Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Few More Inconvenient Facts (For the Progressives to Choke On)

1) According to the National Center for Health Statistics, black illegitimacy was 19% in 1940. By 2008, it had risen to 72.5%. Wow, I guess that there wasn't "inequality" back in 1940.............2) According to Amity Shlaes's modern masterpiece, "The Forgotten Man", black unemployment was actually LOWER than white unemployment in 1930. Compare that to January 2012, where white unemployment was 7.4% and black unemployment was 13.6% (the black teenage unemployment rate was 38.5%). Wow, I guess that there wasn't "inequality" back in 1930.............3) Back in the 1950s, there were no policeman "patrolling" the hallways of inner-city high schools. There were no assaults on teachers and students and there wasn't even any foul language used. Compare that to Philadelphia today, where there are hundreds of policemen throughout the high schools and where there have been over 4,000 teacher assaults (this, according to the Philadelphia Enquirer) over the past five years. Wow, I guess that there wasn't "inequality" in the 1950s.............4) According to the U.S. Census, nearly 1/3 of those in the lowest economic quintile in 2004 had moved out of that status by 2007. Similarly, and according to the I.R.S., 57% of the people in the lowest quintile in 1996 had moved out of that status by 2005 (nearly 33% having moved up TWO quintiles). Wow, I guess that, while there may in fact be some persistent poverty in America, we're not even remotely as stratified a country after all.

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Smokingly Bad Policy

Another thing that this country desperately needs to do is Social Security disability reform. We currently have far too many mildly handicapped individuals who are fully capable of working (and, in many instances, who ARE working) and who are instead collecting a disability check once a month. It's an absolute drain on the system and, unless we can somehow come to grips with it, the baby-boomers are more than likely going to get screwed in the end............................................................................................Here, folks, is an example of what I'm talking about. I have a friend who suffers from paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, an intermittently irregular heartbeat. Yes, it's kind of a pain in the ass (this, in that it sometimes makes him anxious and tired) but it isn't life-threatening and he's been able to navigate his way through life without a lot of difficulty. Since I've gotten to know him and his condition, I've encountered several other people with the same condition and they're BOTH on disability. And, get this, folks, one of them is a 26 year-old woman who works 26 hours a week....and the only reason that she doesn't work more than that is because it will cut into her disability check. I mean, there is definitely something wrong here. The woman can work 26 hours a week but she can't work 40 hours a week? And she frigging lives with her boyfriend who basically supports her, too. It's an absolute miscarriage of justice, in my opinion..............................................................................................And then there are the drug-addicts and alcoholics who are also collecting. I mean, I know that this is a little bit dicier in that a lot of these people are basically unemployable at a certain point and it probably doesn't serve society to have them out on the street. But they should at least be made to stay sober and/or in treatment as a condition for payment. I mean, just from my own experience, I had a co-worker whose sister was a crack addict and she was still smoking crack while collecting. Seriously, does that sound at all compassionate to you? It sure as hell doesn't sound compassionate to me as a tax-payer, that's for sure.

Painful As It May Be For Some... It Is Time To Think Outside Your Comfort Zone...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Demographics are changing, the inevitable result of a modern and transient world reality. Left to it's old school order the Republican party will cease to be relevant and will die a death created of its own making.

Liberty rings true with a majority of people regardless of race, culture, national origin, religious proclivities, sexual orientation, or the color of purple. The Republican party for some inexplicable reason seems blind to this fact. As a direct result IT will cease to have any relevancy let alone the power all political parties (and ideologies) crave.

Perhaps the leadership of the Republican party would be well served to read the preceding article published here at Rational Nation USA. In so doing you would be doing Socrates proud and you just might preserve your relevancy into the future. The choice is certainly yours.

The choice as I perceive it is to either find a positive way to make the message of liberty and it's inherent connection to limited government relevant to the changing demographics or accept the rising ascendency of statism in America.

Read the following article carefully, casually dismissing nothing as simply left wing platitudes and hyperbole. I assure you if you do you will be acquiescing the high ground to those whom you view as the "enemy" of liberty.

New York Magazine - Of the various expressions of right-wing hysteria that have flowered over the past three years—goldbuggery, birtherism, death panels at home and imaginary apology tours by President Obama abroad—perhaps the strain that has taken deepest root within mainstream Republican circles is the terror that the achievements of the Obama administration may be irreversible, and that the time remaining to stop permanent nightfall is dwindling away.

“America is approaching a ‘tipping point’ beyond which the Nation will be unable to change course,” announces the dark, old-timey preamble to Paul Ryan’s “The Roadmap Plan,” a statement of fiscal principles that shaped the budget outline approved last spring by 98 percent of the House Republican caucus. Rick Santorum warns his audiences, “We are reaching a tipping point, folks, when those who pay are the minority and those who receive are the majority.” Even such a sober figure as Mitt Romney regularly says things like “We are only inches away from no longer being a free economy,” and that this election “could be our last chance.”

The Republican Party is in the grips of many fever dreams. But this is not one of them. To be sure, the apocalyptic ideological analysis—that “freedom” is incompatible with Clinton-era tax rates and Massachusetts-style health care—is pure crazy. But the panicked strategic analysis, and the sense of urgency it gives rise to, is actually quite sound. The modern GOP—the party of Nixon, Reagan, and both Bushes—is staring down its own demographic extinction. Right-wing warnings of impending tyranny express, in hyperbolic form, well-grounded dread: that conservative America will soon come to be dominated, in a semi-permanent fashion, by an ascendant Democratic coalition hostile to its outlook and interests. And this impending doom has colored the party’s frantic, fearful response to the Obama presidency.

The GOP has reason to be scared. Obama’s election was the vindication of a prediction made several years before by journalist John Judis and political scientist Ruy Teixeira in their 2002 book, The Emerging Democratic Majority. Despite the fact that George W. Bush then occupied the White House, Judis and Teixeira argued that demographic and political trends were converging in such a way as to form a ­natural-majority coalition for Democrats.

The Republican Party had increasingly found itself confined to white voters, especially those lacking a college degree and rural whites who, as Obama awkwardly put it in 2008, tend to “cling to guns or religion.” Meanwhile, the Democrats had ­increased their standing among whites with graduate degrees, particularly the growing share of secular whites, and remained dominant among racial minorities. As a whole, Judis and Teixeira noted, the electorate was growing both somewhat better educated and dramatically less white, making every successive election less favorable for the GOP. And the trends were even more striking in some key swing states. Judis and Teixeira highlighted Colorado, Nevada, and Arizona, with skyrocketing Latino populations, and Virginia and North Carolina, with their influx of college-educated whites, as the most fertile grounds for the expanding Democratic base. {Read More}

Preserving liberty and a feeling of self reliance is paramount. The human spirit is, above all else proud and resilient. All humans innately desire freedom and the liberty to self determination. Isn't it time the Republican party looks to the broader and ultimately greater challenges rather than the frothy self righteous pontifications with respect to religious and birth control issues and demonizing all who do not accept their narrow view?

Via: Memeorandum

Socrates, The Socratic Method, and Introspection...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Neoclassical statue of ancient Greek philosopher, Socrates, outside Academy of Athens in Greece

Spent a good share of the day reflecting on various philosophers. Greece has always been one of my favorite cultures, and I particularly enjoy Greek mythology and the great philosophers of the Hellenistic period. I also admit to enjoying Greek food and wine as well as having an attraction to Greek women back in the day.

It seems only natural given the above I should find myself zeroing in on one of the trio of great Greek philosophers, principally Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Mind you I am no expert on these great thinkers of antiquity, other than being humbled by their intellect and wisdom. Aristotle is for me the larger of the three giants. An opinion I am sure many might agree and equally as many might disagree.

Socrates is perhaps best known for his Socratic method of teaching, which is the questioning of others to expose their ignorance or reveal a truth that was (is) implicitly known by all rational individuals. The wisdom of the Socratic method lies in its ability to nudge people to examine their beliefs and though the process knowledge is achieved.

I found myself thinking about the above, engaging in introspection really, because it strikes me as foolish as well as self limiting with respect to gaining knowledge. In the area of politics both the left and the right are so certain of their ideology they have become almost incapable of seeing the forest for the trees.

Politicians and theologians specifically, and the general populace generally need to spend more time in introspective thought and less time being hyper critical of others. This applies to both the left and right leaning individuals. Three Socrates' quotes {my favorites} that I believe are especially apropos today...

To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge.

Let him that would move the world first move himself.

A system of morality which is based on relative emotional values is a mere illusion, a thoroughly vulgar conception which has nothing sound in it and nothing true.

What strikes me is how these are so interrelated and connected. One would be hard pressed to consider them separately or claim one carries more weight than than the others.

It is true that if one's system of morality {or ethics} is based on emotions (raw emotional considerations and values) rather than logic and reason their entire system is corrupted by the irrational inherent in emotions. If one is to develop a rational and consistent system of morality {ethics) it is necessary to gain in knowledge. To grow in knowledge requires first one to admit to themselves they really know little. Which is really to say they need question everything, even long held and cherished beliefs. A person expecting to move the world {Obama or Santorum anyone} indeed must first move themselves through the process of first questioning themselves and the premises upon which their beliefs and principles stand.

Of course people do not have the time to spend their productive hours engaged in the kind of thought and self analysis/introspection the above suggests. However, given the political climate in America today and the resulting wall that has been constructed between the political, economic, and social ideologies it might very well be crucial politicians, theologians, and the general population consider spending a bit of time looking at themselves.

Via: Wikipedia

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Frothy Santorum... Installment #2

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Rick the Frothy One

Once again the Frothy One proves his ignorance of the Constitution as well as uttering foolish and ridiculous remarks. This time referring to JFK's speech with respect to the separation of Church and State... "“makes me want to throw up.”

Politico - Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum says the notion of religion not playing role in politics “makes me want to throw up."

"To say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes me want to throw up. What kind of country do we live in where only people of non-faith can come in the public square and make their case? That makes me throw up. And that should make every American [throw up]," Santorum said on ABC's "This Week."

The former Pennsylvania senator was referring to John F. Kennedy’s famous 1960 speech that argued religion should be separate from politics. "I don't believe in an America where the separation between church and state is absolute," he said.

You're too easy Frothy, and you sure as hell are more than a few cents shy of a dollar bill. Here is what JFK said in his 1960 speech.

Frothy you certainly don't hold a candle to JFK. Not even close.

Via: Memeorandum

Giving Credit (or Blame) Where Credit (or Blame) is Due...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

The outlook for our nation with respect to deficits is not good. Right up front I will acknowledge that former President Bush and his administration is responsibility for really starting the ball rolling towards the fiscal abyss. I'll even go so far to say Obama inherited a messy situation that all rationally thinking individuals realized would require time to clean up.

Three years and one month later things have only marginally improved with respect to deficits. In fact while deficits are projected to decline slightly through 2014 the CBO in its report projects deficits to begin increasing again in 2015 with a 10 trillion increase in the national debt over ten years. These projections are based President Obama's 10 year budget forecast. From Investors Insight.

In the spirit of fairness, I should point out that the national debt increased $4.9 trillion during the eight years that President George W. Bush (43) was in office. By comparison, the national debt has increased by almost $2.5 trillion in less than a year-and-a-half with President Obama in office. Here is the CBO's latest chart depicting the almost $10 trillion that will be added to our national debt over the next 10 years based on Obama's budget forecasts.

To be clear, the darker bars in the chart above represent the CBO's "baseline" deficit projections before Obama released his 10-year budget forecasts back in February. The lighter bars are the deficit projections after Obama's forecasts were released. Take special notice of the magnitude of the deficit increase every year compared to what the CBO previously projected.

It has been said the definition of insanity is doing the same things and expecting different results. So I had to smile when I caught the interview with Chris Van Hollen on Fox News. Defending the the Presidents budget plan that the CBO has projected would increase the deficit and calling it a reduction is well, voodoo economics. As the video has been disabled on request it is not aailable. The link below takes you to the interview.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Rick Santorum Pulls Away From the "Sad" Pack in Alabama...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Rick (Frothy) Santorum

Coming as no surprise Rick (Frothy) Santorum has pulled away from the pack in bible belt Alabama. His frothiness continues to gain ground running as "the will of God" candidate on a platform of extreme social conservatism that is blind to civil liberties and particularity women's rights.

A candidate for pre revolutionary days perhaps, with his head so far up where the sun don't shine while proclaiming he sees light, he is destined to the pile of has beens like Senator McCarthy of old.

From Second Front:

With Alabama’s March 13 primary looking more and more important, Rick Santorum leads the rest of the Republican field in a poll conducted by Alabama State University. Santorum leads with 28 percent of likely GOP primary voters, while Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney trail with 18.9 percent and 18.3 percent, respectively. Texas Congressman Ron Paul was not included in the poll except for a choice for “other.”

Almost a month ago, another poll showed the three candidates were neck-and-neck in a three-way matchup.

Meanwhile, Rep. Robert Aderholt announced Friday that he would endorse Santorum for the nomination.

Read more on the power of "God's will" and the Frothy one.

Via: Memeorandum

What Would Aristotle Say...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Aristotle, the father of logic and reason. I have often wondered what his thoughts would be about the irrational (and devoid of principles) politicians that populate the American political landscape today. Of course we will never know because he has long since been gone from this world and revisionists certainly would bastardize his works with a modern interpretation.

I suppose the only way to get a glimpse of what he might think is through reading his works as translated into English and preserved for modernity. I can tell you reading his works is by no means for the faint of heart. Getting through the reading of his works requires a discipline and scientific mind most fall short of, including yours truly.

Quotes that capture the essence of his profound intellect may be the best way to interest one into delving deeper into the realm that this great philosopher occupied and overshadowed.

Basic Information - Considered one of the most influential of all the Greek philosophers, Aristotle originally was to follow in his father's footsteps, that of physician, until he began to study under Plato. The writings of Aristotle covered the entire circle of knowledge of his time. While many of his works are lost to the ages, his most important ones Organon (or Logic), Rhetoric, Poetics and Meteorology remain. In fact, Organon gave birth to an entirely new science that continues to this day scholastic logic. He also is said to have created the discipline of natural science, introducing the method of animal classification that is still in use.


"Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence"

"A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side."

"Of all the varieties of virtues, liberalism is the most beloved."

"They [Young People] have exalted notions, because they have not been humbled by life or learned its necessary limitations; moreover, their hopeful disposition makes them think themselves equal to great things -- and that means having exalted notions. They would always rather do noble deeds than useful ones: Their lives are regulated more by moral feeling than by reasoning -- all their mistakes are in the direction of doing things excessively and vehemently. They overdo everything -- they love too much, hate too much, and the same with everything else."

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."

"Philosophy is the science which considers truth"

"The most perfect political community is one in which the middle class is in control, and outnumbers both of the other classes."

"Those that know, do. Those that understand, teach."

"Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms."

"Good has two meanings: it means that which is good absolutely and that which is good for somebody."

"Man, when perfected, is the best of animals, but when separated from law and justice, he is the worst of all."

"A state is not a mere society, having a common place, established for the prevention of mutual crime and for the sake of exchange...Political society exists for the sake of noble actions, and not of mere companionship."

"Democracy is when the indigent, and not the men of property, are the rulers."

"Teachers who educate children deserve more honor than parents who merely gave birth; for bare life is furnished by the one, the other ensures a good life"

"It is more difficult to organize a peace than to win a war; but the fruits of victory will be lost if the peace is not organized."

"Inferiors revolt in order that they may be equal, and equals that they may be superior"

"Politicians also have no leisure, because they are always aiming at something beyond political life itself, power and glory, or happiness."

"Man is a goal seeking animal. His life only has meaning if he is reaching out and striving for his goals."

"Some men are just as firmly convinced of what they think as others of what they know"

Just a glimpse into a truly great thinkers mind. There is so much more for those who choose to seek knowledge and truth... If only the politicians and governing elite would do so.

The Values and Principles of Reason...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Having viewed multiple times I find the following video quite good. It clearly lays out ten principles that define classical liberalism, the world view held by the enlightened philosophy and thinkers of of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment.

Mr. Stolyarov was recently asked to attempt a formulation of ten crucial principles of classical liberalism, the worldview which animated the American Revolution, the European Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, and the libertarian revival of free-market thought in the mid-to-late twentieth century. Classical liberalism - even when it is not explicitly espoused - still has considerable residual influence on the political and economic institutions of the Western world and is having an increasing impact outside the West as well. See these principles in essay form here: www.associatedconten ...

For the life of me I cannot understand why for some these basic principles are apparently so difficult to grasp and understand. Beginning with the President of the United States.

On Which Path are We?... (Part #4)

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Rodin - The Thinker

Damn it's awfully tough being a limited government, states right, social libertarian type of guy in this day and age. I mean the more I consider the implications the more I seem to find classical liberalism is at full play. I always knew it I suppose being a history major back in the day when history, as opposed to social studies was still taught.

What I find most perplexing is the people's representatives inability to find some frigging way to identify solutions to the pressing problems of today. As Lord Acton said... ""Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." Well, If Lord Acton was correct we have an abundance of corrupted men, on both sides of the political divide.

Our national problem methinks is that we have few men and women that strive to do the right thing simply because it is right. Regardless of the impact on them and or their "party." Acquiring and retaining power is more important than doing the right thing. Granting favors to a myriad of special interests is one way in which those in power stay in power. And they are willing to bankrupt this country and place it in grave danger to keep their power.

There has really never been a time in my life that I was more concerned about the future well being of our country than I am right now. We are the greatest military power on the face of the earth. As might be expected we seem to find ourselves in a never ending cycle of conflict. Perhaps this is so we can engage the enemy and spread "our superior" way of life. There is something I recall about our wise founding fathers advising to stay clear of foreign entanglements.

Then there is something about wise financial management that the founders recognized and thus warned the nation to follow prudent and sound fiscal policy. They seemed to understand that the federal government should not be the candy store for all and they recognized the wisdom in keeping government limited and controlled. Limited an controlled allows for the expansion of a growing nation. But it does require that brakes be applied as needed o keep the train from running away, out of control.

Of course there is the issue of individual liberties, both secular and religious. The founders in their wisdom set the table to allow for both. They set up a system whereby the we would become a nation of laws rather than of men. They and put into place a judicial system that was intended to perpetuate the new concept of self governance and judicial equality. And they wisely put in place wording that would separate church and governance.

Most of all they overcame many differences of opinion in that long hot summer of 1787 in Philadelphia. Because they were able to do so they successfully established the framework, and the inner workings of what arguably became the best governing system ever devised. Today it seems as though these lessons are lost on our elected representatives and senators. The thirst, indeed the lust for power has invaded the halls of government and it is taking its toll on the nation.

I've rambled on long enough this early Saturday morning, yet thre is so much more to be said. It will wait for another day.

Oh, I almost forgot. The article that got me thinking about this an hour ago can be fund here. It speaks without need of further comment from me. However, please feel free to opine over it's content.

Via: Memeorandum

By the Will of God Santorum Runs...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

It's God's Will

It comes as no surprise. Now that Rick (Sanatorium) Santorum is surging his dutiful and admiring wife has taken to explaining the reason why. It is simply God's will.

The Washington Times - "I personally think this is God's will. I think He has us on a path, and I do think there's a lot more happening than what we're seeing," Karen Santorum told Glenn Beck as she and her husband sat for an interview on his Web-based show, GBTV. "Personally I mean I think Rick's a great guy, and he's really smart and everything. But I think a lot more is happening than what we can actually see."

She said the campaign has been challenging, and said some would "have to be crazy to want" to be president. But she said she and her husband escape that because for them "it's completely a spiritual thing. This is God's will."

"The 'want' is a mission to make the culture a better culture, more pleasing to God," Mrs. Santorum said. "For us it's all about making the world a better place."{Read the Full Article}

Having faith in a personal God is wonderful if it helps to keep you happy. Not everyone of course views God in the same way, in the same light, and there are those who question his existence. Some simply say I don't know but hope there is a God, and some dismiss the slightest possibility of his/her existence.

I guess what the Santorums fail to recognize is the founders insured the right of everyone to worship as they choose. Even in the era of our founding fathers there existed many sects (or denominations) of the Christian faith, all with different traditions and interpretations. James Madison, the primary author of the Constitution, as well as others understood the grave dangers in a state established religion. And they fully understood that faith must, and rightfully so remain a matter of personal choice.

I will acknowledge that Rick Santorum hasn't advocated a state religion. Nor has his wife indicated she thinks he should. However, pondering her statement that it is God's will he run for president begs a simple straight forward question. If this is so is it not reasonable and rational to believe since God has decided that Rick is his/her choice that he/she would want, indeed expect Rick to pursue his personal agenda in all things?

At best the statement made by Mrs. Santorum, as well as some by her husband on the campaign trail, were foolish. What is of concern is these folks really believe what they say. Therefore it is reasonable to believe if elected Rick Santorum would allow his beliefs to color his judgement. After all it would be God's will.

Via: Memeorandum

Friday, February 24, 2012

Bout Sums it UP

I knew someone would find a name for our 2012 election process!

Electile Dysfunction: the inability to become aroused over the choices for President put forth by either party in the 2012 election year.

Some Things Deserve a Second Look...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Sometimes ya have one of those days when it's plainly best to relax and take it easy for a bit. Take the time to recharge the batteries. Peruse the You Tube archives just for the fun of it. Occasionally you come across something worth bring to the surface again. Something that totally speaks for itself... And is no work for the weary.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Can We Keep Our Republic?

by Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

With all the heated rhetoric, misinformation, pandering to gain a step up in the power struggle, and general misunderstanding with respect to our form of government I went searching for some refresher information. There certainly is an abundance of it out there if one is interested in looking.

Getting away from what I am rapidly beginning to view as nothing more than posturing and intentional misrepresentations by candidates of their records (Ron Paul excluded from the group) I decided to post something informational and positive about our system of government. Not only does this give me a break from the negative, hopefully you enjoy the change of pace as well...

aliunde's Channel - There is a reason we refer to "the rule of law and not of men" when discussing the American political system. It is because a republican form of government seeks to restrain the unbridled and quixotic passions of pure democracy, rather than yield to them. It also rejects the desire of the majority in favor of individual rights. Democracy seeks to assert the right of the group, but so does a mob with a hangman's noose.

There's also a reason why lady justice is blindfolded: She is not to see the individuals, interest groups, race, or any characteristic at all of those that plead before her--her proper concern is not directed towards them; her care is to decide the law. It's also why the question of justice as presented before judges is not one of mercy (that belongs in the will of the people as expressed through their representatives in law), but one of exacting only what the law requires be exacted.

The rule of law is all about the removal of arbitrary will from its application. A judge who seeks to apply his own notions of justice and mercy (as opposed to those notions being defined by the people through law) is a judge who seeks to impose arbitrary will in opposition to the rule of law. And it is arbitrary will that is the very definition of tyranny.

If well received I will continue to find and bring to Rational Nation USA more informational material such as this one day each week for awhile.

In closing I leave with a very apropos quote from Thomas Jefferson...

"It has long, however, been my opinion, and I have never shrunk from its expression ... that the germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal Judiciary; an irresponsible body, (for impeachment is scarcely a scare-crow) working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped from the States, and the government of all be consolidated into one." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to Charles Hammond, 1821

Via: Memeorandum

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Time for Santorum to Tank...

by:Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Rick Santorum... reactionary, anti-individual, pro big government, poster boy for the Socon's and big "R" statist republicans, and the candidate who obviously loves to pontificate ad nauseum on how one should lead their life.

Frankly I am tiring quickly of his seemingly never ending and self righteous babble. Really the man deserves little to no attention, especially with respect to anything having to do with governance or the highest office in our land.

Were this man not such a frightening religious ideologue and reactionary statist, in other words a potential threat to our individual and personal liberties I wouldn't waste a moments notice on him. But he is. So until he either drops out of the race for the republican presidential nomination, or he is sent packing to where Neanderthals go to retire, all the information I can find that may convince even a few people of Santorum's unfitness to serve I intend to present on these pages.

Three unflattering videos that present Santorum as he really is. Some may take issue with some of the material and how it is presented. I do as well. This is because there is definite evidence of left leaning statism used in the argument against Santorum. But statism is statism, in this instance the main point is to dissuade people from supporting Santorum. Therefore I made an exception.

Besides, all in all they actually make a case to support Ron Paul. If one is paying attention.

Via: Memorandum

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

On Regulation/Deregulation and the Financial Collapse

a) Investment banks such as Lehman Brothers and Bears Stearns were at the center of the financial crisis and they would have been able to make the same bad investments had the Gramm-Leaech-Bliley Act never even passed.............b) The SEC did change it's rules relative to an investment bank's debt to net-capital ratios (2004). But an analysis of these companies' ratios indicate that in many instances they were actually HIGHER prior to 2004.............c) Spending on financial regulation and the number of pages in the regulation codes were both at an all-time high during the eight years of the Bush administration.............d) The Commodities Futures Modernization Act, while it did allow for the emergence of credit swaps and other such "instruments", it didn't in any way create the original risk to happen - you know, the actual toxic loans themselves.............e) It was the FED (a, HELLO, government entity!!) that (more than likely) created the environment for the housing bubble in the first instance; first by artificially lowering interest rates and secondly by maintaining them at such low levels (causing increased demand for housing and, hence, more debt).............f) It was also the FED (under the auspices of a very bad actor by the name of Alan Greenspan) which created what was essentially a "bailout culture"/"too big to fail" mentality. Fannie and Freddie, Countrywide, Lehman Brothers - they all frigging knew that the taxpayer would come to their rescue. They knew it and, so, they just didn't care.............g) From 1970 to 1995, home ownership in this country was consistently around 64%. By 2005, it had risen to 69%. Based upon the above pieces of information, it's exceedingly hard to see how deregulation caused any of this increase though, yes, I always could be wrong.............h) Now, is this to say that deregulation wasn't a factor AT ALL in the financial collapse? Not necessarily. In fact, folks, the more that I read about this recent history of ours (1995-2008), the more that I really start to question anybody's certainty. But I do think that it's fair to say that the deregulation argument specifically has at least been a trifle oversold.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Ron Paul... The Brightest in the Republican Field

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Ron Paul hitting the ball out of the park once again. Of course being the only constitutional conservative with consistent and rational views in the otherwise sad sack republican field one would expect this to be the case,

Mediaite - Paul seemed almost baffled that everyone has been talking about social issues at a time when he and others are more concerned with preserving basic civil liberties and the economy. But specifically where Santorum was concerned, Paul argued that he’s been a hypocrite for years now.

“He wants to control people’s social lives. At the same time, he voted for Planned Parenthood. I mean, I don’t see how anybody can get away with that inconsistency pretending he’s a conservative. And his voting record is, I think from my viewpoint, an atrocious voting record, how liberal he’s been and all the things he’s voted for over his many years in the Senate and in the House.”

Via: Memeorandum

The Thinker Part #3

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Rodin - The Thinker

I was asked recently by a Rational Nation USA regular about President Obama and if he could possibly be compared to Mao, China's tyrannical and brutal communist leader. After a period given to clarifying my thoughts on the subject I decided to respond. My response I hope reflects intellectual clarity and is absence right leaning hyperbole.

First I will present the question as advanced followed by my response.

The question:

Les, sometimes I wonder if what Obama wants by fairness would ultimately
become very much like it is in Communist countries. China under Mao may be a good example. I never hear anyone comparing it so I wonder if I am far out in left field. Am I?

My response:

Obama is a product of the "democratic socialist" movement. I often use the term statist which essentially means a belief that the state through it's elected representatives and senators has the power to determine the nation's course.

As society has grown, along with it has grown the demands placed on the state by the people. Keep in mind the response to the Great Depression by FDR and the "New Dealers". Add to that Kennedy's "New Frontier" and Johnson's "Great Society" and the stage set long ago has been trending in the natural course one would and should expect.

Republicans, specifically the "neo-cons" (new conservatives) are just as statist and interested in setting the agenda and controlling people through the power of the state as are the "democratic socialists." The difference lies only in that which they wish to control. I am known for saying the difference in the republican and democrat statist is merely the color and shape of their respective mascots.

It is my belief that as bad as Obama may be this nation would be by far worse with either Santorum or Gingrich. Romney would actually, in my opinion be on a par with Obama, in other words were he elected president it would be a wash. Keep in mind here I am referring specifically to statism and that the state should control the reins the power rather than the people.

Back to Obama - "Democratic socialism", which Obama certainly personifies believe in the democratic process of voting and in the rule of law. Obama is no Mao, however his democratic socialist beliefs guide him the direction of collectivism as being a ultimately superior economic system than capitalism. Utopia is still sought after and likely always will be. Irrespective of the reality that it is likely unattainable.

In a nutshell democratic socialism (as it exists in Europe) may very well lead to
what we currently see in countries such as Portugal and Greece. The entities the
people of these nation hold responsible are the governments, yet they still expect more of the same that helped cause the problem in the first place. The US is only
a few years behind them.

Obama is the culmination of many many years of both democratic and republican trough feeding if you will. As we continue towards the economic abyss, and the continuing erosion of our liberties there is much blame to be passed around. Obama is the rightful recipient of some of this blame. To say he is the only one as many people do (I know you don't) is like sticking your head where the sun don't shine and then proclaiming you see light.

I could say much more but this is it for now.

On the heels of this exchange I became involved in a discussion with another Rational Nation USA regular that provided me the opportunity to further expand on the original question and my thoughts.

My response to my reader:

What I don't understand is why the truth pisses people off. The facts are this country has been moving in the fascist/socialist direction for some time. Both liberals and conservatives are responsible and the people have been accepting of socialist programs since FDR. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Prescription drug coverage, etc. Now many expect all this and more. One need only watch OWS and the many who want a free college education... and they really think that is a right.

The democratic party would be more accurately called the Social Democratic party today and given the Republican's current mentality it ought the called the democratic Fascist Republican party, Both more accurately reflect the economic principles they advocate. Socialism and Fascism are both socialist economic models. They simply have different methods of arriving at the same end. Which is greater government regulation of the means of production and control of our personal lives.

I am not pointing fingers and puking up some hyperbole or using tried and try platitudes about how liberals are evil socialists. In fact if I were to use the term evil it would be against Santorum, Gingrich, Perry, et all of the republican party. In fact I have spent more of my time lately (and rightfully so) questioning the validity and integrity of neo-con republican politicians than I have Obama and the democrats. This is not because I think Obama and the democrats are right on all things, or even necessarily that he (they) are doing a good job, although in realty Obama has probably done no worse than GWB, and it is true as well that the republican party has shown little willingness to work with the democrats. There is of course a reason for this, you and I both know what that is.

Yes you do use inflammatory rhetoric as well as anyone I've read and I have been guilty of the same. We both know it is nothing more than red meat for the faithful. Maybe be we are, or have been part of the problem. I'm willing to consider this if you are.

At any rate just call me a classical liberal with strong libertarian leanings, my brother and son (both more more educated than I) tell me I've always been just that. Leave it to youth. Fact is I'm ashamed of what the neo-cons, the socons, and the entire crop of self proclaimed conservatives have done to the real conservative movement. The one that apparently died after Goldwater.

The point of the above is simply this, there is a great deal of anger and worry within the American people and their psyche. The intentionally divisive rhetoric coming out of both major political parties is both unsettling and counter productive. Until such time as We the People demand both the republican and democratic party to cooperate in finding solutions to the pressing economic issues of our time not much will change. As it stands right now, until we do something to force real meaningful change we're simply going to continue to get screwed by those we elect to represent us.

What say you?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sanitorium Santorum

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Proving yet once again he is a man out of touch with the times as well as reality. In fact he is perhaps the most dangerous American politician alive today with respect to scientific inquiry as well as individual rights as as guaranteed in our Constitution.

Excerpts from The Hill article.

Rick Santorum said Sunday that he "wasn't suggesting the president was not a Christian" when he stated on the campaign trail that President Obama's agenda was based on "some phony theology. Not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology."

Rather, Santorum said, he believed that the president held the view of "radical environmentalists" who wanted to shape policy around "things that frankly are just not scientifically proven," like global warming.

And your theological religious beliefs has what basis in science? What a hypocrite.

But despite his comments on the campaign trail Saturday - and earlier suggestions that Obama joined his church in Chicago because "faith is an avenue for power" and that 'the American left… hates Christendom" - Santorum insisted he did not intend to insinuate that the president was not Christian.

"I wasn't suggesting the president was not a Christian. I accept the fact that the president's a Christian," Santorum said.

What a hypocritical liar.

Santorum went on to attack Obama over prenatal screening, arguing that the president's mandate that insurance companies provide amniocentesis testing free of charge was included in the healthcare reform package because health insurers would save money in the long term by encouraging the parents of children who would be born with a disability to abort.

"The bottom line is a lot of prenatal tests are done to identify deformities in uteri and the customary procedure is to encourage abortion," Santorum said.

"We're talking about specifically prenatal testing and specifically amniocentesis which is a procedure that actually creates a risk of having a miscarriage when you have it and is done for the purpose of identifying maladies of a child in the womb," the senator added.

Many have problems with the notion of federally mandated health care Ricky. But just were in the hell is the reasoning that supports your absurdly Neanderthal claim?

"Well, the president supported partial birth abortion and partial birth abortion is a procedure used almost exclusively to kill children late in pregnancy when they've been found out to be disabled," Santorum said.

Partial birth abortion is beyond the shadow of a doubt immoral and reprehensible if used as a means of birth control or convenience. Most all would agree. What if however there is a circumstance(s) that may actually have a ethical and rational justification? More to the point Rick, where is your rationale to justify your otherwise absurd statement with respect to the President's position? In case you (and those like you) have forgotten the President has two lovely daughters I am quite sure he loves very much. Therefore isn't it reasonable and rational to believe he has thought about the same issues any loving parent has considered?

Santorum is nothing more than a pontificating hypocritical liar deserving of being sent to wherever Neanderthals go to find solace in their lack of knowledge and ability to think rationally.

Via: Memeorandum

Paternalism and Arrogance... or A Reasonable Compromise?

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

A very interesting segment. Santorum, as we've grown to expect throwing out the red meat (to the "faithful") while Ryan shows some class. The issue of health care mandates should be viewed and judged solely on the constitutionality, or lack thereof.

Transcript from The Hill article.

What say you?

Via: Memeorandum

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Reagan and Clinton Viewed as Outstanding Recent Presidents By Americans

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Beyond leftist hyperbole about President Regan as one of the nation's worst Presidents 69% of Americans believe he was either outstanding or above average. President Clinton is viewed by 60% of Americans in the same category. History is often the best judge, and the American people have spoken.

PRINCETON, NJ -- Americans believe history will judge Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton as the best among recent U.S. presidents, with at least 6 in 10 saying each will go down in history as an above-average or outstanding president. Only about 1 in 10 say each will be remembered as below average or poor. Three years into Barack Obama's presidency, Americans are divided in their views of how he will be regarded, with 38% guessing he will be remembered as above average or outstanding and 35% as below average or poor. {Read More}

Unfortunately given the current incumbent and those hoping to challenge him prospects for the future aren't looking all too bright.

Via: Memeorandum

Friday, February 17, 2012

Just Doing my Share Rick...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Rick Santorum. A modern day Neanderthal passing himself off as a modern conservative (whatever that means) when he is in fact a neo-con statist, big government spender, evangelical fundie, saber rattling advocate for the MIC, and more than happy to moralize about how everyone should lead their lives.

So today I received an unsolicited e-mail from Ricky (the Rickster) Santorum's campaign here at Rational Nation. The letter of course is replete with the usual boilerplate hyperbole. Long on gibberish and short on anything of substance. Typical of the republican majority methinks.

Anyway, because Mr. Santorum saw fit to ask my support I feel it only appropriate I do my part in passing on his message. Because the more people who are exposed to his shallowness the more that will make the right decision.

America needs strong leaders of character. Leaders who understand our nation was founded by great classical liberal thinkers, not the backward thinking shallow mindedness of individuals who held to traditional hidebound ideologies of the time. Mr. Santorum, represents the later.

Here now is Mr. Santorum's plea:

Dear Patriot,

This is where we wanted to be. We have planned and strategized in preparation for this very moment. We have demonstrated that we can unite Conservatives and win states- even states that Mitt Romney won four years ago.

Now, according to a new poll from Public Policy Polling, I am LEADING Mitt Romney nationwide by a double digit margin.

Here are the results:

Santorum 38%

Romney: 23%

Gingrich 17%

Paul 13%

We know this race has seesawed back and forth so we don't expect for a moment that Romney and his allies in the liberal media are going to let us stay there.

But this does confirm what we already knew: we are picking up momentum and are in the right place to take advantage of it. We have a strategy that has produced victories and can win us the Republican nomination. And we need to keep it going.

Will you help us?

This poll comes on the heels of three huge wins last week in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri. Conservatives across the country are coming together and uniting behind this campaign.

Everything is going our direction for the moment, but that's the very reason we can't let up--the Romney campaign is starting to get desperate. Governor Romney does not have a consistent record of conservatism that he can run on. Because of that, he can't talk about his story and will instead spend tens of millions of dollars in negative, dishonest, personal attacks on my record and my character.

I saw what Mitt Romney did to Newt Gingrich after he lost South Carolina. Romney is right now making plans to do the same thing to me in Michigan--carpet bomb the state with dishonest ads. We need to be ready so we can fight back!

That's not going to be good enough to defeat President Obama. The GOP standard bearer must convey a clear vision of Reagan Conservatism to the American people if we are going to win this election. Running an inauthentic, Massachusetts moderate is not going to fire up conservatives, and it's not going to appeal to independents. We can't do it if we're going to defeat President Obama.

Every four years, people say, “this is the most important election of our lifetime” I think that's true this year, but I'll go even farther than that: this is the most important election in American history.

President Obama's vision for this country is to fundamentally change us from a free market, capitalist system to a Republic in the mold of the faded, decrepit Republics of Western Europe. We simply cannot allow four more years of this.

We are winning elections and the polls are all trending our way. I am going to win the Republican Nomination for President and defeat Barack Obama. But it's not going to happen without your help, right now. Not tomorrow, not next week. Right now.

Let's get it done!

For America,

Rick Santorum

There is one thing Santorum is correct on. We need to defeat President Obama, not because he is some great "bogeyman" that is out to destroy America and what it stands for. Rather we need to replace him with someone who understands economic reality and what constitutes reasonable, fiscally responsible government. A government that really works to insure the rights of all individuals are safeguarded. Especially that the rights of the minority are not trampled by the tyranny of the majority. In Ron Paul we have such a man.

I really believe Santorum will fade just as all the rest of the intellectually challenged field has done. Unfortunately the media, the conservative establishment and the liberal establishment have, and will continue to make sure Ron Paul is marginalized and brushed aside. Of course this is because his brand of liberty threatens their power. Just as the classical liberal Patriots of 1776 threatened Britain's.

Replacing a statist with another statist of merely a different color mascot still leaves the nation with a statist at the helm. Santorum, Gingrich, and even Romney are just a differ brand than Obama.

Via: Memeorandum


Just ran across a article in The Hill about Santorum that while not surprising, certainly does add one more reason to hope he returns to Pennsylvania, and soon. He apparently would like to see gains made by women over the last forty years negated. His reason, well you be the judge.

Republican congressional hopeful Martha McSally, who is running for the House seat recently vacated by Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), said Rick Santorum’s remarks about women in combat made her want to “kick him in the jimmy.”

McSally is a retired Air Force colonel and combat veteran.

Santorum has said that he has “concerns about women in frontline combat.”

“I think that could be a very compromising situation,” Santorum said on CNN last week. “Where people naturally, you know, may do things that may not be in the interests of the mission because of other types of emotions that are involved.”

Speaking Friday on Fox News, McSally called this view “completely out of touch.”{read More}

Thoughts From the Past... Relevant Today

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs - Tyranny

Thomas Jefferson -  Third President of the United States (1801 - 1809)

Having a reflective day. In the sense one can learn from the champions of reason, regardless of their religious tendencies, or lack thereof. And, regardless of the era in which they lived.

Jefferson was a deist, as were many of the classical liberal thinkers that helped found our republic. While the belief in a "Creator" of the universe {and all that exists in it}, was held to be true the founders recognized the extremely personal and individual nature one has with their creator. They took great lengths to insure the relationship remain personal by keeping the federal government separate and apart from religion while insuring religious freedom and diversity.

It would be well if today's socons, fundies, The Church, republican politicians, and anyone else who thinks it okay government is influenced by religion to spend some time reflecting on, and understanding the reasons why Jefferson and others of his time thought and acted as they did. We should all be thankful for their example and wisdom.

Certainly Santorum needs to do so.

Positive Atheism's Big List of Thomas Jefferson Quotations:

May it [the Declaration of Independence] be to the world, what I believe it will be, (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all,) the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government. That form which we have substituted, restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion. All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God. These are grounds of hope for others. For ourselves, let the annual return of this day [July 4th] forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them....
-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Roger C Weightman, June 24, 1826, Jefferson's last letter, declining, due to ill health, an invitation to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the signing of that document; Jefferson died ten days later, the very day ot the 50th anniversary of the Declaration's signing (John Adams died a few hours later, not knowing that Jefferson had also died)

The 'Wall of Separation,' Again:

Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person's life, freedom of religion affects every individual. Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the "wall of separation between church and state," therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.

We have solved, by fair experiment, the great and interesting question whether freedom of religion is compatible with order in government and obedience to the laws. And we have experienced the quiet as well as the comfort which results from leaving every one to profess freely and openly those principles of religion which are the inductions of his own reason and the serious convictions of his own inquiries.
-- Thomas Jefferson, to the Virginia Baptists (1808) ME 16:320. This is his second kown use of the term "wall of separation," here quoting his own use in the Danbury Baptist letter. This wording of the original was several times upheld by the Supreme Court as an accurate description of the Establishment Clause: Reynolds (98 US at 164, 1879); Everson (330 US at 59, 1947); McCollum (333 US at 232, 1948)

The impious presumption of legislators and and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavoring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world and through all time: That to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical;...
-- Thomas Jefferson, expressing concern over the authoritarian interpretation of religious views, and advocating, rather, that states allow an individual to use her or his own reason to establish or settle these opinions, in the opening passage to Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1786), quoted from Merrill D Peterson, editor, Thomas Jefferson: Writings (1984), page 346

Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must approve the homage of reason rather than of blind-folded fear. Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of its consequences.... If it end in a belief that there is no god, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise and in the love of others it will procure for you.
-- Thomas Jefferson, to Peter Carr, 10 August 1787. (capitalization of the word god is retained per original)

I concur with you strictly in your opinion of the comparative merits of atheism and demonism, and really see nothing but the latter in the being worshiped by many who think themselves Christians.
-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Richard Price from Paris, January 8, 1789. (Price had said, "There has been in almost all religions a melancholy separation of religion from morality." Surely Jefferson is using the word atheism as a synonym for wickedness or immorality; this was a common and accepted usage of the word 200 years ago. -- Cliff Walker)

It has been said ignorance is bliss.

It has also been said the truth will set you free. It takes education and a active mind to overcome ignorance before you find truth so it can set you free.

The choice, like religion belongs to each individual.

A Return to the "Dark Ages"... And the Back Alley

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Those darn dark ages must have been good after all. Because it sure seems as though republican socons (and the churches) are rushing headlong in that backwards direction. Rational and sensible individuals will need to stay vigilant and work hard to insure they don't lose their liberties to the pontificating moralists that believe they are doing Gods work.

While there must be reasonable limits with respect to abortion Oklahoma's "Personhood Act" is over the top. Thankfully Oklahoma, and a handful of other states are not representative of the nation at large.

(Reuters) - Oklahoma lawmakers edged closer toward trying to outlaw abortion on Wednesday by approving "personhood" legislation that gives individual rights to an embryo from the moment of conception.

The Republican-controlled state Senate voted 34-8 to pass the "Personhood Act" which defines the word person under state law to include unborn children from the moment of conception.

The measure now goes to the state House where pro-life Republicans outnumber Democrats by more than a 2-1 margin.

Oklahoma's Republican Governor Mary Fallin, who signed every anti-abortion bill sent to her last year, did not issue a reaction to the latest right-to-life measure.

"Oklahoma is a conservative pro-life state-we are proud to stand up for what we know is right," Senate Pro Tempore President Brian Bingman, a Republican, said.

"This bill is one of many Senate Republicans have advanced which affirms the right to life and I am proud to support it," he added.

The Oklahoma legislation cleared the state Senate a day after Republican lawmakers in Virginia's House of Delegates passed a similar personhood measure.

Republican senate leaders said the Oklahoma bill is patterned after a similar law in Missouri that was determined to be constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.

State Senator Brian Crain, who backed the bill, said it would not hamper access to contraception or prevent stem cell research.

But Martha Skeeters, president of the Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, said that a state law declaring that life begins at conception could have "dire consequences."

The bill offers no exceptions in the case of a pregnancy resulting from rape or incest and could mean some forms of contraception such as the "morning after pill" would be unavailable, she said.

Doctors who perform in vitro fertilization procedures also will be unlikely to continue for fear of prosecution, she added.

"It's a sad day for people in Oklahoma when the Legislature puts them in harm's way," said Skeeters.

Via: Memeorandum

The Past, The Present, and our Future... Unless

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Awesome! Isn't it?

Just who's the blame? Who's accountable? Bush? Obama? The Devil? Those deregulating big "R" statist Republicans? Those tax and spend American hating big "D" even bigger statists? Maybe Santorum and the Evangelicals and Catholics just didn't pray enough?

All snark and kidding aside folks, pointing the bony finger of blame ain't gonna fix the very real and threatening economic disaster looming just over the horizon. Wouldn't it be a really novel approach if intelligent and duly elected representatives and senators sat down and worked the problems through? With the though in mind of actually coming up with solutions of course.

Oh, that right. If the 535 plus 100 were intelligent they would have already been doing just that. So, I'm wondering... Has anybody looked in the mirror of late?

Just follow this link to the informative article from The Enterprise Blog for details.

Via: Memeorandum

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bush (43) - The Great Deregulator?

"The Bush Administration's eight long years of failed deregulation policies have resulted in our nation's largest bailout ever, leaving the American taxpayers on the hook potentially for billions of dollars." This, folks, is what former House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, said in 2009...........................................................................................Hm, kind of matches up nicely with conventional wisdom, doesn't it; a big, bad Republican President laying the hammer down, bringing the country down with him? The only problem, of course, is that it's total bull-crap. Yep, folks, you can blame President Bush for a whole litany of things (2 unnecessary wars, out of control discretionary spending, burgeoning deficits, etc.) but deregulation flat-out just isn't one of them...........................................................................................a) The main pieces of deregulation most frequently cited; the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and the Commodities Futures Modernization Act, were both passed and signed into law before Mr. Bush ever became President, b) the budget for financial regulation actually went up and up significantly (the SEC budget, for example, went up from 357 million to a whopping 629 million - this, according to a study by Washington University, St. Louis and George Mason University) under the fellow, c) the codes of Federal regulation actually reached an all-time high of over 75,000 pages during Bush's tenure, and d) Mr. Bush supported and signed into law, Sarbanes-Oxley, a highly REGULATORY piece of regulation. NONE of any of this points to Mr. Bush as a deregulator.....................................................................................................The bottom-line here, people, is that Mrs. Pelosi is either lying or she's an idiot. And, please, get this, too. Pelosi was actually one of the 153 House Democrats who voted for Gramm-Leach-Bliley back in 1999. She frigging voted for it!...I mean, come on, does it get any better than this or what?

The Problem with Conservatism...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Today's conservatives often line up behind Ayn Rand's legacy and use her as the shining example of that which they profess to believe. Using her strong support of capitalism she has become a political tool many republicans use in a disingenuous ploy to further their crony capitalism.

Liberals have typically held very low opinions of Ayn Rand, in fact she was often reviled by many liberals of her day, as well as today's contemporary progressives. This of course is due, at least in part, to liberals tendency to believe in, and support a growing statism.

Rand was, above all else fiercely individualistic. She held that Aristotle, the father of reason was arguably the worlds greatest philosopher. And she viewed reason as the only absolute. While understanding the United States of America's system as devised and implemented by our founder's was imperfect, she nonetheless saw it as the best and most just system the world had ever seen.

In a nutshell Ayn Rand could, and should be understood from the context of true classical liberalism.

My purpose today is certainly not to judge, or advocate Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism. Rather it is to clarify her beliefs with respect to the conservative movement. The video being presented was done in the 1960's. While viewing it today I was struck by the accuracy of her criticisms, particularly with respect to contemporary conservatives (republicans). Her criticism of liberals have validity as well.

Growth often comes from questioning, and challenging the paradigms one hold as truth. Rand, if nothing else seems to have understood the fallacies inherent in conservatism during her life. These same issues plague the conservative movement today. Perhaps more so than ever.

For anyone interested in learning more about Ayn Rand, her philosophy and writings here is a good source.

Via: Memeorandum

Footnote: It is likely Ayn Rand, of the four remaining republican candidates hoping to get the opportunity to unset President Obama, would find only Ron Paul as plausible. Even given that she would not find him ideal (perfect). Any more than I or other rational supporters do.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

For Those Who Value Freedom of Choice and Personal Liberty Santorum is One Frightening Dude... Irrespective of Party Affiliation

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

It has been said that the basic difference between the republican party and the democratic party is this... the democratic party wants to control your wallets and or pocketbooks, the republican party your personal life, particularly your sex life.

The party professing the moral high ground also just happens to be a party of hypocrites. Frankly the truth is... well, there is truth in the foregoing observation if it is modified just a bit.

Both parties want into the wallets and pocketbooks of the citizenry, They both will willing spend money we don't have, the difference is in the detail. Democrats want to expand social legislation and programs and pay for it by increased taxation. Republicans want the greatest world police force and military and will pay for it through borrowing. Neither are averse to deficit Keynesian spending when it fits their agenda. Either way the country continues its reckless descent towards the abyss.

Barry Goldwater said, and I paraphrase, effective governance demands compromise. It seems many in Washington (perhaps most), as well as those in the general population are tone deaf to Goldwater's words. The result? Our country has paid, and is paying a heavy toll. One that will ultimately rest on the shoulders of our children and grandchildren.

It seems republicans and conservatives, especially the socons {ie: social conservatives, evangelical fundamentalists et all} have decided because of their unique and close relationship with God, and therefore their privileged understanding of his desires for us all, ought to be the ones determining the nations morality. Based of course on religion. Specifically their religion.

Rick Santorum is just one glaring, and very frightening example of this mindset. A mindset that is uncompromising, sometimes irrational, and certainly with ideas of controlling and limiting the right of every individual to lead their personal lives as they see fit. Even when they are injuring no one and are respecting the rights of others.

Excerpt from an interview Santorum gave last October. From Caffeinated Thoughts an Evangelical blog.

One of the things I will talk about that no President has talked about before is I think the dangers of contraception in this country, the whole sexual libertine idea. Many in the Christian faith have said, “Well, that’s okay. Contraception’s okay.”

It’s not okay because it’s a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be. They’re supposed to be within marriage, they are supposed to be for purposes that are, yes, conjugal, but also [inaudible], but also procreative. That’s the perfect way that a sexual union should happen. We take any part of that out, we diminish the act. And if you can take one part out that’s not for purposes of procreation, that’s not one of the reasons, then you diminish this very special bond between men and women, so why can’t you take other parts of that out? And all of a sudden, it becomes deconstructed to the point where it’s simply pleasure. And that’s certainly a part of it—and it’s an important part of it, don’t get me wrong—but there’s a lot of things we do for pleasure, and this is special, and it needs to be seen as special.

Again, I know most Presidents don’t talk about those things, and maybe people don’t want us to talk about those things, but I think it’s important that you are who you are. I’m not running for preacher. I’m not running for pastor, but these are important public policy issues. These how profound impact on the health of our society.

Rick Santorum is just one example of what is meant by... the republican party and socons want to control your personal life, particularly your sex life.

If given only the choice between Santorum (or one like him) sitting in the top most powerful job in the nation, or a reasonable, rational, and responsible liberal I believe I know what the obvious choice must be.

I simply value my personal liberty and freedom of choice way too much to move backwards in time or approach the tyranny that theocracy has rendered wherever i has gained control of the levers of governance.

Via: Memeoandum

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

On Noam Chomsky

His department at M.I.T. is funded by the Pentagon. He makes people pay for his "property rights". He hangs around and sympathizes with Holocaust deniers. He constantly denigrates Israel while giving Islamic oppressors (this bull-crap currently going on in Syria, for instance) a total pass. He's accused our current duly elected President of being a war criminal who should be dragged in front of a Nuremberg caliber tribunal. He often refers to himself as an "American dissident" and compares himself to dissidents of the old Soviet Union. He's expressed admiration for the type of socialism practiced in Vietnam. He was an apologist for the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia. And he presently lives in a community that has a minority population of 1%. Oh, yeah, the schmuck's a total national treasure.

When Conservatism Was a Force With a Rational Center...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

There was a time when the conservative movement had a cogent message. Of course the leadership of the movement acted like, well, leaders if you can still imagine that in this day and age. There are many who would say Ronald Reagan was the last great conservative. Given the crop of whatever you might call today's so called conservatives I suppose there is some truth to it. On the other hand there are some, like me who would say Barry Goldwater was the last great conservative. I'm betting if you were to talk with knowledgeable and scholarly people about this you might be surprised, those who would pick Reagan anyway. But there's no sense in quibbling as both were great men in their own right and their own way.

Given the growing, and ill advised influence of the socons (social conservatives) on our national political scene I thought the following from Senator Goldwater is highly appropriate at this time. I also should point out that the short quote was provided by Infidel753 a progressive blogger who on this issue conservatives should be very hard pressed to disagree with.

“Mark my words, if and when these preachers get control of the {Republican} party, and they are sure trying to do so, it’s doing to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.”

Republican Barry Goldwater

Not that it will do any good to point out what Senator Goldwater thought, or what millions of reasonable and rational people think today. That holier than thou attitude that shelters the "really" faithful from reason and reality just can't be penetrated. After all it's their safeguard against what they perceive as corrupting influences all around them.

Via: WikipediA

Via: The Conscience of a Conservative