The conservation of liberty 2

At the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) yesterday, March 14, 2012, two potential leaders of the Republican Party described their visions of the Party’s future. (Videos of their speeches in full here.)

We quote from a report /opinion column in Time magazine:

The back-to-back pairing of Rubio and Rand was seen as the most significant matchup of the annual conference, pitting two likely 2016 Republican contenders before the party’s conservative base. The result pointed to the growing schism in the Republican Party between resurgent libertarians and more traditional Republicans.

The two men – Paul age 50, Rubio just 41 – laid out divergent visions of an inclusive Republican Party. Rubio called for a focus on economic opportunity and a muscular role overseas. Paul called for a reduction in the size of the U.S. government … [and for] the Republican Party to shift away from neoconservative foreign policy.

Actually, Paul did not “call for the Republican Party to shift away from neoconservative policy”. At least, not on this occasion. “Neoconservative foreign policy” means “the US acting in the world at large, including militarily”. The phrase also implies criticism of President Bush’s foreign policy which some libertarians and the Left believe was unduly influenced by “neoconservatives”. Time’s use of the word may convey, as some libertarians have intended it to convey, a flicker of antisemitism (though Rand Paul would almost certainly deny that he ever intends any such thing).

With almost all of what Rand Paul said we agree:

He warned that the Republican Party is “encumbered by an inconsistent approach to freedom”.

“The GOP of old has grown stale and moss-covered — I don’t think we need to name any names, do we?” he said, though the target, Sen. John McCain, was clear.

‘The new GOP,” Paul said advocating for … a smaller government …, “will need to embrace liberty in both the economic and the personal sphere. If we’re going to have a Republican Party that can win, liberty needs to be the backbone of the GOP.”

He pledged to introduce a budget in the coming weeks to balance the budget in five years that would also slash the income tax in half, and create a flat tax at 17 percent.

The contrast between the pair couldn’t be more obvious or consequential for the party struggling to remake itself after two straight presidential defeats.

On foreign policy we agree with Marco Rubio. In general we like Rand Paul’s ideas.

An unavoidable question is: could a more libertarian Republican Party still be the party of conservatism?

Roger L. Simon, writing at PJ Media, considers the question.

He starts on a personal note:

Last month my ninth-grade daughter attended a conference for the Junior State of America. Almost none of the high school students, she told me, caucused with the Republicans. A throng went to the libertarians.

He makes the same criticism of libertarians as we do:

I can’t totally identify as a libertarian, since I find some of their more extreme views silly. (Someone does have to pay for the interstate highway system. And Islamic jihadists are quite serious about a world caliphate. Declaring ourselves the purest of free marketers and rolling up the gangplank will not deter them in the slightest. In fact, it will only encourage them.)

All this is the long way around to saying that the problems creating the current dissension [among conservatives] stem in part from the word “conservative” itself. It seems mired in the past — even when it is not. …

Young people particularly (and even some older folks like myself) like to see themselves as oriented toward the future. …

What should conservatives do? Declare themselves to be “classical liberals,” which many are? That seems a bit academic.

Whatever the case, new terminology should and must be found. And whatever it is, it should be forward looking. …

Conservatives and libertarians — whatever they are now called — should market themselves as the party of the future. Respecting the Constitution is important, but something more than that is necessary.

We don’t think the word “conservative” needs to be replaced. Not in America. The United States was founded on the ideal of liberty. It is supremely important that it stays that way. An American conservative is someone who believes in liberty and will act to keep his country and everyone in it free. (A point implied by Marco Rubio in his speech.)

Respecting and defending the Constitution is vital to that end. If more is needed, it is in pruning away dead wood rather than tacking on “something more”.

Conservatives who drag in extraneous ideas – religion and stuffy views on sex, marriage, and drug control – are the element needing to be changed.

It is up to a new generation of Republican conservatives to effect the change.

*

There has been criticism of this year’s CPAC which we think is justified:

This is a condensation (which we quote from our own Facebook page) of an article by Robert Spencer, the indispensable expert on Islam. Read the article itself here for the author’s full explanation of why he is and yet is not a conservative.

I am generally considered to be a conservative. It is a label I have used myself, as a way of distinguishing my position from that of the liberals and Leftists who have generally sold out to the jihad, so blind in their hatred of Western civilization and the United States of America that they eagerly cast their lot with the foremost enemies of both. Nonetheless, for all that, I am not a conservative. Mitt Romney is a conservative. He called for the creation of a Palestinian state and said that “jihadism” has nothing to do with Islam. Grover Norquist is even more of a conservative than Mitt Romney. His conservative bona fides are impeccable as the leader of Americans for Tax Reform, but he also has extensive ties to Islamic supremacists, supporters of Hamas and other terrorist organizations that are sworn enemies of the United States and our ally Israel. So I must not be a conservative. Then what am I? I am an advocate of freedom: of the freedom of speech, of the equal treatment of all people under the law. Consequently, I am a foe of the global jihad and Islamic supremacism, which are enemies of both those principles. I know that there are many others like me, but neither party seems interested in us right now, and neither does the conservative movement, such as it is. It is time for a new movement, a genuine movement of freedom, one that is not compromised, not beholden, and not corrupted. Are there enough free Americans left to mount such a movement? That I do not know. But I do know that if there aren’t, all is lost, and the denouement will come quickly – more quickly than most people expect.

We sympathize with Robert Spencer’s position. We are equally exasperated by Romney’s and (far worse) Norquist’s position vis-a-vis Islam and jihad.

But why should they be allowed to define what conservatism is?

We define it as loyalty to the Constitution; to five core principles; and above all to the ideal of freedom on which the USA was founded.

The five core principles of our conservatism are: individual freedom, small government, low taxes, the free market, strong defense.

Islam is the enemy waging a war of conquest against America. How conservative can Americans be who do not even acknowledge that that is the case?

It’s past time for real conservatives to fight back with passion against its enemies: Islam, and the pro-Islam anti-America Left which managed to get one of its own elected to the presidency.

Wanted: an entirely new political party of the right? 10

At PJ Media, Andrew C. McCarthy makes a well-reasoned, well-substantiated case that it is “time to move on from the GOP”. He argues that the Republican Party “is not remotely serious about implementing limited government policies or dealing with the two central challenges of our age, existentially threatening deficit spending and Islamic supremacism.” The Republicans, since they dominate the House of Representatives, have the power to solve the debt crisis but lack the will. And when it comes to opposing Obama’s pro-Islam policies, “the current crop of Republican leaders has shown no stomach for the fight”. (The whole article needs to be read.)

His description of what is happening in the Middle East and why is admirably robust. He holds the Republicans co-responsible for the disasters.

The Middle East … is aflame. A heavy contributing factor is the American policy of embracing and empowering the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamists allies, very much including al Qaeda. The Brotherhood is a committed enemy of the United States. … It considers the destruction of Western civilization from within to be its principal mission in the United States.

In 2011, President Obama launched an unprovoked war in Libya against the Qaddafi regime, which Republicans had been telling us for eight years had mended its ways and become an American ally – such that Republicans in Congress supported transfers of U.S. taxpayer dollars to Tripoli. Obama’s Libya war was guaranteed to put Islamists in power and put Qaddafi’s arsenal at the disposal of violent jihadists. By refusing to foot the bill, congressional Republicans could have aborted this counter-productive aggression – in the conduct of which the administration consulted the U.N. and the Arab League but not the branch of the U.S. government vested by the Constitution with the power to declare and pay for war. Instead, Republicans lined up behind their transnational progressive wing, led by Senator John McCain, which champions the chimera of sharia-democracy – McCain called the Islamists of Benghazi his “heroes.”

That pro-Islamist policy is directly responsible for the heedlessness of establishing an American consulate in Benghazi. It led to the attacks on our consulate and the British consulate, and ultimately to the terrorist murder of four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya (weeks after British diplomats had the good sense to leave town).

The scandal brings into sharp relief an alarming fact that has long been obvious: notwithstanding their abhorrence of America and the West, Islamists are exerting profound influence on our government. Known Islamists and officials with undeniable Islamist connections have infiltrated the government’s policy councils; simultaneously, American policy has moved steadily in favor of Islamists – such that the government supports and funds Muslim Brotherhood affiliates that are hostile to us; colludes with these Islamists in purging from agent-training materials information demonstrating the undeniable nexus between Islamic doctrine and jihadist terror; collaborates with these Islamists in the effort to impose repressive sharia blasphemy restrictions on our free speech rights; and, we now learn, knowingly misleads the American people on the cause of murderous Islamist tirades, of which the atrocity in Benghazi is only the most recent example.

A few months back, long before these policies resulted in the killing of our American officials in Libya, and even before these policies abetted the Muslim Brotherhood takeover of Egypt … five conservative Republicans called for an investigation of Islamist influence on our government. Five members of the House – i.e., less than one percent of the Congress – was willing to stand up and confront a profound threat to American national security. The Republican establishment had the opportunity to back them, to prove that the GOP could at least be serious about a profound threat to our national security. Instead, senior Republicans – the Islamist-friendly transnational progressives to whom the party disastrously looks for foreign policy leadership – castigated the five. Speaker Boehner followed suit.

As the weeks went on, and event after event proved the five conservatives right and the apologists for Islamists wrong, the Republican establishment went mum. When the Islamist empowerment strategy coupled with the Obama administration’s shocking failure to defend Americans under siege resulted in the Benghazi massacre, the Republican establishment was given a rare gift: an opportunity, in the decisive stretch-run of a close presidential contest, to exhibit national security seriousness and distinguish themselves from Obama’s dereliction of duty. To the contrary, Gov. Romney and his top advisors decided to go mum on Benghazi; and congressional Republicans essentially delegated their response to Senators McCain and Lindsey Graham – the very “Islamic democracy” enthusiasts who had championed U.S. intervention on the side of Libyan jihadists in the first place (only after having championed the American embrace of Qaddafi).

This has to stop. The current crop of Republican leaders has shown no stomach for the fight. In fact, notwithstanding that President Obama lost a remarkable ten million votes from 2008 in his narrow reelection last week (i.e., 13 percent of his support), House Speaker John Boehner is treating him as if he has a mandate to continue his failed policies – as if the country and its representatives have no choice but to roll over on the immensely unpopular Obamacare law and concede on feeding Leviathan even more revenue and borrowing authority without deep cuts in spending … ; as if the country shares Boehner’s insouciance about the Islamist threat.

By reappointing Boehner and his leadership colleagues today, Republicans are telling us that their answer to failure is more of the same. They have a right to make that choice, but there is no reason why Americans who are serious about our challenges should follow along. The Republican establishment is content with more government, more debt, and more entanglement with our enemies. When called on it, they tell us they are powerless to stem the tide. But the problem is the lack of will and a sense of urgency, not lack of power. It is time to find a new vehicle to lead the cause of limited, fiscally responsible, constitutional government. The Republicans are telling us they are unwilling to be that vehicle. If that is the case, it is time to move on.

Can the “new vehicle” be anything but a new political party? And what could be its nucleus? The Tea Party? Not if it includes the same enfeebling component of Christians as the Republican Party does. We, of course, would like it to be secular constitutionalist, as dedicated to the cause of individual freedom as the Republican Party was dedicated at its foundation to the cause of freeing the slaves, and as willing to fight for it.

Happy Candy Crowley – the meditative immoderate moderator 6

Last night, on Tuesday October 16, 2012, a woman named Candy Crowley “moderated” the debate between the two candidates for the presidency in the forthcoming elections, Mitt Romney (Republican) and Barack Obama (Democrat).

According to her Wiki entry, Candy Crowley practices Transcendental Meditation.

What is Transcendental Meditation? It’s inventor, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, explains:

That’s not someone satirizing the guru, it really is the man himself. Yes, it sounds silly to us too. We prefer to think – but let those meditate who will. What we gather is that if it works as it is intended to, “TM”  makes its practitioners happy.

Like all Far Eastern religions, its object is to affect the state of feeling of the devotee, and is not intended to be a guide to moral behavior. Its teachers do not claim that it can make you perceptive or just. No false descriptions. “Makes you happy” is all that’s promised, all that’s written on the bottle so to speak.

But a capacity to be just is surely more necessary in a moderator of a debate than his or her personal happiness. We don’t say it was for her happiness that the Commission on Presidential Debates chose Candy Crowley to moderate the presidential debate, but if they thought she was capable of being just, of presiding over a debate without taking sides, without giving more time to one side than the other, without endorsing the points either side made, they were mistaken.

Matthew Vadum writes at Front Page:

In an outrage destined for the history books, the moderator of last night’s hotly contested presidential debate uttered an untruth …

A lie. So call it a lie.

… about President Obama’s deadly bungling in Libya after Obama overtly asked her on live television to support his dishonest version of it.

His lie.

It was truly unprecedented and could only have happened in the Age of Obama.

During the town hall-format debate with an audience of undecided voters, Crowley provided an assist to Obama to help him perpetuate his administration’s ongoing cover-up about the murder of four Americans –including the U.S. ambassador — at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, this past Sept. 11. Reports indicate that Ambassador Chris Stevens and other officials were provided inadequate security in a particularly hostile part of Libya. …

GOP candidate Mitt Romney stated –correctly— that “it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.” Romney’s supporters have been saying for weeks that Obama didn’t want to label the assault on the U.S. mission a terrorist attack because to do so would be an admission that the administration’s foreign policy was in flames.

After Romney’s statement, Obama interjected, “Get the transcript,” like an eager contestant asking for a lifeline on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”

At that cue, Crowley cut off Romney, claiming that Obama had in fact called the attack an “act of terror” around the time it took place. Buoyed by Crowley’s compliance, Obama boasted, “Can you say that a little louder, Candy?”

“He did call it an act of terror,” she said of the president. “It did as well take — it did as well take two weeks or so for the whole idea [of] there being a riot out there about this tape to come out. You [Romney] are correct about that.” …

She had the transcript. She interpreted it in Obama’s favor. It was obviously arranged beforehand that she would do this. It is a scandal in itself.  

Crowley … happens to be wrong.

In the White House’s Rose Garden on Sept. 12, Obama … [made] a general statement that “no acts of terror would shake the resolve of this great nation.” Obama said what happened in Benghazi was “a terrible act” and promised that “justice will be done.” At no time [on that day] did he say the events in Benghazi were instigated by terrorists.

Over the following two weeks, the Obama administration continued to resist calling the events in Benghazi a terrorist attack. On five different Sunday morning TV talk shows, Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, said the attack in that Libyan city stemmed from violent protests related to a “heinous and offensive” video.

On Sept. 25, Obama again refused to label the attack an act of terrorism during a softball appearance on TV’s “The View,” saying that an investigation was still ongoing. He said the same thing later the same day during an address at the United Nations, blaming the violence in Libya on the video and making the much-ridiculed assertion that “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

After the debate, an unapologetic Crowley jovially admitted on CNN that Romney was correct but blamed her victim, the former Massachusetts governor, for the sin of linguistic imprecision.

Well, you know, again, I’d heard the president’s speech at the time. I sort of re-read a lot of stuff about Libya because I knew we’d probably get a Libya question, so I kind of wanted to be up on it. So we knew that the president had, had said, you know, these acts of terrors [sic] won’t stand or whatever the whole quote was and I think actually, you know, because, right after that I did turn around and say but you are totally correct, that they spent two weeks telling us that this was about a tape and that there was a, you know, this riot right outside the Benghazi consulate, which there wasn’t. So he was right in the main but I just think he picked the wrong word.

No, Candy, Romney didn’t pick the wrong word. The Commission on Presidential Debates picked the wrong moderator.

But the damage, which may or may not be long-lasting, is now done and the debate is finished. Just another day in the mainstream media.

Former New Hampshire governor and Romney surrogate John Sununu excoriated Crowley on the Fox News Channel. “Candy Crowley had no business doing a real-time, if you will, fact check, because she was wrong,” he said. Crowley aided President Obama who “was absolutely deliberate in his dishonesty on this issue of whether it was terrorism.”

The Obama administration’s failure to provide security in Benghazi, an act that led to the death of four Americans, is “unconscionable,” Sununu said.

Commentator Charles Krauthammer skewered Obama for being “completely at sea,” and not even trying to answer the question about consulate security. Obama acted offended at suggestions he would mislead the American people, Krauthammer said, even though he put his U.N. ambassador on television to lie to the public about what transpired in Benghazi.

Romney missed “a huge opening” to pound Obama over consulate security, Krauthammer opined. Of course if there was a genuine opportunity Romney missed, it’s because he was too busy defending himself after Crowley effectively called him a liar.

There is to be one more presidential debate. We hope and anticipate that Romney will use the opportunity to expose the huge scandal of Obama’s pro-Islam policy and stress that what it led to – the murder of Ambassador Stevens and three of his staff – is an extreme affront to the United States and a national tragedy.

It is so a great a scandal that it alone should unseat Obama, even if all his other policies had not already proved him (as they have) to be the worst president in American history.

Let him go and be happy. He can use some of his China-invested pension to buy lessons in Transcendental Meditation.

Swinging to the right 0

The extreme importance of the 2012 presidential election is recognized by (among millions of others, we hope) Diana West, who warns at Townhall that “Election 2012 is anything but politics as usual. It is an existential crisis.”

She writes:

This election is for keeps. If Barack Obama doesn’t lose his bid for a second term, he and his vast, left-wing support network of Marx-inspired think tanks, strategists and elected officials will fulfill Obama’s 2008 campaign promise to “fundamentally” transform this nation, thus bringing the American experiment in liberty to what could be the final curtain…

Americans are about to decide whether to empower the increasingly dictatorial executive branch of Barack Hussein Obama, whose future plans to distort “checks and balances” promises to transform the U.S. government out of all recognition, or to break the momentum of government centralization by electing Romney-Ryan.

Yes. And we find signs that are good; signs that there is a swing to the right in public opinion, considerably boosted since Paul Ryan was selected as candidate Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential choice.

This is by Scott Johnson at PowerLine:

GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan appeared at a rally this morning at Deep Run High School in Glen Allen, Virginia. … An audience of more than 2,000 turned up for the rally. More impressive than the size of the crowd is the fact that supporters started lining up for the event around 2:00 a.m. Recent alumni of Deep Run High School, where Ryan spoke … joined the line around 7:00 a.m. with [Chick-fil-A] breakfast in hand.

In these faces we can see what optimism looks like:

Ryan is a star. Romney’s pick of him for his vice-president has energized the Republican Party and brought excitement to the electorate. Even the heavily left-biased British newspaper the Guardian has to concede that:

Democrats’ nerves start to show as Ryan fires up conservative voters …

And:

The Democrats have been sending out panic-laden appeals for donations, one of them expressing concern over the size of the crowd. One of the appeals, for $3 or more, said of Romney-Ryan attacks: “This could cost us the election.”

And quoting American pundits with a message the left canot be happy with, the Guardian raises the prospect of Republican government for the next 16 years:

 If Romney wins, then Ryan, as vice-president, will be well placed as a Republican presidential candidate for the future. …

Roger L. Klavan writes at PJ Media that the Democrats are scared of Ryan:

Obama’s main man David Axelrod looks depressed. Why wouldn’t he be? Forced to run a campaign based on lying about or distorting what the other side says, fanning the flames of non-existent racism, etc., is a sure loser, even if you win — perhaps especially if you win. Winning ugly in this instance will not be a triumph of any sort. Obama, at his worst, may succeed in destroying America as we know it, but he would destroy himself and everyone around him in the process. At this moment, I’m betting none of this will happen. Romney’s choice of Ryan, for me, saved the day.

But the black vote – that’s remaining pretty solid for Obama, isn’t it?

Or is it? A formerly prominent black Democrat has gone over to the Republicans. Former Democratic Representative Artur Davis, who was also a candidate for the governorship of Alabama in 2010, and was one of Barack Obama’s campaign managers in 2008 – making one of the nominating speeches for him at the 2008 Democratic National Convention – is to speak this year at the Republican National Convention in support of the Romney-Ryan ticket. (Read more about this in the Washington Post here.)

And there’s this (also from the Washington Post).  The story of a black community organizer’s disillusionment with Obama. He is “disillusioned” for the wrong reasons, and he probably will not be coming over to the right, but if he decides to cast his vote for Obama, it won’t be with any enthusiasm. The point is, redistributive economics and collectivist politics don’t work, and the Obama episode in American history has proved it. Once Obama has gone – and go he absolutely must with the coming election – his bad four years in the White House can be seen as a lesson millions of Americans needed to learn.

He still walks the same streets here as his old acquaintance Barack Obama once did. That is about all they have in common anymore. At 50, Chicago activist Mark Allen … [is] the head of a small, community-assistance organization called Black Wall Street Chicago. Allen regards his personal survival alone as a small victory, grateful he can pay the rent on his modest office space, aware he is doing better than many on this city’s restive South Side.

“Things haven’t gone the way we’d hoped after Barack got elected,” he says. Surveys place unemployment rates above 25 percent here, and indications are that South Side residents such as Allen aren’t nearly as passionate about the 2012 election as they were during Obama’s trailblazing 2008 campaign.

Historically, community organizers such as Allen have wielded outsize influence in the black-majority neighborhoods of the South Side, with none better known than Obama, who directed a group called the Developing Communities Project for three years during the 1980s. But old bonds between the two have frayed. Allen, who as a member of another group worked on community issues with Obama during their organizing days, has grown frustrated with his former ally in the Oval Office.

Obama’s much ballyhooed 2009 stimulus package has failed to touch ordinary South Side residents, says Allen, who has reached out to Obama administration officials, including fellow Chicagoan and prominent White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, to express his dismay. …

Allen, who views the South Side’s pain as common to U.S. inner cities, also offers a political warning for Obama’s campaign strategists. The disillusionment of once fierce Obama admirers, he suggests, may hamper the president’s reelection chances by subtly dampening black voter turnout.

Best of all there’s this:

 

A barbarous culture 1

Mitt Romney, visiting Israel in late July, spoke of the economic stagnation of the Arab world and attributed it to Arab culture. He was certainly correct, though not “politically correct”. Predictable offense was enjoyed by Arabs and Democrats. Loudest with objection were the Palestinians, a beggar nation who like to blame their dependency – on which they and their Arab brethren and the United Nations insist – on Israel and America.

Arab culture is stagnant and sterile. It won’t be changed by the West. President George W. Bush went to war to get regime change in Iraq, and he got it;  but what he did not get was democracy. Oh, some Iraqis are playing at democracy, with purple-finger elections and a parliament and a prime minister, but their country is no more a democracy now than it has ever been.

No sudden Arab Spring will transform the Muslim Middle East. Uprisings can change governments but they cannot bring civilization. The Muslim world has access to Western learning, just as it had access to Indian, Roman and Greek learning. It made use of some of those ideas in a slapdash fashion just as it made use of Judaism, Christianity, Socialism and Democracy, in a similar fashion.

We quote from an article by Daniel Greenfield at Canada Free Press. (It’s well worth reading in full.)

The Palestinians are a fraud, but so are the Jordanians, and to a lesser degree, the Egyptians and the Syrians. Every [Arab] nation is an artificial entity ruled over by powerful families or old soldiers who are keeping the whole thing together with guns and bribes, not to mention imported bread and circuses.

The British treated the region as a grab-bag of clans, and backed any powerful family willing to throw in with them. That is how the Hashemite kings and the Arab-Israeli wars came to be. Unlike the Brits, the United States was not interested in an empire, just in oil rights, which is how we got in bed with one of the most powerful families in the region, who became far more powerful thanks to their association with us. And who repaid us by trying to conquer us in their own way.

At some point we forgot that the Saudis, the King of Jordan, the Palestinian Authority and most of our so-called allies, are just powerful families with territorial claims based on that power. And even slightly more civilized countries such as Egypt, aren’t really any better, the invaders who overran them just absorbed more culture and civilization from their conquests and their proximity to more civilized parts of the world.

Mostly they’re feudal states with skyscrapers planned by foreign architects and built by foreign labor …

A primitive society confronted with an advanced civilization does not become civilized, it adopts some of the habits and facades of civilization in cargo cult fashion, it uses some of its tools, and hybridizes some of its ideas, but all this is done in pursuit of its existing goals. Everything that the Muslim Middle East has taken in from the civilized world has been used to pursue the same goals that it was pursuing a thousand years ago.

Imagine savages buying advanced steel knives, designed with space age technology, manufactured to never rust or grow dull, then shipped by jet plane to their island, where they are used to perform ritual human sacrifices so that the crops may grow. That in a nutshell is the relationship between the civilized world and the Muslim Middle East—except that the savages are not content to stay on their island and perform their human sacrifices only on their own tribe.

The barbarians lavish their petro-dollars on cars, aircraft, guns, computers, cell phones – and the high-tech machines of contemporary medicine which are, many of them, invented and manufactured in Israel, and which wealthy Arabs use in foreign countries though they won’t import them into their own. But such things do not inspire them to question the worth of the primitive superstition and oppressive laws that dominate their lives.

Their ideology and culture need to be criticized, and though seriously repulsive, laughed at:

Speak up, Mr Romney, we can’t hear you! 1

We quote from Arnold Ahlert’s open letter to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, because we too are irritated by the flaccid, passionless, MacCain-like campaign he is running:

The letter comes from Canada Free Press:

Dear Mr. Romney:

Since you apparently have advisors that are very clever people, perhaps a word from a troglodyte like me might be refreshing. In the last two weeks, you have tried to explain the difference between “off-shoring” and “outsourcing” with respect to the economy, and despite the great gift handed to you by our addled Chief Justice, John Roberts, you insisted on playing a semantical game between calling Obamacare a “constitutional tax” or an “unconstitutional penalty.”

Let me give you a clue: the overwhelming number of people who understand and/or appreciate the nuances in such parsing of the language already know who they’re going to vote for. They’re the ones who follow politics, have a far higher understanding of economics than the average American, and make an ongoing effort to pay attention to what’s happening in general.

The rest of America knows there is an election in November, and not a whole lot else. Luckily for you, most of them won’t even be paying attention to the details of that election until September or October. That doesn’t make them unintelligent …  For the most part it means that a lot of them are busy living their lives, trying to get from one day to the next. And while a lot of them know there’s something not quite right with this economy, they can’t immerse themselves in the kind of facts and figures — or nuance — that you and your campaign managers seemingly think they can.

You know why a slogan like “tax the rich” works so well? Because it taps into one of mankind’s baser instincts, namely envy. And as you and yours have likely surmised by now, Mr. Obama and Democrats will tap into whatever negative instincts human beings possess, if it means winning the 2012 election. Divide-and-conquer is as old as the Romans, and has been effective for that long as well.

So here’s my advice. First, reduce your campaign to its simplest terms. …

The bottom line here is this: you need a slogan that captures the essence of American exceptionalism. …When Ronald Reagan referred to America as a “shining city on a hill,” Mr. Peanuts had no comeback. …

Yet even more importantly, maybe game-changing, have the guts to admit that your Massachusetts healthcare plan was a stinker. That’s right, admit you made a colossal mistake, even if it was for what you considered all the right reasons. If you don’t understand why, let me explain it in political terms that are quite germane, even if somewhat oblique: the cover-up, or in this case the cover-my-ass, is worse than the original “crime.” Watergate, Monica Lewinsky, and Fast and Furious are as in-your-face as it gets regarding that truism. A presidential resignation, an impeachment leading to a $90,000 fine and disbarment, and a contempt of Congress citation are a testament to the kind of arrogance and stubbornness that turns people off. So does giving Mr. Obama and his media harpies something to club you with, over and over again. …

Understand something else as well. You’re never going to be perceived as a regular Joe, no matter how hard you try. It’s just not part of your DNA, it’s never been part of your DNA, and any attempt to make it so will be taken for exactly what it is: overt pandering. What you need to demonstrate above all else is quite different.

You need passion.

It’s not enough to have the right argument, if you’re going to deliver it in measured — dare I say sleep-inducing — terms. Ask John McCain how staying “above the fray” works in a presidential campaign. I know this seems like a contradiction, but it’s worth remembering Ronald Reagan, in the midst of praising the nation, wasn’t afraid to ask the question that became the quintessential slogan of the 1980 election campaign. To wit: are you better of now than your were four years ago? …

Any criticism of this president and his policies will be deemed racist by the Democrats and their useful idiots in the media. Get over it.

And get over the idea that any topic, from the president’s associations with race-baiter Jeremiah Wright and Weather Underground Terrorist Bill Ayers, to the various scandals of this administration, such as the Operation Fast and Furious gun-running debacle and the crony capitalism surrounding Solyndra and LightSquared., are “off-limits” because a bunch of progressives say so. 

Finally, stop pretending Barack Obama is anything less than a Constitutionally-contemptuous, Congress-bypassing, fact-challenged, socialist/Marxist, no matter how “appalled” the chattering classes become.

This country is hanging by a thread, and if you can’t make the case — and make it with gusto — that he and his administration are an unmitigated disaster, you’re going to lose an election you should win in a walk. In other words, a little righteous anger goes a long, long, long way.

Cleverness is for losers, and nice guys finish last. Step out of the self-generated campaign bubble, sir. Whether you like it or not, you may be the last best hope for our nation.

Start acting like it.

Suggestions for a Romney campaign slogan are invited.

Posted under Commentary, government, liberty, United States by Jillian Becker on Monday, July 9, 2012

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Let freedom ring 12

We found this text, extracted from a speech Mitt Romney is to make in Missouri today, at PowerLine, posted by John Hinderaker:

Along with the genius of our Declaration of Independence, our Constitution, and our Bill of Rights, is the equal genius of our economic system. Our Founding Fathers endeavored to create a moral and just society like no other in history, and out of that grew a moral and just economic system the likes of which the world had never seen. Our freedom, what it means to be an American, has been defined and sustained by the liberating power of the free enterprise system.

That same system has helped lift more people out of poverty across the globe than any government program or competing economic system. The success of America’s free enterprise system has been a bright beacon of freedom for the world. It has signaled to oppressed people to rise up against their oppressors, and given hope to the once hopeless. 

It is called the Free Enterprise System because we are both free to engage in enterprises and through those enterprises we ensure our freedom.

But sadly, it has become clear that this President simply doesn’t understand or appreciate these fundamental truths of our system. Over the last three and a half years, record numbers of Americans have lost their jobs or simply disappeared from the work force. Record numbers of Americans are living in poverty today – over 46 million of our fellow Americans are living below the poverty line. …

This is not just a failure of policy; it is a moral failure of tragic proportions. …

John Hinderaker comments:

Conservative economic policies don’t just create more wealth than socialism or liberalism, they are morally superior to socialism and liberalism. Let’s hope that today’s speech is just a small preview of what is to come from the Romney campaign.

Socialism creates no wealth at all. It’s a wealth and prosperity killer. Vide Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, France …

As to the morality of socialism, we often say that to take money from someone who has earned it and give it to someone who hasn’t is intensely immoral. And that is what socialist governments do.

Walter Williams writes at Townhall:

Benjamin Franklin, statesman and signer of our Declaration of Independence, said: “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” …  Are today’s Americans virtuous and moral, or have we become corrupt and vicious? Let’s think it through with a few questions.

Suppose I saw an elderly woman painfully huddled on a heating grate in the dead of winter. She’s hungry and in need of shelter and medical attention. To help the woman, I walk up to you using intimidation and threats and demand that you give me $200. Having taken your money, I then purchase food, shelter and medical assistance for the woman. Would I be guilty of a crime? A moral person would answer in the affirmative. I’ve committed theft by taking the property of one person to give to another.

Most Americans would agree that it would be theft regardless of what I did with the money. Now comes the hard part. Would it still be theft if I were able to get three people to agree that I should take your money? What if I got 100 people to agree — 100,000 or 200 million people? What if instead of personally taking your money to assist the woman, I got together with other Americans and asked Congress to use Internal Revenue Service agents to take your money? In other words, does an act that’s clearly immoral and illegal when done privately become moral when it is done legally and collectively? Put another way, does legality establish morality? Before you answer, keep in mind that slavery was legal; apartheid was legal; the Nazi’s Nuremberg Laws were legal; and the Stalinist and Maoist purges were legal. Legality alone cannot be the guide for moral people.

The moral question is whether it’s right to take what belongs to one person to give to another to whom it does not belong. 

Don’t get me wrong. I personally believe that assisting one’s fellow man in need by reaching into one’s own pockets is praiseworthy and laudable. Doing the same by reaching into another’s pockets is despicable, dishonest and worthy of condemnation. Some people call governmental handouts charity, but charity and legalized theft are entirely two different things. [And] as far as charity is concerned, James Madison, the acknowledged father of our Constitution, said, “Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.” To my knowledge, the Constitution has not been amended to include charity as a legislative duty of Congress.

Our current economic crisis, as well as that of Europe, is a direct result of immoral conduct. Roughly two-thirds to three-quarters of our federal budget can be described as Congress’ taking the property of one American and giving it to another. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid account for nearly half of federal spending. Then there are corporate welfare and farm subsidies and thousands of other spending programs, such as food stamps, welfare and education. According to a 2009 Census Bureau report, nearly 139 million Americans — 46 percent — receive handouts from one or more federal programs …

Ayn Rand, in her novel “Atlas Shrugged,” reminded us that “when you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good.”

Would a President Romney return America to virtue as well as to prosperity?

We know better than to hope that any government would shrink itself to the minimal size of the libertarian-conservative ideal. Or that entitlements such as Social Security will ever be entirely abolished.

But Romney respects the idea of individual liberty as the Founding Fathers did; and he knows that only the free enterprise system opens the way for every individual to become prosperous – by his own endeavors. So Romney would be likely to take steps to restore confidence in business, reduce the number of hampering regulations the Obama administration has imposed, encourage innovation, and generally reward self-reliance.

That would be a good start, and the expectation of it a good reason to support his bid for the presidency.

Restoring freedom 3

We liked these parts of the speech Mitt Romney made after winning five Republican primaries yesterday (full text here):

When it comes to the character of America, President Obama and I have very different visions.

Government is at the center of his vision. It dispenses the benefits, borrows what it cannot take, and consumes a greater and greater share of the economy. With Obamacare fully installed, government will come to control half the economy, and we will have effectively ceased to be a free enterprise society.

This President is putting us on a path where our lives will be ruled by bureaucrats and boards, commissions and czars. He’s asking us to accept that Washington knows best – and can provide all.

We’ve already seen where this path leads. It erodes freedom. It deadens the entrepreneurial spirit. And it hurts the very people it’s supposed to help. Those who promise to spread the wealth around only ever succeed in spreading poverty. Other nations have chosen that path. It leads to chronic high unemployment, crushing debt, and stagnant wages.

I have a very different vision for America, and of our future. It is an America driven by freedom, where free people, pursuing happiness in their own unique ways, create free enterprises that employ more and more Americans. Because there are so many enterprises that are succeeding, the competition for hard-working, educated and skilled employees is intense, and so wages and salaries rise.

I see an America with a growing middle class, with rising standards of living. I see children even more successful than their parents – some successful even beyond their wildest dreams – and others congratulating them for their achievement, not attacking them for it.

He goes on to pre-empt Obama’s “fairness” pitch. By “fair” Obama means equal, in the socialist sense. Romney gave it a different, more acceptable meaning:

This America is fundamentally fair. We will stop the unfairness of urban children being denied access to the good schools of their choice; we will stop the unfairness of politicians giving taxpayer money to their friends’ businesses; we will stop the unfairness of requiring union workers to contribute to politicians not of their choosing; we will stop the unfairness of government workers getting better pay and benefits than the taxpayers they serve; and we will stop the unfairness of one generation passing larger and larger debts on to the next.

In the America I see, character and choices matter. And education, hard work, and living within our means are valued and rewarded. And poverty will be defeated, not with a government check, but with respect and achievement that is taught by parents, learned in school, and practiced in the workplace.

This is the America that was won for us by the nation’s Founders, and earned for us by the Greatest Generation. It is the America that has produced the most innovative, most productive, and the most powerful economy in the world.

As I look around at the millions of Americans without work, the graduates who can’t get a job, the soldiers who return home to an unemployment line, it breaks my heart. This does not have to be. It is the result of failed leadership and of a faulty vision. We will restore the promise of America only if we restore the principles of freedom and opportunity that made America the greatest nation on earth. …

Wisely no doubt at this stage of his campaign, he concentrated on the economy. But near the end of the speech he said:

We’ll stop the days of apologizing for success at home and never again apologize for America abroad.

It was the only sentence that touched on foreign policy. It’s a good resolution to start with.

We wait to hear more than he has said in debates about how he’ll deal with Iran, Russia, China, and North Korea.

Will he treat Britain and Israel as the allies they are, and the Muslim Brotherhood as the enemy it is? Will he call Islamic terrorism by its name? What will he do to stop Iran becoming a nuclear power?

Frightening sympathy 6

The British Conservative James Delingpole, with whom we usually agree, writes at the Telegraph about the dismal view he takes of the Republican Party candidates in this year’s presidential election.

His assessment of them is so dismal that he thinks that letting Obama, “the POTUS from hell”,  wreck the country for another four years would be a better choice than electing any of them.

We cannot wholly agree with him this time because we think no one on the political horizon could be worse for America than Obama, but we like his article and see his point:

Let’s get one thing clear: Obama unquestionably ranks among the bottom five presidents in US history. In terms of sublime awfulness he’s right up there with our late and extremely unlamented ex-PM Gordon Brown – which is quite some doing, given that Brown singlehandedly wrought more destruction on his country than the Luftwaffe, Dutch Elm Disease, the South Sea Bubble, the Fire of London and the Black Death combined.

Agreed: the damage President Obama has done to the US economy with everything from Ben Bernanke’s insane money-printing programme, to his cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline, to his ban on deep-water drilling to his crony capitalism hand-outs to disaster zones like Solyndra to his persecution of companies like Gibson is incalculable. And, of course, if he gets a second term the damage he and his rag-bag of Marxist cronies at organisations like the Environmental Protection Agency manage to inflict on the US small businessman trying to make an honest buck will make his first term look like Calvin Coolidge on steroids.

So why do I think this would be preferable to a presidency under Mitt Romney? Simple. Because I’ve seen what happens, America, when you elect yet another spineless, yet ruthless, principle-free blow-with-the-wind, big government, crony-capitalist RINO squish. His name is Dave Cameron – and trust me, the cure is far worse than the disease.

Of course it may not seem that way at first. You’ll be so busy dancing round in circles singing “Ding Dong the witch is dead!” that euphoria and relief will completely overwhelm your intellect and your powers of observation. You’ll read endless articles by David L Brooks, the New York Times’s pet pretend-conservative, telling you how Romney is just the kind of uniting, post-partisan, pragmatic POTUS America needed. And you’ll believe it because you’ll want to believe it. This may last for some considerable length of time. In Britain, many Cameroon conservatives … continue to perform this auto-lobotomisation even now.

But then, little by little, something rather unpleasant will begin to dawn on you. The label on the can may have changed but the contents taste remarkably similar. Similarly emetic, that is.

Yes, I know from the other side of the pond David Cameron may look just the kind of stand-up conservative you’d like running the US. But that’s only because the stories you hear about him are extremely selective. For example, I’m constantly surprised by US talk show hosts telling me how tough on militant Islam Cameron is because of some speech they heard Dave give once about the problems of multiculturalism.

But surely we should judge our political leaders by what they actually achieve rather than (Tony Blair-style) by what they tell us they are achieving.

Here are some of David Cameron’s achievements so far:

He has prolonged the economic crisis …

He has urged quotas for women in the boardroom, apparently in the belief that the State has either the knowledge or the right to decide how business conducts its affairs.

He has presided over a massive wind-farm building programme which, besides destroying the British countryside and enriching his father-in-law, is causing energy bills to soar to the point where old people are dying of hypothermia.

He has surrendered at almost every turn to the Carthaginian terms offered to Britain by the European Socialist Superstate.

He has proved himself incapable of expelling the Islamist hate-preacher Abu Qatada. [See our post The tale of a Muslim terrorist parasite, January 18, 2012.]

The list is by no means exhaustive. I would go on but, actually, this was never meant to be a “collected examples of the unutterable crapness of David Cameron” blog. Rather, it’s supposed to be a more generalised warning about the dangers of short-termist thinking.

Yes, of course, conservative/libertarian America, I fully understand how desperate you are to rid yourself of the POTUS from hell. But what you need to ask yourselves – and I don’t believe many of you are: you’re a bit like an hysterical woman who’s just had a tarantula drop on top of her in the bath, you just want to GET RID OF IT NOW! – is what ultimately you’re trying to achieve.

I’m presuming what you really want is stuff like: smaller government; a genuine – as opposed to an illusory, QE-driven – economic recovery; sensible environmentalism (ie conservation but not eco-fascism); liberty; an end of crony capitalism; a diminution of the power of Wall Street; a resurgence of American greatness; a renewed sense of confidence and purpose.

You’re not going to get any of that from a Romney administration.

But you will, provided you’ve got the patience, get it in 2016 from President West or President Rand Paul or President Palin or President Ryan.

Only it might be TOO LATE.

 

(Hat-tip Andrew M)

Multi-layers of religious absurdity 12

This is from the Washington Post:

Nobel-laureate Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel and a top official from the Simon Wiesenthal Center said Tuesday that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney should use his stature in the Mormon Church to block its members from posthumously baptizing Jewish victims of the Holocaust.

Their comments followed reports that Mormons had baptized the deceased parents of Wiesenthal, the late Holocaust survivor and Nazi-hunter. Wiesel appeared in a church database used to identify potential subjects of baptisms. …

Posthumous baptisms of non-Mormons are a regular practice in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Members believe the ritual creates the possibility for the deceased to enter their conception of Heaven.

Individual members can submit names, usually of deceased relatives, for proxy baptisms. The church has tried to improve its technology to block the process from including Jewish Holocaust victims. … [as it ] has long been offensive to Jews.

How is all this absurd?

Let us list the ways. They are too numerous to count.

  • The absurdity of worshipping “Jesus Christ”.
  • The stacks of absurdities in Mormonism.
  • The absurdity of baptism.
  • The extra-hilarious absurdity of baptizing the dead.
  • The extra-extra-absurdity of baptizing dead Jews.
  • The absurdity of Jews complaining to the Mormon church about dead Jews being baptized. Do they fear it will turn dead Jews into Mormons?
  • The absurdity of Mormons not getting their “technology” good enough to exclude Jews from their posthumous baptismal rites.
  • The absurdity of expecting Mitt Romney to bring that mysterious technology up to scratch.

And there are probably more that we’ve missed.

Ah, well! Bring on the figurative corpses. It’s all good clean fun at the virtual baptismal font.

Perhaps the Jews could get their revenge by posthumously circumcising dead Mormons.

 

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