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Defending WFB

Posted by on Aug 28, 2009 in Conservatism, public square, WFB, William F. Buckley | 0 comments

Cheers to the author of a letter to ‘The Atlantic’ a while back, which responded to an article that seemed to debase William F. Buckley.  The letter was published in the September, 2009 edition:

“Garry Wills’ article on William F. Buckley had much potential, but left one with a profound sense of regret. Instead of any posthumous homage, there was an inescapable theme that Wills simply wanted to have the last intellectual and ideological word. What a shame WFB is unable to respond.

Wills effectively debunked any notions that WFB was a social, ideological or intellectual snob. Why the need to convey a sense that WFB lacked intellectual rigor, or a sound dedication to the English language in the process? For example, the etymology of oxymoron may indeed fit Wills’ description of it in Greek. However, most dictionaries, and even H.W. Fowler’s usage of the term, bear out WFB’s meaning.

It is dispiriting to witness the ongoing efforts of those who benefited most from WFB’s confidences and friendship, to debase him and the indelible mark he left on modern conservatism. For if nothing else, WFB advocated meaningful dialogue from all sides of an issue to hone the ideas being shaped in the public square.”

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The Battle of Ideas

Posted by on Aug 26, 2009 in administration, capitalism, Conservatism, GOP, ideology, Mtv, Socialism | 0 comments

I was going through some emails today and came across a great one from someone who has genuine concerns about the direction of our ideals.  The concern surrounding government or private ownership of business is real.  Our current national debate over healthcare and the public option, and looking back at the corporate bailouts in exchange for government ownership proves the point for concern.  Where are we headed?  Does the current Administration only favor private ownership or self government only when the public refuses to have it any other way?

Here’s the email….what do you think?

“So im becoming frustrated.
I can’t comprehend the huge difference between the liberal and conservative viewpoints. I believe it is natural for people to have fundamental differences in their beliefs, but it is coming to the point where the gap in beliefs is so wide and the sides are so angry that it is ripping this country apart.
Is it that one side is blind or uneducated? Are they stupid? I’m sure that liberals think we are stupid, but when I rationalize my own thoughts and values, I cannot see how their view points are in any way correct. I see it as a fast track to socialism……but I talk to more and more people who are OK with socialistic ideas. Is this just a sign of the times? Is America becoming so lazy that the majority no longer want to work for their success? Do we all just want to sit around and wait for a handout?
However, the liberals don’t see it as a hand out. Do they really believe that this is good policy or is there a higher motivation? The liberals in charge have money, perhaps more money than conservatives. SO what is their motivation? Are they really so brilliant to prey off the [needy] in society, empowering the[m] and using them for votes and policy change which makes those in charge richer? Or are the leaders (Obama, Pelosi, etc) really this naïve? 
The liberals are now so empowered that they are using Rush Limbaugh as the face of the GOP, and its working. This leads me to believe that, while conservative beliefs are correct, that the GOP leaders have no idea what they are doing. It also leads me to believe that the MTV/Reality show world is winning. The media and mainstream society conducts full assaults on all conservative beliefs and wins……….is there hope for our beliefs or will this cycle continue?

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Sentator Ted Kennedy – RIP

Posted by on Aug 26, 2009 in Bipartisanship, Senate, Ted Kennedy | 0 comments

I am saddened by the passing of Senator Kennedy.  Although I did not agree with many of his policies, he stood for something very important.  I believe he stood for bipartisanship, whenever possible.  For all of the terms Senator Kennedy served in the Senate, he learned how much more could be accomplished when you obtain support from both sides of the Senate aisle.

Too many politicians today seek to further their own careers or the goals of their respective parties at the expense of getting something done.  If we all pursued our own self interest all the time, America would suffer in the long run.  The Founders set up our Legislative and Executive branches to protect us all from the tyranny of the majority.  In doing so, the stage was set for Congressional gridlock, which can only be resolved with true bipartisanship.  In such a setting, everyone’s voice is, or has the potential to be heard.  Can anyone plausibly argue a contrary means to effecting meaningful legislation that benefits the greater good for all?

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Al Qaeda and Due Process

Posted by on Aug 7, 2009 in Al Qaeda, Due Process, Justice, War on Terror | 0 comments

There has been much debate over how the suspected Al Qaeda detainees at Guantanamo Bay should be treated. Indeed, there has been debate over the nature and extent to which they should be accorded due process rights, and given their day in court. With all the sanitization that takes place in our various forms of media, the human element to our collective action becomes lost. We forget the impact of the actions that create the news we see; and the impact on those who are living it.

I agree with the proposition that if the United States advocates the development of American style democracy and law abroad, we must preserve and protect it here as well. I agree that the detainees at Guantanamo likely deserve the benefit of a justice system. Whether the applicable justice system should be our federal or military courts, I will leave to the experts.
But in our generosity to extend U.S. due process rights to those we have detained, let us not forget we are still at War. Al Qaeda certainly has not forgotten, and they treat their prisoners accordingly. I attach a link to a disturbing story out of Iraq, where Al Qaeda operatives tortured a 6 year old boy to exert pressure on his father, a policeman.
If any of you feel that the U.S. has been unjust in defending against a war it did not begin, remember the little boy Khidir. And think about how our ultimate victory in the War on Terror will help protect him, as well as the rest of us from those who believe due process and justice are merely a tool to mock the United States.

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Senator Graham and Judge Sotomayor

Posted by on Jul 15, 2009 in Confirmation, Conservatism, Lindsey Graham, Sotomayor | 0 comments

We should all applaud Senator Graham for asking Judge Sotomayor the tough questions during her confirmation hearings. Rather than gloss over the questioning on a nominee who is all but certain to be confirmed, the Senator has done a great job in allowing Americans to gain insight into the predispositions and judicial philosophy of the Judge. He particularly asked the tough questions on social issues that create tension in the hearing room, since the topics pertain to issues being sanitized with political correctness. e.g. abortion, gun rights

More importantly, Senator Graham has not only asked the tough questions, but he has done so in a fair and congenial manner. This benefits the effectiveness of the questioning and supports the integrity of the values underpinning the questions. His efforts benefit the citizens of South Carolina, and the rest of us in America who wish we had a conservative Senator.

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Judging the Judge

Posted by on Jul 13, 2009 in Federal Judges, President Obama, Senate Confirmation, Sotomayor, Souter | 0 comments

Should Judge Sotomayor be confirmed to replace Justice Souter? That is the question being publicly debated in the Senate Halls of Washington, D. C. It is always ironic to hear the majority party argue in favor of a candidate nominated by a President of the same party. They, of course, do not want the minority party’s Senators to ask the tough questions that touch on the nominee’s judicial philosophy. The argument is that such questioning unnecessarily politicizes the judicial confirmation process, and will dissuade young lawyers who want to be Federal judges from working on controversial matters.

The arguments against tough questioning are ridiculous and undermine the whole point to the Senate confirmation process. The confirmation hearings are meaningless if they do not involve asking the questions that may be uncomfortable for a nominee. If there are questions that create tension, one must ask why such tension exists. Is it merely caused by the sometimes adversarial process of legislating in a two-party dominated Congress? In Judge Sotomayor’s case, I believe there is more to the story.
We have seen the videotape of the Judge aptly describing her belief that Appeals Courts are where policy is made. We have also just witnessed the current U.S. Supreme Court reverse her decision involving claims of reverse discrimination made by New Haven Firefighters.
Wouldn’t it be interesting if the sitting U.S. Supreme Court justices could provide testimony during the confirmation hearings? Maybe they would have some insight on Judge Sotomayor’s judicial temperament and reasoning process.
Finally, the argument that President Obama won the election and should have his nominees confirmed without substantive inquiry must fail. The Senate was elected by the same folks that elected President Obama, and some who did not. If the Senate fails to fully and fairly question and challenge (where needed) the philosophy espoused by Judge Sotomayor, then they are abandoning the people who put them in power. Former Senator Obama essentially said the same thing in his speech opposing Justice Alito:

“As we all know, there’s been a lot of discussion in the country about how the Senate should approach this confirmation process. There are some who believe that the President, having won the election, should have the complete authority to appoint his nominee, and the Senate should only examine whether or not the Justice is intellectually capable and an all-around nice guy. That once you get beyond intellect and personal character, there should be no further question whether the judge should be confirmed.

I disagree with this view. I believe firmly that the Constitution calls for the Senate to advise and consent. I believe that it calls for meaningful advice and consent that includes an examination of a judge’s philosophy, ideology, and record. And when I examine the philosophy, ideology, and record of Samuel Alito, I’m deeply troubled.” Senator Obama, January 26, 2006

Let us hope our current Senate has the same courage of their conviction.
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Obama / Bush?

Posted by on Jun 25, 2009 in Ahmadinejad, Democracy, Foreing Policy, Iran, President Bush, President Obama | 0 comments

Iranian President Ahmadinejad is now comparing President Obama to President Bush. Apparently, Ahmadinejad takes issue with our U.S. President recognizing incivility and tyranny when he sees it. For those who support President Obama, this should be an encouraging development.

Recall Hillary Clinton’s warnings during the 2008 campaign that the Presidency is no place to learn on the job? (With regard to foreign policy experience.) Well it seems that while President Obama undeniably required on-the-job training in foreign policy, he appears to be a quick study.
President Obama rightly considered the calculus with recognizing the turmoil in Iran. If he said nothing in response to the images of Iranian citizens being beaten and otherwise oppressed, he would have tacitly validated such actions. This would not only be morally wrong, but antithetical to everything the United States stands for, and was founded upon.
The theoretical “downside” to President Obama (rightly) condemning the Iranian electoral irregularities and suppression of all opposition, involves damage to U.S./Iranian relations. However, the question becomes: “What is the extent of those relations, and how, if at all, can they be any worse?” President Ahmadinejad cares little for the U.S., and cares even less what the world community has said about the Iranian Nuclear Program. Thus, the U.S. and the world community have more to gain if the protesters somehow obtain redress, than we would gain by avoiding the aspersions of the current Iranian government.
Although supporters of President Obama surely cringe at comparisons made between he and President Bush, they should take solace in the statement as a compliment. President Bush may have made foreign policy mistakes, but he always spoke out in favor of taking action to support and secure democracies in a very troubled area of the world. I was not sure if President Obama would follow the same course. He has proven me wrong in this instance, and I gladly accept my error.
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