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Remembering Reagan Twenty Years Later January 19, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in American history, Barak Obama, conservative.
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On January 20th, the nation’s attention will be focused on the historic inauguration of the first African-American president of the United States. But the inauguration of president-elect Obama will occur on an anniversary date that conservatives across America should take note of … the 20th anniversary of the end of the Reagan Administration.

This is clearly an historic moment for the nation. The election of an African-American as president is a significant milestone toward achieving Martin Luther King’s vision of a nation that truly does not judge any individual by the color of his or her skin. I believe President Reagan would have been proud of this moment.

At the same time, I do not believe President Reagan would be proud of the direction that our new president hopes to take our nation. Reagan would tirelessly oppose many of the initiatives that the Obama Administration and the Democrat-controlled Congress will attempt to impose upon us. But Reagan would also speak out against the Republican Party’s abandonment of the conservative principles which defined him as a president … the wasteful spending, the earmarks and the government bailouts. The Republicans are not blameless in regard to the crisis our nation now faces.

Two decades after the Reagan Administration, it may seem to some that the principles which guided him are irrelevant to the problems currently facing the nation. Millions of American citizens, especially those under age forty, know little about the conservative principles that guided President Reagan. In fact, people under age forty have never had an opportunity to vote for a presidential candidate who intelligently and persuasively articulated the conservative values and principles that defined Ronald Reagan.

Reagan was committed to rock solid conservative values and was unabashedly proud of this country. Reagan believed in the American people and in the example we should set for the rest of the world. He believed that all Americans are heirs to the blessings of liberty which give us the freedom to be and do what we want with our lives without the interference of an overreaching, overbearing government.

In a 1976 radio address, Reagan quoted Ferdinand Mount in the July 5th edition of the London Daily Mail. Mr. Mount wrote, “What the world needs now is more Americans. The United States is the first nation on earth deliberately dedicated to letting people choose what they want and giving them a chance to get it. For all its terrible faults, in one sense America still is the last, best hope of mankind, because it spells out so vividly the kind of happiness which most people actually want, regardless of what they are told they ought to want. We criticize, copy, patronize, idolize, insult, but we never doubt that the U.S. has a unique position in the history of human hopes. For it is the only nation founded solely on a moral dream. A part of our own [Britain’s] future is tied up in it and the greatest of all the gifts the Americans have given us is hope.”

Confronted with an economic crisis of historic proportion and the prospect of a regime that could expand the power of government beyond anything our forebears ever imagined, it is in these uncertain times that the people of America are most in need of courageous, principled leaders who can inspire hope.

In her eulogy of President Reagan in June 2004, Baroness Margaret Thatcher, former British Prime Minister, reminded us that Reagan loved America and he loved what it stands for “… freedom and opportunity for ordinary people.” Reagan, who thought of himself as an ordinary man, did not believe most ordinary American people want to give up the freedom to succeed or fail on their own in return for a government that promises to take care of them.

As Thatcher said, “Ronald Reagan knew his own mind. He had firm principles and, I believe, right ones. He expounded them clearly. He acted upon them decisively. When the world threw problems at the White House, he was not baffled or disorientated or overwhelmed. He knew almost instinctively what to do.”

That is because Reagan knew what he believed at the core of his being. Reagan’s ideas were developed through years of studying and applying the principles that made America great. And he knew one subject best of all – the American people. Reagan was a leader who believed in us, in our ability to solve problems and achieve goals, and in our basic character. He believed the American people could meet any challenge and overcome any obstacle.

Reagan’s vision for the renewal of America was to use government to unleash the energies of the American people. When he was sworn into office in 1981, Ronald Reagan met the great need in America for someone the people could trust, who would be guided by principles that would never be abandoned. Two decades later, that is exactly kind of leadership America desperately needs.

By Gary Palmer

Gary Palmer is president of the Alabama Policy Institute, a non-partisan, non-profit research and education organization dedicated to the preservation of free markets, limited government and strong families, which are indispensable to a prosperous society.

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Chronicles on Christmas December 25, 2008

Posted by Daniel Downs in Chrisitanity, Christmas, conservative, culture war, Jesus Christ, news, politics, religion, secularism.
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While Tom Flemings was musing about his Christmas nightmares, Tom Piatak was rehashing some of his earlier commentary on the culture war against Christmas. Both intellectuals were sharing their complaints and insights in the December edition of Chronicles : A Magazine of American culture, which is a publication of the Rockford Institute.

Uh, that is not an institute of Hollywood’s private detective series The Rockford Files starred by James Garner as Jim Rockford. No, the Rockford Institute is a conservative think-tank seeking to honor the founder’s view of American life and politics.

Fleming’s takes his readers on a dark journey from the blessings of Halloween to the paganization of Christmas. This trip began with childhood perceptions to the more matured and educated perspective of that critical period known as adulthood. The contrasts between the developments of Halloween and Christmas, especially between various movies like The Nightmare Before Christmas and A Christmas Carol are astounding. That is not as astounding as the general trend of among Christians who have adapted a pagan version of Christmas. After all Christmas is about baby Jesus being born not to escape infanticide or poverty but to die so that all humanity could have eternal life.

It cannot be said that Chronicles is not balanced. As mentioned earlier, the other Tom offers more than dark trends of modern culture that should give all conservatives nightmares about our materialistic Christmas season; he offers solutions under the banner of “How to Win the War Against Christmas.”

In addition to giving readers a brief history of the problem such as schools who forbid the Christmas classic Handel’s Messiah or the bigger war against Western culture, Piatak presents some ideas how collectively we can win the war against Christmas.

Before doing so, we should back up a little to explain the above. In Columbus Ohio, school officials refused to allow the school’s music departments to perform the Christmas classic Handel’s Messiah. The reason was to appease an anti-religious policy engendered by the ACLU, who resemble Russia’s KGB and the thought police in Orwell’s book 1984. They are among the warriors fighting against the traditions of Western culture that is largely the product of Christianity, which is to say of Jesus Christ and his followers’ biblical theological and political views. Multiculturalism, moral relativism, political correctness, and cultural Marxism are a few of arsenal employed by the ACLU, public education, and others in this war.

While quoting Thomas Cahill, he reveals something I never knew or at least didn’t remember. The familiar manger scene of Christ at his birth originated when Francis of Assisi created the first live crèche celebrating the lowly beginnings of the world’s only true savior. Another unknown historical fact is much the renowned artists and musical composers like Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Caravaggio as well as Bach, Mozart, and the grand master Handel.
The great artistic traditions that have inspired generations of Americans are the result of Christianity and its Jewish Messiah.

If the secular gulag is allowed to sanitize Christmas, as Piatak says, we will also lose all of our historical heritage and the inspiration for much of the great art, music, and yes, even science– not to mention the legal, political, and economic principles that guided our ancestors to our Constituted federal and republican form of governments. The development of those principles go back to the Protestant Reformation and ultimately to the biblical Exodus.

What then is Piatak’s solution to the secularist war against western culture and its tradition of celebrating the birth of the Messiah? He says we could start saying to one another Merry Christmas. That’s should be pretty easy. We could also stop patronizing politically correct retailers. We could only buy cards that mention Christmas. We could use only USPS Christmas stamp in December. By telling why we are doing so, those retailers and our local postal service would get the message and change their views and practices.

The good news is that the numbers are on our side, according to Piatak. He reports that polls show 96 percent of Americans celebrate Christmas.

My personal opinionated conclusion to Tom and Tom’s opinionated Christmas musings is just this: Join the pursuit for a Merry Christmas every day of the year and forever.

NY Times Is Setting Up Sarah October 31, 2008

Posted by Daniel Downs in conservative, John McCain, media bias, news, politics, presidential election, Sarah Palin.
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By Don Feder, Boycott The New York Times

In this campaign, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is easily The New York Times’ favorite target.

John McCain’s running mate represents everything the mainstream media despise – pro-life, pro-family, pro-traditional marriage and anti-big government.

Once upon a time (before he secured the GOP nomination), The Times actually liked McCain, and called him a “maverick,” its term of endearment for Republican lawmakers. Sarah Palin it could never like, even if she was running against Gen. Pinochet.

The Times’ latest Palin hit is a “news story” in today’s paper, the gist of which is that his running mate is a major liability for McCain.

The Times: “All told, 59% of voters surveyed said Mrs. Palin was not prepared for the job [of vice president], up nine percentage points since the beginning of the month. Nearly a third of voters polled said the vice-presidential selection would be a major factor influencing their vote for president…”

This is based on The New York Times’ own survey (Oct. 26-29) – surprise, surprise! – conducted with CBS News. Its accuracy may be judged by the fact that of all recent polls it shows the greatest gap between Obama and McCain (51% to 40%). A Zogby poll taken at the same time showed McCain and Obama only 2 points apart (47% to 49%). The latest Rasmussen poll has the candidates separated by 5 points, versus 9 points in The Times/CBS News poll.

That aside, nobody votes for a presidential candidate based on his running mate, regardless of what they tell pollsters.

The Times is setting up Sarah Palin. If McCain loses, the paper will blame Palin and McCain’s focus on the Obama/Ayers connection, which the paper claims is a foray “into the dark territory of race-baiting and xenophobia” (in an October 7 editorial).

That The New York Times will do anything to bring down Sarah Palin tells you everything you need to know about the conservative champion.

Do Liberals Help the Needy? June 10, 2008

Posted by Daniel Downs in Barak Obama, charity, conservative, Constitution, George W. Bush, giving, liberals, news, No Child Left Behind (NCLB), political economy, politics, poverty, Ron Paul, socialism, taxes, wealth, welfare.
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In a June 6 column published by The Economist, Peter Schweizer indicated that the richer and more powerful liberals are the harder it is for the needy to get any donations.

Many modern liberals like to openly discuss their altruism. Garrison Keillor explains that “I am liberal and liberalism is the politics of kindness.” But it rarely seems to turn into acts of kindness, especially when it comes to making charitable donations, wrote Schweizer.

To back his claim, Schweizer presents a who’s who of liberal stars including New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, Al Gore, Senator Barack Obama, Senator John Kerry, Senator Ted Kennedy, Robert Reich, and Jesse Jackson. None of these champions of the poor and oppressed has given much if anything at all to any charitable organization. Schweizer looked at their income tax returns and financial statements.

Kennedy has been in Congress since the 1960s. He is the most experienced champions of passing federal law to help the poor, which in turn has helped the federal government to expand it powers. The long debated No child Left Behind version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act apparently never helped to close any gap between the poor and the other students. The rhetoric about underachieving urban poor, dropouts, and our kids uncompetitive underachieving compared to the rest of the world is the same old song and dance liberals and opportunists have repeatedly said needs fixing since the 1960s. What it actually means is give government’s public schools more money and more control over public education to the federal government.

This is nothing new. According to Schweizer,

The greatest liberal icon of the 20th Century is Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He is regarded by many on the left as the personification of charity and compassion, but FDR actually has a slim record when it comes to giving to charity.

Compared to liberals today, FDR was very generous. He actually gave 2-3% of his income compared to 0-1% given by the above-mentioned liberals.

The point is liberals are all talk. They don’t really care much about the poor. If they actually did, they not only would give generously to those in need but would also have changed the political economy making it difficult for poverty to exist. Of course, they would want to do that for several reasons: One, they don’t care about people they neither know nor want to know. Two, their power, prestige, and wealth is engendered at the expense of the poor. Three, actually changing the political economy would screw up the entire agenda of the Left.

Okay, liberals are no more generous are caring than many other Americans. So are we to believe the compassionate conservatives are any different? Schweizer’s answer is a resounding yes.

President Ronald Reagan … was often called heartless and callous by liberals. Unlike Roosevelt or JFK, Reagan was not a wealthy man when he became president. He had no family trust or investment portfolio to fall back on. And yet, according to his tax returns, Reagan donated … four times more to charity — both in terms of actual money and on a percentage basis — than Senator Ted Kennedy. And, he gave more to charities with less income than FDR did. In 1985, for example, he gave away 6 percent of his income.

George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have continued this Reagan record. During the early 1990s, George W. Bush regularly gave away more than 10 percent of his income. In 2005, Vice President Dick Cheney gave away 77 percent of his income to charity. He was actually criticized by some liberal bloggers for this, who claimed he was getting too much of a tax deduction.

I suspect many of the reviled Right give considerable amounts of money to all sorts of charitable organizations, and not just to their churches. Referring to a Hudson Institute article, Ron Paul said,

American citizens voluntarily contributed three times more to help people overseas than did the United States government. This should not surprise us at all, as Americans are generous to those in need, whether here or abroad. There are so many moral, religious, and human reasons to help our fellow men and women in need. It is only when government gets in the way and tries to crowd out private charity that problems arise. (emphasis added.)

There are good reasons why the US Constitution does not allow our government to send taxpayer money overseas as foreign aid. One of the best is that coerced “charity” is not charity at all, but rather it is theft. If someone picks your pocket and donates the money to a good cause it does not negate the original act of theft.

Besides sound research showing the 16th amendment to the Constitution was not legally ratified, our tax dollars should not be used to enlarge and empower the federal government at the expense of the poor or the rest of us. The federal government taking power not conferred upon them by the American people is not for our benefit. Robert Reich claims American major corporations are the real culprits impoverishing Americans. These economic leeches robbing Americans economic well-being make welfare programs necessary. In his book Liberal Fascism, Jonah Goldberg says the situation was planned by New Deal liberals.

Pew perspective on political party popularity June 9, 2008

Posted by Daniel Downs in Barak Obama, Bill Clinton, Congress, conservative, Democrats, Hilary Clinton, liberalism, news, politics, polls, Republicans.
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If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the graph below speaks volumes about the need for the Republican Party to communicate to America a consistent vision. The graph shows a steep incline of favor towards the Democratic Party since after mid-2006 while a correlative decline is charted for the Republicans.

As the Pew Research poll doesn’t tell us why the image of the Democratic Party is more highly favored, but my guess is it has something to do with the hyper-propaganda of liberals about the Bush’s supposed lies about the war, how bad the war is going, the strong oil ties of Pres. Bush and VP Cheney, and a prolonged campaign battle of Senators Clinton and Obama. Of course, the Democrats fail to mention that most of them had available the same data that Bush had. Most voted for going to war in Iraq and against terrorism. Many Democrats also have ties to the oil or energy industries as well as other multi-national corporations. War is heck. Yet, our troops have accomplished many humanitarian works in Iraq. A few hours ago, Nightly News reported on the many Iraqis who are reporting weapon caches and claiming more peaceful conditions and improved confidence.

I think some additional reasons for the decline of approval of the Republican Party are the divisions evident among its members. In many states, republican leaders are promoting and passing laws contradictory to conservative ideology and values. Gay special rights, abortion, and other controversial issues. It seems religion is a problem issue for Republicans while the Democrats are fully identifying with religion. The problem is in what is meant by religion. The cultural war between liberals and conservatives is still being waged as much in church and synagogue as in politics. Liberals have secularized their theology just as liberal have done to social policy. As Jonah Goldberg pointed out in his book Liberal Fascism, American liberals shared the same political deals and policies as did Mussolini, Stalin, Lennon, Hitler, and their successors.

The new star of the Democratic Party is more liberal than third way Clinton.

Some good news for Republicans is the decline of approval of a Democrat led Congress. According to the Pew chart below, the disapproval rating of Congress was 38% before the Democrats gained control. Today, the percent of Americans who disapprove of Congress is 51% — that is a 12% increase in about one year.

It seems a significant majority of Americans respond to Congressional paternalism by holding their noses and saying Pew-ee. (That’s the opposite of Yee Hah in poll language).

Source: The Pew Research Center Survey Report.

Obama–ology 101 March 3, 2008

Posted by Daniel Downs in abortion, Barak Obama, Bible, Chrisitanity, Congress, conservative, discrimination, family, gay politics, Hillary Clinton, Israel, Jews, legislation, liberals, marriage, news, political primary, politics.
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Why are so many concerned with Obama as president? Hilary supporters are worried that he will win. Many Jews do not like the idea of President “Hussein” Obama. Conservative group are coming out against him as well. How could they possibly oppose a charismatic leader who wants to change the world? While making the world a great place to live, Obama promises to change Congress. He says he will make Congress work for the good of all people. (FDR did too!) If that miracle were not enough, we can expect even greater wonders. He believes he can make America one people again. What could possibly be wrong with that?

Yes, but what does the rhetoric really mean? (more…)

Ohio Senator Steve Austria’s Bid for US Congress Turns to Desperate Sliming Politics March 2, 2008

Posted by Daniel Downs in conservative, Democrats, elections, ethics, family, honesty, liberals, news, political campaigns, political primary, politics, Republicans.
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Who said dirty politics is reserved for lawyers and wannabe lawyers on Capitol Hill? Don’t be fooled it’s for those trying to get their too. Like his mentor, Steve Austria is mired in the muck of dirty tactics because he obviously fears Ron Hood may win.

In case you have not heard of Steve Austria or Ron Hood, these two politicians are running for the U.S. House of Representatives. Austria is the current Ohio Senate majority leader. He is a Beavercreek Ohio businessman not a lawyer like his mentor Dave Hobson, who is retiring from his career job on Capitol Hill. Remember those words. Hobson is a career politician who never wrote a law and he is Austria’s mentor.

Ron Hood also is a businessman and the son-in-law of Bill and Pam Dean. The Dean family is one of Xenia’s prominent entrepreneurs in the service sector. Hood served in the Ohio House of Representative from 1995-2000 and 2005-2006. Unlike Austria who is endorsed only by several party organizations, Hood is endorsed by a number of family associations like Family First, Moms for Ohio and Citizens for Community Values, by several gun owners associations, and by the Chamber of Commerce.

What inspired this post was a slick mailer I received yesterday from Austria. The sliming of Ron Hood advertisement says Hood voted with democrats 80% of the time. Austria’s glossy green with yellow letters oversize postcard accuses Hood of being a RINO, which means a Republican in name only. On the front and back, it says Ron Hood is a Democrat. The real interesting thing about Austria’s sliming tactic is found in the small print. That’s right, in small print Austria acknowledges his accusations are based only on 3 bills and not on Hood’s entire record. Out of the hundreds of bills Hood sponsored and the many more he voted on only House Bill 66, House Bill 23, and House Bill 160 are used as proof of Hood being an undercover liberal. I checked the huge budget bill House Bill 66. I found conservatives Dewine and Widener voting with the Democrats on a lot of legislative items too. Does that make them liberals too? (more…)