The IRS proves the Tea Party Right with their Attack on the Tea Party

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 16th, 2013

Politics 101

The Democrats lost Big in the 2010 Midterm Elections because of Tea Party Conservatives and Citizens United

“Trust us.  We’re the federal government.”  Two sentences that really don’t go together these days.  Something more appropriate would be, “Do as we say.  And think like we think.  If you don’t, trust us, we will make your life unpleasant.  Such as targeting excessive IRS scrutiny on your sorry ass.”  Yes, that sounds more appropriate.  At least, based on the actions of the federal government.

The 2010 midterm elections really shocked and dismayed the liberal Democrats.  In 2010 approximately 21% of the population identified themselves as liberals.  About 35% identified themselves as moderates.  And about 40% identified themselves as conservative (see Conservatives Remain the Largest Ideological Group in U.S. posted on Gallup).  Which is why after passing Obamacare on pure party lines the Democrats loss was so big in the 2010 midterm elections.  And it became clear to liberal Democrats that they cannot win the debate in the arena of ideas.  No.  If they were to maintain their power and transform the country against the will of the people they had to rig the game in their favor.

The Democrats lost big in the 2010 midterms because of Tea Party conservatives.  Those people who admired the Founding Fathers.  The Constitution.  Limited government.  Laissez-faire capitalism.  And the rule of law.  The things that made the United States of America great.  And things the current administration is NOT a big fan of.  For they want to expand the federal government into European socialism.  With a great and mighty federal government.  So those in the ruling class can shape the nation into their image.  Not the Founding Fathers’ image.  And to do this they have to eliminate public enemy number one.  No, not al Qaeda.  But the Tea Party.  And denying their right to free speech using the power of the IRS was one way to achieve that.

The Obama Administration ordered Military Forces in Tripoli to Stand Down because it Wouldn’t Fit the Narrative

Ever since the Supreme Court decision Citizens United (2010) ruled that corporations were people the liberal Democrats had a bug up their backside.  Because they enjoyed collecting huge sums from unions who were, apparently, people, too.  And the liberals’ favorite tool for attacking business interests.  As unions supported them in their anti-business agenda with lots of cash.  To help the liberals regulate and transfer more wealth from private sector to the public sector.  While forcing union-friendly policies on businesses.  To protect their friends in the unions.  To keep a large portion of those unions dues flowing to Democrat coffers.

Liberals blame Citizens United for the rise of the Tea Party which led to their defeat in the 2010 midterms.  After 2010 it was payback time.  When liberal nonprofits filed for their tax-exempt status the IRS granted them within months.  Whereas the IRS delayed the application process for conservative groups.  Especially any with ‘Tea Party’ in their name.  Demanding a list of their political donors.  What books they read.  Who they associated with.  Whether they would attack Planned Parenthood.  Etc.  Inappropriate.  And illegal.  This harassment went on for months.  Preventing these organizations from collecting donations and exercising their First Amendment right of free speech.  And when the IRS collected any information on donors they gave it to liberal websites to publicize and attack.  Discouraging further contributions.  And limiting opposing political ads in the run-up to the 2012 election.  Helping President Obama and Democrats.  While hurting Mitt Romney and Republicans.

The Democrats have a perception that they are strong on domestic issues but weak on national defense.  Which is why President Obama made the decision to kill Osama bin Laden when the opportunity came.  To show he was strong on national defense.  In fact, with the killing of bin Laden President Obama said al Qaeda was in retreat.  Because he fought the War on Terror better and smarter than George W. Bush did.  The 2012 campaign narrative was ‘Osama bin Laden is dead.  And General Motors is alive’.  Which is why the Obama administration told Ambassador Stevens he could not have more security in Benghazi.  Because it wouldn’t fit the narrative.  It’s why the Obama administration ordered military forces in Tripoli to stand down and not assist those under attack in Benghazi.  Who probably could have saved the two Americans killed some 7 hours after the White House Situation Room received word of an attack in Benghazi.  Because it wouldn’t fit the narrative.

Like-Minded People don’t Need Orders when they Share the same Burning Passion to Defeat Conservatism

Benghazi is a political nightmare for the administration.  First of all they ignored the deteriorating conditions in Benghazi (it was so unsafe that the British pulled their people out just before the attack on the American mission).  Then four Americans died.  Because this administration was weak on national defense.  There was the stand-down order.  President Obama disappeared during the attack.  And, of course, there was the YouTube video the Obama administration blamed.  Not a terrorist attack.  Because, again, that wouldn’t fit the narrative.  We should reelect president Obama because al Qaeda was in retreat.  So they weren’t assaulting Americans in Benghazi.  It was just people protesting that YouTube video that got out of hand.  And pulled rocket propelled grenades and mortars from their pockets and started killing Americans with them.

At press conferences reporters ask questions on Benghazi and the IRS harassment of conservatives.  Which the Obama administration doesn’t answer.  Because there is an ongoing investigation.  Or they simply state they don’t know.  But they insist that they will get to the bottom of it.  Figure out what happened.  And make sure it doesn’t happen again.  As well as insisting that there is no political bias in any of these scandals.  Just a rogue employee or two.  Which is hard to believe.  Because whenever there is a scandal there is a common element to them.  They hurt conservatives.  Making it more difficult for them to win elections.  While helping liberal Democrats.  Making it easier for them to win elections.  Without fail.  So it’s hard to believe that there is no political motive behind them.  Especially considering the 2010 midterm elections.  The rise of the Tea Party.  And liberals’ inability to win in the arena of ideas.  Requiring them to cheat wherever they can to win elections.  To maintain their power and transform the country against the will of the people.

The president doesn’t govern.  He only campaigns.  Always fighting those who are against his policies.  And everything bad that ever happens is because of this opposition he is fighting against.  As if he hasn’t been president for the past 4+ years.  But these scandals are bad.  Especially the IRS scandal.  Where people on the Left are even comparing it to the Nixon administration.  So his defenders say it’s not him.  It’s some people in the vast federal government.  That is just too big for the president to know everything that’s going on.  No one could.  This is the defense of the president that wants to make the federal government even bigger.  The government is too big.

The president hates the Citizens United ruling.  And the Tea Party.  Blaming both for the Democrats losing the House in the 2010 midterms.  These are his feelings.  And he hires people who think and feel like he does.  So even if he didn’t direct his administration to do these things he might as well have.  For these are universal feelings among liberal Democrats.  Where no orders are necessary.  Because like-minded people will take initiative.  Either eager to please.  Or because they share the same burning passion to defeat conservatism and enlarge the federal government.  So more smart bureaucrats can manage every aspect of our lives.  Even breaking the law to help their cause.  Because they feel the administration will approve of their actions.  Even protect them if they get caught.  So these scandals are not so much a reflection of an administration out of control.  But of a political party out of control.  Who have grown the federal government so large that no one person can know what it is doing.  So the defenders of President Obama are right.  The government is too large.  And we need to reduce the size of it.  Just as the Tea Party would have said.  Had the IRS not hindered their ability to exercise their First Amendment right during the 2012 election.  Which may be the only reason why the Democrats retained control of the Senate.  Or why President Obama won reelection.  Because they cheated.  Which may be the only way they can win elections when only 21% of the people think like they do.

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Expressing Conservatism Poorly loses the 2012 Election for Republicans

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 8th, 2012

Politics 101

Few Liberal Women would want their Daughter appearing in Playboy after all they did to Empower Women

After the massive Republican gains in the 2010 midterm elections Peggy Noonan wrote in the Wall Street Journal that Americans voted for maturity.  That is, the grownups voted and got their way.  While in 2012 it would appear the children voted and got their way.  More free stuff.  Regardless of the consequences of more massive deficit spending.

Children want their parents to buy them everything they desire.  And the parents have to say no.  Because most parents just don’t have the money to buy their children everything they want.  They have to make difficult spending decisions because of their limited income.  Children don’t understand this.  They just want their stuff.  It takes time for children to grow up and understand they can’t have everything.  This usually sets in when they start working and raising a family.  Until they do, though, they still want things without regard to their costs.  Which is why the Democrats go after the youth vote.  Before they start voting for maturity.

Young people often make errors in judgment.  Because they’re young.  Krysten Ritter who plays Chloe in Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 did a modeling job when she was 15 that she felt later was inappropriate for someone her age.  In a Playboy interview she said, “At the time I didn’t think about it, because kids don’t. They say your brain doesn’t develop fully until you’re 25. When kids do crazy stuff, it’s because they really are crazy. I just wasn’t aware; I had no fear. But I have not one single regret or feeling of resentment, because of where I am now. I have a good head on my shoulders. I learned all my lessons on my own.”  Kind of an odd thing to publish in a Playboy interview considering that a lot of the women appearing in Playboy are under 25 years old.  Who do crazy stuff.  Like objectifying themselves for money.  And voting Democrat.  For most women appearing in Playboy probably vote Democrat.  Even though few liberal women would want their daughter appearing in Playboy after all they did to empower women so they could build a career.  So they didn’t have to use their sexuality to earn a living.  Or to find a husband.  But when these kids grow up and get a good head on their shoulders they can learn their lessons.  And go on to great success.

Young Single Women were Voting Against their Future Married/Mature Selves

The Obama campaign successfully turned young single women away from Mitt Romney.  By saying that Romney would take away their birth control.  And their access to abortion.  Something they believed.  And it wasn’t just their birth control and access to abortion they were worried about.  Some liberals took to Twitter after President Obama won the election saying that they were relieved as they didn’t have to hoard tampons with the Romney defeat.  As well as birth control pills.  Don’t know how many or how serious they were.  But some were saying that.  For they believed a Republican administration would take women back to Victorian times.  Denying them everything except having babies, cooking and cleaning.

Meanwhile married women favored Romney.  Not by as large a margin as single women favored President Obama.  But a majority.  The difference being that maturity.  Married women raising children care more about how high taxes increase their cost of living.  How the growing federal debt will affect their children’s future.  How the high cost of gasoline is consuming more of the family budget.  And raising the cost of food.  That is, they are thinking like a grownup.  And as a grownup birth control pills, abortion and tampons are not high on their list of concerns.  For they were there since the Sixties.  When women empowered themselves.  And there have been a few Republican administrations since then.  Other things are more important to them.  Like making the mortgage payment.  Paying for braces for their children.  And taking care of an elderly parent.  Things few women think about until after the age of 25.  So basically young single women were voting against their future married/mature selves.

This is something that the younger generation doesn’t understand.  The generation they are voting/rebelling against?  It’s not a fixed constant throughout time.  The older people today were once the younger generation of a previous time.  And a lot of them voted/rebelled against the older generation then like the younger generation is today.  Just as many in the younger generation will become the very people they bitterly oppose today.  This doesn’t change.  The rift between the grownups and the children.  Just the people in these generations change.  And as they mature and grow wiser more responsibility and less having fun fills their days.  And they vote accordingly.

Hispanic Families are little different from the 1950s American Nuclear Family

President Obama got 71% of the Hispanic vote.  He did similarly well with Asians.  A common conclusion is that the Republicans lost these voters because of Romney’s more ‘extreme’ position on immigration than Governor Perry during the primary election.  And for using insensitive language like ‘illegals’ and ‘amnesty’.  Which may have turned Hispanics and Asians away from Romney.  While others say that a lot of these immigrants are here only for the free ride.  And will vote for the party that offers the most free stuff.  The Democrat Party.  And, yes, there may be some truth to that.  But those who are here for the free stuff are probably a small percentage of the total.  For most of these immigrants have strong conservative values.  Who don’t seek handouts.

The Hispanics breaking the law to come here are doing it to find work.  So they can provide for their families.   And will take some of the hardest and lowest paying jobs to provide for their families.  Working long hours in some of the most grueling conditions.  So their kids can have a better life.  Their labors and sacrifices for their family sustained by a deep religious faith.  A strong Catholic faith.  That respects life.  And opposes abortion.  Making Hispanic families little different from the 1950s American nuclear family.  And the Asian family is as strong as the Hispanic family.  Who work as hard so their kids can have a better life.  And their kids work hard and sacrifice, too.  Graduating college at the top of their class.  And this while taking the hard program degrees.  Not film.  Or gender studies.

So a good portion of President Obama’s voters seem to be conservative.  Or will become conservative over time.  Which means Romney didn’t lose the election because the nation is becoming more liberal.  He lost it because he did not articulate conservatism well enough.  Unlike Ronald Reagan.  Who did such a good job of explaining conservative policies (reducing costly regulations, lowering tax rates, keeping inflation from raising gas and food prices, etc.) that even Democrats saw that their lives would improve under these policies.  And they voted Republican.  Becoming Reagan Democrats.  If conservatives articulate these policies well enough they should appeal to the conservative values of Hispanics.  Asians.  Even single women.  Who eventually learn there is more to life than birth control, abortion and tampons.  But only if conservatives communicate this well.  Which Romney didn’t.  As proven by a lower turnout of Republicans than John McCain got in 2008.  In an election that was far easier to win.  As the Obama economy was little different from the Carter economy.  Allowing Ronald Reagan to sweep into office thanks to those Reagan Democrats.  Who understood his conservative message.  And liked it.

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Once again the Political Advice for Republicans is to Stop Being Conservative even though Conservatism wins Elections

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 27th, 2011

Week in Review

Once again someone is advising the Republican Party how to pick their candidate.  And apparently the ideal Republican candidate would be a Democrat (see Jon Huntsman’s Vision for the US Military by E.D. Kain posted 11/24/2011 on Forbes).

It’s become increasingly clear to me what a shame it is that the Republican Party is so in thrall to its far-right fringe. If they weren’t, former Utah governor Jon Huntsman might stand a chance at the GOP nomination. That would be a good thing for the Republican Party and for the United States.

It would be good for the Republican Party because Huntsman has broad appeal outside of the conservative base. He also has presidential good looks, has command of the issues, and manages to be at once reasonable and articulate in a debate that has teetered too often between the ludicrous and the absurd.

So, the Republican Party, the party of conservatism, would be best served by nominating a candidate that isn’t a conservative?  Didn’t we try this already?  Didn’t we nominate John McCain because he was everything this guy says Huntsman is?  Well, everything perhaps except being handsome.  And how did that work for us?  Not good.  Because the moderate voters chose the other moderate in the general election.  Barack Obama.  And he was only lying about being a moderate to boot.

The last great Republican president was Ronald Reagan.  And why did we elect him with such overwhelming majorities?  Could it be because he ran as an unabashed conservative?  You bet.  Because the voters in a center-right nation didn’t want someone who could reach across the aisle and cave on issues conservatives hold dear.  Like John McCain campaigned that he was only more than willing to do.

When they compare Barack Obama to Ronald Reagan during election times you know running as a conservative wins elections.  Republicans should try that.  Running conservative candidates.  And forget about reaching across the aisle.  For the Democrats don’t.  The only time they feign interest in bipartisan cooperation is when they’ve lost Congressional majorities.  And can’t dictate policy anymore to the minority party.

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Republican (rĭ-pŭb’lĭ-kən), n., One who belongs to the Republican Party, the more conservative of the two major political parties in the United States.

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 10th, 2011

Politics 101

Republicans can Trace their Lineage back to Abraham Lincoln, Edmund Burke, Adam Smith and John Locke

The Republican Party was born in the 19th century.  As the anti-slavery party.  Their motto was “free labor, free land, free men.”  They opposed concentrated wealth (i.e., land) in the hands of an aristocracy such as the planter elite in the South.  And the slavery that made that system work.  They were the party of the middle class.  Independent artisans.  Small farmers.  Entrepreneurs.  And businessmen.  In other words, free market capitalists.  To a point, at least.  They wanted to industrialize America.  But they wanted to protect these emerging industries with import tariffs.  And they wanted to pay for this industrialization with public money.  Neither of which is very capitalistic.

Republicans can trace their lineage back to the Whig Party.  Abraham Lincoln, our first Republican president, was a former Whig.  Whig political philosophy goes back to Great Britain.  Which built on the philosophy of some of the greats.  Edmund Burke.  Adam Smith.  And John Locke.  To name a few.  The Whigs formed the opposition to absolute monarchial rule.  Supporting constitutional monarchy.  With ultimate power lying in Parliament.  Not the Crown.  Or with the landed aristocracy allied to the Crown.  Which greatly influenced the American Founding Fathers.  Putting them on the path to independence from the Crown.

The Whigs supported the manufacturers and the merchants.  The thriving and prosperous middle class.  And the wealthy.  Which all threatened the power of the Crown.  Because it made the Crown less important.  The privileged class owed their privilege to the king.  The industrialists and merchants did not.  Their wealth was self-made.  And they further threatened the Crown by supporting free trade, the abolition of slavery and expanding the vote to more people.  Which gave people more individual liberty.  A say in their government.  And allowed them to be whatever they wanted to be.  Even wealthy.  If they worked hard to become wealthy.

The Republican Party is the Party of Conservatism in the U.S. but not all Republicans are Conservatives

The modern Republican Party shares much of the same philosophy.  They abolished slavery in the U.S.  Even deployed the Union Army to the South to protect the freed slaves during Reconstruction.  And went on later to fight Jim Crowe laws and the segregationist policies of the Southern Democrats.  Being instrumental in passing much civil rights legislation over Democrat opposition.

They believe in limited government.  And capitalism.  But they’re opposed to tariffs these days.  And favor true free trade.  As well as lower taxes.  Fewer regulations.  Less government spending.  And sound money.  They disapprove of loose monetary policy.  Playing with interest rates and/or printing money.  For an activist, tax and spend government.  Where the government picks winners and losers.  Instead they prefer that government stays out of things economic.  And let the private sector pick winners and losers.    Because the private sector has a record of success.  And government does not.

But some in the party have drifted from their philosophical roots.  Corrupted by power.  Enjoying the privilege of being part of the ruling elite.  They have earned the moniker RINO (Republican In Name Only).  And even though the Republican Party is the party of conservatism in the U.S., not all Republicans are conservatives.  There are a lot of moderates.  And a few downright liberals.  The heretofore mentioned RINOs.

Ronald Reagan got Social Moderates and Even Democrats to vote Republican

There is a schism in the modern Republican Party.  Between God and economics.  You probably have heard someone say that they are a fiscal conservative.  But they’re a social moderate.  This is someone turned off by the God stuff.

Christians tend to be conservative and vote Republican.  Those who aren’t so devout religiously and/or want to keep abortion legal have difficulty voting Republican.  Because of the God stuff.  Which explains why liberals often win elections over conservatives even though they’re outnumbered nearly 2 to 1.  Because the social issues win out over the fiscal issues and these fiscal conservatives vote Democrat.

At least during good economic times.  But when the economy is not doing well their fiscal side wins out.  Especially when you have a great presidential candidate.  Like Ronald Reagan.  Who not only got social moderates to vote Republican.  He even got Democrats to vote Republican.  So remarkable a phenomenon that we call them Reagan Democrats.

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From Socialism to Jihad, Women just can’t Catch a Break

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 14th, 2011

Venezuelan Socialism as Unfair to Woman as American Conservatism

Conservatives want to defund Planned Parenthood because they use our tax dollars to perform abortions.  They say they don’t.  That they provide a lot of healthcare services for women.  And it’s those services they use our tax dollars for.  Not the abortions.  Of course, they don’t separate these services so it’s hard to tell.

One would expect this from someone on the political right.  But a socialist?  Never.  In socialism you’d think everything people wanted people got.  That’s the whole point of socialism.  Equal outcomes.  Anything available to one person is available to all people.  That’s why they have high taxes.  To make sure the poor can get whatever the rich can.  Unless it’s a boob job (see Chávez Tries to Rouse Venezuela Against a New Enemy: Breast Lifts by Simon Romero posted 3/14/2011 on The New York Times).

Between 30,000 and 40,000 women here undergo the procedure each year, according to estimates by the Venezuelan Society of Plastic Surgeons…

The president, however, made it clear that breast augmentation did not square well with his revolutionary priorities. He said that among the thousands of letters he receives from supporters, one arrived asking for his help for a breast lift, which could cost as much as $7,000. “Of course I had to reject it,” he said.

Who is he to say who can and cannot have a boob job?  Who made him God?  Apparently in Venezuelan socialism the rich can have things the poor cannot.  The next thing this tin-pot dictator will do is deny abortions to poor women.  Just like American conservatives.  The bastard.

Women and Christians need not Apply

You’d expect this kind of thing in the Middle East where they frown on drawing attention to female body parts.  But not from Hugo Chávez.  I mean, he’s the darling of the liberal left.  Hollywood loves him.  Feminists look to him to liberate their sisters south of the border.  And dream of seeing him without his shirt.  Yeah, they’re smitten with him, all right.  And now this?  Boy, they must be pissed.  And they’re probably not going to be much happier when they hear what the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) wants to do in Egypt (see Brotherhood sticks to ban on Christians and women for presidency posted 3/14/2011 on Al-Masry Al-Youm).

A leading figure in the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), Egypt’s largest opposition group, said on Monday that the MB’s new “Freedom and Justice Party” would continue to stick by its view that Christians and women are unsuitable for the presidency.

They’ve come a long way, baby.  Just not with the MB.  Wonder if they’ll let them get a boob job.  Or an abortion.  Probably not.  At least, I don’t think the MB will foot the bill.  Should they rise to power, that is.  Could be worse, though. 

They Like to Keep them Barefoot and Pregnant, Too

Pretty woman.  Fascinating.  Are a wonder.  Sipping coffee.  Dancing.  How they make, a man sing.  Proof of heaven, as you’re living.  Pretty woman.  Yes.  Pretty woman.

That’s how Stephen Sondheim feels about them.  In song, at least.  (If you don’t recognize the lyrics, they’re from the 1979 musical Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.)  And most of us in the West.  We’re smitten with them.  And, really now, who isn’t?  For Sondheim’s lyrics ring true.  It’s universal.  Why, they’re even softening up in the most conservative parts of the Middle East.  Al Qaeda is launching a fashion magazine for the woman who has nothing and should be happy about it (see Al Qaeda Launches Women’s Magazine posted 3/14/2011 on The Daily Beast).

Probably won’t find this at your local newsstand: Al Qaeda’s media network has launched a new magazine called Al-Shamikha—”The Majestic Woman”—which bears some similarities to popular glossies like Cosmopolitan and Glamour…

Al-Shamikha offers plenty of advice, including how to find the right man (by “marrying a mujahideen”), how to take care of your skin (by staying inside and covering your face at all times), and touches a bit on health and the importance of good manners.  But while Cosmo’s cover might have a woman in some fashionable garb, Al-Shamikha features a niqab-clad woman clutching a sub-machine gun… It has all the attractions of a traditional women’s magazine, mixed in with strict lessons in jihad, like “not [to] go out except when necessary.”

Substitute ‘a man with a good job’ for ‘mujahideen‘ and lose the sub-machine gun and it sounds like they’re describing the pleasant life of June Cleaver or Donna Reed.  Of course, the left hates these women.  Because they were subservient to their men.  Just cooks in the kitchen.  And whores in the bedroom.  Barefoot and pregnant.  Guess they must hate the ladies of Al Qaeda, too.  For staying home instead of leaving the house to pursue a career.

And you just know that none of these women have access to a boob job.  Or an abortion.  The horror.  The horror.

The Real Oppressor and Degrader of Women Please Stand Up

The feminist left will support a Hugo Chávez every day of the week because he hates American conservatives.  And they will support Islam every time over Christianity, too.  Because in their eyes Christianity has oppressed and degraded women.  And denied them abortions.  But the enemy of my enemy is my friend.  So they support Islam whenever it’s up against Christianity (such as the Muslim community center near Ground Zero controversy).  And it doesn’t matter if it’s the most hard-line conservative branch of Islam to ever come down the pike.  Because they just so hate Christianity.  And all the June Cleavers and Donna Reeds in the world.

Remember Carrie Prejean?  Christian?  Miss California?  Topless photos on the Internet?  Oh, yes, that Carrie Prejean.  Not too shabby for an oppressed Christian society, is it?  I mean, women just don’t have the freedom to get into a scandal like that in other countries around the world.  Especially some countries with a non-Christian religion that really frown on that kind of thing.  But given the choice, the feminist left will always side with that non-Christian religion against Christianity.  No matter how much more oppressive it can be.

And the international sisterhood suffers for their myopic political agenda.

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Government Bureaucrats are bad for your Health in the UK and in the US

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 2nd, 2011

 To be Great be like Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan

People have said that the British and the Americans are one people separated by a common language.  We’re very similar.  Even if we speak the Queen’s English a bit differently.  It turns out that’s not the only thing we share.  We also bend over backwards to compare ourselves with great conservatives from our past (see Look at what the Conservatives are achieving by Michael Fallon, MP for Sevenoaks and deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, posted 3/2/2011 on the UK’s Telegraph).

Yes, Thatcher abolished the dock labour scheme – 10 years after she was elected. Yes, she tackled trade union power: they finally lost their closed shop in 1988, nine years after she started. Yes, she set up grant-maintained schools, independent of local authorities. But when we left office, they comprised less than 5 per cent of the country’s total.

David Cameron’s Government has moved further and faster. Take the public finances: public borrowing, cyclically adjusted, will be 0.3 per cent of GDP by 2015, well below the 2.6 per cent it was in 1990, and the budget will be back in surplus. Corporation tax was 34 per cent when Thatcher left office; by 2015 it will be 24 per cent. Small business tax, 25 per cent in1990, will have fallen to 20 per cent.

Not only is David Cameron Thatcher-like, he’s even out ‘Thatchered’ her.  This speaks volumes about the greatness of Margaret Thatcher.  In America, it’s the other half of that dynamic duo.  Ronald Reagan.  Come election time, every candidate is trying to show how Ronald Reagan he or she is.  Even the Democrats.  Even Barak Obama as his poll numbers plunge.

For a first-term prime minister leading an entirely novel coalition, the essential tasks might be enough: growing the economy; weaning it off its over-reliance on public spending, financial services and an unsustainable property boom; and pulling our finances back from the brink over which Greece and Ireland plunged.

Yet far more significant is the quiet revolution that is turning government inside out – away from Whitehall and targets and regional authorities and back to councils, GPs, head teachers, police commanders, community groups and charities. Ending the state monopoly in almost all public services, encouraging new providers, ensuring competition and choice – these are the most radical reforms since the Attlee government.

And Obama couldn’t be any more un-Ronald Reagan-like if he tried.  He’s trying to take America in the opposite direction that David Cameron is trying to take the UK.  Cameron is trying to decentralize while Obama is trying to centralize.  Especially health care.

Poor Quality, High Cost and Rationing in the National Health Service

The National Health Service in the UK has high costs and quality concerns.  The costs have been addressed in the past by rationing services.  The quality concerns have been addressed by layers of bureaucracy that have often been the original cause of the quality concern.

The problem with the NHS is size.  It’s a behemoth.  And because of that, it has layers of bureaucracy.  Which results in bureaucrats making decisions for patients instead of doctors.  They’re trying to change all this by grouping together and empowering local general practitioners (GPs) into consortia (see Hospitals shake-up essential, says King’s Fund by Nick Triggle posted 3/2/2011 on the UK’s BBC).

The government has protected the NHS budget by giving it small above-inflation budget rises over the next four years.

But the report said it was still entering a “cold climate” because demands and costs were outstripping the settlement.

It said without change there could be a “downward” spiral of falling income, growing deficit and declining quality.

Will this fix all the woes of the NHS?

Scandals such as Mid Staffordshire, where an official report found hundreds of patients died needlessly because of poor care, could not be ruled out.

Probably not.  But it’s a step in the right direction.  For the patients, at least.

A Department of Health spokesman said GP consortia would strengthen the ability of the NHS to make the right decisions.

“We urgently need to modernise the NHS – that is why our plans include many measures to make services more responsive to patients and to consistently drive up quality.”

The key to good health care has always been the doctor patient relationship.  The more people that get in between the doctor and the patient the poorer the health care gets.  Because the focus shifts from quality to cost efficiency.

This is a step in the right direction, but it’s still a heavy bureaucracy.  There is another way to ensure quality, though.  Competition.  When my dad had his first heart attack the paramedics gave us a choice of two hospitals they could take him to.  One had a bad reputation.  The other didn’t.  We chose the one with the good reputation. 

That other hospital continued to do poorly for years and eventually had financial troubles.  Then a big hospital bought it and brought it up to their standards.  And many years later, both of these hospitals are now providing quality care.  You see, competition makes everything better.  Even health care.

Using High-Fructose Corn Syrup instead of Sugar making us Obese?

The British and Americans have something else in common.  We like our sweets.  While one of us loses their teeth to this indulgence, the other has gotten obese (see The Fight Over High-Fructose Corn Syrup by Sharon Begley posted 2/28/2011 on The Daily Beast).

Now a stream of studies shows that sugar and corn sweeteners differ in important ways, including how they affect the appetite-control centers in the brain. That suggests that [High-Fructose Corn Syrup] HFCS may be partly responsible for the obesity epidemic…

The new study is too small to decide the question—it included only nine people—but it fits with other research on both humans and lab animals.  Scientists led by Jonathan Purnell of Oregon Health & Science University gave fructose, glucose, or salt water to volunteers and then measured brain activity with functional MRI scans. Over several regions of the cortex, activity increased in people given glucose but decreased in those given fructose, the scientists will report in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism. Cortical regions that responded differently included the orbital prefrontal, a key player in the reward circuit, and regions that process the pleasurable effects of food. “It’s evidence that fructose and glucose elicit opposite responses in the human brain,” says Purnell…

Rats eating equal calories from the two gained significantly more weight on HFCS than on table sugar, scientists led by Bart Hoebel of Princeton reported in 2010. The HFCS-fed animals also had increases in abdominal fat and triglycerides. And in a 2010 review, scientists at the University of California, Davis, noted that, in people, fructose added to abdominal fat and other measures “associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.” HFCS is not the sole culprit in obesity. But the body and brain don’t seem to treat it as an innocent bystander, either.

Great Britain’s early Caribbean colonial possessions sent shiploads of cane sugar back to England for their tea.  And to make their chocolates.  They so liked their sweets.  And, as a consequence of this sugary indulgence, their bad teeth are legendary in the world of dental hygiene.  George Harrison even wrote a song about a fellow Brit with a chocolate addiction.  Eric Clapton.  Who he warned that he’ll have to have all his teeth pulled out after the Savoy Truffle (a song on the BeatlesWhite Album).

So the British are the butt of many a dental hygiene joke.  But they aren’t obese.  Like the Americans are.  Who also have a sweet tooth.  But we don’t eat sugar.  We eat HFCS.  Why?  Not because we prefer it.  But because of our government.  Big Corn lobbies Congress for sugar tariffs.  And Congress delivers.  Which makes imported sugar more expensive than HFCS.  So we eat HFCS not by choice.  But by government fiat.  And it now appears it may be part of the cause for the explosion in obesity and diabetes in America.  How about that? 

Yet another reason to keep government bureaucrats out of our health care system.

Conservatism Works every time it’s Tried

Bureaucrats are good at shuffling paper.  They aren’t good research scientists.  Or doctors.  So it’s best to keep them shuffling paper.  And let the professionals determine what we should eat.  What we probably shouldn’t eat.  And take care of us when we get sick.  I’m sure we’d all live a longer and healthier life if we do.

The dynamic duo of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan knew this.  Their conservatism worked.  It made the UK and the US great again.  And this is why everyone bends over backwards to show how much they are like these great conservatives from our past.  Even those who couldn’t be more opposed to their philosophy.  Because they know that conservatism works and has worked every time it’s been tried.  And they’re willing to admit that (a little) at election time.  Even if they’re lying through their teeth.  That is, if they haven’t been pulled out yet after the Savoy Truffle.

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FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH #52: “The political right is usually right.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 8th, 2011

Sitting in the French Legislative Assembly and Defining Future Politics

In politics we hear a lot about the Left and the Right.  What does that mean?  Where did these terms come from?  Probably the French Revolution.  So we need a small primer on the French Revolution.  So here goes. 

In late 18th century France, in the Ancien Régime (before the French Revolution), there were three main groups of people.  They called these the estates of the realm.  The First Estate was the clergy of the Catholic Church.  The Second Estate was the nobility (less the king).  And the Third Estate was everyone else (approximately 98% of the population).  The first two estates were exempt from most taxation and lived well and had full bellies.  The Third Estate paid the bulk of taxes, lived horribly and suffered a famine or two.

Well, this caused tensions.  The poor were deplorably poor and hungry.  Compounding this problem was the near constant state of war between France and Great Britain.  That and financing the American Revolution was bankrupting the Ancien Régime.  The régime had nothing to give to the poor and hungry.  So the poor and hungry revolted.  They met in the French Legislative Assembly of 1791 to debate the future of France.  Those in favor of the monarchy and the old order sat on the right.  The radicals who wanted to overthrow the old order sat on the left.

Right and Left become Conservative and Liberal

So that’s a brief lesson on the origins of the political labels ‘Left’ and ‘Right’.  They weren’t political parties.  They were just seating arrangements.  In those days, the Left were liberals.  Similar to our Founding Fathers.  In the classical sense of liberalism (it meant something completely different then than it does today).  Basically, the Left said the old ways just ain’t working anymore and it’s time to try something new.  The Right, on the other hand, was worried about losing their privileges.  As well as the potential chaos that could result from trying something new.  And for good reason.  The French Revolution got a little chaotic.  And a little bloody.

Since then the labels kind of morphed into new meanings.  Right and Left have become synonymous with conservatism and liberalism (or Progressivism, Socialism, Communism, Marxism, etc.).  Conservatives (the Right) believe in individual liberty, limited government, laissez-faire capitalism, low taxes, free trade, little business regulation, etc.  Liberals (the Left) believe in Big Government to redistribute the wealth, high taxes, strict controls on capitalism and business, oppose free trade and believes business operates best (and most fair) when ‘partnered’ with government.

So, to simplify, on the right you will find capitalists.  On the left you will find anti-capitalists.  On the right, people decide what’s best.  On the left, government decides what’s best.  On the right you keep more of your paycheck and buy what you want.  On the left you keep less of your paycheck so others can buy what they want.  And so on.

Free Markets and Planned Markets

The Right believes in free markets.  That if left alone, free markets will maximize employment and living standards.  The Right doesn’t believe that any one person is smarter than the collective of millions of individual decision makers in the free market.  The free market is always win-win.  When two people agree on an economic decision, they both prosper.  The seller gets what they value more (money).  And the buyer gets what they value more (what they bought).  When everyone is choosing what they value most in the free market, economic activity explodes.  This creates jobs.  Workers earn money to buy goods and services.  And taxes at low tax rates paid by the multitude of businesses and individuals swell the public treasury.

The Left, on the other hand, believe a free market economy is inefficient.  They prefer a planned economy.  They want to mettle.  To tinker.  To help people make economic decisions by regulating markets.  Enacting targeting taxing and targeting tax cuts.  To make us buy what they think we should buy (electric cars, for example).  And they think free markets are woefully unfair.  Because poor people can’t buy as much as rich people.  So they want to tax the rich to redistribute their wealth to the poor.  They call this stimulative.  Giving away other people’s money.  So other people can spend that money.  (So if you’re keeping score, net spending doesn’t change.  Just who is spending the money changes).

There’s a lot more to these political labels Left and Right.  But this will suffice for our purposes.  You will see more mature and elderly people on the right.  And more younger people on the left.  Remember the expression from the hippy counter-culture in the Sixties?  Never trust anyone over thirty?   You know who was saying this?  Inexperienced and ignorant young people.  Young college students who learned a thing or two from a radical professor.  You didn’t see many family breadwinners in the counter-culture movement.  Just a lot of people who hadn’t grown up yet or worked a job or raised a family.

Age, Experience and Family tend to make you Conservative

And so it is today.  The Left depends on the young.  That’s why they lowered the voting age to 18.  To get these people who haven’t experienced the real world yet to support things that sound good.  Yes, we should pay more taxes for a better education.  Of course, what the young don’t know is that they’ve been saying this for the last 50 years or so.  And the quality of our education has gotten worse.  Not better.  That’s why the older and more experienced voter tends to vote against these tax increases.  Not because they hate kids.  But because they’ve seen throughout their life that throwing money at education hasn’t helped any student.  Only the public school bureaucracy.

When you’re young and stupid you tend to think about today.  Your emotions easily sway you.  And your passions.  Your thoughts focus on having fun in the sun.  Going to a club.  Dating.  It’s a little different when you have a family.  You think about other things then.  Your kids’ school.  Paying a mortgage.  Putting money aside for your kids’ college education.  Putting money aside for your retirement.  Those kinds of things.  And, incidentally, those things require a good-paying job.  And tax rates that aren’t so onerous that you can’t afford those things you want for your family.

That’s why we call these people on the right conservative.  They’re not too keen on change.  Because they have a lot of responsibilities.  And they’ve made commitments to meet those responsibilities.  It’s one thing to be footloose and fancy free and have radical thoughts.  I mean, what have you to lose?  But it’s quite another thing when you do have something to lose.  Any by that time in your life, when you’re making a pretty good living, you’re paying quite a bit in taxes.  Unlike those young radicals.  You have skin in the game.  They don’t.  They are, in fact, gambling with your money.  Those radical changes (health care for everyone, taxing the ‘rich’, carbon taxes to end global warming, etc.) they’re fighting for won’t impact their lives much.  They’re not paying the taxes.  Yet.  You are.  But those things will impact your life.  So much so that they may alter your life.  You may have to make a choice between a college education for your kids.  Or a comfortable retirement.

Radicals tend to Live in the Heat of the Moment while Conservatives look beyond the Moment

Part of the reason those on the right stood with their king in France was that they saw the danger in radical change.  The breakdown of institutions.   Of tradition.  Things that they knew worked.  Things that made France a great empire.  There may have been problems.  Some inequities.  But the collapse of the old regime may unleash chaos and violence.  Back then, that’s how power changed.  Through chaos and violence.  And sometimes an imperfect system is better than chaos and violence.

Over in America, a group of liberal radicals led their revolution.  But once they won their independence from Great Britain they got very conservative indeed.  In fact, they called some of the Founding Fathers ‘too British’.  Washington, Adams, Hamilton, Jay, to name a few, where attacked for letting down the spirit of ’76.  There were still a lot of passions in the states.  Still a bit of a civil war going on in the south between Patriot and Loyalist.  But it was time for the grownups to step in to win the peace.  Even if they were perceived as being too British.

Radicals are quick to point out your failings.  But they don’t often have the wisdom or experience to see the big picture.  They live in the heat of the moment.  And often act bold and impertinently.  Whereas wisdom and experience tend to make you act with restraint.  To be conservative.  To see beyond the moment.  Because some of the established institutions and traditions have worked.  And even have defined a people.

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LESSONS LEARNED #10: “Conservatives like the Rule of Law whereas Liberals prefer militant, radical change.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 22nd, 2010

WHEN IT COMES to change, conservatives prefer gradual change within the established institutions.  They like things done within the Rule of Law.  Peacefully and quietly.  Everything has a place and everything should be in its place.  Including change.  If they don’t understand an issue, they study it.  Rationally.  They control their passions.  Some say too much.  Always so prim and proper, it’s like they have a stick up their butt.  They wouldn’t know fun if it bit them in the ass.  Or some would say.

A radical likes to excite the masses.  They like anarchy.  They like to get into the faces of their opposition.  They’re loud and angry and do radical things.  Throw a punch.  Blow things up.  And anyone who disagrees with them had better watch out.  They live by their passions.  Act first, think later.

TIMOTHY McVEIGH WAS a radical.  He wasn’t a conservative.  By definition.  Conservatives don’t blow things up.  Radicals do.  And it was indeed a radical that blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995.  And he didn’t do this because of a conservative agenda.  He did it because he was pissed off about what happened at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco Texas in 1993.   This upset a lot of people.  Only one bombed something, though.  One radical.

The Clinton administration tried to blame McVeigh’s actions on conservative talk radio.   As conservatism does not endorse radicalism, this makes no sense.  Conservatives, in general, are about as threatening as a box of kittens.  They’re law-abiding people.  And you don’t show your support for the Rule of Law by violating the Rule of Law.

THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND was a radical, leftist organization.  They hated America.  They were anti-capitalists.  Their movement grew from the anti-war movements on college campuses in the sixties.   Their goal was similar to the communists in 1969 Vietnam.  Coordinated attacks in South Vietnam, known as the Tet Offensive, had the goal of causing rebellion in the south.  If successful, the dictatorship of the proletariat of the north would spread throughout Vietnam.  The Weather Underground tried to do the same in America.  They wanted to establish a dictatorship of the proletariat in America.  Both failed.  The communists in Vietnam would prove successful, though, some 7 years later due in part to the anti-war movement in America.  But I digress.

The Tet Offensive was defeated in bloody combat.  The Underground’s offensive was far from the Tet Offensive military campaign, but its ultimate goal was the same.  Their bombing campaign, though, had little effect.  Instead of stirring rebellion, it forced their members further underground. 

Though they committed sedition against the United States government, the feds dropped most charges or reduced them.  A Supreme Court decision regarding wiretaps made the wiretaps used to collect evidence illegal.   And inadmissible.  And a trial would have required revelations that would have damaged ongoing and future operations.  So most of them skated and reintegrated into ‘normal’ life.  One would even go on to associate with a presidential candidate.  Bill Ayers.  He was one of the ‘radical associates’ noted by some media outlets of then candidate Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential election.

THE REAGAN REVOLUTION was a conservative revolution.  And, as revolutions go, it was pretty benign.  There were no mobs.  No gunfire.  No bombings.  In typical conservative fashion, it was a revolution of ideas.

Reagan campaigned as a conservative.  He governed as a conservative.  His message was consistent.  And this consistency led to stability.  You knew what you got with him.  Voters returned him to office with an overwhelming majority; he carried 49 of 50 states.

Reagan’s popularity indicates the power of conservatism.  When debated in the arena of ideas, conservatism wins.  Not by intimidating voters.  Not by redrawing congressional districts.  Not by voter fraud.  Not by hiding your true political beliefs.  Not by misleading voters.  No.  Conservatism wins by honest debate.  The Reagan Democrats are proof of this.  These Democrats voted for Reagan because they supported his conservative platform.  And when you vote against your own party, you don’t do that lightly.  There’s conviction behind that vote.  And that conviction comes from listening intently to that debate in the arena of ideas.

THERE IS ANOTHER conservative revolution underway.  And it’s a peaceful one, too.  As conservative movements are wont to be.  Because true conservatives respect the Rule of Law.  These conservatives gather in peaceful assemblies called Tea Parties.  And the Left hates them.

The Left knows its history.  They know that they lose in the arena of ideas.  And they don’t want another Reagan Revolution on their hands.  So they are attacking this peaceful movement and are calling them every name in the book.  One in particular refers to a crude sexual act.  And this name originated in the Mainstream Media.  This would have been unthinkable in the days of Cronkite and Brinkley.  But, then again, today’s media is not the media of Cronkite and Brinkley.

On the anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing, the Left is warning of parallels between the ‘group’ that produced a Timothy McVeigh and the Tea Party movement.  But there was no ‘group’ that produced McVeigh.  He was a radical who was angry at the federal government for what he saw in Waco Texas.  He didn’t think.  He acted.  Much like the Weather Underground. 

Rational thinking about the possible outcomes of both their actions likely would have prevented their actions.  But radicals don’t think about the consequences of their actions.  At least, not before they act.  Conservatives do.  And the Tea Party people are conservatives.  That’s why they choose peaceful assembly to change public opinion over militant, radical action.  Because true change follows when you win hearts and minds.  Not by bullying.

THERE MAY BE individual radicals in the Tea Party movement.  Most groups have their radicals.  But the group as a whole is not radical.  And not a threat.  They’re like a box full of kittens.  But with an agenda.  A peaceful agenda.  And that agenda?  To engage in debate in the arena of ideas.

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FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH #10: “Conservatives like the Rule of Law whereas Liberals prefer militant, radical change.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 20th, 2010

CONSERVATIVES LIKE THE way things were.  They like things that have proven track records.  Liberals, on the other hand, don’t.  If it’s the old way then it’s the wrong way.  For no matter what history has proven, they want to tinker.  They want to change things.  Stir the pot.  Mix it up.  Raise a little hell.

A lot of people don’t really understand what a conservative is.  They think Big Business.  They think rich fat cats.  They think of people who step into their horse-drawn carriage on the back of a poor person down on his hands and knees.  They think racist.  They think segregationist.  They think warmonger.  They think militant anti-government reactionary.  They think Nazi.  And they think wrong.

A conservative practices conservatism.  And Merriam-Webster OnLine defines conservatism as:

a: disposition in politics to preserve what is established b : a political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions, and preferring gradual development to abrupt change; specifically : such a philosophy calling for lower taxes, limited government regulation of business and investing, a strong national defense, and individual financial responsibility for personal needs (as retirement income or health-care coverage)

Conservatism, then, reflects the principles of the Founding Fathers.  After the Revolution, of course.

OUR FOUNDING FATHERS were not conservatives when they broke from Great Britain.  They were liberals.  Progressive.  Looking for a new way that was different from the established, conservative ways of Great Britain.  They were the culmination of the enlightenment.  Of a new way.  Where rank did not matter.  Where who your father was didn’t matter.  All that mattered was you.  And what you did.

Before they became conservatives, then, they were radical liberals.  They took up arms against the government.  There were many reasons for this.  The Stamp Act.  The Intolerable Acts.  The Quebec Act.  These and other issues raised tensions between the mother country and her colony.

The colonists fell into two camps: the Patriots (Whigs) and Loyalists (Tories).  The Loyalists were the conservatives.  They wanted to keep British America British.  The Patriots were the radical liberals.  They wanted independence.  And, of course, there were a lot of undecided that fell in between.

As the American-British breech widened, many wanted to remain British.  They wanted reconciliation.  Even Benjamin Franklin.  In fact, he was seeking a royal appointment in the colonies.  He was a conservative.  He fit the Merriam-Webster OnLine definition.  But he would eventually change.  As many others did.  And the rest, as they say, is history.

THE FOUNDING FATHERS who made this country were conservatives.  They were conservatives before the break from Great Britain.  They became liberal progressives during the Revolution.  Then became conservative again.  The Constitution created a government so conservatively British that Thomas Jefferson would attack the Washington and Adams administration vehemently, even though he was a member of those administrations.

The lesson here is this.  Conservatives live under the Rule of Law.  They like to do things the way their parents did.  Liberals, on the other hand, don’t.  They want to break from the established way of doing things.  And they have no problem with breaking the law to do so.  Or overthrowing a government.

WHEN IN COLLEGE, liberals didn’t spend a lot of time in history or economics classes.  Had they, they would have learned the lessons of history.  And probably have become conservatives.  But radical liberal professors can influence young, influential minds spending their first time away from home.

Most parents raise their children conservatively.  They teach them right from wrong.  To obey the law.  They give them curfews.  They meet the boys dating their daughters.  They tell them to ‘say no to drugs’.  And tell them not to drink until they are legally old enough to do so.

But when kids go to college, things change.  Their kids break the law (there’s underage drinking and drug use).  Yes, they were doing some of this before college, but before college, it was more difficult to do.  Because of their parents.  Their parents aren’t at college, though.  So some of these kids stray.  They become liberal.  Part in protest against their parents.  Part because it’s more fun to be a liberal in college.

Of course, when these kids become parents, they tend to move towards conservatism.  Something about being a parent.  In fact, they become their parents.  It’s what having kids does.

FOR MANY BEING a liberal is a period in their life.  For some, though, it’s a journey from which there is no returning.

In the sixties, during the Vietnam War, conservatives obeyed the law and served when called.  It was liberals who burnt their draft cards and went to Canada.  It was liberals who were militant, anti-war protesters.  It was liberals who made up the Weather Underground who wanted to overthrow the U.S. government and establish a proletarian dictatorship.

Eco-terrorists are liberals.  The Unabomber mailed bombs to protest industrial society.  EarthFirst! began the practice of spiking trees (which damages saws and maims lumberjacks).  The Earth Liberation Front burns down new housing developments and SUV dealerships.  Greenpeace commits piracy on the high seas.

ONE OF THE DEFINING differences between liberals and conservatives is how they act in respect to the Rule of Law.  Conservatives are law-abiding.  Liberals are too.  Unless they don’t like a law. 

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