Nov 14, 2006

Advocacy Education

Advocacy Education is what public schools are all about. Sure, reading, writing and arithmetic are taught. What's changed since my time in primary school is the schools are no longer teaching traditional American values. We could call this the "multiculturalism dividend".

Since liberals took control of the education establishment, our schools stopped emphasizing God, country and family – God forbid! No, we wouldn't want to express the values of faith, national pride and married man/woman/child families! That would be superstitious, xenophobic and homophobic. How intolerant!

Nope. Now your character is assessed on your positions on the issues. Are you anti-smoking? Do you recycle? Are you terrified about global warming and man's effect on nature in general? Are you a citizen of the world? These are the criteria for how you will be judged by the school faculty and your peers. If you advocate the right positions, you're a good person. If not – well – you need re-education.

Here's just a small example. My daughter came home from second grade lamenting the endangered status of wolves in America. Her dad and I tried to explain that, while wolves were only recently re-introduced in Wyoming, they're plentiful in Canada and therefore, not truly endangered.

As westerners, this issue hits close to home. I read the comments posted by visitors and locals to the natural history museum in Cody, Wyoming, on the subject of the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone. This was before the wolves were well-established and I went into the debate on the side of "restoring the balance" of predator and prey. After reading the concern of the locals for the safety of their children, pets and livestock, I changed my mind.

If the locals were advocating the eradication of an already established species, I'd have more trouble defending their position. But, the wolves have been gone a long time and the people have been established just as long. Also, the wolves seem to be prospering in their remote and isolated habitat in Canada. So, because some liberals have this utopian vision of nature (not to mention the Endangered Species Act to help them litigate), people in the vicinity of Yellowstone now have dangerous predators lurking in their backyards. This is an absurd and abusive use of government power. One might even say "totalitarian". And is an example of why liberalism in its current form is so dangerous.

My kid is being taught that people are bad and wolves are good. There is really no nuance on the subject. The wolves are already making their way to Colorado, where we live, and there is a buzz about reintroducing the grizzly here. I have an opinion on that, but it wouldn't pass muster at the local public school! How do you think New Yorkers would respond to grizzlies in Central Park? That's absurd, right? Exactly my point.

So the ABCs have become:

A is for Anti-smoking
B is for Balkanize by race, gender and religion
C is for Conservatives are mean and stupid.

No wonder so many of us are running for the doors looking for another choice. Thank God for our charter school (and I can say that there). But, is there any hope for a public school system that teaches values diametrically opposed to those of about half the population? And what good is this advocacy education doing our society?

Oct 4, 2006

Public Standards versus Private Behavior

In the city where I live, there has been some controversy generated by a tolerance campaign started by a gay advocacy group. I was discussing it with my sister, with whom I agree 99% of the time, and said I would like to see homosexuality go back into the closet. She admitted she is soft on the issue and was put off by my use of the term "deviant" because of the negative connotations.

If you are gay and you're still reading, I appreciate your open-mindedness and the opportunity to explain myself better than I did to my sister. I believe it is possible to be compassionate in the private and have public standards that are not tolerant of expressions of sexuality of either the hetero- or homo-sexual sort. I don't want gays to go back in the closet in fear – rather I want them in the closet out of modesty and discretion as is my own heterosexuality. True, I wear a wedding ring, but otherwise there is no public display of what is happening (or not) in my bedroom.

Do I believe homosexuality is immoral? No, not in the strictest sense. I have known gays who were undeniably born gay and I have known gays (lesbians) who understandably chose to be homosexual due to some horrific interactions with the opposite sex. I have been friends with both sorts and have great compassion for them. However, I'm pretty sure the lifestyle is unhealthy (physically and otherwise) and that they wouldn't wish their experience on anyone else, especially any offspring.

So, what am I advocating for public standards? I think society benefits most from the ideal of man/woman marriage and childrearing. I don't think it is good for us to know what Jim McGreevy was doing while his wife was recovering from a C-section. I don't think it is good for young girls to be hyper-sexualized with Bratz dolls and revealing clothing. I don't think it is funny for John Stewart to ask Dennis Miller if he would rather "do" Hannity or Colmes. Our public standards of decency have been dumbed so far down that our only criterion for judging whether or not people qualify for marriage is whether or not they love each other. So, do polygamists qualify as long as they love each other? Plenty of men can love more than one woman and vice versa. What about incest? If you think this is a stretch you should research the case of the brother and sister in Illinois trying to escape prosecution with this argument.

I use the term "deviant" because it is descriptive. I don't mean to hurt homosexuals with the term. I just don't know of a better way to describe the tragedy that is homosexuality. I have my own in-born and learned flaws, but I thank God that I do not have the burden that homosexuals bear. Like alcoholism or personality disorders, homosexuality is tragic for the individual and the family that loves them. Let's validate each other's humanity (not necessarily our private behavior) while advocating the highest public standards.

Apr 30, 2006

Meet America at IHOP

My girls have been begging to go to IHOP for their NEW stuffed French Toast. So, this all started with a successful American-style marketing scheme. But, since I’d gone to mass Saturday night and we might be able to beat the morning church rush, I thought “what the heck”.

The only IHOP I knew of in town has been here since when I came as a kid – let’s just says its decades old. I was thinking it would be run down and greasy spoonish, in a not so great neighborhood, so I got on MAP Quest to try to find a newer one. There were two others farther away and I didn’t know exactly where they were, so I decided to take a chance on the one I knew.

Here’s where things get good. We wait five minutes, thinking it is going to be 20 because the restaurant is jam packed and only has 20 tables in the front section. It is a long narrow projection where the booths are set up in a U configuration; that is, booths around the edges and booths in the middle; all booths facing into the U shaped aisle. The first thing I notice is how polite and friendly the elderly wall-eyed waitress is who is serving us. It seems most of the waitresses are old-pros, which explains the short wait. I like that. The décor is bright cream painted walls with accents of red silk geraniums hanging from the ceiling. I like that, too. Not pretentious, but pretty in an old-fashioned way.

The waitress is chatty with the tables around us, but in an unobtrusive way. A couple of young black men at the booth across from us were joined by three young black women and were having to squeeze in to find room. Our waitress quipped over her shoulder “I hope you all know each other?” They laughed and carried on their amusing conversation.

I then noticed her speaking Spanish to the table of two women behind us. None of these women (including the waitress) looked particularly Latina to me, but there they were speaking Spanish.

And then I started a little census looking around the room: There was a youngish attractive black man reading the paper on the other side of our booth; I noticed a young couple looking like they’d been to the prom last nights because her hair was still made-up; There were two inter-racial couples over fifty: a black woman married to a white man; an Asian man married to a Latina woman; A young white family with three boys and a girl; Another table of young white men with tattoos and piercings wearing black and adorning their ears with Ipods; and, of course, the young group of black friends enjoying themselves at the booth across the way. The rest were predominately white of mixed ages – one little boy a Down’s child.

And then it hit me! Eureka! I found America at the International House of Pancakes! Not the bitter backstabbing racially religiously Balkanized America the Left sees. This was a room full of strangers behaving with civility and good humor toward one another. This is the America I imagined and found. Here in a predominately conservative white Christian community I found a place where we can all just get along. Don’t believe the America bashers! This is a great country with mostly wonderful people. Get out – rub elbows - and have some really good pancakes too!

Mar 12, 2006

Tom Wolfe, an American Patriot

The Wall Street Journal published an interview with Tom Wolfe this weekend. Here’s a sample:
"I really love this country. I just marvel at how good it is, and obviously it's the simple principle of freedom. . . . Intellectually this is the system where people tend to experiment more and their experiments are indulged. Whatever we're doing I think we've done it extremely, extremely, extremely well." Silence. "These are terrible things to be saying if you want to have any standing in the intellectual world."
Amazing that Jay Bennish and Ward Churchill would have a happier meeting of the minds with the intellectual elite than Tom Wolfe, isn’t it?

Wolfe is a true patriot who manages to make legitimate and searing criticisms of his country. He has a “death-clamp on the American Zeitgeist” and so can honestly expose the repulsiveness of the celebrity culture (“Bonfire of the Vanities”) and the hyper-sexualization of college campuses (“I Am Charlotte Simmons”). He says:

"I Am Charlotte Simmons," particularly in its notice of the coarse sexuality governing campus life, is a book a liberal would never write, as corroborated in the many negative reviews: "'Oh, big deal, they're having sex in college, yawn, yawn, what a surprise,'" as Mr. Wolfe puts it. "I do not disallow the possibility that they just didn't like it," he continues, but he was frankly taken aback by those who took it "as a counterrevolutionary attack on the sexual revolution. . . . Then it really dawned on me that so many people are proud of the sexual revolution, you know, 'We freed ourselves from those damned religious people and this Puritanism.'" "At least in the story," he pains to note, all this "has a very deleterious affect on a very innocent albeit egotistical girl -- and that's I think what's there." Sign of the times, I suppose, when you're considered conservative for exploring the very real consequences of cultural change.
Isn’t it refreshing to hear a criticism of America that has nothing to do with Enron, Halliburton, CO2 emissions, racism and imperialism? And I find it so much more credible coming from someone who has a deep and abiding love for his country:
"I also believe in the United States. I think this is the greatest nation that ever existed, still is. It's really the only really democratic country in the world. Find me one country, just one country in the entire world that would let a foreign people -- different culture, different language, and in many cases different color than the majority of the native stock -- take over politically an entire metropolitan area in less than one generation. I'm talking about the Cubans in Miami . . ."
I doubt that Mr. Wolfe would label himself conservative, but the following certainly exiles him from the liberal camp:

George Bush's appeal, for Mr. Wolfe, was owing to his "great decisiveness and willingness to fight." But as to "this business of my having done the unthinkable and voted for George Bush, I would say, now look, I voted for George Bush but so did 62,040,609 other Americans. Now what does that make them? Of course, they want to say -- 'Fools like you!' . . . But then they catch themselves, 'Wait a minute, I can't go around saying that the majority of the American people are fools, idiots, bumblers, hicks.' So they just kind of dodge that question. And so many of them are so caught up in this kind of metropolitan intellectual atmosphere that they simply don't go across the Hudson River. They literally do not set foot in the United States. We live in New York in one of the two parenthesis states. They're usually called blue states -- they're not blue states, the states on the coast. They're parenthesis states -- the entire country lies in between."
He also has this to say about the internet: "Using the Internet is the modern form of knitting," he continues. "It's something to do with idle hands. When you knitted, though, you actually had something to show for it at the end. So on that note, I’m off to do something productive! Blog on – if you dare!

Mar 10, 2006


When I was a lefty, I thought conservatives concerned about Soviet expansion who saw commies under every rock were conspiracy theorist wackos akin to flat earthers and fluoride hysterics. Now I think lefties are conspiracy theorist wackos who see “big oil” and “Walocaust” as the underlying motivation for everything, including the liberation of millions in Afghanistan and Iraq. When lefties worry over American imperialism, they’re really worried about a Wal-Mart being built in downtown Baghdad. Scary!

Do you know the Jewish interpretation (according to Dennis Prager) of the commandment: “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain”? The Hebrew translation is “Thou shalt not carry the name…” which Jews believe means that you should never commit acts of evil in God’s name. I wonder how the Islamists interpret it.

Did you read Peggy Noonan’s piece about the Oscars and George Clooney? She really nailed it! George got a little information (very little) about the McCarthy era from the media (or friends who got their information from the media) and made a movie based on it. It turns out George’s viewpoint on the subject is naïve, simplistic and stupid. Imagine that! Good night, good luck, good riddance!

How ‘bout that “port scandal”? I was really outraged when I heard we were selling our ports to the UAE. Since then, I’ve learned a little and even though I still know very little, apparently I know more than most congressmen. For instance, I now know that foreigners don’t own our ports, but mostly foreign owned companies run operations at our ports, including the communist Chinese. We were probably at greater risk of having terrorists infiltrate the British owned company that sold to the UAE than we would have been with UAE ownership. Have you seen some of the protests in Britain over the cartoons? I’ve also learned that the UAE has been a good ally since September 11 and even has made Dubai a port-of-call for our navy! This country is trying to modernize and liberalize and we just spit on it. This incident will be all the worse if anyone makes any political capital off of it.

Have you ever owned a beta (Siamese fighting fish)? They’re really inexpensive, interesting, low-maintenance pets. For about ten dollars you can get the whole set-up: vase, decorative rocks, plant, food and fish. We have two in separate bowls (they’ll kill each other in the same bowl) and like to watch them “fight” by putting the bowls next to each other. I like to get a “fish-eye” view by looking through one bowl into the other. No wonder they get all worked up! The distortion made by the bowl makes the other guy look huge!

When are we going to start bombing Iran? No – really. The suspense is getting to me. Despite the liberal characterizations of us as bloodthirsty warmongering idiots, I really was not happy to see the build-up to the Iraq war. I wasn’t at all sure we were doing the right thing and I didn’t want conservatives to have to suffer the political consequences. Now I fully support the war there and I know, intellectually and morally, that we are doing the right thing. But, this Iran deal is making me unhappy in a different way. We simply cannot – CANNOT – let Iran go nuclear. This just seems such a no-brainer to me and we now have staging positions all around Iran. Let’s get busy! It just seems way too close to too late.

Do not see “Doogal”. It is a weird kid’s film about a dog and his friends who try to save the world from a deep freeze brought about by the escape of an evil spring loaded wizard. Unfortunately, although the message is supposed to be about teamwork and friendship, it gets lost because the title character has no redeeming qualities (indeed, his fetish for candy brings on the whole crisis). Even his loyalty to his owner is self-serving. The producers seemed to try to salvage something for the adults by showing outtakes of the actors doing the voices during the credits. Since Whoopie Goldberg and Chevy Chase are among the “talents,” that pretty much drove the last nail in the coffin for me.

Do you know why Islamists believe they’re going to be given 73 virgins if they blow themselves up? It turns out Muslims have defined heaven as the place where they get to indulge in all the impure acts that are forbidden on earth. If they sacrifice themselves for Islam, they get lots of sex and can drink from the rivers of wine that flow in heaven. Stunning, isn’t it? It seems so ass-backward to us Westerners. But it explains a lot when you think about those young sexually repressed men who are taught that their bodies and all they naturally desire are impure. They are also chosen at birth by their families to be martyrs for the faith. These families actually celebrate their hideous deaths because it helps the rest of the family get to heaven! I learned this from a French film producer on Dennis Prager’s show. He has interviewed jailed Islamists who failed at suicide bombings and the families of successful suicide bombers. He’s made a documentary called “Suicide Killings” which is due out this summer.

Something else I learned on Dennis Prager’s show… did you know the story of Adam and Eve is really a powerful lesson on our need for each other? I certainly never thought of it this way until Dennis explained what an evangelical minister taught him. God saw Adam’s discontent and recognized that even He was not enough for Adam! Adam needed a human companion and so God provided Eve. Isn’t that a wonderful thought?! God knows we need each other and He provides!

God bless and keep blogging!

Mar 2, 2006

Cons of "Crunchy Cons"

NRO's Jonah Goldberg has written a scathing review of "Crunchy Cons" by Rod Dreher. I've only read to page 14 of the book, but I'm pretty sure Jonah has nailed it! I'm a reformed granola lefty, so I recognized Dreher's characterization of conservatives (the conventional non-crunchy kind) as greedy materialists for the insult it is. I also know Dreher is right about ugly shoes being more comfortable and organic produce being yummier. But, as Goldberg asserts, footwear and grocery shopping habits do not a new movement make.

If Dreher is right about the Godless greedy materialist nature of conventional conservatism, how does he explain all the average and low-income Republican voters (by far the majority)? It drives Liberals nuts that these people "vote against their interests" (why don't they loot the treasury like us Liberals)! And what about the statistics that reveal charitable giving is markedly higher in the red states and particularly in the poor Bible-belt states of the South? What about the fact that Republican donations are primarily from small donors where Democrat donations are primarily from large corporate donors?

I'm afraid Dreher's narcissism has caused him to lose sight of what conventional conservatism is really about: “Classical liberals root their case for laissez-faire in the autonomy of the individual, the primacy of freedom, the faith that virtue not freely chosen isn't virtuous, and in a deeply religious conception of the individual conscience (another sorely missing voice in Rod's book is Michael Novak, the world's leading authority on the intersection of market economics and Catholicism).” Wearing comfy shoes and wanting to eat fresh organic produce doesn’t make you a Liberal. But, believing these acts are morally superior can sure lead you down the Leftist path.

Feb 24, 2006

The Wisdom of Bill Part III: Culture Divide

Bill Clinton’s third biggest concern for the world is “culture divide” – or what I prefer to address more directly as cultural conflict. I’ve discussed the absurdity of Bill’s number one concern – “climate change” and the moral vanity of his second concern – “inequality”. Now, “culture divide” is something I can take seriously.

You may expect me to start into a comparison of Western and Muslim culture, but first I have to address the “culture war” right here at home, initiated by liberals like Bill. Liberals very cleverly and with accurate calculation took control of some of the most powerful institutions in Western society in the last several decades, including the academy, the judiciary and the media. These institutions are now controlled by people who do not believe in American exceptionalism. To the contrary, they believe that America is racist, sexist, homophobic and imperialist. They claim to be describing you and me, folks.

Take racism, for example. Conservatives have been trying to credit liberals with success in eliminating institutional racism for years now. Conservatives were slow to take up the civil rights cause (although congressional conservatives voted in higher percentages for the civil rights legislation of the 60s than liberals). This country achieved in relatively short order, although not without pain, the important change of making racism socially unacceptable. Job well-done, liberals!

But, doggone it; liberals simply will not be convinced of their success! Why just look at the “color of the faces of Katrina” (Jimmy Carter at Coretta Scott King’s funeral). As if the tragedy of a hurricane has anything to do with racism! Do you think the faces of Katrina would have been whiter if the storm had struck during the Carter or Clinton administrations? I find it gravely insulting to those Southern white boys seen lowering themselves from helicopters into the cesspool of N.O. after Katrina to literally wrap themselves around desperate black people to suggest racism was a factor. The coast guard was there the first day rescuing people; otherwise Ray Nagin’s prediction of 10,000 dead might have become accurate! The fact that the cameras weren’t there to catch the initial rescues does not diminish the heroism of these men. Don’t you dare call America racist!

And then we hear that the federal response was so slow and the feds knew – they knew for years in advance – that those levees wouldn’t withstand a hurricane of magnitude 3 or above! I don’t buy it – the slow response bit. We all felt desperate watching the residents of N.O. stuck in the heat and humidity on those bridges and rooftops, sometimes for days. But, we also know that the media invented stories of murder and mayhem and now pat themselves on the back for their excellent coverage of the story. C’mon folks! The response wasn’t perfect, but this disaster was bigger than anything America had experienced before. It was a lesson.

How about those levees? Talk about slow response! Bill Clinton had eight years to do something about them and did nothing! And George Bush had a few other important things on his plate after 9/11. I realize the buck stops with the president, but he is neither the mayor of N.O. nor the governor of Louisiana. At what point do the locals bear responsibility for local issues and when do we federalize them?

If blacks suffer poverty disproportionately in America, it is no longer because of racism. Sadly, it is because many have bought into the liberal idea that the government can and should fix their problems. I have become cynical about the Democrats position on race and poverty. Surely the “smartest couple in the world”, Bill and Hillary, know that people’s best hope for overcoming poverty are traditional values that sound like a conservative manifesto: get married before having babies; worship God regularly; get the best possible education you can; work hard. If so, why do the Democrats keep playing the race card and blaming Republicans when blacks suffer? I believe they are intentionally holding blacks down with disinformation, the victim mentality and fake government solutions to try to hold onto power. If blacks help themselves by embracing traditional American values, they’ll see the Democrats as the false friends they are. Black loyalty to Democrats is a way for poor black people to keep rich white people in office – nothing more.

What is the liberal agenda in this cultural conflict? It is virtually the opposite of the values that made America great:

Traditional American values:
  1. All men are created equal. (In the sense of equal rights)
  2. Among these God given rights are the right to life,
  3. liberty,
  4. and the pursuit of happiness.
  5. In God we trust.
  6. E Pluribus Unum. (Out of Many, One)

Liberal American values:
  1. Everyone should be equal (socialism).
  2. Everyone has the right to a comfortable life with health insurance.
  3. You’re free to do anything offensive to the Right, but nothing offensive to the Left; political correctness and campus speech codes.
  4. The government owes you happiness.
  5. Only fools believe in God; we are a secular state protected by the separation wall.
  6. Out of One, Many; multiculturalism and moral relativism.

This nonsense is being legislated from the bench, touted in the media and taught in the schools – K through 12 and beyond. It is a miracle that at least half of Americans still have some perspective on what is fundamentally good and right about America… this nation founded on an idea, not geography or ethnicity. This land of the free and home of the brave is worth fighting for… it is God’s gift to humanity. So, keep praying and vote for conservative Republicans! Because, this culture war is going to have to be won at home before it can be won in the wider world.

(Also see part 1 and part 2)

Feb 10, 2006

The Wisdom of Bill Part II: Inequality

Bill Clinton's second big concern for the world is "inequality". This is such an interesting and revealing worry for the Left. I remember being drawn toward liberalism for the passion it held for "equal rights". And I know many well-intentioned liberals who, still, in their 40s and 50s, rationalize their liberalism based on the Left's attention to "inequality". So, it seems worth some examination of Bill's use of the term "inequality".

First it is instructive to consider the terms Bill didn't use. He didn't say "equal rights". And, despite all liberal characterizations to the contrary, I think us conservatives would put "equal rights" in our top five concerns for the world - at least as part of our overall concern for freedom and human dignity.

Isn't it interesting that he didn't say "injustice"? Injustice is such a good term because it covers so many other concerns. Denying someone his or her "equal rights" is an injustice. Stealing and murder (defined as the intentional killing of an innocent) are injustices. Bearing false witness, or in other words, lying about someone's character, actions or intentions is an injustice. The Democrats might also call this "exploiting Republican vulnerabilities". But, no, Bill didn't say "injustice" so we must assume that is not what he meant.

What did he mean by inequality? Did he mean, say, that Americans just have way too much materially and should equal things out with the rest of the world? For example, the Bolivians are muddling through with high rates of poverty and subsistence living. Should American workers hand over more of their wages to the Bolivians to equal things out? We all know that the world is way too big and too many people are living in poverty for the first world to be able to support the third world. And while Bill may characterize himself as an idealist, he is not stupid. So, no, I don't believe this is what he meant.

Did he mean that it is unfair that Bill Clinton and Bill Gates have so much and therefore, should pay higher taxes so that poor Americans become "more equal" through the government dole? This might be closer to his intended meaning. It is my understanding of Marxists that they believe government should provide for the material well-being of its citizens. This idea is essentially communist/ socialist and is antithetical to what conservatives believe about government. The fact that communism has proven to be evil (more people slaughtered under communist regimes during “peacetime” than in any war, including WWII) and socialism is dying a slow death in Europe does not sway Bill’s outrage at the unfairness of inequality.

Conservatives believe that the unfairness of life (inequality) is rightly addressed through the expression of Judeo-Christian values, not the tax code. We believe the government is too powerful and too corruptible when it becomes vested in the material well-being of its citizens (see Tocqueville’s highly accurate predictions). We believe government is most effective and efficient at defending the nation and delivering the mail (Thomas Jefferson). We believe, like the founding fathers, that our nation’s vitality and continued success is dependent on a virtuous citizenry and a constitutionally limited government. We believe that, while our nation’s values and morals are expressed in the statutes, societal virtue cannot be legislated. People can only be credited with virtue when they are free to choose sin (think Afghanistan under the Taliban as the negative example).

So, what does Bill mean when he talks about “inequality”? He may mean to promote Marxism, but I think he and other liberals haven't fully formed their thoughts on "inequality". He is simply engaged in an act of moral preening. And unfortunately, liberals are slavering over the show.

Part III will address Bill’s concern with “culture divide”. We may have some agreement here, but I’ll use the politically incorrect term “cultural conflict”. Stay tuned.

(Also see part 1 and part 3)

Feb 4, 2006

The Wisdom of Bill

It is probably going to appear that I'm obsessed with Bill Clinton, but I'm really using him as an illustrative example of liberal thinking. And he's such a good example because he's a "moderate" and his ideas are constantly promoted by the press as the accumulated wisdom of an ex-president. I also use him because George Bush keeps referring to him as such a good friend of the family (ugh!). OK - I'm obsessed.

Well - did you catch Bill's comments from Davos, where he is king? He was asked for his top three concerns for the world. Are you ready? Make your guesses now before you read on. C'mon, it'll be fun.

1) Islamic fascism/terrorism
2) nuclear proliferation
3) promoting freedom/representative government

Oops - sorry - that's my list. Here's Bill's:

1) climate change
2) inequality
3) cultural divide

About climate change, Bill says essentially that human progress as we have known it will stop as a result of global warming. That's a downer, isn't it? Now, one must always keep in mind the audience whenever Bill is talking - and this one was in Davos, Switzerland with all the world's big name elite leftists in attendance - so his climate concern is very reflective of European leftist sensibilities. But, American leftists are really European leftist wannabes and Bill is showing them the way.

Here's the procedure:
1) start with an issue about which you know very little and pretend you know a lot, even though the evidence is sketchy;
2) develop terms and phrases that describe the worst possible outcome and use them constantly to scare the hell out of everybody who knows as little (or even less) as you do;
3) use that fear to promote your political agenda and propel yourself to power with it.

On "climate change" ("change" is scary, but, guess what? climate change is nothing new), let's stipulate that the earth is getting warmer(about one degree in the last century at the surface, on average). Then, let's admit that perhaps human activities causing the emission of greenhouse gasses (like CO2 and methane) contribute to the increased warming. Unfortunately, these emissions have a habit of hanging around and, so, the "damage" that has been done has been accumulating for decades and what we're emitting today will be around for many decades to come. What to do? What to do?

If you are a True Believer, you should really become one of the Noble Savages you admire so much. Really - riding a bicycle isn't sufficient because bicycle manufacturing, and for that matter, anything manufactured, causes tons of emissions. Maybe this is what Bill is advocating when he says human progress as we have known it will cease!

I think it would be better if we all took a deep breath (did you know air quality has been improving for years now?) and thought about some things first. Like, one piece of evidence we have that is pretty compelling is that solar activity coincides nicely with global surface temperature fluctuations. We've got data on this folks. And we've experienced an increase in solar activity in the last decade or so that might have something to do with climate changes seen recently.

And, let's go nuclear. This is a very European thing to do after all (France gets 70% of its electricity from nuclear power). No CO2 emissions. But, what about the spent nuclear fuel, you ask? I know it is dangerous, but we have this place called Yucca Mountain out where nobody cares to live with air bases nearby to protect it. We've developed technology to keep it safely contained for a thousand years (I'm not sure of the exact number - but, a long time). I know environmentalists want it to be a million years, but they're letting their European leftist thinking get in the way. See, if it is safe for a thousand years, then we have that long to improve the technology - unless you believe, like Bill, that human progress will cease because of a degree or two up-tick in surface temperature over a hundred years.

What about alternative fuels? With the Middle East wackos soon to extort outrageous prices for oil, I'd say the market incentive for developing alternative fuels is just around the corner. Bear in mind though, that in the real world of energy production, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Industry and manufacturing have to happen and will entail capital and environmental expenses.

So, what would Bill do about climate change? I don't believe he would shut down the global economy based on the current data - after all, even he wouldn't sign Kyoto. See, the problem with liberals is, they're constantly making up crises for which they offer no real solution. But, their awareness of the crisis is supposed to convince us that they're the leaders we need. And then they accuse conservatives of fear mongering on issues such as national security. So, what are you going to get worked up over? A one degree increase in a century or 9/11? Increased solar activity or a nuclear Iran? Which problem seems more immediate to you - CO2 emissions or fatwas promising to avenge the caricatured Mohammed with blood in the streets of Europe? I know what I think - but I'm no ex-president!

I've gone long on climate, so I'll address Bill's other concerns later. Please visit again.

(Also see part 2 and part 3)

Jan 9, 2006

Desperate Despicable Silence

What is former President Bill Clinton doing while President Bush is taking heat for "domestic spying"? I haven't heard or read any comments from him. I have read that the Clinton administration vehemently defended the right of the executive to conduct warrantless searches as one of the president's war powers. Why can't the the Clinton crowd come out and say they agree with the administration on this point? After all, Hillary may be the next president to need such powers to protect the nation, if all goes as planned for the Democrats. Here's what I think. The Democrats are so profoundly unprincipled that they would rather see Bush impeached for a policy that they previously and presently support than speak the truth. Either that, or they really would throw our national security to the terrorist dogs! Whatever the case, they are desperate to find a decent principle they believe in and despicable for their silence on this matter.

Jan 4, 2006

It's the Demography, Stupid

This is such an important, but lengthy piece by Mark Steyn, published in the Wall Street Journal's Opinion Journal today. I hope you can access it at the link, but you may need a subscription. Whatever your ideology, I recommend a subscription to the WSJ Opinion Journal if you truly want to know what and how conservatives think.

The gist of the article is that, while we Westerners are busy worrying about expanding our government services and regulations to ensure a "living wage" and "universal healthcare", our culture is being overcome by demographics. The "replacement" minimum birth rate of 2.1 children per woman is narrowly met in the United States (2.07), but is half that rate in countries such as Spain and is under 2.1 in virtually all the Western or westernized countries such as Japan. On the other hand, Muslim countries have rates well above 2.1 - some as high as 6+. This isn't even about race or religion, as some on the left will accuse us conservatives. This is all about culture. Over 60% of Muslims in the UK would like to live under Sharia law. If you are a feminist interested in preserving your "right" to an abortion, you do not want to be living with the cultural elimination of the West as these demographics foretell.