Thursday, February 28, 2008

Tying Up Loose Ends

That which is begun deserves to be finished, I suppose, and so I give you this post. I blogged about The Right to Ignore the State before, and had every intention of making a multiple part series out of it. Enough other things compete for my time such that I'm condensing that all into this rather abbreviated post. Of course, I referenced the link in the post below (here 'tis, again) so you can read the whole thing in its entirety for your own benefit.

Spencer discusses the subordination of government authority; that governmental power comes from the people who grant it such power, and that the power of government is beholden to the power of the people. This is true of large things, and it is also true of small things. While rational persons would balk at the majority imposing slavery, tyranny or murder against the minority (because of the law of equal freedom), the same law applies to small matters (even "mundane" things such as taxation). The will of the majority cannot supersede morality; and no trespass against the rights of the minority is permissible. Spencer notes that there is no meaningful difference between the dictator who says “You shall do as I will, not as you will” and the rule of the few who say “You shall do as we will, not as you will.”

On taxation, Spencer quotes Blackstone: “no subject of England can be constrained to pay any aids or taxes even for the defense of the realm or the support of the government, but such as are imposed by his own consent, or that of his representative in Parliament.” If this is true, and we assert it is, then says Spencer:

In affirming that a man may not be taxed unless he has directly or indirectly given his consent, it affirms that he may refuse to be so taxed; and to refuse to be taxed, is to cut all connection with the state. Perhaps it will be said that this consent is not a specific, but a general one, and that the citizen is understood to have assented to every thing his representative may do [MT: I would agree with Spencer that this is a questionable argument], when he voted for him. But suppose he did not vote for him; and on the contrary did all in his power to get elected some one holding opposite views — what then? The reply will probably be that, by taking part in such an election, he tacitly agreed to abide by the decision of the majority. And how if he did not vote at all? Why then he cannot justly complain of any tax, seeing that he made no protest against its imposition. So, curiously enough, it seems that he gave his consent in whatever way he acted — whether he said yes, whether he said no, or whether he remained neuter! A rather awkward doctrine this. Here stands an unfortunate citizen who is asked if he will pay money for a certain proffered advantage; and whether he employs the only means of expressing his refusal or does not employ it, we are told that he practically agrees; if only the number of others who agree is greater than the number of those who dissent. And thus we are introduced to the novel principle that A's consent to a thing is not determined by what A says, but by what B may happen to say!

He then points out a curious inconsistency. Namely, we are quite accustomed to ignoring the state, but only in some respects:

For what is the meaning of Dissent? The time was when a man's faith and his mode of worship were as much determinable by law as his secular acts; and, according to provisions extant in our statute-book, are so still. Thanks to the growth of a Protestant spirit, however, we have ignored the state in this matter — wholly in theory, and partly in practice. But how have we done so? By assuming an attitude which, if consistently maintained, implies a right to ignore the state entirely. Observe the positions of the two parties. "This is your creed," says the legislator; "you must believe and openly profess what is here set down for you." "I shall not do any thing of the kind," answers the non-conformist, "I will go to prison rather." "Your religious ordinances," pursues the legislator, "shall be such as we have prescribed. You shall attend the churches we have endowed, and adopt the ceremonies used in them." "Nothing shall induce me to do so," is the reply; "I altogether deny your power to dictate to me in such matters, and mean to resist to the uttermost." "Lastly," adds the legislator, "we shall require you to pay such sums of money toward the support of these religious institutions, as we may see fit to ask." "Not a farthing will you have from me," exclaims our sturdy Independent: "even did I believe in the doctrines of your church (which I do not), I should still rebel against your interference; and if you take my property, it shall be by force and under protest."

Ah, the institutions we are forced to support! Were I to list them, this would be a much longer post!

Indeed, for some reason, we stand firm for our liberty on the basis of our right to worship God; yet, we cave into secular demands on our liberty when we know full well that the appropriation of our property will serve immoral ends. Says he:

No legislative injunction will make him adopt what he considers an erroneous belief; and, bearing in mind his duty toward his fellow-men, he refuses to help through the medium of his purse in disseminating this erroneous belief. The position is perfectly intelligible. But it is one which either commits its adherents to civil nonconformity also, or leaves them in a dilemma. For why do they refuse to be instrumental in spreading error? Because error is adverse to human happiness. And on what ground is any piece of secular legislation disapproved? For the same reason — because thought adverse to human happiness. How then can it be shown that the state ought to be resisted in the one case and not in the other? Will any one deliberately assert that if a government demands money from us to aid in teaching what we think will produce evil, we ought to refuse it; but that if the money is for the purpose of doing what we think will produce evil, we ought not to refuse it? Yet such is the hopeful proposition which those have to maintain who recognize the right to ignore the state in religious matters, but deny it in civil matters.

Spencer closes with a somewhat hopeful vision of a changing society: one where self-governing persons reject the need for external government. I share this vision, that one day, by applying the principles of balanced government, we will have a citizenry that is well-versed in the art of self-government, and properly hold external government to the areas it is intended to be assigned to. Balanced government begets self-government and, indeed, morality – defined by the virtues of self-sufficiency and self-restraint that are necessary components of self-goverrnment.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

My Appeal to Social Conservatives

I've been holding off on posting on this for a couple of days as I've wanted the idea to solidify itself in my mind. I'm sufficiently pleased that it has, and it's time, I think, to get after it.

This post is a critique and an appeal to people who consider themselves social conservatives. My critique will center on the role of government in the eyes of social conservatives, and my appeal will be to reject this view and embrace a balanced government perspective.

Disclaimer: while I would describe myself as "socially conservative" I would not call myself a "social conservative" because the former describes one's views on morality and the latter is a description of one's political philosophy. The socially conservative person holds traditional ideas about family, religion, marriage, life and society. These are all admirable and desirable values, necessary to a healthy and strong society. The self-described social conservative holds those ideas; yet also views the role of "government" as one of advancing those ideas.

The problem with this idea is that morality's basis - and really its ability to continue as a strong and invulnerable cornerstone of society - comes from the smallest spheres of government. A moral and socially conservative society is a reflection of a moral and socially conservative people. To create such a society (and I think we'd all acknowledge that we're less so today than we were 20, 40, or 60 years ago) requires self-government. Creating distant, external forces intended to encourage social conservatism is a lot like creating distant, external forces intended to encourage any form of positive social change (think reducing poverty, encouraging education). It's ineffective and inconsistent with the design of our republic.

In short, while distant external government shouldn't be supportive of immorality or policies that are destructive to society, beyond the extent that it serves to protect the inalienable rights of citizens (such as life), it should be silent on most issues; they are the domain of the smallest spheres of government. The debate has been framed entirely incorrectly. Social conservatives, tired of external government imposing liberal ideas upon them, have elected to act using the same liberal tactic, to impose their views.

So here's my pitch to social conservatives: reject social (and "compassionate") conservatism and consider balanced government. Social conservatism should be a goal, not a tactic. There's no other political philosophy I am aware of that can potentially foster the re-birth of self-government like balanced government, gradually and inevitably. And really, that's the best guarantor of a socially conservative society: self-governing people, self-governing families, and self-governing communities.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Right to Ignore the State

My colleague Matt pointed this essay out to me. This brilliant piece of the same name as this post, written by Herbert Spencer in 1884, is a thought-provoking essay on self-government. While I recommend it be read in its entirety, I’m going to break up a discussion on this work into several small parts, and you'll see my comments inserted throughout the essay.

Section 1 – The Right to Voluntary Outlawry

As a corollary to the proposition that all institutions must be subordinated to the law of equal freedom, we cannot choose but admit the right of the citizen to adopt a condition of voluntary outlawry. If every man has freedom to do all that he wills, provided he infringes not the equal freedom of any other man, then he is free to drop connection with the state — to relinquish its protection, and to refuse paying toward its support. It is self-evident that in so behaving he in no way trenches upon the liberty of others; for his position is a passive one; and whilst passive he cannot become an aggressor.”

MT: Here Spencer lays out his basis for the essay: that people have the right to “drop out” of society. If we accept the laws of Nature and Nature’s God, we must acknowledge that government, as an institution created by man to protect his natural rights, is subordinated to man’s individual rights: if a conflict existed between a person’s natural rights and government power, the individual’s natural rights must be superior. Therefore, supposing a conflict exists, each individual has the right to self-govern and adopt “voluntary outlawry” – meaning living outside the law, according to the dictates of conscience.

It is equally self-evident that he cannot be compelled to continue one of a political corporation, without a breach of the moral law, seeing that citizenship involves payment of taxes; and the taking away of a man's property against his will, is an infringement of his rights. Government being simply an agent employed in common by a number of individuals to secure to them certain advantages, the very nature of the connection implies that it is for each to say whether he will employ such an agent or not. If any one of them determines to ignore this mutual-safety confederation, nothing can be said except that he loses all claim to its good offices, and exposes himself to the danger of maltreatment — a thing he is quite at liberty to do if he likes. He cannot be coerced into political combination without a breach of the law of equal freedom; he can withdraw from it without committing any such breach; and he has therefore a right so to withdraw.

MT: Spencer continues and highlights a critical point. If we have a right to our life, which cannot be taken from us justly but only may be forfeited by our actions, then we also have a right to our work, which is the product of our life (our efforts, talents, and time). While nearly every sensible person will admit that slavery is immoral and unjust, fewer understand the rationale behind such a truth: we own our work because we own our lives. Furthermore, if we own our work and cannot be forced to labor for another against our will (although we may again forfeit such rights through our own negative actions; here I am speaking of incarceration), we also own and have a right to the fruits of our labor. Our labor and what we produce is ours because we own our lives; our property is ours by extension. It is therefore immoral to take from another person the fruits of their labor, whether by robbery or by compulsion through taxation. One cannot argue the power to tax without acknowledging the right to withdraw, in other words. If such a right did not exist, free men are not free at all, but merely subjects under a different monarch.

Section 2 The Immorality of the State

No human laws are of any validity if contrary to the law of nature; and such of them as are valid derive all their force and all their authority mediately or immediately from this original." Thus writes Blackstone, to whom let all honour be given for having so far outseen the ideas of his time; and, indeed, we may say of our time. A good antidote, this, for those political superstitions which so widely prevail. A good check upon that sentiment of power-worship which still misleads us by magnifying the prerogatives of constitutional governments as it once did those of monarchs. Let men learn that a legislature is not "our God upon earth," though, by the authority they ascribe to it, and the things they expect from it, they would seem to think it is. Let them learn rather that it is an institution serving a purely temporary purpose, whose power, when not stolen, is at the best borrowed.

MT: Spencer calls out that mode of thinking that even existed in his time. Namely, that external government has unlimited powers, though he uses the term “constitutional governments.” Such a mentality – if it is fair to suggest that there is any mental activity related to such a sentiment – is evident today when little consideration is given to the balance between the spheres of government. Little is, I suggest, because upon reflection one would determine that the deficient sphere is the self, and while there are few that can recognize this, there are fewer who are mature enough to admit and accept this and there are even fewer who can change that in themselves. Thus, the thing ignored and not acknowledged continues to provide a dissonance-free existence. He also astutely describes that state of depravation where a person thinks that the state is like God – full of authority and able to do anything they happen to need. A sadder existence is difficult to comprehend.

Nay, indeed, have we not seen that government is essentially immoral? Is it not the offspring of evil, bearing about it all the marks of its parentage? Does it not exist because crime exists? Is it not strong, or as we say, despotic, when crime is great? Is there not more liberty, that is, less government, as crime diminishes? And must not government cease when crime ceases, for very lack of objects on which to perform its function? Not only does magisterial power exist because of evil; but it exists by evil. Violence is employed to maintain it; and all violence involves criminality. Soldiers, policemen, and gaolers; swords, batons, and fetters, are instruments for inflicting pain; and all infliction of pain is in the abstract wrong. The state employs evil weapons to subjugate evil, and is alike contaminated by the objects with which it deals, and the means by which it works. Morality cannot recognize it; for morality, being simply a statement of the perfect law can give no countenance to any thing growing out of, and living by, breaches of that law. Wherefore, legislative authority can never be ethical - must always be conventional merely.

MT: While Spencer is right in theory, the prospect of a self-governing utopia, wherein one is free to police their own life, unmolested by the infringement of any other person, seems so far from reality as to be ridiculous. Governments are instituted among men to protect their rights, and while there are gravely immoral aspects to external government, I hope that it could be, eventually and on the whole, less immoral. Indeed, though external government will always be a necessity given the fallen state of man, I don’t assume that government must always operate in the condition that it is currently in. A government that operates on the consent of the governed to protect their rights (civil, religious and so forth) against encroachment seems at worst a morally-neutral agent.

Hence, there is a certain inconsistency in the attempt to determine the right position, structure, and conduct of a government by appeal to the first principles of rectitude. For, as just pointed out, the acts of an institution which is in both nature and origin imperfect, cannot be made to square with the perfect law. All that we can do is to ascertain, firstly, in what attitude a legislature must stand to the community to avoid being by its mere existence an embodied wrong; — secondly, in what manner it must be constituted so as to exhibit the least incongruity with the moral law; — and thirdly, to what sphere its actions must be limited to prevent it from multiplying those breaches of equity it is set up to prevent.

The first condition to be conformed to before a legislature can be established without violating the law of equal freedom, is the acknowledgment of the right now under discussion — the right to ignore the state.

MT: Where balanced government as a political philosophy has the potential to exhibit superiority over other ideologies lies in the ability to foster and revive the instinct of self-government. Spencer rightly notes that a legislature (I might add at any level) must be confined or limited to spheres of influence so as not to violate the liberties of the people it is constituted to protect. Whereas we’ve become so fantastically imbalanced, any progress to return balance to the spheres of government closest to the self would be a vast improvement; yet, eternal vigilance must be exercised in constantly pushing authority and responsibility to the most personal spheres of government.

More to follow. I hope the readership enjoys this as much as I did (and do).

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Bush: Keep Abstinence in AIDS Program

That was the headline of this AP article today. Which made me think of my own headline: "Federalists: Keep Feds Out of Domestic Matters."

Of course, that's not entirely the whole story. See, President Bush is on a trip to Africa and he was speaking about his global AIDS program. The global AIDS program that has spent $18 billion so far and that the President is pushing for renewal to the tune of $30 billion over five years.

The quote that says it all?

"We don't want people guessing on the continent of Africa whether the generosity of the American people will continue," Bush said in Tanzania, the second stop of his African trip.

If only it were the generosity of "the American people" we were talking about, Mr. President. The generosity of the American people is unequalled in the world, and it never fails that when the people of America get the call that someone needs help, the American people step up, no strings attached.

Unfortunately, it's the generosity of the American Congress, such as it is, that we're discussing now. Remarkable that this point is utterly lost on the American Left (including their public relations firm, the mainstream media). No, the point of focus in this news item was that...

Some Democrats want to eliminate a provision in the bill that requires one-third of all prevention spending go to abstinence-until-marriage programs. Critics say that while they don't oppose abstinence programs, the inflexible requirement hampers the effort.

The real problem, you see, in the minds of Leftists, is not that we're nearly bankrupt from entitlement spending and that on top of that we're somehow giving away $6 billion a year in medical aid. It's that we have some pesky moral condition attached to it.

I should be so fortunate as to have the fruits of my labor taken from me and used for programs that are morally consistent with my worldview. No mention if first it can be afforded (after all, it feels good, don't question it) or second, if it is consistent with the role of the general government.

When... it hits the fan, and hit the fan it will, the result is going to be ugly. We're a debtor in denial right now; we'll have to face the music sometime and the longer we wait the worse it is going to be.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Head of GAO Resigns

Not probably the most newsworthy item out there, but I remember this guy, David Walker, our Comptroller General. I blogged on him a while back on my personal page about his "60 Minutes" interview. Now comes the news that he's leaving his position early, to pursue what sounds like his passion: informing Americans in a way he couldn't as a government employee about the looming fiscal disaster.

Here's a video with more on the topic, a Glenn Beck interview with David Walker.

The most amazing figures? Each and every household in America would owe the government $400,000 to pay for our looming entitlement disaster. Socialist Security and Medicare obligations are left out of our stated deficit figures; if these were included (following normal corporate accounting standards) our deficit would be a whopping 69% higher than reported.

Friday, February 15, 2008

It's Like Deja Vu All Over Again

It appears, faithful reader, that indeed there must, simply must, be something in the water that the European youths drink. Wouldn't you know it, the youths are rioting again.

Where is this happening, you ask? It is happening...

" a predominantly immigrant area of the Danish capital, police said Friday."

C'mon, you know your media speech decoding. No, they're not Polish immigrants. No, those aren't Irish immigrant youth. What, you're asking, could have the youths rioting? Here's a gem from the Chief Inspector Henrik Olesen in Copenhagen:

"We don't know why they're rioting. I think it's because they're bored. Some people say it's because of the cartoons but that's not my opinion," Olesen said.

Well, boredom does spawn riots, it is a common affair in most western cultures. However, it appears that several Danish papers reprinted those wonderful Mahomet cartoons. It's almost tiring at this point, constantly pointing out the absurd behavior of a bunch of people indistinguishable in most every respect from 7th century dirt farmers.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Attention College Bloggers

My friend Eric Odom passed this along to me, and here's the link for you to check it out.

I'm simultaneously pleased and a little jealous that college-age kids have the opportunity to get a scholarship for doing something as fun and rewarding as blogging about politics.

Hopefully things like this will help to encourage the next generation of political leaders.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Conservative Manifesto

A man is talking to a friend about politics. Both men are fairly conservative. The first man is bemoaning the awful state of the government: runaway entitlements, ethical lapses, wrong-headed policies, and a sense that the governors have contempt for the governed. His friend, the second man, nods in agreement at the indictments the first man rattles off. The discussion turns to an upcoming election. The second man asks his friend "Who did you vote for in the previous election?"

"No one" says the first man, "I don't vote."

We've probably all had some variation of this story happen to us. And anyone who has will readily admit that such an admission elicits a fairly consistent response: we admonish others that voting is critical and both a right and responsibility, and without exercising that right and executing that responsibility, one forfeits his right to complain about our governors and our government. Fulfilling the duties of responsible citizenship is the burden one must bear to have the right to criticize the outcome. This concept goes back to the story of the little red hen which we remember from childhood. Everyone wants to share in the fruits of the labor, yet no one wants to share in the labor.

Across the blogosphere, I hear the same ideas repeated, if only slightly differently. These themes are: the GOP is broken; the Republican party has lost its way; we need a third party; where are our leaders; and what can we do now? While the blogosphere provides a critical service - that is, to say, news and commentary that would otherwise be unavailable via traditional media channels, and a means for like-minded people to connect with each other - it is far too easy to sit, comfortably, at our desks and "write fiery prose" as Mr. Hargis once said, when real change requires real action.

I've tried to share in this space some of the things I've actually done - other than sit at a desk and type. Perhaps other bloggers prefer to maintain some degree of anonymity, and therefore they don't catalogue for their readers the extensive volunteer activities they engage in politically. Perhaps. But I think it is more likely that bloggers like their comfort zone; getting out and working for a candidate involves trudging through eight inches of snow in January (and even falling down a set of icy stairs, as I did two weeks ago), and those things, are, well, just downright work; and in my case, actually very painful.

So I write this today for all of the inactive impassioned out there. You've got great ideas, and I think that's half of the recipe. The other half is you need a kick in the a.. um, pants. No one likes to hear it, but here's my advice, and I guess you could call this my Conservative Manifesto:

Push away from your desk and get up from the computer. Call your county or township GOP organization. Attend every monthly meeting; they're generally once a month and if I can do it given my commitments, anyone can. Volunteer to do things that need to get done: yes, these will likely be quite crappy and may include making phone calls to sell ad space, or volunteering to cover a precinct (and maybe in some cases, two) that aren't being worked. Get to know local candidates, and when you meet a good one, volunteer to stuff envelopes, bags of literature, and walk around (even in eight inches of snow, even if it's 20 degrees) distributing information on their behalf. In short, do what you've been doing online - building relationships and influencing others - with actual, live, person-to-person interactions.

When elections come, figuratively speaking, put your money where your mouth is. Organize like-minded people to walk precincts and make phone calls on behalf of conservative candidates in non-local contests. Hold meet-up groups where people can come together in support of those candidates. In short, take a look at what Ron Paul's people have done, get up off of your backside, and work.

And when elections roll around? You don't have to vote for John McCain; I've already said that I won't. But this won't keep me home. I'll be there voting for the conservatives in other races because they need my - and your - support. I'll be telling this to every single conservative I know who is disillusioned by a McCain candidacy: you still need to get out and vote for Senate, House, and State-wide races. Not liking the guy at the top of the ticket is no excuse for not supporting good people in their races.

In short: if you don't like the status quo, you have to change it. Not third person "you." I actually mean you. Assume that no one else will have the nerve, energy, or right ideas. Then, go do it.

When we've done everything we can do and the party doesn't conform to our vision, values and ideals, then we can declare it broken. Then we can assess what our options are. Then we can talk about creating a third party - Lord knows that's been a topic near and dear to my heart for a long, long time. Any of my co-contributors will vouch for that.

And if we get to that point, and conservatives need to find a new home, we'll have an army of conservative leaders who will have been working for change - not just writing about it - and will be ready to take that bold step into unchartered territory.

I'll close with a story that was shared with me recently. My friend Trevor Morgan shared this, that he had read in the WSJ. It seems that there was some new battery technology that was developed. Not by some scientists working for 3M, but by a guy in his garage. Said fellow was trying to build a better hot-rod, ostensibly to win races and impress girls. On more than one occasion, said fellow burned off the hair on his face working with an arc welder in his garage, but he eventually did it. The point of this story is that real change requires entrepreneurs. Not a scientist sitting in a lab who is concerned about a performance review or his 401(k), but someone who is willing to risk (repeated) visits to the emergency room for burn injuries in pursuit of a goal.

You may get sick walking a precinct in January. You may fall down a set of icy stairs on your back; if you're lucky and careful, probably not. Our Founders were willing to risk it all - everything - in pursuit of their values. If we're not willing to risk anything other than a couple of hours of free time, and only then sit at our computers and write that fiery prose, we're going to get more of the same. Be that entrepreneur who burns off his facial hair, though, and let's see if we can't get control of our party back.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Ron Paul at CPAC

I'm still not with Paul on Iraq, but for most of this video, he sounds like any one of the conservatives who post and visit this page. At about 5:30 in to the video he lays into McCain. The clip is 8:34 all in and worth watching.

He's also strongly pro-life, and smart to boot: he closes with a comment that few people realize, namely, Congress can, by legislative act, restrict the scope of cases that the federal courts may hear.

While this post isn't an endorsement of Paul's campaign, it is an attempt to get people to consider him as a conservative alternative.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Romney Suspends Campaign; Buchanan Column; Some Thoughts on Ron Paul

So Romney's speech at CPAC was a doozy, we were listening live at the office this afternoon as he announced. It was actually a pretty good speech, the suspension of the campaign notwithstanding. If you haven't heard the audio, it's worth a listen, as the audience had no idea it was coming and there was a chorus of surprised "no"'s coming from the crowd.

Caught Laura Ingraham (on tape delay) after the speech and she and Mark Steyn knew what was coming. Steyn made some remark about going out for drinks after the speech in a knowing manner, which you'd never catch on to if you hadn't just heard Mitt suspend his campaign. Interesting. Look, I liked him better than the other "top-tier" guys in the race, and it's over. It was fun to support him while it lasted and he's 60. Maybe in four years he'll refine his conservatism and not face the challenges he's faced in this primary. Maybe he'll drop the constant chorus of "I love legal immigration." Who knows?

This column by Pat Buchanan is outstanding. Too bad Pat's not running, although he might be a good write-in candidate. This might be worth a discussion among our fellow bloggers: should there be a coordinated write-in effort?

Lastly, I've got to come clean on some things re: Ron Paul. I've been hard on him in prior posts, and he's not the worst option out there; in fact, he merits some consideration if he went third party against McCain and Clinton. While I'm not with him on an immediate and total withdrawal from Iraq, he's an outstanding option when one considers a McCain (or Huckabee) candidacy. He's disavowed questionable statements made by supporters, another concern I had about him. I think a Paul Presidency would be extraordinary for a couple of reasons: first, the awe-inspiring number of vetos he'd issue, and second, he'd dismantle some federal departments, no question about it. I'm not ready to support him (plus, we've already voted in Illinois) but he looks much better than either of the two so-called GOP front-runners.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Super Tuesday Wrap-Up

Strictly big picture - you can go get the individual results anywhere...

McCain is certainly in the driver's seat, which is unfortunate. Still, he's a bit of a way off from having it locked up, and Mitt's going to fight on to the Convention.

I'm amused by the argument that goes like this: "if you don't vote for the nominee in November, you're giving the election to Hillary" (or the Democrats). Never mind the fact that choosing a liberal like McCain in the primaries accomplishes the same thing when it means that conservatives won't vote for him. Where's the moral responsibility, then, for McCain supporters who have "given the election to the Democrats?"

And while I'm not surprised that Illinois went for McCain, there were a few states (OK being the most surprising) that I thought were more conservative than to vote for an open-borders, anti-free speech, global warming alarmist and purveyor of class warfare like John "Clean Government" McCain.

The only question that remains come November is: will conservatives have a third party choice or will most of us just write-in a candidate?

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Rally for Romney

The Mrs. and I attended a rally for Mitt Romney today at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn. There were a lot of people there, and I'm a terrible judge of crowds, so I won't even guess. Here's the inside of the Arts Center at COD:

Mitt gave a great speech, hammering his opposition and invoking the principles of conservatism. We were able to attend the media session immediately after the speech, and here's the pictures from that event (thanks to my wonderful wife for taking so many pictures - and pointing me out in this one!).

Here's a picture of me with Dan Rutherford (R-Pontiac), Romney's Campaign Chairman for Illinois:

And lastly, a good picture of Romney himself. He handled the media very well in this private session; I was quite impressed.

I got to see some old friends, and some new ones, including Anne from Backyard Conservative. A couple days to go until Super Tuesday - I encourage everyone to get out and vote, and vote conservative!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Patriot Post Ratings

Friday's edition of the Patriot Post profiled Mitt Romney, and the profile is worth a look. Mark Alexander rates Romney ahead of McCain in the Patriot's conservative rankings - which is really all that matters. Not some poll showing that McCain could beat a Democrat. Not McCain's hollow victories in early primary states by riding the wave of liberal Republicans and independent voters. Not the series of RINO endorsements that have rolled up for John "Clean Government" McCain.

Here's the Senator on "clean government":

No, the question is simple in the primary election: who's more conservative?

Excellent Blog Award

This blog was rated "excellent" by our conservative friends at the Maritime Sentry. We sincerely appreciate their recognizing us. I'm going to follow the same format they used in this, my post.

"The rules: By accepting this Excellent Blog Award, you have to award it to 10 more people whose blogs you find Excellent Award worthy. You can give it to as many people as you want but please award at least 10. Thank you out there for having such great blogs and being such great friends! You deserve this! Feel free to award people who have already been awarded."

While part of me sheepishly admits that this sounds mildly like an e-mail forward, which I delete with extreme prejudice, I think it's a wonderful idea for blogs, which thrive through increased readership and recognition.

This is a great opportunity for each of us in this space to recognize some of our favorite blogs; I encourage my co-conspirators - excuse me! contributors - to do the same. Here is a list of the blogs I present this Excellent Blog Award to (in no particular order):

1. View From The Right
2. The Maritime Sentry
3. Reflecting Light
4. Webster's Blogspot (which in many respects has eclipsed this blog)
5. Vanishing American
6. Illinois Review
7. Conservablogs
8. Backyard Conservative
9. Katie's Dad
10. The Light Bulb

Ack! Just ten?? I could go on, and would, except I trust that my co-contributors will share their own lists and cover those excellent blogs that I ran out of room to mention. Please visit these folks and if you're on the list, consider making your own.