When one declares oneself to be a conservative, one is not, unfortunately, thereupon visited by tongues of fire that leave one omniscient. The acceptance of a series of premises is just the beginning. After that, we need constantly to inform ourselves, to analyze and to think through our premises and their ramifications. We need to ponder, in the light of the evidence, the strengths and the weaknesses, the consistencies and the inconsistencies, the glory and the frailty of our position, week in and week out. Otherwise, we will not hold our own in a world where informed dedication, not just dedication, is necessary for survival and growth.

William F. Buckley Jr., Feb 8, 1956, NR

Monday, March 16, 2009

Congress Is On The Warpath

This past weekend I was entertained by what was originally an HBO mini-series on our founding father, John Adams. I got the three DVD set from Netflix, and spent about 10 hours engrossed in the biography of one of the most impressive men in our nation’s history.

What was particularly interesting was the interactions and friendship between Adams and Thomas Jefferson. It portrayed a relationship that is exactly that which I have decried for years as what the nation needs to see from its political leaders. Adams, a devout Federalist, believed to the core that a strong Federal government was necessary to the freedom of the nation. Jefferson, influenced by Locke and others, believed that it was the individual and the sovereign states which held the powers and the responsibilities. He served as Adams Vice-President, and the two were good personal friends while political opponents. Their deaths, which occurred within hours of each other on July 4, 1826, ended the lives of the last two signers of the Declaration of Independence.

So while these two men possessed complete opposite views of the size and responsibility of government, agreed on one thing: The role of the government was to protect the rights of individuals guaranteed under our Constitution. Today, our government, and particularly those on the left, find that the power of government should be used for personal folly. Senator Christopher Todd (D-CT) decided that he would target specific individuals with the United States Tax code. The issue arises from the massive and absurd bailout bill given to companies to weather this recessive storm. AIG received massive amounts of that money, and gave their executives $165 million in bonuses. Now, forget the ethics of the bonuses. I am opposed to them in principal, as the company failed and is needing citizen’s money to survive. I want to focus on the targeting of the bonuses.

Dodd and his colleagues rushed to pass enormous amounts of bailout money with no oversight, in an attempt to correct a regulatory system that had no oversight. It is taxpayer money and should not have gone to pay huge bonuses for failure. Yet, there was no such provision in the bill. Dodd wants to target these bonuses with special tax legislation. Do you think that is a legitimate function of government? I say not. I say a government that will write into a tax code provisions to tax at immoral and surely unconstitutional rates is out of control. Do you think that these fat cats deserve the money? Do you think they deserve individual action by the United States Congress? Is say they do not, and that any sanctioning of this measure is indicative of supporting the most tyrannical of regimes.

What is to stop them from individually targeting the money of families? is someone else’s success today, it could be yours tomorrow. Even John Adams would find this reprehensible, and I think is rolling over in his grave. United in spirit, there men, yet again.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

What Happens When I Accidentally hit Publish

Oops. I would wipe this out but since you all are having fun in the comment section.

(Note: This was originally blank, but I had to add something.)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Post to Jennifer

This is an open post to Jennifer, who is one of the creators of Conservative Convictions and has now decided to leave it.

I tried to figure out what the problem was, so I scrolled down and found your last post here, Jennifer. The one titled “Short and to the Point.” I think that semantics is what is causing the problem. Let me try to explain. You write that you “have been reading over and over on conservative blogs that they wish Obama complete failure, but I truly wonder if they understand the ramifications of what they are saying. If Obama fails in keeping us safe and protected, then that means that you are in essence asking for another 9-11.” That’s true, Jennifer, but I must explain that although I hope he keeps us safe I hope his socialist policies are a “complete failure“ and I believe we are on the same exact page. I think that’s where the misunderstanding lies. We conservatives can’t wish for him to succeed when that would mean his socialist policies succeed and there are scads of them, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want him to keep this country safe. So, just like Rush Limbaugh, I hope he fails too, as long as his success means his socialist policies succeed. There are going to be some people, including conservatives, who will disagree with that. It's okay. It's the way I feel and I have a right to my opinion, as you have a right to yours, as they have a right to theirs.

I read the comments in the “Short and to the Point” post and can see why you felt you were under attack. I personally believe it is a matter of misinterpretation of what you wrote. I don’t hate Obama, but I do hate his politics and absolutely hate where they are leading this country! I want to make it clear that there were also some things that Bush did and didn't do that I also hated, and although Obama isn't directly responsible for the mess we are in now, what he has tried to implement since he has been in office will prove to be a disaster.

You are one of the creators of this blog and one of it’s most valuable writers. I don’t know why you believe you aren’t eloquent because it isn’t true. Your opinions and insight are needed every bit as much as anyone's. I hope you will reconsider and return, and I have to tell you that if you don’t, it is truly our loss! Whatever you decide to do, I wish you the best in all that you do. Although I know that you have already given this a lot of hard thought, please think about it a bit longer. It's my belief that you are appreciated far more than you know!

God bless you.

The Blessings of Liberty

Those of us who consider ourselves moderates — moderate-conservative, in my case — are forced to confront the reality that Barack Obama is not who we thought he was. . . . But his actions betray a transformational liberalism that should put every centrist on notice. As Clive Crook, an Obama admirer, wrote in The Financial Times, the Obama budget 'contains no trace of compromise. It makes no gesture, however small, however costless to its larger agenda, of a bipartisan approach to the great questions it addresses. It is a liberal’s dream of a new New Deal.'
- NY Times columnist David Brooks, March 2, 2009

David Brooks, Peggy Noonan, David Frum, Christopher Buckley and other self-described conservatives who supported the candidacy of president Obama perplexed me. There is a nascent desire to get along and not to confront what needs to be addressed in all of us, even among those who, like Brooks, should have known better. I have discovered a more ominous threat than the desire to get along and that threat is fear, the fear that makes some receptive to vapid messages like Hope and Change. When did this happen, how did so many of us become fearful and susceptible to the irrational?

America has been a blessing to so many for so long that we have had the security to listen to revisionist history, politically correct moral equivalents and accept them as equally valid points of view, because there was no threat. We have been so removed by time and distance from the lack of liberty, that we take our own for granted. Now that our way of life is under threat and people are losing their jobs, their retirement incomes and security that we will endure, we no longer have a national understanding of the blessings of liberty. Even those whose instincts tell them that as the moderate Gerald Ford observed, that the government that is big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have (paraphrasing), are uneasy about standing up to those who would enslave them.

Liberty from the tyranny of government and the free (non-coerced) exchange within a market economy is at the core of what defines my conservatism. I also believe that what John Adams said regarding America is true: "Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." My Christian faith, which is core to my being also informs my conservatism. Some will try to characterize that faith as intolerant or impractical and focus on that but my response is that you don't know my God!

I, like Jennifer, am bowing out. I appreciate the invitation to join the fine folks here and to contribute as an author but in ordinary times our differences would be academic. I think there's consensus, even among those of us who disagree, that this is no ordinary time. As I mentioned to Jennifer, I believe I am responsible for the sharp differences and fissures that have revealed themselves here. I am unyielding and stubborn in the best of times but when I sense danger, I am intractable. It is my view that some of the ideas put forward here are decidedly not conservative in the classical liberal, modern conservative tradition. I'm not talking about the difference between Ron Paul followers with neo-cons on the war in Iraq, I'm talking about more fundamental, basic issues about ownership of production, do the producers own what they produce or does the government? I say the producers because that embodies the wisdom of our founding fathers.

I am also unrelenting in the face of a threat to me or mine and I say no to Hitler taking the Sudetenland, I mock those who pronounce "peace in our time." Analogies often fail, so let me be direct. Do I want Barack Obama to succeed with his plans? Hell to the no (forgive the ethnic expression)! I have studied this man and his words, his background and associations, his tactics and his actions, he is a lying Marxist in the Saul Alinsky tradition. My beliefs don't accommodate another view, my family is under threat from this man and his collaborators and I am locked and loaded!

God Bless you all and Good Luck!