Monthly Archives: May 2009

No No NO A Thousand Times NO!

The North Carolina Turnpike Authority says construction could begin on the state’s first toll road by mid-July.

The state House passed legislation Thursday allowing the Turnpike Authority to get bond insurance for the N.C. 540 project. The insurance gives the project a AA rating, which is what is needed to raise necessary funds.

NO Toll Roads in North Carolina!  Especially ones that go to half the county for free and the other half for a fee!  It’s bad policy, and it’s just plain wrong.

The government of North Carolina already collects the highest gas taxes in the Southeast, and yet they can’t manage to fund the roadways!  It’s insane!  The gross mismanagement of money of the State of North Carolina is mind boggling.  How can the North Carolina General Assembly get away with this?  How many times do we have to pay for the outer loop?  We’re paying car registration fees, gas taxes, and now tolls?

I don’t understand why the people of North Carolina put up with this idiocy.  The same people in the General Assembly come back year after year and they do all the same crazy things and it just gets worse and worse.

Conservative Manifesto Part I

In the months that have passed since November of 2008, it has been suggested that the Republican Party needs to re-brand itself. That it needs to abandon its old ideas and get with the program. That failure to do so will relegate the Republicans to the status of the Whigs. That the Republican party is bankrupt of ideas and has simply become the “Party of No”.

While I cannot speak for the leadership of the Republican Party (or what passes for leadership in this day and time) I can speak for myself. Over the past few years, I have grown increasingly disillusioned with the GOP, to the point that I tend to refer to myself as a Conservative, not a Republican.

To this end, I am writing this Conservative Manifesto. While my thoughts have been influenced by many over the past several years, I speak for nobody but myself in writing this manifesto, in the hopes that Conservatives will read it and find common ground to unite behind.

The creed behind this Manifesto can be summed up thusly: As Ronald Reagan famously said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”

Article I: Balancing the Federal Budget

The Dollar is the currency of international trade and has been since the end of World War II. This has produced a great deal of wealth and prestige for the United States of America. But the government tied the value of the Dollar to the “faith and credit of the United States” and as such, an unbalanced budget causes the value of the Dollar to drop. Many foreign nations hold Dollars as reserve currency. The plans of our past and present administrations to print money as if it was going out of style has left the value of the Dollar on a precipice. As the value of the Dollar falls, more foreign powers wish to divest themselves of Dollars. This makes the value of the Dollar fall further. It’s basic supply and demand. The trillion dollar stimulus plan may well be the death knell of the Dollar.

It is, therefore, absolutely imperative that the Federal Budget be balanced. Inflating away debt is not a policy. Ask Zimbabweans who pay Ten Million (Zimbabwean) Dollars for a loaf of bread about inflation.

Article II: The Sanctity of Life

Human life is sacred. The value of Human Life comes as a consideration before all else. The Human Consequence must be weighed in all decisions, political, environmental, military, etc. To this end there are two proposals that are immediately apparent.

Abortion is unacceptable under this policy. The majority of abortions have nothing to do with rape, incest, or the health of the mother. The child is simply an inconvenience. But that makes it no less human, and no less innocent. If the Government does not stand for the rights of the defenseless, then who will?

Deploying the Military to fight an undeclared war is unacceptable under this policy. Despite the greatest technological military might that the world has ever seen, the strength of the United States is not measured in the number of nuclear warheads and aircraft carriers that we possess, but in the strength of our people. We cannot fight and win a war if we are not united. Asking for our soldiers to risk their lives so that their sacrifice can be thrown away on the whim of the next election is unfair, and unjust. Let there be no more undeclared wars. If there is a threat severe enough to ask for our soldiers to fight and die, then the threat is severe enough to issue a declaration of war.

Article III: The Rights of the People

When the Constitution was ratified, it was ratified on the condition that The Bill of Rights be ratified right along with it. Somewhere down the line between then and now, the Government ceased to respect those rights and has imposed its will on the people and the states. The enforcement of the 9th and 10th amendments to the Constitution are of paramount importance. Likewise, the many threats to the First and Second Amendments should be dealt with.

Churches and other non profits should never be bludgeoned into silence with the threat of the IRS taking away their tax exempt status. Pastors have freedom of speech too. And that freedom extends to the pulpit.

The people of this nation have a God Given right to defend themselves when threatened. They have a right to own weapons and to use those weapons to defend their lives, the lives of their loved ones, and their property.

The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 violates the First Amendment to the United States Constitution guaranteeing Freedom of Speech.

The rights of the people do not include Health Care, Welfare, Social Security, Education, or any other government social program. These programs are little more than vote buying schemes and should be abolished immediately.

Article IV: This IS a Christian Nation

The United States of America was founded by Christians on Christian principles. To deny this is to deny the history of the United States. The Constitution guarantees Freedom Of Religion because of the experience of the Founders with the state run Church in England. Not because they wanted to enshrine some kind of quasi-atheism on the country.

To this end, the US Government recognizes religious institutions such as Marriage. This does not give the government the right to redefine marriage. Furthermore, instances of the government attempting to establish definitions of marriage that run counter to Biblical teaching violate the First Amendment of the Constitution and the protections of the religious in this country.

Almost all laws passed in the Congress are somehow related to a moral issue. The question is whose morality is being enacted. Christians have as much right to voice their opinion as anybody else.

Article V: Social Justice Is No Justice

The roles of the courts in this country is to rule whether an action is legal or illegal. Not to judge the morality of the law. It is the responsibility of the Congress to make the laws and to debate the relative morality of the edicts.

To use the judicial system to enact decisions that cannot be made through the legislative process is absolutely unethical. And the inevitable result of doing so is a total loss of respect for the judicial process. If the people do not believe that they can turn to the Judiciary to receive Equal Justice Under the Law, then what purpose does the government serve?

To be continued at a later date…

Yet Again, the UN Shows Its Worthlessness

Ban applauded President Barack Obama’s engagement on global warming but said that other countries were doing more, and added that a new global climate pact meant to be agreed in December could not wait for the United States to pass its domestic rules.

“That’s what I have been doing and will continue to do,” Ban said when asked if he was urging the United States to do more.

This climate bill will accomplish several things, none of which is reducing Greenhouse Emissions – the whole purported purpose of the monstrosity.

Mark my words, these things will happen:

  1. Businesses are going to do a cost/benefit analysis.  As the cost to comply with this legislation rises, the businesses will flee to other countries with less strict environmental laws.
  2. These business will close their American factories
  3. They will open factories in countries that we have free trade agreements with like China or Mexico
  4. These countries do not have the same environmental laws or worker safety laws  that the United States have.  This means that the factories will be less environmentally friendly than a comparable American factory.
  5. Goods made in these factories will have to be shipped to the United States.

There is NO WAY that this bill doesn’t result in a net increase in emissions across the world and cost thousands of American jobs.  The price is too high for a benefit that is absolutely nonexistant.

I Oppose the “Climate Bill”

The Washington Times is reporting that Henry Waxman has the votes to get his “Climate Bill” out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.  This bill must be opposed for a very simple reason, it will drive more of our industry to the third world at the expense of Americans who did nothing wrong.

The story of the past 40 years has been one of shortsighted feel-good policies that have hurt the United States, made environmentalists feel good, and done nothing to help the world.  As long as the United States allows for free trade with countries that don’t have similar laws, the effect of environmental and worker safety legislation is going to be to drive business out of this country.  It’s cause and effect…

When this bill becomes law, it will become much cheaper for manufacturers to manufacture their goods in a country like China that has very lax environmental laws and ship them here.  From where I’m sitting, this will probably result in a net increase in greenhouse gas emissions for the simple fact that when a manufacturer outsources to China, the Chinese factory is likely to pollute more than the equivalent American factory, THEN you have to SHIP the goods across the ocean.

If the goal of this legislation is to prevent “global warming” (which, for the record, I believe to be a hoax and a fraud), then it has no hope but utter failure because I see no way that the net greenhouse gas emissions can do anything but go up without the full cooperation and participation of countries like China.

And this doesn’t even take into account the spike in energy costs to the average American.  Even if they give away the CO2 Emmissions Permits to electrical companies, the mandates for wind and solar are still going to cost them a fortune.

Big on Promises, Short on Solutions

Lately, I’ve been hearing on the radio an advertisement from “The Alliance for Climate Protection”.  This ad presumes to inform us that “Clean Energy” is the way of the future and that the energy bill currently in Congress will be the equivalent of a “chicken in every pot”

Below, is the text of the ad taken from the website “Repower America”

Let’s talk numbers, North Carolina… 10.7% unemployment…More homes lost to foreclosure…
We need to turn things around. And we can’t afford to wait.
Right now, Congress is debating a clean energy jobs plan that will jumpstart our economy, reduce carbon pollution, and break our dependence on foreign oil.
Investing in clean energy can create 62,000 jobs in new industries for North Carolina workers. That’s right, 62,000 new jobs that can’t be shipped overseas.
We can build America’s energy future right here at home, using clean energy like wind and solar. Fuel that’s free, and won’t run out.
But we’ve got to make a choice: Try our luck with business as usual, or invest in a clean energy future.
The smart money’s on clean energy.
Call Congressman G.K. Butterfield at (202) 225-3101.
Tell him to support the Clean Energy Jobs Plan.
Repower North Carolina. And Repower America.

Now, I’ve looked at the “Repower America” website and they have precious little there in terms of the details that would convince somebody like me that this is a good idea.

For example… they claim

According to researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, North Carolina’s offshore wind resources exceed the entire state’s electricity demand.

But what they don’t explain is how you convert that energy into a usable form.  Wind is not a constant power source, which means that you need to be able to store that energy.  How do you store it?  Our battery technology just isn’t there yet.  As an additional problem, the North Carolina coast is prone to hurricanes.  What happens to these windmills in a hurricane?  Will they simply be totally and completely destroyed much like everything else that catches wind in a hurricane?  And how do they propose to get over the “Not In My Back Yard” problem.  There’s a reason that we’re not drilling for oil off the North Carolina coast, and that is that anything that might possibly interfere with the tourists is dead on arrival.  And I’m sure that somebody will correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t windmills a death trap for endangered sea birds?

But suppose that they overcome all these problems, they still have to get electricity from Point A to Point B, and the electrical grid just isn’t set up for that.  We’re looking at a considerable expense for a return that isn’t guaranteed.

I don’t have an objection with looking into options for clean energy.  What I object to is being sold a false bill of goods.  Green energy isn’t a magic solution to the problems in this state.   And to go even further, any energy plan that sets out to grossly restrict carbon emissions is going to hurt a lot of ordinary people.  The technology simply is not there to do what these people want to do, the costs are too high.

Right now, our energy policy needs to be to develop whatever natural resources we have in the United States to become energy independent, while simultaneously working to develop the next generation of energy producing technology.  And that technology is in the works.   The biggest thing that needs to be developed is batteries that can economically store enough power to make alternate energy sources viable.

If the Congress simply mandates this stuff there will be brownouts across the country and our only means of maintaining our electrical power while meeting the carbon limits will be to go nuclear in a big way.  And we’ll be paying through the nose and we’ll have tons of nuclear fuel that the environmentalists will then be freaking out about.

Following up

Following up on my post from the other day, the government has commented on the case of Ashton Lundeby.

Responding Thursday after nationwide media coverage, Capp said in a news release that the charge is unrelated to the Patriot Act, which gives federal agents more latitude in investigating suspected cases of terrorism.

Lundeby said Friday that since the story went national, the FBI has contacted her and that she is cooperating with agents in an effort to clear her son’s name.

Citing a gag order and law that prohibits disclosure of information in federal cases involving juveniles, Capp, the FBI and the federal public defender initially declined to comment to the WRAL News report.

It seems to me that if the kid was only making crank calls then there is no need to hold him in Federal Prison, and there’s no reason that he can’t be tried in a court in North Carolina.  Given his status as a minor – and that they apparently found no materials or intentions to actually bomb anything, this is overkill.

Nice Try

It seems that some rather racy pictures of Carrie Prejean have surfaced on websites that wish to impugn her Christian Credibility.

With partially nude photos of her popping up on Web sites questioning her Christian credentials, Miss California USA Carrie Prejean has fired back, claiming the racy pictures are just modeling shots and vowing to continue her battle against same-sex marriage.

“I am a Christian, and I am a model,” Prejean said in a statement released overnight to the media. “Models pose for pictures, including lingerie and swimwear photos. Recently, photos taken of me as a teenager have been released surreptitiously to a tabloid Web site that openly mocks me for my Christian faith. I am not perfect, and I will never claim to be.”

It seems that this isn’t going to shame Miss Prejean into silence, nor should it.  Everybody makes mistakes, especially young people.  The central tenet of Christianity is that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, but salvation is available to all.

What kind of petty person tries to destroy a 21 year old woman because she actually takes her faith seriously?

Release. Him. Now.

It has come to my attention that 16 year old Ashton Lundeby is being held out of state, without bail, and apparently, without any sort of formal charges.

Lets get something straight here and now.  Nothing.  NOTHING.  Supercedes the US Constitution.  This is a minor.  The government owes his mother an explanation, and this seems to be a clear violation of the 5th, 7th, and 8th Amendments to the US Constitution.

The law of unintended consequences strikes again.

This Has Just Got to Stop

The world has gone mad.  Arlen Specter is out blathering that Reagan’s GOP is gone.  You know, I somehow doubt that the man who said that the scariest words in the English Language are “I’m from the Government and I’m here to help!” would approve of the bailout OR the stimulus.  Reagan’s GOP is still alive and well, thank you very much, and all the better off to be without a turncoat opportunist like Arlen Specter.

There is no excuse for any Republican to EVER vote for that Stimulus Bill.  It is an affront to the very core values of the Republican Party.  Or what used to be the Republican Party.

Moderates need to get this through their skulls once and for all.  You do not win elections by being “Democrats Light”.  If you’re going to try that, then join the Democratic Party.  The Unifying Principle of the Republican Party has been that Government is not the Answer.   If you can’t get on board with that, then you have no business calling yourself a Republican.  And that’s the principle that Arlen Specter abdicated when he voted for the stimulus bill, and that’s why he couldn’t be reelected as a Republican, because he committed the ultimate heresy.

Meanwhile, while the Republicans wander around in the wilderness, seemingly unable to find their core values with both hands, the Democrats are running wild throughout the land.

Look at the GM and Chrylser deals.  Something certainly smells rotten.   The government shouldn’t be involving itself in this mess to the degree that it has.  It looks to me like the United Auto Workers are going to come out of this smelling like a rose at the expense of the taxpayer.  It certainly seems like political payback for their support of the party in power.

The “plan” for GM is for the government to own more than 50% of GM and the Unions to own 39%.  We’re looking at 90% ownership of the government and the administrations cronies.  Now, they say that the Union is going to have to sell off that stock to pay for the health care plan, but I’m not holding my breath.  The Obama Administration even says that they’re not interested in running an auto company, and I’m sure that’s true.  But I bet that they’re salivating over the prospect of stacking the GM board with their lackeys.  All I see in this deal are echoes of Volkswagon in the late ’30’s.

But then, we learn that there are allegations (that are being furiously denied) that the administration threated to use their pet White House Press Corps to ruin intransigent stakeholders in Chrysler if they didn’t play ball.

A leading bankruptcy attorney representing hedge funds and money managers told ABC News Saturday that Steve Rattner, the leader of the Obama administration’s Auto Industry Task Force, threatened one of the firms, an investment bank, that if it continued to oppose the administration’s Chrysler bankruptcy plan, the White House would use the White House press corps to destroy its reputation.

This has got to stop.  The Republicans have to get their act together, or Conservatives have to leave en masse and form a viable third party.  Time is of the essence and this crazyness has got to be opposed before it gets too far to roll back.

On Republican Moderates and Arlen Specter

It has begun.  It hasn’t even been a week since Arlen Specter announced that he was switching to the Democratic party and already the Republican Moderates have started to squeal.  “We Didn’t Have to Lose Arlen Specter” crows Olympia Snowe, his partner in shoving the stimulus down our throats.    Senator Snowe seems to feel that the hard core Conservatives in the party drove Arlen Specter out over “social issues”

it was when we began to emphasize social issues to the detriment of some of our basic tenets as a party that we encountered an electoral backlash.

And, so, what does Senator Snow prescribe?

It is for this reason that we should heed the words of President Ronald Reagan, who urged, “We should emphasize the things that unite us and make these the only ‘litmus test’ of what constitutes a Republican: our belief in restraining government spending, pro-growth policies, tax reduction, sound national defense, and maximum individual liberty.” He continued, “As to the other issues that draw on the deep springs of morality and emotion, let us decide that we can disagree among ourselves as Republicans and tolerate the disagreement.”

I’ll put the quote from Reagan in bullet points so that we can more easily disect it.

  • Restrain Government Spending
  • Pro-Growth Policies
  • Tax Cuts
  • Sound National Defense
  • Individual Liberty

The Stimulus Bill that Arlen Specter and Olympia Snowe made possible with their traitorous votes for it outright fails 4 of 5 of these items on the litmus test as proposed by Senator Snowe! The only point that the Stimulus Bill doesn’t directly address is National Defense, although the stimulus certainly decimates our ability to defend ourselves when the entire thing is funded by foriegn governments who can undercut our economy at a moments notice.  In my opinion, it fails on a 5 out of 5 points, but I’ll cede that the one point is debatable for our “Moderates”.

Now, we’ll move on to the feelings of Christine Todd Whitman, former Republican governor of New Jersey.  She seems to feel similarly to Senator Snowe, but her litmus test is a little different.

In the coming election cycle, we have the opportunity to remind the nation that our party is committed to such important values as fiscal restraint, less government interference in our everyday lives, environmental policies that promote a balanced approach between protection and economic interest, and a foreign policy that is engaged with the rest of the world. The responsibility of ensuring that the party follows the right path lies with those moderates who are willing to work to make it happen. I anticipate that centrists will convene in the coming days to discuss how we can return the party to the sensible middle.

There we go again, Fiscal Restraint a key point.  Less government intrusion into our everyday lives.  How does any of this fit with Specter’s vote that pushed the Stimulus Bill through the congress?  With one vote, Arlen Specter threw out the window the single unifying plank of the Republican Party – Spend Responsibly.

I find it amusing that it’s always the hard core GOP that must compromise with the moderates.  We’re always getting lectures that the Republican party can’t win unless it listens to the moderates.  Well, there is no Republican more moderate than John McCain and that campaign was an utter disaster.  And you can’t blame Bush’s sins of his second term on the hard core GOP either.  Most everybody I knew spent the last two years of the Bush Presidency sharpening their pitchforks and lighting their torches hoping to use them on any Republican politican that darkened their door.  George W. Bush spent most of his Presidency looking for the “sensible middle”, and his attempts to do so were a disaster.

There is nothing wrong with the Conservative Principles espoused by the Republican Party, they can still win, and if anybody seriously believed that a Republican believed in those principles after the debacle of the last 6 years then that Republican could put such a hurt on the Democrats that they’d never forget it.

The problem isn’t that the GOP needs to move to the middle.  The problem is that the GOP betrayed their principles.  Their base doesnt’ trust them anymore.  That means no donations, no envelope stuffers, and nobody talking them up when the Democrats talk them down.

Arlen Specter left the GOP because he couldn’t be reelected as a Republican having supported a Stimulus Bill that bankrupts the country.  To this, I cheer.   There would be no hope for the Republican Party if a Republican Politician could vote for a bill as horrible as the stimulus and not face that kind of backlash. And the moderates should get on board with the conservatives on that point.