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A Conservative’s Response to the Latest Shootings

I have remained unusually quiet these past few weeks in response to the shootings in Aurora, Oregon and Connecticut. The reasons are two-fold. One, my own suffering with my health has made it difficult to respond to much of anything. My time on the social media and blogosphere is way down as I battle daily pain and mental fogginess.

But that is no excuse for disregarding the pain of others. I confess I can have that tendency sometimes. I am not proud of this fact about myself and it is something I must keep working on.

However, the main reason is that my initial and still very strong reaction is one of anger and heavy controversy. I debated for weeks on whether I should put this out there, knowing it might cause some to be offended. But if I don’t say what I believe to be the truth, what culpability then is mine?

And if you are one who is easily offended, just know that I am not forcing you to read further.

Obviously we have a problem here. The frequency of these shooting binges is rapidly increasing. What is being done about it? Why are there that many killers who snap like this? Were not innocent adults in a movie theatre bad enough? Must we go after children now?

You can bank on the fact that within five minutes of any of these types of shootings the cry for gun control rings out. And it is tragedies like these that sharpen people’s opinion in that direction. While I’m not a fan of guns, I recognize that the problem is not the tool itself. A gun does not make a killer more likely to kill. A gun makes a killer more ABLE to kill, yes. A gun death is a quicker, easier death than a machete death, but if you remove the gun, you have not solved the problem. The killer still exists and he will find a way to kill, whether he acquires a gun illegally or utilize some other weapon.

The second solution being proposed is to put our society into a police state. After tragedies like this, it amazes me how quickly so many are willing to blindly trade in their freedoms for a little sense of security. Sure, I don’t mind extra long lines and pat downs in order to get into my local McDonalds, as long as I’m safe, right?

The problem is, for some of these murderers, their stated goal is to erode our freedoms. And when we capitulate in order to protect against them, we have lost twice as a society. And as we have observed, the more rules we put on OURSELVES in the name of “protection” the more these murderers work around these rules to commit their crimes, which inevitably leads to more rules placed on US.

In both of these knee-jerk solutions, we have not dealt with the core issue. We have not stopped the creation of these killers.

Violence has always existed. It is at the core of humanity. We look at fifty years ago as a bucolic time in America, but we tend to gloss over the lynch killings in the South, done in the name of justice and righteousness. The problem is that as a society, we have allowed moral relativism to blur the lines between right and wrong. We all have dark fantasies that creep up into our minds from time to time. It is called our sin nature. Most of us are quick to rid ourselves of them when they occur.

These young killers did not wake up one day and say, “Huh. I think I want to kill children today.” Getting to this point of depravity takes time. It is a slow indulgence into their dark fantasies that fosters over time. I do not believe for a moment that the Sandy Hook killer was just mental and therefore he somehow couldn’t help himself. No, whether the theatre shooter or the elementary school shooter or whomever, they made a calculated and deliberate decision to look a soul in its eye and remove its life. Perhaps by the time they had arrived at that murderous moment, there was an element of removal, as I suspect there would have to be in order to do this kind of horrific thing. However, getting to that point was a daily decision to not put to death their murderous fantasies, but to engage them instead.

The problem is that today’s society makes indulging in these dark fantasies much easier than it used to be. I may sound fuddy-duddy, but I point my fingers first at the entertainment industry. We have video games that glorify violence through hyper-realistic graphics, allowing players to become the mass murderers of their delusions. Instead of putting to bed these dark desires, we cultivate them through these games. The step from being a murderer in a fantasy world to becoming one in reality, then, becomes smaller.

Now I know the gaming community will scream foul at the last paragraph, as I have heard them try and defend themselves after all of these tragedies. I’m not saying ban video games. Angry Birds is not going to make people want to go out and kill pigs. There are certainly gray areas on this issue, but I am never shocked when we read the profiles of these killers to find that they played violent video games. There is a realm where it is too far, and I do not think it’s that hard to figure out. The problem is, nobody has the guts to stand up and say, no, this is immoral. As a gamer, do you have the moral fortitude to draw your own lines? If not, why not?

And I don’t want to just pick on gamers. The glorification of violence is everywhere. It’s in our movies, it’s in our books. I never saw the “Saw” movies, but after reading the description, I could not understand how they could be so popular. Why would anybody want to take their mind to that place?

We have allowed post modernism to tell us that there is no such thing as an absolute right and wrong. After 50 some years of preaching this, we wonder why we suddenly have teenagers that see nothing wrong with killing people point blank. We have an entire party that won an election based on an idea that killing unborn children should be a right, and then we scratch our heads when one kills children five years out of the womb.

This is controversial, yes, but do we want to solve this problem or not? Do we want a prison society filled with killers or do we want to finally address the issue of the human heart?

Ultimately, we are a land that has turned against its Creator. Any society that has done so in the past has seen the consequences. I do not advocate that government should do anything about this. On the contrary, government should back off and let the church work. Love needs to be our motto. Truth needs to be our banner. We need to reach the hearts of the individual with the amazing Good News of Jesus Christ. He alone can save us from our darkness. It starts with Him. But the decision rests with me and you.

 

Post Script: In all of this, it’s easy to arm chair quarterback, but the fact remains, there are people hurting today and we must not forget this fact. My heart breaks for those families and my prayers go out to them, especially as we approach the Christmas holiday. I cannot know or imagine their pain and fear. Lord, cover them with your Mercies today, shower love upon that community. May we rise up as a Body of Believers in love for our fellow man.

Healthcare and the Economy

Another illustration for Centennial Review. Two excellent articles written by both an economist and a doctor.

http://www.ccu.edu/centennial/review/oct12/

First, this illustration hit close to home. Many of you know my long and extended medical history. I was born with an agressive auto-immune disease which still sends me to the hospital 2-3 times a year. The past month has been especially trying and there is some talk for additional surgery. So when it came time to needed some artistic “inspiration” for this illustration, I had plenty.

(Not to bore you with personal details, but I have made a cute little video that talks a bit about my story on YouTube. If you want more, go here:

http://youtu.be/9nnCIWCpQ-s)

So many times, Democrats are confounded as to why I would be opposed to Obamacare, or the poorly titled “Health Care Affordability Act.” Wouldn’t it benefit somebody like me the most? I haven’t read the bill, but any law that takes over 2700 pages to write scares the heck out of me. That’s too much legislation and bureaucracy for governmental abuse, not to mention trying to keep track of everything in order to remain compliant.

Yes, the old system was broken. The biggest issue was pre-existing conditions. When you have an entire industry denying a certain group of people their product because of how they were born (as it were in my case), you have a problem. I don’t know how to resolve the issue, honestly. I understand that in the long run, I’m a liability to the company and they have to pay for my care by taking premiums from somebody else’s. Perhaps there is some good with Obamacare in addressing this issue.

Which brings me to the next point. Prices were way too inflated with the old system. Having been in the system all my life, there are a few reasons why this could be.


A) Hospitals treat and then bill and you never know what you are going to get until three months down the road, when you are still recovering and they are demanding payment from some doctor who looked at your chart in another room and sends you a $200 review bill. It’s really aggrevating when you get 15 of them from the same hospital. It’s like free money. Look at the chart, bill the patient, pay for your golf trip. It has happened to me frequently, in some hospitals more than others. I’ve tried calling to contest the bill and this practice, and the receptionist promptly sent me to collections.

You want to reduce costs? Require an upfront cost to the patient or their family and have them sign off before being allowed to proceed with any procedure or treatment (emergencies excepted, of course). Let the patient decide whether they want the doctor from the third floor looking at their chart.

Disclose upfront all of your costs for standard procedures such as bone setting, colonoscopies, xrays, etc. Let the patient then go to the hospital with the best combination of rates and service. This will drive costs down. Competition always does.

B) Cut frivolous and false malpractice lawsuits.  Anybody can file a suit for whatever contrived reason. Often they are settled out of court, even if the doctor is sure of his innocense, just because it’s cheaper than taking it to court and winning! I have an idea. Let whomever brings forth a lawsuit do so knowing that if they lose, they have to pay the doctor’s and hospital’s court and lawyer costs. This will kill the incentive for fake lawsuits. This will lower malpractice insurance dramatically, which the doctor and hospital can then pass on to the patient.


The problem with Obamacare is that neither A nor B can really be found in those 2700 pages. Simple fixes we can implement right away that will start to lower overall costs. Why aren’t they there?

American has the shortest waiting time of any industrialized nation. Those countries that have national health care have wait times that are 5 times or greater. For a country that is as large as ours, imagine how long those wait times will end up being. This could be the difference between life and death for me. I might have to outsource my healthcare overseas, like everything else the government meddles in.

Obamacare also promises rationing. Obama himself even said Granny should take the pain pill once she hits a certain age. For somebody who is a perfect candidate as an individual who should allow natural selection to finally do me in, you can see why I’m not jumping up and down for joy.

Obamacare is now the law of the land. I’m hoping that because we are Americans, that somehow things will be different. Maybe we will still have the greatest healthcare in five years from now. In which case, I hope to still be around to entertain you with my latest cartoons.

Obama Follows FDR Down the Path to Economic Stagnation

This was a fun illustration to do for Centennial Review. I nailed Obama’s likeness. I wish I could say the same for FDR’s, but I was trying to get him to smirk a little, which threw off the illustration a bit. I also had fun recreating the Presidential Desk. Initially, I rendered all the detail on the side of the desk as well, but it ended up making the entire piece cluttered and busy. I went back in and made it all solid black. This helps anchor the piece visually and redirect your attention back to Obama. Yes, I lost all that beautiful pen and ink work, but sometimes ya gotta do it for the integrity of the composition.

The truths of this article are overwhelming. Keynesian policies have proven not to work. How long did Roosevelt preside over a flat, sunken economy? No matter what he tried to do on a federal level, he could not get it to turn around. But he kept getting re-elected, assuring the American people that big o’ daddy government is here to get them through this, and (haven’t heard this one repeated over and over) imagine how bad it would be if we WEREN’T doing anything.

Liberals still see FDR bringing us out of the depression through high taxation and government policies. The robust economy did not finally occur until after WW2, during the 1950s, as a result of Harry Truman, the forgotten Democrat, who lowered tax rates dramatically.

Read more from this excellent article by By Burton Folsom, Jr.

http://www.ccu.edu/centennial/review/sept12/

AMERICA THRIVES ON FREE MARKETS, CRISES AND ALL

Illustration I did for Centennial Review, March 2012 issue. Full article can be read here:

http://www.ccu.edu/centennial/review/mar12/

HHS Mandate

In case you have been living in a bubble the past few years, let me explain this cartoon for you. Obamacare has a provision which mandates that all employers, regardless of their religious objections, provide their employees with abortive and contraceptive care services.

To me, it was quite obvious what an obtrusion of religious freedom this mandate really was. In my narrow world-view, I could not conceive how anybody could choose the side of anti-freedom in this debate.

Then the attacks came and I quickly learned that those in favor of the mandate, through some twisted logic, labeled the mandate as being for freedom, and the churches as being against freedom. And in typical liberal fashion, it did not stop there. Many liberals then went on to conclude that because churches were against this mandate, they must somehow also be against women in general. Thus, conservatives must also want to deny women voting rights, working rights, fair pay, all the way down the line!

I remember a heated debate I had with a liberal friend. What was frustrating was that I just wished he would consider where I was coming from, even for a moment. A church is protected, by the Constitution, with their own freedoms. A church should be allowed to have a conscientious objection to covering abortive care, if it violates their tenants. But according to this man I was talking to, how dare the church push it’s views on its workers (he actually used the word ‘dare’).

I gently tried to explain to him, that the worker voluntarily chooses to work for the church, knowing their stance on these issues. If the worker does not like the church’s position, GET ANOTHER JOB! Nobody is forcing that worker to stay there. If the worker feels like they are being proselytized while at their church job, guess what, it’s the church’s building, the church’s payroll, the church’s right to believe and preach whatever they want. Freedom is allowing the church to have these positions, even if they are contrary to your own. If you don’t like it, too bad. That’s the consequence of a free society.

According to my friend, the church, by not refusing to pay for this lady’s contraceptives, is denying her access to care. Huh? The church is not stopping her from getting whatever contraceptive stuff she wants. If she wants it, she can pay for it. (And that goes for a lot of things by the way, from food, to vacations, to BMWs). If the church followed her to Walgreens and told the clerk not to sell this woman contraceptives, then yes, that would be a problem. But that’s not what is happening here. And again, I stress, if the woman wishes for somebody else to pay for these services, find another job that offers it as a benefit.

And I might add, if the lady lives a life that is promiscuous, the church should have the RIGHT to fire her if it violates some sort of ethical code they might have on chastity. There’s plenty of other employers who will hire such a woman. The church should have that freedom.

I could not get my friend to see where I was coming from and before long, the debate was starting to get so heated that I figured I should simply end it for fear of losing a friend. Following our debate, I began to see liberal talking heads repeating his same arguing lines, almost verbatim, without regard to the points conservatives have been desperately trying to make. Our voices are small, and the liberals have placed a bet that this is a winning issue for them on this election.


Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let me say one other thing, and this goes back to something Joe Biden said in the VP debates. He said that while he is pro-life, he wouldn’t force his morals on other people. This is a tired, old, worn debate I’ve heard most of my life. Every time I hear it, I begin to deconstruct it logically in my mind, and it simply does not make sense. I wish that just once, somebody would throw this back at whomever uses this line in future debates, simply because it is a logical fallacy.

Let me break it down for you. First, don’t tell me liberals don’t like to push their morals on other people. Please! What do you call smoking bans? What do you call the ban on the incandescent? What do you call soda pop bans? What do you call bans on manger scenes at Christmas time? Or crosses at memorials? EVERYBODY tries to push their moral world view through politics. And it’s a good thing, too. We all agree that murder is morally objectionable. Therefore, as a consensus, we have banned murder. If we were to truly hold to the idea that it’s not up to us to push our morals on other people, then we should allow murderers to kill, because it’s not up to us to push our morals on them.

As you can see, that’s utterly preposterous. The same holds true for abortion. If deep down in the soul of your convictions, you truly felt that abortion was murder of the unborn, it would not matter what the other person felt about the issue. It’s morally objectionable to you, and you would work to try and stop it. Since abortion is the law of the land, you would have to go about your work through the legislative process, but ultimately, trying to win the hearts and minds of people to see why you find it so objectionable.

Here’s another analogy. Let’s take another issue, say, pedophilia. Let’s say we lived in a society that found sexual violation of child to be no big deal, so they legalized it. But you thought it was awful. Would you say, oh, I’m against pedophilia, but I’m not going to push my morals on other people? Of course not! You would say that this is a horrible act and you are going to work to ban it!

The same holds true for abortion. To say that you’re against abortion, but you’re not going to push your views on other people tells me that you really are not against abortion at all! If you found it to be the despicable act that I see it to be, then you would work just as hard to stop it as I try to do.

Abortion is an extremely divisive issue and it does not lend itself to much humor. I apologize for the length of this column, but if you are still interested in reading more, I implore you to read an excellent article on this topic written by a friend, PA Ritzer. His article can be found here.

 

The Undecided

Okay, so it’s election season and the cartoons have been few and far between. I’m sorry, okay, a lot’s been on my plate lately, and since this is my NON-paid gig, it sits in the backseat.

I am going to make a declaration that may sound outrageous upon first utterance. This Tuesday, I do not think everybody should vote. In fact, I strongly believe that some people should not vote. Now that may sound harsh, and perhaps it is a little, so let me clarify. I do believe that every informed person should vote. That’s a big distinction.

“It’s your right!” come the calls from those who are trying to get one demographic or another to the polls to swing it favorably their direction. Yes, and with all rights, there comes responsibility.

YouTube is full of videos mocking the uninformed voters, people who cannot even name the vice president of the opposing party. (Some who cannot even name the VP of the person they just voted for!) It amazes me when I find out the reasons why people support certain candidates in any given election. Usually it’s because they believe the negative ads against the other person. But other reasons include likeability, swagger, good looks… What is this, the high school prom?!?

And what really boggles my mind is the so-called undecided demographic. How can you be undecided? No one should ever be undecided. Let me break it down for you. You have core values. These can be broken down into economic issues, social issues, and foreign affairs issues. Each party (notice I said party, not person) has made statements about where they stand as a party on those issues. You find out which aligns most correctly to yours and you vote the party ticket.

You and I can disagree on the roll of government, and that’s fine. We can argue those merits based upon our own understanding of history and I’ll let you throw in your vote for the Democrat party. But if you are pro-life, believe in private property rights and favor a strong military, it does not make sense to me that you would vote Democrat, simply because he’s cooler than the Republican.

Every voter should know where they stand on all of the ballot issues before they arrive at the polls on election day. To be reading the questions for the first time is foolish. And then to cast a vote, just so they don’t have empty spaces on their ballot is even worse. Let me clue you in. If you don’t know, don’t vote! An incomplete ballot is still counted! It is perfectly fine to show up on election day and just vote for president (or county sheriff, whichever you’re most passionate about). Your vote will count. And you won’t inadvertently be voting for a cause or person that just might not align with your values.

The founding fathers originally felt that only land owners should be allowed to vote. I certainly am not advocating we go back to this, but they had a point. They knew that if you owned land, you had to be intelligent enough to make that transaction a reality. And an intelligent voter is always an informed voter. There is no national intelligence requirement for elections, nor would I wish for one (I could see abuses in that in a hurry), but people should at least be informed on the issues.

I don’t remember the exact quote, but it’s from Thomas Jefferson and goes something like, “the uninformed electorate are tools in the hands of a despot.” How true that is. If we can be swayed by razzle, dazzle, then only we are to blame when we vote away our freedoms.

 

Happy Halloween

Yeah, yeah, I know. Many of you liberal folk out there would be saying the same thing if Obama doesn’t win the election. It just depends on perspective, I guess.

Political Balance

Extremism exists on both sides of the political spectrum. I’m not really a fan of either, but then again, my world view just happens to be exact center.

I say this in jest, knowing that there are many liberals who actually believe this to be true. They cannot conceive of a world in which their worldview just might be left of center, perhaps even far left. To them, they are the center and everything to the right must be extreme.

In reality, I don’t think the center actually exists. Every issue has a right and left side to it and to be in the center is to say that you simply don’t care. The moment you care is the moment you leave the center.

The danger in thinking you are the center is that you’ll eventually fail to see how far to a certain direction you end up being. This is especially true of the media. Instead of being watchdogs of our country, they are complicit in ushering in the left wing trend that is bringing us dangerously close to socialism. And I’m sorry, but to me, socialism is leftism to the extreme. I want no part of it in this country.

Having the two parties usually provides a good balance in order to keep the country more or less center. However, if any one party becomes successful in tipping us over that edge, it will be next to impossible to ever get back to that balance. I fear that’s where we are right now in this country. This coming election could be the deciding election on whether we finally topple over to the left in a collective heap, or whether we are able to bring about some right-wing balance.

Wait For It

 

Wow. It didn’t take any time, did it? Very shortly after the announcement that Paul Ryan is to be Romney’s vice president, the attacks starting rolling in. I have seen some fascinating vitriol and some amazing charges against Ryan, including the idea that he doesn’t believe in the first amendment, to the idea that he will destroy women’s rights, and of course, the big one, he must hate grandma and grandpa, because he wants to take away their medicare.

Some of these groups launching these attacks tell us that they are more informed than us backwards conservative hicks, as they bring whatever dirt they can find on Ryan to light. So a full time smear machine staff found dirt on their political opponent, that makes them more informed? I suppose if I had a full time smear machine staff, I could bring out all the dirt I wanted about Obama.

But I don’t want to go there. I don’t want this campaign to be about the gutter. There is so much more at stake here. Let’s talk about the issues and truth, and not about trumped up rhetoric. Kudos to Obama, who quieted a booing croud when he congratulated Paul Ryan and commended him on being a decent man. And Obama couldn’t have been more right when he said that this election comes down to two choices. However, Obama was dead wrong when he claimed “their way” has proven to not work. Our way is freedom. Freedom has always worked. American prosperity over the last 200 years proves it.

I could go on forever debunking all of the lies that have come forth from these smear campaigns. But it will detract from the point of this cartoon. I hope for the sake of Ryan’s family that the media and the liberal extremists do not destroy Ryan personally like they did Sarah Palin. But I won’t hold my breath.

Presidential Response to Poverty

My goal for this illustration was to try and mimic some of the classic etched illustrations of the Victorian age. My tools were slightly different, relying on my radiographs over traditional etching, but I tried to copy their same line work. I’m very pleased with the result.

HOW AND HOW NOT TO FIGHT POVERTY:LESSONS FROM THE PRESIDENTS
By Lawrence W. Reed

“The lessons of history show conclusively that continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fiber. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit. The federal government must and shall quit this business of relief.”

Surprisingly, these words of an American president do not date from the early years of the Republic, but from the progressive days of the New Deal. Franklin Roosevelt spoke them in 1935. But his pledge of quitting was empty. Indeed, 30 years later Lyndon Johnson would take “this business of relief” to new heights in an official “War on Poverty.”

to read more…

Blind Evolution or Intelligent Design?

WHENCE LIFE:BLIND EVOLUTION OR INTELLIGENT DESIGN?
By Michael J. Behe

Every child born into this world encounters wonders of the most marvelous sort. Early on a toddler will squeal with delight at the sight of a cat, dog, parakeet, horse, or other animal that shares her neighborhood. When she grows older, a trip to the zoo brings astonishment: Animals never seen in the neighborhood, with strange and exotic forms and abilities, are everywhere in the enclosures.

Going off to school the child studies what is arguably the most dazzling of all creatures— humans, who think, talk, accumulate knowledge, and build civilizations.

to read more…

Not Quite the Same in a Minivan

Freedom Cures Poverty

FREEDOM CURES POVERTY WHERE GOVERNMENT FAILS
By Benjamin Powell

Why do some nations become rich while others remain poor? This has been a central question in economics since at least the time of Adam Smith. Today China, India, and Botswana are booming, and in the process lifting hundreds of millions of people out of wretched poverty. Yet most of sub-Saharan Africa not only fails to get rich, but is instead actually getting poorer.

Traditional mainstream economic-growth theory doesn’t help us much to answer the question.Through most of the 20th century it focused on models that assumed growth was a simple function of labor, capital, and technology. The new growth theory looks more to institutions and policy.

to read more…

Michael Bloomberg, aka Super Nanny

Okay, wait, what is this? You might find yourself asking, as you look at my most recent offering. Yes, it’s not pen and ink and it’s not digital. It’s totally old school, a layering technique involving pastels, colored pencils and oils. And it just also happens to be a recent class demo.

While his identity is obscured by his superhero attire, that is indeed a caricature of Michael Bloomberg, who has made it his mission to ensure that nobody in New York City makes a mistake, according to his standards of right and wrong. Large sodas? Really? You’re going to ban large sodas? What does that say about how he thinks about us? Obviously he thinks were too stupid to make our own informed decisions, therefore, we need big government to intervene.

So let me ask you, forgot your political allegiances for one moment, is it really the role of government to make sure its citizens eat correctly? Why is that any of their business? So what if certain people are obese and diabetic? Why should the government care? Isn’t that the result of freedom? Isn’t that far more important.

Don’t get me wrong, I think our bad health habits are a problem. And you’ll probably never catch me drinking a super sized big gulp of soda (although, once in a while I would like to have the freedom to enjoy one occasionally). However, I do think that our poor health habits stem from a much deeper problem from a lack of self control in this country. The issue isn’t that we eat too much or drink too much. The issue is that we have lousy self control, and I think is a direct result of the breakdown of the family, due to policies and moral shifts brought about by the liberal agenda (to tie that altogether is a whole other essay, and since I’m not an essay writer, but a cartoonist, I’ll defer a more detailed explanation about all this to more educated writers like Thomas Sowell and Ben DeGrow.)

I also believe that a lack of exercise is more to blame than anything we eat. With schools cutting recess and gym, is it any wonder our kids are getting fat? Poor exercise as a youth leads to poorer habits as an adult.

I’m not a libertarian on this issue. On any of the ills that we indulge in, whether smoking (tobacco or pot), alcohol, overeating, lack of exercise, I’m all for education, TV commercials, national awareness. But freedom demands that we still be given the choice. And let us be the ones to suffer the consequences of our actions, good or bad. It’s not the government’s role!

Depression’s Lessons

AMERICA’S GREAT DEPRESSION: A PREVENTABLE TRAGEDY IN FOUR ACTS
By Lawrence W. Reed

Editor: Amid a recession that some are calling the worst since the 1930s, on the heels of a Democratic presidential victory that recalled 1932 and a Republican congressional comeback echoing 1938, we called on our favorite economic historian to sort out the facts from the myths about that stormy decade. He did not spell out the political parallels between then and now,as there was no need. They speak for themselves.

How bad was the Great Depression? Over the four years from 1929 to 1933, production at the nation’s factories, mines, and utilities fell by more than half. People’s real disposable incomes dropped 28 percent. Stock prices collapsed to one-tenth of the pre-crash height. The number of unemployed Americans rose from 1.6million in 1929 to 12.8 million in 1933.

to read more…

The War on Women

This cartoon so brilliantly conveys the point I’m trying to make regarding liberal hypocrisy, that I really shouldn’t write anything more.

 

I really shouldn’t.

 

But at the risk of being redundant and weakening the strength of the cartoon, I can’t help myself, I must interject a few words.

I debated on whether or not to portray it as the typical Democrat donkey, since Republicans can be just as guilty of nannyism as Democrats. However, it is the Democrats running around screaming we are somehow waging a war on women, so in the end, the donkey stayed.

I find it fascinating that the same people who say that a woman should be free to do whatever the heck she wants with her body are the first to initiate all these bans on foods. It completely does not make logical sense. So a woman is allowed (for the sake of argument, I’ll call it how they call it) to undergo the ‘surgical’ procedure called abortion, without question, no regulations, and a minor doesn’t even need parental permission. Yet they are not allowed to drink more than 16 oz of soda? Or even eat at a fast food restaurant in some places (yes, some cities have banned fast food restaurants within their limits). Shouldn’t that same woman be free to eat whatever the heck she wanted without government interference? That is, after all, what they claim they want with abortion.

I’ve never seen anybody die from drinking 20 oz of pop. Yet over 50% of people die in every abortion procedure. (Yes, I’m including the unborn in this figure, however, there are still a small number of woman who also die due to complications of abortion. Actual statistics are hard to come by, the abortion industry is very hush, hush about it, but I can say this, if it were any other discipline of medicine, there would be malpractice lawsuits left and right.) Logically, it seems that if you are for no regulations for a procedure as dangerous as abortion, shouldn’t you also be for no regulations for something as innocuous as soda pop? Obviously, logic and reasoning have nothing to do with the issue.

Unrelated to this cartoon, but worth mentioning for the sake of argument: liberals LOVE to distort our side of the abortion argument, to make it sound like we are for something we are not, thus it makes it easier for them to provide their counter-argument. They’ll run around telling everybody what our point of view is, and be completely wrong about it. Nothing is more evident to this than the abortion issue. The big talking point is that Romney and conservatives hate women and don’t want them to have any freedoms. (First off, Romney’s anti-abortion stance is weak at best, so to try and lump him in with the rest of us right wing wackos is a bit unfair.) It is a war against women, the mantra goes. But they are completely missing our argument. It has nothing to do with women and what they want to do with their bodies. Heck, a woman can body-pierce herself into a straightjacket for all I care, whatever, not my life.

However, what a woman does to the life inside her, I do care about. Every human should be guaranteed the rights provided to us by the Declaration of Indepedence, and this includes life. The ONLY argument that we need to be discussing in the abortion issue is whether or not the unborn fetus is a human life, and at what point it becomes human life. During the sixties, the answer to this question was a lot more vague, but with new technologies, we can clearly see that even at a early stage, the developing child is unique and individual. Conservatives see no difference between a baby in the womb and a baby out of the womb. Both deserve protection from harm. Despite all of the liberal accusations and distortions, this is the only argument worth talking about.

A woman is free to do whatever she wants to her own body, and this includes eating salty foods. But the baby insider her is not her own body. She is a steward of that life. It is her divine privilege to be delivering the new life into this world.

The Bain of the Political Season

It is absolutely frustrating having to listen to the droning back and forth between the Romney camp and the Obama camp about his time at Bain Capital. Really?  Have politics denigrated to the point where we are arguing over stupid dates of when somebody left their job ten years ago? I am really trying hard to figure out how this is relevant to saving our country.

I understand the arguments. The Obama camp has accused Romney of a felony for saying he left the company at one date, but then kept working. Typical leftist smear, and even after Romney has come out on CNN to disprove all of Obama’s accusations, the media is continuing to run with the story.

Shame on Obama for this kind of smear politics! But double shame on Romney for getting himself dragged into it. I get it, at some point you have to stand up and say, look, I’m being completely misrepresented here. But come on, this argument has been going on for far too long, can we start talking about issues again? If I were Romney, there are so many other positives about his record that I would parade instead.

The biggest argument Democrats are propping is that Bain shipped jobs overseas while Romney ran Bain. Conservatives countered by saying this occurred after he left in 1999. But aren’t they both missing the point? What about all of the American jobs that Bain DID create? This record is overwhelmingly positive.

And so what if jobs got shipped overseas? Is that not a reflection of just how difficult it has become to hire American help? Between the overinflated union salaries, the herculean hoops and regulations, and the heavy tax burden, it’s becoming harder and harder to keep jobs in America. Certain city governments in America promise to audit all business owners and make their lives an accounting nightmare. And that’s just at the city level. Keeping track of all the different stupid taxes at all the different levels has become a headache. You’ve got property taxes (which are much higher for commercial than residential space), usage taxes (if you don’t know what usage taxes are, look it up, it is one of the most cumbersome and burdensome taxes out there), sales tax, income tax, taxes for hiring an employee, taxes for making certain products, taxes for using certain products, taxes for small animals that live in the area, and on and on it goes!

Then we have all of the regulations, for some industries, so many, that failure to adhere is a certainty. And we are surrounded by people more than willing to enforce these burdens through litigation, penalties and fines. As a result, most businesses simply will cease to exist if they DIDN’T outsource, at least at some level.

It amazes me on how completely ignorant of business most of these Democrat talking heads are. If they’d ever been in charge of a large and successful organization, they would know that the head does not make a lot of the intermediary decisions. These belong to the managers underneath him, and even smaller decisions belong to the managers underneath them. If the head were to micromanage every decision, he would never sleep, eventually burn out and the company would collapse. Thus, chances are high that if in fact overseas hiring did occur during Romney’s tenure at Bain, he probably was not even aware it.

And even if he was, it says to me, more than anything, that he’s a good business person. It shows me that he is willing to take whatever steps are necessary to keep his businesses alive. I would question his judgment if he chose NOT to send certain jobs overseas, ESPECIALLY if the end result was the loss of a business. Which provides jobs for the American people: A business that has had to outsource some of its labor, or a business that no longer exists? It also says to me that Romney must personally know of all of the legal headaches to keeping a job in America, and thus he would know exactly how to fix those issues in order to attract businesses back to America! Right now, I’d much rather have a shrewd manager in our oval office than the economics ignoramus we currently have.

I don’t remember where I saw this, perhaps it was an Obama ad, but basically somebody mentioned that while Romney was at Bain, he made a 15 million dollar profit, therefore, he is not fit to serve as president. I was floored when I heard this. Are you serious? That’s exactly why he SHOULD be president! This demonstrates success. Do we not want success leading us? It demonstrates an understanding of how to manage money. In our financial crisis we are in, doesn’t it make sense that the most perfect person to get us out of this mess is somebody who knows how to do it?

But what angered me more than the fact that they were saying this is that they are gambling on Americans finding the ability to make a profit to somehow be repulsive. Have we really gotten to this point in America, where success is vilified and making a profit is immoral, perhaps even felonious? We have an entire political party that thinks that this is how to get elected, and to me, that is a sad, sad thing.

I don’t normally leave such long blog entries, but this election cycle has me unnerved. While we keep on focusing on stupid minutia such as when Romney left Bain, the real issues that are at the heart of our American existence continue to be ignored.

Conservative Comeback

When this article was written, the TEA party was just starting to gain momentum. I do get the sense that even as Europe and France spiral into socialistic chaos, Americans are starting to swing back to conservative values. 

Of course, I loved creating this illustration, simply because of my deep love for baseball. I actually created this drawing while Rockies were playing on television. Nothing like mixing a little play and work together.

ADVANCING THECONSERVATIVE COMEBACK
By Ralph Reed

One of the most significant developments of 2011 is that conservatism, a philosophy many commentators were writing obituaries for not long ago, is making a comeback.

This is a startling turnabout. After Barack Obama’s election, Newsweek proclaimed in a cover story, “We Are All Socialists Now.” “Whether we want to admit it or not,” the editors opined, “the America of 2009 is moving toward a modern European state.” Democrats controlled both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue by wide margins, and a new, youthful president in the model of JohnF. Kennedy, with a background as a community organizer, prepared to usher in a new era of progressive reform. He vowed to repeal the Bush tax cuts, close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, passh ealth care reform and cap-and-trade legislation,and end the war in Iraq.

to read more…

The Guardrails of TABOR

Yes, I know, Douglas Bruce has had a pretty rough time with the law lately. But that doesn’t mean his ideas or what he stands for are somehow wrong or incorrect. The truth is, a government that is accountable to the people is a better government than one that is not, and that’s what TABOR attempts to do.

 

TAX LIMITATION: THE TIME IS NOW
By Douglas Bruce

Editor’s Note: Coloradans were farsighted when they imposed the nation’s toughest tax limitation almost two decades ago. The dangers of unrestrained taxing, spending, and borrowing are dramatized by the fiscal emergencies now unfolding from California to New York to Greece. In a Patriots’ Day lecture for the Centennial Institute on April 19, 2010, the man who designed Colorado’s fiscal restraints talked about the principles involved and the lessons to be learned.

Why should taxes be limited? To protect freedom. Taxation invokes a choice between self-government and collectivist control. The more you can“vote” for goods and services with your own dollars, the more free you are.

to read more … 

Capitalism 101

Capitalism is getting a bad rap these days, and when I hear the complaints against, I realize that so many people are completely ignorant about what capitalism is and what its objectives are. If they would take the time to educate themselves, they would find out that being a believer in capitalism and free markets is actually the morally correct stance to take. The following article is a great article that debunks several of the myths of capitalism.

MORAL FOUNDATIONS OF CAPITALISM
By Paul Prentice

Americans have centuries of experience demonstrating the superiority of free markets over non-free markets in delivering the greatest abundance of goods and services to the greatest number of people. It began with the Pilgrims.

to read more…