Friday, March 29, 2013

Unbelievable!... At Least for Me

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

Dr. Benjamin Carson, a world renowned neurosurgeon. A man whose character and integrity has heretofore been unquestioned. A man who quite possibly has given the world more than any number of less capable individuals ever has or ever could.

Because of ill advised remarks on gay marriage (ill advised from the PC perspective anyway) Dr. Carson has come under fire by progressives. Because of this he has apologized for his remarks. Even though I personally disagree with his remarks I wish he had not apologized for his beliefs.

Clarifying the meaning of his remarks for those who failed to understand them is fine. Something that occurs throughout the day across the USA in schools, businesses, and in the homes of families everyday.

The fine Doctor and Surgeon is not a politician. He represents no constituency. His entire adult life has been about finding ways to improve the human condition and the preservation of life. We should have nothing but admiration for this man.

THE BALTIMORE SUN - Dr. Benjamin Carson, the famed Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon, apologized Friday for his "choice of words" and use of examples in discussing gay marriage on Fox News earlier in the week.

During Sean Hannity's show on Tuesday, when asked about the matter before the Supreme Court, Carson said, "Marriage is between a man and a woman. No group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality, it doesn't matter what they are. They don't get to change the definition."

The comparison of gays to members of the North American Boy/Man Love Association and those who engage in bestiality set off a backlash of criticism in the media, online and on campus. There is now a petition circulating at Johns Hopkins Medical to have Carson removed as commencement speaker in May at the School of Medicine.

"I think people have completely taken the wrong meaning out of what I was saying," the 61-year-old surgeon said in a telephone interview Friday. "First of all, I certainly believe gay people should have all the rights that anybody else has. What I was basically saying is that as far as marriage is concerned that has traditionally been between a man and a woman and nobody should be able to change that."

"Now perhaps the examples were not the best choice of words, and I certainly apologize if I offended anyone," he added. "But the point that I was making was that no group of individuals, whoever they are, whatever their belief systems, gets to change traditional definitions. The reason I believe the way I do, I will readily confess, is because I am a Christian who believes in The Bible."

The Bible, he explained, "...says we have an obligation to love our fellow man as ourselves, and I love everybody the same -- all homosexuals. Everybody who knows me knows I would never say anything to intentionally hurt someone."

Given the "if I offended anyone" tone and language of the apology, it will be interesting to see how it's received. I hope readers will weigh in here.

The Sun has also obtained a copy of the petition aimed at getting Carson, who is on the eve of retirement this spring, removed as a speaker at the School of Medicine graduation ceremonies in May.

"At the time of his nomination, Dr. Carson was known to most of us as a world-class neurosurgeon and passionate advocate for education," the petition says. "Many of us had read his books and looked up to him as a role model in our careers. Since then, however, several public events have cast serious doubt on the appropriateness of having Dr. Carson speak at our graduation. If you believe he is an inappropriate choice of speaker at a ceremony intended to celebrate the achievements of our class please complete the petition below."

When asked about the petition Friday, Carson told the Sun, "I've caught wind of it and I've sent back a message that this is their graduation, their big day, and if they think me being there is going to be a problem, I am happy to withdraw." {Read More}

We see how the progressive and closed minded at the university has reacted. Dr. Carson, in his response to the graduating class displayed both humility and class.

Lets just chalk it up to youthful intolerance and hope the 2013 graduating class grows up.

Via: Memeorandum

The Korean Penisula... The Next Military Engagement?

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

Is it surprising... I mean really?

As tensions on the Korean Peninsula heat up the Obama administration responds just as the GWB's administration would have, as well as all prior U.S administrations would likely have responded. No surprise because standing behind alliances is what America does.

The maniacal North Korean leadership has responded in a fashion that fuels concern, and the possibility of further hostilities. Up to and including a strike on the U.S. mainland. In fact (based on the following report) North Korean leadership has stated exactly that. We'll have to wait to see.

Should such a thing actually occur I personally am comfortable that the current President would take decisive and appropriate action in response. We all of course are hopeful this does not occur.

NK News – North Korea News - South Korean intelligence agencies have spotted increased activity on North Korean mid-to-long range missile platforms, an unnamed official told Yonhap in Seoul: “We are closely watching for the possibility of a missile launch,” the anonymous government source said.

Kim Jong Un signed off on a plan to ready his forces to target the U.S. mainland and American bases in East Asia following yesterday’s U.S.-led B-2 stealth bomber runs, the KCNA reported after the North Korean military conveyed an “emergency meeting” in the early hours of this morning.

In a photo published in the Korea Worker’s Party (KWP) paper the Rodong, plans for a strike on the U.S. mainland are clearly –and therefore probably deliberately– visible. The newspaper is widely distributed in cities, and often displayed in public places for easy viewing.

“He finally signed the plan on technical preparations of strategic rockets, ordering them to be on standby to fire so that they may strike any time the U.S. mainland, its military bases in the operational theaters in the Pacific, including Hawaii and Guam, and those in south Korea,” a KCNA report in English said.

Skip... For Photos and specifics Click Here.

“All the available technical evidence suggests that the North’s claims to be able to hit (let alone target precisely) geographical sites in the United States are highly implausible,” John Swenson-Wright, senior lecturer in East Asian International Relations at the University of Cambridge told NK NEWS.

“It seems reasonable to suppose that the target map is designed for home consumption and to create an impression of war-readiness for DPRK-citizens that is part of a wider policy of strengthening national resolve,” Swenson-Wright added. If the marks on the map are intended to demonstrate the flight path of a missile, they would most likely not be straight.

The development appears to be a tit-for-tat response to a U.S. stealth bomber training run Thursday that saw two B-2’s fly from Missouri to drop ordinance on an island in the southern half of the Korean peninsula. U.S. officials said the flights were not designed to raise tensions, but reduce them by bolstering deterrence in face of North Korea’s recent vitriolic provocations.

However, North Korea sees ongoing U.S. military drills as part of a plot to conduce a full-scale nuclear invasion of their country. This week, Pyongyang put its military on the highest level of alert possible and cut a second military hotline. A KCNA report published earlier today added to tensions by saying that the North Korean military was preparing to “blow up the strongholds of aggression…through precision strikes no matter where they are.”

Observers worry that, with tensions running high and two new leaders in Pyongyang and Seoul, there is significant potential for escalation in the event of military confrontation. Both Kim Jong Un and Park Geun-hye are under domestic pressure to show strong and decisive leadership in the face of each other’s threats, and a lack of direct communication between the two sides is worrying for some.

Could Korea be our next engagement? Being the policeman of the world insures we will continue to be engaged around the world as dictated by alliances signed many years ago both preceding and following WW II and the Cold War.

Indeed we are obligated to honor our agreements. Ill advised or not. Hindsight at best gives us the opportunity of not repeating errors of the past.

If anyone is actually paying attention.

Via: Memeorandum

The Beauty, and Danger of Selective Quoting...

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

Oops, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) selectively quoted President Abraham Lincoln when speaking of the imposing national debt. Lincoln, back in the days of a significantly more limited government, a much smaller economy, and a smaller population it seems had to deal with fiscal realities similar to those are facing today. Albeit certainly not on such a grand scale.

Although it is done all the time, selective quoting that is, the liberal biased media, in this case the Huffington Post, was quick to point out that Lincoln at the time also called for a tax increase or tariff (revenue enhancement) to balance the books and set the fiscal ship right.

The Huffington Post - House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) quotes Abraham Lincoln in a memo released Thursday as warning of debt, but ignores the former president's call for a tax or tariff.

The messaging to House Republicans quotes Lincoln expressing concern over debt:

"The book Congressman Lincoln by Chris DeRose, which I recently read, includes a chapter focused on Abraham Lincoln’s efforts to help craft a new national agenda. At one point in the book, young Lincoln warns that government debt is “growing with a rapidity fearful to contemplate.”

“[Government debt] is a system not only ruinous while it lasts, but one that must soon fail and leave us destitute,” Lincoln warns his countrymen in Congressman Lincoln. “An individual who undertakes to live by borrowing, soon finds his original means devoured by interest, and next no one left to borrow from –- so must it be with a government.”

Lincoln’s words ring true today, perhaps to a degree greater than ever before."

Lincoln, however, while warning of debt, also said that the debt had been created by the unwillingness to consider new revenue.

"By this means a new national debt has been created, and is still growing on us with a rapidity fearful to contemplate -- a rapidity only reasonably to be expected in time of war. This state of things has been produced by a prevailing unwillingness either to increase the tariff or resort to direct taxation. But the one or the other must come," Lincoln wrote in the Whig Circular in 1843.

Boehner and House Republicans are unwilling to consider revenue to solve the cuts put in place by sequestration. "The president got his tax hikes on January 1. The talk about raising revenue is over. It’s time to deal with the spending problem," the House speaker said in a recent interview with ABC News.

In his writing, Lincoln goes further, calling for a direct tax or tariff. "We repeat, then, that a tariff sufficient for revenue, or a direct tax, must soon be resorted to; and, indeed, we believe this alternative is now denied by no one," he wrote. Lincoln then goes onto debate the various merits and pitfalls of establishing a direct tax versus increasing tariffs. {Read More}

I remain a small government Classical Liberal (that what the founders were) that believe we must act in a fiscally responsible way to keep the fiscal ship solvent and afloat, with a course set to insure prosperity for future generations of United States Citizens.

The rEpublicans need to recognizes that the mess we find ourselves in is one of our own making. The size of the debt and the amount of the annual deficits cannot be reversed and the books balanced by budget cuts alone. Cuts are absolutely necessary, but alone will not carry the nation out of its bone crushing national debt.

Simpson-Bowles had it right, and they were ignored by both parties largely for political reasons. This is unfortunate for the fiscal health of the nations and ultimately for it's people.

Just one more thing. Size and scope of government is, as I've come to understand a relative state. Think about it rEpublicans.

Via: Memeorandum

Willie, Keeping it Simple On Marriage Equality...

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

Always liked Willie Nelson, even his country western music. Thinking back to Willie and Waylon. I always thought of Willie as a kind of maverick. Just a bit ahead of his times and not too worried about all that judgmental stuff. You know, the kind that doesn't really impact anybody but those involved? Maybe Willie has always been thinking outside the box of religious driven judgmental-ism. Sometimes I think the personal religious stuff somehow finds a way to influence the government. I hear Willie isn't real big on state tyranny either. I guess Willie is consistent. Something to be admired I'm thinking.

TexasMonthly - Willie Nelson loves love. "Love is what I live on. Love is what keeps me going," he wrote in his 2006 book The Tao Of Willie. And Wednesday night, in an interview in Austin on his tour bus, Willie said he believes love doesn't discriminate, "and it shouldn't be discriminated against."

Nelson has been watching the Supreme Court arguments over same-sex marriage and the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. "[Gay people] should be just as miserable as the rest of us," quipped Nelson, before giving a more nuanced explanation of what he says has been a life-long, unwavering belief that all people deserve equal protection under the law.

After the interview, and just before heading into Austin's ACL Live at the Moody Theater to play a fundraiser for the Darrell K Royal Research Fund for Alzheimer’s Disease, Nelson posed for a Texas Monthly photographer with a series of signs created by the Austin-based design agency Helms Workshop and printed by Austin's East End Ink. The first is a straightforward reproduction of the pink equal sign—the logo of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender advocacy group the Human Rights Campaign—that has gone viral on Facebook and Twitter over the past few days. Helms also designed two Willie-specific variations on the image, one with his trademark braids and another with a pair of marijuana cigarettes. Both images are available for download below for use as avatars on your Facebook or Twitter account. Or whatever else you want to do with them. It’s a free country, you know.

Texas Monthly: You're closely following the Supreme Court's consideration of gay rights and same-sex marriage.

Willie Nelson: I am. And it's ridiculous to me that this is something we're having a conversation about this in this day and age. I thought it was something that was settled a long time ago.

TM: Clearly not.

WN: Clearly not. And obviously, even the Supreme Court doesn't know what to do about it. They say, 'Don't ask me. Ask somebody else.' They don't want to get in the middle of the states on it. And what are they going to do, come in and override states that have said it's okay? It's a mess.

TM: With same-sex marriage legal in some states and not in others, equality means different things different places.

WN: For same-sex couples, taxes are different, benefits are different, survivor benefits are different. It's crazy.

TM: You've been a supporter of LBGT issues over the years. Outspoken even.

WN: I never had a problem with any of it. I've known straight and gay people all my life. I can't tell the difference. People are people where I came from. (Emphasis mine.) {The Rest of the Interview}

Via: Memeorandum

Thursday, March 21, 2013

For Progressives and Conservatives It's Simply a One Way Proposition, Their Way Or the Highway...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
-vs- Tyranny

One of the things about progressives that has always intrigued me is their belief that being tethered to the ideology of state controlled and mandated programs is the way to achieve social equality and harmony.

Perhaps it is just me, but somehow giving the government this level of control over ones life means giving up (your)individual control and acknowledging that others, in this case the Leviathan bureaucracy knows better what is good for you (and your family) than you do.

Somehow, and for good cause (IMNHO) this has always bothered the hell out of me. Being the small 'L' libertarian and Objectivist that I've been since 9th grade it was natural to argue in opposition to this restrictive and self immolating philosophy.

Some things never change. Reality often does however and often when you're least expecting it.

Just the other day when having an after dinner brandy while engaged in lively political debate something occurred to me. Actually it hit me like a ton of bricks falling on my head. Not only are many progressives locked into an "ideological" straight jacket, so are most conservatives as well as many libertarians.

Having a philosophy and guiding principles are of course necessary to ones life for many and obvious reasons that most understand. Having an ACTIVE mind, one that is INQUISITIVE and questions everything, including ones own preconceptions is critical to making rational decisions. Or so it seems to me anyway.

So, to the point of this rather to be short post.

This nation, and the political parties and people that make up our government have been so preoccupied with proving their own ideology right they have forgotten how to talk with each other. Pointing fingers at one another and attacking opposing views is certainly something we have learned to do well. I the process we have forgotten how to solve mutual problems affecting us all in a manner that best will strengthen OUR country.

I know this for a fact. Because I, no doubt like some of you, have been guilty of this counter productive and in fact destructive practice.

Isn't it time the political parties of the United States, the individual people who make up these parties, and most importantly the representatives in government that have been elected by the people begin to act like the mature nation it should be?

The rational self interest of our republic, being the representative democracy it is, rests in finding the best and most inclusive compromise possible. A nation of over 320 million people cannot be effectively governed by the singular ideology of any one party.

The nation's future lies in OUR response the these and a myriad o other pressing issues.

Thank you, and good night.

Impossible to Understand Such Bigotry and Racism...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
- vs- Tyranny

The following video content is as disturbing as anything could possibly be. Racism and bigotry... are they still alive and and well in America? As pathetically evil as ever it seems as it indeed still exists. You be the judge...

In a land that was founded on the principles of freedom,liberty, and equality it is incomprehensible to any thinking person that the proceeding mentality could exist in the United States of America in the 21st.

More detailed commentary on this subject can be found here. A must read.

Via: Memeorandum

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Reemergence of Mitt Romney at CPAC...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
-vs- Tyranny

Romney at CPAC 2013. The reemergence of the Mitten. A man that is as close to a chameleon as there ever was.The crowd eats it up.

THE HILL - GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney appealed for the Republican Party to learn from the mistakes of his losing 2012 presidential campaign and, as conservatives chart their course forward, to look to GOP governors for a path to future electoral wins.

Romney received perhaps the most enthusiastic reception yet of any speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference, with a packed auditorium offering him an extended standing ovation before he began.

He told the CPAC crowd that while he "left the race disappointed that we didn't win," he remained optimistic for future success — if the party learns from his campaign.

"We've lost races before, in the past, but those setbacks prepared us for larger victories. It's up to us to make sure that we learn from our mistakes, and my mistakes, and that we take advantage of that learning to make sure that we take back the nation, take back the White House, get the Senate and put in place conservative principles," he said.

The speech marked a reemergence of sorts for Romney, who has quietly returned to private life following his defeat.

Many Republicans have blamed Romney for losing a winnable race to President Obama, criticizing him as a poor candidate who ran a flawed campaign. The loss caught many in the party off-guard — Romney included — due in part to faulty assumptions about turnout and mistaken polling.

Some Republicans have also charged Romney was not conservative enough, and didn't cut a stark enough contrast to Obama.


"As someone who just lost the last election, I'm probably not in the best position to chart the course for the next one," Romney admitted.

"That being said, let me offer this advice. And perhaps because I'm a former governor, I would urge us all to learn the lessons that come from some of our greatest success stories, and that's 30 Republican governors across the country," he added.

The former Massachusetts governor's loss in November has sparked a party-wide recalibrating, as the GOP looks to avoid the mistakes of 2012. {Read More

Wondering if the rEpublican socons and neocons will ever get it right.

Via: Memeorandum

Read Meat for the Pack...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
-vs- Tyranny

Senator Rubio tossing out some red meat for the hungry at CPAC.

HuffPo - Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) threw some social conservative red meat to CPAC-goers on Thursday in a rant against Democrats who criticize him and members of his party for opposing same-sex marriage and abortion rights.

"Just because I believe that states should have the right to define marriage in a traditional way does not make me a bigot," he said, his words drowned out by cheers from the crowd as he talked about his belief in the protection of human life "at every stage of its development."

"The people who are actually closed-minded in American politics are the people who love to preach about the certainty of science with regards to our climate but ignore the absolute fact that science has proven that life begins at conception," he continued.

Rubio does not often speak so forcefully on social issues, but if there's any venue to do it, it's CPAC. His speech was wildly popular: he entered the stage to the first standing ovation of the day, and drew applause every time he took a sip of water. (He also made plenty of jokes about water, a nod to his awkward sip during a post-State of the Union speech.)

His CPAC remarks focused largely on economic issues, from lowering taxes to defunding Obamacare...


"As soon as I'm done speaking, I'll tell you what the criticism on the left is going to be," Rubio said. "Number one, he drank too much water. Number two: that he didn't offer any new ideas. {Read More}

Rubio is right about one thing for certain. The left will criticize his speech for no new ideas. Perhaps they have a valid point.

View video of speech.

Via: Memeorandum

He's Back! Like the Bad Habit That Just Won't Go Away...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
-VS- Tyranny

And just when we thought (and hoped) the pontificating socon ex Senator from Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum had taken his last gasp of political hot air in 2012. Guess we might not be so lucky...

The Hill - Former Republican presidential contender Rick Santorum on Friday delivered an emotional address at the Conservative Political Action Conference, inspired by the death of his nephew the night before, that indicated he has no plans to fade from the political spotlight anytime soon.

Speaking to a full auditorium that received him with enthusiastic but sometimes uneven applause, Santorum attacked the left for currying favor with Americans by offering "stuff" and charged that conservatives need to stand by their principles.

"What does it profit a movement to gain the count and lose its own soul?" he said.

And in a line that echoed Romney's comment about losing because President Obama gave certain demographic groups "gifts," Santorum charged that "the left can always promise more stuff."

Nice Rick, you're sounding like the broken record that you are.

"If all we do this weekend is offer Americans a better way to get more stuff in hopes that this will dull their pain, we and America will lose," he said.

Rick, you are sounding exactly like you did in 2012. Here's an idea for ya, get a new template. The old one has worn thin. Maybe tiy and the Mittens can get together and work on "A Plan."
Read the Rest

Could this be the future?

Just saying...

Via: Memeorandum

Kudos to Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
-vs- Tyranny

Senator Rob Portman

There is not much anyone needs to add to the following. Other than an additional thumbs up for Senator Portman. My hat's off to the Republican senator from Ohio.

The Columbus Dispatch - I have come to believe that if two people are prepared to make a lifetime commitment to love and care for each other in good times and in bad, the government shouldn’t deny them the opportunity to get married.

That isn’t how I’ve always felt. As a congressman, and more recently as a senator, I opposed marriage for same-sex couples. Then something happened that led me to think through my position in a much deeper way.

Two years ago, my son Will, then a college freshman, told my wife, Jane, and me that he is gay. He said he’d known for some time, and that his sexual orientation wasn’t something he chose; it was simply a part of who he is. Jane and I were proud of him for his honesty and courage. We were surprised to learn he is gay but knew he was still the same person he’d always been. The only difference was that now we had a more complete picture of the son we love.

At the time, my position on marriage for same-sex couples was rooted in my faith tradition that marriage is a sacred bond between a man and a woman. Knowing that my son is gay prompted me to consider the issue from another perspective: that of a dad who wants all three of his kids to lead happy, meaningful lives with the people they love, a blessing Jane and I have shared for 26 years. {Read More}

My respect for Senator Portman just ratcheted up a notch, not that I didn't already respect the Senator.

Mr. Portman no doubt agonized over his long held traditional Christen beliefs and how to reconcile them with the reality his own son was a gay individual. Ultimately the Senator made the right decision as any rational, logical individual would. Hopefully the Senator's frank and open disclosure will have a positive impact on socons and evangelical Christians who are less inclined to reasonable tolerance.

Via: Memeorandum

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ideology and Hidebound Partisan Loyalty is Limiting America...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
-vs- Tyranny

Lately I've been thinking about American political parties and how hide bound they have become to a particular ideology. Unfortunately both major parties share the counter productive pursuit of the absurd.

Humans (as individuals) are programmed to seek acceptance into a group that shares their basic beliefs, desires, and principles. Being accepted and liked is a primary driving motivation in human behavior. This is accepted as the social norm and in fact is reinforced by the socialist perspective in society.

Acceptance by ones peers is a major driving force for a majority of people. By extension this caries over to and spills into communal associations such as political parties. Thus the communal mentality and associated behavior associated with party loyalty.

On a macro level, consider this to be our nation, we are failing miserably precisely because of the desire to be accepted into a communal and supportive group DIRECTED BY POWERFUL INDIVIDUALS. The nation's major political parties, dEmocratic and rEpublican, are primarily concerned with, and focused on winning the next election. The party power structure (of your selected party) views you merely as a vote that will hopefully continue secure their spot at the power table. The table where they look after their own self interest and that of the Oligarchs. While leaving you to essentially fend for yourself.

America today has essentially become an exercise in self government willingly acquiesced to the the dictates of the Oligarchs and the party bosses they control.

Until next time have a remarkable weeend and a productive week next.

A New Pope is Chosen, Will it Signal a New Enlightened Age in Church Thinking? Likely Not...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
-vs- Tyranny

The Catholic Cardinals elected a "new" 76 year old Pope, hereafter known as Pope Francis. Early indications are the "new" Pope will carry on the outdated doctrines of past religious dogma and bigotry. One would think sooner, rather than later, the Church, and by Church I mean the congregations of the faithful, would demand real ethical/moral change in the Church hierarchy.

However, when all is said and done, the Catholic Church is as close to a dictatorship as any statist nation ever was. I'm certainly not a Catholic, or even a "believer" in the conventional sense, but I feel safe in stating that unless the Catholic Church changes its dogma to reflect modern science and 21st century thinking it will, like the rEpublican party in America find itself becoming less relevant.

GAWKER - Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now to be known forever as Pope Francis, sounds likeable enough, to people who are disposed to like high-ranking men of the cloth. The 76-year-old Argentine is reportedly marked by a devotion to the poor and a cultivated humility—he doesn't like limos or fancy palaces, you see, favoring public transportation and sparse apartments over luxury.

But anyone who was looking for a liberal reformer in the Vatican is probably going to keep waiting. The vast majority of American Catholics now find birth control morally acceptable, and 54 percent of American Catholics now support same-sex marriage. Optimists thought this might signal that the next supreme leader of Catholicism would himself—but certainly not herself! ha ha! that would be crazy—reflect the forward momentum of his adherents. Yesterday, Pope Francis looked down upon thousands of people gathered beneath his Vatican City balcony, and millions watching around the world, and effectively said, "Nope."

In honor of all of the papacy's cloak-and-dagger skullduggery, let's start with the rumors: Though he was never directly charged with aiding and abetting Argentina's murderous dictatorial regime during the country's infamous "Dirty War," years later a journalist would accuse Bergoglio of hiding imprisoned victims from human-rights workers. These allegations were detailed by Hugh O'Shaughnessy in the Guardian in 2011 (emphasis ours):


If it's any consolation—and if you're gay it's probably not—the Guardian reports that, despite his many conservative stances (and possible war crimes), Pope Francis believes condoms "can be permissible" to prevent the passage of infection. It only took thousands of years, but there you have it: Condoms might possibly be OK in order to help prevent scores and scores of people from constantly dying of AIDS. Welcome to progress, Catholic style.

Via: Memeorandum

Senator Rand Paul calls the GOP "stale and moss-covered."...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
-vs- Tyranny

Rand Paul, disliked by the progressives and perhaps by many in the establishment rEpublican power base. Hard to listen to at times, but if one does listen closely Senator Paul makes lots of sense.

Perhaps Senator Paul, having a more tolerant attitude towards the civil liberties of all Americans will galvanize a large enough following to overturn the stale and static present rEpublican leadership and build a more inclusive and tolerant party.


Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Thursday told conservative activists the Republican Party had grown "stale and moss covered" and said the GOP needs a more libertarian approach that makes freedom the movement's defining principle.

Addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the Kentucky senator offered a revamped version of his father's hands-off libertarian vision for Republicans — and positioned himself as a leader capable of confronting the GOP establishment.

"The GOP of old has grown stale and moss-covered. I don't think we need to name any names, do we? Our party is encumbered by an inconsistent approach to freedom. The new GOP will need to embrace liberty in both the economic and the personal sphere," Paul said.

"If we're going to have a Republican Party that can win, liberty needs to be the backbone of the GOP. We must have a message that is broad, our vision must be broad, and that vision must be based on freedom."

Paul has publicly clashed with more senior Republicans over the past two weeks, notably Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). Graham and McCain blasted Paul for mounting a 12-hour filibuster of President Obama's CIA nominee, John Brennan, over the administration's drone policy.

McCain called the filibuster a stunt meant to "fire up impressionable libertarian kids in their college dorms." Paul fired back at McCain and Graham, two leading Republican defense hawks, saying the senators "think the whole world is a battlefield.” {Read More}

Via: Memeorandum

More on Firearm Regulation...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
-vs- Tyranny

One thing we can be sure of with the progressives, they like the emotional. Senator Feinstein of the progressive haven that is California demonstrates it well in the following.

Yes Senator, we are all painfully aware of your longevity in Washington. Since you were the one to bring it up isn't it time for you to retire? After all you've been on the nation's payroll long enough to walk away with a platinum plated government retirement package.

Putting that aside, it is time reasonable uniform firearm ownership regulations be put in place nationally. Regulations should include required firearm safety training, extensive back ground checks, additional waiting for firearms purchased at gun shows, and restricting high capacity magazines and semi automatic assault style firearms.

Via: Memeorandum

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

One Can Only Imagine...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
-vs- Tyranny


I suppose anything is a possibility.

Washington Examiner - Hillary Clinton hasn't stepped into the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries yet and there's already buzz growing for the ultimate grrl power ticket: Clinton and first lady Michelle Obama.

"All due respect for President Obama and Vice President Biden, but that would truly be a dream team for America," said former Clinton spokeswoman Karen Finney. "Both women are proven effective leaders who've raise children, so dealing with Congress would be a snap!" added Finney, also a former Democratic Party spokeswoman.

"More than anything else, this reflects the growing awareness that it is time for the glass ceiling of the last old boys club to be firmly shattered," added Democratic strategist Chris Lehane.

t's not just talk. Bumper stickers reading "2016-Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama," and "Hillary-Michelle 2016 First First Lady Ticket For President" are popping up. Cafe Press said sales of the Hillary-Michelle bumper sticker saw a 60% increase from December to March, with the largest uptick in March.

"I look forward to the day when a woman can run for the presidency without so much parody and fanfare," said former Al Gore campaign manager Donna Brazile.

Democratic strategists say that Clinton is a lock to get into the race. Not only is she far ahead of Biden and others in polls, she still has a strong donor network from her 2008 campaign. Former advisor Terry McAuliffe recently told Secrets that she will make up her mind next year. President Obama has also talked Clinton up, choosing her as the only retiring Cabinet secretary to hold an outgoing "60 Minutes" interview with.

Recently, there has been some talk that Obama would be a good Illinois Senate candidate after the White House, much like Clinton, who ran for and won a Senate seat in New York. But teaming her with Clinton would create a political and fundraising force that would be impossible to beat on the Democratic side.

Pollster John Zogby, however, questions if the ticket would sell. "Hillary and Michelle are both very popular and accomplished, but this smacks of too much celebrity and is a tad too dynastic for American voters," he said. "An interesting reality show, yes. A ticket, no."

And if they did run and win, questions would turn to the husbands. Suggested Finney: "They could play golf and help support their wive's agenda."

Many are fine with a women President. Where are all the qualified conservative and or libertarian women with leadership ability? PROVEN leadership ability. Time to start grooming some for the future...

Via: Memeorandum

Sometimes You Really Can't Help But Like Senator Paul...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
-vs- Tyranny

There are times I just can't help but like Senator Rand Paul. Especially when he makes a bunch of sense and is working against the druthers of the entrenched establishment rEpublicans. You know the ones I mean. Guys like Frick and Frack, good ole John McCain and Mittens Romney.

THE HILL - Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Wednesday said the Republican Party needs to be more “tolerant” if it wants to attract the younger voters that helped propel President Obama to a second term in office.

“I believe a Republican Party that is more tolerant and dedicated to keeping the government out of people’s lives as much as possible would be more appealing to the rising generation,” Paul said in an op-ed on the website PolicyMic.

“Most young people I encounter simply have no desire to tell other people what to do or how to live,” he added.

The op-ed was a response to criticism Paul received from some of his Republican colleagues over his filibuster last week of John Brennan's nomination for CIA director.

Paul spoke for nearly 13 hours on the Senate floor to pressure the Obama administration on its use of drones to target U.S. citizens, but Sen. John McCain (R-Az.) dismissed the filibuster as a “stunt” meant to “fire up impressionable libertarian kids in their college dorms.”

“There are blue parts of the country where Republicans haven’t fared well, and yes, a more libertarian-Republican might be able to start winning in those areas,” Paul wrote. “The youth vote could play an integral part in this. Young Americans — conservative, libertarian, independent — are as fed up with big government as their parents and grandparents. A Republican Party willing to address their unique concerns could build a new majority that might finally turn this country around.” {Read More}


Via: Memeorandum

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Best Story of the Day...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
-vs- Tyranny

Perhaps one of the more encouraging stories of the day was the Court striking down Mayor Bloomberg's ban on large sugary drinks. Don't get me wrong here, I do not drink sugary beverages such as soda or energy drinks, and as a PFT (Personal Fitness Trainer) I advise against the consumption of such useless and potentially harmful calories. Think added weight and cavities to name just two.

You might find yourself asking why a PFT, one who does not partake of sugary drinks other than a highball, a glass of beer or wine with dinner, would not welcome the nanny state mentality of Mayor Bloomberg and the rest of the big brother nanny state advocates.

It's simple really, and those who understand the concepts of liberty and freedom understand why without anyone having to tell them.

For the big brother big sister nanny state advocates here it is... The choice of what each individual of their own free will and informed choice choose to feed their body (in the form of nutrients or garbage and useless calories) is THEIR decision and theirs alone. One can choose to be healthy or choose to be unhealthy, it is not the governments realm to force that choice upon any individual.

Sure society as a whole would be better off if every member of society trained as an elite professional athlete. Medical costs would drop like a lead balloon. Obesity and its associated health risks would be practically nonexistent Osteoarthritis would be much less prevalent. Heart attack, stroke, and hypertension would be something rarely heard of. The best news of all people would quite likely live longer and ENJOY a BETTER QUALITY of LIFE. Allowing them to enjoy family and loved ones perhaps a longer period of time.

In as much as the above is true (if you don't believe me check in with The Doctors and Doctor Oz on a regular basis) it is not the nanny state's place to dictate to free individuals what to consume in the form of sustenance. Having said this I will follow with it is the function of government to provide a well rounded and balanced education for the nation's youth,which INCLUDES a proper physical fitness program and proper instruction in nutrition.
Should anyone question why I (the ultimate individualist) would say the state should provide this education the answer is quite simple. IT IS IN EVERYONE'S BEST SELF INTEREST TO DO SO
From The Wall Street Journal...

A state judge on Monday stopped Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration from banning the sale of large sugary drinks at New York City restaurants and other venues, a major defeat for a mayor who has made public-health initiatives a cornerstone of his tenure.

The city is "enjoined and permanently restrained from implementing or enforcing the new regulations," wrote New York Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling, blocking the rules one day before they would have taken effect. The city's chief counsel, Michael Cardozo, pledged to quickly appeal the ruling.

In halting the drink rules, Judge Tingling noted that the incoming sugary drink regulations were "fraught with arbitrary and capricious consequences" that would be difficult to enforce with consistency "even within a particular city block, much less the city as a whole."


In his ruling, Judge Tingling found the Board of Health's mission is to protect New Yorkers by providing regulations that protect against diseases. Those powers, he argued, don't include the authority to "limit or ban a legal item under the guise of 'controlling chronic disease.' "

The board may supervise and regulate the city's food supply when it affects public health, but the City Charter clearly outlines when such steps may be taken: According to Judge Tingling, the city must face imminent danger due to disease.

"That has not been demonstrated," he wrote.

Judge Tingling also suggested that Mr. Bloomberg overstepped his powers by bringing the sugary drink rules before the Board of Health, which is solely appointed by him. The City Council, he wrote, is the legislative body "and it alone has the authority to legislate as the board seeks to do here."

City health officials, he wrote, aren't assigned the "sweeping and unbridled authority to define, create, authorize, mandate and enforce" the health code.

"It ridiculous to put this kind of money and legislation into something that people are going to find a way to bypass," said Mr. Nero, 46 years old, of Brooklyn.

When city health officials voted to approve the large-drink ban in the fall, they routinely pointed to statistics showing that 58% adults citywide are overweight or obese, and nearly 40% of public-school students in eighth grade or below are obese or overweight.

In the debate over the controversial rules, Bloomberg administration officials acknowledged many underlying causes of weight gain. {Read More}

The state providing a sensible educational and fitness program for youth right up to HS graduation makes sense. I fully support the need for this even if it means an uptick in taxes to provide such education.The long term benefits as related to reduction in health care costs likely would pay for itself overtime. Education is enlightening and properly administered is motivational. For the nanny state to dictate eating and beverage choices for adults is ill advised and wrong. Teach the children well and healthier future generations will be the everlasting reward. It is simply the RIGHT thing to do.

What I find so amazing is that more people aren't focused on the broader picture as to why the ban was wrong and whet the implications are should it be allowed to stand.

Via: Memeorandum

Friday, March 8, 2013

Will the GOP Ever Get It Right Again?...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
-vs- Tyranny

Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee is talking about what the rEpublican party needs to do to win presidential elections as it moves forward to 2016 and beyond.

I listened to the gentleman on the upcoming video twice and I can safely say I'm not sure exactly what he said that was of any real substance. It seems his prescription for future success is essentially changing the way rEpublicans do business to yield more of the same results.

I have yet to hear anything about rethinking their position on DOMA or their position on the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry. The party seems paralyzed by the influence of the NRA when it comes to reasonable unified firearm legislation that would aid in reducing the incidence of mass deaths at the hands of a lunatic. I have yet to see the party make an attempt to get the socons in their ranks, those that would deny the right of a women to a safe and legal abortion, to clear the cobwebs from their heads so they can think clearly.

Further the party is silent on the growing income disparity in America as the middle class slowly, yet surely continues to shrink. As corporations move jobs to offshore locations to gain lower costs and competitive advantage in the global marketplace the rEpublican (and sometimes dEmocratic) party seem oblivious to the effect on jobs here at home. Doesn't it appear that what we are seeing with respect to jobs and unemployment will be the new normal unless we start thinking as innovators and outside the box?

Perhaps Mr. Priebus ought to consider, along with the rest of the party leadership, addressing the above issues. In majority Americans are not in step with rEpublican positions on these issues. Yes by all means open the tent, and get in step with the American public on these issues (there are more like these). Then explain in a rational and honest way why real conservative fiscal values (like those held by Barry Goldwater) are ultimately how we can best solve the fiscal and budgetary crises we face. If the party fails to do this it will indeed become irrelevant.

Oh, and another thing, it's time the rEpublicans stop spending so damn much on foolish issues while preaching fiscal restraint. Now here's Reince.

Via: Memeorandum

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Night Watchman...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
-vs- Tyranny

The following has probably been seen and read before by many. The message is a powerful message, IMNHO. It is one of those messages that bears repeating, and repeating, and repeating... often. A message that should be reinforced at every turn of the bureaucratic Merry-Go-Round.

But first some thoughts...

We are facing difficult fiscal times that require hard decisions. So far neither the Congress or the Executive Branch has come to terms with the fiscal challenges and the global realities of the 21st century. Perhaps the fault here really rests with us, We the People.

Given that we are a representative republic and power really rests in our hands (self governance or self rule), perhaps it is time we get serious about cleaning up "our house."

As you read the following think about your individual situation. Your neighbors. Consider those things your government does that benefits you and your family as well as those things effect you negatively and unnecessarily adds cost to the government which ultimately coats us all.

Think locally. Think statewide. Think nationally. Think globally. Consider unintended consequences. Think ethically and morally. Think about how this nation of the self governed can create a more responsive and effective government.

Stop bitching about the government and the people you elected to serve in government. Start thinking about why we have the situation we have today and how it might be improved.

And most of all... Stop sending mixed messages to the politicians you elect and accept the responsibility for changing your government. Into the government you want. It takes works and determination.

Oh, and one more thing, perhaps the most important, BE READY AND WILLING TO ULTIMATELY ACCEPT COMPROMISE. Then demand your representatives in government do the same. In a nutshell, look out for your own self interest (and those of your family) with respect to economic and political concerns. It is time the days of the connected and the pull pedlars controlling government come to an end. It is, in the end, up to each and every one of us to make our voices heard and demand better than we have ben receiving for the past 13 years.


Once upon a time the government had a vast scrap yard in the middle of a desert.

Congress, recognizing the darker side of human nature said, "Someone may steal from it at night." So they created a night watchman position and hired a person for the job.

Then Congress asked, "How does the watchman do his job without instruction?" So they created a planning department and hired two people, one person to write the instructions, and one person to do time studies.

Then Congress asked, "How will we know the night watchman is doing the tasks correctly?" So they created a Quality Control Department and hired two people, one to do the studies and one to write the reports.

Then Congress asked, "How are these people going to get paid?" So they created two positions, a time keeper and a payroll officer and hired two people to fill these positions…

Then Congress asked "Who will be accountable for all of these people?" So they created an administrative section and hired three people, an Administrative Officer, Assistant administrative Officer, and a Legal Secretary.

Then Congress said, "We have had this command profile in operation for one year and we are $918,000 over budget, we must cut back." So they laid off the night watchman.

Now, slowly, let it sink in…

Quietly, we go like sheep to slaughter. Does anybody remember the reason given for the establishment of the Department of Energy during the Carter administration?




Didn't think so!

Bottom line, we've spent several hundred billion dollars in support of an agency, the reason for which very few people who read this can remember!

Ready??... It was very simple and at the time, everybody thought it very appropriate.

The Department of Energy was instituted on 8/04/1977 for the admirable purpose of 'lessening the nation’s dependency on foreign oil'.

Now, wouldn’t you agree this has been pretty efficient?

It is 2013, 36 years later. The budget for this "necessary” department in 2012 was 24.2 billion dollars per anum.  In 2012 it had 16,000 federal employees and approximately 100,000 contract employees. Is it time to finally consider the job it has done?


35 years ago 30% of our oil consumption was foreign imports. Today 70% of our oil consumption is foreign imports.

Ah, yes – the efficient Federal Bureaucracy.

It is 2013 and we have entrusted the banking system, health care, and the auto industries to the same government Bureaucracy and its inefficient system.

Hello!! Is Anybody Home?

Signed....The Night Watchman

It seems the night watchmen has been paying attention. Isn't it our turn to relive him?

There are places to cut just as there are places not to cut. Figuring out what is right and makes the most sense is really everybody's job, Isn't it? Leaving it to the Washington and state bureaucrats will most definitely insure continuation of the status quo.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Surviving the Test of Time...

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

The nation is indeed in serious trouble. The right and the left are so enmeshed in their own ideological perspective neither can differentiate between day and night. It's okay they keep reassuring themselves...  after all  those we elected are working hard at ensuring our well being. A sentiment that   will, in the long run, amount to exactly NOTHING.

Yep, the nation's electorate, which is of course us, are happy believing those we elect are going to address the problems we face and ultimately resolve them in our best interests. However, given the present realities I guess it depends on whether or not one really understand what your interests are. At this juncture in history my bet rests on most don't have a clue what there own rational self interests are, let alone how to preserve them.

Okay... whether you agree or not I'm here to tell you that 99.9% of the politicians you elect are out to accomplish one thing and one thing only, it is getting reelected. In other words the a'holes will tell you anything they think you want to here. I don't mean to offend anyone but I must say they are apparently doing a mighty fine job deciphering what they think you are saying because for the most part you keep reelecting them.

I find it interesting, indeed comical, the number of times I hear people say "it's not my representative and Senator." that is part of the problem. How foolish and naive can one be?

As a classical liberal, and for those who do not understand what that means do some research, I can only say our leadership in both parties have failed us. To be fair the socon and neocon factions of the rEpublican party are the most at fault for attempting to keep the country on a 19th and 20th century footing. I have a news flash for you, time and technology moves on. If we are to keep the nation we all love we must move on with the times as well.

On a different yet related note.

I'm not my brothers or sisters keeper. I must live for myself and act voluntarily and responsibly to insure for myself and my family the level of prosperity we desire. Having said this I will be among the first to acknowledge your rights as well as  standing up to secure and protect them if necessary. I will be ready and willing to protect you and members of your family from bodily harm to the maximum extent I am able. In return I will ask nothing other than to let me live my life as I choose. Honorably and and with the self respect I have eared the right to demand.

The beacon of liberty, prosperity, and equality has shone brightest on the North American continent and the United States of America. Have we always lived up to the lofty ideals Thomas Jefferson inscribed in our Declaration of Independence? Without hesitation I will say no, we have not. However, even given this, today we remain the freest and most productive nation the world has ever known. Whether we remain in this position depends entirely on us.

We are facing the test that time always demands of great nation states. From Ancient Greece to the Roman Empire. From the Persian Empire to the Ottoman Empire. From the Incas and the Aztecs. From the British Empire to Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union they have all failed this test. Today the United States of America facing the same test other great nation states have failed.

Will our diverse and uniquely different nation be the next to fail the test of time? I hope not. It will depend on us working together to solve the problems of a modern, diverse, and free nation. Sadly, given the current state of our nation I fear the worst.

Good Night until another time.

Politicians Fiddle as Washington (and the Nation) Burn...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
-vs- Tyranny

The political games continue. Or should we say the political inability to talk across the table with sincerity and a willingness to find workable solutions continues? This nation, sooner or later will need to come to terms with its very real, and largest problem, fiscal instability and perhaps eventual insolvency. The reality is spending cuts are needed, both defense and domestic, the antiquated tax code needs to be overhauled and simplified, tax loopholes need to be closed, and yes, some degree of revenue increases needs to be implemented. If the nation is truly serious about debt reduction and achieving a balance budget it is only going to happen through spending cuts, revenue increases, tax reform, and regulatory overhaul.

The nation's lawmakers can continue acting as they have, which of course will only lead us further down the road to national fiscal destruction, or, they can take the alternative approach. Their choice really belongs to us, We the People.

Ideology is great when talking philosophy, and it is very possible to live ones philosophy as an individual throughout ones life. However, we are talking about a diverse, complex, and populous nation and  because of the different dynamics the rules of the game, out of necessity, change. Isn't it time lawmakers (and the constituents who sent them to Washington) begin acting like adults and consider what the best LONG TERM  interests of our country are?

It seems that compromise, as much as I find it distasteful in many ways, is the only course  prudent and reasonable citizens or lawmakers ought to take.
BuzzFeed - While lawmakers in Washington trade shots over the $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts, due to take effect Friday, there's a growing consensus among liberals across the country that the real threat to the social safety net isn't this fight, but the next one.

As originally designed in 2011, the deficit-reduction sequester splits cuts between defense and domestic spending, and explicitly exempted programs like Social Security and Medicaid. But no one in Washington believes the sequester cuts will be permanent, and liberals worry the deal Congress eventually reaches to replace it will slash funding to those programs — as Republicans and some Democrats have advocated.

"There's a broader concern about the fact that entitlements may get ensnared when we go to an alternative fix, [that] they won't escape," Rep. Jerry Nadler, a progressive Democrat from New York, told BuzzFeed. "I have heard that concern."

"Not only do we have the sequester, but we have to be thinking about the deal that replaces it as well," said Melissa Boteach, a director at the Center for American Progress. "Republicans have already begin to push hard for benefit cuts."

Although House Democrats signed a letter this month stating their opposition to entitlement cuts, President Barack Obama has signaled a willingness to bring such spending reductions to the table as part of a grand bargain with Republicans.

During the fiscal cliff talks last year, the president said he would consider implementing "chained CPI," a Social Security reform that would increase benefits more slowly over time... {Read More}

Via: Memeorandum