Wednesday, August 31, 2005


John Hawkins, over at RightWingNews posted some comments from the inexhaustable fountain of insanity at the Democratic Underground this morning. Unsurprisingly, the same people that would privately tell you Stalin was justified in removing the Kulaks from their land and possessions in the Ukraine are letting the world know it's ok to loot.

Normally, I wouldn't reprint a whole section like this, but these are just too juicy. Hat tip to John for finding these little gems of leftist thought.

Manic Expression 1.) Getting necessities, or very near necessities (as in having something to wipe their asses with). This is more than justified.

2.) Left out in the could by the rich and the government, and now they are taking what they need and what they want, something that is routinely denied to them on a regular basis. If they take food, water, alcohol (a valuable medical asset, by the way), there is NO PROBLEM with that. If they take toilet paper, there is NO PROBLEM with that. Any person with half a heart will agree with me on those points.

However, if they take TV's, computers, shoes and the like, that is NOT unreasonable, as they are forced through lack of money and lack of other people's empathy to be subjected to the brutality of the storm, they are completely within their rights to take this opportunity to help themselves and their families. That is my opinion, and I believe that anyone with a sense of real justice will agree with me on those points. Keep in mind that no one reached out a helping hand to those who could not leave before the storm, and then those who are subjected to it are expected to simply "take it", and leave the fortunate people's possessions alone? Please! Try not to be judgmental of disaster-survivors while you sit in safety

William Bloode: If they are stealing food and water, do it without shame. If they are stealing a bit of alcohol, more power too them. After the hell they have been and are still going through they might need a drink. If they might take a few things other from the store thats o.k. with me too.

The poor and needy were abandoned to this hell, when those in charge should have done everything available to get them to safety. So do what it takes to make ya feel better, as long as it does not physically harm anyone else.

And for those who don't have a clue. Find a Red Cross, or whatever. I am quite sure in this mess they have no where near the supplies to fulfill needs. People should do what it takes to survive. I know if it was me and i was in that situation of desperation and had to help my family. I would not have a problem with a bit of violence if thats what it took to provide.

Thtwudbeme: I seriously doubt one poster on DU personally knows any of the looters in the places hit by Katrina, or their reasons for looting.

I am sure there are SOME opportunistic people in these places who are taking big buck stuff...but, I am just as sure that most of the people are trying to get DINNER.

I hate that this storm has offended so many people's delicate sensibilities on DU. Manners don't keep your stomach full, and morals and ethics don't taste all that great. Stuff the looting posts; there are people dying right now.


Lex: I'd rather people take what they need in terms of first aid supplies and food and water, EVEN IF that means that some other people are taking TVs. The good outweighs the bad in the long term, imho.

IanDB1: I suppose they could Buy Blue and Loot Red? I don't blame them. They were abandoned before the storm.

They were abandoned during the storm. Why should they believe that they won't be abandoned AFTER the storm?

They'd be foolish to assume that they'll be given all the food and water they need, or that the government and insurance companies will put their lives back together. And the bankruptcy courts sure won't help them.

Pacifist Patriot: You know. I really don't care if someone is helping himself to jeans. I don't condone senseless looting nor do I find it reasonable. But there is nothing reasonable about what is happening in that area. We can't expect normal people to behave rationally. I would suspect the "worst" of the looters take advantage of any possible situation, not just catastrophes.

As for "looting" grocery stores and drug stores for food, water, diapers, etc....I hope it helps these poor individuals survive. Last year when I stocked up for Frances and Jeanne I made sure I had plenty of bottled water, diapers and canned food. But what if I returned to find those supplies buried under twenty feet of water and no access to my money? I'd have fed and cared for my family any way I could and faced the consequences later.

Have mercy and compassion on those less fortunate than us. Yes, even the people helping themselves to soggy jeans and water-logged CD players. They are still in hell.

Sparkman: LOOT for survival....not a problem. Stealing to feed children's no crime. AND you can't carry on raising kids and living if you don't have STUFF. So count me a looter supporter, put me on the jury, INNOCENT your honor!!

I have some questions for the junior Stalin corps, the group that thinks this is ok. Would it be ok, if it was your house and business the looters were coming for? Don't answer the Maoist red book answer you think your friends want to hear. Deep down in your soul, where that little capitalist American hides, would you let them in, let them take what you'd spent a lifetime building? Would you let them destroy all you'd worked for? Would you let them take food and diapers and water and car stereos and TV's at discount prices from your family? What if that's not all they wanted? What if they wanted your wife or your children? Would those be ok too because after all, a man's gotta have some fun after a disaster like this right?

Or would you defend what was yours and expect the government, which you paid your taxes to your whole life, to help defend it? Would you grab a gun and try to protect your family and what was rightfully yours? Only you know the answer to that, but if the answer is you'd let them do what they wanted, then you must be dead inside. Whether I sit in the comfort of my home ranting about it, or if I was stuck in that hellhole with all those suffering people, my answer would be the same, I would defend my family and what was ours. Can you say that? If that's the case, you sure as hell have no business hypocritically defending those criminals.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Scary post over at Below the Beltway. He drew from Michelle Malkin's site, where there's general discussion of the significant looting underway in New Orleans. Can you imagine what's going on in the rest of the devastated coast? Pray for the survivors, not only that they survive the ravages of the aftermath of this horrible natural disaster, but also that they survive this pathetic breakdown of society.

It's often been said that we live on a thin veneer of civilization, under which lies the rotten underbelly of human history, one of the strong preying on the weak. Our country, among others, was founded to fight this concept, and here we see we occasionally fail. The looters even have the unmitigated gall to justify their behavior.

Mike Franklin stood on the trolley tracks and watched the spectacle unfold."To be honest with you, people who are oppressed all their lives, man, it's an opportunity to get back at society," he said.A man walked down Canal Street with a pallet of food on his head. His wife, who refused to give her name, insisted they weren't stealing from the nearby Winn-Dixie supermarket. "It's about survival right now," she said as she held a plastic bag full of purloined items. "We got to feed our children. I've got eight grandchildren to feed."

This is what we revert to; Stealing beer and TV's because those are the basic necessities. This is sick. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever seen looting portrayed in a negative light, not in any media presentation or movie or even TV show. Only those who try to control the looters are portrayed negatively. It's often portrayed as a joke, even. Well now it's no joke. Now you see how horrible it really is. People steal from others and justify it as "survival". I've never been more in agreement with the phrase "Looters will be shot" than I am reading this crap.

Not that I trust the cops to do anything. They and the National Guard appear to be ignoring most of it.

At a drug store on Canal Street just outside the French Quarter, two police officers with pump shotguns stood guard as workers from the Ritz-Carlton Hotel across the street loaded large laundry bins full of medications, snack foods and bottled water.

"This is for the sick," Officer Jeff Jacob said. "We can commandeer whatever we see fit, whatever is necessary to maintain law."

Another office, D.J. Butler, told the crowd standing around that they would be out of the way as soon as they got the necessities.

"I'm not saying you're welcome to it," the officer said. "This is the situation we're in. We have to make the best of it."

The looting was taking place in full view of passing National Guard trucks and police cruisers.
One man with an armload of clothes even asked a policeman, "can I borrow your car?"


And I don't buy how all these looters are just trying to feed their families. That falls under the old "Don't p!ss down my back and tell me it's rainin'" rule. Most are common thieves, and deserve to be treated as such. If the unconfirmed reports that a police officer was shot by a looter are proven true, I say issue the order, that all looters get the same. This is not anarchy and this is certainly not some banana republic. This is the United States and you will obey the basic laws of society. If not, then what the hell does being in this country mean? Stealing from your fellow man has never been right and never will be. We're pouring more aid and more manpower into helping those in need in the devastated areas than can be imagined. Make no mistake, looters reap what they sew, and when the first of them start getting shot for it, I won't shed a bitter tear.

Monday, August 29, 2005

I'm Sorry, Was That YOUR Tax Money?

My good friend Mike Kole brought up on his Saturday 8/27 discussion the fact that the GOP has virtually abandoned any pretense of fiscal responsibility. The worst of it is, he couldn't be more correct. The party of the "Contract With America" and Ronald Reagan is now feasting at the same trough full of your tax dollars that the Democrats so lustfully devoured all the years they controlled Congress.

Let us consider this. There is nothing that will stop those in power from spending that cash. It comes in automatically, confiscated from us practically at the point of a gun. There is no stopping them. Vote them out and a worse parasite takes their place. Granted, it's not everyone in Congress doing this. Ron Paul from Texas is a notable and laudable exception to the runaway spending and looting of the national treasury exhibited by most people on Capitol Hill.

So how do you stop them? Vote Libertarian? If only it were that easy (although that's a good start ;)) . You have to cut off their money. In addition to voting for people like Ron Paul (and Mike Kole), you have to make it abundantly clear to those in power that their jobs depend upon cutting to the bone that which we now assume is the norm. Stop feeding the beast and it will whither. But...but all those programs, all those needy people, you stammer. What will they do to survive if we take away their money? That's just what Congress hopes you'll ask, and they hope the answers of people like me and Mike Kole won't be good enough to convince you otherwise. They hope your eyes will glaze over when we talk about limited government and fiscal responsibility. So I won't lecture you. I'll let the man whose grave Congress dances on do that.

It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.

The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.

and the killer to all New Deal and post New Deal programs...drum roll...

I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on the objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.

- all 3 courtesy of James Madison

If the man often called "The Father of the Constitution" doesn't think government should be trusted with your money to run a million little programs, why should you think so? When you hear talk of the bogeyman fear of returning to a "pre-New Deal" version of the Constitution, this is what those leftists are referring to. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and whether it's a Republican or a Democrat in power, make no mistake that their most fervent belief is that they know how to spend your money better than you do.

You wouldn't take this from someone walking into your home from off the street, why do you take it from government? Conditioning perhaps, or perhaps because history is such a forgotten art you may not recall what it was like before government started expanding like the 15-minuter, Morgan Spurlock, in "Supersize Me". Take some time to do a little research. Take some time to throw facts and figures in the face of your Congressmen and women until they melt in the sunlight like the nasty little tax vampires they are. Remind them that government didn't always do the jobs it does and America muddled along just fine. John Stossel gives a fair accounting of it in his latest column.

We can live without much of what our abusive parents in government provide. You just have to ask yourself this question. If you believe any of what I've said, and think government is too big for its britches, just ask "Can I live without my favorite government nanny program?" If you can, you're on the way to recovery. The first step's admitting you have a problem (Hi, I'm Greg and I like the Dept of Education). Get past that, and we can finally start imprinting on these pork barrelers that their time is over.

What a Wonderful World

I've been reticent to discuss the war. It's well-covered elsewhere and it's not the key focus of what I've been writing here. However, when something happens in your own back yard, sometimes you can't help but stop and stare at the pure idiocy of it all.

The Westboro Baptist Church yesterday staged a demonstration advertised on their site here at the funeral of Staff Sgt. Jeremy W. Doyle. Apparently, they go all over the country crashing funerals protesting against the US government and its open acceptance of homosexuality. They blame that for the soldier's deaths and of course seem to think that the soldier's deserve what they get. So this isn't your typical garden-variety Marxist war protest. It's more a fringe of the fringe.

Now, one of the wonders of this country is that we are all free to speak our mind and share our opinions in an open forum. I am the first to suggest that even the most retarded opinions be aired in the light of day, so that we may all laugh at them for how ridiculous they are. I even defend the right of these morons to say what they believe anywhere they choose to say it. I also defend the right of grieved mourners at one of these funerals to beat the ever loving sh!t out of one or more of the protestors.

There is a time and a place for everything, and speaking ill of the deceased at their own funeral doesn't work if you're a jilted ex, a crass and uncouth uncle, or a dumbass freak from Westboro Baptist. And please, don't even associate this clan of freaks with real Baptists. There's a special spot in hell being prepared for them at the all-night 28 hour a day cineplex which features Hudson Hawk back to back with Ishtar.

Apologies again, sometimes you just have to look at the scary dog show and yell for others to come gawk along with you.

Friday, August 26, 2005

In honor of Walter William's unique style of breaking complex ideas into simple ones, I feel it's worth revisiting one of the standard bogeymen of the right, the United Nations. I've heard this stated before, but it is certainly worth reiterating. In an organization of free nations and dictatorships, both cannot coexist in a vacuum. Eventually, one's behavior is going to rub off on the others. The only other alternative is, one side or the other will begin to distance themselves, in an attempt to avoid just such a thing, rendering such an arrangement moot.

Imagine if you had a house, and you took pride in it and cared for it. Then relatives of yours came to live with you, hoping that by pooling your money and resources, you'd all have a better life in this big house. Sounds like a good idea, right, but then you realize that many of your relatives are freeloaders, beat their kids, suppress their wives, steal from you, and leave a mess wherever they go.

You have two choices, you can try to clean up after them, but this usually gets tiring and you become resentful. This will always lead to you lowering your standards, because you're surrounded by their decadence every single day. Or, you can kick them out to the curb, with a big bootprint on their backside as a reminder. You're not going to change them, so maybe a dose of tough love will wake them up or at least show them you're no one to be trifled with. Do you agree with that model? Now you're the United States, and that's why it's no longer healthy for us to be in the United Nations.

John Hawkins over at Right Wing News is a trooper for putting together this tremendous collection of Walter Williams quotes from last year. I will second that Walter Williams is likely one of the greatest economists of our time. Not only does he have a gift for understanding and interpreting modern economics, he also has an ability to communicate that understanding to the lay person with ease. If looking at an economics text book is like looking at a foreign language to you, then this is one of THE persons to break it down into simple real-world situations. You will never hear a politician speak of tax increases or money redistribution schemes (i.e. welfare) the same way again.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Is anyone surprised by this piece over at Jihad Watch? I have to shake my head in disbelief and disgust as we engage men like Abbas in political diplomacy. Now, he does what most everyone who gave the matter any thought knew he would do. He's praising the killers of innocents and championing their cause yet again.

"We must remember that our achievements are the result of the sacrifices of the martyrs," he told thousands of supporters who gathered to greet him. "The martyrs have paved the road for us. "

Yes, the cowardly method of killing innocent civillians after several decades netted you a piece of scrub desert on the southern Mediterranean coast. Tomorrow Jersualem!, eh Abbas? Or do you only say that when the Western TV cameras aren't rolling? The idea drilled in my head from a youngling has been you do not negotiate with people like this, you give them no quarter, or they will use it to your disadvantage. This goes for any people seeking power over another. Power is a drug, whether you give to some government agency eager to lord over you, or some two-bit thug like Abbas. This man is no better than Arafat, do not kid yourselves, and he's playing out of the same playbook. How we could go from not dealing with Arafat to playing footsie with Abbas under the table, I have no idea. For further discussion of why this Gaza pullout is such a bad idea, Jihad Watch has some outstanding historical discussion. I recommend it. I'm still waiting for anyone to tell me how this is a good idea.

Monday, August 22, 2005

You Stay Classy San Antonio

By now, you may or may not have heard of the rancher who lost his ranch to some illegal immigrants who he attempted to help in stopping cross another rancher's property. The 70-acre ranch the immigrants won in the lawsuit is not the one they tried to cross, merely property the accused individual owned. Still, let's look at the facts. Set aside the fact that the illegals and Casey Nethercott might have gotten into some kind of scuffle. Set aside the fact that he's a previously convicted felon who will now do more time for illegal possession of a firearm. The lawyer-portrayed victims in all of this, are two El Salvadoran immigrants.

Now comes the obligatory "I'm all for immigrants because immigrants are what made this country great" statement. Please stop beating that dead horse. Here's the reality. If you want to emigrate to the US, do it legally. We let in almost 1 MILLION people every year legally. That's right kiddies. Plenty of folks bust their hump to get into the US legally. So when people enter illegally, not only does it cheapen the effort of those who try to enter legally, it allows for a ready pool of virtual slave labor for employers who utilize the illegals and weakens our already ridiculously unguarded borders.

The most notable aspect, I believe, to an illegal alien, and one that is almost always omitted, is that he or she has, by definition of being an illegal, broken the law. By breaking the law to get into the US, illegally trespassing on rancher's land (ranchers who can't tell the difference between Juan and Maria coming to work the strawberry fields and a drug gang moving product or smuggling something worse), and then getting into an altercation with US citizens who are again by definition here LEGALLY, I'm curious how they then gain the right to sue those same citizens. So if I try to force people off my land who shouldn't even be in the country, I'm somehow the bad guy? This goes beyond being a travesty, and if I have to explain to you why that was likely the worst judicial outcome in the history of border law, then you're seriously missing the point of what consitutes a sovereign nation.

Look, I'm all for people coming to the US wanting to make a better life for themselves. God bless them for wanting to, but there is a legal way and an illegal way, and only one is legitimate. We don't make productive citizens out of immigrants by first teaching them it's ok to break our laws.

We either control our borders, or we let the people that own the land on the border control their land. There is no third option other than anarchy along the border, where criminals (surprise) have more rights than the citizens who live there. Explain, please one of you out there, how this is a good thing, because all I can wonder is which country I woke up in this morning. Everyday we slip one step further away from the country this was meant to be to the country socialists want it to be. Which would you choose?

Friday, August 19, 2005


So Manchurian Candidate (MC) McCain appears to be chumming up with Hillary Clinton at some glacier up in Alaska, discussing his latest Global Warming legislation. It would appear that he's shocked that a glacier might melt and recede in the face of summer temps, even in Alaska. This once again proves that no one in Washington DC is in the slightest touch with reality.

I shouldn't have to mention the whole "Media Dream Team" that is John McCain and Hillary Clinton, two great socialists who go great together, is the last duo I would ever trust to have a legitimate opinion on global warming. When I was getting my Bachelor's in Geology, not that terribly long ago, the politicos of the left along with the vast environmental left were predicting a new Ice Age. Junk science begets junk legislation, period. I don't know how I could make it any clearer. The world has been hotter, and most definitely has been colder, and humanity has survived and thrived.

Trying to pretend, as McCain and Clinton are, that saddling a three quarter of a trillion dollar lodestone around the US's neck is going to save the world, which even they admit it won't, while ignoring the developing industrial economies in Asia, will accomplish exactly squat.

Can we please get our tax dollars away from them now? I refuse to believe Arizonans, the people who elected the legendary Barry Goldwater, are gullible enough to think this schmoe represents an iota of their interest. And even New Yorkers, as self-important and insular as they are (sorry about the cheap shot, I'm on a roll), have to at least see those numbers and wonder what pot they were smoking when they pulled the lever for old Hillary. Senators proposing this sort of legislation, legislation I might add nowhere authorized for Congress to pass by any of their delegated powers, need to be recalled. They do not represent the interests of the American people. Given the focus of the legislation, they seem to be representing the best interests of China and India.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

A Man's Home is His Castle, As Long As He Can Afford the Rent...

For those of you who own your homes, and that is a growing statistic these days, did you ever stop to think that the land you're raising your family on, well, isn't really yours. Of course, the first thought that might come to mind is "Well, duh, the bank owns most of it", but you can eventually pay off the bank and owe no one privately for what you've rightly earned. Who you can't pay off is the government. Yes, I'm talking about property taxes.

Consider that one of the cornerstone rights of us as a people is to own and be preeminently secure in our own property. There are many wonderful articles written on this, not the least of which is Walter Williams' always brilliant editorial, which I've referenced before. This is a fundamentally American notion, one repugnant even to the British as they trounced all over the Colonies in an attempt to squash our Revolution and one they, our closest allies, still consider somewhat alien. The rest of the world, admittedly, doesn't subscribe to this thought, most clearly stated in the 4th Amendment to the Constitution:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Even in that right, you see the inkling of the sacredness of personal property. These rights we would consider natural rights, and not civil, as is fashionable these days. Remember, these are not rights endowed to us by our government, but by our Creator, as I've discussed previously. Now, if all this holds true, and we consider these rights as immutable and unalienable, how then can any government justify taxing us for that which they do not possess? How, more so, can they threaten us with confiscation of our rightly-owned land for failure to pay them the extortion that is property tax?

I have never heard a satisfactory answer to this question, especially not by a government figure. I ran for County Auditor in the last election, and my esteemed opponent, while a very nice lady, was certainly not the model of "limited government" her party espouses. To such a notion that property taxes were an unbearable and unconstitutional infringement on a person's rights, she said people who believed such things didn't really understand government and were at best naive. Naive? People that believe the government exists to serve the people, and not that the people exist to service and feed the bloated pig of government are naive. Let that sink in and remember to ask your local representative if they feel the same way.

In all fairness, I did let her know that I understood government very well, and understood that as long as you kept shoveling money into the trough, the bloated carcass of government would continue to feast at it. I think it's time to put the government on a diet. That seems to be all the rage these days with people, why not try the government. Several states have tried alternate tax structures and user fees to replace property tax, and to some success. Why then can't Indiana? It would remove the specter of totalitarianism from the government and make it leaner and more responsive to the jobs it actually needs to be doing.

It would be nice to see the government actually conform to its original intent than try to become the socialist nanny state so many on the left have worked so hard to see it become, but that's a whole different argument. Just remember next time when you get the little card showing you how your property tax is being spent, how your lot isn't much different than that of a feudal serf. You don't own your land, the government does, and you'd better believe they won't let you forget it.

I was very pleased to find my friend Mike Kole's blog online. He's running for SecState of Indiana and is a really great guy with a tremendous work ethic. He is cut from the same mold as Andy Horning in my opinion, for those of you from Indiana who were watching the last few state elections and definitely knows his stuff, politically and otherwise.

He was kind enough to post a link to my blog, so in the tradition of bloggers everywhere, I'll do the same. Please do visit Mike Kole's blog, KoleHardFacts, when you get a chance. It's a strong site with lots of good news links.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


In the history of the world, when has sacrificing land and treasure for peace ever worked? I'm sure the Gaul chieftain who suggested that giving Caesar just a little more territory might keep him from conquering all of Gaul was as blinded as Neville Chamberlain was when he sacrificed the poor Czechs on the altar of peace to the Nazis. "Peace in Our Time" is it? Again? Do we honestly learn nothing from history? Is it really that hard to understand that making people give up what they have worked and slaved years for, especially by force, is not only morally wrong, but historically retarded?

Are Sharon and the World deafened from the screams of "Today Gaza, tomorrow Jerusalem!" and similar screeds from Hamas and other terror organizations? He cannot honestly believe that they will just turn away now that he is forcing his own people to move out of their homes and communities, places they spent a lifetime of blood, sweat and tears, building. I fail to see the logic in this. Oh, I suppose there is the argument that walling themselves up in Israel and cutting off Gaza and the West Bank might help save lives and make defense easier, but the Israeli government is deluding itself if it thinks this will stop one terrorist.

The die is cast and the settlers are being forcibly removed, a policy which in history has never had a happy ending for the people being moved (Cherokees anyone?). Let me put on my fortune teller hat for this next thought. From here, you will see rejoicing from Palestinians, until they realize they cannot maintain all the thriving businesses and economy the Israeli settlers were trying so hard to maintain. Then, the radical elements who will have used the newly opened Gaza to entrench themselves will blame...the Israelis! They will spout the usual 'Zionism is the Enemy' line and openly advocate homicide bombings and demands for more territory and the usual suspects will trot out to say what a good idea that is and bad Israel should stop oppressing the poor Palestinians. Wait, I have to take off the fortune teller hat. Even I can only take so much bs in one paragraph.

Rather than rehash old arguments or try to start from scratch, I will just say this. If you are genuinely interested in the Israel/PA conflict, go to Middle East Facts and start reading, regardless of the side you support. If that still doesn't convince you just how asinine this whole land for peace deal is, then read the book 'Myths and Facts: A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict' by Mitchell Bard. If that doesn't make it clear which side is being wronged, then nothing I can say will change your mind. Read those and please help educate others as to how bone-headed such ideas as giving up land to appease an enemy hell-bent on your destruction really are.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Where in the World Is the United States?

Although this may not be a current article, geographical illiteracy has always been a pet peeve of mine. I remember seeing this same debate when I was in high school in the late 80's. A majority of high school students couldn't even find the US on a map. Let's take a second to soak that in. They could not find the country they live in on a map. One might be forgiven being a little hesitant in picking it out, but it's not like the US is a small country either. One also wonders if given a map of the solar system they could even narrow it down to the correct planet.

Part of the foundation of a strong culture is knowledge, not just in the history of itself, but in its place in the world. Losing this identity, as we have, is a sign of the weakening and watering down of our culture. The article suggests the blame might lay with us being too Americanizes and thus too absorbed in our own culture. Perhaps, but only in the junk culture, as it indirectly notes with its reference to Survivor.

More young U.S. citizens in the study knew that the island featured in last season's TV show "Survivor" is in the South Pacific than could find Israel.

That part of our culture is worthless, and most cultures have that. Where we fail, and what National Geographic seems to miss, is that where it matters, our culture is not Americentric. Daily we are reminded by those, primarily on the left of how despicable and worthless our culture is compared to those of the rest of the world (which of course explains why so much of the rest of the world wants to live here). In response, many children growing up in the US school system no exactly zero about their own culture, about what made and continues to make this country great.

A symptom of that is not even knowing where America's physical place in the world is. I realize that knowing where Canada is in relation to the U.S. isn't as important as knowing the difference between a Tall and a Viente at Starbuck's, (still not understanding that, by the way tall=small, an argument for another time). However, knowledge of the world and who's in it is essential, whether you're on the left or the right. If you're going to have any part in the national discourse about what the US should be doing and where it should be doing it, at least know the basics of who's playing and how they're involved.

Those in the Midwest, it's important to remember that not only are there two coasts in this country that we don't see, but people live there and usually are the first to interact with people from other nations and cultures. Take some time to educate yourselves on the people of your own nation, and from there perhaps you can get a sense or at least a desire to know what is beyond our borders. Those on the coasts, remember, there's more to your world than your little microcosm of a city. Sure, you have a bit more cultural exposure being at arrival points, but there's a whole middle to this country you shouldn't just assume is crops and rednecks. You do so at your and our country's peril. There are vibrant communities of extremely diverse and educated people with a lot worth saying here as well as thriving immigrant communities most of you wouldn't have occasion to even believe existed.

Take time to learn these things. You're not a New Yorker. You're not an Angelino. You're not a Hoosier or a Buckeye. You're not a Chicago or a Texan, anymore than you're an American. It's important to remember that. Perhaps most importantly, maybe by finding out more about what's beyond your local tattoo parlor, you'll find out that as Americans, we aren't terribly different, and as citizens of this planet, we Americans are some of the very best.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

So it would seem the 9/11 commission is reconvening to address the failure, indirectly, of one of its own members, former Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick. It appears her 1995 memo keeps coming back to haunt her. And as much as the MSM would like to take a pass on this one, or I'm sure find some way to blame John Ashcroft, George W, or perhaps the one and only evil mastermind Dick Cheney/Karl Rove/Donald Rumsfeld/Insert Bush figure we want to pick on this week, they're stuck with the reality that Able Danger has brought that memo back to hang like an albatross around Gorelick's neck.

I think this one's pretty simple. Deputy Attorney General ok's in a written memo and controls the attorneys who enforce the wall that keeps milintel from talking with law enforcement. Atta and some of his cohorts slip through our fingers and kill over 3000 Americans. There's only two legitimate reasons she could have done it. One would be that she was careless and sloppy in her enforcement of the law, and therefore made a pathetic DAG, or two, that she was merely following the corrupt orders of a decrepit Attorney General and chose not to resign over it, which makes her complicit. So which one will it be Ms. Gorelick?

As a side note, during Ashcroft's tenure as AG, many of my more liberal friends liked to talk about how Nazi-like he was and how authoritarian his actions were blah blah. These same people didn't see any of this, though, when AG Reno was ordering the immolation of adults and little children at Waco, ordering the murder of civilians at Ruby Ridge, or illegally seizing Elian Gonzalez from his family. Who was the 'Nazi' again? Of course, the famed response you would typically get was "Well, Ashcroft hasn't killed anyone that we know of." Ok kids, when you find Ashcroft's alleged death camps and Brown Shirt Commemorative Gift Baskets, let me know. Til then, don't p!ss down my back and tell me it's raining.

I want to talk briefly about language. Language is something I think far too often neglected in our culture. We no longer say what we really mean. Everything must suffer "nuances" and "penumbras", cloaking any new idea or thought in doublespeak. I imagine such obfuscation makes such positions easier to defend. Our former President, Bill Clinton, brought this to the lowest common denominator with his pathetic response "it depends on what the meaning of 'is' is".

Is this just laziness on our part, that we don't pay as close attention to what we say anymore? Perhaps a little. Just as likely is that it is intentionally used to subtley and slowly change perception. Let's look at say, the discussion we hear all too often of our 'civil' rights. Shall we look at the definition of a civil right? It is most often referred to as a right or rights guaranteed by reason of citizenship, but more specifically and notoriously if refers to rights granted to the people by government. If a government can grant a right, reasonably they can set limits on it, restrict it as they see fit, and even take it away.

Even some discussion of our most fundamental rights, such as freedom of speech or expression are lately being regarded as civil rights. Refer to this paragraph quoted from Walter Williams' excellent column from August 3rd. The article deals with the left's continuing hatred of individual property rights, but Williams' excerpt shows a definite tell on the part of the defender of the state's position.

According to Ms. Lochhead's article, "Elliot Mincberg, the group's legal director, said the case [Kelo v. New London] had been brought by the Institute for Justice as part of an effort by conservatives to elevate property rights to the same level of civil rights such as freedom of speech and religion, in effect taking the nation back to the pre-New Deal days when the courts ruled child labor laws unconstitutional."

See that notice of 'civil' rights? Well, the government gave you those rights, just like you're trying to get them to give you rights regarding your property! For shame.

A term you don't hear very often today, and one more proper to such freedoms as speech, expression and one of my personal favorites, the right to bear arms, is natural rights, that is, rights endowed to you by your Creator. It's no wonder so much effort is made to make ours a secular society these days. It makes it so much easier to curtrail freedoms and remold society in one's own image, if you remove that pesky God from the picture. As our Founding Fathers feared (say that fast ten times), if there is to be assumed no divine origin for our rights, then how can we justify that they are inalienable or fundamental? If rights were merely assumed by men, then other men (and women, let's not be sexist), can take them away, with full justification.

This is what we see every day, and it continues to worsen. We ignore such things at our peril. The price of freedom is indeed eternal vigilance, as Thomas Jefferson noted.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Cheers to State Sen. David Wolkins from Winona Lake, IN. He is chairing the new eminent domain study committee in the Indiana legislature. State Senator Luke Kenley in an article in the Noblesville Daily Times noted Wolkins' bill would require private property taken by the government not be used for the benefit of another private property owner. The government would also have to pay top dollar for whatever land it did seize, another benefit to property owners.

Let's sincerely hope Sen. Wolkins has a bill crafted and ready for the next General Assembly and it gets the attention and support it deserves. Wolkins noted several special interest groups are opposed to any such legislation, and especially the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns, which has expressed its support for the Supreme Court Kelo ruling. I for one am shocked, shocked to find out the thieves who would steal our land for their own greed would be opposed to such legislation.

Memo to the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns. You might not want to crawl out too far from that rock you're living under. If enough citizens see what you're doing in the light of day, you and the porky politicians you represent may be in some serious trouble. Why don't you jump on board with the home team and do a little something we like to call "genuinely represent your constiuents". We're the ones who really voted you in, hoping you might make our lives a little better, not put a for sale sign on our lawn. You know who you are. Especially where I live, between the local political establishment and encroaching developers, I don't know which one is the bigger threat.

Update 1: I'm certainly glad I don't live in California. How did such a pretty, wonderful state become such a socialist nightmare? This LA Times article (registration might be required) shows that the greedy local governments of California will go to any length to appease some corporate welfare seeker. "As goes California, so goes the nation" I believe is the old saying. Make sure you let your local legislator know you don't want to live in another California.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Kudos to the governor of our great state of Indiana, Mitch Daniels. One would think Daniels would have made a good governor and a good replacement for Kernan. He'd been a strong OMB Director in the Bush White House, but there were tags that he was a "moderate" Republican. Moderate in newspeak means he's ok with raising taxes on whomever he thinks he can get away with raising them on, it would seem.

Recently, my county passed, as most did, his proposed 1% tax hike to the restaurant tax, in exchange for a 50% kickback from the tax for their own growing developmental needs. In non-governmental sectors, you usually find such deals in the murky areas of organized crime (Charge your patrons a little extra and we'll cut you in for a percentage). The beauty of it all is that of course he knew the county's would vote for such a tax, knowing full well no one is going to turn down what to them is "guilt-free" money. If their constituents complain regarding the heightened tax, they can just blame the state, which doesn't really care anyway.

This of course was all for benefit of the renovation of the Indiana Convention Center and the construction of a new football stadium. I'm still unsure when it became the business of the people to f und fields for spoiled millionares to play on. This to me is one of the grandest, and most expensive forms of corporate welfare in existence. Perhaps I missed the Federalist paper that ended "Go Colts!".

Isn't it extraordinary, in a time where our governments are dominated by so many in the Republican party, that you can still find ill-advised, poorly supported, unnecessary tax hikes and out of control spending. Where's that party of limited government again?

Monday, August 08, 2005


"It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

- Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address (1863)

I recently heard this phrase was misquoted by a vast percentage of ivy school elites in the Elite College History Survey as having come from one of a number of documents besides the Gettsyburg Address, primarily the 43 percent that believed it originated from the Declaration of Independence. I thought, especially given this day and age, it was worth repeating and remembering.

Welcome one and all to the inaugural post of "Shall Not Perish". I plan on posting as often as possible and dealing with a variety of issues both local, national, and international. My opinions are worth about as much as the next person's, but I do try to color them with a bit of education and wisdom. I don't expect to win a popularity contest, but I do hope to get people thinking and remind them of the things that are most important about our country.