Oct 16, 2007

Impervious to reason…

When it comes to matters of faith, I am. Even if Darwinists found every missing branch in the human evolutionary tree, I would still believe evolution from bacterium to Beethoven was the work of God. I believe God used Moses to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt and then gave him the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai. If an empty arc were discovered, I'd still believe it. I believe Jesus was God incarnate, died on the cross for our sins, rose from the dead and ascended bodily into heaven. If archaeologists found a tomb containing what they believed were the bones of Jesus, I would adamantly believe they were wrong.

But, none of my religious beliefs is damaging to others in my life or to society at large. To the contrary, strong arguments can be made that these widely shared religious beliefs are not just beneficial to me and my society, but essential for a virtuous and purposeful human existence. If only the same could be said of the irrational Left.

Think of all the irrational beliefs the Left holds:

Men and women are essentially the same;
Secularism is vital for sustainable civil society;
Socialism is a better system than capitalism;
Women are happier in pursuit of meaningful careers;
Higher tax rates lead to higher revenues;
Earth is destined for catastrophic man-made climate change;
Peace is the dividend paid out for unending diplomacy;
Universal health coverage means better health care.

I know the list could go on and on. The point is – everything listed above is disprovable by facts, knowledge of history or common sense.

If you are either a man or woman (and hopefully you are), the first Leftist belief on my list is disproved by life experience. It also happens to be disproved by science of the brain.

Secularism has been the well-spring of the vilest totalitarianism of the 20th century (Nazi Germany, the Soviet Gulag, Red China, Korea, etc…). True, the greatest threat to civilization in the 21st century is Islamofacism, but this doesn't disprove the history of the 20th century. And the Left doesn't even believe Isamofacism is an existential threat to civilization.

Socialism is crumbling everywhere it has been tried (even Sweden is lowering its tax rates and reducing welfare benefits). The French and Germans are moving to the right politically in an attempt to undo the damage socialism has done to the fabric of their societies.

My personal experience tells me women are happier in pursuit of meaning (not necessarily a meaningful career). The fact that women are depressed at roughly twice the rate of men, despite all their liberation, indicates women have been sold a lie by feminism.

Lower tax rates lead to higher tax revenue (Kennedy, Reagan and Bush tax cuts prove it – see Laffer curve).

The correlation between CO2 levels and increases in temperature does not indicate causation. From the data, it is unclear whether CO2 rise causes temperature rise, or the reverse. Something is amiss in the global warming models; the hysterical Left has predicted an ice age as recently as the 1970s (see Newsweek). Kyoto and other Gorian attempts to change the weather will destroy the prosperity of the world and do nothing for the health of the planet.

Unending diplomacy has lead to war time and again (think Chamberlain and WWII, even the Iraq war and especially Israel). Peace is the dividend paid to the victors of war – or if the opponent happens to be a Judeo-Christian nation with a free-press – it is paid to the righteous of a peaceful resistance campaign (think India over Britain).

The British are now pulling their own teeth and the Canadians regularly fly south to get timely health care. Not to mention the rate of cancer survival is by far the best in the United States and Britain has a rate comparable to Poland, despite spending three times as much money. Medicine socialized, people die (to the rhythm of "Bush lied, people died", which is itself a lie).

So, we appear to be a species in need of irrational beliefs. You get to choose – the benign and even beneficial irrationality of Judeo-Christian beliefs – or the truly harmful and even deadly irrationality of the Left.

Oct 8, 2007

Disagreeing with My Friends

I've recently been in an email dispute with one of the leaders of the values voters (I'll maintain his anonymity as I haven't asked his permission to publish this) on the third party option being promoted by James Dobson. Let me say I am strongly pro-life and generally respect and admire Dr. Dobson's work. But, I find the position of these "pro-family" leaders to be, to use Krauthammer's term, "moral vanity" at its worst. Don't read on if you're fighting depression. Here's my correspondence:

I couldn’t disagree more with you and James Dobson on this issue. Let’s be intellectually honest. This “consensus” of pro-family leaders is aimed at Rudy Giuliani. And the problem lies in this statement by James Dobson:

"The other approach, which I find problematic, is to choose a candidate according to the likelihood of electoral success or failure. Polls don't measure right and wrong; voting according to the possibility of winning or losing can lead directly to the compromise of one's principles."

The political process is all about compromise. Your purist ideology will inevitably lead to a Supreme Court loaded with Hillary Clinton’s judicial picks, which would doom this country to decades more of the clearly immoral, not to mention unconstitutional, Roe v. Wade. Where Giuliani’s picks would be in the mold of Sam Alito, John Roberts and Clarence Thomas and would, in all likelihood, overturn this hideous decision. If you want to save babies and traditional values in America, clearly the only choice for values voters is the Republican candidate – whoever he is. Please stop this madness.



I appreciate your thoughtful comments. And I receive them in the spirit given.

Let me be clear, I am rarely criticized for being too ‘purist.’ To the contrary, we often get criticism for giving too much consideration to the political realities. To clarify my statement: my comments were not directed at Rudy Guiliani. Certainly anyone reading my comments will know that Rudy is supportive of abortion rights and is the frontrunner at present. But insert another name and my statements stand. I recognize as well that Rudy is not as radical as Hillary Clinton when it comes to abortion rights. But because he believes it is a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion without government restriction, the effect of his stance will keep the status quo in place which to date has led to the destruction of over 40 million lives.

The point of my comments is not “destroy Rudy.” The reality is this: pro-life voters will either hesitate or sit out the election. If a pro-life, third-party candidate emerges (Alan Keyes, for example, has publicly entertained the idea), many pro-life voters will vote for that person. A poll released today by Rasmussen (click here to see it) has 27% of Republican voters saying that they would do just that. No matter what we think of Guiliani as Mayor of New York or how electable he seems, there will be a mass of pro-life/pro-family voters who will not be motivated. Third-party candidate or no, that’s a bad situation.

Lastly, keep in mind, it is very important to hold every candidate accountable to the issues we hold dear. Without this sort of pressure being placed on them, their tendency is to compromise. Picking winners rarely leads to picking leaders. The GOP picked a “winner” in 1976, but many of us stood for Ronald Reagan that year. If we had not stood for the guy who had the “least chance to win” but the most chance to carry our values forward, we wouldn’t have had a Ronald Reagan presidency in 1980. That’s the indisputable fact. And it’s a lesson we must consider as the presidential primary process goes forward for 2008.


I think you misrepresent my statement about this “pro-family” leadership position and Giuliani’s position on abortion. I accused you and other pro-family leaders precisely of throwing the election to the Democrats in order to stand by your principles (as was done in the country’s disastrous decision for Carter in 1976), which you seem to admit in your reply. It is an exaggerated statement for you to claim Reagan’s success in 1980 was due to your support of him at Ford’s expense (the GOP sensibly picked the incumbent president as the candidate and unfortunately Ford paid the price for Nixon’s corruption). Your statement is highly disputable – I credit the ineptitude of the Carter administration with Reagan’s electoral success in 1980. And the difference here is, the Supreme Court, whose membership is the only practical influence the president has and is our only hope for overturning the abomination that is Roe v. Wade, is at a tipping point. It has a conservative minority with somewhere between 4 and 6 (mostly liberal) positions to be filled in the next presidential term. Now, you and the leadership with whom you formed this consensus WILL be accountable if Hillary Clinton (who is indisputably supportive of abortion rights) gets to throw the court firmly back into the abortion camp for decades to come. This IS factual and indisputable and I find your and Dr. Dobson’s position tragically short-sighted.

Rudy Giuliani has said he is personally repelled by abortion, but takes a federalist position on “the right to choose”. Meaning, he would let the states decide rather than having the Supreme Court impose this fictional “right” from the federal level. This is tantamount to saying that he would prefer Roe v. Wade to be overturned (he may have actually said it explicitly – as many pro-choice lawyers have based on the unconstitutionality of the law). And he has explicitly stated that he would choose strict constructionist judges in the mold of Alito, Thomas, Roberts and Scalia. You may not believe him, but having read about his leadership record as a prosecutor and mayor and the decency and integrity with which he treats those he leads, I do.

I did not accuse you of trying to “destroy Rudy”. I accused you of destroying the “good” in pursuit of the “ideal”. And if you call for us pro-lifers to sit out the election or vote for a “minor” candidate, that is precisely what you will do. For anyone interested in saving babies, traditional marriage and other conservative pro-family values in America, the choice is clear. Vote Republican in ’08. I pray you, Dr. Dobson and others in this movement will use your leadership position wisely to influence that 27% to pursue the good – even if it calls for compromise.



We'll have to disagree. One point: Reagan would never have been in a place to pick up the pieces of the Carter administration without 1976. And remember, Ford lost because he did not connect with the Reagan base. True, RR graciously asked everyone to vote GOP, but Values Voters voted for Carter in droves because of his claims to Christian faith even though he was not in the least aligned with their values. Guiliani could very well cause the same thing to happen for Hillary (she is pushing her Christian faith as well though less than Carter did). Thus, I believe the conclusion I came to in my email yesterday to be accurate. One other point: you said in your reply, "Rudy Giuliani has said he is personally repelled by abortion, but takes a federalist position on "the right to choose". With all due respect, that is John Kerry's position as well. And I believe they would both handle issues like the Mexico City Policy and other abortion funding issues the same. Honest people might disagree on this, but I am not willing to take that chance. But, that having been said, Rudy isn't even the nominee yet. And someone else in the field could very well represent our values. The issue is, why are we not focused on that fact and standing by our principles in regard to all the candidates at this moment. Blessings. No hard feelings though disagreement may remain.

Notice how he doesn't go near the Supreme Court appointment issue? I'm hoping this is because he's trying to influence the primary results, but plans to come through in the general for the Republican candidate. I'm not holding my breath though.

Aug 11, 2007

Ahem! You Read It Here First

Someone else is finally talking about milk prices. Breitbart has a piece titled Milk Prices Rise to Record Highs. It emphasizes the increased demand in the Chinese market, but I find that curious as Asians are notoriously lactose-intolerant (or is that an urban myth?). It mentions the biofuel relationship to feed prices about 2/3 of the way into the article. And as I predicted, gasoline is now cheaper per gallon than milk in our area.

Jun 30, 2007

Got Milk, VDH?

Have you noticed what is happening with milk prices? If you've got kids, this is a bigger concern than gasoline prices, although, as it turns out, it is directly related. Up until just a few days ago, the cheapest milk we could get was at the local convenience store for $2.50/gallon. This was even cheaper than Walmart. Now, the convenience store price is $3/gallon and Walmart is $3.38/gallon. Organic milk prices have always been high ($5/gallon at Target a couple years ago), but now they're outrageous (Walmart's price is over $7/gallon). And you thought gas was expensive!

I have it on good authority from my nephew in the business that farmers are storing their corn waiting for the prices to go up as a result of ethanol legislation. So, now consumers are not only paying more at the pump, but apparently the corn shortage has driven up the cost of feeding dairy cows. This is what happens when environmentalists and the government diddle with the free-market.

Victor Davis Hanson explains the relationship between fuel and food with his usual brilliance in "The Impending Food Fight".

The Primary Problem with Public Education

My position on public education has evolved in a shocking direction – shocking even to me. I now advocate abolishing the Department of Education and dismantling the public education system.

I used to be a huge supporter of public education. It seems so obvious in theory. Let's educate as many children as possible to benefit them individually and to benefit society as a whole. Using taxpayer funds to provide that education makes sense since the whole society benefits.

But, the problem is, the greatest achievement of the public school system, the production of good and loyal citizens for the melting pot, is no longer happening. Public schools used to unify the country by teaching commonly held American values. Sure, reading, writing and arithmetic were taught – but there was something more that I suspect was consistent from school to school across the country. Portraits of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln hung in every classroom. The flag was prominently displayed. The teachers and administrators imparted a love of country and pride in the ideals of America to students. The founding principles of "all men created equal", of the "right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", of the "American trinity" (Prager's term) - "liberty", "in God we trust" and "e pluribus Unum" - were points of pride. Blacks didn't want to be "Africanized" – they wanted full and active participation in the American dream. No one questioned whether it was good to be an American. We all knew we – our country – were something special.

The opposite is true today in the public schools. The culture and values to which I refer above are now known as "white culture" – or even worse – "white Christian culture". The schools are in the business of Balkanizing the students. "Let's see – you're black, so you belong in this group; you're Latino, so you belong over here; you're gay, so go over there; you're white and Christian, so you go way over there where you're ideas can't hurt anyone." When my older siblings were in elementary school, the day started with a prayer and the pledge of allegiance. When I went to elementary school, the day started with the pledge. Today, the prayer is unthinkable and the pledge is controversial. This is the "secular humanism" taught in public schools. Don't believe that religion isn't taught. The schools are preachers of the modern liberal faith in multiculturalism, environmentalism, moral relativism, anti-imperialism (as if this is what America is about!) and what I call racialism (race consciousness). They are essentially Democrat party indoctrination camps.

Multiculturalism and moral relativism have led to labeling and categorizing by race, language, sexual orientation, etc… This is even more evident at the college level, where many universities have separate student unions, sororities, fraternities and even separate graduation ceremonies for black and white students. And this "diversity" is promoted as not just a good thing, but essential to the full learning experience.

This is why I'm for destroying the public education system. I believe it is beyond repair and that the damage it is doing to the fabric of our country is way beyond any good it might do by teaching the three "R's". I'm not sure I have a solution, but perhaps public funding should be provided to parents to let them choose a private institution. I admit I fear some of the ideologically driven schools that might crop up (like madrassas), but I believe many more kids would be taught American values through private schools than the current public school system. This is the unfortunate result of the Left's take-over of the education establishment.

I know Chesterton says if you love an idea, you work toward it; you don't change the idea when the going gets tough. I've decided I love the idea of my country too much to tolerate the public education system anymore.

Jun 4, 2007

How about a little Chesterton?

Chesterton on the press:
"So again, we have almost up to the last instant trusted the newspapers as organs of public opinion. Just recently some of us have seen (not slowly, but with a start) [published in 1908! - w.c.] that they are obviously nothing of the kind. They are, by the nature of the case the hobbies of a few rich men… There is no fear that a modern king will attempt to override the constitution; it is more likely that he will ignore the constitution and work behind its back; he will take no advantage of his kingly power; it is more likely that he will take advantage of his kingly powerlessness, of the fact that he is free from criticism and publicity."
Thankfully, we have the "New Media" to criticize and shine a light on the MSM. For example, I heard Joe Klein on Hugh Hewitt yesterday calling Victor Davis Hansen, Bernard Lewis and others "silly" and "absurd" on the Iraq War and Middle East situation. Whew! Let me just say I have never – ever – heard more arrogance and foolishness on the part of a single person. Of course, if the Democrats have their way, talk radio will be silenced through the Fairness Doctrine and we'll never have to listen to the likes of Joe Klein again. If you're for freedom of speech, you're not a Democrat. And if you're part of the MSM, you're not a Republican.

Here is Chesterton on the anti-democratic democrats (or Democrats):

"I have listened to scientific men (and there are still scientific men not opposed to democracy) saying that if we give the poor healthier conditions vice and wrong will disappear. I have listened to them with a horrible attention, with a hideous fascination… If these happy democrats could prove their case, they would strike democracy dead. If the poor are thus utterly demoralized, it may or may not be practical to raise them. But it is certainly quite practical to disfranchise them."
Doesn't this remind you of the excuses given for Islamic terrorists? They're from these poor and oppressed cultures, and therefore not held to the same moral standards as the rest of us. And doesn't it also make clear the ugly elitism that the Left has concerning the American voter? I remember my attitude (which was widely reflected on the Left) when Reagan was elected: Americans are a bunch of buffoons to vote for that idiot actor; clearly they don't know what is in their own best interest! It has been quite a humbling lesson for me to realize that the common American was much wiser than I, who voted for Carter! Liberal elites believe they have all the answers that commoners just can't comprehend. So, just leave the important stuff to the ruling elite in the government (assuming you'll elect Democrats) and we'll create Utopia. The rich will give their money
to the poor (through the tax code) and the poor will show their gratitude by re-electing Democrats!

And finally, Chesterton on why Christianity gets democracy right:

"The mere machinery of voting is not democracy, though at present it is not easy to effect any simpler democratic method. But even the machinery of voting is profoundly Christian in this practical sense – that it is an attempt to get at the opinion of those who would be too modest to offer it. It is a mystical adventure; it is specially trusting those who do not trust themselves. That enigma is strictly peculiar to Christendom… But there is something psychologically Christian about the idea of seeking for the opinion of the obscure rather than taking the obvious course of accepting the opinion of the prominent."

I'll be the first to admit that I wish fewer Americans voted every time I hear the turn-out complaints. I believe that a turn-out over 70% occurs either shortly before a civil war or immediately after a dictatorial coup. The candidate races aren't my concern so much, but the issues and unintended consequences (concerning taxes and distribution) are so complicated that I don't consider myself "educated and informed" enough to decide (even though I think I pay more attention than 90% of the population) . This is why I generally vote against any new initiatives, unless the idea is to reduce the government. But, as far as who is voting, I'd still much rather have the "common man" casting votes over university professors and students, media elites, Hollywood stars and the Ninth Circuit court of appeals. In this I agree with Chesterton: there is much more wisdom in "common sense" than elite opinion.

May 16, 2007

Truth and Consequences

There is such a spirit of deception on the part of the mainstream media and the Left. Why don't our politicians address it? Why can't one Republican say that the Democrat desire to raise taxes on the rich will have the consequence of lowering the federal government's intake of money (revenue)? And if George Bush raised spending in every department of the federal government (by anywhere from 6% to 60%), what do you think a Democrat will do? So, the Democrat's plan is to spend more and reduce revenue. How does that work for ya'?

The Left keeps screaming that education is way under-funded in this country – so start there. OK – Washington DC has one of the highest per student expenditures in the country (average $10 k/year nationally) and is at or near the bottom of student performance. We've proven time and again that money isn't the answer and that is all the Democrats can suggest. Yeah – vote for them!

The Democrats aren't even honest enough to acknowledge that they have changed their minds about the Iraq War because the going is tough. Isn't there a 527 out there that can collect the audio/video of Bill and Hill, Edwards, Kerry, Reid, et al giving exactly the same reasons the administration gave for going to war? It was Clinton that started the policy of regime change in Iraq. Do the Democrats have no ideas on which they are willing to follow-through? And why can't Republicans get the message out there?

And what if we walked away from Iraq? Let's pretend that there wouldn't be a bloodbath. Can the Democrats and the Left at least admit that the jihadists would be celebrating their victory? So, what motivates the Democrats to advocate for America to lose this war? I can think of only one reason apart from treason. They believe this loss would permanently adhere to Bush and the GOP. So, they're basing their foreign policy on what will gain them politically – no matter what the damage to the United States. Repulsive.

I'm writing this as the Republicans hold their second debate, so I'm praying that this is all moot now. Hopefully our candidates are getting out the message. The Democrats preach covetousness (tax the rich) to get you to vote for them. They bear false witness against their opponents and even the American people; institutional racism is dead in America and only the Left uses race as a political ploy. And perhaps worst of all – their hunger for power is so overwhelming that they would betray the Iraqi people, the American troops and America itself. How can anyone, in good conscience, vote for the Democrats?

Jan 18, 2007

A Convert's Lament

I just finished Chesterton's "Orthodoxy" and feel compelled to write about the painful consequence of my political and religious conversion. I feel I have discovered some great truths – and having done so, I have joined a group for whom many feel contempt, if not hatred.

To quote Chesterton:

"All those vague theosophical minds for whom the universe is an immense melting-pot are exactly the minds which shrink instinctively from that earthquake saying of our Gospels, which declare that the Son of God came not with peace but with a sundering sword. The saying rings entirely true even considered as what it obviously is; the statement that any man who preaches real-love is bound to beget hate. It is as true of democratic fraternity as a divine love; sham love ends in compromise and common philosophy; but real love has always ended in bloodshed."

That pretty well sums up the current state of our nation's politics and our world's values, doesn't it? Sundered.

The split is painfully apparent every time I pick up the newspaper or listen to talk radio; it is even more acute at social occasions and discussions with friends. So, here is my post-mortem on a recent conversation.

I have a friend who is searching and feels she must abandon the Democrat party over its hostility to family values. She says she can't be a Republican because of the environmental issues. But, our conversation leads me to believe it is much more than that. I was sharing with her that I was very much to the left politically until recently, at which point our discussion was joined by another women with whom I was unfamiliar. She was obviously hostile to conservatives as she asked me "how conservative are you?" To which I answered, "I'm a committed conservative." I don't know how it even came up but the both of them turned to me and said "There were no WMDs." They said this with an absolutism that was frankly shocking. I turned to address my friend and said "What about the photos of the gassed villages in Kurdistan?" She responded "Those photos were doctored". I said, "But those photos were from long before the Iraq war and that gas was a WMD". To which the other woman responded "That was mustard gas that lots of people have and we don't go after them."

Where to begin?! Let me first say, I was cynical enough about our government that I claimed from the very start of the war that we would "find" WMDs! I honestly thought that the Bush administration had emphasized the WMD issue enough that the CIA would plant the WMDs in Iraq if none were found so that America's image would be salvaged. The fact that we haven’t found any (not entirely an accurate statement) has been evidence to me of the Bush administration's honesty and integrity. But, not evidence enough to my friend and clearly not to anyone to the left of her. If the government could (and would dare) doctor photos of mass killings, why would it not plant WMDs to save itself from such enormous controversy at a historic moment?

It became apparent to me that we weren't talking about WMD and the Iraq war. Why are we still debating what got us into the war in the first place? My friend and the other woman were telling me what they think of Republicans and conservatives in general and what they believe about the Bush administration in particular. This will be a familiar litany to most of us who have any exposure to the mainstream culture. Republicans are liars, homophobic, sexist, xenophobic, racist, and religious zealots. Ouch.

That hurts personally, not because it is true, but because I just finished telling my friend that I used to be on the left. I was one of you. That buys you nothing with the dogmatic left. Repeat the litany and you don't have to debate the issues. I've decided the next time I get into one of these senseless debates, my response is going to be "If we can't agree on the facts, we have nothing to discuss." In other words, you're calling me a liar and I can't get past that with you.

Here's one more name that the left would like to attribute to us conservatives. We're "close-minded". I find that one really laughable, given my complete conversion. Who is more open-minded, the one who has been a lifelong Democrat or the one who changed from a leftist ideology to a conservative one?

I have been seeking the truth and found it only after considering that I might have been wrong and that people of the past and present might have something to teach me. I've learned that I don't have to follow others off the cliff to find wisdom, but I also don't have to start with only my own ideas. I don't feel that my liberal friends are evil – just wrong. I wish they could say the same of me, but I am unwilling to deny the truth to rejoin the immense melting-pot to which Chesterton refers.