What is Conservatism?

March 29, 2017

by Devin

When I was younger, say, about 10 years younger or more, I used to read from and listen to media outlets on the left regularly. I found it to be a siren song sometimes, particularly NPR. Those NPR voices are the most soothing I’ve ever heard on radio. And the musical jingle they play for NPR News is so nerdy sounding, how could any self-described intellectual not love it? And, of course, NPR has some great programs. Who could resist listening to Dick Estell, the Radio Reader, if he or she has the time? The only person on NPR that ever irked me was Daniel Shore, who was the most overtly, egregiously, over-the-top left-wing-nutcase commentator ever to be heard over the NPR frequencies. He didn’t even try to hide his political leanings. And his analysis, well, it just plain sucked. Anyone with half a brain could see that. But there he was, every day, dropping great pearls of left-wing commentary and real jewels of political analysis on NPR’s listeners. I figured he must be there to make the rest of the news folks seem balanced, both politically, and psychologically. He passed away a few years ago, and I, well, I was still listening to NPR when it happened and I…, well, I have to admit, I thought to myself, I hope they don’t replace him with another nutcase just like him!

But in the end, I just quit listening to NPR entirely. I also quit listening to the few other left-wing talk radio shows that were still trying to survive, but were so horrible they didn’t make it. I also gave up watching the news on TV. For several years I had already given up watching anything but FOX, but then I realized FOX isn’t all that conservative, either. It just seems like it is because compared to the other television news media, it is. But the truth is, it doesn’t take much to be to the right of CNN, NBC, MSNBC, ABC, or CBS. Or even ESPN, although people don’t normally think of ESPN as a news channel. But if you watch it long enough, you may discover that ESPN is so loaded down with left-wing propaganda, it hardly seems like a sports channel anymore. So, I quit listening to non-conservative radio and I quit watching television altogether, and as for reading, well, I get all my news online these days. The Liberal bias in the media was really starting to annoy me in a big way. Mostly, I just never heard anything new or worth adopting.

About 10 years ago I starting educating myself on Conservatism (in America) because a liberal friend of mine challenged me to define it and I found that I couldn’t. You can imagine my consternation when I realized I had no good way to articulate my beliefs. Seriously. I couldn’t do it. I have since discovered that this is actually a real problem for people who refer to themselves as conservative. Go ask a politician to define it sometime. See what you get. And then there are the commentators, even Rush Limbaugh, who will tell you that it is easy to define Liberalism, but no one seems to be in agreement as to what is Conservatism.

So, for several years I kept trying to define Conservatism in terms of policy positions, but that was ridiculous. Trying to do that is like picking colors to paint your home without ever seeing your home. You have nothing on which to base your color selections. Just a bunch of feelings about how you think it should be. Of course, that is flawed because everyone has different feelings about what policy should be, depending upon the issue. It is my firm belief that the VAST majority of people who identify as conservative, do so because they realized at one point or another, that where they come down on policies is more closely aligned with those typically held by people who call themselves conservatives, or often just as Republicans, than with those held by liberals or Democrats.

The problem with going about it this way is that there are as many different combinations of policy positions as there are people who hold them. It’s a sort of circular logic. Many people who call themselves conservatives do so because they align with so-called conservatives, who call themselves conservatives because they, too, align with other so-called conservatives. What you get after enough time, with this way of defining Conservatism, is a mess!

That is when it hit me that policy positions are best defined as the emergent property of a set of values. The values themselves being something entirely separate. When I say, “best defined,” I do so because if they aren’t based on something besides personal feelings, on something concrete, separate, and well defined, then they are based on nothing to which anyone can point to and defend. So then I started trying to define conservative values, but that, too, I found to be ridiculous, because values, I realized, are the emergent property of an ideal. So then I started trying to identify such an ideal.

The ideal I found is the same ideal that our nation’s founders had. Freedom. Maximum possible individual freedom for all. Such freedom is only limited at the point where it infringes upon someone else’s freedom.

From this ideal flows all of my political values and from those values all of my political policy positions. Well, with one small caveat, I view freedom from a Christian point of view, just as most of our nation’s founders did. And those few who didn’t, still believed in God and had no problem with those who also believed in Jesus.

So, if you ask me what is Conservatism? I can easily tell you now that it is the belief in the exact same thing our nation’s founders believed, which was that humans were created to be free. And that governments are, most unfortunately, a necessary evil, that must be devised in such a way as to keep their power and interference in our lives to an absolute minimum. The Founders intended to create a federal government that served only the absolutely most essential functions necessary and no more. They were bent on writing a constitution that would accomplish this goal. It had never been done before. They had no past experience creating such a government to guide them. No ability to look back and see where the previous attempt went wrong. They did their best. They were tremendously successful, yet, they ultimately failed. What we have today, in America, is an utter failure in the eyes of our nation’s founders.

A true Conservative in this day and age is someone who wants to restore the original intent of America’s founders. Maximum possible freedom for all.

It ain’t over ’til it’s over! Hang in there! And take notes, while you’re at it!

October 11, 2016

by Devin

A good friend of mine was musing the other day about how a President Hillary would proceed on foreign policy and Obamacare, in light of how badly those two things have gone for her predecessor and where they seem to be headed. I replied to him before I had a chance to watch the last debate, but Hillary just confirmed my expectations in the debate. Here it is.

So, assuming a Trump loss, which I still don’t think is going to happen, in spite of the polls and prognostications, and particularly in light of his performance in the second debate, I am sure a Clinton II presidency would double down on Obama’s foreign intervention and policy. It has been her policy to go around the world messing in everyone else’s business and there is no reason to think she is going to change.

Obamacare would probably be amended by the Republicans to say whatever Hillary wants it to say, since the Republicans are just lapdogs for the Democrats. It would continue to fail ever more disasterously, but I doubt she would go along with any kind of replacement that might improve the situation, because such improvements would be to admit failure. So our healthcare system would continue to implode in slow motion just as it has been for some time now. Watching that one happen would be downright humorous, if it weren’t so tragic.
Now, if you know me, you know I am an eternal optimist. And my optimism sometimes leads to errors in judgement. Sometimes. I’m working on that. However, I am looking hard to find any other evidence besides polling that Trump is losing. That is all there is. Virtually every other indicator there is is saying landslide for Trump. Or at least a win. Also, I have no stock in Trump. I’m a Ted Cruz supporter. It would be fine with me if he just barely wins, so I have no reason to be so optimistic about his chances.
Since I don’t live in SC, I can’t accurately read the public political sentiment there as well as those who do, thus this past spring I failed to recognize the superglue hold Lindsay Grahamnasty has on his Senate seat and called it wrong in the primary this year. But I do have a firsthand read on one of, if not the most, left-wing cities in America, Santa Fe, New Mexico. This city is a professional cheer leading team for Democrats. As I wrote in a recent blog post, the cheer leaders are sitting on the bench staring at the scoreboard with long faces, wishing their team had a different quarterback and wanting it to hurry up and be over with. Zero enthusiasm. Zero energy.
Since the bomb dropped last Friday about Trump and his “locker room talk,” there has been no discernible uptick in enthusiasm in Santa Fe. Just a lot of dirty looks as though “that brutish man isn’t going to grab my p***y!”
You can’t see that, because you live in a state that is totally behind Trump. But I can. And if apathy for the election is this bad in Santa Fe, imagine what it is like elsewhere around the country where Dems are generally in lower concentrations than they are in Santa Fe. Demoralized. Defeated. Sure, they may be getting a little boost from the media frenzy over the “locker room talk” issue, but they aren’t about voting against Trump, they are about voting for their nominee, except that they aren’t this time.
Everyone knows that it is historically rare for the party in the WH to get a third term. Doing so is an uphill battle for anyone going up against that. Last time was GHW Bush riding Reagan’s popularity. Obama has nothing like that kind of popularity. I totally understand your argument about demographics, but for demographics to matter, people have to be excited and get out and vote. We watched the conservative majority in this country get defeated year after year by a liberal minority, because the liberal minority was far more energized. The demographics may have flipped, but the ability of a minority to defeat a majority has not and never will flip, until the minority becomes so tiny it is no longer a significant player.
Maybe I’m wrong, but a Republican majority in both the House and the Senate, along with increasing Republican majorities in over thirty state legislatures, seems to indicate that at least the Republican party hasn’t gotten that small, yet! Conservatives, on the other hand, may well be done for. Hard to say, yet.
Finally, as I have pointed out before, Obama had huge excitement and energy behind him and he barely eeked out victories both times against horrible Republican opponents. Don’t pay any attention to those idiots in the Republican party who keep endorsing, then unendorsing, then endorsing, then unendorsing Trump. They are just trying to calculate which position might best favor their chances of re-election. Endorsements have been shown by extensive research to have almost no impact on campaigns. They have mostly to do with benefitting the endorser, by riding coattails. And after flip flopping so many times, no one is taking them seriously anymore.
Anyway, I’ve already been over this ground before. You probably know all the other reasons I have for anticipating a Trump victory. If you don’t, I invite you to read other posts on this site! My prayer now is for Trump to have the ability to not defeat himself before 9 NOV. I have little confidence there, but seeing how he has responded to the latest two blows gives me hope!
Since the day I wrote this, the media has been calling the election over. Done. Trump is finished! His poll numbers are in free-fall (even though we don’t yet have any numbers from the second debate)! The Republican Establishment folks are looking for every excuse possible to abandon him and anxiously awaiting a Hillary victory! And I am thinking to myself, where have I heard all this before??? Ohhhh yeeeaaahhhh! Just a few months ago during the Republican primaries! After each and every debate and public appearance where Trump opened his mouth, the genius prognosticators in the media and the Republican Party proclaimed, loudly, “this time he’s finally done it!” He’s finished! NO ONE will vote for him now! And then there would be another primary and he would win by a greater margin than the last one.
As painful as it is watching all this take place, it is putting a spotlight on the turncoat, liberal Republicans (like Lindsay Graham, John McCain, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, and their media admirers like never before. Any other time, and hardly anyone would be paying attention. But this time, FINALLY, people are paying attention. All those folks who have been chuckling and rolling their eyes at the term “Republican Establishment,” as though the looney right-wing fringe really must have some kind of incredibly creative imagination, are now finally starting to have some inkling of what those who truly hold fully to conservative values have been saying for so, so long. Those Republican Establishment politicians, RINOs if you will, HAVE GOT TO GO! But in the primaries, not against Democrats!
I’ll take this opportunity to provide you with a link to a website where you can see for yourself who these people are:
And by the way, Conservative Review is a conservative website. If you think National Review is conservative, let me just bring you up to speed on this, they are not. I’d give them a grade of C-, at best. And definitely an elitist crowd that thinks it is far above you and everyone else you know. Somebody needs to take George Will to the woodshed. Just saying!
Chin up, fellow lovers of America! It ain’t over ’til it’s over! The fat lady ain’t sang, yet! Trump may be down, although I’m not so sure he is, but he ain’t out! The media is going to do everything in its power to demoralize Trump voters and make them think it is game over. Take my advice. Ignore the media. And when I say “media,” I am including FOX News. A RINO media outlet if there ever was one.

Hillary Rodham Clinton: Death of a Political Psycho

September 15, 2016 

by Devin

Eight years ago, when Hillary was ousted by Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination, I found myself intrigued by the talk among my liberal friends about the situation. Every single one of them expressed utter disdain for Hillary. Before BHO came along, though, HRC was THE stuff. She had what appeared to be a bulletproof reputation among the liberals of my adopted city, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Hillary stickers were EVERYWHERE. Then, suddenly, they weren’t. They had all been replaced or covered up with Obama stickers. The yards signs for Hillary disappeared practically overnight and were replaced by Obama yard signs. The fix was in.

“Hillary stickers were EVERYWHERE. Then, suddenly, they weren’t.”

The next thing I knew, liberals were all trashing Hillary for all the same reasons Republicans and conservatives had been trashing her for years. I thought to myself, wow! Talk about group think! As we know, BHO went on to win the nomination by a wide margin and then went on to the White House, posting marginal victories against two of the worst Republican nominees since George HW Bush.

Of course, after that, there was no love, just business between the Clintons and the Obamas. The Obama presidency was supposed to be Hillary’s time. How did this nobody from Chicago, who should have been getting coffee for Bill and his buddies, come from out of nowhere and beat her so badly? Answer: He didn’t. She beat herself. Or rather, she and her sex predator husband did. It is my belief (and since I’m no insider, that’s all it is, a belief) that the Clintons are tolerated in the Democratic Party only because of the power they wield. Otherwise, they are universally despised for their unmitigated power hunger, corruption, lying, and ineptitude. Bill doesn’t have the old magic anymore. He’s gotten too old. He’s developed a bad case of foot-in-mouth disease. Hillary’s incompetence has forced the media to go to lengths never before seen to cover it up.

Then, finally, Hillary’s time comes again. It’s 2016. This time, NOBODY is going to steal the nomination she deserves away from her. Bernie Sanders nearly did it and there is no question that he was more popular with the Democratic Party base. Before the Democratic National Convention, in good ol’ left-wing Santa Fe, for every Hillary sticker and yard sign there were two Bernie stickers and yard signs. A Trump or Cruz sticker might have gotten your car keyed. The driver most certainly ostracized from the community.

After the DNC? Suddenly, as though a switch had been flipped, there is no general election this year. At least, not in Santa Fe. Within a week of HRC’s coronation nearly every bumper sticker and yard sign in the city disappeared.

“…if they talk about politics at all, (they) do it in hushed whispers and hope someone will change the topic soon.”

I’ve lived in (or near) this town for 17 years and I have NEVER seen anything like this. When Al Gore and John Kerry were the Democratic nominees (and think about just how bad they were), every other car had a sticker supporting them and every other house had a yard sign. Just prior to the 2016 DNC, you had to search for a car or yard that didn’t have Bernie (mostly) or Hillary (not-so-many) sticker or sign. It was sheer craziness.

Now? Nothing. My circle of liberal friends, if they talk about politics at all, do it in hushed whispers and hope someone will change the topic soon. In these discussions, they just repeat the latest talking points. How they can’t believe anyone thinks Hillary will take away their guns…

What is full-on political hysteria? Answer: Santa Fe, New Mexico before the 2016 DNC. What is the perfect opposite of full-on political hysteria? Answer: Santa Fe, New Mexico after the 2016 DNC. Santa Fe, the liberal bastion of the Southwest. The city that tries every single day to out San Francisco San Francisco. The city that adores New York City as the icon of perfection. Politically dead now. Unbelievable.

Think about it like this, if you’ll pardon the football analogy. If Hillary were a football team, her cheerleaders (in this case, Santa Fe liberals) would be sitting on the bench staring at the scoreboard with long faces, the fans in the stands would be dead silent and starting to walk out, and those watching the game on TV would be flipping channels to find something else to watch.

It’s that bad.

And yet! If you go to Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight.com website, you will see that Trump still has only a 35 percent chance of winning! All the pollsters, even though now some of them are starting to show Trump gaining in swing states, are still predicting a Hillary victory. Team Hillary’s fans should be shouting at the top of their lungs from the stands and going wild. But they’re not.

It kind of gives me the same feeling that the movie Jaws did when at the beginning the girl goes swimming at night in the ocean. Then they start playing that music. You KNOW something really bad is about to happen! Well, at least bad for Hillary and the Democratic Party.

Then, on the radio, I hear Rush Limbaugh saying the pollsters are polling the wrong people. The pollsters are polling people who voted last time around or registered voters or likely voters (not sure how they calculate that last one), but they are not polling people who, like the formerly employed, then unemployed, then no longer seeking employment or counted as part of the job force, quit paying attention to politics way back when GHW Bush broke his promise about no new taxes and got his ass kicked by Bill Clinton. The party lost them back when the Republicans starting running losers like GHW Bush, Bob Dole, GW Bush, John McCain, and finally, that incredibly poor loser, Mitt Romney.

“They are out there in numbers unimaginable to the left. The sleeping giant. And they have been awakened.

These people have been off the radar for so long the pollsters have forgotten who they are and have no idea how to sample them. These are the people who, when you drive around a normal neighborhood in flyover country, have Trump signs in their yards and stickers on their cars. The bitter clingers. The “deplorables.” They are out there in numbers unimaginable to the left. The sleeping giant. And they have been awakened.

And this time, the giant is going to crush the political psychopath of the century, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

A Well Regulated Militia…?

by Devin

Have you ever pondered what exactly the words of the 2nd Amendment mean? I mean, besides its purpose to protect your right to bear arms?

Let’s take a look at it. Here is the full text:

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.

The second half, after the comma, is pretty clear, other than the possibility of the term, “the People,” possibly being misinterpreted as meaning “the collective” and therefore meaning the State. But anyone with at least half a brain (four Supreme Court justices, Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer, notwithstanding) knows the founders weren’t a bunch of Marxists. No chance of such an interpretation ever gaining traction unless our government is able to erase the Founders entirely from our history. And how would they do that? Maybe, just maybe, they would start by replacing them on our currency with non-Founders…

Our beloved late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the landmark majority (5-4) opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller that made it absolutely clear that the 2nd Amendment refers to an individual right.

Anyway, for the moment, it doesn’t seem that the second part of the 2nd Amendment requires much attention. But what about that first part, “a well regulated militia?”

A quick search around the internet, or a conversation with pretty much any liberal, or simply an examination of Justice Stevens’ dissent in District of Columbia v. Heller, will reveal that more than a few people think those words, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State,” were meant by the Founders to be something like the National Guard. After all, isn’t the National Guard a well regulated militia?

Those first words of the 2nd Amendment are practically famous for misleading those who have never studied the Constitution. Many seem to think the Founders did not intend for individual citizens to have the right to keep and bear arms, but rather intended the formation of a paramilitary force, something like the National Guard, where the arms are locked up until some sort of insurrection requires they be brought out and used to restore the security of our free State. (For you Bernie Sanders fans out there, the term “free State” does not mean you get everything for free!)

These people seem to think that the second part of the 2nd Amendment was written to justify the first part. As we shall see, however, it is exactly the opposite.

In the late 1700s, the Founders were not in the least bit concerned about justifying the need for a militia of any sort. They were most concerned about the danger posed by a standing army. They had seen firsthand how the British used a standing army to occupy the colonies and enforce British law or the King’s latest whim. They were also most recently reminded by their very own Continental Army following its victory over the British when the Continental Congress took its sweet time making good on its promise to pay the soldiers for their service. Standing armies were dangerous back then. They are no less so today.

The Founders understood that a standing army, “a well regulated militia” to use their words, would be a necessity if America were to be capable of defending herself from foreign enemies. Thus, they wrote and ratified the 2nd Amendment to guarantee that American citizens would have the ability to fight back against a rogue army or a rogue government directing an army.

In recognition of that fact, the 2nd Amendment was born. And to make it absolutely clear that the 2nd Amendment wasn’t about protecting the right of “the People” to hunt game and participate in shooting sports, or even about home defense, they stated right up front, at the very beginning, the purpose of the right of the People to keep and bear arms.

 

Forget the Great Depression, 1913 Was Far Worse

by Devin

The 16th and 17th Amendments were ratified in 1913. On February 3, the 16th Amendment gave the federal government the power to “lay and collect taxes on incomes.” Something the Founder’s never intended to happen. And to make matters worse, on April 8, ratification of the 17th Amendment changed how U.S. Senators are chosen, as originally laid out in Article I, Section 3, Clauses 1 through 3 of the Constitution.

Originally, U.S. Senators were chosen by the various State Legislatures. The full text is thus (bold emphasis mine):

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.

Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.

No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

The full text of the 17th Amendment is thus (bold emphasis mine):

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.

When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

In the first sentence of the first clause of Article 1, Section 3, and of Amendment 17 the method of selection is changed from (referring to the States), “chosen by the Legislature thereof” to “elected by the people thereof.” The purpose of this change was to give direct control of the Senate to the people of each State. The argument for such a change is readily made by appealing to the desire of citizens to have direct control over the selection of their U.S. Senators. This, it would seem, is the most democratic way to ensure the citizens of each State are best represented in the U.S. Senate.

So what were the consequences of this change?

To answer that question, we must first understand why the Founders decided that U.S. Senators should be chosen by the State Legislatures, rather than by the people of each State. As we all know, and as is enshrined in Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution, members of the U.S. House of Representatives are elected by the people of each State. This, just like the selection process for U.S. Senators, was overtly intentional. That is why it is called, “The People’s House.”

On the other hand, the U.S. Senate was not intended to be another “people’s house.” It was intended to represent the governments of each State. Since each State Legislature represents the people of the respective States, the people would still be represented in the U.S. Senate, but indirectly through their State Legislatures.

If, at this point, you are thinking that all this sounds rather esoteric and unimportant, not to mention downright undemocratic, you are not alone. Ratification of the 17th Amendment depended upon just such a basic misunderstanding by American citizens of the Founders’ intent for the role of the U.S. Senate. A role that was, as originally envisioned and enacted by the Founders, to give voice to each State’s government in Congress.

You may ask, why do State governments need representation in Congress?

That’s a good question. The answer can be found, ironically, in the 10th Amendment, which was ratified along with the first nine amendments in what is well-known to most as the Bill of Rights. The full text of the 10th Amendment reads thus:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

One sentence. Simple. This amendment was directly linked to the original role of the U.S. Senate. The U.S. Senate’s job was to ensure that no legislation made it through Congress that violated the terms of the 10th Amendment. This seems a little bit backward at first, because the 10th Amendment was ratified along with the rest of the Bill of Rights four years after the Constitution was ratified. But the whole purpose of the Bill of Rights was to spell out the 10 most important things the Constitution was designed to protect in such a way as to make it absolutely crystal clear, just in case there were ever any question. And how have there ever been questions!

Now that we have over 200 years of experience with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, we can easily see just how incredibly smart it was to include the Bill of Rights! Given how frequently (practically daily) the right to free speech, the right to bear arms, and the right to religious freedom are being challenged and how often the First and Second Amendments are cited in defense, without the Bill of Rights, we would likely, by now, have none. Thank God for the Bill of Rights!

So what about that 10th Amendment? Why does it matter how U.S. Senators are selected?

Think about it. U.S. Senators, just like members of the U.S. House of Representatives, are beholden to those who put them there. If they were beholden to State governments, how easily do you think they could get away with passing federal legislation that in any way infringes upon the powers of the States? Not too easily. Think State sovereignty.

In this day and age, the States are constantly bullied by the federal government in various ways. The most recent occurrence being the direct threat to revoke federal funding for any public school that fails to implement a policy allowing any male or female to use any bathroom they choose. Why is our federal government in our school bathrooms?!

If you were around back when the legal drinking age was raised from 18 to 21 years, you might recall that while this happened nationwide, all at once, it was not done by federal law. It was done by the federal government threatening to withhold federal highway funds from any state that failed or refused to raise the legal drinking age from 18 to 21 years.

That’s right. The drinking age is not federal law. It is State law. And it used to be freely set by each State for their own citizens, as they saw fit. This is clearly a 10th Amendment issue, as setting the drinking age is not enumerated in the Constitution as a federal power. The National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1986 did not actually set a national minimum drinking age. It merely codified the federal government’s intent to extort the States into submission. This is a classic example of federal government bullying and overreach. Don’t believe me? Google it.

One State, Louisiana, fought the bullying, but eventually capitulated. If you are, or have ever been, in the U.S. Military, you know that on military bases the drinking age is still 18. Talk about hypocrisy! Apparently, what’s good for the goose is not good for the gander!

So, back to answering our question about the consequences of the 17th Amendment. When U.S. Senators can pass federal laws that force State governments to act against their will, State governments can do nothing about it. Nothing. And since State governments comprise the most local and immediate representation of their citizens, the will of the people is subverted.

You may ask, if the people directly elect their U.S. Senators, why wouldn’t they simply kick them out of office for passing a law that subverted their will at the next election?

Simple. The people are busy living their lives and not paying attention. How else to explain Lindsay Graham, Mitch McConnell, and John McCain?! Furthermore, the people do not understand the significance of each federal law that chips away at local control of their lives. State governments, on the other hand, are a much smaller subset of each State’s citizens and their job is legislation. These are the very people who, given control of the U.S. Senate, would not stand for being bullied by the federal government. It used to be a major part of their job.

A second major consequence of the 17th Amendment was a major reduction in the public’s attention to whom they elect to their State legislatures. No longer having to worry about who their State Representatives and Senators might choose to send to Washington, D.C., their interest was severely diminished. As a result, State governments are now populated by people, about which, few of the people they represent know very much. And knowing that few voters are paying attention at the State level gives State legislators the ability to abuse their positions and be derelict in their duties.

So what would happen if the 17th Amendment were to be repealed?

Firstly, at each of the following three election cycles, the State Legislatures would appoint replacements for those U.S. Senators whose terms were up. Since as of this writing 30 States are under total Republican Party control, it is likely that the U.S. Senate would become dominated by Republicans in short order unless the Democratic Party suddenly made major gains in the State governments.

Secondly, numerous federal laws that trample on State sovereignty would be considered in Congress for repeal. And no bills further infringing on State sovereignty would make it past the U.S. Senate, thus taking a major step toward reigning in federal power. Federal agencies that have made a habit of imposing crippling regulations on States would be directly in the crosshairs of U.S. Senators who would have to answer to their State’s government if they did not put a stop to it.

In short, the bullying would end.

Thirdly, the voting citizens of each State would pay a heck of a lot more attention to the candidates running for their State Legislatures at election time. The citizens of each State would have a very big hammer to use against a runaway federal government in the form of their own State government. Any U.S. Senator not doing the bidding of his or her State’s government would be a one-termer. No campaigning to a public that is too busy living life and earning a living to stay on top of what is going on in D.C. would help.

Finally, think of the reduction in disgusting negative political television ads that would occur each election cycle if U.S. Senators no longer had to campaign to the public for office! That alone might make it worth it!

It is time to Repeal the 17th Amendment!

Bathrooms, Hate Crimes, and the Progressive War on Women

by Amanda

I have to get this out of the way: I don’t hate transgendered people. My best friend for many years was TG. Progressives equate that to me saying, “I’m not racist because my maid is black,” but I’ll assume that anyone reading this has at least half a brain. Also I used to do a bit of cross-dressing as a teenager. I guess you could say I was gender confused. I don’t have an opinion about whether I was deranged or mentally ill. (I sure did suffer from depression.) I came across a bunch of jocks before school one morning, and they called me a fag. I thought it was funny.

Let me get another thing out of the way. I have shared a public bathroom with a TG person any number of times (in addition to my best friend) and it never bothered me. I never saw it bother anyone else, either. I’m sure I have shared a bathroom with a TG I was never aware was TG, because that person passed. These laws and regulations are useful only to protect Transgenders who do not pass.

Given that, why do I rant about these new bathroom laws? First, because they are laws. If a law does not fall under the Non-Agression Principal, then in my book, that is government overreach.  Target and Planet Fitness are private businesses which have the right to make whatever bathroom, locker room, and changing room policies they want. If I don’t like it, I can shop or work out somewhere else. But once bully government gets involved in my naked spaces, I no longer have a choice. Well, I do have a choice. I can be more vulnerable to straight morons who are going to take advantage of the laws to stalk and assault women, or I can be pushed out of the public sphere, living like my great-grandmother did, or like a woman in a Muslim country.

Talk about “Get your laws off my body”!

The second thing that infuriates me about these laws is how proponents justify them: as a civil rights issue, and as a safety issue. Gender fluidity begins with internal feelings that may result in an action being taken. It may be controversial for me to say that a person can control their feelings. I happen to think it a necessary skill for every adult. But for sure a person can control their actions. So if a non-passing TG does not feel accepted in certain situations, such as employment, that person can refrain from going TG to an interview. Can an African-American refrain from being African-American? No, black people actually were “born that way.” Being African-American or a woman is a state of being; it is not possible to refrain from being that. Transgendering is a behavior. Should TGs have to constrain who they are and what they do to maintain equal treatment in society? No. Of course they should not. Nor should anyone. The point is, they CAN; African-Americans can’t.

The other justification I hear for having transgender people use the bathroom or locker room of their gender identity is that bathrooms and locker rooms are places where non-passing TGs experience violence. Violence against TG people is horrible. It is inexcusable.  It is unacceptable. A Time article dated August 17, 2015 titled: “Why Transgendered People Are Being Murdered at a Historic Rate” states there had been 15 murders of TGs up to that point in 2015, primarily TGs of color.  In 2014, there were 1,359 incidents of hate violence against LGBT individuals, of which TGs were the largest share.

No one deserves to be a victim of violence. Every individual human is a child of God who has a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. No one deserves to be harassed. But since we are asking women and girls to be the safe harbor for TG individuals, and to bear the brunt of straight jackasses who will inevitably abuse these laws, how are women faring?

TGs are undoubtedly harassed, but harassment is also a fact of life for many women. When I was young, I was sexually harassed at school, at work, on public transportation, walking down the street, at the YMCA. I could go on. The last time I was harassed was a few months ago in a grocery store parking lot at noon. Does our world feel safe to women? Survey your women friends. How many look in their back seat before getting into their car? How many would go to a bar alone? How many feel safe on a walk or jog alone? Or staying at the office past business hours? How many walk through a parking garage alone without a second’s thought? Or are afraid to be at home alone?

According to the CDC, nearly one in five women has been raped in her lifetime. One in six women has been stalked. Of raped women, 40 percent experienced their first rape as children, and 12 percent were children under age 10. I say first rape because 35 percent who were raped as children were also raped as an adult. Doing the math on those numbers yields about 2 million American women raped in 1 year. Most of these women experience PTSD, and are much more likely to experience asthma, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, frequent headaches, chronic pain, difficulty sleeping, and poor mental and physical health.

The PTSD that literally millions of female rape survivors experience is only going to be aggravated by opening up bathrooms, locker rooms, and changing rooms to biological males. There are laws against indecent exposure, and laws against voyeurism, but these laws would seem to be, nonsensically, suspended in the very places where men and women are most likely to be undressed, particularly shower or swim facilities. Our girls will be forced to endure voyeurism against themselves, and exposure to post-adolescent penises, at the very tenderest ages. Our government is not just allowing, but requiring, sexual violence against women and girls.

So are Progressives telling us it’s worth it to put millions of women and girls into trepidation and fear about being exploited, in order to protect a tiny minority of TG individuals from feeling uncomfortable? To prevent whatever percentage of a few thousand hate crimes that may occur in a changing room, bathroom, or locker room–by replacing those with an untold number of acts of voyeurism and indecent exposure against untold numbers of girls and women?

I guess the right to safety and privacy is non-existent for women and girls, unless that woman or girl was born with a penis, or pretends to have one.  It’s the penis that confers the rights. If that isn’t male privilege, what is? TG behavior being equated with blackness makes it white male privilege.

There’s the Progressive war on women for you.


 

Constitutional Rant

by Amanda

This post is in response to an article published by the Brookings Institute, which can be found here.

This opinion piece is interesting. But “liberals” and progressives somehow believe in Constitutional protections? FALSE.

  • Are Christians who are forced to bake cakes, freely exercising their religion?
  • Is ideological diversity allowed at our college campuses?
  • Can there be discourse of non-progressive ideas without being called a bigot or a racist?
  • Does the federal government leave things not enumerated as a federal power to states and localities?
  • Are American citizens free from search, seizure, and surveillance without due process?

No, no, no, no, and no.

Progressives don’t believe in the Constitution. They believe in building up and using a powerful and coercive government to jam their personal beliefs down everyone else’s throats, and telling them if they are gagging it’s because they’re racist, classist, or whatever-phobic. To believe that somehow Drumph is more “frightening” when it comes to his commitment to constitutional protections than Democrats?

That’s insane.

Democrats have no commitment to the Constitution.

Why am I so Passionately Non-Socialist?

by Amanda

Why am I so passionately non-Socialist? Because the personal is the political. When you are needy and dependent on another person, they can (and probably will) abuse you. When you are needy and dependent on the government, it can (and probably will) abuse you. As an individual in relationship you have to be strong in yourself to be able to create a healthy, interdependent relationship, rather than an unhealthy codependent one. Likewise, as a citizen of a country, and a part of an economy, being needy and dependent is a hopeless and undignified position. I would like to see us focus our national creativity to come up with ways to integrate disadvantaged and disabled people into a position of feeling useful and being valued. Socialism doesn’t do that. It is charity, in a sense, but lacks love and relationship and so is not true charity at all. It doesn’t give a hand up, it keeps people down. A vibrant economy and dedication to the principle of the dignity and freedom of the human person, as our founders envisioned, is psychologically and socially healthy.

PP in Our Schools: It’s Time to Grow Up

by Devin

Recently, my children’s schools notified me via email that Planned Parenthood would be at their schools to give age-appropriate presentations on reproductive health to their students. The email requested permission allowing my children to attend the presentations. The consent form for my 5th grader contained the following:

(Our) students have participated in Social Emotional Learning Curriculum throughout the year and are ready to move into making positive self-care choices. This curriculum will be built upon every year, as they are developmentally ready. In appropriate groups, they will participate in a health class supported by the Planned Parenthood Education Program. Educators from PP will lead our discussions and all sessions will be attended by the school’s Administration.

Students will be instructed in the follow health education topics:

-General Hygiene/Self Car
-Age Appropriate Hormonal Changes/Puberty
-Taking Responsibility for one’s health
-Healthy Relationships

The class will be held (next) Tuesday. Students will be separated by gender and grade level.

So I responded as follows to my 5th grader’s school:

I do not consent.

I think Health Education is a very good thing. I just think it might be a good idea to consider looking for someone else to provide it, as Planned Parenthood’s values do not match up with mine and I suspect, given the controversial nature of the organization vis-à-vis the recent media exposure they have received from the Center for Medical Progress, there may be others who feel similarly, whether they speak up about it or not. Of course, this is Santa Fe, so maybe not.

My negative opinion of PP is centered on my deep and profound respect for women and life and my intense desire for men to know they will be held accountable for their actions. The premise of PP’s existence is acceptance of the idea that women will never be respected and men will never be held accountable and that these facts are immutable, thus they, PP, are there to assist with the consequences. Unfortunately, this simply leads to an even greater surrender to, and acceptance of, this idea throughout our national culture. As a father who intensely loves his daughter, I want the very best for her as she grows up. (When she grows up) I believe any man who would disrespect her by expecting her to engage in sex with him without a lifetime commitment to her through marriage is not worthy of one microsecond of her attention. And if one ever does, he better find a new State to live in.

The following is excerpted from email from my 8th grade son’s school:

Dear 7th and 8th grade parents,

This coming week, we will be conducting age-appropriate workshops about reproductive health for our 7th and 8th graders during science class periods and study halls. These are offered through our partnership with Planned Parenthood of Santa Fe and are offered at all of the public schools in Santa Fe, as well as at the vast majority of our community’s private schools. The topics to be covered are listed below:

7th grade: Healthy Relationships and Exploring Personal Values Around Sexuality
8th grade: STIs (Transmission & Risk Reduction), Pregnancy & Contraception

I responded as follows to my 8th grade son’s school:

I don’t have a problem with my son attending this presentation, but I wish you would find another provider in the future. PP is, in my opinion, an extremely controversial organization that clearly does not respect human life before birth at any stage of development.

My dilemma is that while I would prefer that he get this information either from another provider and from me, I don’t want him to be the only kid (in school) having to be accommodated while all the other kids are attending the presentation. Also, I am not one to over protect him from the world in which we live.

So, if there are going to be a number of other kids whose parents are not giving their permission to attend, then my preference would be that he not attend. If I am the only parent, or one of only two or three parents withholding permission, then I would prefer that he go ahead and attend. 

Either way, I appreciate the request for permission and I will certainly follow up with him on the subject. We have already discussed this subject to some extent and I continue to discuss it with him as he is maturing.

As a side note, this information was not given to children in public schools until the 10th grade when I was in school and frankly, while I know times are different and children are sexually active at even younger ages now than they were then, I still don’t think it is really necessary before high school. Furthermore, the implied message coming from us adults is that we somehow condone and expect children to become sexually active before they are mature enough to handle it responsibly. If you know my son, then I’m sure you know he is not the kid who is likely to be needing this information just yet. I would like to think that he is not the only kid in the 8th grade who doesn’t yet need it! And if you know something about him that I don’t, then please, by all means, let me know!

Before you judge me as some kind of pro-life activist who stands on street corners with anti-abortion signs yelling at traffic driving by, let me make it clear that I am not. Not even close! Furthermore, I only converted from pro-choice to pro-life about five years ago, when I came to the conclusion that the pro-choice position is 99.9 percent about convenience and that there is absolutely no way anyone can say with absolute authority at what point in prenatal development a fertilized egg becomes a human being with a soul.

Of course, atheists will say they never do, but for those of us who are not atheists and believe in the concept of eternal life and the sanctity thereof, this is an important matter. There are many, many justifications for the selection of different points of development as being that point at which a developing human in the womb should be considered a human being that should not be aborted, and many pages or even books could be written on the subject, and probably have. Many of these justifications attempt to be based on science. Never-the-less, the one thing they all have in common is that they are all based on convenient criteria. The only one that is not, is the one that says life begins at conception. Plenty of people disagree with this, but disagreement does not equal proof.

So what do I think we should be teaching our children and expecting of them? Simple. Sexual relationships are sacred and as such, should be reserved for marriage. In a word, abstinence.

I do not buy into the idea that young people are incapable of controlling their sex drive and that it must be assumed that they will be sexually active before they are old enough to be married and when they are old enough to be married that then, suddenly, pre-marital sex is okay and expected. I think this kind of idea has come about because we live in a culture that has a media that has become saturated with sex. You cannot turn on a television set anymore without seeing this. And people in our culture have become so accustomed to seeing it that we hardly even notice it (unless, of course, you are a teenager in the throes of raging hormones. Then you notice it!)

Of course if you grow up in an environment such that everywhere you look, from the checkout line at the grocery store to school, to television, to radio, and the internet, scantily-clad women, and in many cases, young girls, are on display or singing songs about sex and how awesome it is, then naturally a young person is going to be tempted at every turn to do just exactly what seems to be expected of them; to start having sex as soon as possible! Add peer pressure to that and parents who seem to think it is inevitable, and what kind of chance does a young person have?

Does this mean that a parent has to overprotect their children and shield them from what sex is all about and where babies come from as they grow up? Of course not. Only an idiot would think that. What it means is that parents need to reject the idea that saving one’s self for marriage is impossible. Young people need to be taught that the facts show, statistically speaking, that pre-marital sex leads to a much higher divorce rate and a much higher rate of single motherhood. It also leads to young men, and sometimes even mere boys, becoming buried in child-support debt before they are old enough to earn the kind of money it takes to raise a child.

Is pre-marital sex fun? Oh yeah. Who can deny that? But the fun ends when somebody gets pregnant. Then it literally becomes a life and death situation. Not fun. Particularly for the one who’s life is on the line.

And when a young person knows that there is a backup plan, however distasteful it might be, that can save them from the responsibility of having to raise a baby and child before they themselves are grown up, well, let’s just say that when things are hot and heavy in the back seat of the car, the heat of the moment is going to win out more often than not. Take away that safety net and suddenly, at least one of the pair has solid ground to back them up when they decide to say no, go no further.

And if we, as a society, as the adults and leaders of our communities, would stand up and tell our young boys and men, we will not tolerate such behavior and it will have severe consequences, then the number of children and young adults finding themselves about to engage in a very risky behavior will have been given more than enough justification for backing off and saving themselves for marriage.

Think about it. If, as a young man, you know that if you get your girlfriend pregnant, she will have to have the baby and you are going to be ostracized from your community and will be facing the fact of having to grow up really, really fast, guess what? You can look your peers squarely in the eye and tell them they are fools if they ignore such a fact.

You say, “well, what about in cases where the mother will die if the baby isn’t aborted?” Sure. In such a case, someone is going to die. Possibly both. So, of course, there can be exceptions. This kind of case is so rare as to be more of a philosophical question than a real circumstance that must be reckoned with. What about rape? Incest? What then, you say? Let me just ask you, if you had been the product of either of these situations, would you prefer that you had been aborted? These are complicated issues, no doubt, and I am oversimplifying them here for the sake of brevity, because the real point is, the baby is not at fault here, so why should the baby pay the price? In such cases, the perpetrator should pay the price. And let me just say that said price should be so gigantic, so terrible, that only the sickest of the mentally sick would ever contemplate taking the risk.

Former President Bill Clinton once said, “Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare.” Imagine that coming from a man who won the Latin American “Man of the Year” Award when his extramarital affairs became front page news. None-the-less, that last part rings true. Unfortunately, as long as abortion is legal, and particularly in states where it is legal right up to the moment when a woman is going into labor, “rare” is not a practical possibility. And it never will be.

Finally, I want to close the loop on PP in our schools. By saturating our grade schools with their mere presence, they succeed in institutionalizing their brand. Kids grow up knowing what Planned Parenthood is and that they have been around forever. Planned Parenthood becomes an accepted fixture in our communities. It is brilliant strategy for an organization whose primary business would be utterly unnecessary if only we parents would instill in our children the self-discipline to reserve sex for marriage and arm them with a keen understanding of the severe consequences awaiting them for not doing so.

The Minimum Wage and Unions in Action: Economics at Home

Like so many parents, we try to teach our children the value of a dollar by giving them opportunities to earn money around the house. Some parents do the weekly allowance thing and then have a set of chores that have to be done each week by their kids in order to earn it. In our house, we pay the kids to do chores on a per job basis. It’s voluntary. Do you want to earn money? The rate for unloading the dishwasher is $1. The rate for building a fire is $2. Grass cutting is priced by the section (we’re on almost 3 acres). Etc.

Our youngest boy said we should pay him more for unloading the dishwasher. He said we should pay him $5. We told him it’s not worth $5 to us; at that rate we’d just as soon do it ourselves. We told him it’s worth $1 to us (which is a rate of $20 per hour!) and no more. In addition, our other two kids often choose to earn $1 to unload the dishwasher, so our youngest boy is not the sole labor force. If the government forced us to pay the kids $5 to unloaded the dishwasher, it would continue to NOT be worth $5 to us, and all 3 children would lose the opportunity to earn $1 unloading the dishwasher, because we, the parents, would simply choose to do it ourselves.

Our youngest boy decided it’s not worth $1 to him to unload the dishwasher. Why? Because when he goes to his dad’s house, he can just ask for money and get it for nothing. Why work?

“Economics at home” says a lot about the minimum wage, incentives, and entitlements. Furthermore, if our youngest boy were to unionize the labor force by convincing his step-siblings to demand $5 to empty the dishwasher as well, the exact same thing would happen. They would all be out of a job.