  Or, for weakening our country rather than protecting it.  Weakness in the eye of an ultra-leftist is the only way to peace.  If only everyone were equally weak we would all live in peace.  No I believe it is strength guided by individual freedom, capitalism and democracy that brings peace.  Our world remains in a general state of peace because of the strength of the US and our allies.  Not because of anything Obama has done in the 9 months he has been in office.  This award signifies the utter ridiculousness that Obama's presidency has become.  It is all HAT and no CATTLE as they say in Texas.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

On the job training...

Last week the United Nations and a host of world politicos demonstrated what they are good for. Pomp and rhetoric.  Libyan leader Moamar Gadhafi in his flowing robes shook his fist at the Westernized world and at the UN itself for disregarding decades of conflict between smaller nations.  Our own President suggested that anti-Americanism was almost axiomatic or a given in most parts of the world based on US unilateral behavior.  Funny, Mr. President... wasn't it your side of the political spectrum that floated that canard in the first place?  How convenient for you now that you plead your case to the UN for a new world order based on cooperation.  How is that "cooperation" going at home?  And Mr. Gadhafi, the US is very concerned with civil unrest through out the world, but if every response we take to remedy these situations is wrong in foreign eyes what is our motivation to intervene in a damned if you do - damned if you don't situation?  Go in alone, we are acting unilaterally without world consensus.  Go in multi-laterally and we are forcing Western values on the world by the point of a sword. 

Obama's Lesson

Obama has no doubt learned a good lesson in international relations in his short tenure.  That lesson is that no matter what you do on the international stage it is never the right thing to do nor is it ever enough.  That is because international affairs proceed in a state of nature, or every nation for themselves.  There is no altruism in international politics.  By the way this "lesson" that Obama is just now learning is Political Science 101 for your incoming college freshman.

Our Lesson Learned

If you voted for Obama for any reason other than the color of his skin, AND you have some capacity to be intellectually honest with yourself you have just learned or are now learning a very valuable lesson.  A politician's rhetoric void of verifiable action is absolutely worthless no matter how sweet and enticing his/her message.  If you are the voter I just described you were sold a bill of goods.  One that included "hope" and "change" and "unity".  Where is that?  Our allies that were teaming with joy at the prospect of an Obama era have all but discounted Obama as a charlatan that lacks any political power to accomplish his lofty rhetorical agenda and are quickly hedging there bets by aligning with Russia and China.  The same opinion makers that called Bush a "cowboy" are now calling Obama hollow and impotent. (I would normally discount Europe's opinions on just about all our domestic affairs but we are sounding the same calls here at home on both the left and the right when it comes to Obama.)

Lesson Applied

Obama did not invent the political bait and switch, but he is the most recent and most egregious salesman.  The political bait and switch works on both sides of the aisle.  So how do we apply what we have learned?  Number one we must insist on our country back.  The one promised to us by our fore fathers and founders.  The one based on a government system of checks and balances that works to prevent one level, one house, figure, or party from being too powerful and too big.  We do that by voting Conservative candidates into office.  I will even spot you a libertarian or two (Notice I didn't say "Republican." It is more likely that your vote will be "Republican" but "Conservative" is really what we are looking for.).  You also take your country back by taking responsibility for yourself and your immediate community.  Remember that when you are taking money from the federal government for roads, healthcare, education, law enforcement, municipal improvements, child care, job training, etc, etc. 

So while our Dear Leader is courting the rest of the world towards his ever failing system (a Socialist system that Europe is fast voting from power for more conservative cadidates), remember that real change starts at home.  You want a better community?  Build it.  Require it of others.  Lead by example.  Don't take the easy road and take the hand outs from the federal system.  That course is what has us in this situation now.  All of us are guilty of "taking the money".  Not one of us goes without guilt.  This prescription is easy to hand out and difficult to swallow but, it is the only cure.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck

I tell folks all the time when they stop me to say they enjoy my column to "come by the gun shop and see me."  Every once in while someone takes me up on that.  When they do we inevitably get into spirited discussions of politics, race, religion and every other "third rail" topic you should avoid if you want to make everyone happy.  Well, I don't want everyone happy.  I want everyone informed.  I think Glenn Beck and I have that in common.  He is not concerned with your happiness when it comes to politics, he is concerned with your knowledge.

That fact alone puts him at juxtapositions with the rest of the "media" that is based on serving your baser instincts rather than actually informing you.  (Baser-instincts = 7 deadly sins by the way...)  Rather, Beck just gives it to you right between the eyes.  His loudest critics tell on themselves and confirm my supposition when they call him "loud", "dangerous", "paranoid" and "emotional".  Rare is the word "wrong" or "incorrect" used.  Because Glenn Beck is usually right, or at least headed in that direction.

Before you think I am a Glenn-head who listens to his radio show then rushes home to catch the TV show and has a life time subscription to his web page you might want to know that I never listen to his radio show and catch a TV broadcast about once a month.  I base my opinion on Glenn from previous years of listening to him on the radio and the occasional tune-in on my part to his current show on Fox.  It will also interest you to know that I generally detest Fox News, I think Sean Hannity is a media whore and Bill O'reilly is in the twilight of his relevance and career.  I find most of Fox News patronizing, tabloid and blatantly one-sided.  Just like MSNBC is to the left, so is Fox to the right.  I am smart enough to know when someone's marketing plan is just to confirm my bias!

Glenn however I count as an anomaly.  A welcome anomaly.  He, like Rush Limbaugh, bases his ideas on some very simple and heuristic values.  I think both of them are great, and I think both of them get it WRONG a good bit.  Glenn lets his emotions get the best of him, and Rush lets his arrogance get the best of him. 

Luckily the general message shines through.  What is so anomalous about Glenn Beck is that he is as close to a true Conservative as I can find in the media.  I also truly believe that HE believes every word he says.  I can't say that about Hannity or O'Reilly.  Glenn knows that Governments always grow no matter who is in charge and that its growth is accelerated when the Left is in charge, he knows that each individual state is sovereign and that our Federal government has grown past its useful size and is a tyrant over each state, he knows that less taxes are better than more and that more tax stifles growth of the private sector and rockets growth of government.  He knows our founders created a base set of laws called the Constitution and that we have strayed far beyond their intentions and timeless wisdom.  He knows these things because he is a Conservative.  The fact that he is able to synthesis our current state of politics and express it back to us on TV and radio in a way that makes sense to us explains his success.  Not because he is a fear monger.  Not because his paranoia is entertaining.  But, because he makes sense to us.

I invite you to tune in to Glenn on Fox News on occasion.  Not just because I like him or that his program is good, it is and I do.  But, because it scares the devil out of the left.  The true Kool-aid drinkers on the left can't understand Glenn's appeal and they will label you "paranoid" and "bitter" and "clinging" to guns and God.  Anytime we can scare the left because of their own paranoia about us, we should.  Not just because it is fun, but because it sends them on a fool's errand of trying to pry us from our good senses.  This give them less time to grow government, socialize medicine, indoctrinate children, and weaken our strategic defenses world wide.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Struggle to Stay Relivant

The Struggle to Stay Relevant

No US President exemplifies failure like Jimmy Carter.  Most Presidents can point to something in their tenure as the most powerful man in the world and say "hey, I accomplished something."  Carter can not.  His presidency was marred from beginning to end with miscues and missteps.  From giving away the Panama Canal (China now controls it.) to mishandling the Iran Hostage situation to the creation of the Department of Education, his single term presidency was a black spot on this country's history. (If you don't like my list, feel free to add double digit inflation, gas rationing, etc, etc.)

In his ever public struggle to stay relevant and to seem worthy of the office he wasted, Carter once again puts his foot in his mouth.  Now he is suggesting that the majority of those who publicly oppose Obama do so with racial pretenses.  I particularly take offense to that and so should you.  Not because you have been accused of being a racist.  No, that is standard fare if you are a Conservative, but because your first amendment right to free speech has just been attacked by a former President.  Your ability to speak truth-to-power is now under attack by a man who put his hand on a Bible and swore an oath to protect that right.

I knew that when Obama was elected those that dared stand up to him and his political machine would be labeled racists.  I knew Obama wouldn't come right out and say it, but his surrogates would.  Apparently, Jimmy Carter is now an Obama surrogate.  While we have been listening to the cry-baby hypocrites blast Joe Wilson for daring to speak truth-to-power and suggesting he has violated some kind of congressional "sanctity", the left trots out President Carter to call me a racist, and you a racist if you dare stand up for yourself.  Apparently "sanctity" only extends to Washington politics and not to the United States Constitution!

The good news of course is this is an act of desperation.  This my friends is the beginning of the end for Obama and his policies, assuming of course you and I continue to reject the lies and accusations and hold politicians to account.  This is what the Obama presidency has become.  A presidency that never got started.  A president that misunderstood his mandate.  A mandate that simply said, " don't be Bush."  That is it, that is all.  It did not say, restructure everything we know and understand about this country into a Socialist oligarchy.  It didn't say out spend what Bush spent in 8 years as president in only 8 months.  It didn't say try to force a center-right leaning country to the far Socialist left.  These things were not his mandate.  Now Obama in his own struggle to stay relevant has enlisted Jimmy Carter, the nations worst president, to carry water for him.




Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Why Parents are Right... and Obama is wrong.

"parents, don't you want your kids to be responsible, hard working, proud Americans?"

Of course. But how is individual "responsibility" taught via a collectivist (Socialist) agenda? The "hard working" in this country have been demonized. If you make lots of money it is now assumed you did it dishonestly and do not pay your fair share. When in fact, you actually pay far more than your share.

Amy, I can't KNOW these FACTS and know the agenda of the President and in good conscience just give him a pass when he reads a prepared speech to our school children that doesn't follow his agenda. It actually follows MINE. A conservative agenda. He didn't just stop being a Liberal or a Socialist or a Democrat. So why did his message go Conservative?

Why won't he deliver this message to the American people? Why not promote "individual responsibility" to the masses?

Because you will then have a HUGE cognitive dissonance. How can the President ask me to be personally responsible for myself, and then tell me I need to let him be responsible for my healthcare, education, retirement and litany of other things?

"teachers, don't we all strive to push our students to succeed, to be accountable, to fulfill their talents, dreams & possibilities?" Sure. But some of us also serve another master. Ourselves. Some of us are members of a teachers union that spends millions of dollars fighting individual parents rights to have their children educated as they see fit. They do this because they know that if parents get their way teachers who do not perform will be looking for other work. Sound far fetched? Why is school vouchers such a problem then? Why can't you and Jeff take the amount of money spent on your child by the state and local governments and spend it on a private school? Or a better performing public school? Why can't an inner-city mother take that same money and send her kid to a better performing school? Why? Because the Left and the teachers union knows that this spells the end to 1000's of teaching jobs.

You can't say what Obama said to the kids yesterday and also believe the liberal education agenda. You just can't believe in both.

"i just don't understand why people are so scared of letting their children hear our President's speech that aims to inspire & uplift our children."

Because little Suzy and Timmy will come home all wild eyed about our great President. When in fact, our President is shaping up to be a huge failure. Not hyperbole or an overstatement. Use all the old leftist arguments about Bush and apply them to Obama. Don't even use a "conservative" standard and he is one big fat failure. Remember we were spending too much in Iraq and Afghanistan on the wars? Well did you know that his and Bush's bailouts and stimulus are expected to reach at least 1.7 trillion (More like 2.5). The Iraq war will only cost about .550 Trillion.

Average unemployment under Bush... less than 5%... right now we are at 7.9 and rising.

Obama has the lowest approval rating of any President at this point in office.

Amy, kids don't know this. Most people don't know this. They know we are supposed to feel good because America elected a Black Man President. And you know what. Even I feel good about that. But the man, no matter his color, is a failure at President.

Those of us who see it now don't want our children used as pawns in his mess he created. Nor do we want them to mistake Obama as something he is not. Should our kids look up to him for what he accomplished as the first Black President. Yes. But, after that the man must be judged on his actions, not his words. His actions to this point warrant strident opposition.

You will notice I have lumped Bush in this mess with Obama. All politicians have culpability in this mess. Republican and Democrat. Both parties usurp the Constitution for short term gain leaving the next generation to pay the price. Obama is just the most clear and egregious. He is unapologetic for his Socialist policies. Which is why his approval rating is so low even with a media that is still very much in love with him. Our country is a Center-Right country. Not far left.

So, in closing. While his message was true and admirable, you can not separate his agenda and history from it. To do so would be like giving Bush a third term just because he said something you agreed with. Constitution aside, you wouldn't do that would you? You wouldn't forget all of Bush's failures and problems just because he said something that you now agree with. No, you hold him accountable for his past and his current agenda. That is all that most of these parents of these children are doing.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Waking Up Socialist

Waking Up Socialist

You don't actually wake up one day and *poof* you are a Socialist.  Heck, how can you be something you don't even understand?  Perhaps you are a Socialist via your habits and actions rather than your conscious volition?  Perhaps the incremental behavior and choices you exhibit viewed in total make you a Socialist?  Or perhaps you buy into the idea of a Utopia, an egalitarian society where fairness and equality rein supreme and are willing to make those who are in the way of that Utopia suffer until they are forced into equality?

Don't think you are a Socialist?  Let's test you.  When educating your children who do you rely on for guidance and funding, yourself or the government?  When buying a home who do you rely on to set the interest rate, underwrite the loan (to any extent, great or small), protect your investment, yourself or the government?  Going to college, do you pay for it or do you rely in some part on the government?  Looking for a Job, how entangled is the government in that process?  Do you receive unemployment?  In your healthcare are you paying for it or is the government?  Retirement, are you on Social Security?  Are you relying on Social Security as your retirement plan?  Chances are there is not one among us that can say that he/she does not look to the government for something that they could or should have provided for themselves.  If you take the money you are participating in a system of Socialism.  You are at the very least a small "s" socialist.

The idea behind government is to protect your freedoms, property and liberties.  Not to force equality on the people.  We are born equal, and from that day forward we cease to be equal.  The concept of Socialism relies upon the flawed concept that we can all be more equal, or in the Utopia, completely equal.  We can't be equal.  None of us participates in life the same way.  The goal of equality is a false goal.  What is obtainable and more importantly maintainable is freedom.  The end of slavery wasn't about equality, the civil rights movements were not about equality it was about freedom.  All men are free.  All men are not equal. 

When freedom is maintained there is no government obstacle to economic advancement, no matter your race, gender or creed.  When freedom is maintained there is no government obstacle to education, no matter your economic background or geographic location.  When freedom is maintained the limits on your successes are based on you and you only.  An individual.  You are the arbiter of your life and designer of your destiny. 

By natural design we form governments to protect our freedoms, property and liberties.  We do this because we maintain common among us a desire for freedom, property and liberty.  There is no need for each of us individually to expend effort and fortune protecting individually what we all seek to protect together.  Therefore we institute governments to protect these individual interests via a common law.  Note I said "individual interests" not common interests.  In effect we give up to government limited and particular freedoms so that it may adjudicate and protect the individual when problems arise among us.  We do this, we give these freedoms up to the government, so that the balance of our individual freedoms, property and liberty are protected.

Socialists substitute "equality" for "freedom" and "collective" for "individual".  Freedom is sacrificed so that someone deemed less equal might be artificially made to be "equal."  Property is seized and redistributed based on station, culture and patronage rather than labor and productivity.  Liberty is redefined as a doctrine of fairness rather than doctrine of individuality, labor and production. 

The problems our Nation faces now are not the product of Barack Obama or Bill Clinton or Nancy Peliosi.  George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, and Abraham Lincoln are as much to blame.  Our problems are the result of incremental deviations from a plan for a "more perfect Union".  A plan devised by men who had experienced tyranny, oppression and religious bigotry.  That plan was purposefully clear in some places and purposefully opaque in others.  In an effort to control the "elite" that inevitably populate government and speed up the natural inertia of all governments to grow, our founders instituted a system of checks and balances to fight that inertia.  Socialism is like Crack Cocaine for governments.  It puts that natural force a government exhibits towards growth into overdrive.  It rewards the governmental "elites" much more than is normal to any governmental system, and it retards the access that the everyday man has to the governmental apparatus.  Therefore, without knowing it, our founders were per se against Socialism.  There is no line from the Declaration of Independence or amendment to the Constitution that mentions Socialism, but the entire meaning of both documents was to prevent the growth of government into what Socialism is, government-run everything.

In short, we have all become socialists in some part.  Suckling at the government teat.  It is easy to convince yourself it is ok.  The government takes your money and then offers it back to you.  After all, it is your money right?  Is it?  Really?  Do you really think you are a net producer or a net user of government services, i.e. do you send the government more money than you use?  Even then, if you are a net producer, is that the most efficient way for you to use your money?  Give it first to the government?  Enough is enough!  The time is at hand to hold our politicians to account.  If it is not enumerated in the Constitution then the Federal government has no business spending our money on it.  Contact your State representatives and Senators and tell them NO MORE.  Insist that the state of South Carolina stand up to the Federal Government and protect us from the collection of unconstitutional taxes and mandates.  Action is at hand.  You might have to get off your chair for this one folks!  Or, you can remain in your chair and Obama will be with you shortly to take care of everything your heart desires.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

What is SOOOO Wrong with Obama Motiva...

What is SOOOO Wrong with Obama Motivating Our Children to do Better?

Before delving into this subject let me first announce with as little fan fare as possible that I am not seeking the Mayor's Office.  For personal reasons and because the current Mayor has announced he will not seek re-election I will not be running.  Thank you to all that expressed your support.  It is very appreciated.  Expect me to be attentive to the goings on of the Council and Mayor and hold them to strict account.

This week Obama plans to address our nation's school children and ask them to be responsible for their education.  He also plans to appeal to the children and ask them to help him, the President.  On its face that doesn't sound so bad.  I have mentored children before and the first thing I told them is that even at 13,14,15 years old they are responsible for their own education.  So Obama and I don't differ too far from that.  Or do we? 

Obama might be asking the children to be goal oriented and to excel in school and to take responsibility for their own education, but that is not what he is really saying.  The translated version goes something like this: "School children of the United States, look not to yourselves or too your local communities or to your parents for guidance, but look to the Federal government.  Only we at this lever can decide for you what is good and fair and worthy.  Your individual states are not well suited to provide an educational platform and your parents do not know what is best for you.  Surrender to a least common denominator education that seeks first to lift under achievers to the ranks of the mediocre and drag down those that strive and show aptitude."

If Obama really wanted to help our nations children he would shut down the Federal department of education and send every penny collected for education last year to the states.  No longer collect taxes for education and let each individual state grow and learn how to best teach its own children.  You know, how the Founders envisioned.  Rather, what we will get next week is a "kumbaya" moment for Federal intrusion into State and Individual affairs and decisions.  Another inch down the road of Socialism.  I invite parents to contact their teachers and principals and superintendents and DEMAND to know ahead of time what exactly Comrade Minister Obama has planned for the impressionable future of our country.  It is not just what is said, it is also who says it.  Context matters.

Our President has NO CHARTER in the Constitution to be presiding over the education of our children.  Considering the first 8 months of his Presidency I see no reason to think his moves towards Socialism will not be targeted at YOUR CHILDREN.  When will you say "enough"?

Board member's home numbers can be found here:
http://www.chesterfield.k12.sc.us/school_board.html

Superintendent

Dr. John E. Williams

E-Mail:
jwilliams@chesterfield.k12.sc.us
843-623-2175

All Chesterfield County Schools
http://schools.mychesterfieldcountyschools.com/

Friday, August 14, 2009

Terrorism vs Political Violence vs Ci...

Terrorism vs Political Violence vs Civil Disobedience vs Free Speech

There is a lot of talk these days about the growth of hate speech and hate groups that avow harm to the US and to the President.  Unfortunately, our media leans left and they are all too happy to blur the lines between Terrorism, Political Violence, Civil Disobedience and Free Speech.  Or, in other words if your free speech is targeted at the left "the media" will upgrade you to Civil Disobedience.  If your message is communicated via Civil Disobedience you could be labeled Politically Violent.  And of course if you practice Political Violence against the left you will certainly be labeled a Terrorist. 

Free Speech is one of our Constitutional rights.  It does have limitations.  You can't yell "fire" in a crowded movie theater or take over an official public meeting (town council meeting or legislative session).  Order, and to a lesser extent decorum, must still be maintained.  Often there is a fallacy used by both sides of an argument that somehow there is a right to be heard.  There is none.  No one can be compelled to listen to someone's free speech.  This is a standard tactic for the Liberal Left and they have almost perfected it.  In town hall meetings people are getting angry at politicians because they give canned answers to questions, talk around an issue or just plain lie.  Politicians are not familiar with this treatment.  Rather, they expect the treatment they get from the Sunday morning talk shows that give them a podium for their views with very little question or debate.  Certainly no one raises their voice and points at them and yells "Judas"! As a tactic for rebuttal politicians pronounce that their right to be heard has been infringed upon.  Of course there is no right to be heard.  The people who freely gathered at the town hall have every right to speak louder and more direct than the politician.

Civil Disobedience is when you move beyond free speech into disorderly conduct, vandalism or being a public menace.  When your voice or actions clearly and consistently makes it impossible for others to enjoy their rights you have moved to Civil Disobedience.  Most often Civil Disobedience is planned theater.  Just like terrorism.  The additional aspect of your actions being illegal can become a boost to your cause.  While your immediate audience might have been 120 people gathered at a Town Hall meeting, the fact that you were arrested and forcibly removed and that was carried on CNN multiplies the reach of your message and cause.  Because offenses of Civil Disobedience generally carry minor fines without any long term consequences the use of this tactic is generally accepted as "fair play" as long as no one is injured.  Watching the Liberal Left whine and cry about the Conservative Right using this tactic is just plain funny.  The Left perfected these tactics. 

Political Violence is violence directed at ones political enemies OR at the government by the people.  This is not terrorism per se.  All terrorism is political violence, but not all political violence is terrorism.  Political violence that does not terrorize the people can not, by definition, be terrorism.  So political violence from the people inflicted on the government is not terrorism.  Political Violence from one political faction on to another can be terrorism and usually is.  Political Violence is almost always unacceptable.  Its use in self-determination and revolution is often historically justified but never surrounding its immediate use. 

Terrorism is a difficult action to pin down.  Two necessary but individually insufficient parts of terrorism are usually the best indicators.  First that the violence be politically motivated and second that the intent of the violence is to terrorise the public (non government).  Motivation and intent are often difficult to judge, in those cases the target of the political violence is a good third indicator.  Was it a public/private target or was it a government/military target?  Malls, nightclubs and transportation are usually indicators of terrorism.  Government offices, military installations are less clear but can certainly be targets of terrorism.  Terrorism is never acceptable.  It is not a tool of the weak it is a tool of the desperate.  It is wholly unjustifiable. 

With all the Nazi, Swastika, Thug and Goon talk swirling around the "town hall" these days it won't be long before those of us who dare speak truth to power will be labeled "terrorists," "racists" and other hyperbolic over-statements.  Now you know where your actions actually fall.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Now It's Personal!

Now It's Personal!

Liberals are now wanting to tax fatty foods as well as sodas and other delicious items.  This is all in an effort to reduce the cost of healthcare.  Someone might say it's to motivate me to be thin and healthy... but that is just a lie.  Here is one you might not see coming... I agree the obese are too expensive to publicly insure and something must be done! 

I agree that fattys put an undue strain on public healthcare and that the morbidly obese are probably expensive to maintain medically.  But, the answer is not to tax the fat or sugar it is to stop trying to publicly insure them with things like the old Hillary-care and now Obama-care.  If I want two pork chops and not one, it is no ones business.  If I die with a turkey leg in my hand it was ultimately my choice.  No one is obligated to pay for me.  My poor lifestyle choices are just that... my choice.  I choose not to smoke, not drink too often, reduce stress and get plenty of rest.  I also choose to add bacon and extra cheese.  It is no ones concern but mine.

What this boils down to is another attempt to micro manage my/your/our personal lives.  Liberals think that you are quite incapable.  And... if they are right, that it is the governments duty to manage your life for you.  I, and conservatives, disagree.  If you want to participate in risky behavior I would no sooner stop you from Super-Sizing those fries than I would stop you from parachuting from a plane.  Both more risk than is necessary, both add some flavor to our lives. 

I have never advocated the violent overthrow of our government, but if Obama et al think they can waltz down here and take that Beth's Country Kitchen Friday afternoon pork chop from my hands...well...  If I might takes some liberties with Charlton Heston.  "They can have my pork chop when the pry it from my cold dead hands!"

Friday, July 24, 2009

Rick Perry for President....

http://www.star-telegram.com/804/story/1504240.html

Please Rick, stay out of Argentina!

FatBoy Tested and Approved!

Hey Kids! Check out my new Blog!

http://fatboytested.blogspot.com/

Where does the Federal Government der...

Where does the Federal Government derive so much power and influence?  Constitutional Originalists like me think they either steal it or derive it from smoke and mirrors.  Those in power would point to two places in the Constitution, the "Commerce Clause" and the "Necessary and Proper Clause".  Those in power would of course be wrong.

The Commerce Clause in the Originalists opinion gives Congress authority to regulate trade, when necessary, "among the several states".  Not within, but "among".  Also, authority doesn't suppose reason.  Congress still needs a good reason to use its Constitutional authority.  Further, nothing is said about trade among the people.  The Constitution takes great pains to differ between Federal, State and Individual.  Had, the Founders wanted Congressional authority over the individual it would have clearly stated it.  In fact, even the briefest study of our Founders shows that almost all of their efforts were to LIMIT governmental authority over individuals.

The legal community still debates to this day what the word "commerce" meant in the 18th century.  A liberal generally thinks it to mean every interaction among men.  As ridicules as that sounds, that is what some well respected scholars maintain.  A more Conservative and researched view points to commerce meaning trade among business and industry.  Again, leaving out the individual.  While I am a huge proponent of fancy-book-learnin' I freely admit that a lot of "study" is the product of boredom and an attempt to look busy to ones peers.  Anyone who surmises that "commerce" has ever meant, in any way shape or form, all interactions among men is surely after some end other than the truth!

The Necessary and Proper Clause or the "Basket Clause" is called such because to a liberal mind it gives the Congress the authority to enact any law it sees and necessary and proper, all that is needed is political will.  A Conservative view, a researched view, understands that the Founders meant that Congress could enact laws it found necessary and proper to uphold the Constitution.  Or "The congress shall have Power - To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the forgoing powers ,
and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of
the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof."  OR... that this "necessary and proper" authority is incidental to the rest of the Constitution, more particularly the enumerated powers.  For example, you can't over-ride another part of the Constitution, say... Freedom of the Press, with a law enacted under the Necessary and Proper Clause.  Or more relevant, California should be able to regulate marijuana as a drug as long as that drug stays in California.  Congress enacting/enforcing a non-enumerated law or a law it sees as "necessary and proper" must be junior to an enumerated law like the 10th Amendment (State's Rights).

Confusing?  Yeah, it was meant to be.  Our Founders did not make the Constitution all encompassing.  It could have been hundreds of pages long and much easier to interpret.  But, they new that the more they wrote, the more we would interpret and mis-interpret.  Brevity was their most precious gift.  The Constitution was written by men and is interpreted by men, therefore it is imperfect.  But, it is quite sufficient and has been the standard barer for freedom ever since its inscription.  It is completely sufficient in the case of over reaching Federal power.  Sadly, it requires sufficient executors and adjudicators as well (Congress and the Supreme Court).  These government officials are the crux of the problem.  Too long have we sent fools to Washington expecting the impossible.  The only way forward I see is for the individual States to assert their power and stand up to the Federal system.  Hard to do if you are a state that is beholdin' to the Federal apparatus for education, roads, health-care, credit, etc. 

Monday, July 20, 2009

Before I get into my normal bloviate ...

Before I get into my normal ruminations, let me first congratulate the Pageland Chamber, Town of Pageland, Pageland Police Department, the Sheriff's Department and so many others that contributed to making the Watermelon Festival a success.  I was part of a booth next to the music.  All those with me had a great time! I am currently in Hawiian Ice and Sausage Dog withdrawal.

On everyone's mind these days is healthcare.  Yes, it is expensive, and yes it is getting MORE expensive, but here is a news flash... YOU are not entitled to it.  There is no "right" to healthcare.  The plain and simple truth is that the Constitution enumerates no power for healthcare.  What we have now, given to us by Lyndon Johnson and others, is already Unconstitutional.  Medicare and the unfunded state mandate Medicaid are failed concepts.  Governments are ill suited to provide for us on an individual basis.  It takes a pretty thick and one-sided bias to look at previous Federal government attempts to provide social services and think that they are equipped to provide something as important and personal as healthcare on the scale they attempt now, much less on the scale Obama is proposing.

What is the Federal Government known for?  Wasteful spending, unfunded mandates to the states (most unconstitutional), lining pockets of special interests, sweetheart deals, etc.  So, even if you think that Universal Socialized Obama-Care is a good idea, you have to be blind to think that the Federal Government is capable of providing it. 

We have test cases all over the world and at home.  Several states have tried to provide some form of complete care for all citizens.  None have been successful.  Many nations have tried it and the news if full of stories about the deficits the programs run, the lengthy waits for services, and the long line of Canadians finding care at our facilities because their socialized healthcare system is failing them.

All of this should be moot because our Founders in their wisdom limited the scope and reach of the Federal Government.  Sadly, over time, presidents, congresses, and judicial rulings have all but ruined the original plan of a Union of Sovereign states that mostly looked out for themselves on domestic issues.  Instead, we have a Nanny State trying to be all things to all people.  It is impossible... not difficult... but, impossible for any government to provide effective and efficient social services like our Federal apparatus tries to provide us.  What Obama and many Socialists like him want just will not work, even if their intentions are noble.

 


Thursday, July 9, 2009

The "King" rewards his loyal subjects...

By Brad Heath, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — Billions of dollars in federal aid delivered directly to the local level to help revive the economy have gone overwhelmingly to places that supported President Obama in last year's presidential election.

That aid — about $17 billion — is the first piece of the administration's massive stimulus package that can be tracked locally. Much of it has followed a well-worn path to places that regularly collect a bigger share of federal grants and contracts, guided by formulas that have been in place for decades and leave little room for manipulation.

More Here

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Well, the good news is that Mark Sanf...

Dear Liberal Voter,

I quit!  As of today I am resigning as head cheerleader of Chesterfield county for the Conservative movement.  It really is a breath of fresh air.  No longer do I have to worry for the future.  I will be heading to the welfare office in short order to sign up for assistance.  As well, I plan on defaulting on my student loans because the economy is so bad.  Perhaps some HUD assistance is in my future as well!  A new house partially paid for and secured by others sounds great! 

It will be great to start watching American Idol and MTV rather than reading background and perspective information about world events.  No more hours spent backgounding Iraq, Iran or Terrorism.  I can't tell you how psyched I am to watch my first episode of "16 and Pregnant" on MTV!  Also, the only "foreign affairs" I will worry about will be the Mark Sanford kind!  I hear liberal women on TV love his romantic letters to his mistress.  COOL!  Liberal women here I come!!!

I plan to fully support Obama.  I of course will not research any positions.  I will just do it because he is black and I feel guilty as a white person, and he is clean cut and speaks so well, and a lot of smart sounding people on the news seem to love him!  If the TV says it, it must be true, right?

The gun store I run will of course immediately be shut down.  Guns kill people.  That is bad.  I don't want to be bad.  I want to be good.  So no more guns.  WOW!  That overly simplistic liberal pseudo-logic is amazingly easy to get into!  I of course will have to purge some information already in my head like the fact that guns DON'T actually kill people.  Just like pencils don't misspell words.  Or that there are over 2 million defensive uses of hand guns every year and comparatively only 50,000 gun deaths (including legal uses and legal police killings).  I will crowd out this interfering data with global warming propaganda. 

I am also super psyched to completely loose perspective of the world around me and live my life according to bumper stickers!  No blood for Oil!  Bush lied people died.  Corporations (that employ millions) are bad!  America is bad!  John Stewart is funny!  9-11 was an inside job!  We deserved to be attacked by terrorists!  This way of thinking of course will be difficult, but my new pot habit should help dull my sense of reason.

Best of all my downward spiral into liberalism will not change my voting habits, it seems I will be able to continue to vote Republican!  Thank you Lindsey Graham and Mark Sanford!

Finally, in an effort to streamline the movement of your money to my pocket, I am going to fore-go the formality of taxation and the redistribution of wealth.  I am just going to show up at your house and help myself to whatever I think is necessary and proper to feed, clothe and house myself. Oh, and I want a new video game console and some rims for my car!

YES!  I welcome the sweet bliss of ignorance.

Benjamin Cook
Former Right-Wing Propagandist and Local Arms Dealer








Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Neda

This young lady was at a protest in Basiji was shot and killed.

WARNING: This is heart wrenching. This is her last few moments of life.

I am not posting this for any reason other than to memorialize why she was at the protest that day, what she gave her life for. (She was well aware of the shootings that had already taken place.)

She was there protesting that a single but nonsufficient part of liberal-democracy had been taken from her and her brethren. That is the VOTE.

While a "vote" doesn't make a democracy it is a necessary part of one. It is the starting point.

As we waste and marginalize our democracy here in the US let us remember that we once fought, protested and died in the streets for our freedoms. Let us also remember those who are doing the heavy lifting of democracy and liberty today all over the world and especially in Iran.

Hey LOOK... I was wrong!

http://www.breitbart.tv/html/366123.html

Looks like I was wrong about Gov. Sanford. He was a politician after all.

This is a major set back for Republicans and worst of all for Conservatives.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Let's make sure we get it right!

Good call Babs! Nice to see what the priority is in that hearing.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My Naughty Sense of Humor.

Sorry. But every once in a while I need to break the yelling and screaming with some humor.

Nice Headline...
http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=475584&publicationSubCategoryId=63

If you don't get it, you are probably a better person than me...

Friday, June 5, 2009

On the Dole

On the Dole

I was sitting back today thinking about when and where I might have been on the government dole.  Where in my life have I received a hand out or a hand up from the government?  Student loans come to mind... but I am paying that back with interest.  Perhaps something I used or need was subsidized?  I can't think of it if it was.  So, other than student loans I have never used unemployment, food stamps, social security or any other government social program.  I am now becoming quite the rarity.  (Before we move on let me say I am a believer of "social safety nets" and find them wholly indispensable.)

According to recent reports (Particularly one from USA Today.) one of every six dollars in America is from the government.  That is $17,000 per person.  Food Stamps, Unemployment, Social Security, Medicare, etc are all on the rise.  Not just because more people need it, but also because less people are ashamed to use it.  I can't count the number of people I know that are scamming the system.  People who count themselves as "Republican" and "Conservative" as well.  On the dole when they could be working.  Sure, they tell themselves that they can't find work or are too injured to work, yet they some how are able to live normal lives with out a job, get around everyday and are mobile and productive?

I know it is hard not to want your $17,000 from the government.  Heck I can relate.  I have many things that $17,000 would go a long way toward accomplishing.  But, I also am a healthy person who was raised to think that one should always have a job, always be working.  My Grandfather is 90 years old and is still a State Farm Agent in Kershaw.  Not because he wants the paycheck... but because it is part of who he is.  A man, who works.  Things were not always so good for Granddaddy.  I remember him relating a story where his family lived for two weeks on a bushel of peaches that someone had given them.  That's it, just peaches. 

Times like that instill in a person the need for work, the importance of job security and of a man's reputation.  All of us at one time will fall on hard times and have to make tough decisions, even have to ask for and accept help.  But, with the charity of others comes responsibility to take only what you need, never what you want.  Also, the responsibility to pay ones own way as soon as you are able.  How can we as a national community or a local community accept that so many are taking government aid?  Why is that ok?  Why does it seems so much worse now that it once was?

The answer is quite clear to me.  It is the loss of two families.  The first family is the traditional family of a man and a woman.  This two-person team represents the best chance any of us have to grow up safe and with enough stability to become a contributing member of society rather than a consuming member of society.  The lack of these two-person teams has resulted in the need for a surrogate that must help us when times overwhelm.

The lack of the second family, the church, is also to blame.  Now this will be controversial but it is very true, the church is largely to blame for this.  By church I mean organized religion of any sect or denomination.  Churches have become too political both locally and nationally.  They are judgmental and quick to cast aspersions on those that do not or can not hide their short comings well enough to be accepted.  They continue to allow themselves to be ridiculed as unreasonable and affronts to history and science.  They judge others by the verse rather than by the Word.  This family used to be the social safety net that was looked to second before we looked to the government third.  If a family was on tough times the church came together and helped that family.  If things were too tough for the local church community to handle a larger community was asked to help. 

Now we invoke the THIRD tier of help as the first.  We ask not of ourselves and our family, not of our church or community but from the government.  What is more, we are increasingly asking help from the furthest removed form of government, the federal government that we have the least control over.  The government we are now expecting is called Socialism.  We are now, already Socialist.  We have abdicated our means of production over to the government.  We rely on our governments to provide for us from cradled to grave.  We have lost any expectation of help from ourselves and our more local community and are now relying on our least local governments to provide for us.  This way of comporting ourselves is completely unsustainable and will be our ruin if we don't take quick and corrective action.  

So, the next time you think "there aught to be a law" or that "someone should do something" or that "it's not my responsibility" think of who is waiting in the wings to take on that responsibility in a horribly inefficient way that has generational repercussions.  Think twice before handing over all of your rights and responsibilities to the government.



http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2009-06-03-benefits_N.htm

Saturday, May 30, 2009

An example of what happens when politicians send me unsolicited emails!

To Bobby Harrell, SC Speaker of the House, Republican.

_______________

Speaker Harrell,

I am a voting delegate and the Vice-Chairman for the Chesterfield GOP. I am very disappointed that any Conservative would support even passively the "Stimulus" money being spent in SC. There is NO moral justification for taking the money. Being party to the indenturing of our children and grand children to the Federal Government is, to be sure, immoral. This is not hyperbole or over stating. By taking the money we have insured that our children will be paying down on our miss deeds. How can you be party to that?

The excuse that we " will have to pay for the money anyway" or that other states would get the money does not make the taking of the "stimulus" any more defensible. South Carolina is a sovereign state and the Socialist direction (Participatory Economics) that the Federal government is taking us has no prescription in our US Constitution. SC should stand up to the Feds and protect its citizens from the tyranny of the elite. Unlike many that only complain I have a solution.

1. South Carolina should collect the Federal Taxes from its citizens and hold them in trust and pay them out to the US Treasury for only those things expressly written in the US Constitution.

2. South Carolina should refuse any money from the Federal Government that is not for those things outlined clearly in the US Constitution.

3. South Carolina should protect from Federal harassment, fines or imprisonment any citizen that pays its Federal Taxes to SC rather than to the US Treasury.

4. To accomplish this SC should partner with like minded officials in other states, bring suit against any parties participating in any form of Socialism that adversely affects SC and stop participating in any federal education programs.

5. The money left over after paying to the US Treasury Constitutionally defensible funds held in trust should be allocated for the short falls that the federal spending has been covering, like education. Any money left over after that should be returned to the tax payer.

To be clear, I am not advocating less taxes or no taxes. I am advocating that taxes only be paid for Constitutionally viable expenditures and that the Federal Apparatus is so broken that individual states must correct it. I also do not advocate succession. Any Federal take over of industry, including the education industry, is forbidden because it is not listed as a Federal Power and is therefore reserved for the states and individuals.

Speaker Harrell, we can not "politic" our way out of this mess. Strong corrective action must be taken.

If you have it in you to correct these problems I applaud you and support you. If you do not please step down this very hour. Stop your passive support of Socialism.

The Republican party is in the midst of a schism. Big government, Nanny-State Republicans are being shown for what they are. True Conservatives are banding together. Where are you? Lindsey Graham saw where he was at the Convention. Boldly admitting that he would rather win reelection than be on the right side of the issues. Conservatives are watching.

Kind Regards,

Benjamin Parrish Cook
Vice-Chairman, Chesterfield County GOP

Thursday, May 28, 2009

While I am angry... lets fume a bit about PayPal

I am BANNED for LIFE from PayPal. Yep. I own a gunshop. And, I took a payment online via PayPal. Apparently that is a no-no. I didn't know that. So now I am banned for life.

Well, that's ok. Enter Amazon Payments. That's right, https://payments.amazon.com/ will do everything that PayPal does. Even send and receive money.

So, the joke is on you PayPal! All you have accomplished is losing my business and having me direct others to your competitor!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Someone stole my Blackberry...

Someone stole my Crack-berry. I miss it.

And because of my feelings of loss and mourning I felt today I must admit I have a "connection" addiciton. I must at all times be connected to the outside world.

Seriously, I was not myself all day because I lost my phone. How messed up is that!

And to the M&*($#%# FU^K3R that stole my phone I hope you rot in hell.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I never grow tired of being right!!!

http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSTRE54P5RY20090526?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=10531

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Seventy-four, or one out of every seven, terrorism suspects formerly held at the U.S. detention site at Guantanamo Bay are confirmed or suspected of having returned to terrorism, the Pentagon said on Tuesday.

Of more than 530 detainees transferred from the U.S. base in Cuba, 27 are confirmed and 47 suspected of "reengaging in terrorist activity," according to a written Pentagon summary.

The total of 74 has more than doubled since May 2007, when the Pentagon said about 30 had gone back to terrorist activity, and increased slightly since January, when the figure stood at 61...

Teddy R. once again providing precedent and guidance!


He is my favorite President for a reason. And when you are done reading this, slide over to his "Man in the Arena" speech to recharge those Conservative batteries!
http://www.theodore-roosevelt.com/trsorbonnespeech.html

Oh and if you one of those folks that does not trust random emails... you are in good company.
http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/troosevelt.asp

1907 PHOTO This one needs to circulate

I think this is one email that needs to be forwarded until every American with a computer receives it.

The year is 1907, one hundred years ago.

READ PRINT UNDER PICTURE!



Theodore Roosevelt's ideas on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN in 1907.

'In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language.. and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.'

Theodore Roosevelt 1907

Every American citizen needs to read this!


KEEP THIS MOVING

Friday, May 22, 2009

Cheney... LOVE HIM

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aw9i42HdcJfk&refer=worldwide

May 22 (Bloomberg) -- Former Vice President Dick Cheney accomplished something yesterday that Republicans have seldom been able to do: directly challenge President Barack Obama in real time on a major policy issue.

In a nationally televised speech delivered just minutes after Obama had spoken on how to protect the U.S. against terrorism, Cheney defended the decisions he and former President George W. Bush made after the Sept. 11 attacks, including using harsh interrogation methods on terror suspects.

While Republican leaders have largely avoided direct attacks on Obama and focused instead on Democratic congressional leaders, Cheney, 68, has taken the opposite tack. Republican lawmakers and strategists said he was able to raise the intensity of the criticism yesterday because, unlike other party members, he isn’t worried about damaging any future political ambitions by taking on a popular president.

Cheney “might not have the highest favorability ratings, but on this issue, I think he’s viewed by people across the country as being very credible and very knowledgeable,” said Senator John Thune, a South Dakota Republican. “What he says carries a lot of weight.”

Thursday, May 21, 2009

obama gitmo


President Obama has announced a framework for dealing with the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  The "Gitmo" detainees are hardened terrorists either caught on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan or they are captured via raids and other interventions world wide.  What to do with these detainees/prisoners/terrorists?  To be sure these terrorists deserve a trial, sadly most will never get one and it is their own faults.  Not ours.  But is it our responsibility to provide one anyway?  Unfortunately there is no plain answer.  The answer is "yes" and "no."

Here is Obama's framework.


--When feasible, try those who have violated American criminal laws in federal courts.



--When necessary, try those who violate the rules of war through Military Commissions.



--When possible, transfer to third countries those detainees who can be safely transferred.

What jumps out at me is that this is the exact same framework the Bush Administration has used except of course the easier access to US courts of law.  Which is a bit misleading because the detainees have been tried in US courts under the Bush Administration.  It was just not the preferred venue.  Basically all that is changed is the vehemence with which a "trial" is sought.  Under the Bush Administration the detainees were treated as international terrorists.  Under Obama they are treated as US criminals. 

Terrorists can be both criminals and soldiers.  You could try to parse each individual terrorist as criminal or soldier but even that is problematic.  It seems simple.  But if you have a person who has committed acts of terrorism in Yemen, Pakistan and found fighting the US in Iraq is he a soldier or a criminal.  Or neither.  The Bush Administration said "neither," he is an Enemy Combatant.  Which means we will put him on trial in a court that is our best effort to match what the terrorist is... to what we have available to try him with.  To me that makes perfect sense rather than driving a "square-peg" terrorist into a "round-hole" court system.  Which is the Obama alternative.  Our courts can't deal with the sensitive nature of the evidence itself, its collection or the sensitive nature of those that collected the evidence.  Obama knows this and that is why his Gitmo Plan is just smoke and mirrors with a few bones thrown to his constituency so he appears as having actually done something.

Lets look at the plan and problems with each.  After doing so you will understand why Guantanamo was so successful, useful and necessary.  When "feasible" Obama wants to try terrorists in the US Federal system.  On its face that sounds good.  But it will never, or almost never, be "feasible" for the security and sensitive information reasons I have already laid out.  When "necessary" try terrorists in Military Commissions.  Well my friends that is exactly what we have been doing.  Again, smoke and mirrors to look like big change, but actually effectively no different than Bush.  Finally "when possible, transfer to third countries  those detainees who can be SAFELY transferred."  That means transfers can only happen when the terrorist comes from a modern Western country, which they rarely do.  If you are a terrorist from the UK we can ship you to their prisons to rot and cost their tax payer money.  But if you are from Yemen or Saudi Arabia you will be broken out of jail in about a year if we ship you there, and back on the battle field.  Or, you will actually be tortured for information.  Not water boarded or have dogs bark at you while wearing women's panties on your head.  NO, I mean real torture.

So what does this mean.  It means that 90% of the folks in Gitmo deserve to be there and they will get trials when we get around to it.  The other 10% are to be used by the Obama administration as a distraction and smoke-and-mirrors campaign to hopefully woo his supporters into thinking he is making good on campaign promises.  In the mean time, Gitmo is still open.  It will be open for some time and those inside will get the justice they and we deserve on our timetable not theirs. 

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Way Forward

The Way Forward

How can the Republican Party get back to its Conservative Roots, and there by be the party we deserve?

The answer is simple, though the work may be hard.  The answer:  Follow a set of Conservative Principles, reject anything that varies.  This will require introspection and amendment to our current "principles."

Amendment to items that have been part of our platform for years.  However, it is through this resoluteness that we will find the clearest path.

Not to be confused with the easiest path...

To be clear, we need to understand what it is to be a Conservative and apply those principles when we act as Republicans.  How can we do that locally?

Here is what I suggest.

1.  Start a lending library of books that are part of the Conservative cannon of literature (classical liberalism).  For example books by William F. Buckley Sr., Barry Goldwater, Rush Limbaugh, John Locke, Thomas Paine, Jean Jacques Rousseau and Thomas Jefferson.  Too few of us understand Conservative principles, and what is more, how to apply these principles to our daily lives and to the problems that face this country.

Free Markets?  Why?  Smaller Government?  Why?  Pro Life?  Why?  States' Rights  Why?

You can't be an ambassador for Conservatism if you don't speak the language and understand the basics.

2.  Create a Century Club.  One-hundred $100 donors.  These donations are earmarked for the election of local Republican politicians.

3.  Two part-time paid staff members that work under the direction of the County executive committee.

4.  Executive officers that lead the way by example in terms of preparedness, planning, organization and fund raising.

5.  Require politicians that request an endorsement or audience from the County GOP to submit in writing how their positions and platform are Conservative (classically liberal).  This will weed out those that only parrot the current platform in an attempt to gain political power.

6.  Attract youth to our cause by speaking their language.  Create an online presence that attracts young people to our county party.

7.  Create committees to share the responsibility of important CCGOP business like fund raising, conventions, precincts/redistricting, membership.

8.  Realign our monthly meeting structure into two different types, election year and non-election year.  In an election year we meet with our full membership as we do now, once per month.  Other years we rotate general meeting, fund raising meeting, membership meeting, officers meeting.  Three or four meaningful meetings with good attendance is better than 12 mediocre meetings with poor attendance.  When the General Membership does meet, have it meet for a reason.  Have learning goals like Conservatism and Free Markets, Conservatism and Globalization or Conservatism and Abortion.  Make these meetings meaningful.

9.  Office space.  We need a member or donor to donate office space for the party.  Preferable somewhere large enough to hold monthly meetings.

10.  Set yearly goals for fund raising, membership and other attainable markers.

Chesterfield County is a county that leans Conservative yet votes Liberal in local elections.  Our number one goal should be to fix this problem.  With our re dedication to what matters we can do it.  A word of caution, NO amount of planning, goals, meetings or funds can replace a clear understanding of what it is to be a Conservative.  Without this understanding we are doomed to return to the sad state of Republican politics we have today.

If your friends are Conservative/Republican let them know we either need their active participation in the party or/and their donation.  If they can not be active in the party we need their funds to be active in the party.  It is all our responsibility to fund raise.

Thank You,

Benjamin Cook, Vice-Chairman and Public Relations Director
Chesterfield County Republican Party


Sunday, May 10, 2009

How the Mighty Have Fallen

Fareed Zakaria, you can find his name and links littered through out my blog. Until today I held his opinion in high regard. We often disagreed, but I respected what he said. He still has an informed view of all things Pakistan... but now, now he has sold his soul to the devil in order to confirm his Obama bias.

In one of his latest Newsweek columns he lists the "accomplishments" of the Obama administration in its first 100 days. He goes on to suggest that "any President would be envious" of those accomplishments. What?

Throughout the meat of his column he lists nothing of consequence. He says so in the first few paragraphs... he notes that Obama's policies all need time before we can judge. NO Mr. Zakaria they do not need time. We can judge Obama's policies against History! Against Precedent! And against good common sense! We can judge them now for what they are... Socialist. Your love for European Style Socialism betrays you! You adherence to your Obama narrative betrays you! You uncharacteristic unacademic assessment of Obama's first 100 days puts you off my list of liberal leaning pundits I respect.

I understood how you could back Obama in the election. I did. The right offered no real candidate. Obama was intoxicating to those who had even a slight leftward lean. I get it. But you have abandoned yourself and us by sugar coating a failing 100 days. A 100 days that will forever be the time the left tried to make the United States of America the United Socialist States of America!

Perhaps these are your true colors. I hope not. I hope there is a shred of intellectual honesty left in your body. I hope that you will abandon a failed narrative and bias. I hope I am only witnessing a stumble and not a fall.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Socialism

You just have to pay attention and have a modicum of intellectual honesty.

http://thehill.com/dick-morris/obamas-leap-to-socialism-2009-04-21.html

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Guidance for Law Enforcement, Citizen...

Guidance for Law Enforcement, Citizens and Politicians:

Department of Homeland Security Risk Assessment of Right Wing Extremists, 2009.


Recently, news reports have surfaced about the DHS report on Right Wing Extremists (RWE).  This report advised in relatively clear and concise fashion the increase in planning, chatter and recruitment of radicalized groups that advocate extremist action.

While the assessment was near satisfactory in its reporting it did not provide guidance on how to deal with the risk.  It is important to use the dearth of information available post 9/11 from a wide range of sources to not only assess a risky situation but also know on a front-line level how to prevent an event, further escalation in recruitment, funding and planning and deal with an event to limit its scope.  In this capacity the DHS document falls short.

Terrorists and extremist groups are opportunists.  They use tactics that turn our efforts against us.  Without knowing how these extremist groups accomplish this law enforcement, everyday citizens and politicians will waste time and resources while at the same time drive recruits, funding and attention to these extremist causes.

Limit Access to Potentially Exploitative Materials and Actions

To do this effectively you must train yourself to think like the extremists.  A politician, law enforcement official or citizen might take this to mean limit access to guns, extremist publications or mass media access.  That would be playing into the hands of these radical elements.  By appearing to limit the rights of these extremists you give credence's to their causes.  Possibly to such a point as to gain media scrutiny which will in turn help legitimize or popularize the radical cause.

Tactics that observe with limited intrusion or contact work best.  Tactics that can be misinterpreted as harassment or some kind of Constitutional infringement will be exploited.  

Public statements and documents that target radicalized elements play into their hands.  Make sure these public statements, including internal items that could become public, have been crafted by a qualified person who limits elements of the statements or documents that could be hi-jacked.  Overly aggressive rhetoric by a politician or law enforcement official is just as useful to the terrorist or extremist as it possibly is to the politician or official.  

Heavy handed treatment of radicals will be used as political capital and exploited fully to legitimize the cause and glorify the "struggle."  It is important to note that radical elements taken into custody are trained to cause problems and invite aggressive restraint and treatment to exploit.  Expect members of these elements to claim abuse and mistreatment.  Follow procedures exactly.

Finally, where the DHS estimate on RWE falls short is that it does nothing to clarify the difference between activist and radical.  Impassioned activists that invoke the Declaration of Independence and Federalism should not be confused with anti-government groups.  Libertarian ideas about limited government can be hi-jacked by extremist elements.  This can be confusing to front-line personnel with an incomplete picture of the differences between activist and radical.  As well, political opportunists can and do use this confusion for political benefit exacerbating the problem.  

When providing intelligence estimates to front-line personnel about Extremists and Terrorists it is advisable to include best-practices in how to deal with these unique national security threats.  Even more so when dealing with domestic threats that are politically charged.  Failing to do so lets opportunist gain the the upper hand by exploiting our efforts for their political or radical ends.

Benjamin Parrish Cook

Mr. Cook has a Masters degree in International Security and Conflict Studies, is a columnist for his local news paper, is a political consultant and owns a gun store in Pageland, SC.  






Monday, April 13, 2009

Idiot Journalist

"So far, pirates have generally treated hostages well, sometimes roasting goat meat for them and even letting them phone loved ones."
http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idUSN1235409220090413?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=10112

"Well"? That is unless you count the actual condition of being a hostage! How is anything about being a hostage good or well?

Idiots Abound

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Fail Fail Fail

Obama is now presiding over the largest job approval gap in American history. Democrats think he is great, Republicans think he is terrible. Or in numeric terms the non partisan Pew Research Center reports 27% of Republicans approve of Obama and the job he is doing and 88% of Democrats give Obama an at-a-boy. Now I normally don't give much weight to any poll. Even if the reporting entity is non partisan. Polls can be made to show anything. But in this case the numbers are so stark it is hard to refute what they are saying. And what they are saying is clear. Obama has united no one but his own party.

Compared to other presidents at the beginning of their terms Obama has divided us the most. More than Bush 41 or Bush 43. More than Clinton and more than Nixon. Now all presidents run on change and at least give lip service to being a uniter. But, Obama made it a trademark of his campaign. Considering this and the poll numbers as they appear, he has failed. His presidency is a failure. What has he done? Moved us closer to full on Socialism. Failed to move on N. Korea's long range missile test, gathered no additional troops to help the cause in Afghanistan from other NATO member nations, indebted our children and our grand children by taking over the banking and automotive industries (among others).

A few of you reading this voted for Obama. It is not to late to fix the problem you caused. You can vote for Conservative candidates and support conservative causes. Or, you can wallow in your bias and feed your flawed narrative to such a point as to not believe the facts and truth when presented clearly. The choice is yours. Here is a prediction if you chose the latter. Eventually, "a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it [will be our] right, it [will be our] duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for [our] future security."

Obama doesn't want the TARP money back, he wants control...

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123879833094588163.html

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"Ick" and other nastys

A guest column from someone almost as smart as me. My older brother. Mike is a school teacher, a coach and a father of two of the most precious girls.

___________

In the last six months I have heard otherwise reasonable adults argue that no one should make two hundred million dollars a year but then complain they are not given enough opportunity to expand their personal profit margins. I have been asked countless times to explain what a toxic mortgage is to be told the answer just can not be correct. I listen to people complain about two dollar ATM fees and five dollar bank fees who do not realize a third or more of their income goes to taxes. Do you know the capital gains tax rate? Who makes more money on tobacco and gas sales, the government or the private sector? Who owns Exxon, who owns Wall Mart and is there a difference?

In Principles of Business we call it “Ick.” Ick refers to a manifestation of socially evolved correctness. In psychology ick is called cognitive dissonance. It exists regardless of the terminology, and most people don’t like to acknowledge it. For example, how do you save the giant panda? You eat it. When was the last time we had a shortage of chickens, cows or pigs?

Cognition is an idea. Dissonance is a conflict between two ideas. Therefore, cognitive dissonance occurs when the reality of the truth or facts gets in the way of what we want or hope to be true. Humans are the ruling species of the plant. To sacrifice a human for a panda is absurd. All the preservationists and animal rights people can lament the facts, but given the death of a family member or a panda, they should choose the panda. If not, the rest of us are dealing with a person who is rationalizing and showing confirmation bias and plain denial.

We the people, to steal a phrase from one of my favorite bits of writing, hold certain truths about our representative democracy and free market economy cognitions. These lofty ideas recognize that equality exists before the race starts, not in the results. Equal results are equal misery. Need more proof? Ask an athlete or scholar if he would take a tie game or the same grade as the rest of the class before the competition starts.

That warm tingly feeling you have right now is ick. If you can not move past the ick to the reality and truth above, I encourage you to stay away from cults and politics. None the less, our free market economy is under assault. Our global economy discussions without the realization that main street is Wall Street is fraught with peril, and there are perilous days ahead.

Ahead of us lie days filled with ick. I have confidence in the market over government. I have confidence in market corrections, small or drastic, over redistributions small or drastic. I have confidence in the power of income staying home over not being distributed via taxes. I have confidence that capitalism breeds philanthropy and that a rising tide raises all boats. I have confidence that some will achieve excellence and some will not. I have confidence that the struggle of each is equally honorable.

Ahead of me lie days filled with ick. I have ick in the realization that my wife and girls are not football players and that dinner and a bath does not need a practice schedule and a walk through. Also, I now know I will not get a delay of game penalty if bedtime runs past 7:30 p.m. I have confidence that those who make it past the ick are the cornerstone of life, liberty and happiness but may still struggle with dinner, baths and bed times for five and two year olds.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Will the Real Carnegie Please Stand UP!

Mr. Brack in his last offering (March 24th) titled our Governor the "anti-Dale Carnegie." Not being a student of Mr. Carnegie and only knowing the hall and do-it-yourself audio tapes that bare the same name I had to do a bit of research. Seems Dale changed his name as a marketing ploy fromCarnagey to Carnegie to take advantage of the name recognition he would receive by grouping himself with Andrew Carnegie of which Carnegie hall is named. Andrew Carnegie was an industrialist, a self made businessman. An insanely rich man. Not Oprah money. NO. Bill Gates' kind of money. Mr. Carnegie made the majority of his money in the steel industry. What he is known for is his philanthropy. Rather, not how much money he made, but how much he GAVE away. It is this Carnegie I think our Governor should be compared to.

What? How is this? "Our Governor doesn't want to give away money!" one might say. True. But to be exact. Governor Mark Sanford doesn't want to give away YOUR money for YOU. What is more, as a conservative, he wants you to be able to amass as much wealth as you can with as little government interference as can be limited. That is why our Governor is much like the great Andrew Carnegie. He wants you to have the opportunity to follow Carnegie's Dictum on wealth: A) To spend the first third of one's life getting all the education one can.

B) To spend the next third making all the money one can. C) To spend the last third giving it all away for worthwhile causes.


I don't see the part where Carnegie suggests having your wealth arrested from you and given away to whom ever without your input or consent! Or having your business enterprise taxed into forfeiture. An especially cynical liberal might point out that it is corporate greed that has us in this fix. Not true. When companies and men have a personally satisfactory amount of wealth and a reasonable expectation that their ventures are safe, they will free up that wealth for philanthropic reasons. But, when markets are uneasy and capital is tight, expect that philanthropic spending to shrink. Not out of greed, but out of fiscal responsibility to one's own self and business ventures. In other words, if you are the decision maker for a company you have a fiscal responsibility to protect your company's assets first. Not feed the hungry. Or, teach the children. Your first duty is to the company. By being so dogged towards that company you ensure that those in the company's employ have jobs and job security. So that they may feed themselves and provide for their own children.


What a novel concept. Paying one's own way!


Governor Sanford has done us a great service by exposing the sheer lunacy that is the "stimulus" package. Creating money out of thin air or borrowing against our grandchildren is not sound business. And no person today, no matter how unemployed, is entitled to encumber the unborn with massive government debt. Not even the great all knowing all changing all hoping Obama. Mark Sanford knows this. There is no amount of personal suffering today that excuses the excesses we are about to undertake today. No child uneducated enough, no person homeless enough, no medical bill expensive enough to tax your grandchildren into governmental servitude the day they are born!

Sanford is a moral man. He has a set of core principles. Conservative principles. These principles are guiding him while times are tough and "easy fixes" are tempting. It would be great to do the "popular" thing, take the money. Great for the poll numbers AndyBrack points out. But, lucky for us, Sanford has in mind what is great for us long term. Quick fixes that ignore unintended consequences are exactly what have us in the situation now. Washington got us into this problem. Washington's bi-partisan interference in private enterprise. Coaxing companies to lend money to those who could not or would not pay it back. Big government is the problem. Always has been. Always will be. So pardon me if I side with the one public official that has a clear andun-debatable record on trying to shrink government!!!! So, Mr. Brack, will the real Carnegie please stand up?

Benjamin Parrish Cook

Mr. Cook is a self avowed Right-Wing Propagandist and Local Arms Dealer in Pageland, SC. He has a MA in International Security and Conflict Studies. You can read more of his hubris at http://arenablog.blogspot.com

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Grand Pa's Smith & Wesson and Other Valuable Tid-Bits.

While the death of our economy has been greatly exaggerated, to the point of almost becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy, there is no doubt that times are tough and investing for the future is scary. Well, let me remind you of what many of you already know. Guns are and always have been a good investment. Granddaddy's Smith and Wesson is no doubt worth triple what he paid for it and in some cases 100 times what he paid for it. Not a bad return. About the only thing selling like crazy these days are guns and SPAM!

Right now guns are scarce. If you happened to purchase a gun last year and wanted to sell it this year you would almost invariably make money on that deal. What else in this climate can claim that? This comes with a caveat. If you are the buyer, unless you REALLY want that firearm, I would suggest only paying blue book or slightly over. The reason being is that prices on some, not all, guns are artificially inflated by the phenomena know as Obama-mania or the Obama-effect. This "mania" is the panic some have shown faced with the fear that the new Administration will make good on their promises and historical precedents to do away with as many guns as they can. My opinion on the "mania" is simple. I don't participate in senseless fear based buying. I didn't do it during the gas shortage, I am not doing it now with Obama-mania.

My guidance for buying now during the "mania" or for an investment is also simple, buy as many QUALITY guns as you can find at a fair price. Two very important caveats there. Quality does not mean buying three inexpensive Hi-Point 9mm pistols at $150 each. Those guns will only go up in value 100 years from now when they reach relic status. Buy a Hi Point if you must for defense, but not as an investment. But a brand new Springfield Armory 1911 orXDM will no doubt increase in value in the near future. (If you have granddaddy's 1911 from the war, come see me. You might be sitting on a small gold mine.) Even the purchase of a Remington 870 pump shotgun will retain enough value after shooting it to make it a great trade in one day.

"Fair price" is very subjective. It is a function of condition and market saturation. If the gun is rare or very sought after and in good condition it will be worth a lot of money. Condition is condition is condition. It is either good, bad or like new. But market saturation is relative. Normally your gun market is the 50 miles around your home, but, with the advent of Gunbroker.com and other websites it is now the entire US. Again... the caveat. Shipping isn't free, you must purchase the gun online via a Federally Licensed Dealer in your state who will charge you to do the transfer, paperwork and background check and the negotiating deals online isn't everyone's forte. So, a $500 dollar shotgun in the hand is still worth two in the bush (Internet). If I can buy the same gun from my neighbor and it costs me $50 more I will do it rather than go through the stress and hassle of online purchasing. That being said, in the gun shop we consult two places when we value your gun. We consult the Blue Book of Gun Values and GunBroker.com. I suggest you do the same to arrive at a "fair price." Also, selling a dealer a gun is like selling a car. I will not give you what it is worth. I will give you less so I can make money selling it for what it is worth. (I can't keep the lights on and Beth's County Kitchen pork chops on my plate any other way.) Private sales always net more. You just have a better chance of selling it to me than to another person.

Most of us still visit a gun store to purchase a gun. Here are a few tid-bits to make your purchasing experience better. Nomenclature: It's a magazine not a "clip". Clips go in your hair. It's Smith and Wesson not Smith and Western. (Seriously, you sound silly... stop it.) It's pronounced St-ah-k (stock) not St-ah-lk (stalk). It's a hollow point, not a hollow tip. There are no Glock 40s. You mean a Glock 23 or 22 that is chambered in .40 caliber S&W.

Behaviour: Never walk into a gun store with your hands in your pockets. Never. Don't ask for a "cash deal" or ask for a "parking lot" price to have the gun off the books. It's offensive and illegal. Most gun stores don't mind if you legally carry a concealed weapon in the store, but do not show it to anyone. If you need to show the gun store employee your personal defense firearm go outside, unload it and return with it empty and the slide or action open. (Pulling a gun on me in my store could get you shot!!!) Best practice for bringing a firearm into a gun store is for it to be in a case. If you don't have a case, ask permission to bring the firearm into the store unloaded.

If you don't know much about guns ask questions. If you do not get good service because you are inexperienced with guns you should be offended. We pride ourselves at CMC on helping first time gun owners safely operate their new firearm. You deserve all the sales person's attention if this is your 1st gun or 50th. MOST IMPORTANT, do not attempt to sale your gun to another customer in the gunshop or in the parking lot. If you buy a gun on the premises of a licensed dealer you are required to fill out an ATF form 4733 and submit to an FBI background check. Other than being completely rude to the gun store owner, that has provided at great expense a place for you to discuss and purchase guns, it is illegal.

Finally, how do you protect your investment? Too many gunshop stories start with "I had a gun like that but it was stolen." If someone broke into your house and stole your gun from anywhere but a gun safe, I am sorry to inform you, but that is partly your fault. It is also your liability. We all know thieves live among us and we all know that failing to make reasonable accommodations for that puts us all in jeopardy. If I break into your house tonight and steal your gun and kill someone with it you could be held liable. Guns often require extra care in the eyes of the law. What may seem reasonable to us might not be enough. Please, protect your guns. Every gun stolen is ammunition for the anti-gun crowd. You make owning a fire arm harder when your guns are stolen. If you have any questions about firearms or firearms ownership just come by and see me at the gun store or visit any other reputable dealer.