Earplugs

The media is treating this election the same way they treat any election that they might lose.  They are screaming at the top of their lungs that THERE IS NO CHANCE THEIR GUY WILL LOSE!!! while plugging their ears and whistling Dixie.

May I humbly suggest that Republicans and grassroots Conservatives do the same?  Please stop listening to the media.  The media lies.  You know how you can tell that the media is lying?  The camera’s rolling.  You know how you can tell that the media polls are cooked – I mean other than having a functional brain that understands math and logic?  LOOK AT THE EARLY VOTER TURNOUT.
Early Voting Returns by State (note the demographic data coming in from North Carolina)
Romney is not losing.  At WORST, this election is currently tied.  The polls are crap – I trust only one agency – Rasmussen – and the rest can suck it.  No fear, no surrender, no retreat, no quitters, and no apologies – we are going to win this election. I would bet very good money that we are.  And when that day comes, I hope Conservatives wake up and realize that the media can only elect a candidate if they choose to allow that to happen.

Never Have I Felt Such Pure Disgust

Have you heard? The Obama campaign is now offering a line of oh-so-trendy e-cards bearing messages such as the following:

Excuse me while I barf up a couple feet of intestine.

First of all, where do they get the $18,000 figure? The only way that could possibly be valid is if we assume that: 1) most women are completely without prescription coverage when it comes to their birth control; 2) most women, out of medical necessity, must use the newer, more expensive forms of contraception. Both premises are patently ridiculous.

Secondly, even if it were true that most women rack up a lifetime cost of $18,000 for their birth control, that’s actually not as crippling as it seems, and I’ll show you why: I have to pay about $30 a month right now for the medication I take for my rheumatoid arthritis. That doesn’t look too bad, does it? But as it turns out, that totals up to a lifetime cost of over $20,000! Oh my God! Why isn’t anyone rescuing me?

Here’s the bottom line: If we accept the Fluke/Planned Parenthood statistics, women pay $1000 a year for their birth control. That works out to about $83 per month, or about $3 per day. How much do you pay per month for your cable and internet? How much do you pay per month for your phone’s talk/text/data plan? How much do you pay per month for coffee or lunches out? And why the hell is the left so allergic to budgeting and setting priorities?

Thirdly, if $83 per month really isn’t within your reach financially, I think it is far better, morally, to ask your mom for assistance than it is to ask Joe American, Generic Health Insurance Customer. I know, I know — sometimes it sucks to be dependent on your parents. On this, I speak from personal experience. But in a rightly ordered society, aid should come from the family and the local community first and foremost. Why? Because the people in your family and your community actually know you, can tailor their charity to your individual needs, and are less likely to begrudge the money they spend on your behalf. I, on the other hand, deeply resent that I must bankroll strangers’ sex lives with my insurance premiums, especially since I make a yearly salary that falls well below the national median and must purchase my health insurance coverage myself.

Fourth – and lastly – we women are not giant ovaries with arms and legs, and it fills me with a white-hot burning rage whenever Obama and his surrogates treat us as if we are. You know what worries me? My severe rheumatoid arthritis, number one. My anxiety and depression, number two. And let’s not forget the crown and the wisdom tooth extraction I will have to pay for in the next few months! My reproductive system does show up on my list of health concerns, but it’s ranked near the bottom. Yet Obama expects me to jump for joy at the thought of having access to “free” contraception? Kiss my ass, Mr. President. Giving a girl the birth control pill is not genuine, holistic women’s health care.

Mike Rowe: Full of Win Once Again

He claims not to be an expert on anything, but when he talks about the downgrading of vocational education, I think he nails it. That’s why Rowe will have a definite spiritual place in any home-schooling curriculum I personally design. My home-schooling ring will tour factories, visit with plumbers/welders/electricians/etc., and stay connected to local employers because I want my kids and their friends to recognize the societal value of “dirty” jobs. No snobbery will be allowed in my house!

Repost from Althouse

For all you neofeminists out there who demonize stay-at-home moms…maybe you should try listening to ALL of your fellow ladies in the sisterhood…

Most Women Want to be Mom

83% are saying “man…this working for a living thing SUCKS…can I be a stay-at-home Mom and revel in the joyful life of raising children?”  There’s a SHOCKER. 🙂

A Quick Plea to the Romney Campaign

God love you guys, but:

WE NEED YARD SIGNS IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA!

The Republican headquarters in eastern Prince William – a heavily populated “swing” county, oh by the way – has a mile-long waiting list for yard signs, and the situation is the same at Prince William West and in Arlington.

I know you’re occupied with many more important matters – like identifying your voters, getting a big turn-out, and preventing left-wing voter intimidation and voter fraud – but people also want to publicly express their support, and they don’t look too happy when we have to repeatedly turn them away. So yeah:

Discerning My Vocation

This is a personal (rather than a strictly political) post, but I’m hoping some folks out there will find it useful. After all, I experienced the all important “click” in my discernment process after reading another blog post with a similar theme.

At any rate: It has taken me thirty-three years, but I think I finally know what God wants for my life. He wants me to be a mother – specifically, a stay-at-home mother – and a keeper of a domestic church. Really, as I look back on my life now, it all makes sense. First of all, God provided me with a wonderful example – Mom – whose nurturing presence at home allowed Matt and me to flourish. Secondly, I have always enjoyed the company of children and teens. Indeed, I consider my daily interaction with young people to be the best feature of my current occupation. Third, I’m addicted to Supernanny. Laugh if you wish, but I love watching Jo Frost screw those overly-indulgent parents’ heads on straight. And that brings me to point number four: I have developed strong opinions regarding how I personally would parent if I were given the opportunity. I know what I’d use for discipline, what family traditions I’d create and/or perpetuate, and what I’d do to ensure my children receive an excellent education (two words: home school). Why the heck have I devoured a ton of Catholic parenting books and home schooling curricula if not because I will one day use them? (Of course, I’ll have to discuss all of these things with my future husband, but it’s my hope that I’ll find someone who’s mostly on my page.)

It’s all perfectly obvious — but to be honest, I’ve been resisting God’s call. I’m not a careerist, nor am I one of those Malthusian doomsayers who fears exacerbating the “population bomb.” I’m just — uninterested in dating. Beats me why this is. It could be hormonal — a theory I will try to either prove or disprove the next time I visit my doctor. It could also be psychological — a persistent low-level depression and/or a self-consciousness regarding my crippling arthritis. And it could be philosophical — i.e., I just don’t care for the modern-day meat market. Whatever’s going on, I’ll have to do some work to resolve it. Because yes — now that I’ve finally discovered God’s plan for my life after decades of doubt and dithering, I’m actually looking forward to it. I think it’ll be intellectually challenging and infinitely fulfilling.

To anyone who is still confused about her own vocation: Think about the patterns that have unfolded in your life and definitely spend time talking to God about what it all means. You – like everyone else on this planet – are here for a reason. Your task is to discover what that reason might be.

One More Reason to Unseat Obama: the Middle East

The following video was posted way back in 2009, but I believe it’s still profoundly relevant:

In Which Bill Whittle Discusses Game Theory’s Foreign Policy Implications

Attacking our embassies is, in point of fact, invading American territory. It is an act of war; as such, we are within our rights to retaliate. Indeed, we should retaliate; to do otherwise is to encourage the violent psychos who are pulling the Muslim world into the gutter. (Just FYI, I respect the Islam of Avicenna and his intellectual descendants. I don’t respect homophobic, misogynistic thugs.) I’m not necessarily saying we should turn the entire Middle East into a radioactive glass factory. I’m not even saying we should invade. I do think, however, that our response should be swift and muscular.

Of course, because Obama and his lick-spittle media supporters are disgusting cowards, what we’re seeing instead is more groveling. Despite the experts’ insistence that the embassy attacks were premeditated “celebrations” of the 9/11 anniversary, the left has decided to scapegoat the creator of a dumb YouTube video attacking Muhammad. Look: For obvious reasons, I’m not a big fan of gratuitously attacking a religion from a position of ignorance. Militant atheists do it to us Christians often enough, so I know it’s not fun to be misrepresented and maligned. Still, even if we were to stipulate that “The Innocence of Muslims” is bigoted clap-trap, and even if we were to stipulate – ridiculously – that the video is what “inflamed” protestors in the Middle East, that still does not excuse cold blooded murder. Why is this so hard for leftists to understand?

It is absolutely outrageous that we are talking about anything other than the fact that the Obama administration failed – and failed spectacularly – to protect our diplomats. Why weren’t those protestors shot on sight the moment they breached our defenses? Why weren’t our embassy defenses enhanced in response to intelligence that apparently suggested days in advance that the attacks were coming? If our fourth estate were not the devoted propaganda wing of the Obama campaign, it’d be looking for answers to these important questions.

Tears of a Gamer

While I am not the kind of epic gamer who would sit in a smelly dark room for days on end at a convention playing D&D or something, I do enjoy games of strategy from time to time.  I’ve played more than a few games of Stratego, Axis and Allies, Chess and Risk – all games based on military tactics and requiring a pretty advanced intellect and strategic awareness to master, though none perfectly reflecting the reality of modern warfare (they were excellent parallels for pre-WWI ground warfare, though).

Today, I decided to compare the Middle East in 2008, at the end of the Bush Presidency to the Middle East today at the end of Obama’s first term with the gamer’s sense of military conflict.  And here, I present you with the two maps I created.

In Red are the nations which are enemy combatants – either through spoken intention or acts of war, in green are allies – nations with whom our relationship is basically civil and diplomatic, even if they don’t particularly love us or we don’t particularly love them.  And in white…are neutral territories – either neutral because their spoken words and deeds are mixed (some favorable, some not), or because they have no skin in the game regarding Israel, American oil interests or American security (truly neutral parties).

2008 – September

ALLIES:

Kazakhstan
Afghanistan* (puppet regime and security forces only, but for military purposes, an ally)
Turkey
Azerbaijan
Iraq* (an ally at that time – at least the government that was in power, though terrorism was still tampant)
Kuwait
Qatar
United Arab Emirates
Oman
Yemen
Eritrea
Djibouti
Egypt
Tunisia
Morocco
Cyprus

ENEMIES:

Libya (not in a diplomatic sense, but the country was very dangerous and filled with extremists even in ’08)
Sudan
Somalia
Ethiopia
Syria
Iran
Non-recognized Hamas-run Palestine (not depicted)

2012 – September

NEW ALLIES:

NONE!

ALLIES to NEUTRAL:

Turkey (this isn’t anyone’s fault…Turkey has been trending extremist for a long time)
Oman (have joined Saudi Arabia in solidarity with anti-US sentiments against the US incursion into Iraq)
Yemen (see above)
Eritrea (squeezed by Somali piracy and pressures from Sudanese extremest violence)

NEW ENEMIES:

Afghanistan (the Taliban was whipped…and they’re back and rising to power again as we time our withdrawal)
Iraq (now a puppet government extension of Iran as Iranian terrorists overwhelm their security forces)
Jordan (squeezed by Syrian terrorists and Hamas in Palestine)
Egypt (now in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood)
Tunisia (also in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood)
Algeria (our embassy there was attacked not two years ago and that government is no less extreme now than Libya’s chaotic officials are)
Palestine (now recognized by the UN…*sigh*)
Cyprus (threw us out – we had military support in Cyprus but they don’t want anything to do with us now)

Tell me where my logic is wrong here…I’m willing to listen…but it sure as hell looks to me like a map decidedly less favorable to Israel and to the United States BY FAR…in fact…if I were the green player in a game of Risk and I had that map, I would probably resign…because that’s almost unwinnable in Risk…thankfully, the US isn’t on that map and the US can still keep Israel alive, but we’re not doing a good job of it here.

Agency: The Correct Historical Perspective

When I was in my undergraduate years at Penn State and SUNY Oswego, I chanced to pass through a series of classes in the humanities that defied my expectations and presented me with ways of looking at the world that had never been open to me before due to a particular set of biases typically evident amongst educators.  I was one of the rare lucky ones.  Most kids who enter college these days get a parade of professors with the same political and philosophical biases as the ones they encountered when they were in public schools as a child.  Most kids don’t get a playwriting professor who, when reading their rather traditional and family-friendly storytelling, express a fond desire to see that person hone their talents further and tap into an under-served market for comforting and spiritually uplifting theater.  Most kids don’t get to take a philosophy course taught by a fierce Christian apologetic whose disregard for Nietzche and Marx and Sanger is rivaled only by his love of Plato and Descartes and John Locke.  Most college students don’t get to take a history class that treats Native Americans like logical, full persons, rather than like hapless victims with no sense of the peril posed by white Europeans.  And most of us don’t get to take a course in European history that treats the Protestant Reformation, the Enlightenment and the Renaissance no differently and no more positively than the supposed Dark Ages.

That was my good fortune.  I learned, purely by luck, to love history, literature, art, and philosophy, because I was taught largely by professors who approached their subject-matter objectively and dispassionately.  Not all of those profe4ssors were conservatives, so it isn’t a political affiliation that drew me to my increasing well-roundedness or made me more receptive.  But I always hated the humanities growing up because I felt that they were taught in an incomplete and unfair manner – though I didn’t realize it at the time.  What was missing in all of those discussions of history and literature and theology and psychology and anthropology was the application of logic.  You see, people of a liberal mindset believe that history is a narrative – a story with a destination that they are hurtling towards.  They see a potential for a positive outcome (utopia – a society with no flaws and no suffering), or a negative one (regression, annihilation, or decay, as in the fall of Rome).  When you think of history as a narrative, you treat every conflict as a clash between someone who was wrong and someone who was right, every change as progress and the past as an inferior state to the present and the present as inferior to the ideal future.

And none of that is supported by the facts.  The facts paint a picture of societies rising and falling cyclically, of conflicts driven by competing philosophies, both of which generally had an internal logic and whose righteousness could only be tested by their effects on the world.  The facts make humanity more complicated, more capable, and less tribal than your history teachers in high school would have you believe.  And most of all, the facts demonstrate that Burke and Locke were right all along – that humans are selfish bastards (sorry, but it’s true!) and that history is driven by competition between humans exercising what my US History professor at Oswego dubbed “agency.”  In her words, agency was a collective set of tools used by a group fo people to maximize the quality of their particular lives.  In short – people do whatever they need to do in order to enrich themselves and the their compatriots.  And further still, people believe the philosophy or ideology that conforms with their life experiences and results in net gains for them.

Let’s go back to that bit about Native Americans for a moment.  What were taught about the many tribes that inhabited North America at the dawn of European exploration and colonization in the new world?  A rather idyllic portrait was probably painted for you with the tribes coexisting relatively peacefully in the vast, untapped lands of the Americas, each living harmoniously with nature and establishing cultures and beliefs possessing an almost sacred beauty and charm.  Though they lacked the scientific knowledge and wealth of the pillaging masses of Europeans heading their way, native peoples developed sophisticated and in depth naturalistic knowledge and much of what Europeans would later decry as savagery and superstition actually had a basis in fact.  That sound familiar to you?

Well here’s what I was taught in college.  Native Americans were a deeply divided people – split into mostly non-cooperative tribes and widely distributed across the landscape from South America to Canada and Alaska.  Where there was significant competition for resources and where tribes interacted, there was a nearly constant state of war.  Lacking the sophistication of European scientific and practical knowledge, their warfare ranged from gruesome to unbearable at times.  Where there was little or no confrontation over resources, tribes existed largely peacefully.  The more cooperative tribes (such as, for example, the Iroquois and the Cherokee) forged alliances to stop the bloodshed, but those pacts were always based on capitalism and common cultural linkages that alleviated the potential for tension.  When Europeans arrived in the new world, the reactions of the natives varied greatly – some chose to attack (and were merciless and brutal when they did), others chose to seek alliances with the white man to further their conflicts with neighboring tribes.  At all times, they were proceeding logically based on the best interest of their tribe, but because they were a divided people, and because we happened to bring diseases to which they had no immunity with us, their huge population advantage was meaningless.  We divided them and we conquered them, and much of what we did, we would now consider abhorrent, but we, too, were following our agency and neither side could rightfully be considered innocent in this three-century war.

Now a leftist will look at those two stories and think that the second account is less flattering to the Natives and, because we (the whites) were the aggressors in net, we must be the guilty party.  But I would argue that, in fact, the first account is insulting to American Indians.  In order to treat them as wholly innocent, one must rob them of their humanity.  In that account, they are little more than animals – scurrying from tree to tree and living off the land and their own baser instincts.  That must be true, because to assume that natives did NOT pursue their own agency is to assume that they were intellectually inferior to Europeans.  There’s no doubt that we had better weapons than they did…but a savvy tribe proved many a time that our muskets were no match for their knowledge of local geography, cooperative combat strategies and hunting prowess.  When the Spaniards arrived in Central America, there were about 9 million natives in Northern South America and Central America (including Mexico) alone.  And yet, within a few decades, an entire empire collapsed and the Spanish – having brought like 2000 total warriors, mind you – had unquestioned territorial claims over the entire region!  In a game of risk between 2000 tanks and 9 million infantry, I’ll take the infantry – even if the infantry have a high mortality rate due to smallpox and gonorrhea.  To take the liberal story at face value, the natives would have to have been literally the worst military strategists or least savvy politicians in the history of the universe to lose with those initial odds.  What makes more sense to you folks – really?  The story that claims that, although the natives were logical creatures just like we were, they lost because they were already at war with each other when we arrived and therefore couldn’t build coalitions to push us back?  Or the one that asserts that natives had no idea what was coming, even after we’d managed to wipe out (say) half of them in a single century.  I’ll go with column A.  If you go with column B, you’re a racist (how do you like THAT, libs? you play that card all the time – how does it feel to have it thrown back at you?).

History makes way WAY more sense when you view it in terms of people making logical choices to further the cause of their agency.  Why am I bringing all of this up now, you ask?  Simple – agency is at play in modern politics as it has always been.  The story of the battle between progressivism and conservatism in America is a story of agency.  At least among the powerful and monied interests that drive political discourse in any state, including America, neither party is the sole beneficiary of support fro the wealthy.  Large corporations and firms divide evenly down party lines.  Oil companies need a break from environmentalist furor and thus back republicans.  Telecommunications giants reaped enormous benefits from deregulation and the fight against censorship of information and likewise, will back Romney.  Green energy firms will back Obama, as he has kept their trough thick with government pork slops.  The leaders of big wall street firms protected by Dodd-Frank will also back Obama, while lesser banks will back the Republicans to fight the unfair favoritism they perceive to have been put into effect for the big six banks.  GM backs Obama as he promises further union bailouts, while Romney wins the support of Apple, since they are hoping for a cheaper skilled labor force here at home and Romney plans to reduce their corporate taxes.  Investors, like George Soros and Warren Buffet, who specialize in property investing for government-supported industries like Amtrak and commuter airliners and such back Obama as he’ll be working to increase public works projects and will maintain their protected status in the tax code.  The Koch brothers back Romney, since he’ll be working to remove tax loopholes while cutting taxes – especially on manufacturing, where Koch is king (they manufacture paper products here in the US).

You are a fool if you believe that the large political investments you see on either side of the aisle are ever truly an expression of altruism.  You don’t get to be wealthy by cutting a ton of checks just because you feel like being a nice guy.  The wealthy do have charitable causes, so it’s not as though they’re evil men, but they have to protect their estates if they want to continue to have some say in their own future and the future of their companies (which they have worked extremely hard to build).  And the agency game goes all the way to the bottom of the wage spectrum.  The very poor depend on government support to live – it’s in their best interest to make sure that support increases – thus they vote democrat.  The leaders of the civil rights movement – their mission largely completed – must convince America that there is still a race-based crisis in order to cintune to be wealthy and influential.  They push race based clients to vote democrat and paint the opposition as racist to gin up financial support.  Middle class families need less government, since government gets in the way of the freedom most parents feel to raise their children in the way they see fit – and since government is less important when you can rely on your family in times of need.  They vote republican.  Unless, that is, the wage earners in the family work for state-funded public-sector enterprises.  Unions vote democrat (because democrats are more willing to hand them money and power), union workers also vote democrat (because a smaller government will require their services less and because their benefits packages and pensions could suffer without government support).  That includes the people who control the narrative – teachers, academics, the media and those working for state and federal agencies.  I could go on, but the point is that no demographic group votes the way it does purely out of the goodness of its’ collective heart.  It’s agency at play.  And don’t let politicians tell you otherwise.