Showing posts from February, 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, accord

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

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

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 othe

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 do

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)

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 pol

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 - Conside

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

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

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 'wa

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.

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 democrac

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 ser

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) create

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 p

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 tr

Paternalism and Arrogance... or A Reasonable Compromise?

by: Les Carpenter Rational Nation USA Liberty -vs- Tyranny Visit for breaking news , world news , and news about the economy 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

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 p

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

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 re

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

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 Ente

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-

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 s

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

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