Friday, October 23, 2009

Is Loving America a Conservative Value?

This post by Joseph Phillips is an excellent commentary on the duplicity of the far left. Enjoy:

Playing for Keeps

I was an innocent – not pure as the driven snow, but certainly unwise as to the level of the stakes at which we were playing. I entered the debate believing it would be an intellectual exercise; we would joust with each other and after it was all over shake hands and exit with mutual respect. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Mutual respect? The black panelists on my side of the question were called uncle toms, the white member was accused of seeking to repeal the civil rights act. Honesty? No lie was too large to tell; statistics were made up, facts were created to suit the argument. And there would be no shaking of hands at the conclusion of the debate, in fact barely a graceful word was spoken. It was in that moment I realized the left not only disagreed with me; they hated me. I was not only wrong; I was evil. That slap in the face knocked the rose colored glasses from my eyes and I am now seeing clearly: we are in the midst of a cultural and ideological war and while Conservatives concern themselves with civility and rules, progressives are playing for keeps.

It is a continuing fascination for me that conservatives are constantly depicted as wearing Jackboots and engaging in intimidation, violence and general thuggery. However, current events suggest that more often it is the new left that is wearing jack boots and not the right.

For instance who was doing the goose-stepping when radio host Rush Limbaugh was booted from an investment group trying to buy the NFL franchise St. Louis Rams? The new left lied and slandered Limbaugh with the aim of denying him an economic opportunity. Denying a man opportunity because we don’t like what he believes, what he says or what he looks like is (or should be) anathema to a free society. Shame on Dave Checketts and Roger Goodell for giving in to cheap intimidation and ideological bigotry! By their cowardice we are all diminished.

Many on the left disagree and are no doubt satisfied at the outcome. But for whom does the bell toll next? Who else’s opinions will be objectionable? What makes a football team any different from any other business that employs people? Should anyone with unpopular beliefs be barred from owning, say, a Burger King franchise? Should we then also check ideological credentials at the gates of certain neighborhoods? The doors to our schools?

The left often dons the coat of righteous indignation because it tends to give one an air of civility. They are not, however, above some good old fashioned name calling or back alley beat-downs.

Recall the response of Dennis Rivera, health care chairman of the Service Employees International Union, (SEIU) – as well as a master of irony -- following the arrest of two of his esteemed members for allegedly pummeling a conservative protestor senseless. Rivera denounced conservative “terrorist tactics” aimed at derailing the debate on health care reform. Terrorists tactics are now defined as peaceful protest.

Rivera is not the only one with a rather elastic definition of terrorism; Rosabeth Moss Kanter a professor at Harvard business school writing in Politico justifies the depiction of tea partiers, conservatives and health care reform protesters as racist buffoons because they are enemies of America. Kanter writes: “President [Barack] Obama is marginalizing not just his enemies but those of the American people. He is attacking organizations standing in the way of progress toward reforming health care or cleaning up the conditions that led to the financial crisis. He is putting on notice advocates of greed — instead of the greater good — that they no longer have public legitimacy.”

Yes you read it correctly. America’s enemies are not Islamist, North Korean demagogues, or even Maoists and admitted communists working at the highest levels of our government. Rather they are American citizens that disagree with this president and other new liberals on the degree to which government should interfere and control our economic and cultural institutions. No doubt they had better keep their opinions to themselves lest they be greeted with some of what Rush got.

I have been working on a collection of thoughts by Americans on their love of America. After agreeing to participate a comedian friend of mine reneged. He joked that he didn’t want to be dragged from his car and beaten for having his name appear in a conservative book. Two things struck me as peculiar: first that loving ones country and writing about it is a “conservative” activity (not my belief but apparently his), and that he would joke of his concern that the liberal thought police would find him and give him a beat down for stepping out of line.

As my mother used to say, “Many a truth is said in jest.”

Obviously my friend had discarded his rose colored glasses long ago.

Joseph C. Phillips is the author of "He Talk Like a White Boy" available where ever books are sold.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Insidious Threat to free men - Mercantilism

A friend of mine sent this to me. He has been on a bit of a crusade to revive the use of an apropose term that is somewhat archaic but describes a threat that is all too contemporary. The Show Me State is fertile ground for patriots and they are privileged to be represented by some who are smarter than average. State Representative Ed Emery is responsible for this one. I believe he nails it:

Flaws of Mercantilism

Mercantilism, which reached its height in the Europe of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, was a system of statism which employed economic fallacy to build up a structure of imperial state power, as well as special subsidy and monopolistic privilege to individuals or groups favored by the state.”

Murray N. Rothbard (1926-1995) American Economist, Historian, Political Theorist and Author

Mercantilism is the partnering of government and private industry in an attempt to join the taxing power of government with the productivity and efficiency of industry. Sounds like a great model if it works. However, because of the conflicting structures of government and private industry, few if any exceptions to Mr. Rothbard’s description exist. And mercantilism is usually a disaster for the consumer. Accurate assessment of mercantilism is difficult, however, because once it is imposed; the private sector cannot compete independently and is soon absorbed or eliminated.

I was recently sent a letter-to-the-editor from the Nevada Daily Mail newspaper that illustrates the flaws of mercantilism and prompted me to write about its flaws. Written by Dr. Ron Jones and published in the September 1st edition, the letter provides information about the H1N1 virus (swine flu), how it has evolved, and the science and politics of treating it.

According to Dr. Jones, is considered a fairly mild flu virus and not…any more dangerous than the ‘usual’ seasonal flu… Some say it could ‘mutate’ into a more virulent form, but mutations usually lead to milder forms.” As a physician, Dr. Jones seems at least as concerned about the danger posed by insufficiently tested vaccines, mercury, and aluminum than the dangers posed by a case of the flu.

Alzheimer’s Disease, Gulf War Syndrome, certain autoimmune disorders, and Guillain-Barre syndrome have all been linked to chemical components frequently used in vaccines according to Dr. Jones. He recommends some safer treatments while questioning why the government is pushing vaccination.

Dr. Jones points out that “The National Institutes of Health and the military contractor Dyncorp co-own some vaccine patents. This seems an odd partnership, but not that odd in this day of government/business mergers. They stand to make a ton of money from this vaccination campaign.” Dr. Jones then claims that “the vaccine manufacturers have been given blanket immunity from prosecution over vaccine adverse effects…”

Mercantilism does not merge the best of public and private but the worst. A powerful natural constraint on free market misbehavior is the need to raise capitol. Without trust and integrity, capitol comes at a high price unless it can be raised from government where politics often trumps ethics and morality. Don’t fall victim to the myth of mercantilism. It combines the worst, not the best of both worlds. Murray Rothbard was correct that its principle effect is “…to build up a structure of imperial state power…and …privilege to favored by the state.” Just look around!