Tag Archives: Thomas

Sowell: McCain’s Straight Lies

Thomas Sowell writes on GOPUSA regarding McCain:

We have been hearing for years that Senator John McCain gives “straight talk” and his bus has been endlessly referred to as the “straight talk express.” But endless repetition does not make something true.

The fact that McCain makes short, blunt statements does not make him a straight-talker.

There are short, blunt lies — and he told a big one on the eve of the Florida primary, when he claimed that Mitt Romney had advocated a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq.

Even the Washington Post, which supports McCain, said that the Senator “has distorted the meaning” of what Governor Romney said, that Romney “has never proposed setting ‘a date for withdrawal.'”

Read on for more of McCain’s Straight Lies…

When Is Good Enough?

Social conservative Christian leaders meetings are being trumpeted by the media. The talking heads crowing that the current crop of Republican presidential contenders are not conservative enough on certain issues and that movers and shakers such as Dr. James Dobson are planning on voting for a third party or not at all if the eventual chosen nominee of either of the two main parties does not support traditional family values such as opposing abortion and support marriage for one man and one woman exclusively.

I agree with these leaders that we desperately need strong leadership, morals and values in our President, without them we really do not have a chance as America. It has been rightly noted that the next President may very well nominate several more Justices to the Supreme Court, and with the current balance of ideology in the Court, the next Justices will direct the Court firmly in either direction.

Things we know for sure:

Hillary will appoint Ginsburg’s and similar justices. Men and women whose moral compass is screwed wrong. This is not a question or a chance, it is a known and acknowledged fact. She is not ashamed to say it. These Justices will direct the court towards the globalization of our legal authority, the affirming and legalization of abortion, the normalization of homosexual “marriage”, and the legal protection of terrorists and the aiders, abettors, and sympathizers, among other things. The Justices will practice judicial activism and will deny the will of the people and their elected representatives and the original intent of the constitution. They will hasten the destruction of America in immorality, wickedness, and the blood of our children.

The front runners of the Republican race, Guiliani and Romney, would appoint justices similar to Scalia and Thomas, who believe in the rule of law and the strong original intent of the Constitution. As such, the will of the people and their elected representatives when codified in law, is the law to them and they would not change it or define it into oblivion. They would deny the constitutionality of Roe V Wade, they would uphold the rights and protections of American citizens and the entire world by denying the supposed “rights” of enemy combatants and terrorists. They would uphold the will of the people in their laws and constitutional amendments protecting marriage between one man and one woman.

I have serious disagreements with the social ideas of Guiliani and qualms about the religious view of Romney, but when the option is Hillary, I will throw my whole weight of support behind them for our Country’s sake.

Of the two, I support Romney right now. He has changed his mind on social issues, but in the right direction.

So what of Thompson, McCain, and the others? Thompson has not done much since he announced his candidacy, wowing few and wooing fewer. He is not consistent in cutting spending or on social issues. I’d support him just as heartily if he were to be the nominee, but I will not support him in the primary. McCain is not good for America. His highest aim is his own preeminence and he can only be trusted to to what is expedient for himself. A selfish man is not a man to whom one gives authority.

Huckabee is trying too hard to be all thing to all people, the funny man, the cool man, the smart man, the right man. He is all things to all, and nothing true. This is sad. I had hoped he’d be a good man for the job, but he would be polling and focus-grouping as much as the last President from Arkansas. And with a name like Huckabee, how can he be elected?

As for Paul, to (mis)quote a bastion of English (French?) literature: “I fart in (his) general direction”. There is neither honor, honesty, nor leadership potential in that man. He tickles the ears of his listeners with good ideas mixed with bad. With false libertarianism and fake posture. His listeners and adherents are as enthusiastic as they are deluded and I pity them, and have little patience for them.

Do I wish there were a strong Christian man with history and depth, with values and strength? Yes. It is a sad commentary on the state of the lazy and bloated, idle Christianity which defines our Country that we do not have a strong man leading the way, an obvious and unimpeachable choice, a shoo in who no one can say wrong about because He is right and good.

We do not have such a man, and to search elsewhere for one is to run the risk of finding ourselves lost in history as those who forsook the good hoping to find the impossible.

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.

Government Regulation Vs. Innovation

Government is a necessary evil, and as such, should be limited to the absolute necessities. Government is necessary because people are prone to wrong, because we are fallen. Many people believe that government is the preferable entity for enacting standards and change, protection and prevention, due to its scale and a false assumption of its responsibility and prerogative.

Perhaps most egregious and insidious of the government’s accepted roles today is regulation. This is applicable both for Federal and State government. Each has responsibilities, which do not constitutionally overlap, and each oversteps its bounds. I will speak of the government as a conglomerate encompassing both the Federal and State leve though, because the problem is the same as is the solution.

Innovation is what occurs where there is little no protection of the status quo. I’m not a strict libertarian, I do not believe, for instance, that researchers ought to be allowed to do as Bretons are considering, creating transgenic creatures part human and part animal through embryonic and DNA manipulation even for the sake of research. And I believe that government has a moral responsibility to prevent this and throw the weight of justice behind it’s policy in the matter. Similarly I believe that the government has the responsibility and the right to protect the innocent, punish the wrongdoer, provide for the common defense, wield the sword against evil, protect the currency and protect commerce.

Government is not well suited to decide and define technology and professional standards. Consider the stifling climate of radio communication, where technology is old and innovation is very limited and drastic in impact. Consider the ending of all analog TV signal broadcasts coming very soon. Given a free and open playing field there may be wildly divergent technologies out there in use, but they would value backwards compatibility as companies would need to ease the upgrade process for their consumers. Instead we get the “punctuated equilibrium” theory of social technology change, which doesn’t work for us any better than it did for the evolutionary theory.

If you fear the ability of money-grubbing, profiteering pirates in the free business world to regulate themselves, develop standards and foster innovation in a natural, progressive manner, you’ve not been watching the technology scene for the last 20 years. As needs appeared, grew, and changed (eg. the internet, flash, java, html, css, ISO, IEEE, IETF, etc) standards bodies supported and funded by the industries have grown and taken over the managing of standards. They maintain equilibrium and allow technology to grow in a measured, gradual and stepwise manner which supports and encourages innovation while maintaining and stable environment for the end user.

In the power and energy and general utilities arena, local governments have the responsibility to decide their involvement in providing services to the citizenry. By giving money to companies for research the government breaks up the innovation-finding, problem-fixing nature of the free market, and any time the natural form of the free market is broken, it loses its efficiency and limits its ability to develop those innovations and fix those problems. If the government didn’t take that money it gave back in the first place, the companies would have immeasurably more resources at their disposal, and it wouldn’t be prone to the common issues of the government giving money back such as cronism, and political contracting and favors.

There is a question I’d ask of anybody regarding this issue. If Thomas Edison were alive today which entity would be the greatest enemy of his innovation: Government or Business?

Government regulation prevents, hampers, impedes, restricts, all in the name of protecting. Business expands, develops, creates, grows, all in the name of profit. Which is worse? Who is protected? Who benefits?

Those protected by government regulation are those who have the most money to buy political influence, businesses. Instead of competing and changing and innovating, they buy off politicians and gain their legislative protection. If it were not acceptable for government to regulate there would be less reason for politicians to be bought off. Think back to early telephone days, you don’t have to be too old to recall when it was illegal for answering machines to be connected to phone lines. It was once illegal to have anything besides the clunky early telephones provided for you by the phone company connected to the phone lines, and they convinced the government this was the case. Eventually the preponderance of evidence that third party systems were so incredibly superior to the bloated, marginally functional systems provided by “Ma Bell” that the government did act in the favor of the consumer and allow alternate systems on the networks. One can only wonder where we’d be at today in telephone technology if the government hadn’t seen fit to regulate the telephone industry to the point where Bell Telephone was the monopoly controller.

In the arguments over Net Neutrality, I feel for the plebes. I don’t want my traffic throttled any more than it already is by the ISP. But is it the government’s responsibility to control this? And if we allow the government to say who can access the internet and at what speed, where is our moral authority when the government wants to say who can’t access the internet?

Perhaps I am more libertarian than I like to think myself to be.

Unfortunately I do not have a hard and fast rule on what should and shouldn’t be regulated. Should local governments be allowed to sign exclusivity agreements with cable companies? The people benefit because the company has a big incentive to build infrastructure to get their service. And the people lose because where competition is stifled, prices go up and innovation (extra and new services and features) go down. Ever wonder why you pay $50/month for cable and only $15/month for DSL? Cable runs on exclusive contracts with metropolitan areas and they can charge whatever they want. DSL runs over telephone wires, which have now been regulated to allow all services and carriers. AT&T owns most of the wires, but they have to lease the wires to any comer, and they still have to service the wire and cannot limit the functionality of the wire in any way. A rare example of good regulation.

Perhaps the best regulation is that which forces the acceptance of free enterprise. Laws which prohibit exclusive service provider agreements with municipalities and mandate phased buyouts of existing contracts. But what are the hidden perils of this regulation? I do not know.

Perhaps a better model will emerge, in a newly deregulated environment. A separation of the infrastructure and the service. AT&T, for instance, will provide only the wire, and will be controlled by a consortium of the service providers, who vote on infrastructure upgrades and changes, and together, based on their respective interest in the infrastructure, finance the changes. This is admittedly a pie-in-the-sky vision at the moment, but it may be workable, and it is an option to government regulation. The industry is already familiar with consortium and groups and it wouldn’t be too much of a leap, just a huge change from what is now.

But the issue is regulation, and regulation is generally bad for those involved. It stifles innovation and protects those who would benefit more from being unprotected.

SEIU Sells Its Soul For Access To Worker Paychecks; Signs Pact With Nursing Home Owners

The Huffington Post posted an article today (Internal Memos Show How Andy Stern And Union Sold Workers Out) commenting on a San Francisco Weekly article detailing the organizing tactics of Service Employee International Union (SEIU) President Andy Stern. Supposedly, during negotiations with nursing home operators, the union head conceded some issues generally left to collective bargaining contract negotiations to the nursing home owners. Nursing home operators may:

set pay rates, pay increases, and incentive plans. They hire, lay off, demote, discipline, and determine benefits for workers without union input. The employers may outsource work performed by union members, and speed up, reassign, or eliminate jobs at will. The employer may eliminate vacations, or any other time off, as the employer sees fit.

In return, “SEIU got the right to represent workers, if shoddily, and to get paid.”

Sounds to me like a complete giveaway. Is the SEIU so desperate for growth, money and power that it will sell its soul to gain access to employee paychecks? Once all the above issues of pay, strikes, etc., were taken off the table, there isn’t much left to bargain for. These issues are the heart and soul of traditional collective bargaining. At least the United Auto Workers (UAW) are more intellectually honest. They would never dream of handing over concessions like these even in the face of rising losses and plant closures (UAW to members: We’ll fight givebacks, UAW meets to plot bargaining strategy).

The Post writers received the same internal documents as Smith at the SF Weekly and posted them at the above link. Check out for yourself how the SEIU sold out here to gain unfettered access to workers paychecks.

The SEIU performed its part of the deal in Washington state. Blogger David Postman, from the Seattle Times reported how the above agreements played out during the House floor debate on the Washington state budget.

SEIU tries to kill budget when it can’t get its way – During House debate on the budget Monday, SEIU was working the doors hard, summoning legislators out one at a time to be lobbied to put another $15 million in for nursing homes. The union was working alongside nursing home operators trying to make good on their agreement to get at least $40 million more in Medicaid reimbursements. That’s what’s spelled out in a draft agreement between the union and the operators that my colleague Ralph Thomas wrote about earlier this month.