10/27/2004

Pathologizing Conservatism

Recently, a rather interesting debate transpired in my somewhat tongue-in-cheek comparison of religious cults and the Cult of Liberalism. An anonymous poster basically gave credence to a report from researchers at UC-Berkeley. My point in dismissing the report as liberal bias was that it only compared conservatives and liberals were not targeted in the study (not to mention it came from UC-Berkeley, one of the most liberal universities in the country). If the study was truly unbiased, it would have included members from the entire political spectrum. Sadly, that was not the case.

The article also mentioned a panel that did make a comparison of liberals and conservatives...with similar results. I don't think I need to elaborate on the results...I'm sure you can guess.

Recently Reason.com (Reason is a objectivist/libertarian site) had an interesting take. The article (though sarcastic) does make a point that I did not consider...that liberals are trying to pathologize conservativism as a mental disorder! Though I'd like to say liberals have a mental disorder that is curable, it's not something I believe to be true.

My view is that liberals (meaning most liberals and liberals other than Charles Melin) just tend to view the world from an emotional perspective and lack the ability to think logically (which is why they can't make a logical argument). That is part of the allure of liberalism. Because they feel, they care. Because conservatives (minus the Religious Right) tend to be more analytical and logical...we're portrayed as cold and callous.

If anyone knows a cure to liberalism, please share it!
/sarcasm

From Reason.com:
"Whether it be an unfortunate evolutionary holdover or a mental disease transmitted by our parents--the science is apparently still up in the air--academic researchers have surely amassed enough evidence of psychopathology that conservatism can listed in the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Reasonable people, such as the distinguished academic researchers cited here, will no doubt agree that until effective treatments can be developed, we should reconsider whether sufferers of conservatism, like other mental defectives, should be allowed freely to exercise the franchise. "

10/24/2004

Fahrenheit 9/11 vs. Fahrenhype 9/11

I recently watched both these films back-to-back (Fahrenheit 9/11 first).

For those of you that thought Fahrenheit 9/11 was the truth, please check out Fahrenhype 9/11. They interview people directly who were edited into Fahrenheit 9/11 and those people have some interesting things to say about Michael Moore and their role in his film.

If you're truly objective, please check out both sides.

10/23/2004

Refuting a Liberal Urban Myth - Clinton was NOT Responsible for Welfare Reform

I've heard this at least 3 times from liberals in the last week and I'm tired of refuting them individually so here it goes.

Bill Clinton was NOT the initiator of Welfare Reform. True, he signed the bill, but it was not popular with Democrats (and still isn't).

The Republicans led the initiative to reform welfare with the Contract With America in which item #3 (Personal Responsibility Act) eventually became welfare reform.

Ok, I'm sure you liberals aren't convinced...so here's the original bill...submitted by Representative E. Clay Shaw, Jr (R-FL) in January of 1995. Here's the status where you can see it was Vetoed by Clinton (the 2nd time he vetoed a welfare reform measure).

In 1996, H.R. 3734 was sponsored by John R. Kasich (R-OH). Republicans voted overwhelmingly for (230-2) whereas the Democrats split (98-98). The Sentate, also controlled by Republicans passed the measure. All of the Republicans voted for the measure and again, the Democrats nearly split with 24 for and 21 against.

President Clinton signed the measure and the rest is history. Except...

Clinton declared himself a centrist Democrat throughout the 1992 campaign. In 1994, Republicans took over both the House and Senate. As 1996 was an election year and Welfare reform was popular with the public, he was cajoled into passing the measure. Clinton, a consumate politician (and I'll give him that), signed the measure much to the chagrin of many Democrats. The sharp part of what Clinton did was to co-opt a Republican idea as one of his own...especially convincing to those Democrats unwilling to really look into the issue. Fortunately, the voting history shows us otherwise.




10/20/2004

Religious Cults vs. The Cult of Liberalism

In a meagar attempt to get a rise outta me, someone close to me compared my zeal for debating liberals to religious zealots knocking on doors attempting to save one soul. It got me thinking.... It really wasn't a fair comparison because unlike the religious zealots, my beliefs are rooted in logic. I'm also not attempting to save anyone (as a Libertarian, we should save ourselves without government intervention :-) ) My goal is to get one liberal to attempt to make a logical argument. Of course, observing a liberal attempting to make a logical argument is amusing to me.

Here's a better comparison worthy of a closer look:
Religious Cults vs. The Cult of Liberalism.

Let's compare. Both prey on the needy. Neither base their beliefs on facts or logic. Both put their faith in an outside source...cult members in their leaders or God (sometimes one-and-the-same), Liberals in "The State." Conservatives, on the other hand, but their faith in themselves (or their others close to them).

The characteristics of a religious cult:
1. Sense of higher purpose
2. Loaded language
3. Creation of an exclusive community
4. Persuasive leadership
5. Revisionist
6. Aura of sacred science

Sounds like the Cult of Liberalism:
1. The need that they should help everyone and understand those that are unhappy and do wrong (forget charitable donations, "The State" is far more efficient). Again one of my premises of my blog is that it's easy to be a liberal, you only have to FEEL...no thought required.
2. Their rhetoric is loaded with negativism and the belief that only "The State" can fix things.
3. The liberals (led by the "intellectual elite") in government know best what is for the people and those not in agreement with their agenda are "idiots."
4. How about the media? They follow lock-step with the liberals. Bill Clinton? He was full of you-know-what, but he was charasmatic.
5. Does RatherGate ring a bell (if it wasn't for the bloggers, he would have gotten away with it)? How about Bill Clinton NOT having anything to do with the global rise of islamic terrorists (through his inaction). How about John Kerry the "War Hero." Never mind that what the media has printed about his actions in Vietnam contridicts him directly in a 2 biographies about him (I won't even get started with the Swift Boat Vets). Or how about the huge economic growth that began during Ronald Reagan's second term (post-tax cuts). Nope, didn't think you ever heard that from a liberal. I could go on and on...
6. Their aura of sacred science consists of things like welfare, affirmative action, the U.N., etc. Don't you

How about the needs of religious cult members and the thoughts behind them?

1. Want to make a difference in life - Feel ineffective
2. A sense of purpose - Feel purposeless
3. A better way of living - Current way of life is unsatisfactory: job, housing, relationships
4. Personal guidance - don't know what to do with themselves and feel there is no-one they can ask who they have confidence in. Looking for someone to tell them what to do.
5. To be of service in ways which are meaningful to them - Feel useless and unnecessary
6. Power and control - Feel powerless; at the mercy of others and circumstances

Hmmm. Notice any similarities with liberals? In the case of liberals it's like this:
1. Want to make a difference in life - The State can make a difference in your life and positively affect all citizens
2. A Sense of Purpose - The State can give citizens a sense of purpose
3. A better way of living - The State can take care of everyone's needs
4. Personal Guidance - The State knows whats best for it's citizens
5. To be of service in ways meaningful to them - Individual liberals believe that in the service of The State, their lives are meaningful
6. Power and Control - The State controls it's citizens thereby protecting them. Individual liberals believe that only they can help the ignorant masses (as opposed to people helping themselves).

If you were to pin a cult member down and get them thinking (which is what deprogrammers do and incidentally what cult members fear), their logic breaks down. A member's family that doesn't believe in the Cult is evil. It's the same with liberals. Conservatives are often described as "stupid", "selfish", "evil", etc. What members of both groups fear the most is the truth. They will do anything and resort to any tactic to avoid the truth. Denial is a huge part of their playbook (ex. I did not have sex with THAT woman).

How are cult members deprogrammed?
"In practice, the vast majority of the time spent during deprogramming sessions is the marshalling of evidence aimed at proving that the "cult" deceived and manipulated the recruit into joining. Once the person accepts this premise, the remainder of the process is relatively easy."

Just as a cult member will resist the truth, so will a liberal. They actively resist any sort of debate and rather than refuting your argument with a solid argument of their own, they usually resort to one of the following tactics or logical fallacies:
1. Ad hominem attacks
2. Appeal to Pity
3. Ad naseum
4. Straw Man
5. Changing topic

It's probably easier to deprogram a member of a religious cult than it is a liberal. Why? My theory is that liberals are more firmly entrenched in their ideology than a cult member. Most cult members are sucked in while adults so their ideology is not as set as a liberal. Everyone in this country is bombarded with liberal ideology from the time they are children via public school education and the media. Those that are free-thinkers, are willing to research things, challenge the ideology, and come to their own conclusions; will abandon liberalism for the pablum it is. Either that or liberals will move out of their parents' basement, get a job, and start paying taxes.

10/11/2004

Luxury car sales zoom as more seek posh rides - 10/11/04

This is curious:

"Consumer confidence is sagging, national job growth is slumping and gasoline prices are prowling the $2 a gallon territory again, yet sales of the most expensive cars and trucks are humming."

Now what do you suppose the message of this article is? Hmmm.

Consumer confidence is sagging? Ok, so it went down, 1.1% in September from the previous month...but sagging? If it dropped 5% over a 2-3 month span, sure...but sagging?

National Job Growth is slumping? Nope...the economy added 96,000 jobs last month...yes, it was lower than expectations, but that's still 96k jobs added.

"While U.S. vehicle sales rose just 1 percent through September, demand for luxury brands jumped 7 percent..."

Finally, sales of luxury cars and trucks are up 7% while non-luxury cars and trucks are only having a 1% increase. Why? Well if you can read between the lies....it's basically saying that the rich are getting richer and want to display their wealth...while the rest of us can only afford regular cars, suffer with a lack of consumer confidence, no jobs, and high gasoline prices.

"Indeed, the luxury segment, generally defined to include cars and trucks with prices that start just over $30,000, seems to be immune from any sort of infection the economy may blow its way. "

Arrgh. The luxury car segment (aka "the rich") are immune from the suffering of the proletariat. They are always able to purchase luxury cars even in an economic downturn. Immune from infection!?! Is this becoming obvious yet?

"Strong sales of high-end vehicles reflect American’s growing desire for a taste of the good life, as do $5 lattes at Starbucks, an afternoon at the spa or a Williams-Sonoma table."

Of course, it isn't possible that since the tax cuts that the middle-class actually has put more money in their pockets and want to enjoy their increasing wealth. No...no way...isn't happening. It couldn't be that the tax cuts have been successful in jump-starting the economy and people are beginning to thrive again...nope...not happening. It's the evil rich getting richer (not that EVERYONE is getting richer) and enjoying their $5 lattes and afternoons at the spa. Damn those evil rich for enjoying their wealth (mostly earned through hard work)...all that money should go to the government and redistributed to the less fortunate. Of course, the article would never mention that the more money the "rich" spend, the more money that flows into the economy and the more jobs are created!

Does this article sound biased against people with wealth? When you read this article, look carefully at the connotations. For the first quote the message is that the rest of us are suffering, YET luxury car sales are on the rise. For the 2nd quote the message is that normal car sales rose JUST 1% while luxury brands JUMPED 7%. The third quote states that the luxury car segment (aka "The Rich") are "immune from any infection that the economy may blow its way." Who buys luxury cars? "The Rich" who are immune from economic downturns. For the 4th quote, the author knows that a majority of his readers (this is the Detroit News we're talking about) can't afford luxury cars, $5 lattes, etc.; so the Americans he's talking about "enjoying a taste of the good life" are wealthy.

The article does state ONE potential reason that luxury sales are up (besides the evil rich). Buried on one line in the middle of the article it mentions that luxury vehicles' higher residual value makes it attractive to leasing to people searching for midline vehicles. That is a good reason for luxury car sales to be up and would have been better story rather than the leftist message conveyed by the author.

When the media comes out as obviously leftist (such as the 3-letter networks) it isn't nearly as dangerous as articles like this which are far more subtle. Joe Average citizen reading the paper probably doesn't even see or notice the leftward tilt. They just take it at face-value that this article is about luxury car sales and has nothing to do with politics. Because politics isn't the subject, the writer was able to cleverly inject their bias against those able to purchase luxury vehicles. What this article does do reinforce the "tax cuts for the rich" , "rich-poor gap", and class-warfare empty rhetoric of the left.

The Moral of this story? Pay careful attention to the media. Just as Bloggers (who WERE paying attention) exposed the forged documents presented by Dan Rather as factual (and exposing him as a liberal lackey to those that didn't believe he was), we can expose the leftist media elsewhere. All that is required is that we pay attention.

10/08/2004

Why the flood of posts?

Because my son's football season ends this weekend...and my 6 day a week evening commitment leaves me a little more time to read, think, and write...that's why! I saved many things as drafts and never had the time to finish my thoughts....so I'll be posting on a regular basis again.

A Conversation with my Son - What's the difference between a liberal and a conservative?

My (10, almost 11 year-old) son Alex, asked me the difference between a conservative and a liberal...needless to say, it was a good conversation. I explained it like this:

Me: When you pay taxes, who gets the money?
Alex: The Government
Me: Who spends the money?
Alex: The Government
Me: Who is the government?
Alex: The President?
Me: Yes...who else?
Alex: Congress
Me: Congress determines how to spend the money, the President can only approve by signing or deny by veto a budget.
Alex: Ok.
Me: Who in the government wants to spend the most money, liberals or conservatives?
Alex: Liberals
Me: Yes...good. Liberals spend money because they claim to care about you. But really, what are they doing?
Alex: I don't know.
Me: Hmmm, ok....what do liberals or other politicians have to gain by spending money on social programs?
Alex: Hmmm. I'm not sure...people would want to vote for them because they're spending money on the people? (pretty perceptive answer)
Me: Yes, they're claiming that by spending more money, it helps the people. In essence, they're buying votes. So who has the power if the government takes more money from individuals, the people, or the politicans.
Alex: The politicians.
Me: Which politicians?
Alex: Democrats
Me: Pretty true, but any politician that wants to spend and tax. Why?
Alex: Because they control the money and how to spend it.
Me: Exactly. The main difference between a true conservative (not necessarily Republican) and a liberal, is that with liberals, the politicians are in power because they want to raise taxes, spend more money and they'll control how the money is spent. With conservatives, they want to cut taxes and let the people decide best how to spend their own money...not the government...and therefore the people have more power (or are self-empowered). Conservatives believe that the future is in the individual's hands and is their responsibility to take care of themselves and their families...liberals believe that the money is best spent by the government to take care of citizens...a reverse of the situation. Also, because liberals are already rich, it doesn't matter that to them that they can tax us more and affect our ability to become rich. Which do you prefer?
Alex: What do you mean?
Me: Do you want the government to take care of you?
Alex: I don't want the government to take care of me, I want you and mom to take care of me. And when I get older, I'll take care of myself.
Me: Awesome. When can I look forward to that? (laughing)
Alex: After college probably (grinning)...maybe sooner if I go pro (baseball or football...ah, the dreams of kids)
Me: Operation Deprogram Blue-Collar Successful (Background: His mother and her side of the family are blue-collar and traditional Democrats...though that might change as his mother is studying for her Series 7 to become a stockbroker and a good capitalist)
Alex: huh?
Me: Oops, Never mind!

CBS News | CBS: Bush Memo Story A 'Mistake' | September 20, 2004�16:12:34

Well duh...it's about time. Bloggers picked up on this weeks ago yet CBS and Rather stuck by this story and the documents.

It's apparent how CBS will spin this. Burkett will fall on the sword:

"In a statement, CBS said former Texas Guard official Bill Burkett 'has acknowledged that he provided the now-disputed documents' and 'admits that he deliberately misled the CBS News producer working on the report, giving her a false account of the documents' origins to protect a promise of confidentiality to the actual source.'"

Where was CBS News' journalistic integrity when it came to researching the authenticity of the documents? Why did they take so long to state that the story was "a mistake" since it was apparent that the documents were forged days after the "60 Minutes" episode aired? What, no apology?

Answers?

1) Journalistic integrity? CBSNews and Rather have lacked journalistic integrity for years. Doubt me? Go here. They only research the side of the story they most desire. The word "balance" has nothing to do with the stories they present.

2) Apology? From Dan Rather? That's really funny. That would be like admitting that he was wrong. In Dan's mind, he's NEVER wrong, the Democrats are always right, and Conservatives are always wrong.

Judging by CBSNews falling ratings, it appears that people are paying attention and are disgusted by the actions of CBSNews.


Welfare recipients could be tested for illegal drugs

It's about time. Most of my readers know how I feel about drugs to begin with (hate 'em, but feel they should be legal). I disagree with the ACLU that this is an invasion of privacy. Why?

First a little background. I totally disagree with the idea of welfare. Unemployment, yes....welfare no. Welfare creates a nanny state...and since welfare reform, more and more people have dropped off welfare and are on the path to self-sufficiency. The inherent problem with a "safety net" is that people don't have to strive for excellence in their lives. They can seek to exist because someone will always take care of them. Knowing that the safety net is gone, most people will pick themselves up and brush themselves off and make something of their lives. Much like a twentysomething kid getting kicked out of their parents' house (speaking from experience here) and forced to make it on their own. Of course, many will sink, but unless we're a communist/socialist state that the Democrats advocate, we can't save everyone. There will always be slackers.

That being said...and since I believe in personal responsibility...accepting welfare is optional. Nobody HAS to accept welfare and since the money comes from OUR tax dollars, there should be some level of personal responsibility tied into someone accepting welfare. Since a number of people are likely on welfare because they are drug addicts, shouldn't they have some accountability and responsibility to their own lives?

If an addict knew they could count on free money, without any accountability....what is their incentive to stop using drugs? What is their incentive to clean up and get a job? Where does personal responibility come into play? In the nanny state, nobody has personal responsiblity, because the government will take care of you no matter what.

Here's hoping that this trend catches on...