Archive for November, 2008

A Battle Plan for India

November 29, 2008

Dear India,

What should you do?

The answer is already within you. You don’t want revenge, you want peace. Unfortunately, the road to peace for democracies lies only in the defeat of those people who don’t want peace and don’t want democracy.

Your closest ally is now the United States of America, Great Britain, and all the other countries who have fought and died to maintain their peace and security. Now you should move to cooperating as they fight their own enemies abroad.

But don’t let them lead. You are an equal partner. You will come to the table with your own unique goals and strategies. You don’t need to compromise, only cooperate and coordinate.

Your neighbor, Pakistan, has been a thorn in your side since as long as memory can remember. However, know this: there are people in Pakistan who want peace as much as you do. Remember that the US fought Japan and Germany, and the end result was a peaceful Japan and Germany, and close allies. You can have the same with Pakistan, perhaps without a war.

Pakistan has been a thorn in your side only because militant muslims use it to launch attacks on you. The heart of the problem is a religion that not only teaches that it is ok to kill those of other faiths, but demands it. In this goal, in de-radicalizing or taming Islam, we are united as ever-faithful allies.

It can be done, and it has been done, in Iraq. Iraq was President Bush’s gamble. At a time in our history where we would have not regretted completely destroying Islam the faith by bombing all of its sacred sites and murdering all of its adherents, he chose a different direction, to once again offer the olive branch of peace, but this time with no misunderstanding that the status quo was acceptable, and with a clear picture that the US would send military assets and fight as brutal a war as Islam could serve to obtain our goals. That war has been fought, our people’s mettle has been tried both on the battlefield and in our politics. The end result is that Iraq is now a beacon of hope for all Islamic nations, a symbol that militant Islam only runs the show when people cower in fear under it, and that a strong nation can break the bands of slavery that militant Islam imposes on its people, despite their best efforts to the contrary.

Now we need to break the bands of militant Islam in Pakistan and Afghanistan. We need you to help fight that war, we need your people to be strong and demand war, and we need it to be seen through to the end, when we sign a lasting peace treaty over the dead bodies of those who want no such peace with those who refuse to ever fight again.

And we are fighting today. Pakistan’s battle is fought in its government. Will it choose to continue the fight that President Mussharaf had started? Will it choose to ally itself with the US and distance itself from Al Qaeda? Or will it choose to embrace war and militant Islam and reject demcocracy? That is a choice that the people of Pakistan must make, and are making, today. Should the choose poorly, we will be justified in removing their government and those elements that convinced them to choose poorly and allow them to choose again.

Afghanistan’s battle is in the mountains. We are fighting, actively, those people who think they can once again take over Afghanistan by force or render its elected government powerless. Having Indian troops fight side-by-side with American troops on the other side of Pakistan would send a powerful message to the Pakistani people that India is quite serious about militant Islam, and is preparing for whatever war they desire to give you.

Ghandhi was a powerful leader for your people. He was right—the British government could be overthrown with words and not war. For that, he should be celebrated as much a we celebrate our George Washington, who had to overthrow the British with force and prayer. But Ghandhi’s methods will not work against militant Islam, so don’t be fooled into believing otherwise.

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My Comments on Mumbai

November 28, 2008

Watching the news reports of the massacre in Mumbai, India, by hostile muslims I have a few thoughts come into my mind.

First, I believe, strongly, in freedom of religion. However, when that religion teaches you to take up arms and kill the innocent in violation of the laws of the land, I must confess I don’t see why we should give that religion any freedom to be practiced. The fundamental question is this: Shall we allow people to use their God-given rights to go about murdering the innocent? Shall we allow them free speech, free association, freedom of religion, the right to bear arms, etc… if their intention is to kill people?

The answer is obvious: NO. Instead, we will stand up and fight them wherever they are. Once you intend to kill me or my neighbors, it is my duty to see to it that you are prevented from doing such harm, even if it means killing you. This is the part of freedom that isn’t free that you see quoted on so many bumper stickers.

With that in mind, these people use the religion of Islam to spread their message of hate and murder as well as to hide behind a message of peace. Therefore, I propose the following:

(1) That the practice of any sect of Islam be banned in the United States inasmuch as that sect is associated with terrorism or violence or seeking to kill innocent people. In other words, once a mosque preaches that it’s okay to kill an innocent person, then that mosque is shut down, its assets seized, and its members imprisoned as enemies of the state. If a group of practitioners of Islam wants to be separate from this harsh tactic, it is their job to help us understand how they are different from the people who are preaching hatred and violence.

(2) That the local, state, and federal law enforcement and military not only spy on but actively work with and within all sects of Islam in our country. It is their duty to find and eliminate all threats to innocent people in the United States, no matter where they are in the world.

I am asking myself if this is fair. To measure it, I replace the world “Islam” with “LDS Religion” or even “Christianity” or “Judaism”. Ask yourself: If I belonged to a group of mormons who were actively killing innocent people and waging war against the American people, wouldn’t you want me hunted down and killed? Or, if there were such a group of mormons, wouldn’t you demand to know how I, as a professed mormon, am separated from them?

I would think so.

In times past, the LDS church was placed under such scrutiny because of rumors that we were trying to build a competing nation in the deserts of the West. Of course, these rumors were false, but the United States and the LDS members who, at the time, were living in Mexican territory, took these charges seriously and worked quickly to prove them right or wrong. In fact, President Buchanan sent an entire army to Salt Lake City to investigate, despite obvious evidence that the LDS people were an American-loving people who one day hoped to be a territory and then a state of the union.

Of course, political correctness demands that we not label a spade a spade. Instead, we’re supposed to treat Islam as if it were the religion of peace, when in fact it most certainly is not based on its history from its very beginnings and practice in the modern era. Sure, there may be a few sects that are peaceful, but until such time as they separated themselves wholly from the more militant factions, how are we supposed to distinguish the two? I have no use for political correctness. There is no point in trying to soften the blow. What can kill you can kill you, and no matter how nice you try to make it sound, it is still death.

And in that spirit, isn’t it the duty of every freedom loving people to actively wage war in whatever capacity we have against freedom hating elements of every society? If so, then I am at war with militant Islam.

President Bush has been vigilant in making this clear to the world. It has driven the militant elements of Islam insane, while enlisting the support of the peaceful elements of Islam in support. The war isn’t pretty, nor is it always a victory for the US in every battle, nor is it bloodless. Yet it is a war, a war that apparently President-Elect Obama will carry on for the foreseeable future simply because it is a necessary war.

Why Americans Should Love Albania

November 28, 2008

We don’t learn this kind of history in high school anymore, although we should. We, everyone who calls America home, owe a debt of gratitude to Skanderberg and the people of Albania. (More at Red State.)

In 1492, Columbus got money from the Spanish king to try and sail around the world. Why? Because everyone in Europe was busy trying to work around the Ottoman Empire. We know what happened next—America was discovered, and settled, and that’s where we come from.

An interesting historical note is that the Ottoman Sultan not many decades before that time made a mad rush to take Constantinople and Rome. While they could take Constantinople with the latest in military technology—the cannon—they were unable to take Rome because one Skanderberg raised the red flag of double eagles in his hometown and successfully fought off vast horders of Ottoman invaders in his homeland.

Constantinople and Rome were only the first two steps in a grand scheme to impose Islam on the rest of the world by that mad sultan. Thanks to Sanderberg, Europe was saved once again from Muslim domination, left free to be influenced by Christianity and incubate its philosophies and sciences and build the foundation of a modern Western Civilization we enjoy today. Skanderberg is one of those people you can only thank God was born at the right place at the right time with the right talents, because without him and the Albanians, we wouldn’t have what we have.

Keeping the Ottomans out of Europe was a different task than getting them out of Constantinople—a vital crossroads for East-West trade. Europe began suffering under the heavy levies that the Ottomans put on trade going through there, and so Europe began searching for ways to get around the Ottomans and into the East. And that is the story of why Columbus could get financing to try and sail around the world.

Today, Albania has one of the free-est economies with some of the lowest taxes in the world. They are also one of the few modern nations who doesn’t have to import its people to keep its population growing. America, and the rest of the world, would be wise to follow their example by drastically lowering taxes and doing all we can to support the family social structure in our society.

The First Thanksgiving

November 26, 2008

Long story short, when the pilgrims first came to America, they tried to build a paradisical socialist commune based on principles in the Bible. What they got was disease, suffering, and starvation.

So the next year, Governor Bradford divided up all the assets and told the pilgrims that they owned their share and whatever they could produce with it. By the time harvest season came about, there was more food than they could ever hope to eat. Rush Limbaugh explained this in the way Rush Limbaugh is so good at explaining.

This is one of the earliest lessons of economy that Americans learned. Let’s not forget it this Thanksgiving.

As an aside for the interested, Joseph Smith taught the LDS members how the Biblical system of common property actually worked. It is based on the concept of property ownership. Each person owns what they own and are called “stewards” over their property. They own their increase, and are encouraged to be as productive as they can. No rich man in our church ever has a finger wagged at them for being rich! Any excess they have they freely give to the bishop of the local church, who distributes it to those who are poor or struggling. Those who are lazy get nothing, but those who work hard are given the resources to build their own wealth out of this pot.

The LDS church is practicing this order today. Members of the church are encouraged to give as much as they can to the church fast offering fund which is managed by the bishops of each ward. The church fast offering fund goes 100% to the poor or needy. It is the fund from which the church draws resources when there is a natural disaster near or far. Those who administer the fund do so without pay. Importantly, the rule of “no work, no eat” applies in our church. And there is never a shortage of work to do! That’s one of the reasons for the Desert Industries company, as well as church farms in more rural areas.

This is, I believe, one of the “secrets” of the LDS faith. It is why members of the church seem to always be better off than their neighbors.

Why is there Cholera in Zimbabwe?

November 26, 2008

Why is there a sudden outbreak of cholera in Zimbabwe?

Because when you destroy the economic system through socialism everything else fails as well.

It’s a frightening symbol of what could be if we don’t stay on the capitalist track. Ancient diseases could reappear if our economy crumbles.

Pathway to Happiness

November 26, 2008

If you want to be not poor:

  1. Graduate from high school
  2. No children outside of wedlock.
  3. Get married and stay married.

If you want to be happy:

  1. Go to church weekly.
  2. Get married and stay married.

If you want to be happy and not poor:

  1. Graduate from high school.
  2. No children out of wedlock.
  3. Go to church weekly.
  4. Get married and stay married.

Kind of different than everything the democrats teach, huh?

Mike Huckabee is Who Mike Huckabee Is

November 25, 2008

Reading Hugh Hewitt’s interview of Mike Huckabee and the commentary at the Article VI Blog, I think I am willing to accept Mike Huckabee for who he truly is.

And that means I’ll never vote for him.

Mike Huckabee represents a lot of what is wrong with Christians in general. He does a tremendous job at being a likable bad Christian, but the sliminess of his responses still shows to those who care about that sort of thing.

Mike’s tepid defense of the LDS faith coming under attack for standing firm in positions he himself supports is interesting as well. Mike is no ally of any mormon. Sure, we may try to reach out to him and be nice to him and say kind things about him behind his back, and he may reciprocate with the occasional nice things to say about how mormons take care of “each other”, but I believe the vast majority of us won’t be surprised when he stabs us in the back yet again. But that’s what being Christian means—doing good to those that hate you and despitefully use you.

I certainly hope Mike is on his last legs as a national political figure. I pray that some other Christian, someone a lot less slimy than Mike, can step forward and take his mantle as the representative of the political protestants, but I am not expecting anyone to do so soon. Maybe someone like James Dobson can piece together the movement, but I don’t think it is likely. With virulent anti-mormons a key constituency of the baptist religion, it is likely never to happen.

Sure, maybe things will get really bad, as they were in California, where baptists and mormons have no choice but to put their best foot forward together and leave all the disagreements behind them, but when that time comes, I don’t see Mike being the one to be reaching out from the baptist side.

Which is a shame. Put aside all the religious differences, and there should be no closer politcal ally than mormons and protestants. We agree on everything, everything, and mormons are willing to throw vast sums of money and unheard of volunteer hours just to defend a single word in the English language.

We can, I believe, come to an understanding. The understanding would look something like this. We agree that we each have perverted Christianity and misread the Bible and publicly tell each other this without animosity. The LDS faith has followed a false prophet, according to the Protestants. And the Protestants have followed man and not Christ, according to the LDS.

While we disagree on religion, we agree on several things.

One, we agree on the sanctity of marriage. Marriage is between one man and one woman. (And despite popular perceptions and our history, we of the LDS faith do not believe in plural marriage as an approved practice today.)

Two, we agree that morality should dictate all the laws of the land. That means our country’s laws should reflect God’s laws as we see in the Bible. Sure, we are not going to be stoning our firstborns who refuse to accept the Lord, but we should have laws against murder, thievery, lying, etc… simply because those violate God’s commandments. How far we go in adhering to the law of God found in the Bible is the only discussion we should be having, not whether or not our laws should be based on eternal principles of an everloving God or the whims of man.

Three, we agree that we need wise and moral Christian leaders, or at least leaders who adhere to Christian principles for religious reasons, believing that they have a higher authority to answer to than the people, and that their sacred vows are sacred. We don’t need people who vainly profess to believe in Christ and behave in opposition to the basic principles of Christianity any more than we need people who publicly denounce Christ and religion and behave in accordance to their beliefs.

Four, we agree that our rights come not from logic or reason, nor from tradition and history, but from God. And as such, our rights are truly inalienable, meaning we cannot surrender them even if we wanted to. And as such, government is a creation of man and God designed to protect and not infringe upon those sacred rights. These rights don’t include the right to abuse one’s body or behave criminally, but they do include the rights to protect one’s self, family, and property, as well as speak freely.

If Mike Huckabee were truly willing to build a winning coalition, he would invite everyone of every faith, even Satan Worshippers, as long as they agreed to the political goals. He would state publicly, “I do not believe in the LDS faith, I do not accept them as a religion. Frankly, I believe that their religion is wrong and I don’t understand why people join that church. However, that church and its members agree with me politically, and as such, they are my friends, my allies, and my closest associates in this great political battle we find ourselves in. I will not do anything to hurt the political reputation of any member of the LDS church who is on my side of the issues, but instead, I will do what I can to help them politically.”

Anything less than this shows that Mike is unwilling to work to build a winning coalition.

Even if you Don’t Believe in God

November 24, 2008

Even if you don’t believe in God, I can argue, at least you should publically profess to believe in God and ask others to do the same. (The believing part, not the disbelieving part.)

Why?

A belief in God has a magical effect on people. It puts their life in a frame of humility. It gives them an absolute moral code that cannot be modified by any whim or vain imagination.

If we believed, firmly, or at least pretended to, that the right to own property and the right to be productive were rights granted by a benevolent and all-powerful God, and that God instituted governments among men for the purpose of protecting those rights, we would never be in this financial mess in the first place. That is because no one would dare propose that we take from one to give to another.

Stimulus Packages Don’t Work

November 24, 2008

OK, President-Elect Obama wants to “stimulate” the economy by giving everybody a fat check from their own bank accounts. It’s stupid, I know. We’ve been here, done that, and it doesn’t work. In fact, it just seems to make things worse because people did the worst thing possible with their last stimulus check—they paid down their debt.

Meanwhile, the Bush administration is busy robbing the American taxpayer to make Wall Street happy. What, you need the American people to guarantee profits for life? He’s fine with that, as long as you are a corporation dominated by dmeocrats and plagued by accounting scandals and outright fraud. Hey! The more fraud, the fatter the paycheck.

Folks, this is not how you fix the economy. To fix the economy, you have to understand what it is and what makes it work.

Bottom line: The economy is everything that government is not. Government is the absolute destroyer of wealth since they are the only actors in our society that can act by force, not persuasion.

Everyone else is busy trying to get people to do things by offering incentives and rewards, with those able to afford the biggest incentives and rewards getting the most attention. And the only way they can offer bigger incentives and rewards is by being more productive at what they do. That is what drives the economy—millions of individual actors each acting “selfishly”, trying to obtain what they need by whatever method they can as long as it involves persuasion and not fraud or force.

But the government steps in and tells those millions of individuals to stop being so dang productive. As Reagan put it, when the people are doing something that works, the government moves in to tax it. When taxes aren’t enough to stop it, they regulate it. And when the taxes and regulations finally kill it, they subsidize it.

We are faced with a choice now. Either we can continue on the Obama/Bush recovery plan, or we can turn back now. The Obama/Bush plan looks like the FDR, Johnson, and Nixon/Ford/Carter plans, which basically put government in charge of economic activity. We know what these plans result in. We know because we saw with our own eyes what happened in those administrations.

Heck, we can head full bore down that road and see how Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Cuba, Russia, or any number of socialist and communist countries are doing. Down that way is death—death through a thousand taxes, a thousand regulations, a thousand tiny hands strangling the life out of every worker.

Or we can take the Reagan/American prescription. This plan involves cutting government, getting it out of the equation, putting it in its place as merely a referee, or better, a powerless spectator in the sport of economics. This plan would start with a 100% cut of all taxes. We’d start by cutting the capital gains tax to 0%. We’d cut the death tax to 0%. Then we’d cut the corporate and perhaps even personal income taxes to 0%. Rather than spend mountains of money, let’s just stop collecting mountains of money.

Imagine what would happen to our economy if we were tax free for a year! How many billions of people would clamor to move their money into our markets, our economic system! How many more millions of people would be freed from all tax accounting and payments!

And you know what is best of all? This would actually spark real growth, the kind of growth that doesn’t depend on the power of government to separate a man from his assets.

When the economic crisis is over, then we can talk about a reasonable taxation scheme. With the proper frame of reference (that being 0% taxes), we can really write a tax code that could be simple to adhere to and at the same time pro-growth.

The Drama that is Politics

November 20, 2008

Two faces you should know but probably don’t.

One is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. As Nevada’s senator, he is the democrat’s leader in the Senate, and the leader of the entire senate since the democrats are running the show there and in the house. He is the big man.

Except for..

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. As the foremost republican senator in the senate, he was chosen to represent the 41 republicans left in the senate.

Back when the democrats took the senate in 2006, up until now, Mitch McConnell has been a painful thorn in Harry Reid’s side. Even though Mitch McConnell and the republicans weren’t in the majority, they were able to win every single major issue by skimming a few votes from the democrats.

So Harry Reid, the senate democrats, and the Democratic Party poured millions and millions of dollars to defeat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. After all, if you can’t beat him on the floor, you can try and beat him in his home state.

They came close, really close, but lost. Mitch McConnell is reelected and returning back to Washington D.C. to do more of what he does best: kick sand in Harry Reid’s face.

Mitch McConnell is already buddying up to President-Elect Obama. I would not be surprised to see Obama reaching over Harry Reid to Mitch McConnell and the conservative democrats to get key legislation done. (That is, if Obama plays ’em straight with the republicans.) The reason is that you can’t win without McConnell on your side. It’s impossible.

But Harry Reid? Mitch McConnell has put him in the doghouse. Unable to keep his party under control, and unable to grab a few votes from Mitch McConnell, he is looking forward to two more years of living dread.

Guess what happens in 2010? That’s right, it’s Harry Reid’s turn to run for re-election. And guess who is going to pour money into his opponents campaign to take down Harry Reid?

Politics can be interesting if you like that sort of thing.

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