Tag Archives: progress

Ron Paul?

A friend of mine supports Ron Paul for president. Admittedly, his libertarian views are very appealing to many people feeling as though the Republican mainstream has hung them out to dry. However, there are deep issues that I have with Ron Paul, very deep issues.

My friend and I got into a discussion regarding Ron Paul, and they have graciously given me permission to post it here:

Matthew:

Please tell me you only joined the group supporting Ron Paul as a joke.

Friend:

No, I wasn’t joking. Why should I? Go ahead and convince me! =] I’m game.

Matthew:

His political platform is mostly appealing, I do agree with that. However, he supports pulling us out of a war that, regardless of whether you agree with the necessity of the war or no, you must understand to pull out is to give a victory to an enemy who will not accept our defeat graciously but who will next bring the war to our doorstep again. His consistency on the issues he is most vocal about on the campaign trail is also less than stellar, with a marked propensity for bringing “pork” projects to his district.

Finally, and I know he himself does not espouse these beliefs, but white supremacists have jumped on his campaign, contributing money and support. Ron Paul has not repudiated these supporters or returned their money or prevented their support.

He is not a leader in the sense America needs. And while the the pickings are few in the field, I think of all the candidates running with an (R) after their name, Paul is least qualified.

Friend:

We are in a war that can’t be won. Don’t you remember that Bush declared victory over 4 years ago? Since then, 3,735 American soldiers have lost their lives. If that is victory, then we can’t win this war.

Do you remember Vietnam? We lost that war, and had the common sense to get out of there, (although it wasn’t until we lost 58,000 of our guys) and now? We trade with them! Our relations with Vietnam are as they should be with any country!

If a forthcoming attack is your concern, think about this. When Ron Paul talks about bringing our troops home, he’s talking about bringing home ALL of the troops from over 700 military bases, in over 160 different countries, all over the world. We would not no longer be growing resentment in any of these countries, who all deserve, as much as we do, to run their countries how the want, and not have a bigger, more powerful government come and tell them how to live. How would you feel if China or Russia came over here, and built 15 military bases or more, and started telling us how to run our lives? Would you sit back, and let them? I wouldn’t… I would do everything in my power, (which isn’t much=]) to stop them!

So, who would you stand behind for the next president of the US?

Matthew:

First, what about the war we are currently in is failing so very badly that there is no way the war can be one? Have you followed the news beyond what has been force-fed us by the media? Read the post here to see one side of the new growth of freedom in Baghdad. Even the New York Times, a paper arguably more invested than any other in our defeat in Iraq, last week published on the front page an article telling of the good that is occurring there.

We lost Vietnam because the politicians (the revered but Clintonesque JFK and the worst president in history Lindon Baines Johnson) would not allow the military to prosecute the war as it needed to be. The president selected the military targets, micromanaging far beyond what any true and wise leader would have or should have done. There was a small but vocal contingent at home which proclaimed the injustice of the war, getting their faces (and other body parts) smeared all over the evening news as our country fought for it’s soul. Public figures such as Jane Fonda openly consorted with the enemy while our soldiers, not allowed to fight as they should have, were captured and imprisoned and tortured. We still do not know the fate of many of those imprisoned, as the Vietnamese Communists who gained power through the pride and ineptitude of our leaders at the time, persecuting and killing many of their own countrymen as well as our servicemen.

Comparing that just but unjustly-prosecuted war with the conflict we are currently in, the times when the current was going poorly coincide with times when the military leadership has taken away responsibility and power from their field-level commanders, much as in the Vietnam war. One of the the reasons freedom from tyranny is succeeding right now and we are experiencing success in our military operations is that the generals are giving direction and responsibility and allowing the people under them to work and decide and wage their battles as they know best.

And regarding the justice of the war. Who do you believe attacked us in 1992, attempting to topple the trade towers? And again in 2001? The same people made both attempts. And regarding specifically the portion of the conflict in Iraq, yes, we have not found weapons of mass destruction. But operating on the intelligence we had then, all the leaders, not just Bush, not just Republicans, not just ‘hawks’, and not just Americans, but the UN security council (regardless of the morality of their position) supported us in our use of force to depose Saddam Hussein and protect the world from any furtherance of his tyranny, either on his own people or on others through his state-sponsoring of terrorists and their weapons systems. Important to remember in this is that while we have not found any actual WMDs we have not found evidence that they were not or never there. Instead, the consensus is that they were trucked across the border to Syria and Iran, both countries with despotic governments who are not shy about broadcasting their intentions of world domination by their religion by their leadership.

As far as defense goes. The worst defense is the kind where all your assets are kept close by. With the world getting “smaller” as technology and transportation move more and more people further and further more and more quickly, and with weapons capable of striking anyplace from anywhere in mere hours, being “on-site” and in the region of conflict is a much more effective defense.

Regarding the bad feelings we are breeding by our presence in the regions. First, America is the only superpower in the history of the world which has neither forced it’s culture upon those it is around as superior, nor have we failed to relinquish sovereign control of the nations we’ve fought in to legitimate governments of those nations in most cases (several islands in the Pacific being the only exceptions to that). Instead, we fight alongside indigent warriors to free their nations, then we spend billions upon billions of dollars to shore up those nations economies and social structures. The hotbeds of hatred spring up wherever they will regardless of our presence. And to remove from the area would only grant unwelcome power to an unworthy underclass of malcontents and misfits.

I am not sure who I’m supporting for the nomination. I will support any Republican nominee in the main presidential race because: 1, they are all and each morally and pragmatically superior to any of the Democrat nominees, and 2, third party candidates are never a viable option except to take votes away from one of the two main party’s candidate (yes, liberal third partiers… keep up the good work, grin).

As far as the nominees, I’m becoming more and more convinced that Rudy is bad news, and his promises to set up conservative judges are likely to be empty. Romney, I think most of his detractors are picking at straws in their critiques of him, but I do not think I’ll vote for him in the nomination for his lack of history to his moral beliefs regarding abortion. Thompson is (little) talk and I think he’ll fade away soon. Huckabee looks good but I’ve heard those close to him call him a pro-life liberal. I think he’d make an excellent VP if given a position of counsel and some authority. I’m not sold on him.

Of all these, I think Huckabee, if he shows strength continuing into these upcoming primaries, is my preferred choice, pending a bit more investigation.

We didn’t continue the conversation further mainly due to busy-ness.

Huckabee is looking to be less and less of a man I’d want to lead this country. He’d make an admirable vice-president, but his fiscal and many of his social programs are not good. He does not see that the best way to help people is to remove all government-sponsored assistance and as much government-required hindrance and and encourage as much private assistance as possible.

Instead his proposals include large amounts of money to be given to people by the government. Government money is never free and it always comes with strings. And it costs you and me. Why not just take less to start with?

But Ron Paul is the last person this nation needs. He does not appreciate the necessity of remaining in Iraq to bring it to a place of stability. A process in which much progress has already been made. He is not a man of his word.

Why Us?

A friend asked me a question last night which caught me by surprise. I had honestly never considered this question and am still digesting it’s implications.

Rather than give an answer right away, let me pose the question to you:

Why did such wide forms of progress (societal, scientific, medical, moral, religious, economic, governmental) occur in Europe (during times such as the reformation or the renaissance) and not in Africa?

This question is of especial importance for several historically cultural and certain current events. The legendary Dr. Watson (not of Holmsian fame but of DNA) has recently raised news and hackles with his claim that Africans have lower intelligence. (If you want an opinion of this event showing the ugliness of the evolutionary philosophy and relativist philosophy while making several very valid points, read here). And radical Islam, in it’s eons-old battle against light and right, spread rapidly across North Africa, preventing much exploration based on over-land expeditions.

Is this just an ethno-centrist or xenophobe who doesn’t appreciate the fear which prevented most Europeans from learning more about the dark continent or the difficulty of mounting a meaningful expedition to enlighten the interior? I think not. While there was general human progress, the tribal structure enjoys a mutually supportive relationship with human evil, allowing jealousy, avarice, and greed to rule. There were medicinal benefits, but none along the lines of antibacterial discoveries and exploration of the human body such as Europe enjoyed. It would seem that scientific and cultural progress happened in spite of, instead of because of, any passing of time in these two vast cultures.

And what of Asia? How does Asia affect this question? Was Asia a superior culture to Europe or not? Why?

I don’t have answers to all these, but as I continue to ponder the nature of this beast I hope to write a few bits here and there.

Congestion: Hell On Wheels – Part I

This article was posted by twisted1ogic a few days ago, but we were having difficulty getting the video to work. We’ve fixed it now and I’ve bumped it up.
~matthew

Is there any hope to the increasing congestion that plagues so many of us? Is congestion a weapon in the hand of progressives to push commuters from the suburbs into high-density housing communities centered around mass transit venues.

I’m not into the conspiracy theories, but read about Washington state’s Sound Transit, a monolithic monster of a light rail program that is a decade behind schedule and asking for a tax increase to pay for cost overruns, $10 billion of them. That’s a “1” with ten “0” behind it… a lot of overrun.

Some people like the idea of the rail, but others have the impression it is going down. One columnist asks:

If we really want to encourage a significant increase in public transportation usage, why would anybody in their right mind spend tens of billions on a light rail system that only has 12 stops, when we can expand a bus system that already has 9,141 stops and can serve many, many more people for a fraction of the price?

Duh.

Some news personalities are going to vote for it because they think it looks pretty. But what else should we expect when reducing congestion is not a priority for the state’s transportation department. Anything could look pretty to the poor souls sucking car fumes in multiple-hour commutes.

Cynics Die

The progression of humanist philosophies which seek to explain the birth, purpose, and goal of humanity apart from a Holy God are inherently cynical.

The only thing a philosophy created by oneself and with oneself as it’s purpose can create is a myopia, a self-centeredness which can only result in a cynicism as one recognizes ones inability to affect meaningful change and to define a purpose beyond the pursuit of ones own security and pleasure.

Only when we realize that something outside us, something we do not have the power or ability to define or control, requires things of us, driving us on towards greater achievement in His plan, can we know realism and optimism.

Just as wise parents set boundaries and rules and encourage their children to learn and grow within those boundaries, focusing their copious energies on growing and thriving in beneficial directions. A beneficent God gives us freedom but also give voluntary rules and guidelines which when we abide by them allow us to focus our energies on growth in directions beneficial to us and bringing glory to Him.

Without a pole, the bean plant wallows in the dirt, losing it’s energies to molds and rot instead of focusing on growing beans. Without pruning, the fruit tree grows branches and flowers aplenty, and the fruit are many, but small and sour. Without focus, light spread everywhere, benefiting many, but when it is focused and directed as a laser beam, it’s power is magnified against even the strongest of elements.

Without direction and guidance, we grow haphazardly and without goal or purpose. Change is without weight and we fall into a cycle of attempted change, failure, disillusionment, and cynicism.

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, And The Relative

The Good:

Justice Clarence Thomas has been in the news recently because of a book he has written, a memoir of his life heretofore. He’s making the rounds of radio and TV talk shows and Rush and Hannity, Miller and others are uniform in their approbation of his story. And it is not just conservatives enjoying the narrative of this amazing life. Deborah Douglas of the Chicago Sun-Times, a self-described liberal who believes Anita Hill’s story regarding sexual assault by Thomas, has a few wise words of support and agreement with the aims of Thomas’ life:

…my elders always said, “You may not respect the person, but you have to respect his position.”

Thomas strikes me as trying hard to envision the day when race doesn’t matter, and he offers a strict approach to the Constitution that backs that up. He’s a firm believer in a meritocracy, which becomes devalued when clout, patronage and nepotism persistently usurp it.

The problem is that so many people feel that day is so far away, they can’t take a chance on a guy whose misplaced colorblindness could undo years of racial progress. A man who has tried so hard to flee the burden of race has found, perhaps, that burden is inescapable.

Compare this with the New York Times’ printing of a article by Prof. Anita Hill, one-time subordinate of then Mr. Thomas, in which she continues to maintain the veracity of her story against the oft-reviled Justice. For further enjoyment read the Letters to the Editor regarding Hill’s editorial.

The Bad:

Close to home, in Oak Park, IL a school thinks it can prevent walkway roadblocks and last-minute dashes to class by outlawing “group hugs” at the school. Umm… does this even need commentary?

What about punishing lateness to class. Not allowing ‘lip’ to teachers. Teaching academics instead of the worthless garbage required by so much state and federal oversight and union hand-tying. Creating an environment where learning is the method and creating intelligent, functioning humans is the goal.

Good friends of mine teach at a private school where there are few, if any, field trips, and the students learn classical Greek and Latin as regular parts of their curriculum. When asked when they get to have fun the students themselves respond that learning IS the fun.

Reading the article it seems as though assault and molestation seem to be part of the problem. There is not a right to education, if the person decides they would rather be bringing bombs or molesting others or anything which prevents others from getting the education they are trying to get, kick them out, and send their parents to school instead where they might learn how they need to challenge, lead, and discipline their children before sending them to school.

There are plenty of remedial education options for those who find they really need to learn what they thought they didn’t need to know earlier.

The Ugly:

Dad’s abdicating their responsibility in the home. Living a life of half-way fatherhood, being “men” when others are around and being craven power-whores when they don’t think others see. Yelling at wives and children, psychologically abusing those they’ve sworn to honor, cherish, serve and protect. Psychological abuse is as harmful, if not more so, than physical abuse. Scars on the skin fade with time, scars in the heart only heal with mercy, grace, and forgiveness.

Yes, that’s all I have to say.

The Relative:

Dawn Eden, author of “The Thrill Of The Chaste”, a book on the better way of chastity in today’s unchaste world, debated Virginia Vitzthum, author of “I Love You, Lets Meet”, a book on hooking up through personals ads. In response to a question from the audience regarding why Dawn feels as though she needs to “evangelize” Dawn answers that she is speaking from the position of one hurt by the lifestyle and now speaking against it to protect others. Virginia begins her response calling Dawn “sincere” as though she were some little child, but worse than the haughty snub is the relativist thought that what is right for Dawn isn’t right for everybody else.

One of the most pernicious lies of out time is that of relativism. Humans are relative in that we perceive things relative to other things. Darkness is the absence of light, cold feels more pervasive and “cold” when we’ve just come out of a warm shower, listening to loud noises and we have trouble hearing a whisper we could’ve heard without problem prior. Standards are not relative. Humans invent some standards, such as for gaging temperature, noise, and light, in order to empirically relate different things. But just as the pot has no control over the wheel which spins it and has no say with the potter in its construction, there are standards which govern humans and which brook no relativist comparison. One is either right or wrong (we as humans, being inside the system, often do not have the faculty for judging right and wrong accurately, we cannot measure motive, and therefore must rightfully leave such judgment to the one who created both the human and the standard), good or evil, pure or impure.