Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Three Part Series on Individualism -vs- Collectivism...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
-vs- Tyranny

I found the following series interesting and informative. A good refresher for those who have thought about the distinctions between individualism and collectivism, and a great intro for those who may not have heretofore spent the time in these considerations.

Part Two

Part Three

For anyone interested more can be found by going to You Tube and typing in Individualism -vs- Collectivism. Good hunting!

Justice Kennedy, the Tie Breaker?...

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

Anthony Kennedy, SCJ

{National Review}- Since the retirement of Sandra Day O’Connor, Swingin’ Anthony Kennedy has been the swingingest swinger on the Supreme Court, the big Numero Cinco on all those 5–4 white-knuckle nail-biting final scores. So naturally Court observers have been paying close attention to his interventions in the Obamacare oral arguments. So far he doesn’t sound terribly persuaded by the administration’s line:

This reminds me of a friend and business associate that at one time was on the Board of Selectmen in a small town. The board was comprised of three selectmen and as the other two on the board always took opposites positions on almost every issue it essentially left my friend in control of the political agenda in the town.

Talk about about having all the power. This is precisely the position Justice Kennedy will find himself in should the remaining justices split four and four. Certainly yjr position to in for those desirouds of controlling the balance of power on any given issue.

“The government is saying that the federal government has a duty to tell the individual citizen that it must act, and that is different from what we have in previous cases, and that changes the relationship of the federal government to the individual in a very fundamental way.” As John Hinderaker wrote at the Powerline blog, “In that last observation, Kennedy seems to be channeling Mark Steyn.” Which is true. As I wrote in National Review only two or three issues back, “I’ve argued for years in these pages that governmentalized health care fundamentally transforms the relationship between citizen and state in ways that” — and here’s the bit Justice Kennedy isn’t quite on board with yet — “make it all but impossible to have genuinely conservative government ever again.” So I’m naturally heartened to hear him meeting me halfway. This was one of the highlights of a week that a shell-shocked Jeffrey Toobin, crawling out from under the rubble of the solicitor general’s presentation, told CNN viewers was “a train wreck” for the government’s case.

Indeed. As Obama knows only too well, once thge government gas control of the the healthcare of it's citizens all else is secondary. I mean REALLY secondary.

And yet, and yet . . . If you incline to the view that Obamacare is a transformative act, isn’t there something slightly pitiful about the fact that the liberties of over 300 million people hinge on the somewhat whimsical leanings of just one man? I mean, Kennedy seems a cheery enough cove, but who died and made him the all-powerful Sultan of Swing? “It is a decision of the Supreme Court,” explained Nancy Pelosi a few years back in more congenial times for the Democrats. “So this is almost as if God has spoken.”

That’s not how earlier Americans saw it: “If the policy of the government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court,” wrote Abraham Lincoln, “the people will have ceased to be their own rulers.”

Which they have. Or it would not have come to this.

Certainly the Affordable Care Act, aka: ObamaCare is one of those transformaive pieces of legislation with far reaching ramifications for the future of individual liberties in this, the Land of Liberty.

Obama is acutely aware of these dynamics. So is Justice Kennedy. And that precise point all liberty minded Americans are aware of.

If some "pundits of the SCOTUS" have it correct lets us all hope that Justice Kennedy's best instincts prevail.

Read the rest.

Via: Memeorandum

Friday, March 30, 2012

Paul Ryan Endorses Romney...

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

Representative Paul Ryan, one of the republican party conservative heavyweights has endorsed Mitt Romney. Coming on the heels of endorsements from George H.W. Bush and Marco Rubio it is becoming clear that principles are out the window and pragmatism is the order of the day.

Washington (CNN) - Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin endorsed Mitt Romney on Friday, ahead of his state's Tuesday primary.

The chairman of the House Budget Committee said Romney is the best person to serve as president and the candidate most likely to beat President Barack Obama in the general election.

I am convinced that Mitt Romney has the skills, the tenacity, the principles, the courage and the integrity to do what it takes to get America back on track," Ryan said on Fox News. "I believe he is the right person for the job."

He also called on conservatives to "coalesce" around the former Massachusetts governor.

"I think we're entering a phase where it could become counterproductive if this drags on much longer," Ryan said.

The announcement came four days before his state's GOP primary and one day after the budget he helped craft passed in the House. {Read More}

Via: Memeorandum

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Breyer's Ramblings...

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

Associate Justice Stephen Breyer

Associates Justice Breyer's ramblings during oral arguments on ObamaCare, aka; the Affordable Care Act.

I look back into history, and I think if we look back into history we see sometimes Congress can create commerce out of nothing. That's the national bank, which was created out of nothing to create other commerce out of nothing. I look back into history, and I see it seems pretty clear that if there are substantial effects on interstate commerce, Congress can act.

And I look at the person who's growing marijuana in her house, or I look at the farmer who is growing the wheat for home consumption. This seems to have more substantial effects.

Is this commerce? Well, it seems to me more commerce than marijuana. I mean, is it, in fact, a regulation? Well, why not? If creating a bank is, why isn't this?

And then you say, ah, but one thing here out of all those things is different, and that is you're making somebody do something.

I say, hey, can't Congress make people drive faster than 45 -- 40 miles an hour on a road? Didn't they make that man growing his own wheat go into the market and buy other wheat for his -- for his cows? Didn't they make Mrs. -- if she married somebody who had marijuana in her basement, wouldn't she have to go and get rid of it? Affirmative action?

That's the national bank, which was created out of nothing to create other commerce out of nothing.

I say, hey, can't Congress make people drive faster than 45 -- 40 miles an hour on a road?

Didn't they make that man growing his own wheat go into the market and buy other wheat for his -- for his cows?

Didn't they make Mrs. -- if she married somebody who had marijuana in her basement, wouldn't she have to go and get rid of it?

I have given up trying to make sense of Justice Breyer's ramblings. It sounds as though Associate Justice Breyer is ready for retirement from the SCOTUS.

Or, perhaps those with a more liberal mind could help us to understand his ramblings.?

Via: Memeorandum

Blumberg on Vigilantes...

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

(CBS News) -- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Thursday that Florida's so-called "Stand Your Ground" law which allows those who feel threatened to use deadly force against a would be attacker is counterproductive to keeping members of the community safe.

"It doesn't make any sense because you don't want people being vigilantes," Bloomberg said in an interview with "CBS This Morning" when he was asked about the law that has come under fire in the wake of the shooting of an unarmed 17-year-old, Trayvon Martin.

"They don't have the training. They don't have the expertise. There is no oversight. That is the police department's job," Bloomberg said. {Read More}

My point exactly.

Bloomberg makes some valid economic points in the first five minutes minutes of the video, the question relative to the Trayvon Martin case is picked up at the five minute and ten second mark.

What say you

Via: Memeorandum

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Greatest President Who Never Was...


Al Smith

I can't prove it, folks, and I probably shouldn't assert it, either. But, in my opinion, if Al Smith (a pro-business, non-Keynesian, free-trading, anti-prohibition Democrat) had been elected President in 1928, and reelected in 1932, we probably wouldn't have had a Great Depression. Yes, perhaps we still would have had a downturn and a significant correction in the stock market, but NOTHING like we ended up with during the Hoover and Roosevelt years.......I'm telling you here, people, this man was just too smart to have made the same mistakes that those two fellows did; idiotic levels of deficit spending, monstrously high tax increases, one experiment upon another into the private sector.......Gee willikers, I wonder if there's any of his DNA left.

Sixty Eight Percent Disapprove of Obama's Handling Of Gas Price Increases...

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

Reuters - Sixty-eight percent disapprove and 24 percent approve of how Obama is responding to price increases that have become one of the biggest issues in the 2012 presidential campaign.

In the past month, U.S. fuel prices have jumped about $0.30 per gallon to about $3.90 and the Republicans seeking to replace the Democrat in the November 6 election have seized upon the issue to attack his energy policies.

The disapproval reaches across party lines, potentially spelling trouble for Obama in the election, although the online survey showed voters hold oil companies or foreign countries more accountable than politicians for the price spike.

"Obama is getting heat for it but people aren't necessarily blaming him for it," said Chris Jackson, research director for Ipsos public affairs.

Majorities of Republicans, Democrats and independents all disapprove of the president's handling of gas prices, according to the online poll of 606 Americans conducted March 26-27.

Eighty-nine percent of Republicans said they disapproved, as did 52 percent of Democrats and 73 percent of independents.

"People are unhappy that they are having to pay $3.90 a gallon. They want somebody to be able to lash out at and the president is as good a person as anybody," Jackson said.


The most common reason cited by voters of all political stripes for the rising cost was oil company greed (emphasis mine. {Read More}

I am not sure how 5.31 to 8.42 percent profit margins constitutes "greed." But then again somebody needs to be the bad guy and singled out. Right?

Hey, maybe if the ObamaCare individual mandate ultimately prevails in the SCOTUS government could find a way to mandate the maximum profit margins entire industries and individual companies within a given industry would be allowed to realize.

Via: Memeorandum

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

As the Nation Braces Itself...

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

Trayvon Martin, a 17 year old Floridian approaching manhood was shot and killed last month in Sanford. Initial reports left little doubt in the mind of most that a grave injustice had been committed.

George Zimmerman, a 26 year old community watch member after being told by the police officer who answered his call not to follow Trayvon chose to ignore police advice. Shortly after Trayvon lay dead from bullet wounds inflicted by Zimmerman's weapon.

Trayvon was armed with his own physical stature, a cup of iced tea, and a bag of skittles.

This case has inflamed the passions of a nation. As it well should. A young man's life was snuffed out because of the unconfirmed suspicions of one man who may or may not be a racist but most assuredly in ignoring police advice took the law into his own hands.

Since the story broke nationally last week America is once again experiencing the strain of racial tensions and divisiveness. Tensions are being fed by both the right and the left, white and black. Rather than focusing on bringing clarity to the circumstances the night Feb. 26th, and finding the full truth so that justice is swift swiftly and properly served, certain members of our society now seem more interested in destructive pursuits rather than healing.

I shall say no more as those who have visited my site know my position based on what I believe is significant.

Looking at several reports today I could not help but be saddened by what I saw. Perhaps from the divisive rhetoric, that at times seems almost hateful, some good may eventually come of it.


Former NAACP leader accuses Sharpton and Jackson of ‘exploiting’ Trayvon Martin

CNN poll: Majority call for arrest in Trayvon Martin shooting

Multiple suspensions paint complicated portrait of Trayvon Martin

Police: Zimmerman says Trayvon decked him with one blow then began hammering his head

Limbaugh On Trayvon Martin Case: ‘These Are Political Opportunities’ For The Left, ‘No Compassion In That’

CNN Reports ‘Black Panthers’ Offering Bounty On Trayvon Killer George Zimmerman

Jesse Jackson says Trayvon Martin ‘murdered and martyred’

An Unfortunate T-Shirt Hits Florida Streets In Wake Of Trayvon Martin Killing

Via: Memeorandum

PS: When did the superfluous and irrelevant become newsworthy?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Robert Reich... Getting it Partially Right

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

I am not now, nor have I ever been one who believed Robert Reich is what the left views him to be. He is more often than not wrong. But even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

Capitalism is under attack as never before, and the reason is directly attributable to those who occupy corporate boardrooms and the shady halls of Washington's power brokers.

Both Corporate America and the American Government suffer from a great lack of understanding what constitutes proper ethics and ethical behavior. Rather than acting in their long range rational self interests they act short range, shortsighted, and in ways that is detrimental to business, the people who keep the economic engines running, and the nation in general.

Robert Reich, former President Bill Clinton's Secretary of Labor has an article worth considering. At least in part.

Real Clear Politics - Morality crisis is in the boardrooms, not bedrooms

Robert Reich, © 2012 Robert Reich

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Republicans have morality upside down. They're condemning same-sex marriage, abortion, access to contraception and the wall separating church and state.

But the moral crisis in America isn't a breakdown in private morality. It's a breakdown in public morality. What Americans do in their bedrooms is their own business. What corporate executives and Wall Street financiers do in boardrooms and executive suites affects all of us.

We're living through a new Gilded Age of financial fraud and conflicts of interest; exorbitant pay to executives, traders and hedge-fund and private-equity managers; tax loopholes that allow them to pay a lower rate than many middle-class Americans; and legalized bribery of public officials through unlimited campaign "donations."

Greg Smith, the former Goldman Sachs vice president who created a furor with a stinging public rebuke of the firm for putting its own profits before the interests of its clients, would have seen the same practices anywhere on the Street.

The problem isn't excessive greed. If you took the greed out of Wall Street, all you'd have left is pavement. The problem is endemic abuse of power and trust.

Political scientist James Q. Wilson, who died a few weeks ago, noted that a broken window left unattended signals that no one cares if windows are broken. It becomes an ongoing invitation to throw more stones at more windows, ultimately undermining the moral standards of the entire community.

The windows Wall Street broke in the years leading up to the crash of 2008 remain broken. Despite financial fraud on a scale not seen in this country for more than 80 years, not a single executive of a major Wall Street bank has been charged with a crime.

The new Dodd-Frank law that was supposed to stop Wall Street from a repeat performance is now so riddled with loopholes, courtesy of the Street's lobbyists, that it's almost a sham. Wall Street prevented the Glass-Steagall Act from being resurrected and successfully fought against limits on the size of the largest banks.

And now money is flowing more freely than ever from giant corporations and Wall Street banks into the coffers of candidates for public office. The Supreme Court's shameful decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission opened the floodgates.

Americans are entitled to their own religious views about same-sex marriage, contraception, abortion and God. A society where one set of religious views is imposed on a large number of citizens who disagree with them is not a democracy. It's a theocracy {Read More}

First a correction. Mr. Reich, our nation is not now, nor has it ever been a democracy. Our nation is a Republic, designed as such by our founders and for damn good reasons.

Reich makes valid points and highlights flaws in our system early in his article. Unfortunately he lapses into the typical blame game and class warfare politics. In as much as he is right in pointing to the flaws he quickly becomes "part of the problem."

But even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Even if only partially.

Hans Blix: The Iranian Threat

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

As the Iranian government continues its pursuit of nuclear capabilities Has Blix weighs in yesterday.

Uploaded by AlJazeeraEnglish on Mar 24, 2012

The former UN Weapons inspector talks about Iran and how to prevent a nuclear arms race and military crisis in the Middle East.

In The Pursuit of Truth... #1

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

The torch; Greek symbol of truth.

Editor's Note: The following article has been changed and updated through the cooperative efforts of  Rational Nation USA and the Left Coast Rebel.

Seeking, and ultimately finding the truth requires a searing light of desire for knowledge within oneself. Truth, once found, becomes knowledge and light for future generations.

At least that is how this individual sees it...

It seems at times Americans fail to seek truth. In politics, we act as though we are more concerned with winning particular ideological arguments we have bought into (some more false than others) than whether they are right or wrong. Many of us cling to false premises even when an argument is lacking in reason, and is contrary to our own rational self-interest.

Far too often securing the "right" to wield power over others becomes more important than doing that which is ethically and morally right. Retaining a consistent philosophy rooted in reason and ethical behavior seems just too hard for some.

Individualism and the Canard of "Fairness"

In the pursuit to be universally fair we have lost sight of the concept of the individual and their natural rights. In accepting "fair" as the ultimate goal and standard we have replaced the individual with the collective.

Unfortunately, life is not fair. Individuals are born with identical abilities, or even the same interests, dreams, goals and desires, talents and proficiencies. With the exception of those who are legitimately physically or mentally handicapped -- "challenged" to be politically-correct -- everyone has the ability to be productive and find fulfillment, expression and happiness in their own way.

Regardless of fairness, the level of compensation for any given discipline is determined by the complexity involved, the degree of advanced education/training required, the availability of talent (supply), the need for the specific discipline (demand), and the degree (salary level) the market supports and compensates individuals in a given discipline. The Invisible Hand of market forces, ie. demand for certain products and services, determines the need and specific quantities required for all disciplines. The struggling yet talented artist (or freelance blogger) is not compensated for his talents and abilities like a PhD brain surgeon. Is this dynamic fair? Consider that although born with a talent, the PhD brain surgeon spent 8-10 years in higher academia and spent over $200,000 to become credentialed in his field.

The Assault on Capitalism; Twilight of America?

Capitalism has been under attack since its very beginnings. From the start, many assailed the benefits of the capitalist system by scapegoating and misinterpreting what Rand called the "unknown ideal" of laissez faire free markets. Nevertheless, it was and still is capitalism -- and capitalism only -- that produced the most equitable economic system the world has ever known. No centrally-planned, committee-, bureaucratic- or micromanagement-controlled (from the top down) economy has ever come close to the amount of wealth and prosperity produced by the capitalist system. Unfortunately in America we now see it burdened with regulatory and tax schemes that threaten its efficacy and future.

Capitalism is essentially dying from self-inflicted wounds. Crony capitalism, corporatism -- and lest we forget,  the willingness of businesses to grovel for taxpayer-funded subsidies -- have created the perfect storm of today.

An adage rings as true as it did hundreds of years ago: Truth is self-evident. The discovery begins when you as an individual -- or a nation that desires it -- looks deeply enough.

Cross Posted at the Left Coast Rebel.

Via: Ludwig von Mises Institute

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Anonymous Witness Claims Trayvon Attacked Zimmerman...

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

Out today, a detailed piece on the Trayvon Martin murder. Read for yourself, add to other available information and then decide for yourself.

Mail Online - Trayvon Martin may have attacked a Neighborhood Watch captain before the man shot dead the unarmed teen in a gated community in Florida, an anonymous witness who spoke to police claimed yesterday.

The witness, known only as John, told Sanford police that he saw Martin on top of George Zimmerman shortly before the fatal shot that has led to a national outcry, including a huge 'hoodie' march in Philadelphia last night.

He recounted the details to Fox 35 News in Florida.

The witness told FOX 35 in Orlando that he saw evidence of a fight between Martin and Zimmerman, which could lend credence to the gunman's claim that he was acting in self-defence.

'The guy on the bottom who had a red sweater on was yelling to me: "Help, help… and I told him to stop and I was calling 911,' he said.

Zimmerman was wearing a red sweater; Martin was in a grey hoodie.

He added: 'When I got upstairs and looked down, the guy who was on top beating up the other guy, was the one laying in the grass, and I believe he was dead at that point.'

This account is drastically different from the portrait painted of Martin by his friends and acquaintances.

Friends of the slain 17-year-old say they cannot imagine him getting involved in a fight, and insist that he was not violent.

'There's no way I can believe that, because he's not a confrontational kid,' said Jerome Horton, who was one of Martin's former football coaches and knew him since he was a small child.

'It just wouldn't happen. That's just not that kid.'

Meanwhile, the attorney hired to represent Zimmerman is echoing claims of the Neighborhood Watchman’s father – that he’s not racist.

Speaking on CBS This Morning: Saturday, attorney Craig Sonner said: ‘I don’t believe there’s any racial motivation on the behalf of George Zimmerman… That’s the issue that we wanted to address today, is that this was not a racial issue in what happened that day.

Basically, Mr Zimmerman claims he was attacked by Trayvon Martin and he was defending himself. That’s the gist of the investigation.’

He also noted that he is at the moment only advising Zimmerman, as he has not been criminally charged.

Martin was slain in the town of Sanford on February 26 in a shooting that has set off a nationwide furor over race and justice.

Neighborhood crime-watch captain Zimmerman, whose father is white and mother is Hispanic, claimed self-defense and has not been arrested, though state and federal authorities are still investigating. {Continue Reading}

Be sure to continue to the link. Video with Zimmerman's attorney at end of article.

Via: Memeorandum

Updated - This just in from CNN. -
A lawyer for the man at the center of the Trayvon Martin death investigation said Florida's "stand your ground" law doesn't apply to the shooting that killed the unarmed teen.

"In my legal opinion, that's not really applicable to this case. The statute on 'stand your ground' is primarily when you're in your house," said Craig Sonner, attorney for George Zimmerman.

"This is self-defense, and that's been around for forever -- that you have a right to defend yourself. So the next issue (that) is going to come up is, was he justified in using the amount of force he did?"

Trayvon Martin, 17, was killed February 26 as he walked to his father's fiancee's house in Sanford, Florida, after a trip to the convenience store. Police say he was shot by Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who says he was acting in self-defense.

Martin was unarmed, carrying a bag of Skittles candy and an iced tea, according to police.

The 2005 law allows people to use deadly force anywhere they have a right to be if they have reasonable fear an assailant could seriously harm them or someone else.

It also eliminated a long-standing "duty to retreat" in the face of imminent harm, asserting that would-be crime victims have the right to "stand their ground" and "meet force with force" when attacked.

The case has sparked a national debate over the Florida law and concerns about racial profiling. Martin was black and Zimmerman is white Hispanic.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott appointed a special prosecutor, Angela Corey, to look into the case. She said her office will decide whether to charge Zimmerman, clear him, or send the case to a grand jury.

The case has also prompted a U.S. Justice Department investigation, which is in the fact-finding stage.

Rallies and demonstrations have taken place in cities across the country, with some questioning why Zimmerman has not been arrested.

"There are inconsistencies in our U.S. laws that allow people to claim self-defense as a way to get away with murder," said CNN iReporter Jarvis Matthews. A student at Georgetown University, he sent video from a march in Washington, D.C.

Another demonstration was staged alongside a busy road in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where many of the protesters wore hooded sweatshirts like the one Martin had on when he was shot.

"In a nutshell I think this case is not being handled properly -- that is why we have so many protests. It was a senseless situation," said CNN iReporter Ron Campbell. {Read More}

I for one am not buying Zimmerman's claim of self defense. Put the man (and I use the term loosely here) behind bars pending trial. The truth will ultimately prevail and Zimmerman will receive the judgement that he richly deserves.

Via: Memeorandum

Revisiting the Relevancy of Rand's Objectivism

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

Given the sad sack pack of republican candidates vying for their parties nomination (Ron Paul being the sole exception) revisiting the rational thought of Ayn Rand is to say the least refreshing.

Yaron Brooks does a good job discussing Rand's continued relevancy in the first video and the second in discussing rights as derived from capitalism.

Good stuff to ponder on a very early Saturday morning when most of the rest of the world s sleeping....

Gallup Poll, Romney Regaining Lost Ground....

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

Amazing, outlandishly amazing!

PRINCETON, NJ -- Mitt Romney's national support among Republican voters has surged in recent days, coincident with his decisive victory in the Illinois primary and a prominent endorsement from Jeb Bush. Romney's support has increased to 40%, the first time a candidate has reached that level in this campaign, and his lead over Rick Santorum is back into double digits after narrowing to four percentage points on March 20.

The data are based on Gallup Daily tracking from March 18-22, an eventful time in the GOP campaign. On March 20, Romney won the Illinois primary, and he got Bush's endorsement the next day. That same day, a Romney aide hinted the former Massachusetts governor would "reset" his positions for the general election campaign in the same manner a child would shake an "Etch-a-Sketch" toy to clear it, which again raised concerns about Romney's issue consistency.

Romney's current positioning could also be affected by the results of Saturday's Louisiana primary, with polls showing Santorum leading there.

Romney's surge this week is notable because of his new high point in support. Prior to this week, his high was 38%, first reached in Feb. 29-March 4 polling after his wins in the crucial Michigan and Arizona primaries. Santorum's highest level of support to date was 36% in mid-February after his sweep of the Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri contests on Feb. 7. Gingrich reached as high as 37% in early December, likely because of his well-regarded debate performance and Herman Cain's departure from the campaign. {Read More}

Is it possible Etch-a-Sketch is providing a "bounce" for the chameleon republican candidate?

Not that two of the other three remaining candidates aren't.

Via: Memeorandum

Justice Will Not Bring Back a Life... It Must be Served Nonetheless

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

While leaving comments on other sights I chose not to run a post on Trayvon Martin's tragic murder. I use the word murder because for anyone who has reviewed the circumstances surrounding this young man's untimely and unjustified death murder is the only concept that is valid in describing the circumstances of his death.

I decided to wait on a post because frankly the anger that initially welled up inside me at Zimmerman's complete and total lack of respect for another human life would not allow me to say much. Had I said anything when the story broke it would not have been printable, such was my anger that some bigoted self appointed vigilante took the life a young innocent teenager just entering manhood.

After giving space for myself to cool down if you will I find myself believing with even more certainty that Zimmerman deserves to have the book thrown at him and that ultimately, after a fair and just trial he receives the same judgement from a jury of his peers that he rendered the innocence life of Trayvon Martin.

To me it is quite simple, as summed up in my comment at TSZ.

Mar 21, 2012 08:27 AM

After reviewing videos and articles here's what I came away with...

Zimmerman is modern vigilante.

Trayvon was unarmed, non threatening, and posed no reason for concern.

The police dispatcher advised Zimmerman NOT to follow Travon. He ignored the police.

People heard Trayvon in what could only be construed as pleading (or fear) for his life immediately prior to the gunshot.

Zimmerman it would appear is guilty of 1'st degree murder.

Zimmerman should be behind bars waiting arraignment. A swift and speedy, as well as just trial should follow.

Note that on 3/21 I withheld stating what I thought was fair judgment for the human piece excrement that is in fact Zimmerman.

More here, here, and here.

Via: Memeorandum

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Classical Liberalism Defined...

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

Consider Classical Liberalism...

Should this not be the plank that conservatives (the true any way) stand on? Perhaps if they had they, and by a principled association republicans, might have retained their relevancy.

Certainly Mittens, Frothy, and Newtie by their words and actions have failed to embrace fully and completely the ten principles spoke to in the video. I find that interesting because they certainly were understood and supported by our founders.

Worth thinking about?

Via: Memeorandum

Wasserman Shultz... Did She Say it or Didn't She?

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

Debbie Wassermann Schultz is your typical politician. Well, maybe that isn't completely accurate. She's likely not as bright as the typical politician.

In any case she is a prime example of a far left ideologically driven clueless politician who uses hyperbole to make groundless points in her efforts to pander to the democratic base.

She's no better than Limbaugh or the extreme right. She either suffers from selective amnesia or she is just a plain old liar as well.

MRC TV (Media Research Center) - Alicia Powe and Katie Yoder confront DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) about her claim that Republicans want to 'literally drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws' by enforcing voter id laws. Schultz denies ever making a Jim Crow reference.

We caught up with Wasserman Schultz at Rep. Eleanor Norton's women forum, “Opportunities & Challenges for a New Generation of Women,” in honor of women's history month at the Rayburn House Office Building, Tuesday. The forum hosted Sandra Fluke, and Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever as well.

Via: Memeorandum

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Don't Let the Door Hit You on the Way Out

Seriously, though, have you ever witnessed two bigger dirt-bags than these two frigging imbeciles, two people who are more responsible for the coarsening of the discourse/the culture? I'm telling you here, folks, if it were totally up to me......No, I can't say it. I DO believe in free speech. At the very least, though, we should
 probably shame them, no?

Editor's Note: Will certainly has a point. Both these guys (in their chosen venues) serve to bring discourse to the lowest common denominator. The purpose? To divide, make a few million bucks, and laugh all the way to the bank.

Birther Theory... It Is Beyond Time To Put It To Rest

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

Rep. Chris Stearns (R-FL)

For some the birther issue apparently continues to be worth wasting time on. As much as the birther crowd continues to hope for a "smoking gun" the rest of America has moved on. And, the President will remain the President until he is 1) defeated in this coming November election or 2) he retires from the office of the Presidency in January 2017.

The Hill - Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), a top member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, on Tuesday said he's not yet convinced that President Obama’s birth certificate is legitimate.

“I am, shall we say, looking at all the evidence,” Stearns told reporters in the Capitol Tuesday, comments that come after he expressed similar doubts at a meeting with constituents in February.

Stearns heads the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee. He is leading the GOP probe of Solyndra, the California solar panel company that went belly-up last September after receiving a $535 million Energy Department loan guarantee in 2009.

Overwhelming evidence shows that Obama was born in Hawaii and is a U.S. citizen, but members of what has been called the "birther" movement have continued to dispute his nationality.

In April 2011, the White House released Obama's long-form birth certificate to the public, hoping to put the matter to bed for good. But the issue has popped back up repeatedly — most recently in early March, when Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio said he had evidence the document was a fake.

Asked Tuesday if he thinks the birth certificate is legitimate, Stearns cited an inquiry by an Arizona sheriff – an apparent reference to Arpaio – and noted he believed there is “another investigation” as well. {Read More}

All I can say is this, PRODUCE the evidence, produce it NOW if in fact it exists, or shut the "f" up.

There are important issues, and valid reasons to defeat President Obama in November 2012. Chasing after a smoking gun, unsubstantiated ghosts, or some other foolish dream that might disqualify him to serve as President has even this man of reason beginning to think there might just be some racism at play after all.

Monday, March 19, 2012

More on "His Frothiness" and Liberty... Or Perhaps the Lack Thereof ?

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

"An empire founded by war has to maintain itself by war."- Charles de Montesquieu

If the pure reason of this statement is not self evident a sense and understanding of history will certainly confirm its truth.

It is very sad so few modern day "so called conservatives" understand this.

Not the following from one "Frothy Santorum." I urge everyone to contemplate his message while "reading between the lines."

CNN - ... "It really has to do with what your principles and your core is," Santorum said. "I have a core. I'm someone who has really strong convictions about the limited role of government, about the importance of having a strong defense, you know..."

First, any one who has taken even a moment to familiarize themselves with "The Frothy One" and his record when he was a Pennsylvania Senator realizes he is a Washington insider, big satist, and big "R" establishment republican. On this Romney is accurate.

As importantly, and more to the purpose of this post, is the fact "His Frothiness" would only be too willing to engage in wars in the name of "maintaining a strong defense. For some inexplicable reason modern "so called conservatives" seem to equate the concept of a strong defense with interventionist foreign policy. History will support my contention if one chooses to look beyond the rhetoric.

Here then is what modern "so called conservatives" miss. In paraphrasing Ayn Rand... The only justification for the use of physical force against any sovereign nation and its people is in direct response to an overt act of aggression by a aggressor nation against sovereignty of a nation and its people.

Think about it folks. Can Santorum (or Gingrich and Romney for that matter) be trusted with his fingers over the "nuclear" button?

As if this were not enough "His Frothiness" is determined to have a say in each of our personal lives and most intimate decisions.

TPM - Santorum did bring up contraception in an interview Scarborough cited. In fall 2011, when Santorum was bringing up the rear in a crowded presidential field, Santorum gave an interview to the evangelical blog Caffeinated Thoughts in which he raised the issue.

“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,” Santorum said. “It’s not OK 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 interview, and other past statements on birth control, nudged the media into asking Santorum to clarify his stance. As Santorum rose to the front of the pack — and as Congress took on a contentious contraception coverage debate — the issue became more, not less relevant, Scarborough argued.

Santorum voiced support for the recently defeated Blunt Amendment to allow religious employers to deny coverage of contraception. He also offered in the fall 2011 interview that he would “get rid of any idea that you have to have abortion coverage or contraceptive coverage” as a government policy.

In early January, Santorum reaffirmed his belief that individual states have the right to ban married couples from using contraception — a power the Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional in 1965. Santorum believes that decision, Griswold v. Connecticut, was wrong.

Santorum doesn’t have the most helpful allies when it comes to convincing Americans contraception isn’t an issue for him. It was his own wealthy backer, the financier Foster Friees, whose recommended method of birth control is having “gals” put aspirin “between their knees.” {Read Full Text}

Indeed! One very dangerous and scary dude.

Via: Memeorandum


{Brian Tashman} - Greenwell Springs Baptist Church pastor Dennis Terry introduced presidential candidate Rick Santorum and Family Research Council president Tony Perkins tonight in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with a rousing speech railing against liberals and non-Christians and condemning abortion rights, "sexual perversion," same-sex marriage and secular government. Terry said that America "was founded as a Christian nation" and those that disagree with him should "get out! We don't worship Buddha, we don't worship Mohammad, we don't worship Allah!" Terry, who has a long history of attacks against the gay community, went on to criticize marriage equality for gays and lesbians, and said that the economy can only recover when we "put God back" in government.

Reason and logic must and will prevail. If it doesn't not much else really matters.

Need anyone say anything more?

Via: Memeorandum

Thoughts and Stuff...

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

Rodin - The Thinker

I've been thinking. Or perhaps more accurately stated I've been trying to think above the noise of the thoughtless.

I mean really, does anyone actually think ENTIRELY for themselves? Or do most wait to test which way the wind is blowing on any given day, week, month, or year?

After three years of blogging, visiting conservative, moderate, and liberal sites it seem most follow the blast of some unseen fog horn announcing the proper and correct path all good sheeples should follow. Without question. I should know. I've been one of those fog horns from time to time.

For many this works. After all it IS the easy path. Letting others decide what the proper and reasonable path to liberty and happiness is. Just believe and ye shall be rewarded with eternal blissful happiness.

After all, isn't everyone too busy trying to earn a living, assuming of course they have been able to find employment, to concern themselves with the often intangibles of what exactly the state's role in their life ought to be?

Or, sometimes what the role ought NOT to be?

Progressives and conservatives alike, statists both in their own unique way claim to have the answers to what ails American society and it's economy. No doubt there is truth to be found from both sides. Likely neither has the complete answer to anything.

Yet both sides CHOOSE to remain deaf, dumb, or ignorant of the possibility the synergy created by the fine art of honest negotiated compromise just might {and most probably will} render the best and most workable solution for the nation.

I guess pride gets in the way sometimes and clouds better judgement.

It has been said the more things change the more they stay the same. Can anyone in good conscience disagree? Methinks not.

Wisdom, irrespective of when expounded remains wisdom for the ages. Pointing out a few examples...

"In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own." - Thomas Jefferson to Horatio G. Spafford, March 17, 1814.

"I am for freedom of religion, and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect over another." - Thomas Jefferson to Elbridge Gerry, 1799.

"The clergy ... believe that any portion of power confided to me [as President] will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly: for I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. But this is all they have to fear from me: and enough, too, in their opinion." - Thomas Jefferson to Dr. Benjamin Rush, Sept. 23, 1800.

A nation under a well regulated government, should permit none to remain uninstructed. It is monarchical and aristocratical government only that requires ignorance for its support. - Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1792

Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing - Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791

If, from the more wretched parts of the old world, we look at those which are in an advanced stage of improvement, we still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised, to furnish new pretenses for revenues and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without tribute. - Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791

Now, legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways. Thus we have an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, benefits, subsidies, encouragements, progressive taxation, public schools, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed profits, minimum wages, a right to relief, a right to the tools of labor, free credit, and so on, and so on. All these plans as a whole—with their common aim of legal plunder—constitute socialism. - Claude Frédéric Bastiat

But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime. - Claude Frédéric Bastiat

It is easy to understand why the law is used by the legislator to destroy in varying degrees among the rest of the people their personal independence by slavery, their liberty by oppression, and their property by plunder. This is done for the benefit of the person who makes the law, and in proportion to the power that he holds. - Claude Frédéric Bastiat

Experience has shown how deeply the seeds of war are planted by economic rivalry and social injustice. - President Harry Truman

You know that being an American is more than a matter of where your parents came from. It is a belief that all men are created free and equal and that everyone deserves an even break. President Harry Truman

So, let us not be blind to our differences - but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved. - President John Kennedy

The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. - President John Kennedy

The stories of past courage can define that ingredient-they can teach, they can offer hope, they can provide inspiration. But they cannot supply courage itself. For this each man must look into his own soul. - President John Kennedy

Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have. - President Ronald Reagan

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. - President Ronald Reagan

To sit back hoping that someday, someway, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last--but eat you he will. - President Ronald Reagan

Hope is what led a band of colonists to rise up against an empire; what led the greatest of generations to free a continent and heal a nation; what led young women and young men to sit at lunch counters and brave fire hoses and march through Selma and Montgomery for freedom's cause. Hope is what led me here today--with a father from Kenya, a mother from Kansas; and a story that could only happen in the United States of America. Hope is the bedrock of this nation; the belief that our destiny will not be written for us, but by us; by all those men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is; who have courage to remake the world as it should be. - Barrack Obama, speech, Jan. 3, 2008

Reason, tenacity, and self reliance... After all is said and done these are the tools that ultimately will sustain our nation.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Frothiness Spells Defeat in 2012...

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

Republicans, specifically the "socons" will result in conservatism continuing its downward spiral into irrelevancy. Rather than sticking to "classical liberal" principals of limited constitutional government, fiscal responsibility, a strong defense yet turning from interventionist foreign policy, and insuring and maintaining maximum individual freedoms the "socons" are bastardizing the conservative principles championed by the father of modern conservatism Barry Goldwater.

I have attempted to point out the political dangers that are inherent in the "socons" ideological and religionist agenda. This morning, coming across perhaps one of the most reasoned articles in regard to this issue, I decided to bring it to the pages of Rational Nation USA. Here's the teaser.

John Avlon - The Daily Beast - A cleansing bout of craziness in 2012 could be just what the GOP needs.

I’m talking about a nominee so far to the right that conservative populists get their fondest wish—and the Republican Party is forced to learn from the result. Namely, that there is such a thing as too extreme.

The dangerous groupthink delusion being pushed in conservative circles over the last few years is that ideological purity and electability are one and the same. It is an idea more rooted in faith than reason.

If Mitt Romney does finally wrestle the nomination to the ground, and then loses to Obama, conservatives will blame the loss on his alleged moderation. The right wing take-away will be to try to nominate a true ideologue in 2016.

But if someone like Rick Santorum gets the nomination in an upset, the party faithful will get to experience the adrenaline rush of going off a cliff together, like Thelma and Louise—elation followed by an electoral thud.

This could be educational. After all, sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before you recognize your problems.

Giving a self-identified “full-spectrum conservative” theo-con like Santorum the nomination would mean we’d really have a “choice, not an echo” election in November. Republicans would be forced to confront the fact that talk about Satan attacking America, negative obsessions with homosexuality, contraception and opposition to abortion even in cases of rape and incest alienates far more people than they attract.

Our politics are looking more and more like a cult because of unprecedented polarization—any issue where there is deviation from accepted orthodoxy leads to an attempted purge. It is absurd that clownish conservative caricatures like Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain were briefly elevated to the top of the polls while more sober-minded presidential candidates with executive experience like Tim Pawlenty and Jon Huntsman Jr. failed to gain any traction. The result is the weakest Republican field in living memory.

That the conservative favorite from 2008 is now derided as a RINO says more about the rightward lurch of the Republican Party than it does about Romney. You reap what you sow.

The Tea Party driven win of 2010 seems to have taught some in the GOP that firing up the base with extreme anti-Obama rhetoric leads to victories, and so candidates like Gingrich happily comply with talk about “Kenyan anti-colonial” mindsets and “secular socialist machines.” The obvious fact that this works better in comparatively low-turnout, high-intensity midterm elections than in the broader, more representative turnout of presidential years has been ignored, willfully or otherwise.

Likewise, it’s been scrubbed from many conservative’s memories that the Tea Party in 2010 used libertarian appeals to attract independents—avoiding more polarizing social issues and instead keeping a tight focus on fiscal ones like reducing the deficit and debt...

Indeed the above are considerations fiscal conservatives, Libertarians, and moderates ought to reflect on. Daily. If they hope to unseat Obama in 2012.

Now, the rest of the article.