Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Sunday, May 27, 2007
1) I've noticed, from your comments on my husband's blog, that you enjoy PC gaming. What's your favorite game?
I’m not too good at the all time favorite type questions. I usually can’t narrow it down to one game/movie/song, etc. I’m definitely a fan of PC gaming over the systems, though I have been enjoying my son’s Wii that was a gift from my wife’s sister and her husband. I think the game I’ve played more than any other in terms of hours is the John Madden football series, so I suppose that’s my favorite sport game. I like strategy games more than action games, stuff like SimCity, the Sims, or Civilization are always enjoyable. Though there have been some good times with a few action games like Half-Life or Mafia. So it’s really all over the place I guess. Like I said it’s hard to narrow it down.
2) What role do you fill, in the homeschooling of your children?
Beyond helping with homework I haven’t taken on any subjects yet. We’ve been focusing on the basics up to this point (reading, writing, math, basic science and history) but starting this summer I’m going to be doing more advanced history and philosophy. Plus I’m planning on doing a logic course of some type.
3) You seem to be a fellow history geek. What is your favorite period of history?
Nothing too ancient I suppose. I like the period around the American Revolution and shortly after, when Liberalism was somewhat at its peak. War times are of course always interesting, though its tough calling periods of mass death and famine that always accompany war as a “favorite”. The years leading up to World War 1 and 1919 are all very fascinating, just to see how much things were screwed up for the whole World by just a handful of men.
4) Do you cook? If so, what is the best meal you prepare?
I do cook, though not all that often. My best recipe is a slow cooked chili that I make with steak and NO beans. Beans are the worst thing you can do to good chili.
5) What's your idea of the "perfect" vacation?
Really we’ve never been able to afford much of a vacation. Even our honeymoon was a two day trip to Iowa. Yeah, Iowa. The only thing we’ve ever done really is take a trip to Washington D.C., which really was quite enjoyable. I guess I like road trips with the family. Not all that exciting, I know, but we have a good time. I’d like to drive to California with the family, that’d be fun. Anything is better than the way I’ve spent all my vacation time this year and last; in a hospital room with my daughter.
Well that wasn’t too difficult. A nice break from all the politics and what not. I think I’m supposed to offer to interview anyone else, so if you want 5 questions of your own say so in the comments and I will supply them.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
First, for Zombieslayer, it turns out fully automatic weapons do come in handy during a zombie invasion. Also we saw 28 Weeks Later last nite and it's really pretty intense. Not exactly a "zombie" movie I guess, since it involves a virus not the undead, but still pretty good.
Second, for Rudy Giuliani, if you ever do take Ron Paul up on his offer to debate foreign policy, it might help if you read this first. Facts are fun!
And lastly, regarding this article. I'm fine with the silly little photoshoped picture of Ron Paul and Micheal Moore. I don't really care if someone wants to call Ron Paul nutty. I don't expect much more from left/right political "thinkers", but this quote really got me upset:
Strict constructionism and original intent are fine things, but shoving every problem and every issue through the Founder’s Intent meat-grinder is lunacy. Besides, this rigid orthodoxy brings him down on what both Andrew and I consider to be the wrong side of the gay marriage question.
Heck yeah, if the NeoCons want to kill a few thousand innocent Iraqi's and Iranians we, as good Christians, can live with that. Just so long as they say some nice things about gay marriage being bad.
When did Christians sell their souls to the Federal government in exchange for the privilege of ruling over a minority of gays? It makes me rather ill. We sure as heck can't support a guy who doesn't think the federal government shouldn't be the enforcer of God's Will. No, what we need is a man who will kill us some Muslims and hate us some gays. That's the kind of leader we need. That's conservatism.
Anything else is just nutty.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Giuliani is a fool.
Hearing that made my blood boil. Ignoring his absurd assertion that his proximity to the event somehow makes his opinion more valuable, his statement and demand for a recant from Paul is totally baseless.
We don’t have to guess why we were attacked on September 11th, we’ve been told by the very person who planned it. In Bin Laden’s manifesto he stated the exact reason why he declared war on the United States a full 5 years before the 9/11 attacks.
The latest and the greatest of these aggressions, incurred by the Muslims since the death of the Prophet (ALLAH'S BLESSING AND SALUTATIONS ON HIM) is the occupation of the land of the two Holy Places -the foundation of the house of Islam, the place of the revelation, the source of the message and the place of the noble Ka'ba, the Qiblah of all Muslims- by the armies of the American Crusaders and their allies. (We bemoan this and can only say: "No power and power acquiring except through Allah").
In fact, Bin Laden wanted to make the point that our intervention was one of the main reasons he declared was so clear that he entitled the declaration “Declaration of War against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places.”
I’m not at all justifying their actions so don’t even bother getting all worked up about that. That’s not even the issue. Read again what Dr. Paul said (Paraphrased):
I believe the CIA is correct when it warns us about blowback. We overthrew the Iranian government in 1953 and their taking the hostages was the reaction. This dynamic persists and we ignore it at our own risk. If we think we can do what WE want around the World and not incite hatred, then we have a problem. They’re not attacking us because we’re rich and free, they’re attacking us because we’re over there.
Why is Ron Paul the only one suggesting we don’t have to take part in building and running other countries? Why is he considered a “fringe” candidate anyway just because he’s anti-war? The vast majority of the country wants to end Iraq TODAY and there are only three anti-war candidates from both parties. (Paul, Kucinich, and Gravel) All of whom are considered long shots.
The United States citizens did not invite 9/11, its government did. 9/11 was the culmination of one hundred years of US politicians playing a game of chess with the World as its board and our money as its pawns. While THEY (politicians) experimented with regime changes, foreign aid, and alliances WE (citizens) did nothing to piss off the rest of the World. Just a handful of men have decided for the rest of us who around the World should be pushed around and for what reason, doing it all in the name of the United States and democracy.
On September 11th a few thousand innocent civilian lives were ended as a result of that game.
Friday, May 11, 2007
You can read about their history here and their mission here.
If you have a few bucks, consider helping. If not, carry on with your day. Later.
Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.~Joseph Goebbels
No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.~James Madison
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Towards the end of next year we’ll all be able to run to the polls and use our immense power of voting to influence our World leaders. But imagine for a moment that YOU were the one elected King of America. Suspend reality long enough to think about how you’d run things.
What three things would you do first to change the country?
You have complete dictorial power here. Forget about that pesky Constitution thing, it has no binding power anyway. A little piece of paper has never stood in the way of any of OUR greatest leaders. Want to bomb Iran? Go ahead! Heck, bomb Canada while you’re at it, what good have they ever done us? Nothing is off limits. Want to raise taxes to pay for your brilliant health care plan? Want to seal the borders with a 20-foot wall and armed military guards? This isn’t some utopian fantasy, whatever you say should be what you REALLY would do, it should make economic sense, and it should make sense for the country and it’s citizenry, not just for you it’s benevolent King.
Crazy foreigners can play too, even though all us Americans know you’re crazy. Either rule over your own country, or you can even rule over ours. After all, we’ve already disregarded the Constitution.
1) I would abolish the Federal Reserve. The Federal Government would lose the ability to print money from nothing and to regulate interest rates. We’d go back to a commodity-backed dollar. No more inflation.
2) I would dramatically alter foreign policy to make it neutral to all nations. In accordance with this all military bases in foreign lands would be shut down and sold to those countries and all military personal would be brought home day one. This would also entail immediate withdrawal from the United Nations and elimination of financial aid to other governments. Private citizens would still be free to trade with other countries.
3) An immediate end to the War on Drugs and the de-criminalization of all narcotics, including a presidential pardon for all current inmates who are convicted for nothing other than use or possession. This would not only put thousands of violent drug dealers out of business, it would cut funding to criminals and terrorist regimes around the World. Not only that, it would change drugs from a legal issue, to a health issue. Making it a issue to treat with medicine instead of jail time.
Comment on my list or post a list of your own. Or both.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
I think for this post at least I’ll just share a few stories I’ve had my eye on. First, the guy who wrote the story I posted in my last post, the man who was leaving the Republican Party, is back and wrote about where he is heading since he left. Here’s the link and I’ll just post a few lines here (read the whole article if it interests you, it really is well done)
The country has devolved so much into a two-party system that many folks believe that if you abandon one party, you must necessarily take up common cause with the other one. Yet if a restaurant gives you a choice between eating food laced with rat poison or with arsenic, you might want to eat somewhere else, even if it's a long drive until the next rest stop and even if the new restaurant hasn't gotten great reviews.
Indeed. This gets back into the discussion at the end of the last post. The choice between murder and suicide is no choice at all. I’ll take the path to escape, no matter how unlikely the chances of surviving.
I'm convinced that if many Dems had their way, there would be virtually no area of life beyond their prying eyes, no source of income beyond their prying hands (hence their hostility to property rights), no place where we could retreat to get away from their unceasing desire to regulate us, tax us, prod us, improve us, instruct us, educate us and control us. And, of course, there's nothing Dems love more than a good moral crusade (i.e., global warming) to bludgeon the rest of us into giving them more money and power.
Yep. The thing is, at least the Democrats come out and SAY they are the party of big government and social control programs. The Republicans still are trying to promote themselves as the party of personal liberty, despite doing quite the opposite since it’s inception. I believe most people who vote Republican, like Greenhut are not and never were Republicans, they are just anti-Democrat and their desire to run people’s lives. Hence, they vote and pledge allegiance to the “other” party. Correct me if I’m wrong, please.
Now, for the answer to the question that most people have asked me: What party am I joining? Nothing wrong with registering as "Decline to State" and avoiding any new entangling alliances. But I'll hang around the GOP long enough to vote in the Republican primary for Rep. Ron Paul, the only consistent defender of freedom in Congress. Then I'll probably re-register as a big "L" Libertarian, if they don't mind having me. I've got some issues with the Libertarian Party – i.e., I wish it were more serious about fielding winnable candidates in local races, and it has sported some weird candidates on the ballot at times. But it's filled with good, albeit cantankerous folks who love freedom. So I should fit in pretty well.
The second story is one involving our hate-hate relationship with the RIAA.
Record shops: Used CDs? Ihre papieren, bitte!
New "pawn shop" laws are springing up across the United States that will make selling your used CDs at the local record shop something akin to getting arrested. No, you won't spend any time in jail, but you'll certainly feel like a criminal once the local record shop makes copies of all of your identifying information and even collects your fingerprints. Such is the state of affairs in Florida, which now has the dubious distinction of being so anal about the sale of used music CDs that record shops there are starting to get out of the business of dealing with used content because they don't want to pay a $10,000 bond for the "right" to treat their customers like criminals.
Even more attempts to stop piracy by making buying legal music even harder than it already is. Will they never learn?
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Well the answer to that is that there really was something to what the Founders envisioned. The thought that the sum of individuals, operating in their own self interest, can manage themselves and that Government's only task was to preserve the rights of those individuals. That these wars, these national debts, these shortages of resources, they are all nothing more than symptoms. Symptoms of big government, not our leaders, but the only possible result of bureaucratic rule. It's the system, not the officials that are corrupt.
There are also occasional moments when you find a person who agrees and puts those ideas into words better than I can. My only disagreement with the man is that the Republican party never WAS the party of limited government and maximum personal liberties. From the word go it was the party of Internal Improvements through Federal corporate welfare and fighting any wars necessary to meet those ends.
The biggest scam in American history may be the Republicans claiming to be the party of the Individual.
Breaking up with the GOP
Is the battle of individual liberty against big government over? A lot of Republicans seem to have declared 'mission accomplished'
By STEVEN GREENHUT
Senior editorial writer and columnist for the Register
Have you ever been in one of those destructive long-term relationships that, at some point, you really just needed to end?
I'm not referring to my marriage to my lovely wife of 23 years, but to my 25-year relationship with the Republican Party. In recent years especially, I have found fewer things in common with the party. I feel used and abused. We've obviously grown in different and incompatible directions.
It's a groan-inducing cliché, I know, but it applies here: I didn't leave the party; the party left me.
I grew up in one of those East Coast Democratic households, where FDR, JFK and even LBJ were lionized, and where the GOP wasn't so much loathed as ignored. I never met an actual Republican – at least anyone who admitted as much – until I went away to college. I became a Republican during Ronald Reagan's first term, having been inspired by his appeals to liberty, to his recognition of the freedom-stifling aspects of big government, to his unabashed embrace of the traditions of America's founders.
Reagan never actually rolled back government, but I can forgive a failure to achieve lofty aims. I cannot forgive abandonment of those aims. And it has been obvious for years, especially under the leadership of our current Republican president and our previously Republican-controlled Congress, that the "pro-liberty" stance has become nothing more than an applause line at those syrupy Flag Day dinners.
Under Republican leadership, the federal government has expanded – without even including war-related spending – far more quickly than it expanded under Bill Clinton. And when it comes to security matters, Republicans have been zealous in giving the feds additional powers to trample our privacy and liberties. Republicans have been unwavering in their support for embarking on nation-building experiments of the sort that traditional conservatives would abhor. The presidential candidates most committed to a muscular central government – Rudy Giuliani and John McCain – are leading the pack.
Now even the rhetoric of freedom is mostly gone. Most "mainstream" Republicans don't talk about liberty anymore. The advocates for this emerging New Republican Party are becoming surprisingly outspoken. A good example is New York Times "conservative" columnist David Brooks, a former editor at the Weekly Standard, the neoconservative journal that shilled vociferously for war in Iraq. (Hint: The results of that policy might offer some warning to Republicans before they jump too quickly on his latest advice.)
In a column reprinted today (beginning on Page 1 of Commentary), Brooks rebutted those of us who argue that "in order to win again, the GOP has to reconnect with the truths of its Goldwater-Reagan glory days. It has to once again be the minimal-government party, the maximal-freedom party, the party of rugged individualism, and states' rights. This is folly."
Obviously unaware of the ever-growing Leviathan around him, Brooks claims that the old days of oppressive government are over. The idea of limited government – that silly, fuddy-duddy notion advanced by our Constitution, and ensconced in the Bill of Rights – is so 18th century. Time for something more appropriate for our time!
He's got a new idea (actually, the oldest of ideas, the one that says that government and power are what matters, and that freedom and individualism are outdated). And he's even got a catchy slogan for it. He calls it, Security leads to freedom.
Forgive me a Dave Barry moment, but I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP. Doesn't this sound like something out of an Orwell novel? War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. Security is freedom. Brooks argues that the "liberty vs. power paradigm" is passé. Government doesn't necessarily mean less personal liberty, he writes. Modern voters aren't worried about an overweening state. Instead, the public wants to be protected from the complex modern threats to their existence: "Islamic extremism, failed states, global competition, global warming, nuclear proliferation, a skills-based economy, economic and social segmentation."
Maybe a large segment of the public wants those things, but it's the job of statesmen to lead the People, to frame the relevant issues, to set a course that is at times bigger and more noble than the current small-scale debates – not just to slavishly follow the People's basest desires. By the way, I'm not picking on Brooks per se, but using him as an articulate example of a form of thinking common today among many in the GOP.
Has the world been turned on its head? I see no signs that the classical liberal thinkers were wrong, that government is no longer wasteful, abusive and corrupt. Government continues to grab a larger share of our resources, even as it becomes less capable of doing its legitimate jobs with any degree of competence. Yet Brooks and others like him believe that the government can save us from all our neurotic worries, even ones as nebulous as "economic and social segmentation" – whatever that means.
When people are secure, Brooks wrote, they are "more free to take risks and explore the possibilities of their world. ... People with secure health care can switch jobs more easily. People who feel free from terror can live their lives more loosely. People who come from stable homes and pass through engaged schools are free to choose from a wider range of opportunities."
At this point I want to tell the People to grow up already. Brooks' point in the paragraph is true enough. But – here I go again with an arcane notion – in a free society, individuals need to take care of these matters mostly themselves, rather than to plead for bureaucrats and politicians to take care of things for them.
Our government is based on the radical idea that government should be limited to a handful of tasks, most of which revolve around protecting our natural rights. These are negative rights. They implore the government to leave us alone to pursue our own dreams and desires. Positive rights demand a positive response. If I have a "right" to education, then you must be forced to pay for it or provide it for me.
Traditionally, Republicans believed in negative rights. Yet Brooks thinks that's a mistake. He writes that the GOP needs to be "oriented less toward negative liberty (How can I get the government off my back?) and more toward positive liberty (Can I choose how to lead my life?)."
Instead of worrying about government spending, and regulating and snooping and launching foreign wars and eroding our civil liberties and imposing crushing tax burdens, and all those silly old fixations, Brooks argues that Republicans have to compete with Democrats in appealing to every soccer mom's desire for more social programs, more regulations, more protections from hobgoblins. He argues, in a refreshingly albeit frighteningly direct manner, for the final, total rejection of the American founding experiment.
Sure, the Republicans will focus more on terrorism and security issues, and the Democrats will focus more on health care and domestic regulation, but in this Brave New Paradigm, no major party will echo the words of that outdated crank, Thomas Jefferson, who argued that "the sum of good government" is one "which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned."
Perhaps that world already is here. Which is why I'm divorcing myself from the Republican Party, and keeping my distance from any group that doesn't place the defense of liberty as the prime goal of the political system.