Tuesday, March 12, 2019

With Friends Like This...

I think there is more to this "provocateur" than meets the eye.
Progressives who say the election of Donald Trump was a cry of anguish from white America aren't entirely wrong—but the Left is uncharateristcally coy about who created such a relentlessly hostile atmosphere for ordinary, God-fearing, working-class white Americans that they took the drastic step of electing a fairly ridiculous reality TV star to the country's highest office.
                  - Milo Yiannopoulous, Diabolical, page 95

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Republicans Lose the House -- and More?

My first thought Tuesday night when the TV news folk started declaring Republicans had lost the House of Representatives was, "ObamaCare stays."

Remember, Republicans took control of the House after vowing in the 2010 election to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They maintained that vow in the elections of 2012 and 2014, and voted several times in those three Congresses to actually do it -- though with a Democratic Senate and President, that was as far as it would go. Then in 2016 Republicans added the Senate to their control, while a President was elected on the Republican ticket. And now there was nothing to stop the Republican Congress from acting on their principled promises.

Except themselves.

Oh, sure, as a candidate and President, Mr. Trump has never been able to express opposition to ObamaCare with any enthusiasm, except possibly to "replace" it with essentially the same thing with his name attached to it. But that doesn't excuse the Republican Congress' inability to even present to the American people and the President what they had been promising since its 2010 passage into law. They failed.

And now, as in 2006 election in preparation for which a Republican Congress and President made the historic Democratic free-spending look like thrift, the Republicans have deservedly lost their House majority.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Pastor Zip: Freedom's Just Another Word

[Note: Reblogged from my Pastor Zip's Blog, where this appeared last February 20.]

"Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose," Janis sang in Kris Kristofferson's Me and Bobby McGee. That's what immediately came to my mind when Twitter (yes, Pastor Zip has a Twitter account, but only because NetworkedBlogs, which for free automatically forwards my blog posts to my Facebook page, does -- or at least did -- the same with Twitter; so every couple of days there's an e-mail from Twitter) wanted me see CNN's tweet, "Florida student Emma Gonzalez to lawmakers and gun advocates: 'We call BS'."

The thing is, what may fit the context of a song from the end of the '60s is not a civic reality. Freedom actually means you have everything to gain. And freedom means, conversely, you also have everything to lose. Miss Gonzalez tells of what she has been learning in her AP Government class. Well, thousands of years ago (as my 8th grade social studies teacher Ms. Greenman used to say) in my (11th grade) AP American History class I learned that our Founding Fathers, after winning their rebellion against the British Crown and the King's Parliament, intentionally devised a national government that would have limited ability to infringe upon rights that they regarded as "unalienable." Which helped us to understand the Bill of Rights, which we first learned about in plain old 4th grade Civics.

Other news reports today, which happens to be the national holiday usually called "Presidents' Day" -- though legally it's the observance of George Washington's Birthday -- have noted protests by young students across the nation, demanding that the President and the Congress "do something" in the light of the latest school shooting. And if I'm reading Miss Gonzalez' address rightly, she's saying something that many advocates of "gun control" have been saying for years -- that the Second Amendment, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed," is outdated and ought to be set aside. And set aside now. If necessary, without the bother of actually amending the Constitution. In other words, to grant those two branches of the federal government powers that our governing authority says they do not have.

"Freedom's just another word for something more to lose..."

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Letter to RNC Chair McDaniel

6 March 2017

Mrs. Ronna McDaniel
Chair, Republican National Committee
310 First Street SE
Washington, DC 20003

Dear Mrs. McDaniel:

I first became a Sustaining Member of the Republican National Committee in 1980, the first Presidential election in which I was eligible to vote. I was then a College Republican, working part-time. Even before that I had been active in Republican groups and campaigns, the highlight of which was to be among the young Californians who traveled to the 1976 (by bus) and 1980 (by rail) Republican National Conventions as volunteers for then-Gov. Ronald Reagan.

I have since contributed annually as an RNC Sustaining Member, but I was increasingly dismayed in the latest years there was both a Republican Congress and Republican President as they further expanded, rather than reduced, the Federal Government’s role in our lives, most dramatically in education and health care, while Republican Congressmen simultaneously used earmarking to escalate, rather than eliminate, Washington’s spendthrift ways. Our Party deserved to lose Congress in 2006 because we weren’t legislating or acting as Republicans.

Nevertheless I continued my RNC Sustaining Membership. Party leaders said they learned their lesson and, once returned to control of Congress because of their firm opposition to ObamaCare, proved it by regularly voting to repeal it. In the 2012 election I gladly voted for, and made a small contribution to, your uncle’s Presidential campaign largely because he clearly articulated that the key difference between RomneyCare and the supposedly “identical” ObamaCare was that the Democratic law federalized a matter properly left to the states.

The morning after the 2016 election, I awoke content that, while he has not yet shown me that he is much of a Republican, a President Trump means Republican principles again have a chance to be enacted. But this can happen only if the President and the Congress act as the Republicans they have been elected to be. Alas, what I’ve seen in news reports ever since the election is discouraging.

After the last Census, I was re-districted from Congressman Shock’s “safe” Republican district to a “safe” Democratic one, and last November Illinois’ Republican Senator lost his bid for re-election. It seems that as a life-long Republican I have only one way to voice how seriously I consider this matter -- for our Republican party and for the Republic itself. Enclosed without payment are my 2017 RNC Sustaining Membership form and card. Please send them back to me when this Congress repeals ObamaCare, as the Party has been promising to do since its enactment, and I will gladly contribute the requested $85 renewal (an increase from last year’s $75, and a further increase from 2015’s $65). But not until then. And please tell this to the other Republican leaders in Washington, D.C.

Yours truly,

(The Rev.) Steven P. Tibbetts

cc: The Hon. Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House; The Hon. Darin LaHood, Member of Congress

N.B. To date I have received no response.

Friday, January 20, 2017

President Trump's Inaugural Address

As a statement of principals to launch his administration, President Trump's inaugural address resonates surprisingly well with this American Whig. Of course the Devil is in the details, but the principles he presented both domestic and foreign fit well with those of American Whiggery.

With regard to foreign affairs, I especially liked a section that echoed of the great John Quincy Adams:

We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world – but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first. We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example – we will shine – for everyone to follow.
As for domestic matters, I must confess to some amusement over the pundits' shock tonight over his bleak description of the state of our cities and towns. Do they not pay attention to what they shout every time government social spending is up for discussion? How dare a Republican (or at least someone nominated by that party) President agree with them! Then again they've been busy since the election doing so many of the very things they expressed horror over before it.

Anyway, here is President Trump's inaugural address, as posted by the White House with emendations from his actual delivery. God grant him wisdom and strength as he serves the people of the United States.

Chief Justice Roberts, President Carter, President Clinton, President Bush, President Obama, fellow Americans, and people of the world: thank you.

We, the citizens of America, are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and to restore its promise for all of our people.

Together, we will determine the course of America and the world for years to come.

We will face challenges. We will confront hardships. But we will get the job done.

Every four years, we gather on these steps to carry out the orderly and peaceful transfer of power, and we are grateful to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for their gracious aid throughout this transition. They have been magnificent.

Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.

For too long, a small group in our nation’s Capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.

Washington flourished – but the people did not share in its wealth.

Politicians prospered – but the jobs left, and the factories closed.

The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country.

Their victories have not been your victories; their triumphs have not been your triumphs; and while they celebrated in our nation’s Capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.

That all changes – starting right here, and right now, because this moment is your moment: it belongs to you.

It belongs to everyone gathered here today and everyone watching all across America.

This is your day. This is your celebration.

And this, the United States of America, is your country.

What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people.

January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.

The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.

Everyone is listening to you now.

You came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement the likes of which the world has never seen before.

At the center of this movement is a crucial conviction: that a nation exists to serve its citizens.

Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighborhoods for their families, and good jobs for themselves.

These are the just and reasonable demands of a righteous public.

But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system, flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge; and the crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.

This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.

We are one nation – and their pain is our pain. Their dreams are our dreams; and their success will be our success. We share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny.

The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans.

For many decades, we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry;

Subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military;

We've defended other nation’s borders while refusing to defend our own;

And spent trillions and trillions of dollars overseas while America's infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay.

We’ve made other countries rich while the wealth, strength, and confidence of our country has disipated over the horizon.

One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores, with not even a thought about the millions upon millions of American workers left behind.

The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed across the entire world.

But that is the past. And now we are looking only to the future.

We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital, and in every hall of power.

From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land.

From this day forward, it’s going to be only America First.

Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families.

We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs. Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength.

I will fight for you with every breath in my body – and I will never, ever let you down.

America will start winning again, winning like never before.

We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth. And we will bring back our dreams.

We will build new roads, and highways, and bridges, and airports, and tunnels, and railways all across our wonderful nation.

We will get our people off of welfare and back to work – rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor.

We will follow two simple rules: Buy American and Hire American.

We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world – but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first.

We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example – we will shine – for everyone to follow.

We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones – and unite the civilized world against Radical Islamic Terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth.

At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other.

When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.

The Bible tells us, "how good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity. "

We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity.

When America is united, America is totally unstoppable.

There should be no fear – we are protected, and we will always be protected.

We will be protected by the great men and women of our military and law enforcement and, most importantly, we will be protected by God.

Finally, we must think big and dream even bigger.

In America, we understand that a nation is only living as long as it is striving.

We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action – constantly complaining but never doing anything about it.

The time for empty talk is over.

Now arrives the hour of action.

Do not allow anyone tell you it cannot be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America.

We will not fail. Our country will thrive and prosper again.

We stand at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space, to free the Earth from the miseries of disease, and to harness the energies, industries, and technologies of tomorrow.

A new national pride will stir our souls, lift our sights, and heal our divisions.

It's time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget: that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots, we all enjoy the same glorious freedoms, and we all salute the same great American Flag.

And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the windswept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky, they fill their heart with the same dreams, and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty Creator.

So to all Americans, in every city near and far, small and large, from mountain to mountain, and from ocean to ocean, hear these words:

You will never be ignored again.

Your voice, your hopes, and your dreams will define our American destiny. And your courage and goodness and love will forever guide us along the way.

Together, We Will Make America Strong Again.

We Will Make America Wealthy Again.

We Will Make America Proud Again.

We Will Make America Safe Again.

And, Yes, Together, We Will Make America Great Again. Thank you, God Bless You, And God Bless America.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Thiel on Voting for President

Catch this quote from billionaire Peter Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal, addressing the National Press Club last week (on Hallowe'en):
But I don't think the voters pull the lever in order to endorse a candidate's flaws. It's not a lack of judgment that leads Americans to vote for Trump. We're voting for Trump because we judge the leadership of our country to have failed.

Now I have no intention of casting my presidential vote tomorrow for either Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton, so don't read this as a 21st Century Whig election endorsement. But Thiel's speech (which begins at 2:45 after an introduction) succinctly describes the "crazy" electoral situation in which we Americans find ourselves in 2016.

You can certainly watch the entire program, but Thiel's speech comes in at less than 13 minutes, with the Q&A that follows beginning at about 15:50.

Hat tip to The View from Chaos Manor.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Wasted Vote?

Slightly edited from the ALPB Forum Online, November 6, 2012:

I have in the past voted for Libertarians not because they have a chance of winning, and not simply to "send a message."

My votes for independent or 3rd party candidates increases the chance that their party will be able to appear on the next state-wide ballot without have to meet the onorous and steep cost Democrats and Republican avoid by writing ballot "access" laws to benefit themselves.

It also increases the chance, however slightly, that an out-of-step-with-the-mainstream idea might get some discussion during an election, which will influence the future of the existing maor parties. Without the votes in earlier elections for Populists and Socialists, the Democratic Party of today would be very, very different and Republicans would legislate and govern quite differently than they do. The votes for the various incarnations of the Progressive Party have permanently altered both parties. Republicans (across the board) and Democrats (particularly in local offices) freely borrow ideas that Libertarians champion.

Regularly in many local elections, both partisan and "non-partisan," only one of the major parties actually fields a candidate, while a Libertarian, Green, or other party may appear on the ballot. Once in California I proudly voted (for a non-partisan office) for the Peace and Freedom Party candidate (whom, given her stance on issues, I usually describe as "a Communist") rather than the completely looney left-wing, but famously-named (so of course she would win), Democratic Party candidate. And I didn't have to hold my nose at all on that one.

So I disagree with those who declare such votes "wasted."

For the Republic, Steven