Thursday, January 24, 2008

Freedom and Government

In order for the citizens of any country to experience freedom, the government of their country must be limited in scope and small in size.

Freedom is incompatible with big government. Government can be small in scope (limited), yet still be big enough to restrict freedom when resources are taken from tax payers and spent by bureaucrats. Very small government is also incompatible with freedom. Government must be large enough to protect the innocent without being so large it encumbers the freedom of its citizens.

In the following graph, freedom is assigned a value between 0 (No freedom) and 12 (Maximum freedom). Taxes are assigned a value between 0 (No taxes at all) and 100 (Every citizen turns their entire paycheck over to the government).

As long as tax revenue is collected and spent by the government in a way that prevents one citizen from preying on another citizen, the tax revenue collected will be used to ensure and increase freedom. Citizens are allowed to do whatever they want, suffer the consequences and enjoy the benefits of their freedom, just as long as they don’t impede on the freedom of others.

However, once tax revenue is used for any purpose other than the protection of freedom, citizens begin to have less freedom, regardless of the intentions or morality of the stated purpose. Every last penny taken by government and spent by government has reduced the amount of money available for the taxed citizen to freely spend and has most likely also created a restriction against a certain free choice by the tax payer.

Of course citizens of most modern countries do have a right to restrict the freedom of their fellow citizens, but let’s be clear what is happening when we allow government to borrow, tax, and spend; the majority is practicing tyranny over the minority.

Monday, January 21, 2008

They Left Me (and I do mean left)

The California Republican Party is encouraging voters to approve Propositions 94, 95, 96, & 97 to expand gaming revenues derived from casinos owned by four Indian tribes in California.

I have voted for Republicans since 1988 because I want to decrease the size, scope, and power of government, not because I don’t want to pay for big government. The funding of government is almost irrelevant, but the power of government is what needs to be limited and controlled.

By supporting these Propositions, California Republicans are saying the size of government is irrelevant, and all we should care about is the source of government spending. How pathetic.

One of Ronald Reagan’s most famous quotes is his statement that he didn’t leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left him. I know how he felt. The California Republican Party has left me.

Self Serving and Biased Analysis

Way too many blog pundits, just like their predecessors and cousins in the traditional media, are making claims and predictions about the Presidential primaries based more on personal hunches than actual facts.

I find the political analysis of others to be interesting, but I don’t find very many pieces on the internet to be any more insightful than what I am hearing on talk radio, or reading in traditional media; which isn’t very insightful at all. The predictions and analysis by the experts has been consistently wrong since the 2006 elections.

At this point, all of the caucuses and primaries have amounted to nothing more than a pre-season where a few of the non-serious candidates have folded their tents and closed shop. The real season starts in Florida and then continues on Super Tuesday. On February 6th we will have plenty of facts to analyze. Until then, political punditry is merely speculation; nothing more. Most of the speculation is self serving or biased anyway.

Anecdotal Irony

I was sitting in my reclining chair last night watching the third coldest football game in the history of the NFL on FOX feeling that perhaps the Global Warming zealots had suffered a serious blow to their religious beliefs when I decide to check CBS during a commercial time out. Apparently, the true believers at CBS just can’t be dissuaded by actual weather since they decided to air a rebroadcast of their show “The Age of Warming”. Did CBS get purchased by the Comedy Network when I wasn’t paying attention? You can’t make this stuff up. Even the fellow believers at NBC had to admit this morning on the Today Show that a larger percentage of the United States was below 10 degree Fahrenheit than ever before.

Of course anecdotal evidence like a football game in Green Bay in the middle of January doesn’t disprove the current theory of man-made Global Warming. However, anecdotal evidence like a retreating glacier in the Andes Mountains of Peru doesn’t prove the theory of man-made Global Warming either. Glaciers have expanded and retreated throughout History and always will. Football games in Green Bay in the middle of January have produced some great athletic spectacles throughout NFL history and always will.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Déjà vu not named Hillary

I don’t want a President of the United States who will say and do whatever it takes to become President. A good President needs to have a soul and an ideology beyond getting elected.

Mitt Romney may have won the Michigan Primary last night, and he may have improved his chances for obtaining the Republican nomination, but he also may have revealed his true colors, and in effect, diminished his chances for the nomination.

It doesn’t matter how many times Romney is described as a true conservative by the conservative establishment, he still looks like Bill Clinton to me, and after his speeches in Michigan last week, I am beginning to think Romney and our former President are interchangeable. Both are professional panderers. Romney, just like former President Clinton, seems more concerned with getting elected than with advancing freedom and justice.

The term “conservative” may not mean the same thing to everyone, but if the term “conservative” doesn’t include the value of honesty, then I am not a conservative, true or otherwise. I suspect there are many other voters like myself who are finding Mitt Romney harder and harder to vote for because truthfulness is more important than being on the winning side.

Friday, January 11, 2008


Tod Bolsinger at his very best. He really is a modern day Apostle.

Prayer That Changes Things

Monday, January 07, 2008

Debate Analysis

Saturday evening’s New Hampshire Presidential debates televised on ABC were probably the best Presidential debates I have ever seen. Charles Gibson did a good job of introducing topics and then getting out of the way as the candidates clarified their own positions and mischaracterized the positions of some of the other candidates. Viewers had a good opportunity to hear the ideas and see the personalities of the major Republican and Democratic candidates.

Here are some of my thoughts on the debates:

Biggest Surprise: The Democrats, with the exception of Governor Richardson, sounded like adults trying to widen their appeal beyond the activist extremes in their party. They were all able to talk about domestic and foreign policy challenges without just bashing the Bush Administration. Richardson sounded like he was on pain medication. His friends and family need to begin gentle intervention.

Most Predictable Moment: John McCain has never delivered a funny line in a debate. Mitt Romney is flatter on his feet than President Bush. You had to know that at some point in the debate, John McCain was going to botch a good line and Mitt Romney was going to let him get away with it by botching the comeback even worse.

Best Communicator: Of all the candidates, Rudy Giuliani seems to always know where his is going with his comments. He gives just enough introductory information, just enough meat to make his point, and then ends with a quick close. Barack Obama is also good at making a point, but Obama’s points are way too generalized for my liking. I don’t need a complete explanation, but I do need a few specifics.

Biggest Winner: All of the candidates had multiple opportunities to turn any question into a campaign issue with a salient point. All of the candidates, Richardson excepted, were prepared, capable, and successful at presenting themselves and their major campaign themes. Of all the candidates thought, I believe Governor Huckabee did the most to demonstrate that he is different from the way he is being characterized by the conservative media. Huckabee won by making conservative points and taking ammunition away from his opponents. He also has a way of smiling at the right times and frowning at the right times to come across as very likeable.

Biggest Loser: Mitt Romney is smart, he knows the issues, even the details of the issues, but he usually comes across as too prepared and too robotic. He needs to convince voters he believes what he says and he needs to be more likeable to voters who want a President who can relate to their issues and their feelings. By running negative adds and then by wanting to get back to the issues when he was challenged about his negative campaign adds, Romney reinforced the feelings of voters who think he is a robot unable to relate to average Americans.

Finally in the Game: Fred Thompson was also a winner in the debate. He should be able to compete with Giuliani, Romney, McCain and Huckabee going forward.

Enigma: Ron Paul is a complete enigma. He is completely right about the Constitution and completely wrong about foreign policy. Being right about the Constitution still wouldn’t get him elected even if he was also right about foreign policy. There are just too many Americans who want the Federal government dictating policies from Washington.

Running Mates: It is very interesting how the two candidates with the most to disagree about never even brought up the other candidate or his positions. I bet Giuliani is thinking Huckabee would make a good running mate and I bet Huckabee is thinking Giuliani would make a good running mate. I don’t think I could vote for either one unless they were running on the same ticket. The sum would be greater than the parts.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Phoniness Defeated Romney

I agree with Michael Medved:

The message ought to be obvious: the core issue was phoniness, not faith-- and the religious and non-religious alike react badly to phoniness…

In other words, Non-Evangelicals appear to have been much more influenced by the religious variable in their distaste for Huck, than Evangelicals were influenced by that variable in their distaste for Mitt.

Those who insist, over and over again, that the Iowa Caucuses reflected “Christian identity politics” or a “tidal wave of Evangelical support” are basing their analysis on feelings, not facts; on vapors, not voters. It’s dishonest to say that a guy who just won a crushing state-wide victory, without even winning the majority of his own religious group, displayed a one dimension appeal to Christian zealots only.

This endlessly repeated story line is not only tired, it’s a lie.

and Mark Steyn Too:

As governor, as preacher and even as disc jockey, he's spent his life in professions that depend on connecting with an audience, and he's very good at it. His gag on "The Tonight Show" – "People are looking for a presidential candidate who reminds them more of the guy they work with rather than the guy that laid them off" – had a kind of brilliance: True, it is cornball at one level (imagine John Edwards doing it with all his smarmy sanctimoniousness) but it also devastatingly cuts to the core of the difference between him and Mitt Romney. It's a disc-jockey line: the morning man on the radio is a guy doing a tricky job – he's a celebrity trying to pass himself off as a regular joe – which is pretty much what the presidential candidate has to do, too. Huckabee's good at that.

I don't know whether the Jay Leno shtick was written for him by a professional, but, if so, by the time it came out of his mouth it sounded like him. When Huck's campaign honcho, Ed Rollins, revealed the other day that he wanted to punch Romney in the teeth, Mitt had a good comeback: "I have just one thing to say to Mr. Rollins," he began. "Please, don't touch the hair." Funny line – but it sounds like a line, like something written by a professional and then put in his mouth.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Official Endorsement

The official Contrarian Views endorsement for the 2008 Primary season is … none. There is just too much to dislike about all of the candidates at this point. I’m sure I will end up supporting the Republican nominee over the Democratic nominee, but I wish we had better choices.

I’ve been almost certain for years that I would never, ever, vote for John McCain, but as I look at the Republican field, he almost seems more acceptable than the rest of the bunch. I do think Fred Thompson has the most positions consistent with my beliefs, so I am hoping at some point he will find a way to communicate his small government beliefs, but if he doesn’t get more energy real fast, it will be too little too late.