Dems and the GOP, Dumb and Dumber

During the Democratic Convention, Reason.TV interviewed delegates about their “pro-choice beliefs.” It seems choice is an individual right when it comes to abortion, not so much with other things. I found the video funny as I thought it made them look silly, hypocritical, and dumb. Don’t they realize what they are saying?

The Republicans, on the other hand are different right?

The Republican Convention was to highlight a unifying set of principles geared to bring back small government, the constitution, and individual rights. A similar interview of the Republican delegates might have posed questions like:

  • Do you believe in States’ rights?
  • Do you believe in a “Big Tent” and the importance of the grassroots movement?
  • Do you believe in freedom of speech?
  • Do you believe in the importance of the Republic concept of delegates and the electoral process, vs. the “one man, one vote” concept of straight democracy Al Gore has recently espoused?
  • Do you believe it is time to get rid of crony capitalism in Washington?

If your answer to these questions is “yes,” then how do you reconcile what actually happened at the GOP Convention? Are you ok with the GOP elites’ show of power as they silenced and replaced state delegates because they did not like their views (e.g., Maine)? Or how about the rules changes at the last minute to censure dissenting opinion?

We all got a good laugh at the Democrats as they took (3) different “votes” about the God, no God, Jerusalem, no Jerusalem debacle. Take a look at Boehner’s version of “accurate” vote counting at the GOP convention:

The GOP power grab was not funny or silly. It sent a shock wave through the grassroots GOP delegates and party faithful. Those that were, and are, angry are not just Ron Paul supporters as the video below (of a Tea Party delegate) highlights:

What they did led to outrage. Check out Sarah Palin (read here) and Michelle Malkin’s (during and after) responses.

There was another GOP candidate, like Ron Paul, that the establishment tried to silence. His “revolution” and “silent majority” tried to use similar delegate and convention rules and strategies to ensure their voice were heard as they combatted a weak, sitting incumbent President. His efforts led him to having the chance to deliver what came to be known as the best speech of the convention, after his opponent was chosen as the nominee. The year was 1976 and the man was Ronald Reagan. After hearing the speech, many of the delegates wished they had voted for Reagan. That process set the stage for Reagan’s election in 1980.

The GOP needs to allow dissenting grass roots voices to be respected and heard. If the nominating race is not that close (like this year) then what was the big deal? Allowing the differing views helps to grow the party at a time when it needs to grow during a close presidential race. If the nominating race is close (like in 1976), the process could lead to actually choosing the best candidate at the convention. Ford went on to lose to Jimmy Carter that year.

If Romney wins a close election, it will be won by the very people the GOP establishment just disrespected and pissed-off: the grassroots Tea Party and constitutional/libertarian minded folks from both the right and the left. These votes are critical to defeat Obama.

Given the importance of this election, the power grab by the politics-as-usual GOP elite was at worst an arrogant, power tactic signifying their true colors. At the least, it was just plain dumb and unnecessarily risky.

Originally Published on


George Washington Would Have Loved A Large Magazine

Effective self-defense requires using whatever means is necessary and sufficient to provide for that defense. A free people have the right to effective self-defense. Therefore, our citizens have a right to whatever means is necessary and sufficient to provide for their own defense.

Most self-defense laws specify the use of only the force needed for self-defense. I don’t have the right to shoot and kill someone hitting me with a Nerf bat. I do have the right to shoot someone who is pointing a loaded gun at me threatening to shoot me. I’m not required to try a Nerf bat on them first. As the threat and weapon class increases, I am forced to keep-up to provide an effective defense.

Individuals throughout history have tried to make sure they took it upon themselves to be armed with the most advanced weaponry available when their lives depended on it. During the Civil War the standard battle weapon was the painfully slow musket. By mid 1862, the revolutionary Henry lever action rifle was being purchased by individual Union soldiers not satisfied with the risk of the old guns. The Henry was accurate, reliable, and most importantly, allowed for rapid firing of .44 caliber rim-fire cartridges. The Henry was the AR-15 of the 1800’s and, with similar rifles, also significantly influenced the frontier West; and not just for American citizens. Native Americans realized the importance of upgrading their weaponry to keep pace with the invading enemy as their life, liberty, and property were being threatened. With the help of the lever-action rifles, Cheyenne and Sioux warriors destroyed the 7th Cavalry at Little Big Horn. Using common sense to make sure you were not out-gunned was also the reason why the Texans stole the famous, “Come and Take It” cannon from Santa Anna’s army.

A common argument from the left is that even if you could arm the citizens, what good would that do in fighting off the much more powerful militarized opponent? Thank goodness the actual colonist doing the fighting against the British did not take that position. Or how about the North Vietnamese that defeated America’s advanced weaponry with Sun-Tzu tactics and the AK-47? Perhaps even more convincing is that our Government’s own bipartisan foreign policy strategy doesn’t buy the “what’s the point” argument. That is why the US arms citizens of other countries to battle their “tyrannical” governments in an attempt to “promote democracy.” Our own government is trying to promote the second amendment right, for those judged to be on the “correct” side, in other countries. They don’t pass out shotguns and .22s to these rebels, they arm them to compete.

Does anyone really believe that the colonists would not have individually purchased and used any available advanced weaponry options to fight the British? Would George Washington have used a .50 cal sniper rifle or .308 cal assault rifle with hi-tech optics if he had the option? Would he rather have a 4 round, one in the chamber rifle, or a huge magazine cartridge with multiple back-ups?

So why would our own Government NOT want us to have the right to access the same weaponry they would provide to foreign rebels fighting against tyranny?

I also wonder if law-abiding citizens surrounded by gang warfare in Chicago would like to be armed to defend their life, liberty, and property?

With all that in mind, I offer a few suggestions for the necessary and sufficient weapons for our individual defense.

In the home, a nice semi-auto 9mm with a 17 round clip is great to keep by the nightstand, especially if you can put a laser and tactical light combo on it. The recoil is manageable, less muzzle flash, quicker target acquisition than the .45 ACP, the rounds are plentiful and cheap and that allows for lots of inexpensive practice. If the semi-auto scares you, then a good ole fashioned .38 caliber double-action revolver might be just the ticket. It is definitely the easiest to learn and use. In addition, a great pump 12-gauge shotgun, with birdshot, is also handy for bad-guy clearing during a home intrusion or last stand in the closet.

When it comes to concealed-carry, it is mostly about what you feel you can handle and if you can quickly and reliably put shots on target.

For the nightmare apocalypse scenario, whatever that may be, there are still lots of options out there and I’d love to hear your suggestions. Just don’t get stuck with a musket. Personally, I like the Arsenal Firearms double barrel .45 ACP semi-auto pistol.

Whatever you choose, just make sure it provides for a necessary and sufficient defense. It is still your right.

Originally Published on



Is God So Busy, He Needs Me to Judge Others for Him?

Christ never taught us to hate others. Lucifer is in hell because of vanity. Should we, as Conservatives and Christians, be identified with hatred and vanity? Let me be clear, as a believer in individual liberty, it is not my intent to tell others what to do. This is more a periodic self-check because, the way I see it, I need more people on my side, not fewer. I am just convinced that passion can get in the way of persuasion at times.

I spent a few days at a monastery a while back. I arrived late and was greeted by a very kind, 90 year-old monk. He took me straight to the kitchen to share a simple meal of fruitcake and peanut butter. I told him I thought it must be very hard to be a monk. He smiled back, with peanut butter on the side of his face and said, “Oh, it’s easy to be a monk when you live in a monastery. What you are trying to do, now that’s hard!”

He continued, “It is hard living in a world of vanity and hatred and trying to change yourself and lead others to Christ. You know, I’ve always believed the greatest sin was the first sin – vanity. Vanity is what got Lucifer cast from Heaven, and why the apple got bit in the first place. It leads to hatred and separation from God’s love.”

I thought, as great as our country is, it is a vain country filled with greed, selfishness, power, judgment and coercion. So I asked him how do you fight it?

“Well, the opposite of vanity and hatred is humility and love. We are taught to love others as ourselves. Now that doesn’t mean an erotic or vain love. It is fine to be disappointed and angry with others, just like you are with yourself at times. You just can’t hate. It is hard to not hate when you see the bad. But the bad is in everyone and it comes from being human, we all have it, murderer and Mother Teresa, and it is our sin, our fault. But the good, the good is not from us, it is from God. When you find good in others, you find God, which opens them up to a sharing of God’s love. That is how you stay humble, not judging and thinking you are better than they are.”

He was right, his lesson has been hard to follow, but I have noticed that when I have followed it, it has led to lots of open dialogue with others of differing views. That openness also allows for persuasion.

During my career as a psychologist and hostage-negotiator, I have dealt with many resistant to change. They seem to fall into two simple categories, those that are and are not open to change. You can’t do much with those resistant to even the possibility of change. Don’t waste your time. Move on. That doesn’t mean you don’t provide fact-based argument against false claims without getting dragged into the mud with them. But there is a risk of getting too emotional with them because it can chase off those that would have been open to dialogue. Why would those open to dialogue even consider it now as they hear this “Christian Conservative” spewing hatred and trying to force my view on others?

I have been taught to not even think about doing that with a hostage-taker. The only way a hostage-taker is influenced to release the hostage is after common ground has been established. Even a hostage-taker is open to change and persuasion. Hostage negotiation has a 95% success rate. The negotiator listens and demonstrates understanding, even when yelled at. That leads to a strange rapport. At that point, the hostage taker is open to problem solving and being influenced with reason, because things have calmed down. When was the last time anyone changed a core belief because others tried to cram it down their throat when everyone was emotional?

Shouldn’t I treat my opponent at least as well as a hostage-taker, if I truly want them to change? On the other hand, if I want to vent, I vent. I just have to remember, venting may chase off others.

Originally Published on

No Milk for You!

The very idea of being coerced infuriates Americans; and as a people, we are, and always have been, united in our resolve to resist coercion. Left or right, progressive or conservative, we want to be free to express our views and live our lives. We passionately resist the attempts of others to force their will upon us.

We can also agree that there is a certain limit, albeit circumscribed, to the concept of having total freedom to do as we please. Reasonable laws ensure we are not free to harm others (theft, assault, rape and murder are not unalienable rights).

And as a country, we have become upset with our government. Though we may disagree on exactly how our leaders in Washington have coerced us, we can all agree that we have been, and are being, forced to accept things we do not like.

We have had it, and the all-time low ratings of our politicians reflect that.

We also have very strong opinions about what is good for the country. But if we are not careful, good intentions can lead to tyranny. We can debate the concept of general welfare, and even within the debate we can recognize the “grain of truth” in our opponents’ arguments. The Right acknowledges that the poor need some type of help. The Left understands that our country needs some degree of military protection. What we can’t seem to agree upon is the amount of both. And as free debate disintegrates into emotion-laden rhetoric, the career politicians capitalize on this emotion to further their own careers, while at the same time jeopardizing all of our liberties by growing the national debt.

The way they do this is by professing they are simply trying to provide for the general welfare.

Thomas Jefferson exposed this tactic to twist the enumerated powers. He agreed that Congress does have the power to lay taxes for the purpose of providing for the general welfare. However, they are not to lay taxes for any purpose they please: only to pay debts and provide for the general welfare. Similarly, they are not “to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare but only to lay taxes for that purpose.”

He emphasized this subtlety as, “giving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please, which might be for the good of the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless.” That would reduce this to, “instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and, as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please.”

Throughout history, those in authority tend to undermine and tarnish the very revolutionary concepts they claim to espouse. Just as many churches have abandoned Christ’s true teachings, many politicians have abandoned the Constitution.

A great example of this attempt to provide for the “general welfare” by violating individual rights can be seen in the following video. It definitely puts a new slant on the famous “got milk?” slogan.

Regardless of your politics, please continue to speak out against attempts at coercion and violation of individual freedoms that do no harm to others.

Visit the good folks at for more about this saga.

The quotes from Thomas Jefferson are from:

Thomas Jefferson, On the Constitutionality of a National Bank, February 15, 1771

Originally Published on


Come and Take It, and He Did: The Ted Cruz Victory Speech

In the seemingly hopeless desert of daily, depressing, erosion of our individual liberties by the left and crony conservatives on the right, Ted Cruz shows Texans the way to the Oasis of Liberty.

Out of nowhere, with the help of the Tea Party and Libertarians, Cruz cruised to victory in a landslide over his better-funded, establishment opponent.

The message was clear to the GOP, return to the Constitution or prepare to be ousted.

Texas becomes the metaphor for the impending national battle for the GOP.

See the victory speech at

Originally Published on