Now hear this!I heard something I really liked when listening to my podcast of Jim Quinn‘s radio show last night as I was walking home. This morning, as I was listening to the next day’s podcast, I heard Quinn repeat his comment from the day before. Quinn read something written by Walter Williams back in 1997 that is well worth rebroadcasting here:

Capitalism is relatively new in human history. Prior to capitalism, the way people amassed great wealth was by looting, plundering and enslaving their fellow man. Capitalism made it possible to become wealthy by serving your fellow man.

Apparently this recently appeared on Rush Limbaugh’s show, too. And Rush does a great job of showing the difference between capitalism and socialism. Quinn, after quoting Williams above, further explained on his show the difference of capitalism and socialism this way:

The problem is that pleasing your fellow man requires creativity and hard work. Looting and enslaving can be done by any thug with political connections. So what’s the purpose of Socialism then? Well, Socialism allows these same elites and losers to return us to the days of looting and enslaving, but while presenting it as a moral imperative sanctioned by the government. So I guess we can say that Socialism is a system of economics that allows men to loot and enslave other men while claiming the moral high-ground.

But not everyone likes and agrees with this quote by Williams. Case in point, Williams has an entry in the Daily Kos wiki that engages is some typical libtard bashing. It quotes Williams and then finishes off with “What Williams cannot say is that the African slave trade operated as a global capitalist market for centuries.”

Attention Daily Kos mind-numbed robots: the African slave trade was not capitalism. Capitalism is the free exchange of goods and services from one to another. The African slave trade was part of the “looting, plundering and enslaving their fellow man” that was and is so common in mankind’s existence. And it is what Socialism will bring us back to if we allow it.

Williams finishes up his article with this very true statement:

Despite the miracles of capitalism, it doesn’t do well in popularity polls. One of the reasons is that capitalism is always evaluated against the non-existent utopias of socialism or communism. Any earthly system pales in comparison to utopias. But for the ordinary person, capitalism, with all of its warts, is superior to any system yet devised to deal with our everyday needs and desires.

When it comes to economics, I’ll take reality over fantasy every day.

The other day my niece asked me if I were planning on voting for Sen. Obama for President. I answered that I would not. She asked me why I didn’t plan on voting for Obama, so I explained that I couldn’t vote for him for two reasons. First, he doesn’t have the experience as an executive that I believe is necessary for a President. I told her that I wouldn’t choose someone to lead a large company who had no experience leading other companies first. Likewise, I couldn’t support Obama for President when he has no executive experience and when he has yet to serve out his first term as a Senator. The position of President is too important to experiment on people whom we can only hope have the skills and temperament necessary to handle the job. Then I explained that Obama’s political philosophy is the second reason why I couldn’t vote for him.

Which brought me to the question I was faced with — how to explain the difference between liberal and conservative political philosophies in a way that would make sense to an 11-year-old?

I explained to her that the two political philosophies differ fundamentally in how they view people. To liberals, Americans are children who need to be taken care of by the government; to conservatives, Americans are adults who are able to take care of themselves. And I prefer to be treated as an adult.

A day later a caller asked Glenn Beck what it means to be a conservative. Here was his response:

To be a conservative is, in my definition, is somebody that believes in the power of the individual, somebody that believes, please let me make my decisions, that I have a right to succeed and not be penalized for it. I have a right to fail and have no one run to me if I don’t want them to run to me. A conservative believes I have a right to manage my family, I have a right to discipline my family in the way I see fit, as long as it is not criminal. A conservative believes I have the right to worship God, I have a right to worship the God of my understanding, and I do not have the right to jam my version of God down anybody else’s throat or my version of no God down anybody’s throat. A conservative believes live and let live. That’s what a conservative believes. A conservative believes in the smallest amount of government, the smallest government you can get without anarchy. That’s what a conservative believes.

While I agree with that, I think it gets a little wordy. I prefer the way Jim Quinn, another talk show host, defines liberals and conservatives:

For a conservative, freedom is the solution to the human condition, and government’s job is to ensure the people’s liberty. And every new life is a potential source of creativity and wealth. For a liberal, government is the solution of the human condition, and government should force everyone to behave as it sees fit. And every new life is a potential problem and burden to be taken care of.

And that’s simple enough for an 11-year-old to understand.

You’ve seen the cars — the ones so plastered with bumper stickers that you can barely see the color of the paint job. And while one occasionally sees conservative bumper stickers like “My son is a Marine” or “These colors don’t run,” it is far more typical to see bumper stickers expressing support for left-wing or ultra-left-wing causes.

(More often than not, the combination of liberal bumper stickers seems to express a profound sense of cognitive dissonance. For instance, I was once passed by a beaten-up rice-rocket whose liberal owner had slapped both a PETA “I am not a nugget” sticker and a “Keep abortion safe and legal” sticker on his back bumper. Apparently–at least to this particular liberal–it’s acceptable to kill a child in the name of convenience, but it’s not OK to kill a chicken in the name of supper. I have no idea what tortured intellectual path one must take to arrive at this twisted conclusion. –TPK)

It seems to me, as I watch what liberals do and listen to what they say, that they are more impressed with the message, and less with actually doing anything. If you ever hear someone say that their purpose is to “raise awareness,” then you know you are in the presence of a liberal.

I’ve previously written about the way liberals will “raise awareness” through some stunt or other, specifically raising awareness of homelessness by sleeping on a bridge in a cardboard box and sleeping bag for one night. The write-up of the event did not indicate any actions by the students to improve the lot of the homeless, other than spending a single night with them. All fluff, no substance.

You can also see this in the recent Democrat loss in California’s District 50. It was the district for convicted former Rep. Duke Cunningham, but his jail sentence threw the district open to a new Representative. Democrat candidate Francine Busby failed to get elected, but she made sure she “sent a message.”

Despite her defeat, Busby claimed a moral victory in a Republican stronghold which lost its congressman in a bribery scandal.

“We’re sending a message for all of us that we need a government that works for us, not for special interests,” Busby said.

The two will face off again in November for the full two-year term. I hope Ms. Busby is again successful in sending a message and failing to get elected.

In Disneyland I saw two women wearing green T-shirts that read “Support our Schools / Support our Students / (and it won’t raise taxes either)”, but there was no indication about any school measure or proposed action. It sent a message to support schools and students, but it completely failed to specify any action. That is a useless message.

Speaking of Disneyland, I saw another two people wearing “AIDS Awareness” T-shirts. It had dates and city names on the T-shirts, but no real information on it other than the big bolded title. I’m sure they were nice people, but I don’t think we need a massive push for AIDS awareness. If you don’t know about AIDS by now, you have either lived an incredibly sheltered life or you are rather dim. And contrary to what liberals and the education elites might think, a slogan on a T-shirt won’t stop the spread of AIDS. Not that we need to have massive government programs to teach about AIDS. Teaching kids about how not to get AIDS is rather easy. As Jim Quinn likes to describe, AIDS prevention lessons can be rather simple:

“See this?”

“Yes.”

“See that?”

“Uh-huh.”

“Don’t put this in that, and you won’t get AIDS.”

“Oh.”

I’m going to do something that I’ve not done before — I’m going to devote this space to quote extensively someone else’s work. The Marxist Left in this country has long said that there have been no Iraq / Al-Qaeda ties. While I have written about this before, I am going to transcribe a news report from 1999, thanks to Jim Quinn bringing this to light. You can download the mp3 here with Quinn’s commentary, or read my transcription of the report below. Any errors are my own fault.


Quinn: This is a tape from ABC News in 1999, before the attacks of September 11th, talking about Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.

ABC Reporter: In Germany, Mandu Salim [phonetic spelling - CM], alleged to be a key military advisor and believed to be privy to bin Laden’s most secret projects is also apprehended. The U.S. government alleges he was under secret orders to procure enriched uranium for the purpose of developing nuclear weapons. [male speaking Arabic in background] These are allegations that bin Laden does not now deny.

Male translation of Arabic: It would be a sin for Muslims not to try to possess the weapons that would prevent the infidels from inflicting harms on Muslims. But how we could use these weapons, if we possess them, is up to us.

Quinn: OK, so here you have an ABC report about Osama bin Laden trying to get nuclear weapons for Al-Qaeda in 1999. Now, keep listening!

ABC Reporter: With an American price on his head, there weren’t many places bin Laden could go, unless he teamed up with another international pariah, one also with an interest in weapons of mass destruction.

Quinn: Now my, my! Who might that be?

Male voice: Osama believes in, uh, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend and is someone I should cooperate with.” That’s certainly the current case with Iraq.

ABC Reporter: Saddam Hussein has a long history of harboring terrorists.

Quinn: You’re kidding! You know, after Bush got elected, nobody in the media would admit that. This is before Bush got elected, and so everybody, including the Democrats in the Senate and the Congress, they didn’t have a problem with tying Osama bin Ladin with Saddam Hussein and terrorism to Iraq. No problemo! As soon as Bush gets elected, it goes right down the memory hole. Well, here’s something — here’s a blast from the past, kids. From the groove-yard of golden goodies.

ABC Reporter: Carlos the Jackal, Abu Nidal, Abu Abbas, the most notorious terrorists of their era, all found shelter and support at one time in Baghdad.

Quinn: Isn’t that amazing! Gee, the media had no problem with that back then, did they?

ABC Reporter: Intelligence sources say bin Laden’s long relationship with the Iraqis began as he helped Sudan’s fundamentalist government in their efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction. Three weeks after the bombing, on August 31st, bin Laden reaches out to his friends in Iraq and Sudan.

Quinn: Gee, I thought he didn’t have any interaction at all with Iraq and Sudan.

ABC Reporter: Iraq’s Vice-President arrives in Khartoum to show his support for the Sudanese after the U.S. attack. ABC News has learned that during these meetings, senior Sudanese officials, acting on behalf of bin Laden, asked if Saddam Hussein would grant him asylum.

Quinn: Sudanese officials acting on behalf of Osama bin Laden asking the representatives of Saddam Hussein in Iraq for asylum. Gee, it’s funny now. We’ve got this bright line the Democrats have drawn between Iraq and the War on Terror. [Imitating a pompous Democrat] “Why Iraq is just his … it … I would have made Osama bin Laden the target. Why, this is a distraction from the war.” B. S.!

ABC Reporter: Iraq was indeed interested. ABC News has learned that in December an Iraqi intelligence chief, named Faruq Hijazi, now Iraq’s ambassador to Turkey, made a secret trip to Afghanistan to meet with bin Laden.

Quinn: Well, isn’t that interesting?! Now where’s that been, all these years now?

ABC Reporter: Three intelligence agencies tell ABC News they cannot be certain what was discussed, but almost certainly, they say, bin Laden has been told he would be welcome in Baghdad. And intelligence sources say they can only speculate on the purpose of an alliance.

Quinn: Hah!

ABC Reporter: What could bin Laden offer Saddam Hussein? Only days after he meets Iraqi officials, bin Laden tells ABC News that his network is wide, and there are people prepared to commit terror in his name who he does not even control.

Male voice translating Arabic: It is our job to incite and to instigate. By the grace of God, we did that, and certain people responded to this instigation.

Quinn: Uh-hmm. So the next time someone tells you there is a bright line between Iraq and Osama bin Laden and the War on Terror, tell them to go pound salt!

I’ve been thinking about death again. I wrote previously how our culture has become separated from death, both of people and of food animals, and our separation is interesting when you consider the violence level of our computer games or the body count in popular movies. This time, I’m going to focus on subjects of mortality other than the death of President Reagan and the varied reactions to it.

On September 7, 2004, a milestone was reached in Iraq when three solders died in fighting around Baghdad, and a fourth soldier died from wounds received the previous day. This brought the total number of Americans who have died in Iraq past 1,000 — three-quarters of these deaths related to combat. Every death is a tragedy, even deaths of villains such as Odai and Qusai Hussein — more so with the deaths of these brave American husbands and fathers, mothers and wives. Each death is a tragedy because the opportunity to do good and benefit others is now gone. This is why, while I believe in and support the death penalty, I do not believe it should be rushed into, nor should it be something we exult in, even when it happens to such sorry excuses as the Hussein brothers.

StrategyPage.com has a large list of military-related images and articles. Most images are related to the current American activities in Iraq, and because the military’s primary job is to kill people and break things, there are many images of death and destruction. WARNING: The following three links show graphic scenes of death. There is a video of an F-16 dropping a bomb in the middle of hostile Iraqis in Fallujah, or an attack helicopter engaging three insurgents with 30mm cannon fire, or a lone Iraqi being shot before he could fire his RPG at American troops. The first two are black and white, but the last is in color. I would guess the camera was 50 feet away from the Iraqi as he was shot. The last clip must have been recorded off a Spanish-language news channel because the announcer says, “La muerte en directo se han convertido en un imagen por te vean allí. Esto ocurrido en el …” This translates approximately to, “This actual death has been caught in this live image. This occurred in the…” or that general idea.

This last clip is the most dramatic image of death, and the news station probably used it as an example of how evil the American troops are to slay this poor innocent Iraqi. As much as I am saddened when people die, I can’t blame the American troops for shooting at a man who was preparing to attack and kill them. Nor can I condemn the bombing or shooting of the people in the first two videos. If you rise up armed against U.S. troops, your overall life expectancy is dramatically shortened. Consider it a law of nature, if you will. Speaking of laws, Niven’s First Law states, “Never throw shit at an armed man.” This should be translated, printed up and dropped as leaflets all over Baghdad. The corollary to this law states, “Never stand next to someone who is throwing shit at an armed man.” This corollary should be handed out to every news agency which sends its people into a war zone. It could possibly save some lives, although it is too late for Mazen Tumeisi. Tumeisi, a Palestinian journalist, died as he was filming near a burning Bradley vehicle in Baghdad as an American helicopter fired rockets on the vehicle. It is pretty standard for the military to destroy a disabled vehicle if the enemy might loot it. The last thing the military needs is for its own ordnance to be used against the troops. I have heard various media people rage about how they are fired on and sometimes killed while reporting the news. News Flash: when reporting from a war zone, standing right next to the action is dumb.

Speaking of dumb, I come to my final topic of death: euthanasia. Wesley J. Smith wrote in the Daily Standard, “In the Netherlands, 31 percent of pediatricians have killed infants. A fifth of these killings were done without the “consent” of parents. Going Dutch has never been so horrible”:

First, Dutch euthanasia advocates said that patient killing will be limited to the competent, terminally ill who ask for it. Then, when doctors began euthanizing patients who clearly were not terminally ill, sweat not, they soothed: medicalized killing will be limited to competent people with incurable illnesses or disabilities. Then, when doctors began killing patients who were depressed but not physically ill, not to worry, they told us: only competent depressed people whose desire to commit suicide is “rational” will have their deaths facilitated. Then, when doctors began killing incompetent people, such as those with Alzheimer’s, it’s all under control, they crooned: non-voluntary killing will be limited to patients who would have asked for it if they were competent.

And now they want to euthanize children.

In the Netherlands, Groningen University Hospital has decided its doctors will euthanize children under the age of 12, if doctors believe their suffering is intolerable or if they have an incurable illness. But what does that mean? In many cases, as occurs now with adults, it will become an excuse not to provide proper pain control for children who are dying of potentially agonizing maladies such as cancer, and doing away with them instead. As for those deemed “incurable”–this term is merely a euphemism for killing babies and children who are seriously disabled.

Jim Quinn, a talk show host from Pittsburgh, sums up the attitude that leads to this sort of “euthanasia”:

I have identified the basic, fundamental difference between the liberal cultural Marxist and the conservative American, and the difference is this: for the liberal every new life is a burden, another person to be educated by the State, cared for by the State, fed by the State, clothed by the State, and housed by the State. For every conservative out there a new life is a gift, another source of potential genius, another possible solution to the human condition.

“Why didn’t you send us a cure for AIDS, God?!?”

“I DID, BUT YOU ABORTED HIM.”

I tend not to just quote someone and have done with it, but in this instance I’m going to be guilty of doing exactly that. Jim Quinn is the host of a newly syndicated talk show out of Pittsburgh. If you have the good fortune to hear him live as his list of stations grows, count yourself very lucky. Otherwise, if you are like me and most of us, you can download his show later that day to listen at your leisure.

Since his show is newly syndicated, he has announced his Quick-Start guide to his morning show:

  1. We believe the solution to the human condition is liberty. Three hundred years of the most successful country the globe has ever seen is proof enough. No government program created this country; God did.
  2. The unspoken Bush doctrine is the decades of the dictators are over! We had a parade of them for a hundred years, and they killed 100 million of us. We’ve learned our lesson.
  3. America is not an imperialist nation. We are not shoving our way of life down other people’s throats. We are shoving freedom down the throats of tyrants, so other people can choose their own way of life. That is the answer to the question “What is the role of the worlds only super power?”
  4. Marxism is the greatest threat to human freedom and growth. It has never worked anywhere it has been tried, but it is still taught in every college. It’s time to drain the swamp of these 1960s reprobates and charge them with selling a defective product.
  5. America is not the world’s largest polluter because
    1. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant; it’s a plant food.
    2. In terms of wealth versus tons of pollution, we are the cleanest country on earth because we are free and have the disposable wealth to clean up after ourselves.
  6. The environmental movement uses the environment and animal species as an excuse for putting the means of production (i.e.: Land) off limits to the citizen. This putting the means of production off limits to the citizens is called Communism.
  7. We have a highly progressive income tax. Russia has moved to a 13% flat tax, so we have Karl Marx’s tax system, and Russia has Steve Forbes’ tax system. If you don’t see a problem here, you are probably a registered Democrat.
  8. Abortion is the sacrament of the feminist church. It is the ultimate expression of separation of women from her nature. Feminists like this and will go to any lengths to protect this so-called right. There is no pro-abortion argument that is not routed in feminist rage or personal convenience.
  9. The fundamental difference between liberals and conservatives is liberals see every new life as a potential problem, while a conservative sees every new life as a potential solution–a gift.
  10. There is no conclusive evidence that a human caused global warming. ZERO! It’s the hoax of the century and makes a lot of people a lot of grant money and makes a convenient excuse for putting a “Global Governor” on Capitalism. So why not teach it to our kids, and pretend it’s true?
  11. No one has ever died trying to paddle a rubber boat from Miami to Cuba.
  12. Racial profiling is what groups call common sense when they have a problem they don’t want to talk about. When they say they want to discuss it, they don’t. They just want you to shut up.
  13. To a Conservative, adversity is indistinguishable from opportunity.
  14. The UN is an expensive farce that allows tyrants to park free and pretend they are legitimate world statesmen, which they are not.
  15. Wahabbist Islam is a mental illness.
  16. There is such a thing as evil, and you cannot negotiate with it.
  17. Common sense and government are mutually exclusive. You cannot have both.
  18. Reaganomics is the only economics that works. Lowering tax rates increases wealth to everyone including government because there is no limit to wealth. New wealth is created when a human acts on a resource. Humans can only do that when they are free. Taxes are restrictions on freedom.
  19. The Second Amendment is the essential counter-balance to the deadly power of law-making, and it means exactly what it says!
  20. In our republic God is a necessary legal concept. When God is removed from our public life, our rights will flow from men instead, and they will change those rights.
  21. QUINN’S FIRST LAW: Liberalism always generates the exact opposite of its stated intent.

Some of these topics have been commented on by me before. (1, 2, 3, 4) And some others will be covered later as the muse strikes me. My challenge to you is to find one of the items above that you disagree with, and write a coherent explanation as to why you disagree with it.

Come on! I triple-dog dare ya!