Saturday, October 30, 2010

7 U.S. firms that helped save the Chilean miners

*Also check out my previous post on this subject: Heroes Should Always be Praised!

Setting the Terms


Recently I have been thinking about a very annoying, albeit somewhat sophisticated tendency of the political left in America:

I know the Left has a number of annoying tendencies, so to be specific, what is bothering me today is their tendency to make up new definitions for existing words, and then using their made up words and definitions as if they actually tied to something in reality.

Words such as “progressive”:

1.favoring or advocating progress, change, improvement, or reform, as opposed to wishing to maintain things as they are, esp. in political matters: a progressive mayor.
2. making progress toward better conditions; employing or advocating more enlightened or liberal ideas, new or experimental methods, etc.: a progressive community.
3. characterized by such progress, or by continuous improvement.


Etymology Dictionary
gives the history of the word as: c.1600, "characterized by advancement" (in action, character, etc.), from progress. [...] used in politics and taxation in the mid to late 1800's.


The original meaning of the word was to 'a state, action, character of advancement', but who choose to apply this word to socialism, statism, and people who thought it was the government's job to take care of the poor by confiscating money and property from the wealthy? That's right, the socialists and statists themselves. Now, on the flip side, Republicans have an equally annoying habit, that of letting the Left get away with it.

When the Left took to using the word "progressive", Republicans responded by using "conservative" to describe themselves. I am calling them both to the floor. Leftists are not progressives, and I think the word “conservative” is a very poor choice by the Right. I do not want to be a political conservationist, but more to the point philosophic and political ideas are timeless, and not limited to any geographic area. There has been versions of the freedom/egoist -- statist/collectivist debate going all the way back to Ancient Greece and Rome, if not before. Either people make decisions about their own lives, or the government does; either I choose how many kids I am going to have, or the Chinese government does; either I choose to work as a businessman, or the Russian Government says I will be a Olympic hockey player. Even in America, which is only a couple of hundred years old, and has an amazing history of protecting individual rights, there is not something I am looking to “conserve”. I don't want to go back to the 1980’s or the 1950’s. I do not want to go back to riding horses, or back to a time before electricity and modern medicine, or to fighting over the moral stature of slaves.

Instead, I want to live in a country, this country, a country that has an amazing history for protecting freedom, and to continue that fight within the very framework that has allowed for its history. I want to move forward with better roads, better homes, better means of communication, better medicine, better technology, a better understanding of the world and people around me. But there is no better, and can be no better political statement than:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.


This opening statement of the Constitution, immediately followed by our the Bill of Rights, states exactly what our government can’t do…states precisely that we, the people, come before the government. We have the rights, not the government. Our rights are inalienable. Our rights are what the government was created to protect.

So what are right political terms needed for us to defend ourselves, our rights, and to take back OUR government.

When referring to the Left, I like Leftists, statists, and socialists. The terms are precise and name them for what they are. Their policies are not progressive, because their ideas are not enlightened or moving us forward towards something better. Leftists may think they are moving the country towards some utopian ideal of theirs. But in fact, their policies have been tried for over 100 years now. From Germany to Russia, and from Cuba to Venezuela, it is obvious to all who want to see that socialism does not work. If Leftists want to think among themselves, or in their own heads, that they are progressive, they can have their delusions. But I don’t see any reason why we must help them deceive themselves. They are statists, that want to use the government to achieve their goals, and to enact their philosophic ideals.

For the Right, I like the term Republicans or Capitalists. Names what we are, either by the type of government we support or the public ideals we hold. (Capitalism is a social system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which all property is privately owned. )

There are interesting times we are living in...Republicans, so called conservatives, tea partiers, freedom loving citizens, and laissez-faire-free-market Capitalists...I do not know how things are going to shake out, but I do know that if we are to win, if our ideas are to win, it is us, not the Leftists who must set the terms of the debate. The debate is about who gets to decide...us, individual Americans, or our government. The debate between the Left and the Right, should not be which party gets to run the show. Whether Conservatives, Neo-Conservatives, the Religious Right, Leftists, Socialists, or Environmentalists are in control, we the people lose. The debate should be: is every person an independent entity, with his own mind, and his inalienable rights, or is the human race some a social-collectivist organism that is greater than any of its parts.

I do not see myself as a cog in machine, nor a relic holding on to the past, simply because it is our past. I hope you don't either.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Heroes Should Always be Praised!


Is it rude to praise businessmen who save lives?

I agree with Bowden, the Henninger piece was generally excellent.

People, be they Capitalists, news commentators, or workmen, deserve to be praised every single time they act heroically. What a different world we would be living in if heroism was of more interest than sleaze, debauchery, and corruption.

A Rally About Nothing


Scott Holleran's take on Jon Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity:

Blanking Out with John Stewart


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Legalization of Drugs: A Proper Argument for Both Conservatives and Liberals


Why conservatives should favor legalizing marijuana

Although, I found this to be interesting article coming from a conservative, I must definitely disagree with his reasoning.

The proper argument for legalizing all drugs is that the government has no business telling us what we can and can't do with our own property, money, and lives.

The proper argument is that smoking marijuana, dropping acid, shooting up with heroin, or drinking beer is none of the government's business.

The proper argument is not, Oh look!, here is another area of the people's lives we can control, regulate, and tax. The proper argument is that if I am not initiating force against another human being, I can do whatever I please. If I am hurting no one but myself, or if I am only hurting the sensibilities of the town criers, leave me alone!

It would be great if legalizing drugs becomes a Republican, limited-government, position in America. But please if does, do it the right way. Support the legalization of drugs, from the standpoint that the government has no business being involved in the private, consensual, victimless, choices of individual citizens.

If someone robs, injuries, rapes, or kills while on drugs, punish the person for his crime. But Fred down the street smoking a joint on the weekend, drinking a six pack while watching the Super Bowl, or snorting a line of cocaine at a party is hurting no one. The purchase of his drug of choice should not be regulated, does not need to be taxed any extra, and is none of the yours, mine, or the government's business.

Mr. Wood ended his article with the following:

Conservatives should look at the ongoing legacy of the failed war on drugs, in light of their traditional commitment to stronger families, economies and societies, and reconsider supporting drug policies that only serve to weaken American society.


I say, that everyone, Conservatives and Liberals alike, should look at the failed war on drugs, and realize that no one is served, and no one is helped by limiting the freedom of individuals to make their own decisions. No is served and no one benefits by the increase of government control into our personal lives.

Bring It On, Baby


Tea Party Movement Is A Game-Changer

The Great Debate: Is it Coming?



Via Michelle Malkin's latest post, I read the following article:

http://blog.aflcio.org/2010/10/21/tenthers-would-abolish-wage-and-child-labor-laws-social-security-medicare-and-more/

Ms. Malkin does a fine job responding, however, I want to make a more positive spin on it.

The fact that the Tenth Amendment is being discussed, and that a "laundry list" of laws are being presented as unconstitutional is the most amazing development. As the AFL-CIO article points out, minimum wage, Medicare, Social Security, unemployment insurance, the Department of Education, and Child Labor Laws are re-entering the public debate. To list some more: ObamaCare, Medicad, Bush's prescription drug plan, Sarbanes-Oaxley, and Sherman Antitrust Act.

For the first time in my life, for the first time since the founding of the country, the political debate in America is actually being primed to be worth following, worth participating in. Fundamental issues are being discussed. We are not there yet, but the right issues are being brought up. If the country is to be saved, is to be worth saving, then the debate needs to be about fundamental issues, and not about which group gets to do the looting, or whether the looting should take place over months, years, or decades. I have no idea if the debate is going to play out. But boy, I know if it does, it is going to be something!

Is my life mine by right, by my nature as an independent rational being, or am I simply a cog in the machine, my free will simply an illusion, and my life property of the state to be used as it sees fit. This is the debate we should be having at this point in history. A debate that should be answered once, and for all.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Rich are People Too!


A nice post by Don Watkins over at Voices for Reason:

The rich have a right to pursue happiness too


Mr. Vice President, Seriously?!?


Here is another great gem, from the Vice President Biden:

Every single great idea that has marked the 21st century, the 20th century and the 19th century has required government vision and government incentive.


For Thomas Edison and Fred Smith, for the Wright Brothers and Michael Dell, for Cornelius Vanderbilt and Richard Branson, and for Alexander Graham Bell and Jack Welch, I say, check your premises Mr. Vice President.

Great men and great ideas do not require the government. Great men and great ideas require freedom. Great men do not require handouts, with their minds, muscle, and personal drive they, not the government, create everything of value.

From the Post Office to public education, from NASA to the interstate highway system, from the USDA Dietary Guidelines to the economy, everything the government touches -- everything that it touches that doesn't directly protect the individual rights of Americans -- it destroys.

From pharmaceuticals to rocket ships, government kills when it forgets what it is there for, forgets it's limitations, forgets its inherent weaknesses, forgets its a 10 million pound behemoth whose every action implies the use of its guns, missiles, and jails. People do not create out of fear, and that is what ever action the government creates. Government action is designed to illicit fear. Laws, regulation, taxes, incarceration, and death...these are the tools at the governments ready.

Innovation, productivity, science, technology, and money are the tools of free men, in a free society, protected from enemies (foreign and domestic) by the guns and laws of it's government, by the policeman and military who vow to uphold those laws, and by congressman and presidents who know their limitations, and fight one another to keep themselves in check, in order to allow great men to do great things.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Harry Reid: You're Fired!


As I wrote yesterday, I have had the itch to return to blogging for the past month or so. One of the things that got me back to the keyboard was the sound bites from recent Reid-Angle debate in Nevada.

Harry Reid -- in a stunning display of his and the Left's monstrously, insane arrogance -- stated, in the same matter of fact way that Gore told the world that he created the internet, that his job was to create jobs.

What!?!

Sharon Angle responded to Harry with “it’s not your job to create jobs. It’s your job to create policies that create confidence in the private sector so they can create jobs.”

On the first, she is correct. It is not Harry Reid's, Congress's, President Obama's, Timothy Geitner's or any other government bureaucrats' job to create jobs.

Their job is to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. That's it; nothing more, nothing less. And one of the, if not the, central tenant of the Constitution, is that every American (man or woman, black or white, young or old) is the master of his own life. That each of us has rights that the government cannot take away or infringe upon. The government of the United States was created to protect its citizens. It was created to protect the rights of each and every one of its citizens. Each of them was born equally free and independent.

A government employee is not tasked to protect the morals of the country, their job is not to provide us with transportation, nor entertainment, their job is not to act as doctors or nutritionists, their job is to make sure that I am free and safe to pursue my own happiness. That whether I want to be a surgeon, an actor, a receptionist, a businessman, or a couch potato living in my mom's basement (with her permission), that I am free to do that.

The second part of Angle's response, the part I disagree with, is that it is also not Reid's job to create policies or confidence in the private sector. To borrow a priceless phrase from Ayn Rand, "...a separation of state and economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of state and church."

In every single country, now and throughout history, that the government has allowed or increased economic freedom, the standard of living for that country has increased...on principle and without exception. However, the argument is not one of utility or pragmatism. The argument, is that my life is mine, mine by right. And whether I choose to be productive, start a business, invent a new machine or process, work hard for smarter men, or take a three year vacation to Italy so I can lay my eyes and hands on every sculpture I can for nothing but my own pleasure, that is my RIGHT...economics be damned!

So Harry Reid, I say to you, you are wrong. And I hope for this very reason, for your incompetence, and your lack of even a basic understanding of your job as a U.S. congressman, that you are voted out office next week, and that you are never allowed to have another position within the government again.

Incomprehensible: The Mind of a Socialist


Cuba self-employed to pay taxes up to 50 percent

Am I wrong, or didn't Castro just admit to the whole-freakin-world that Socialism doesn't work?


Privatize NPR


Gus Van Horne has a nice post on why privatizing NPR is not just the right thing for free speech, but for NPR as well:

http://gusvanhorn.blogspot.com/2010/10/privatize-npr.html

Rob Reiner, Shame On You



In his latest rant against things he knows not, Reiner says the following:

My fear is that the tea party gets a charismatic leader," actor/director Rob Reiner said to applause in front of a live audience on Bill Maher's "Real Time." "Because all they're selling is fear and anger. And that's all Hitler sold. 'I'm angry and I'm frightened and you should hate that guy over there.' And that's what they're doing.

For those interested, here is the The Tea Party's "Contract From America":

vs



I have no idea where Reiner is getting his facts about the Tea Parties...probably Keith Olbermann and Whoppi Goldberg...but to me when going through the above documents, the only platform that seems offer any statement or protection against a charismatic dictator or flat out mob rule is the Tea Party Platform.

"Our moral, political, and economic liberties are inherent, not granted by our government. It is essential to the practice of these liberties that we be free from restriction over our peaceful political expression and free from excessive control over our economic choices."

Limited Government
Economic Freedom
Protect the Constitution
Reject Cap & Trade
Demand a Balanced Budget
Enact Fundamental Tax Reform
End Runaway Government Spending
Defund, Repeal, & Replace Government-run Health Care
Pass an ‘All-of-the-Above” Energy Policy
Stop the Pork


I don't know about you, or Rob Reiner, but this is hands down the best political platform I've ever seen.

Protect individual rights, limit government, protect free trade, limit government, balance the budget, limit government, limit government, limit government, limit government, and limit government. How in the world could one see the next Hitler in this?!?!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ready Or Not!



I think I am ready -- itching, craving, yearning -- to get back to blogging.

The past year has been great. I started dating an amazing women, moved to Nashville, TN, and am now engaged!

Needless to say, the fun of dating, getting to know someone, learning how to coexist in the same space, starting a new job, and learning a new town has been much more interesting than blogging about current events.

However, for the past month or so I have wanted to start writing again, but I forced myself to hold off a bit to make sure it was something I really wanted. I did not want to get excited about returning, only to disappoint myself. Also several of my other activities -- let's just say, some online gaming -- needed to be scaled back to make the time for researching, editing, and writing.

So, here I am, raising a glass, and welcoming myself back!

***

With the election come up, next week, I want to recommend this post, by Dr. Leonard Peikoff: http://www.peikoff.com/the-november-elections/

I agree with Peikoff, and when I took part in early voting last week, I felt very good about voting straight 'R'. To me, it was like a big "NO" to Obama, Pelosi, and Harry Reid. No more!

Also, on the same idea, here is a great little diddy by P.J. O'Rourke over at Newsweek: http://www.weeklystandard.com/print/articles/they-hate-our-guts_511739.html

So, if you are planning to do the same. Take heart! Vote out the Democrats, and then start riding the Republicans hard on November 3rd:

* Repeal ObamaCare.
* DRAMATICALLY cut spending
* Reduce taxes
* Protect individual rights
* Protect property rights
* Destroy our enemies
* Stop meddling in our lives
* Take many, many long vacations

And if the Republicans do not listen, make sure they know that they will be next to go!

An Interesting Read


Is the U.S. no longer the engine, but the caboose?

Decoupling: Alive and Well