KneelingDrunkardsPlea

Sunday, February 15, 2009

What should we look for?

You are probably a friend of the family or a Republican if you are reading this blog. My deepest hope is that this series of essays starts a wider circulation and I can shape public opinion. But I will save those fevered dreams for my less modest moments. I said that I would discuss the qualities needed in a new conservative Senator from Texas. Make no mistake, I do not want a liberal Republican representing our state. To borrow a phrase from a former President, we do not want pastels. We need bold colors in the august chamber of the Senate.
I stated in a former post that we do not need to send politicians to the Senate. We must send leaders. The collegial atmosphere of the Senate is an invitation to sell one's ideals at an incremental rate. Unlike the volatile House, the Senate serves as a cooling dish to the heated rhetoric that typically escalates between the parties. If the senator is not on close guard, that genial style will be mistaken for bipartisanship, and compromise on core values will soon follow. We must send someone who knows what the typical constituent goes through on a daily basis. The Framers decided on a representative democracy, and we have forgotten the "representative" part. It is not just enough to speak on behalf of those they represent, they must also have been OF their constituency. How many millionaires can you count in the Senate? How long has it been since they have had a job other than the Senate? How many were House members or state legislators before? I do not mean to engage is class warfare, but why are wealthy government officials lecturing you on what "regular" Americans want?
The quality of the leader means nothing if that leader does not have good moral character. Living a good life and doing the right thing goes a long way in proving to people that they can ultimately trust you with their money and the lives of their children. And make no mistake about how much the Congress controls your life. They are constitutionally empowered to levy taxes and declare war. And in case you haven't seen the news lately, the Congress is now legislating morality. From taxes on cigarettes to welfare payments for the never-employed, they are spending your money according to their values. Do you want a senator that drives drunk, doesn't pay taxes, cheats on his wife? These are very important questions that should play a large factor in your selection.
I would also encourage you to vote for a candidate who has put service above self. One of the disappointing aspects of most of our representatives is that they have never served in the armed forces of the United States. I want you to think hard about the leadership and the moral character of those who have not served. They are the ones that are making the decisions that affect the men and women in the armed forces on a daily basis. And if our profession is so noble and our service so critical, why have they not chosen to serve? Do some research on the candidates. Did the candidate finish college, go to graduate school, and then immediately run for office? Or did the candidate first choose to serve the United States to become a more well-rounded citizen? I am not arguing that military service should be the defining character of a good candidate, but I do think that each candidate should explain why they chose not to serve.
Our senator must also have the ability to decide, communicate, and act. One hundred men and women are primarily responsible for all the legislation. Yes, the House does a lot of drafting, but the Senate gives the go-ahead to every bill. If our next senator cannot be decisive (and have the will to stand athwart the spending spree and yell "STOP") then we will have made a mistake. Our next senator must also have the ability to clearly articulate to us why the decision was made. It is not enough to read some boilerplate statement or to say "trust me." We must be looked in the eye and convinced that each choice was made to the betterment of the Republic and the people of Texas. That senator must also act to protect the liberty and freedom of the people. Those acts might not always be positive, and a spine of steel would be a welcome relief to me, at least.
Finally, our new senator must be anchored in the conservative ideology. I will spend more time in a following post arguing why this is a good thing, but I will leave you with this. I have heard a lot about the benefits of pragmatism in the last few weeks. Pundits say that people do not worry about ideology, but what works. I say this is dangerous. Fascism "worked." National Socialism (ie Nazi) "worked." These pragmatic approaches to government proved very effective in some instances. But in fact they were also fantastically destructive to life and liberty. We should not be ashamed to elect someone who is dedicated to limiting the federal government, maximizing personal liberty and individual rights, and protecting the lives of all citizens.
If you like what you are reading, send it to a friend. If you really like what you are reading, send it to the county GOP. Demand a good candidate, you deserve no less.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Growing Maturity

For those of you reading the whole blog, I ask you to look for my arguments to mature. It has been several years since I wrote anything, and I think you will be pleased with the change of perspective.

A great opportunity

The citizens of Texas can seize a grand opportunity in the following year. The gubernatorial ambitions of Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson will open the possibility to install a new senator in Washington that could have immediate and long lasting impact on your daily lives. If you have any doubt about the old maxim that "elections have consequences," then you have no further to look than the $800 billion legislative bill that is about to be enacted into law. The momentum of the Republican party began to slide during the 2006 election cycle, and the momentum swung to the Democratic side during 2008. The next few years will prove to be crucial, and you must be completely aware of the character and voting preferences of the (possible) next representative in the senior house of Congress. I am writing a series of essays to make my case that the time has come for some revolutionary thinking when picking your next Senator.
I cannot begin to describe how important this possible senatorial election will be. The democratic party currently has a 59 vote majority caucus in the Senate. As you have seen, they are able to persuade certain republican senators to cross party lines and vote with them to enable a cloture vote. Some of you reading this piece may think that 59 is close enough to 60, so why bother? The answer is that to legislate is to compromise, and to compromise is to persuade. Like it or not, the majority party persuaded enough minority votes to enable the passage of an enormous bill. If the next senator from Texas decides to caucus with the current majority, then the majority will have 60 guaranteed votes. This will mean that every bill sponsored by the majority will be able to pass with no real opposition. Most of you will remember the news of the last several years (while the democrats were in the minority) filled with the minority party slowing, and even stopping, the passage of legislation and presidential appointments. When I was young and naive, I thought that the minority was blocking what the people wanted. As I have grown wiser, I understand that it is the responsibility of the majority to legislate, but to also consider the arguments of the minority. With a majority caucus of 60 in the Senate, the minority will not have the ability to debate, slow, and possibly filibuster legislation. It is critical that Texas not be the final vote to enable every cloture for the next several years.
The first question is, how do we slow the momentum of the democratic party? We must field a candidate that can defeat the current advantage of the democratic party. Although Texas was still red after the 2008 presidential election, it could possibly slip to a very deep purple if we do not field an exciting candidate for the special election. We must also not forget that the winner of this special election will be an incumbent in 2012. Barring a complete reformation of the Congress in 2010 during the mid-term elections, the Senate will really be in play at the same time as the presidential election. We must also retake the "change" theme from the democrats. This is best done with a certain amount of political judo. If change does not come from Washington, but to Washington, then perhaps we should strive to look outside of the traditional candidates. Republican party members will complain about a lack of experience of a fresh candidate. But the senate is not the executive branch; it is legislating and not governing. The Framers of the Constitution thought that a person that had reached 30 years had enough judgment to be a senator. Why do republicans and conservatives artificially confuse age with reliability and judgment?
Hopefully you agree with what I have written. I will be writing more in the coming weeks on other topics. Other themes that I will be addressing include: qualities you should look for in your next senator, being wary of pragmatism and embracing "evil" ideology, the compatibility of conservative ideology with populist results, hero worship of public servants as antithetical to the democratic republic, federal spending, and the necessary pain of paying taxes. Thanks for your time and consideration.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Tell me sweet little lies.


Just got back from outside. I was finishing up a nice cigar and sipping some decent Johnnie Walker Red. It's been raining pretty hard for the last few days and decided to slack off a bit tonight. That being said, the Kneeling Drunkard has some more drinking left to do and needs to get this post out of the way.
My last post left off with a good question. Why do we accept such deplorable behavior from our politicians? The answer is easy. They give us money. Well, not exactly give us money, more like give us our money back. Money that is held from our paychecks. We will forgive anyone if they bribe us with enough money. And that is exactly what goes on with every district. Pork spending has had some renewed coverage of late. The electorate is outraged at spending lines that other congressmen put into budgetary bills. But when it gets to their district, well, that money is completely justified dammit.
This isn't my longest or strongest post, but I'm tired and angry, and let's face it, ready to get the hell off the Rock. Since the Big Kahuna guarantees a democratic republic, each citizen is granted the right to vote for a representative. You get the guy who gets the most votes, usually the guy who lies the best during his campaign. And then he is going to give you what you deserve; good and hard. The responsibility lies with the electorate to send the man with the most integrity to DC. Otherwise you will not get leadership. You will get pandering.
And if you give a damn about what the Kneeling Drunkard thinks here is what you need to look for in a pol:
1. Never vote for a guy who promises you ANYTHING on the campaign trail. He is just setting himself to break his word or buy you off with pork projects.
2. Look for the guy who says that he doesn't want to spend a career in office. 6-12 years is long enough to get something done and still remember where you came from.
3. Vote for Hemingway instead of Shakespeare. A man that can answer a yes or no question with a yes or no is rare.
4. Avoid voting for a politician for the House. 6-12 years up there will make him one.
5. Don't vote for someone who smiles too much.
6. Don't send politicians to the Senate. Send leaders. That job is too important to leave to amateurs.
7. Don't vote for anyone who is for tax cuts if they are not for spending cuts.
8. Don't vote for anyone who is for raising taxes if they are not for spending cuts.
9. Don't vote for anyone who is not for spending cuts.
10. Vote for the man that brings solutions and leadership that don't expand the size of the government.

Remember, those who control the money and the ability to raise money have the power. Guess where that authority resides?

Monday, May 29, 2006

Somebody go get the grownups...


I've had the dubious pleasure of getting to watch the US Legislature from a foreign land these last few months. Barring a little side trip to the Republic of Korea, I've had ready access to the news. Here are a few things that I have noticed:
1. Since when did a criminal investigation become a Separation of Powers issue? Last time I read the Big Kahuna there was something else called "checks and balances." Something about pitting the powers of each branch against each other so that one branch could not be checked by another branch, but by a union of the other two. The FBI (an office of the Executive) having a warrant (administered by the Judiciary) seems to trump the privacy of a congressman's office space.
2. Something is only impossible to do when it is politically hard. Sending the Armed Forces halfway around the globe for months at a time (MULTIPLE TIMES) is difficult. When the strain of these deployments is brought up to the government, they get a pained look on their face and assure us that it is very difficult. "The deployments are causing many hardships to the Armed Services. But the job must be done. No we are not just using these personnel as if they are expendable. They have performed magnificently and continue to accomplish harder and harder missions that we assign them." Sounds good right? Why is it so hard to secure the border? Are we asking too much of the border patrol? The police and federal law enforcement agencies?
3. The remoteness of a politician is equal to the product of the level of office multiplied by the number of reelections, squared. Does anyone remember anyone having a problem with sleep driving? Not falling asleep at the wheel, which I can write another post about (but I digress), but going to bed and then waking up behind the wheel thinking that you are late for a vote on the Hill. I've heard of some strange stories to get out of a DWI before, but not one to top that. Should have just claimed he was Irish and a Kennedy. That would have at least lent some credibility to his story.
4. I have to get another drink, hold on...
5. I seem to have garnered a reputation around the workplace of being some sort of wild man. Several of my junior co-workers hang around just to see what happens next. Doesn't help when my boss brings me whiskey and cigars. That being said, I'm finishing off a fifth of Glenfiddich that he gave me. It's the first good scotch I've had on the Rock. God bless that man.
6. Where was I? Oh yes. I want to be elected to the House of Representatives because of all the power that I would have. I could behave like a cave man (which I do now and have become accustomed) and it would be my RIGHT. I would be above the law. I wouldn't have to stop at metal detectors like I do now. Nothing is better than returning home from Iraq and getting searched to make sure I'm not a terrorist. Nothing is better than having three tours in Iraq and getting singled out for a search every time I get on a plane. If I was in the House, NEVER AGAIN. And I could start drinking and driving and just have the Capital Police take me home. Because everyone would know who I am. I'm going to taper off now because I am starting to sound more shrill than logical.

So what is my point? Why do I keep asking rhetorical questions? I cannot remember the last time I looked at the House (and to a lesser degree, the Senate) and thought "Where do we get such learned and respectable people such as these?" It's really getting frustrating folks. When I was a child I was taught that being a man had great rewards and great responsibility. One had to be a man and put away childish things. Responsibility and accountability were drilled in my head (thanks mom and dad). The same were drilled in by the Marine Corps. Why do we accept behavior from our leaders that we would not accept from the police, the military, or our children? I'll tell you that one tomorrow, and you won't like it...

On a lighter note, here is a pic of me and one of my best friends, Kelvin Sherman. I'm the better looking one.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Hard Logic, Difficult Choices

For those of you who are just starting to read this blog, I would ask that you read my Apostasy post before reading this one. Seems that Islamic Jihad has claimed responsibility for the bombing in Tel Aviv. The Hamas led government of the PLA has deemed this bombing as a legitimate act of resistance.
So let me start connecting the dots here for those of you who are a little skiddish:
1. The people of Palestine democratically elected a national government.
2. That government is comprised of a terrorist organization (Hamas) that is dedicated to the destruction of Israel.
3. Hamas has judged an act of terrorism to be a legitimate act of hostility.
4. A legitimate act of hostility implies government consent and support.
5. A legitimate act of hostility with government consent and support is an act of war.
6. Hamas, and the Palestinian people by their vote, have committed an act of war (not terrorism) against Israel.
Now this opens up some really interesting possibilities for the Israelis. All government officials are now belligerents. A state of war can now exist instead of some quasi counter-insurgency. The real question is directed towards the US. Do we continue to sit on the fence of the clash of civilizations? I say we pick a side and see it through to the bitter end. Israel represents the western promise of the Middle East. Palestine and Iran represent the Arab pathos that will use every opportunity to destroy the west. We must use every scrap of logic left to us to counter the threat from the east. They can westernize or isolate themselves from the rest of the world. They must not be allowed to make their claim for our destruction credible. The clash is coming. We can hide our heads in the sand and pretend that the war in Iraq and Afghanistan is bringing moderation, or we can face it head on. They are willing to die for their way of life. We are willing to die for ours. But are we willing to kill in such quantities to defeat them?

Monday, April 10, 2006

Laffer Curve

I'm a big fan of National Review and the online website. If any of you get the chance to go there and look around, you can see why I like it. They speak my language. Anyway, there was an article in the magazine a few issues back that had the Laffer Curve. The gist of it is that as the tax rate is lowered in proportion to the amount of income of the individual taxpayer and business then the total amount of tax revenues increases. Taxing a man at a lesser percentage makes him more productive, and increases the total amount of money he contributes. That baffles liberals (and I mean the tax and spend kind, not "the government can have my money when they pry it out of my cold dead hands" types) and is a great issue for Republicans.
Notice that I said Republicans there and not conservatives. One of the principles of conservatism is limited government. More money in the coffers of the legislature does not limit government. President Reagan was a believer in the Curve and used it as a basis for his revival of the economy. The only thing is, President Reagan actually cut the growth of the federal government.
My recommendation would be to set the tax rate at the optimal angle on the curve. That would put the lowest tax rate in relation to the amount of money being collected. Next would be setting out the federal budget and then cutting it by ten percent. We don't need to slash too much the first year, just enough to make the Democrats howl. Then we would promise that it is just a one time thing and that it is not a sign of a slippery slope of cutting entitlement spending (wink). Now take the tax revenues and subtract the cost of the yearly budget. Less the 10% and the additional income from the Laffer Curve, then we would have a surplus. That surplus would then be used to pay down the national debt. Normal people have to live within their means and pay the bills, Congress should be held to the same standard.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Apostasy


Now I know that most of you probably think that I am going to talk about the Afghan Christian convert, but I'm not. I'm the apostate here. Let me tell you why.
Sorry, I need to go get a drink first...
Okay, here we go. Terrorism is a legitimate act and should be seen as a lawful act of hostility. I can see several of you out there throwing things at the screen or shaking your head. What in the HELL has got into him? I shall explain. Right now we have terrorism defined as something between a violation of the law of armed conflict and an actual criminal enterprise. That is why it is so hard to defeat terrorism. Most terrorists operate as trans-national entities and have nothing to do with the sovereignty of the nations that they operate from. Well, that is not quite correct. The governments either openly support terrorism, are complicit with it, or abandon territory to create ungoverned spaces. But most governments are not specifically tied into a trans-national organization like the Taliban was. So we have a huge problem with out new Long War.
Most Americans are so dulled to the use of the word WAR that they don't have any idea of what it entails. We have the WAR ON POVERTY, WAR ON DRUGS, WAR ON CANCER, and now we have the WAR ON TERRORISM. Now I'm not going into the whole "words have meaning" rant that I normally go into when the WAR ON TERRORISM is mentioned, but here is a little taste: How can you have a war without a sovereign nation on the other end? WAR in this country has come to mean throwing men and money at the problem and hoping that it goes away. Better we call it the WAR ON ISLAMOFASCISTS or the WAR ON RADICAL MUSLIMS. But here is how we wrap our national security strategy around the whole problem without harming anyone's fragile feelings: Make terrorism a legitimate act of the law of armed conflict.
Now we have to do some serious groundwork before we put this rule into effect. One of the things that I don't think that the State Department does very well is deliver the message that the US in "No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy". Either countries begin to fully cooperate with us in our LONG WAR and reap the economic benefit of the American market, OR they can choose to not cooperate fully. The price for not playing ball will be the declaration that the US now considers the countries that openly support, are complicit with, or abandon territory to trans-national terror organizations as endorsing those organizations as legitimate entities of the government. Since trans-national terror organizations operating from countries are now seen as legal entities of the government, then that must mean that the national government supports terrorism as foreign policy. And since terrorism is now a legal act of war (thanks to the efforts of the kneeling drunkard), we now have a nation-state that has committed an act of war against the US. THEN we can have a straight gunfight with another nation, remove the government, and leave with clear consciences.
Don't be too hasty to brush this idea off. Most of the tin pot heads of state that we have to deal with only crave the power of their position. There is no altruistic compulsion on their part. They want to stay in power, and if they don't do everything in their power to keep the bad guys from committing acts of terrorism, the US comes in and cleans house. They can invite us in and seek our help at any time, but if they don't produce results, well, we'll get the coup out the way so the next guy can try. We really have to seek out ways to keep the legal and moral arguments away from the terrorists. Give them every right as every other criminal defendant when caught in an act of war and try him as a citizen of the United States. We can be magnanimous. Because Bubba and Tyree will make sure that Akmed is taken care of in the pen.