Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Capitalism in Crisis

There is no doubt about it any more. The Clarke Howards of the world my deny all they like, but there is a truly fundamental struggle going on, not only to save our once vibrant economy, but also to save our way of doing economics. The danger, unfortunately, does not merely lie in the lap of the economy. The danger lies in the lap of the electorate. This upcoming election is about more than hope or change or Bush or anything that esoteric. this election is a referendum on capitalism itself.

Capitalism is basically free market enterprise. When the markets are allowed to regulate themselves, the theory is that they will keep themselves in check. That was the way our economy was structured. But it is not without its flaws. Capitalism makes a virtue out of greed. It insists that whoever makes the most profit is in fact the winner. This has had dire consequences in the past. The robber barons and oppressive labor conditions of America's Gilded Age spring readily to mind. But that is but one example of where capitalism can go wrong.

Standing in opposition to capitalism is socialism. Socialism is a theory made popular by the German philosopher Karl Marx. He stated that the workers of the world were far too oppressed. He was right, by the way. But he went on to state that if the workers of the world were to wrest control of the markets, of the economy itself, from the hands of the capitalists, the men who owned nearly everything, the world would become a Utopic "share and share alike" society. This has some obvious flaws as well. It does not factor in the fact that man is sinful. When given the choice to work or to mooch, man will typically choose mooch. But why is this election so special in this regard?

The question can be answered simply. One candidate is a capitalist, one is a socialist. McCain's strategy is essentially "Let the economy sort it out." Obama wants government to take control of everything. That is socialism. And, in my humble opinion, that is very dangerous. He who ccontrols the purse strings controls the world. When the government controls the economy, it is but a small step from infringing on our other rights. It can deny funds to stations that are not broadcasting its message. It can tell preachers what to say in their pulpits. It will be the end of the first amendment.

Think I'm off base? Look at Sweden. There preachers are forbidden from speaking out against socially acceptable sins, because that is so called "hate speech." While Obama may not intend for this result, it is the natural end of the policies of his social reforms. And for me, that makes him a dangerous candidate. Unfortunately, he will never face this attack because it is politically unacceptable to attack this media darling. Don't believe me? Ask Hillary Clinton. She never got traction because the media poohpoohed her claims. The same thing is happening to McCain. Therefore, this blog supports McCain. This blog is about free speech. It is impossible to have free speech without a free marketplace.

Disagree? Prove me wrong.


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Palin Paradox

After a three year sabbatical, I have decided to return to my blogging efforts. The issue that has drawn me from my Platonic cave is a simple one, although it is seemingly pervasive in today's media culture. The issue has to do with Sarah Palin. Governor Palin is a woman of limited experience. Of that there is no doubt. The questions about the relative value of being a mayor of a small Alaska town, even being governor of Alaska are certainly legitimate. And they should be asked. Ok, so where is the paradox?

The paradox is simply this:Why are the Democrats spending so much time and effort attacking her? She is not running for President. She never was even mentioned as a pontential Presidential candidate. What possible purpose does it serve for Democrazts to attack this lady? Sure, I've heard the point that more undecideds will be motivated to vote for her than wil be motivated to vote for McCain. But it seems almost a suicidal tactic to attack Sarah Palin. Let me explore some reasons why:

1. Expirience. Her expirience as a mayor and a two year Governor is not what many people would consider proper for a Presidential candidate. But that is just the thing. She is not a Presidential candidate. She is the running mate of a presidential candidate. I can not remember this much scrutiny being heaped upon the pontential Senate tie breaker. It is bordering on rediculous, especially when one considers Obama's record. He is a Senator. A rookie Senator. He is seeking the highest executive office, while having absolutely no executive expirience. Palin has at least some executive expirience. To attack Palin's expirience can do nothing but hurt Obama. He is less expirienced, but seeks the higher office.

2. They are letting their true opponent off the hook. John McCain is Obama's opponent, not Sarah Palin. By attacking the running mate, the man that is the actual opponent is able to escape relatively unscathed. He can delinate his ideas while the Democrats denegrate Palin's failure to catch a reference to the now obscure "Bush doctrine". Democrats attempt to savage Gov. Palin are shockingly similar to the catty remarks of teenage girls when the popular girls walk by. It rarely seems that Gov. Palin is recognized for being who she is, John McCain's number two. By setting their sights so firmly on Palin, the Democrats real target, McCain is getting a free pass.

3. It is turning off receptive ears. The moderates are the key to any election. That is a given year in and year out. But by savaging this Vice-presidential nominee at the expense of comparing themselves to the man they are up against, they are turning off a large number of moderates who are turned off by this seemingly childish behavior. The time wasted on Sarah Palin would be better spent by the Obama campaign (or, as often is the case, their media mouthpieces) laying out thier plans. But this is not their strategy. Instead they attack a woman who will only be President if tradegy befalls Sen. McCain.

If you read the rest of my blog, you will likely draw the correct conclusion as to my political leanings. But I think Bill Clinton was absolutely correct when he advised against going after Palin, stating that this would only hurt the Obama campaign. But who knows? I may be way off base on this. That is why I started blogging to get my ideas out there and see what is right and what is wrong. So, as always: Disagree? Prove me wrong.


Thursday, May 19, 2005

Why the Filibuster System is Busted

The filibuster. A number of my friends never had heared the word before the last few weeks. Now it is all over the news. However, it has been a part of American politics for many years. It has been employed, from time to time, to block a vote. Thus the Democrats are doing now. However, it is now hurting our country.
I find one of the most telling things about the filibuster is the reaction that people have when they first hear about it. The reactions I have seen without exception are negative. The simple fact that politicans can block a vote simply by talking is astounding to the less politically astute. Furthermore, that they can do it to keep judges from the bench scares some. There is good reason for this.
Judges are the backbone of American judical system. If partisan politics can influence the judical system in this way, the system of checks and balances is thrown out the window. This is a dangerous precident. If the legistative can hamstring the judical brance, then the entire constitution is in jeopardy. The judical would have a gun to its head. What is more, the districts that have these judical seats vacant are a drain on the rest of the country. Their cases need to be moved elsewhere. This taxes everyone.
What then can be done? The filibuster is not a necessary part of our political system. However, it is not something that is necessary to totally remove. However, it is necessary to somehow change the rules so that something that is as important as our judges is not subject to this rediculous posturing. There is no need to put the country through any danger so that some politician can relate, move for move, his last chess game. This hurts our country. A politician is supposed to serve the people, not flex political muscle over sour grapes.

Disagree? Prove me wrong.

Monday, April 25, 2005

China: Potential Threat?

Having discussed change below, it is important to see how the world is changing now. In specific, Red China. China is the largest nation in terms of population in the world. The only reason they are not yet a true superpower in the mold of the USSR is their propensity to isolationism. Socialism has caused their economy to stagnant for many decades, but even this is changing. With more capitalist ideas and practices entering their country, they are becoming stronger. They have the largest standing army in the world.
With this comes a threat. There is precedent for countries to flex their military might from time to time. Moreover, they have resource and living space rich Siberia to their north. Russia is vast. Her East is hard to defend due to the lack of transportation across the Russian steppes. This would make an inviting target for an ambitious Chinese commander.
Assume the Chinese do attack there. What then should be the United States' response? It is clear that this aggression could not be allowed to stand. Furthermore, it is clear that the US would have trouble making an effective stance there. Our military used to have a policy that enabled it to fight two and a half wars; two global conflicts and a regional one. This is no longer the case. Our military, while strong, could very well be swept under the sheer mass of the ChiComs.
The ChiComs are picking up the slack they had technologically, as well. They no longer fight with jets and tanks that were outmoded in the 70s. Now they have state of the art equipment. With Russia in seeming disarray and America effectively hamstrung logistically, it is but a matter of time until the Chinese move north. Let us pray that any conflict on that front does not go nuclear.
What then can be done? I propose a return to the former two and a half wars policy. This military buildup will stimulate our economy as well as protect us. Even if the ChiComs do not move on Siberia, conflict somewhere, sometime is inevitable. Likewise, we should establish a few bases in Siberia, by way of treaty with Russia. This presence might well act as a deterrent to any ChiCom aggression. It will also give us a logistical toehold if something does happen. Navally we are far superior to them. We must maintain this egde. Control of the seas gives us a decisive advntage. The world is changing. If we are to maintain our place in it, we should act unilaterally. By doing so, we can meet whatever threat may come.

Any thoughts? Disagreements? Let me know.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Thoughts on Change

This may not seem to fit the theme of this blog, but bear with me. The new pope, students graduating, and the various social, political, and economic turmoil has got me thinking on change. The human mind is a true dichotomy. Change can be something that we both welcome and dread. There can be no growth without change. However, change can hurt. Without change, we can just stay in our comfortable routines. While that may be familiar, it may well cause the stagnation of our lives. This is not good.
People change. Situations change. Sometimes it is expected, sometimes it is sudden. Retirement at 65 is a different change then a dear friend dying in a car crash. However, both are necessary for us to better understand life. Life, by its very nature, is mercurial. There is never anything that is exactly the same. For anything to remain is impossible. The only constant is change itself. It is incumbent on people to recognize this. Many changes are out of our hands. Accept what you cannot change. However, in the main, people can affect change themselves. Loneliness can be cured by greeting life. Everyone has some likeminded person in the world to connect with. A change due to age (graduation, retirement, etc) is only can only be sad if you have learned nothing from those experiences. If you do not embrace the future that is open before you, you cannot enjoy life. Change can help. Fresh faces, fresh places. If you are leaving a success, create a new and better one at your next stop. If life is a maze, forget figuring it out; bust through the walls! This is the only way to deal with change. Seize it, make it your own!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Antichrist is Among Us

Today we saw the election of a new pope. This man, now known as Pope Benedict XVI, has been hailed as the leader of the church. However, it is necessary to specify what church he leads. I would argue that he certainly does not lead all Christians. Truly, if he follows his predecessors, he will not be leading Christians period. It might well be better stated that he leads Satan's church. Before you condemn me as an atheist, let me explain.

The office of the papacy has been responsible for perverting the Catholic Church for hundreds of years. There is no place in the Bible that gives credence to a teaching that tradition has any bearing in theology. Even when Paul praises the Corinthians for maintaining the minor tradition of headcoverings, it is merely to contrast with their abuses of doctrine that he condemns in the following verses. However, through papal edict, tradition has become a trump for doctrine in the Catholic Church.
Furthermore, purgatory has no Biblical basis. This is merely a tradition that the church has handed down. The pope claims divine basis for his edicts from his throne. Let us now examine some of these. He claims to be the vicar of Christ. Where in the Bible does this come from? John Paul II even had the hubris to compare his sufferings to that of Christ! How can a man of God say that anything that happens to him is comparable to Christ's sufferings? Christ was the perfect Son of God! No man can say he has any part in that. Christ's death was all that was needed for our sins. The Pope's death did nothing for my sins. Where's the comparison?

Likewise, the popes throughout the years have initiated a right of penance for sins, to help get rid of them. Where in the Bible is this even suggested? If we must do something to cover our sins, what was the point of Christ's death? If he, who lived a perfect life as the Son of God, could not atone for me, how can I be so bold as to think I can do anything to help myself? This is truly a faith destroying doctrine. If one can never be sure if one has done enough to be right with God, how can one come to the conclusion that God is anything more than a god that likes to play games with his people? This is as far from the loving God outlined in the Bible as one can get.

If the "Vicar of Christ" does little more than lead people away from Christ, what must then be said about him? The Bible says that the Antichrist will set himself up as Christ. Sounds an awful lot like vicar of Christ to me. He will also lead many away from the true, saving faith. As seen above, the papal office certainly does that. That is not the only way this happens. If anyone needs more proof, feel free to ask, but the case is pretty convincing. The office of the papacy, not necessarily a specific pope, is the Antichrist. The Bible bears out this thought. That is all the proof I need.

Disagree? Prove me wrong.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Concerning Capital Punishment

There are far too many people today that consider capital punishment an inhumane, morally reprehensible act. This is little more than foolishness. People who do certain things automatically forfeit any claim they have to humane treatment. They have disregarded the health and well-being of another person. It makes sense that they would not value their own, either.
As far as I know, capital punishment is only used in heinous murderers. While the states that have this as law are certainly justified in doing this, I would argue that it does not go far enough. Violent criminals are all guilty of a blatant disregard for human rights. There need to be more stringent laws which allow capital punishment for rapists, child molesters, child abusers, and wife beaters. All of these people have forfeited their claim on life. They have seized someone else's life and left on it indelible scars.
While I am willing to grant that there are certain circumstances that may need special consideration (e.g. an 18 year old who has consensual sex with his 17 year old girlfriend. While technically statutory rape and therefore a sex crime against a minor, it would be ridiculous to say that this crime is worthy of death.) these are not the cases I am talking about. Furthermore, all cases that have capital punishment as a possibility need to have that specified as the punishment.
There are good reasons for my stance. I have no qualms about paying taxes that finance our prison system. What I do have a problem with is paying room and board for people that have forfeited their rights. Also, anyone who offends in this manner has left a mark on someone's mind and, in most cases, body. This is as high a crime as one can commit. They need to pay as high a price as they can pay.

Disagree? Prove me wrong.