January 2008


I’ve been made aware of a new conservative organization in the area called Concerned Citizens for a Conservative America, or, ThreeCA.

In reading about ThreeCA, I’ve become excited about what such an organization can do, not just for conservatives, but for all those who feel disenfranchised by the political process. ThreeCA is a bipartisan organization that will represent those who don’t feel that they have a voice.

From ThreeCA’s website:

Concerned Citizens for a Conservative America, the CCCA, commonly referred to as the ThreeCA…a bi-partisan organization comprised of citizens who share a common interest in keeping America on the right track.

In recent times our country has began to shift in a dangerous direction. Larger government, weak foreign policy, open borders, blatant unconstitutional attacks on faith & family, inability or unwillingness to punish individuals who break the law, are all issues that have brought America to a weak position in the world theater. The obvious division in the country on national and world issues has made us appear to be more vulnerable than ever. Partisan politics are wreaking havoc on needed legislation that we need to keep America moving in a positive direction. Representatives on both sides of the political aisle seem to be more determined than ever to vote against the other party rather than voting on what is best for their constituents. The problem starts at the local level, too often, state representatives do not take time to talk to the citizens they represent. It’s time to change that way of thinking.

…there is power in numbers. The ThreeCA will be leading the way to make YOUR voice heard. …It doesn’t matter if you are a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian , or Independent, as a member of the ThreeCA, you have easy and open contact to world, to express your feelings, your opinions, “We are your voice”.

A simple email, or phone call to your ThreeCA regional leader will result in YOUR opinions being heard in the proper arena where it will get the most results…

Obviously, every member is not going to agree on every issue. That’s ok. That shows that you are not blindly following a doctrine just because it’s there. You can choose to participate in the events, petition drives, or letter writing campaigns that YOU believe in. You will never be discriminated against by the ThreeCA for standing up for what you believe is right…Unlike many other organizations we do not tell you what to think. Our intent is to educate and inform everyone without political propaganda, to allow them to form their own opinion, and make their own decision. Please join us today, and help us form an unstoppable alliance for a better America…

While I don’t agree with every issue listed in ThreeCA’s platform, I’m encouraged by their policy statement indicating that the goal is to encourage political activism regardless of differences in ideals.

For more information visit, www.threeca.com

When I tuned in to CNN’s Reagan Library Republican “Debate,” I expected to actually see a debate between the four remaining Republican Presidential candidates. One, in watching the “debate,” would be virtually unaware that there are more than two candidates remaining. What was supposed to be a debate was actually Anderson Cooper’s dog (McCain) and pony (Romney) show.

In an hour and a half, I saw exactly one question directed at Ron Paul, and only a handful offered to Mike Huckabee. Those two, of course, are the only ones I actually care to hear speak. I certainly wouldn’t vote for Huckabee, but I could listen to him talk all night. Ron Paul is the only candidate that doesn’t make me feel like I need a shower after listening to him.

Sadly, all I got to hear was McCain and Romney argue back and forth over who said what when and what it they supposedly meant. McCain has got to be the most boring speaker on the face of the planet. Anyone who can bore me while talking about anything political has some sort of special Jedi boredom ability unsurpassed in all of mankind.

Romney merely strikes me as the dirtiest of all political figures: the guy whose speech-writer/political adviser is whispering into his ear what to say next in order to stir up the idiot electorate. I get no sincerity from him, no actual core belief system. If he’s got it, he’s certainly not good at showing it.

So, allow me to expand upon a couple of the answers of the two candidates who were ignored throughout the debate.

Mike Huckabee made a very good point concerning the economic stimulus package. When asked about his position that, rather than giving tax rebates to individuals to stimulate the economy, we should build highways, Huckabee stated that giving money to the American people to spend on consumable goods isn’t going stimulate the economy. He makes a good point. A permanent tax reduction? Sure. But a one-time rebate? Doubtful. His idea, however, that we should build highways instead is absurd. Talk of Boston’s Big Dig revealed a prime example of why government shouldn’t be spending our money building highways: government stinks at managing projects. The Big Dig took too long and cost too much. Why? Because the government ran it. So, while Huckabee is right on the money that tax rebates – no matter how much we appreciate them – are not going to stimulate the economy, he is way off track if he really thinks that increasing government programs is going to fix anything either.

Ron Paul had a couple of unbelievably brief opportunities to speak about monetary policy, which, considering the condition of our economy at this time, was great to hear. I’ve said before, however, that the vast majority of Americans think that “Fiat” is a type of car, and Paul’s talk of the “gold standard” and “worthless currency” probably went over most people’s heads.

An hour and a half debate, and this is all I’ve got for you. I spent a big chunk of time during the debate picking up toys, washing dishes, and waiting anxiously for the questions Cooper promised to Huckabee and Paul. I’m still waiting.

The debate was a joke and I’m a bit irritated that I wasted my time watching it. But, you know me…I can’t turn off a debate. Even a really, really bad one.

We all should have known that a piece of legislation would never get through both houses of Congress without someone in the back pocket of a special interest group or two trying to add to what was already a somewhat decent bill.

Senator Max Baucus, D-Montana, has introduced a “revised” economic stimulus package, which would REDUCE the amount that actual tax-payers receive in order to provide handouts to those who don’t pay any taxes. Who, you ask?

Seniors living on Social Security. Well, bless their little hearts…don’t they deserve to be a part of the economic stimulus package, too? I suppose if the AARP (one of Washington’s more powerful lobbying organizations) says so.

Here’s the thing – this E.S.P. is being sold to the American public as a tax rebate. You pay taxes, we’re giving you some money back. Unfortunately, it’s not just tax payers who are getting the cash. Democrats had already managed to work handouts for those who don’t pay income taxes (those below the poverty level), and now Baucus wants to give money to those on Social Security. Aren’t we already giving them money?

The kicker is that Baucus’ plan reduces the amount of the rebate to actual taxpayers from $600 per individual and $1200 per couple to $500 per individual and $1000 per couple in order to pay for non-taxpayers’ handouts. So, those of us who are paying taxes get less so that those who aren’t paying taxes can get more. Brilliant.

Senator Harry Reid says that the Senate may try to add further to the bill by “extending unemployment benefits, boosting home heating subsidies, raising food stamp benefits and approving money for public works projects” (cnn.com).

The “do nothing Congress” certainly lives up to it’s name, don’t you think? What should have been an easy bill to get passed, something with widespread support from the public and government officials alike, despite minor disagreements, will no-doubt be derailed by those seeking to line their own pockets with the likes of special interest support.

Unbelievable.

State Rep. Rob Briley apologized to his fellow members of the Tennessee House of Representatives for driving drunk and leading police on a high-speed chase. After his speech, House speaker Jimmy Naifeh said, “We love you, Rob.”

Doesn’t that just warm your heart?

Briley claims to be an alcoholic and, after a stint in rehab, is ready to get back to work representing his constituents.

I won’t even get in to the unimaginable disdain I have for people who drive under the influence. Quite frankly, I feel that anyone who is caught drinking and driving should have their licenses permanently revoked. I had a high school friend killed by a drunk driver, and there are very few people in this world I find more despicable than one who finds everyone else so unworthy of respect that he would get behind the wheel of a 2,000 pound bullet after drinking. Jerks. Unimaginable jerks.

What I loved most about the Tennessean article is a toss up between Rep. Gary Moore’s comment, “Some of us are alcoholics. Some of us are thieves. Some of us are adulterers. Truth of the matter is we reflect society.” or Rep. Kent Williams’ (from our own Carter Country), which is one of the most common misrepresentations of scripture, “He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.”

Let’s start with Moore’s asinine assertion that some of our representatives are alcoholics, thieves, and/or adulterers merely reflecting society. Is he serious? The last time I checked we tend to hold our government leaders to a higher standard than your average, run-of-the-mill Joe Schmoe on the street. If I wanted a man-whore representing me in Nashville I’m sure I could find some boob in my neighborhood to do the job. Interestingly, I would prefer someone with some semblance of a moral standard running the state. So, I would like for Rep. Moore to point out to me the alcoholics, thieves, and adulterers so we can run some sort of opposition campaign against their sorry behinds and replace them with decent individuals whom I don’t have to worry about running from the cops at 100mph or impregnating some intern behind his wife’s back.

Now, for Williams’ statement that we should “remember the scripture.” This is one of my favorite misrepresentations of scripture. Those who use this verse typically mean, “Don’t you judge me!”, and say it after they’ve gotten busted driving drunk, stealing from little children, or cheating on his wife. How sweet that Williams would use it to defend someone else.

What Williams apparently doesn’t know is that what Christ meant was “he who is without this particular sin may cast the first stone.” If only he who is sinless was able to judge sin, we certainly wouldn’t have had the justice system presented in the Old Testament, nor the one that we use today. For I’m sure Williams isn’t asserting that our judges are without sin?

Furthermore, church discipline, which is a biblical concept, is an act of putting an unrepentant member out of fellowship and involves judging others’ sin. The last time I checked even those of us in the church aren’t “without sin.”

Then there’s parenting, in which a father punishes his son or daughter for wrongdoing…surely Williams isn’t saying that parents are in error for correcting their children when they are not “without sin!”

My guess is that Williams wanted a sweet little sound bite in which he sounded super-spiritual (that’s the cool thing to be nowadays, right?) by quoting scripture and “forgiving his brother.” While I certainly can’t oppose forgiving one who is truly repentant, I do take issue with a misrepresentation of scripture when doing so. Williams would have been better served by saying something a bit more simple, like, “Briley apologized, and I forgive him. His behavior will reflect whether he is truly sorry.”

But I’m not sure “simple and authentic” is what Williams was going for…

I must say that I’m torn on the proposed economic stimulus package being touted in Washington. The plan would give checks of $600 per individual, $1200 per couple, plus an additional $300 per child to taxpayers making less than $75,000 individually or $150,000 per couple.

On the one hand, any return of money to the taxpayers is a good thing. The government stole our money, and they should give it back – simple.

I do not, however, think that the refunds should be limited to those making less than $75,000 per individual or $150,000 per couple. We all paid in, we should all get money back.

I also don’t agree that those who haven’t paid in to the system should get money. The stimulus package would give those who pay no income taxes $300 per individual or $600 per couple. These people didn’t pay in to the system, why should they get anything “back?”

An additional concern I have is that this package will – although somewhat indirectly – contribute to the national debt. We all know that the government isn’t going to cut spending to pay for the package, so we will be facing the total of this package (an estimated $150 billion) being tacked on to the federal deficit in addition to the $250 billion already estimated to be in the red for the coming year due to the economic slow-down.

I know there are some who argue that for the government to cut spending in order to pay for the economic stimulus package would defeat the purpose of the plan (to discourage an economic downturn), as any spending is good spending (I had a college professor who argued this point until he was blue in the face – never convincing me…).

Government spending isn’t the same as individual spending. For one, government spending involves untold waste. In order to buy a computer, the government spends twice what I would spend, thereby buying only one computer for the same amount of money it would cost me to buy two. So, instead of paying Joe Schmoe to build two computers, we’re only paying him to build one; Mr. Schmoe is making less money and can’t buy a computer of his own, thereby eliminating another computer that could have entered the market place, and so on and so forth.

Secondly, the government isn’t spending real money. It’s debt. It’s like me going out and running up my credit card without any intention of ever paying it back. Sure, I spent the money now, giving the store a boost, but what happens when I don’t pay my bill? The store gets their money, but the bank doesn’t. So, there’s a write-off. Money is supposedly in the marketplace that’s not really there. The government spends imaginary money, so we’re only putting a band-aid on the problem.

I just can’t help but believe that if our government was smaller, if they were collecting fewer tax dollars, that our economy would be in much better shape. We would have (at least somewhat) real money to spend – and save. By encouraging deficit spending, however, our government is digging a hole of which we may never get out.

All that being said, I’m looking forward to a return of my $1500 this summer…

It’s a slow news day, so I figured I’d just whine a bit about how tired I am of the presidential race.

I always begin an election season bright-eyed and dreamy about the possibilities that lay ahead. I forget for a while that we are stuck with a ridiculous two-party system, about which we were warned by George Washington:

However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to
subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.

Farewell Address, Sep. 17, 1796

If only we had listened.

I also forget for a bit that most people don’t pay attention to politics in a way sufficient for them to cast an educated vote. This isn’t entirely their fault, for most people were educated by the very government that wants, through the idiocy of the electorate, to stay in power.

I dream that we will be blessed with leaders who will actually work to preserve our liberties, to limit the control of government over our lives, and act in an honorable manner.

I hope that this will be the year that people will wake up and realize what they’ve voted into office in the past and actually vote for a change. Not the absurd campaign slogan notion of change that everyone is crying about now, but real change. A move away from special interests and empty promises. An effort to actually reduce the size of government rather than increasing it. Actual honesty.

I now, however, am faced with the same bunch of boobs that we were presented last election season…a little older, but none the wiser. The couple of candidates that would actually provide us with a “founding fathers” kind of election are largely ignored, and everyone (or, nearly everyone) is voting for the same-old-same-old while pretending that they’re really something different. It’s terribly disappointing.

So, rather than watch the evening news or the four hundredth debate to air on CNN, my husband and I play with our son while listening to Jack Johnson and dreaming of living on a deserted island without such a deplorable government. Then I get up the next day and read the headlines, hoping against all hope that today will be different. Today I’ll see a report that indicates that people have stopped “drinking the kool-aid” and are finally educating themselves about what our country should be – what it was intended to be.

Can anyone relate?

Update: About an hour after I posted this, CNN reported that Fred Thompson has, in fact, dropped out of the presidential race. 

After a disappointing finish in South Carolina, rumors are rampant that Fred Thompson could drop out of the race for president as early as today. I kind of hate to see it happen, even though I wouldn’t have voted for Thompson. The question remains: what happened?

I honestly thought that Fred had a chance. He’s southern and more conservative than most of the other candidates (even though he is no Ron Paul) with widespread name recognition. The fact that he’s an actor lent itself to inevitable Reagan comparisons. His off-the-cuff style is appealing. Why didn’t his campaign take off?

For one, he got in too late. It’s sad to say that someone entering the race more than a year before the election is “getting in too late,” but everyone else had been raising money and traveling the campaign trail for months on end already. I suppose Thompson thought his name recognition would be enough to allow him to skip those early months, but by the time he got in most of the media had been focused on others for quite some time. Like it or not, the media picks our president and without their support, you’re dead in the water.

Second, his campaign has lacked passion. While Romney, McCain, Huckabee, and Giuliani have the media on their side, Ron Paul has all the passion. What Fred needed was the die-hard commitment that Dr. Paul has – millions of dollars in online money bombs, weekly sign-wavings, and supporters willing to go door-to-door in the dead of winter to spread the word about their candidate. Fred had folks willing to do little more than go to the polls – if he made it through to their state. Thompson just doesn’t seem to have the ability (or maybe it’s the desire) to really inspire folks. His message is an old one – the status-quo Republican message of the last several years – and nothing to tell the neighbors about. “Yeah, you know that guy Fred Thompson from Law and Order? He’s running for president. Whoop-de-do.”

I have to say, I’m a little disappointed that Fred hasn’t done better. He scares me slightly less than most of the other Republicans. Then again, if he’s been thus far unable to run a decent presidential campaign and possesses an utter lack of ability to inspire large numbers of people, I can’t imagine that he would be a terribly effective president. We need a president who can create passion in a citizenry; someone who can stand up, speak, and make people listen. We need someone who will make the necessary changes to our great nation and make us all smile about it. And I just don’t think that Fred’s that guy.

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