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Statism & Intelligence

Those favoring an ever-increasing role for the state in our society never cease to remind us how much smarter they are those of us preferring freedom and smaller government.  They note how a supermajority of university professors favor their ideology and that how voters with postgraduate degrees overwhelmingly went for Obama last fall.

If they’re so smart, why can’t they learn from history?

I mean, here are these very smart people are, with lots and lots of college degrees (so very much education) among them, yet they insist bigger government will help solve our economic woes.  Problem is they can’t come up with many examples of that working.

Socialism failed overwhelmingly in Europe where nations with welfare-state economies having unemployment rates that makes our number seem tiny in comparison.

And those very smart people who actually do study the results of statist policies, find, for example, that New Deal, a program of massive state intervention in the American economy, “thwarted economic recovery for seven long years.

Another one of those smart people who trust to empirical observation rather than trendy theories, Anna Schwartz, an economist at National Bureau of Economic Research wonders at the

mystical belief in . . . fiscal stimulus as the solution to the current recession. . . . Fiscal stimulus did not end the great contraction from ’29 to ’33 and it didn’t end the slump in Japan.  If you make this kind of comment to a true believer you get an anti-intellectual kind of response.

. . . . [the Japanese] paid lavishly for the fiscal stimulus projects that they promoted, and as a result Japan had the biggest fiscal deficit of any advanced country during that period.  And the answer to the program for fiscal stimulus that is lacking is an economic explanation of why fiscal stimulus would work, and we do not have such an explanation.

(H/t:  Wall Street Journal’s Political Diary–available by subscription.)

An explanation we may not have, but Democratic rhetoric we do.

Note Dr. Schwartz’s observation about pointing out the failure of various government stimuli to stimulate economic growth.  Those true believers, many of them with a multitude of college degrees offer an anti-intellectual response.  Interesting how intellectuals often respond in such a manner to critics who challenge their conclusions with facts.

Seems like instead of engaging us, they’re just telling us to shut up.  Why, I wonder do some very smart people peddle ideas which can be easily discredited and respond to their intellectual adversaries not with counterarguments, but instead with angry rebuttals or pleas for silence?

Obama’s Cowboy Domestic Policy

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 4:18 pm - March 31, 2009.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,Media Bias,Obama Watch

Remember when, not so long ago, right-thinking people in the media and think tanks faulted then-President George W. Bush for his go-it-alone “Cowboy Diplomacy.”  Well, now that good man’s successor has adopted a similar strategy for addressing certain domestic crises.

Turns out the president didn’t even consult lawmakers from his own party, including those representing the state where the auto companies have their headquarters, before delivering his “ultimatum to U.S. auto manufacturers:”

Michigan’s senior Democratic senator, Carl Levin, said Obama didn’t ask for advice when he told lawmakers of the move in a Sunday call from the Oval Office to force GM CEO Rick Wagoner to resign, which caught Washington and Detroit by surprise. “He didn’t ask us about it, he informed us,” Levin said.

I’m sure the MSM will be quick to condemn the president for acting without congressional input, just as they were during the previous Administration.

Barney Wants Government to Set Executive Salaries

Just when I thought I had said all I needed to say about Barney Frank, that unhappy bully comes up with another idea certain to slow the economy.  Didn’t he do enough when he thwart reforms of the Government-supported Enterprises (GSE), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Now, we learn that the mean-spirited Mr. Frank is acting on his long-expressed intentions to restrict executive compensation at all US corporations, “not just TARP recipients.“  Byron York reports:

But now, in a little-noticed move, the House Financial Services Committee, led by chairman Barney Frank, has approved a measure that would, in some key ways, go beyond the most draconian features of the original AIG bill. The new legislation, the “Pay for Performance Act of 2009,” would impose government controls on the pay of all employees — not just top executives — of companies that have received a capital investment from the U.S. government. It would, like the tax measure, be retroactive, changing the terms of compensation agreements already in place. And it would give Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner extraordinary power to determine the pay of thousands of employees of American companies.

Transferring ever more power to the government.  That seems to be the Democrats’ game plan.  Before they continue their game, they should study those nations which have done just that, taking a close look at their economic record.  They didn’t see the kind of growth and innovation that has, by and large, defined the American economy,  for the last sixty years.

What is Barney’s animus to capitalism, to private enterprise?  He bends over backwards to prevent increased federal regulation of agencies backed up by the federal government, yet is ever eager to control institutions which have helped spur perhaps the great amount of wealth creation in human history.  Institutions, I might add, upon whose success, the federal government depends for its revenue.

Looks like a few people need to read Mark Levin’s book.

Confronting the Leftist Idea of “Equality”

Mark Levin’s new book, Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto, arrived just in time.  Last week, I wondered how “equality” had become the watchword for the gay movement and engaged in a spirited discussion in the comments section on the values on the founders’ notion of the concept.

I had always believed the founders’ focus was on liberty, freedom, with a concern for equal rights.  Their concern for equal rights was a response to the privileges of class, then inherent in the British system.  Levin understands how today’s left has twisted the notion of equality to serve their statist ends.  And given the political make-up of the gay groups, it’s pretty clear they have borrowed that idea of equality.

In short, Levin gets it:

The primary principle around which the Statist organizes can be summed up in a single word–equality.

Equality, as understood by the Founders, is the natural right of every individual to live freely under self-government, to acquire and retain the property he creates through his own labor, and to be treated impartially before a just law.  Moreover, equality should not be confused with perfection, for man is also imperfect, making his application of equality, even in the most just society, imperfect.  Otherwise, inequality is the natural state of man in the sense that each individual is born unique in all his human characteristics.  Therefore, equality and inequality, properly comprehended, are both engines of liberty.

The Statist, however, misuses equality to pursue uniform economic and social outcomes.  He must continuously enhance his power at the expense of self-government and violate the individual’s property rights at the expense of individual liberty, for he believes that through persuasion, deception, and coercion he can tame man’s natural state and man’s perfection can, therefore, be achieved in Utopia.  The Statist must claim the power to make that which is unequal equal an that which is imperfect perfect.  That is the hope the Statist offers, if only the individual surrenders himself to the all-powerful state.  Only then can the impossible be made possible.

Levin helps summarize why I fear then notion of “equality” when on the lips of gay activists.  Most of them have a background in left-wing political movements and show a commitment to the Democratic party and its leftist ideology.  They readily turn to the state to seek solutions to problems, real and imagined, which confront our community.

I’ve only read 18 pages, barely 10% of Levin’s book and I’m already hungry for more.  this new book may well be a manifesto for the coming conservative resurgence.

Ann Althouse Takes Andrew Sullivan to the Woodshed

There was a time when Andrew Sullivan could make a serious argument for state recognition of same-sex marriages. Now when he talks about the subject, he can’t seem to see beyond the “legal rights” issue, as if without state sanction, his marriage wouldn’t mean anything.

And now, he sees a straight blogress’s upcoming marriage as an object of ridicule. Yesterday, he linked a left-wing blog mocking Ann Althouse’s impending nuptials to someone who comments to her blog. In so doing, he showed his confusion about what marriage is, something he once understood pretty well. After that diva called him on his “disrespectful” post, he fired back, ignoring her criticism and focusing on his own views, “I’m all in favor of the right of straight bloggers to marry their straight commenters. It’s a civil right.

Is that all it is, Andrew, a civil right? Interesting that that’s how he would choose to address the controversy, reducing it to a right.

Althouse never one to mince words (hence her diva status) called Andrew on missing the point:

This isn’t about legal rights. This is about how individuals treat each other, and I want to know why you disrespected me. Explain why you linked to Pandagon’s scurrilous OMFG, which, as you know, means “Oh, my fucking God.” Is that the way you mean to speak to me? Is that the way you talk about God?

In Andrew’s eagerness to link a left-wing blogger to attack a more moderate one (who happened to have endorsed the same presidential candidate he did), he shows once again that he has long since left the conservative fold, even as he calls himself conservative.

What conservative would link a left-wing blogger to mock the impending nuptials of a centrist blogress?

The Democratic Need to Demonize

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 9:30 am - March 31, 2009.
Filed under: Liberal Hypocrisy,Mean-spirited leftists

When I read Pamela’s comment to my post on Rush Limbaugh & the Conservative Pantheon, I laughed a rich full-bodied laugh.  As the Emanuel/Carville plan to demonize the outspoken radio talker has backfired,  Democrats are now going after the Alaska Governor:

Multiple Democratic strategists say the party plans to increasingly elevate Palin in the same manner it has employed Rush for weeks, using her high-visibility, her social conservatism, and memories of her harsh attacks on Obama during the campaign to tar the GOP as partisan, obstructionist, and backward-looking.

What is it about these guys, always needing someone to demonize?  Jim Hoft quips that it’s “a bit odd that they are attacking Sarah Palin now since the election ended months ago.

And they accuse our side of divisive politics!

Now that Democrats are in power, this could backfire on them, reminding voters that Obama’s campaign (and recent) rhetoric notwithstanding, his party still engages in the old Washington politics of blame and attack:

A Pew Research poll conducted last fall found that 41 percent of independents said that they thought the press had been too tough on the governor. Now that President Obama’s approval numbers are slipping, especially among independents, that key group could perceive the Democrat’s attacks on Palin the same way they saw the media attacks. If they think the Democrats are unfairly dissing Palin, there’s just no win there for the Dems.

But, the real question that remains is what does it say about today’s current crop of Democrats that they feel they must demonize the opposition to get their message across.  Maybe it’s their form of distraction.  They want people to focus on Republicans’ flaws so as to prevent people from seeing their “message” for what it really is.

Whenever you hear someone talk about mean-spirited Republicans, remind them that Democrats–and their allies in the media–are always looking to vilify their partisan rivals.

And wonder as well about their need to be mean.

Global War On Terror no more

I see from various news reports that Secretary Clinton, and therefore Obama, will no longer use the phrase “War On Terror.”

Too bad no one has told Bin Laden and the Taliban and Iran and Hamas and Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Meanwhile, Americans’ confidence in the “War Against Bad Men Of Unspecified Religious Origin Who Like to Plot The Death of Westerners” effort has plummeted.

We will rue the day we go back to the September 10th-Clintonian mindset.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Obama Administration Has No Clear Path to Repeal DADT

While study after study (after study after study) has shown that allowing gay people to serve in our armed forces would neither compromise unit cohesion nor morale, the Obama Administration is making little progress on repealing the Clinton-era Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell (DADT) policy, barring gays from serving openly in the military.

This despite candidate Obama’s commitment to repealing the ban.  Indeed, White House Spokesman Tommy Vietor said recently that the president has consulted Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff] Chairman Mike Mullen to make sure “this change is done in a sensible way that strengthens our armed forces and national security.”

This weekend on FoxNews Sunday, however, Gates said, “That dialog though has really not progressed very far at this point in the administration. I think the president and I feel like we’ve got a lot on our plates right now and let’s push that one down the road a little bit.”

Pushing it down the road a little bit?  Say what?  I do hope the gay organizations are lambasting the Democratic Administration for putting this off yet again.

Here’s a simple solution to push it down the road, but head in the direction of repeal while making it clear that the change strengthens our armed forces and national security:  With great fanfare, the president should announce a blue-ribbon commission, say, headed by former Secretary of State Colin Powell, to study whether we can repeal of the ban and strengthen our armed forces.  Yes, I realize their study would repeat studies already carried out.  But, none of those have had the attention one so publicly commissioned would have.


Olbermann’s O’Reilly Obsession

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 2:09 am - March 31, 2009.
Filed under: Annoying Celebrities,Mean-spirited leftists

Every time, it seems, I’m in the gym and they play Olbermann, that angry leftist devotes at least one segment of his show to bashing Bill O’Reilly.

Now, I wonder if that FoxNews host, with an audience twice that of his MSNBC counterpart, ever devotes any attention to the obsessed leftist.  While I do watch O’Reilly from time to time, I don’t watch him all that much and don’t recall him ever mentioning Olbermann.

So, those of you who watch him more often than do I, please let me know, does he ever pay mention the man so obsessed with him?

Rachel Maddow Without the Sound

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 11:51 pm - March 30, 2009.
Filed under: New Media

She actually looks good on the screen and seems like she’s having a lot of fun, in marked contrast to her fellow MSNBC host, Keith Olbermann, who always looks angry and unhappy.

For some reason, the closed captioning wasn’t working for her show while I was pounding away on the Stairmaster today, so I couldn’t follow the program so well.  Through the graphics and tags, I knew at one point she was peddling the fabulist Seymour Hersh’s latest lies about former Vice President Cheney.  Trusting this guy for honest information on Republicans is like looking to Paul Cameron for accurate studies of gay people.

All that said, despite her left-wing bias, I think Maddow’s show is going to have some staying power.  But, for MSNBC (yet not for FoxNews), Olbermann has some pretty good numbers, so anger does seem to sell to a certain segment of our population.

She looks like she’s a nice gal, someone with whom, if the convesation turned away from politics, you could actually have an interesting exchange.  And unlike Olbermann, she looks like she doesn’t take herself (or her show) too seriously.  That’s not a bad quality to have.

Will Economy Replace National Security as GOP Issue?

Instead of letting the financial crisis going to waste, the Obama Administration has been using it “a pretext for a wide power grab,” effectively nationalizing General Motors today.  Yet, the more Democrats spend, the more control they seek take over the economy, the less favor they will find with the American people.

Obama knew he had to campaign on a “net spending cut” because we Americans don’t have much appetite for a European-style social welfare state.  So, as his domestic policy departs from his campaign rhetoric and as memories of the failure of past Republican Congresses to hold true to party principles and hold the line on spending recede, the GOP could once again be able to reclaim the mantle of fiscal responsibility.

Yet, at the same time as Republicans can reclaim a mantle we once had, but later forfeited, the president is making a small effort to take away the one issue which held the GOP together in the past decade–national security.

While the president’s record has been far from perfect on Iraq and Afghanistan, he has been speaking out on the conflict in the first nation in terms nearly identical to those of his predecessor and has authorized a build-up in the second nation which has pleased many on the right, a number of whom have compared it (favorably) to Bush’s policies.

There are signs, a few, not a lot, but more that I had hoped when Obama first emerged as his party’s presidential frontrunner, that he could neutralize the national security issue (well, he will have to get tougher or Iran).  All that said, the way things have been going these past few months, the economy could emerge the issue which turns the tide for the GOP.

Provided Republicans continue to say, “No” to Democratic profligacy and offer responsible alternative plans to spendthrift Democrat ones.

Of Rush Limbaugh & the Conservative “Pantheon”

On election night, appearing on Pajamas TV, I said that with McCain’s loss, Rush Limbaugh had become the interim leader of the opposition.  Much as I find the entertainer engaging and insightful, I did not mean for him to hold onto that mantle for very long.  Given his unapologetic defense of conservative ideas, his optimism and yes, his combativeness, I thought Rush was the one to rally us in the wake of our electoral setbacks.

Roger Simon, appearing on the panel with me, disagreed, anticipating the discussion which would ensue when the White House teamed up with partisans in the MSM to smear the talk show host.  He thought Rush was just too controversial and confrontational.

He was right to a point.  Given his combativeness, his delight in confronting adversaries of conservatives, skills which makes him so effective as communicator in the medium of talk radio, Rush could never be anything more than a provisional leader of the right.  Whereas, he excels in Reagan’s ability to communicate the ideas of conservatism to a mass audience (see e.g., his celebrated speech to CPAC), he lacks the Gipper’s ability to transcend partisan differences* when promoting conservative ideas.

That’s not to fault Rush.  It’s just to distinguish him from Ronald Reagan.

Because Rush’s confrontational style does not endear him to independent voters and even some more cerebral conservatives, some on the right wish to write him out of our movement.  But, when we see Rush for who he is and recognize the role he plays, we understand that he is an integral figure to our movement.

As I’ve suggested before, he, like other exponents of conservatism, albeit with different means and methods of expression, offers a unique contribution to conservatism.  Just as each deity in the Greek pantheon brought a different gift to Olympus.  Alone, each could not address all of humanity’s concerns, but together, they represent the qualities we all need to thrive in this world.

And that is why we should all bristle at those who wish to write Rush out.  We need see him as one among many, with each bringing a particular skill, a particular gift, to our movement.   (more…)

Rahm Emanuel: Good for Partisans, Bad for America

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 4:54 pm - March 30, 2009.
Filed under: National Politics,Obama Watch,Republican-hatred

Sometimes, when I bring White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel with conservative friends, they say they want him to stay on because his presence in the president’s office serves to sharpen the distinctions between the parties.  His partisanship sets him apart from the mainstream of America and the unifying message of Obama’s fall campaign.

Democratic partisans like him because he is an unapologetic champion of their side and critic of ours.  With Rahm by his side, the president will continue to steer a left-wing course, pandering to the various liberal groups eager for additional federal handouts and hoping to influence federal policy.

But, if the president replaces Emanuel with a less partisan Democrat adept at Administration and respectful of Republicans, say like former Clinton White Hous Chief of Staff Leon Panetta, he would stand a greater chance of uniting the country and succeeding as president.

The simple question is whether or not the president sees his partisan affiliation as incidental to his Administration or as its defining aspect.  In the campaign, he made it sound like the former.  In the past two and one-half months, he made it seem the latter.

Replacing Rahm Emanuel, a hyperpartisan gunslinger, with a dispassionate administrator, even one, like Panetta, committed to Democratic ideals, would help the president fulfill the promise of his campaign and would put my party on the spot, making it far more difficult for Republican leaders to be confrontational.

With Rahm on the job, however, we have only the promise of a confrontational policy and increased partisan warfare.  And that’s not good for this great nation.

GayPatriot Dinner with Thatcher Honoree; Mon. 04/27 in LA

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 4:22 pm - March 30, 2009.
Filed under: Conservative Ideas,Friendship,Great Men,LA Stories

Nigel Ashford, a distinguished British political philosopher, whom we believe to be the only openly gay man honored by Dame Margaret Thatcher, will be in Los Angeles the last week in April and has agreed to join GayPatriot readers for dinner on Monday, April 27th.

Please save that date for this festive occasion.  Details to be provided when we get a sense of how many will be joining us.

Is this the Change Americans Hoped for?

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 12:16 pm - March 30, 2009.
Filed under: Obama Hopenchange

Boom time for lobbyists in Washington, malaise for working men and women in the heartland:  “In a Down Time Everywhere Else, K Street Bustles: Lobbyists Find Plenty of Work as Clients Contend for Stimulus Package’s Billions.

UPDATE:  From the Post article, “Put another way, Main Street’s gloom has been K Street’s boon.”

Bush Deficits vs. Obama Deficits

Here’s a nifty graphic originally created by the Washington Post. (h/t – Heritage Foundation)

And by “nifty”, I mean completely scary and mind-boggling!

Obama Lied, the American Way of Life Died!

Paraphrasing Eva Peron — “We are ALL Government Workers Now”.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Questions for Joe Biden re: his daughter’s privacy
(with some advice from Antiquity)

When, in 2001, the media made much of Jenna Bush’s underage drinking, did you tell them to tone it done and respect the privacy of the then-president’s daughter?

When, in 2004, the presidential and vice-presidential nominees of your party in respective debates made an issue of the sexuality of the then-Vice President’s daughter, did you fault them for doing so?

When, in the 2008 presidential campaign, the media made much of the indiscretions of the daughter of your rival for the second highest office in the land, did you tell them to cool it?

Did, in that same campaign, you ever fault New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor for contacting, through Facebook, the friends of the youngest daughter of then-Republican presidential candidate John McCain to get dirt on his wife?

If you answered, “Yes,” to any of these questions, then you have grounds to criticize anyone who would publicize your daughter’s private life.

As I’ve said before, her life should remain private.  She is not the public figure.  You are.  And you have been for nearly four decades now.  And during that time, the media has made much of the private lives of family members of politicians of both parties, but mostly of those on the Republican side of the aisle.

Did you ever stand up for your partisan rivals when the media made much of their families’ private lives to the anticipated advantage of your party?

Now that some in the media are looking into your daughter’s indiscretions, maybe you can use that snooping to the greater benefit of the nation you serve.  You could help us learn the lesson Achilles did when he recognized the sadness of his greatest rival’s father.


Rocky Mountain High…On Business!

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 10:12 pm - March 29, 2009.
Filed under: Colorado

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Colorado for placing 4 of the top 20 cities on the Forbes list of Best Places For Business And Careers in the US.

Bruce will no doubt chime in (NC has 6. Good grief, aren’t some of those, like, the same city anyway?), but I’ll crow for the Centennial State till he comes around to show us up.

FWIW, the four cities are:
Fort Collins (#2)
Colorado Springs (#10)
Denver (#14)
Boulder (#20)

How long we stay on the list is hard to say. The state is currently overrun by Leftist legislators and a rabidly anti-business despot resides at 400 East 8th Avenue. Boulder is, well, Boulder. And Denver is similarly a dark shade of blue.

On the other hand, Fort Fun (as we who attended CSU call it) was, back in 1993, the site of Rush Limbaugh’s big Dan’s Bake Sale (for those old enough to remember) and clings to a somewhat business-friendly atmosphere. Of course, CSprings is growing by leaps and bounds and businesses that choose to locate there thrive. (It’s no wonder these two place ahead of the Queen City of the Plains and the Peoples’ Republic of Boulder.)

We at least have to catch up with North Carolina! 😉

– Nick (Colorado Patriot) from HQ.

Gran Torino: Revenge at the Box Office

Although it received no Oscar nominations (probably due to its non-PC theme), Clint Eastwood‘s Gran Torino, one of the best movies of 2008, continues to chug along at the box office, having taken in over $145 million in domestic ticket sales alone.  And this on a budget of $33 million.

Seems that while conservative movies may not resonate with the movers and shakers in Hollywood, when they’re well-made as was this one, they do resonate with audiences.

Another example of the growing disconnect between Hollywood and moviegoers.

Holding Joe Biden’s Family to the Barney Frank Standard

Welcome Instapundit Readers! While you’re here, you might want to check my followup to this post wherein I pose some questions and offer some advice to the Vice President.

During last fall’s presidential campaign, Barney Frank likely served as an inspiration to some bloggers eager to score points with the far left when he became one of “the first Democrats to publicly say Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s family background, including the pregnancy of her unwed teenage daughter, should be fair game for campaign discussion.

If the daughter of a candidate for Vice President is “fair game” for campaign discussion, it follows that the daughter of the sitting Vice President should be “fair game” for political discussion.

Apparently the mainstream media doesn’t think so.

Starting yesterday, Drudge has been linking a number of articles reporting that a “‘friend’ of Vice President Joseph Biden’s daughter, Ashley, is attempting to hawk a videotape that he claims shows her snorting cocaine at a house party this month in Delaware.”  Yet, except for a few New York area papers (Newsday, NY Post, NY Daily News), the “old media” have not picked up on this story.

In an ideal world, this wouldn’t, indeed, likely shouldn’t be news.  But, it seems that whenever the child of a Republican politician is caught up in a scandal, the MSM, following the lead of Democrats like Frank, calls their private lives “fair game.”  Recall how quickly they were in May and June of 2001 to jump on the story of Jenna Bush’s underage drinking escapade.

The story made the cover of People magazine.  And this was drinking not drugs.

Maybe it’s time for Barney to start bullying them, holding them to the standard he set for Biden’s rival for the Vice-Presidency last fall.