Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Power of Freedom

Richard Holbrooke, ambassador to, well, lots of the important stuff, passed this week rather unexpectedly. The WSJ has an eye catching op-ed in remembrance of him this morning. One of the reasons why I enjoy that page so much - the editors take the time to form reasoned, measured opinions on most topics.

The first paragraph:

Perhaps because he was born on the eve of Pearl Harbor, but more likely because of the inborn force of his personality, Richard Holbrooke behaved like a man who believed that American power could be wielded to achieve great things. That was especially so when he was the one doing the wielding.

Emphasis mine.

When was the last time we behaved as if we believed that American power could be wielded to achieve great things? It has been discussed it many times... but when was the last time we acted on it?

New year's resolution has been identified.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Game, Set, Match

The handle for a commenter on Glenn Beck's


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Saturday, November 06, 2010

The Senate's Tea Party

The WSJ weekend interview went in a new direction today. The article presents two contrasting interview subjects, both newly minted members of the Senate for the GOP: Rand Paul, the Tea Party favorite from Kentucky; and Roy Blunt, the GOP stalwart congressman from my home state of Missouri.

Both interviews together really highlight the challenges that the Tea Party movement will face as it converts from election activists to governing activists.

Rand Paul is fired up and plans to walk in and have his way with the world of the Senate. Something tells me he is going to just crash into a wall of resistance. The Tea Party could help tame the senator and ensure that he is able to have an effect.

Roy Blunt's interview... was terribly frightening. It's great to have solid conservatives on the team for us, and the alternative... of having Robin Carnahan join McCaskill in the MO delegation... (shudder). But I had the same sensation when I read this bit:

Ask Mr. Blunt what he learned from the DeLay experience in Congress—which ended up with the Republicans losing the majority in 2006—and he says that the party needs to make sure it "communicates well" with an electorate newly engaged by the tea party.

Is he an Obama clone?

The problem is not communication, the problem is politicians, like Blunt, who fail to hew to the needs of the people. The interview notes his role in stopping the effort to reform Social Security in Bush's second term...

...and there's the second challenge of the Tea Party now: to communicate well with their elected representatives.

The American people are tired of being told how things work. That is a lesson that we will have to help Blunt learn.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Government of the People, by the People

The following from Wednesday's Best of the Web column in the WSJ caught my attention:

Democrats will have at least 51 seats in the Senate, making this the first time that the House alone has switched. Actually, that's not quite right. It happened once before--in 1931. Republicans had lost 52 seats in the 1930 election--President Hoover, if we remember right, said it was no big deal, voters were just angry and scared because of the economy--but still had a one-seat majority. Owing to deaths, vacancies and special elections, however, the Dems had taken over by the time the new Congress convened in March.

This statement captures something very interesting, and very unique (at least in my lifetime) about this mid-term election cycle. The House of Representatives was designed to be a place for the general expression of the people in the government. The Senate a place more to represent the interests of the separate states. Thus the switch of the House alone, without the Senate.

What seems to be happening in this election cycle is a movement of the people themselves to re-take the reins of the government. Several commentaries indicate that the Tea Party might ultimately have been detrimental to the interests of the party because they obstructed the efforts to conquer the Senate... but I think that is a false indicator.

The House was the most accessible to the people, and the most easily influenced. The Senate would require more time and energy because the people need to find true leaders among themselves, with credentials to manage the challenges of that upper chamber of our legislature. What happened is that the people hired the representatives that they believe will be most responsive to their wishes... and if I understand the mood of the country correctly... the people plan to continue to be very active in the management of their new reps.

In the Senate elections we see a few examples of leaders with requisite demeanors and skill sets, particularly Marco Rubio (FL) and Rand Paul (KY), and likely Ron Johnson (WI) as well. But the rest were mostly statements of warning to the general population of the political set: We are serious this time, we will not accept establishment candidates without serious vetting, and you will listen to us and be responsive. The people are not afraid to lose a fight that must be engaged.

2012 looks to be a brilliant election, and the period between now and then will likely be a thrilling time in American political history.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The Wave Crashes, Dissipates

The California results are simply devastating. This state is ungovernable.

The results fit, though, to the analogy that I came up with mid-afternoon today, before any results were in: The GOP wave would crash upon the Rockies, then spread across the desert of Arizona and Nevada... and evaporate.

Almost all of the statewide positions on the ballot in California went to Democrats. Ballot measures are passing in a pattern that makes no sense at all. I'm frightened to take a hard look at the house seats, and then the CA state legislature results.

This state is ungovernable. Soon it will be unlivable.

Here's hoping Jerry Brown has a plan, this time.

Impressions from the People's Night

Rand Paul got the night started of fabulously well, with a marvelous speech that encompassed the people's movement that was so well communicated at the polls tonight.

Rubio took Rand Paul's thread and executed an even better speech. To think of the story that he is able to tell... people who at the prime of their lives had their dreams stolen from them by history and tyranny, who fled to a foreign land that welcomed them, a place where they could pass their dreams on to their children.

Also from Florida: a true American hero, Colonel West, has won his congressional race. Congratulations, sir.

John Boehner's speech... emotional speech... touching speech... was unexpected, at first off-putting, but in the end very welcome. He is human, he may very well be the leader we need. and he wasn't orange tonight.

I'm so sad for California... my current home... we have subjected ourselves to another half decade of insanity. Awaiting the results on the propositions.

I'm glad we haven't taken the Senate. That makes it more meaningful. Agree with Charles K's comments there about control / power, but would like to add that the people remain in power. The threat of doing to the Senate in 2012 what we have done to the House in 2010... all incumbents up for election have reason to stand and pay attention to the people.

Thank you, Jon Stewart, for your assistance. Sanity, just so much of it, has been restored.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Capitalism = Life

I began the morning today with a remarkable statement by Daniel Henninger in his weekly Wonderland column, in the WSJ. He wrote of the gifts that capitalism brings to the world, in reference to the technology that made possible the rescue of miners trapped 2,500 ft underground in Chile.

If those miners had been trapped a half-mile down like this 25 years ago anywhere on earth, they would be dead. What happened over the past 25 years that meant the difference between life and death for those men?

The timing of this posts arrival is what struck me. Early this week I found myself wrapped up in a discussion with people close to me who believe... or arrive at their beliefs... differently than I do. Freedom means something different to them. Capitalism is somehow a great evil.

But it isn't, really, is it? Capitalism, and the state of liberal thought that nurtures it, facilitates solutions to problems that would otherwise long be forgotten. Capitalism provides a mission for each of us, a reason to live... an answer to the Life Is statement. These small companies that designed a drill bit, a cable, a sock... they did not imagine at the time of their creation that they would save lives with them... they were just looking for a way to live a dream, leave their mark on the world, or turn a profit and provide a nice lifestyle for their families. Not only have they achieved that, but they now have the satisfaction of facilitating the same in others.

Freedom matters, in the course of human events.

Its All in a Name

And the blog has been renamed. The title came easily, and spurred on by Little Red, who will be making an appearance here in due time.

Life is.

We are here, and this is all the reason we need to make choices, strive forward, strike out swinging, or finish triumphant. That is what this blog is about... by its mere existence. The line from the Declaration of Independence is so simple, so powerful. "When in the Course of human events," opens the document with a certain tone of inevitability. It establishes a certain mood ripe for the bold statement that follows, that rights, certain rights, are self-evident, provided by a power greater than man, and therefor inviolable. The opener indicates that the Founding Fathers had no other choice but to take the time to put these words down on paper and commit themselves to this tumultuous path. "When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary..."

We live in extraordinary, historic times. I wondered if we would be able to say that. The Reagan 80's and the United States' victory in the Cold War certainly were as well... but the Clinton 90's seemed to woosh it all away, and the Bush 'double-aughts' were such a confusion of true American conservatism and squishy governmental progressivism.

Now it seems different. Now seems to matter. To Matter. Mere perception, perhaps... time will tell. Regardless it is into this time this historic age that we stride intent on raising our voice and entering our thoughts into the cacophony of the interwebs for all posterity.

We hope you will enjoy this ride with us.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Five Core Principles

Fella named David Barton* mentioned this in an interview I'm watching today... there are five core principles at time of the founding of the United States. Didn't know that? Neither did I. But they are right there in the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident:
  1. that all men are created equal,
  2. that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights (that among these rights are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness)
  3. that governments are instituted among men to secure these rights
  4. that governments derive their powers from the consent of the governed
  5. that it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish their government if it becomes destructive to these ends...
Powerful thoughts for tumultuous times.

*Assignment: research David Barton and his organization Wallbuilders...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

General Truths of the U.S.S.R.

A caller to Glenn Beck today mentioned a general that had defected from the Soviet Unions some time ago, as relevant to the threads Beck is pursuing regarding the direction of the U.S. So I looked the fellow up. Second link on Google brought me to a link purportedly showing Senja's testimony to a Congressional Panel in the '90s... and his testimony included the following statement that really caught my attention:

Czechoslovakia also built a crematorium in North Korea to disposed of the bodies and parts after the experiments were concluded.

This is not something that I was aware of before. I don't think I've ever encountered the idea before that the Soviets could be so connected in action with the Nazi's, that they performed such medical experiments.

Coupled with the general tone of the piece, where he describes the Soviets as in a perpetual state of war & war preparation...

People are idiots that they can't know how crazy they are. The fellow who I upbraided (definition to accommodate my buddy's limited command of the English language...) back at my previous emplyer for wearing a t-shirt with the hammer & sickle on it took offense that I would challenge him, thought it was defensible to glorify communism...