Saturday, August 15, 2009

Their Not Anti-American, They Just Hate America

At least one of the Marxists shown here is now our Secretary of State. Another is the President of the United States.

And now, Comrade Obama is our Dear Leader, and he wants to make our tax system "fair" and dictate to us, along with his socialist comrades, how we will receive our health care in the future. One of this man's best friends is a Communist terrorist, Bill Ayers-in whose home our Communist President launched his political career. Remember these things when you hear the Dear Leader blast his opponents and tell you about "hope" and "change."

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Let Me Tell A Story, I Can Tell It All...

Legendary NASCAR driver and former ridge runner Junior Johnson was on Strawberry Plains Pike Thursday at MC's Wine and Spirits autographing bottles of the new legal version of the family Recipe:

“It’s my dad’s recipe, and we took it and cleaned it up to where it’s not like it would be if you went into the woods (and made it),” the 78-year-old Johnson said. “We tripled-stilled it. It’s the cleanest product that’s on the market as far as moonshine or Jack Daniel’s goes. We can compete with anybody out there. It’s smooth, and it’s clean.”

Midnight Moon is produced by Piedmont Distillers in North Carolina, a company that Johnson now part owns.

Even though Junior Johnson's whiskey is produced in his home State of North Carolina, the story of this new product is a classic example of the kind of entrepreneurship Tennessee's new distillery law can-and very likely will-produce. I'm still baffled as to why Eddie Yokley thought it would be a good idea to exempt Cocke County from a law that could so clearly benefit a location with a rich moonshining heritage.

If you've ever had any real East Tennessee or Western North Carolina mountain dew, you know that these hills have produced some pretty good distillers that the world might never know about because they plied their trade by night to avoid the federal revenuers. That situation has been compounded by the reality that until relatively recently, virtually all of East Tennessee was dry as a bone. Hence, there was no way for the moonshiners to make their operations legal and really survive.

Making whiskey undercover in the mountains goes back to the Whiskey Rebellion, so the historical factor is great and can be used for tourist purposes. Most of all, however, if you are a whiskey connoisseur the new law allows time for things like triple-distillation to weed out the last impurities. The time and ability to use traditional distilling processes makes the best illegal whiskey in the world some of the finest spirits on the market. As for the State, it could use every penny of the tax revenue in these tough times.

As for me, I wish I had known about Junior Johnson's appearance yesterday when it happened.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Arrogance of the Left

Greg Johnson piggybacks on a USA Today piece on the so-called Obama health care "town hall" to remind us who the real grassroots activists are:

One side shows up in twos and threes with homemade signs after driving their personal vehicles for hours to make it to the meeting. The other is bused in with slick, store-bought signs paid for by Obama's perpetual campaign crew, Organizing for America. Hmmmm.... now which group is the real grassroots?

Some of our friends on the Left cannot fathom that the American people at-large disagree with their prescription for America. In the minds of these well-meaning folks, what they are seeing at town halls across America must be some sort of staged right wing plot. The President and those around him-from the major players in the White House staff to the Speaker of the House know that what we are seeing in these town hall meetings represents a popular uprising against the Congressional majority and the Democratic administration. Faced with socio-political humiliation, the Democratic Party is now reduced to calling the newly-motivated opposition a "mob," and they daily show that they are the ones who do not know how to respond to the sentiments of real voters.

A grassroots movement is not composed of hand-picked crowds and softball questioners. There are no made-for-political-posturing crowds at real town halls and Tea Parties. Over the Labor Day weekend, there will be yet another round of Tea Party protests at county courthouses and small town greens across the country. If the President or those closest to him are serious about extending the hand of conciliation to the opposition, rather than berate and dismiss us, it ought to be suggested that the leadership of the party opposite start listening to us. It might serve them well politically, but fortunately for Republicans, the President and his supporters appear to be too arrogant to know when they are losing a singular political fight. Arrogance always leads to political defeat and humiliation.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Shutting Up the Opposition

After the Department of Homeland Security issued a report this past April warning of the dangers of "right wing extremism," Americans for Limited Government filed a Freedom of Information Act request to find out just where Homeland Security got their information. What ALG discovered was that while a similar report on Leftist groups was filled with extensive field research, the report on conservative groups put much of the right-of-center internet world and blogosphere on the government's watch list:

"We expected to receive back some hard-core analysis, some data analysis, looking at crime statistics and current trends that would back up conclusions in the report," said Nathan Mehrens, a news contributor to Americans for Limited Government and a former Labor Department official.

"Instead what we got was a list of URLs to various Web sites, all kinds of news stories across the board," Mehrens told FOX News.

"What a good intelligent reporter would do is they would take that open-source intelligence information and they'd marry it to other things," said James Carafano, a national security expert at the Heritage Foundation. "They might look at a wide variety of statistical data from alcohol tobacco and firearms, FBI. So you look at crime data, arrest data, look at classified material and investigations.

But based on the Homeland Security response to the information request, so far, it doesn't look like that deeper analysis ever happened.

There doesn't appear to have been any deep analysis, because Homeland Security had a predetermined conclusion:

“Not a single study or report was from any government source,” said Wilson. “And again, there was no evidence of any actual active recruitment of ‘disgruntled veterans’ by these groups, no evidence showing that folks who purchase guns or oppose gun-control legislation are necessarily dangerous, and no evidence that the economic downturn or the election of Barack Obama that is fueling any actual ‘resurgence’ of ‘extremism.’”

“And now we know why,” Wilson added, explain, “The background DHS used was not based on credible intelligence sources, reporting, and analysis. Instead, what we found is that the Department was apparently surfing the net to see what news stories happened to turn up to support a pre-determined conclusion,” Wilson explained.

First came the report warning of the "resurgence" or "right wing extremism," then came the Democratic Speaker of the House calling those who protest and demand answers at town hall meetings "un-American and comparing us to Nazis. Then the President of the United States finally weighs in, declaring that his opposition should "stop talking." Literally, the President would like for us to shut up. We can see the direction in which this is already beginning to go.

I have long believed that I was on some sort of "list" which certain of the federal government would be compelled to examine if ever it were determined that people who speak out against the excesses and expanse of the federal government are "dangerous." Now I am certain of that reality, and I do not care in the least. The fact of the matter is that while our friends on the Left can run their mouths about "hope" and "change," their ideals are empty and so is their governance, so they must resort to dragging conservatives through the mud.

A word to these people: If you shut us up, I promise you that millions more will take our place.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"Civil" Opposition to Evil?

Rather than face their constituents like men and women, the Democrats are desperate enough to blame the American people, with Nancy Pelosi calling angry town hall protest participants "Un-American" and declaring them to be swastika-bearing Nazis. Note that these were the same lowlifes who spent the last eight years telling America that dissent is the highest form of patriotism. While I don't disagree with that premise, we now see that the neo-Communists of the national Democratic Party don't really believe that dissent equates to patriotism when the people are dissenting against their policies.

It is for this reason that I must confess to finding Lamar Alexander's reaction to some of our protesting brethren troubling:

Alexander signaled that he did not approve of the methods used by an audience that heckled and booed Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at an event in Philadelphia over the weekend.

On a personal level, I think very highly of Lamar and respect his desire for civil discourse. I know few people who do not wish for civility. What Lamar seems to think, however, is that out in the country it is somehow beneficial to behave as though we are in the chambers of the United States Senate. Lamar Alexander has not yet grasped that this debate is not about mere politics. This health care plan, if passed, will essentially force taxpayer funding of aborticide. The quasi-socialized system could cause the elderly, the disabled, and the chronically ill to be denied care. Some may be encouraged to enter palliative care before it might otherwise be time. All of these things are bad, and the taxpayer funding of aborticide is reason enough to reject the entire proposal. The truth of the matter is that this health care proposal, combined with the President's other major policies, represent a very pure form of evil that has come to us directly out of the very pit of Hell.

The people are beginning to understand just how devious these proposals are, and they are riled up. The Democratic leadership are afraid of the public reaction because it will show the general population that their plans are not being universally accepted, but are being actively opposed. When you are opposing something that is-for all intents and purposes-intrinsically evil, you don't sing Kumbuya with the opposition while saying "this is bad." It sends the signal that you are tolerating an intrinsic wickedness, when you have a moral duty to oppose it with every fiber of your very being.

The matters at hand presently before the country are not mere issues of political debate, but are literally questions of good vs. evil, on which there can be no fence-sitting or middle ground. Evil must be opposed by every morally acceptable means possible, and then when the evil is defeated, we can discuss "civil" political discourse.

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Temptations On the Plaza

An Associated Press story says what many of us already knew-that temptations to "stray," or engage in professionally inappropriate behavior, are very high up at the Legislative Plaza:

Tennessee lawmakers say the recently exposed illicit relationship of a state senator highlights the temptations that exist on Capitol Hill.

Paul Stanley, a Republican from Germantown, resigned after court documents revealed he admitted to investigators that he'd had an affair with his 22-year-old intern, McKensie Morrison, and acknowledged taking explicit photos of her in his Nashville apartment.

"I tell you, you have to build your defenses against that," said Floyd, R-Chattanooga. "You just cannot place yourself to be in a position to be tempted."

"Opportunity is the problem," he said. "And you get to thinking the rules don't apply to you."

University of Virginia political science professor Larry Sabato believes politicians are born risk-takers who have a propensity to stray.

"The temptations are great," Sabato said. "You know power is an aphrodisiac. There are people who will throw themselves at elected officials. I've seen it happen. There are actually political groupies who do that."

I do not for a second believe that what happened to Paul Stanley or any number of other legislators of both parties is the fault of the woman involved-at least not solely. Even if someone is a "political groupie" who "throws themselves" at the powerful (and there are plenty of such people), elected officialdom have to allow themselves to be thrown at. Opportunity for this sort of thing is abundant on the Hill, and the offenders are bipartisan.

Up until now, the press and the party opposite has treated Paul Stanley's scandal as though it were some shocking incident that never happens in Nashville. The reality is that what happened to Paul Stanley is more common than any of the press pundits or anyone on the Hill cares to admit. No, that doesn't mean that inappropriate behavior between legislators and lobbyists, interns, or staff happens every day or all the time. Nor should saying that this behavior is "too common" be understood mean that most legislators have engaged in that kind of conduct or condone it.

What it does mean is that in a professional environment where the public business is conducted, there is enough "extracurricular activity" that Paul Stanley's story isn't the least bit surprising. There are those placing Stanley under indictment because his public stands on family issues did not match his private conduct. Perfection isn't the issue, and neither is Paul Stanley's so-called hypocrisy. Stanley's affair has no bearing on whether Planned Barrenhood should be State-funded or whether the law should protect the traditional nuclear family as the principle means to rear children. As matters of law, those ideas uphold timeless principles that existed before Paul Stanley (or anyone else), and will be rooted in eternal truths long after such people are gone.

The real difficulty is that there are a few of our legislators (over the years I would say the number may seem high but really represents but a fraction of the General Assembly) who seem to regress in maturity when they are elected to the Legislature. It is a disease that has impacted members-usually men-of both parties and even a few folks who are otherwise admirable people who have made great efforts for their constituents. For some reason, the air, water, or something in the atmosphere at the Capitol causes some grown men to develop the hormones of a college freshman. One would hate to have to teach a class in office ethics and decorum to such people. When respected veteran lawmakers and astute political observers see a problem with the possibility of inappropriate relationships among some in our General Assembly, and it happens frequently enough, then something must be done to prevent the high honor of election to office from often becoming the low disgrace of "just another slimy politician."

Perfection isn't the issue-many legislators have unfortunately given to temptation. The real matter at hand is the ability of members to recall why they are at the Capitol to begin with. The best way to insure that your "private life" doesn't become part of the State's political life is to keep your private life well clear of the public sphere.

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Sunday, August 09, 2009

Humanae Vitae

What caused corruption and scandals in the Catholic Church involving our priests? Father John Corapi theorizes that the root of the problem in the modern era is the rejection of a certain 1968 Encyclical of Pope Paul VI.

Nicole and I were married six years ago today at Holy Cross Church in Pigeon Forge.

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Campfield In the 7th

State Rep. Stacey Campfield has officially announced that he will seek the Tennessee Senate seat in the 7th Senatorial District. This isn't a surprise announcement, but is a most welcome one. I am especially looking forward to helping Stacey in any way that I can.

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