Thursday, February 28, 2008

Laffer Curve - YouTube Style

Fire of Liberty

Here parts 1 and 2 of a three part series on the Laffer Curve, which shows how the lowering of marginal tax rates has an stimulating effect on the economy. Maybe more folks in the White House and on Capitol Hill should take a gander at the miracle that this simple economic theory(developed on a napkin around the late seventies and early eighties by Art Laffer and championed by WFB Jr., Ronald Reagan, Jack Kemp, Phil Gramm, and many others) has wrought and will bring about rather than doling out some checks that have no stimulating effect on the economy.

Part 1

Part 2

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Conversation on Conservatism

Fire of Liberty

Here's a great conversation on conservatism between William F Buckley and Kenneth Minogue.

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

A Great Debate

Fire of Liberty

Here's a debate between William F Buckley Jr. and Noam Chomsky on an 1969 episode of "Firing Line."

Part Two

WFB Jr. on Charlie Rose Show

Fire of Liberty

Here's a great interview of William F Buckley Jr. on The Charlie Rose Show:

William F Buckley Jr., RIP

Fire of Liberty

As a conservative, my heart is saddened with the passing of William F Buckley Jr. this morning. My deepest sympathies go out to the family and friends of this great man. I'm somewhat saddened that want be around to inform and pontificate on the important issues of the day, but as with life you're valued on what you have done and the impact it has had on others. I believe Buckley will be missed but not forgotten due to the plethora of work, which included the writing of some 40 books, the establishment of National Review(still running strong since 1955), his long running syndicated column, a run for mayor of New York, and his hosting of Firing Line(one of the longest serving program on TV), and countless debates and speeches. All in all, the conservative movement(As well as America) has lost one of its greats and it would be in our best if we took some time and reflect on his contributions and how the ideas and arguments that he put forward in his works are still essential and needed even more within conservatism. So Rest in Peace dear soul and enjoy your stay in Heaven.

For more on William F Buckley Jr., see below:

From the folks of National Review see here.

Also see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

John Adams - HBO - March 16 - April 20

Fire of Liberty

As a great fan of the many wonderful history books of David McCullough and past work of actor/director Tom Hanks, I'm really psyched about the collaboration of these two greats in the upcoming HBO mini-series "John Adams"(March 16 (8:00)). Though the series hasn't hit the TV screen yet, I've seen the previews and predict(I'm not claiming to be a TV critic, I know good things when I see them.) that this film adaptation on the biography of our second president will be a success much like "The Sopranos," "Rome," "The Wire," and "Band of Brothers" have been for HBO. Even more, this most recent interview of David McCullough in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review by Bill Steigerwald gives me confidence that the mini-series will be true to history and provide a great learning tool to the young people who are more prone to video rather than the written. Now as a bibliophile, I'm hoping that "John Adams" will prompt more people to go out and buy books on President Adams and various other Founding Fathers in an effort to learn more on the history of this great nation.(It worked similar on the subject of Greek history with the release of the movie "300".)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Mugabe's further descent in Hell.

Fire of Liberty

Here's a good piece over at TCS Daily from US Ambassador Richard Williamson, Special Envoy to Sudan, which notes how Robert Mugabe is taking the once fertile farmlands and cattle pastures into a greater circle of Hell and how the the neighboring states(South Africa), the US, and the world community in general needs to take notice and find a way to urge Mugabe to step aside. Now while I'm generally disinclined to members of the State Department and their diplomatic niceties, I have to say that we need more individuals like the Ambassador who are not afraid for calling folks like Mugabe thugs and pointing out the crimes and horrors that he has done. I salute folks like Ambassador Williamson and hope there are more like him in certain corners of the State Department.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Chalk one more up for National Missile Defense

Fire of Liberty

With tonight's successful destruction of the dying satellite via an ballistic missile launched from the USS Lake Erie, an Aegis class destroyer, the Pentagon will garner more supporters up on Capitol Hill for greater funding and implementation of a national missile defense.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Obama's Thoughts on Guns

Fire of Liberty

This bit of info on Obama's record and stance with regards to guns/gun control will not endear the Blue-Dog Democrats and other pro-gun supporters of the South(Sen. Webb of Virginia), West(Sen. John Tester of Montana), and Northwest(Most of the folks in New Hampshire) and other rural regions of this nation.

Fissures in Mt. Obama

Fire of Liberty

For a long time now I've been paying attention to the various speeches by Senator Obama and I have to say that he's a good rhetorician and creates some positive energy with the crowds, but when you boil down the flowery language and platitudes of the junior senator from Illinois you discover that there isn't much there, but warmed over ideas dating back to FDR. Now while the Democrats and the MSM are all giddy about the continued success of Senator Obama in the primaries(As well as various caucuses) and his presumed coronation as the next Democratic nominee for President, I would warn them that a large segment of the American public will be turned off from his positive and idealistic approach when they discover his extreme liberalism. One only has to look at this piece from National Journal(Which is generally seen as a center left publication) and discover this fact about his voting record since 2004. I fact, there are several columnists/pundits in the MSM who have discovered some fissures in the stone known as Obama and are discovering that there isn't much there or at least something a little frightening about what direction this country could move with regards to his policies. Amongst the best pieces I've seen that have discovered such fissures in Obama is Robert Samuelson's "The Obama Delusion," David Brooks' "When the magic fades," and Charles Krauthammer's "Obama, the Platitude Salesman." Though the Obama train is gaining speed and heading to the convention center for a Presidential bid and the added bonus of the White House(With the help of the MSM), I believe that this information on Obama will be very helpful when the general election gets under hand. As a conservative I'm not so happy about the prospects of John McCain being the next GOP's candidate for 2008(And will need some convincing on the Senator's behalf), but it sure beats handing the White House, our security and future Supreme Court picks to another Clinton or an wet behind the ears liberal like Senator Obama. In fact, I believe Daniel Oliver, chairman for the Federal Trade Commission under Reagan, summed up the decision conservatives have to make between Obama and McCain when he pointed an editorial from National Review in which the conservative journal endorsed Nixon over George McGovern in 1972(Nixon wasn't a conservative and was written off by National Review before the nod went to McGovern) in which the editors noted the following:
“There are those, including some of our colleagues, who believe that four years of McGovern would catalyze a recrudescent conservatism. We disagree that the chance is worth taking. McGovern is the erector set of big-think intellectuals, otherworldly dreamers, and children. Belloc warned that dangerous toys should not be given to little boys.”
I for one am aware of the physical and fiscal dangers that face this nation and I'm not willing to risk the lives and future of my niece and nephew in the hands of an individual who would rather negotiate with our enemies and tax and spend this nation and future generations of money to fulfill Ted Kennedy's wildest pipe-dreams. McCain isn't my favorite but I'll have a greater opportunity of seeing the continuation of conservative ideas under his helm than under Obama or Clinton.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Kosovo Bear Trap

Fire of Liberty

While a lot of folks in the MSM are ecstatic about Kosovo declaring its independence from Serbia and claiming itself an sovereign nation, I'm somewhat disinclined about this abrupt and somewhat provocative move of of the leadership and people of Kosovo. Now I'm all for folks living in their own nation under a common identity, but believe that such a move, especially in an tinder-box like the Balkans, is something that should be done gradual in an effort to allow a impoverished, and inexperienced area and people time to transition from a wholly owned area of Yugoslavia(Serbia) to a independent nation with all the rights granted to a nation. As an admirer of Russell Kirk, Edmund Burke, and the Founding Fathers, I have to say that its in the best interest of the people in Kosovo and the region is for them to take a more conservative approach to the situation by laying out a gradual plan of transition rather than making such an abrupt decision like they did this past weekend. I have to say the best thoughts and arguments I've read so far on the subject of Kosovo is this op/ed in the Washington Times by John Bolton, Lawrence Eagleburger, and Peter W. Rodman, which note that the folks of Kosovo and the United States should be very cautious with regards to sparking more ethnic flare-ups in the Balkans, angering Serbia with its highly temperamental patron Russian, as well as the safety of people in Kosovo(As well as to our nation, being we defended them.) by declaring nationhood. Maybe the politicians in Kosovo should have read this piece prior to announcing independence and maybe they could have prevented various acts of violence that sparked up or Serbia's actions, which included recalling its ambassador from the US. From reading the news, I would conclude that we'll see more problems in the Balkans in the near future.

*Here's Victor Davis Hanson, historian and professor of the classics, take on Kosovo and how things have changed and become more complicated in the region since 1998/99.

*+ Anne Applebaum has a good column in the Washington Post that points out how Kosovo's declaration of independence from Serbia will create further problems throughout Europe because it will prompt peoples of differing ethnicities into forming their own "republics" by declaring independence. (One can only guess what kind of problems coming down the pike in the near future.)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

DHS mishaps

Fire of Liberty

Here's an interesting editorial from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that notes that the Department of Homeland Security is going to allow tens of thousands of immigrants to stay in this country even though they have not cleared the various security and criminal background check which began six months ago. Now while I'm no expert in security matters let alone the day to day operations of the FBI and DHS, I've got to scratch my head at the asinine decision to let so many people be granted the privilege of living here even though they could have a criminal past or pose a dire security threat to this nation. So instead of offering up some new programs under "comprehensive immigration reform," maybe we should bring about some reform by enforcing the laws and procedures on the books and clean away the bureaucratic nonsense at DHS that allows so decisions to be made in the first place. I just hope that such matters are fixed before soon or we could see a recurrence of the lapses in security like we saw on September 11th. Here's hoping things get better soon rather than later.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Mugniyah goes Boom!!!

Fire of Liberty

Since the 1983 bombing of the US Marine barracks,the subsequent attack on our embassy in war torn Lebanon, the murder of Navy diver Robert Stethem, and the torture a killing of CIA station chief William Buckley, the US government as well as the family and friends of these brave souls have waited some twenty-five years for news on the capture or death of Imad Mugniyah. Well finally the much awaited end of this terrorist mastermind came about Tuesday night when his SUV was blown to bits in the streets of Damascus, Syria by a hidden bomb. Aside from the poetic justice of Mugniyah falling prey to an exploding vehicle, the death of the terror king(somewhat marginalized by Osama, but still dangerous none the less.) is a reassuring sign that all terrorists eventually receive their comeuppance and have to always watch their back. Even more, the death of a wanted terrorist and senior officer in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps in Iranian friendly Syria must have the terrorist masters and actors fearful of how safe they really are from outside or internal forces. Though it's a far cry from the proper justice due to his victims and survivors, we've got to take such victories anyway we can. So while no-one has come forward in claiming the death of Mugniyah, I offer my hearty thanks to their craftwork.

For more on the demise of Imad Mugniyah see here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Cultural Suicide: European Style

Fire of Liberty

In the last four years there have been a plethora of books published(see here, here, here, here, and here) which note the ever increasing demise of Europe and the West in general by a massive onslaught of immigrants from Northern Africa, Southern Asia, as well as the Middle East into an established society that does nothing to forestall the fact. While the bevy of the immigrants who settle down in Europe are Muslim and are merely searching for greater opportunities, they fail to shuck off the culture and laws of their old nation and embrace the language, laws, and culture of their new home thus eventually turning the nations of Europe into a reflection of the homeland they left behind. Now if you take into account the fertility rate of these new immigrants and compare it to the almost fertile population of the native born Europeans(multi-generational Europeans or non-Muslim) , it's easy to conclude that the great scholar Bernard Lewis is right when he pointed out in his various books, op/eds, and speeches that the nations of Europe will be mostly Muslim by the end of this century. One can easily understand how a civilization can become extinct or destroy itself from within when its national born citizens are so high on having a welfare state and massive benefits that they will forgo reproducing enough children to foot the bill(as well as carry on their heritage, culture, laws, and language) that they are willing to allow a ton of immigrants, without an aggressive assimilation program, to come in and do the work thus providing the taxes needed to keep the natives in a life of luxury.

To make matters worse, the original inhabitants of these nations are electing politicians or allowing unelected bureaucrats to devise and enact laws that allows the newly arrived immigrants to retain the ways of their old country by allowing Muslim men to have multiple wives, dual-language education, balkanization of the ancient neighborhoods, and in some extremes even advocating the imposition of sharia law(see here and here) over Common(the UK) and Civil(most of Europe) law thus allowing the further erosion of Western Civilization under the guise of "multiculturalism." All of these actions are slowly but surely turning Europe as well as the UK into a decrepit society much like Gibbon described in his masterful work The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. One can guess the pleasure that Osama bin Laden and his ilk are having as they watch the cultural suicide of Europe and the reconquest of the Ummah via stealth. People might laugh but demographics is a great predictor of things to come.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Tomorrow is Another Day

Fire of Liberty

I'd have to say that the my lofty optimism about Romney pulling off some surprising victories in some unexpected states has been knocked down a few pegs by the results of Super Tuesday. Now while I'm not giving up on Romney, I believe that the Governor is approaching some very big mountains that might be too hard to surmount especially with the powers that be in the media and the GOP establishment(conservatives are still fighting with the entrenched Ford/Rockefeller moderates of the party) are working tooth and nail to crown McCain the GOP nominee. I guess we should sit back, take a breath, and recite "tomorrow is another day." Here's wishing luck to Governor Romney.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Romney is Gaining Some Momentum for Super Tuesday

Fire of Liberty

I was looking over the various polls for the Republican primaries for Super Tuesday and have noticed that Romney is gaining in states like GA, TN, MO, and tied or even leading in the great prize of California and Colorado. Here's a look:

Rausmussen Reports shows the following:


Romney - 38
McCain - 38
Huckabee - 10


Romney - 29
McCain - 31
Huckabee - 28


Romney - 28
McCain - 32
Huckabee - 29


Romney - 29
McCain - 32
Huckabee - 23

Insider Advantage shows the following:


Romney - 30.1
McCain - 28.9
Huckabee - 27.9

Reuters/C-Span/Zogby shows the following:


Romney - 40
McCain - 32
Huckabee - 12

Denver Post shows the following::


Romney - 43
McCain - 24
Huckabee - 17

Now while these poll numbers are mere representations of what the people answering the questions were thinking at the moment of the poll and might not be the thoughts they have when they enter the voting booth, these numbers should provide some confidence in team Romney as the campaign for Super Tuesday.

Polar Bears, Who Knew?

Fire of Liberty

Bill Steigerwald, associate editor of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review editorial board, has a great column out today that uses comedy(mixed with facts) as a way to take down the global warming alarmists and their current efforts to use polar bears as their new recruitment tool. Here's a look:

"I bet there weren't 8,000 of us left in the whole Arctic in 1970. Now that we're protected, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service estimates we're up to 25,000 -- though 60 percent of us live in Canada, those hosers."

"I'd rather take my chances with hunters than put up with this darn population explosion," said papa polar bear. "You can't go 20 miles without bumping into a mother and her spoiled cubs. Go into town for a little Dumpster diving, and it's so crowded you gotta take a number."

"Quit griping, son," said grandpa polar bear. "Our species has finally hit the jackpot. Humans were our only enemy. Now we're the official mascots of the climate-change industrial complex. We're as charismatic as whales. We've got lobbyists all over Washington."

"It won't last," said papa polar bear. "Wait till everyone finds out the ice cap naturally gets thinner or thicker all the time. Wait till they all realize we can swim 30 miles before breakfast. Wait till they see two-thirds of us haven't died by 2050 because of a little global warming.

"But what if '60 Minutes' turns on us and catches us eating baby seals?" asked mama polar bear.

"Don't be such alarmists," said grandpa polar bear. "Al Gore will never let it happen.

"The mainstream media, politicians and school kids have been completely suckered. We're apex victims of modern mankind. Senators from New Jersey are working to put us on the Endangered Species list. Congress is talking about doing a study to make sure we won't be hurt before they allow those new oil and gas leases to be auctioned in the Chuckchi Sea. It's only a matter of time before we get Pell Grants for polar bears.

"So stop worrying, kids," said grandpa polar bear, slipping off the ice floe for a little five mile swim. "We've never had it so good."

I've got to say that Steigerwald has a good way of turning down the climate hysteria posed by Al Gore and his "Green Team" friends and putting the current state of these furry mammals in its proper context. Now if it takes a imaginary conversation via a family of polar bears, then so be it.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

More Good News for Romney

Fire of Liberty

Though the media is stuck on Super Bowl talk and having a gab-fest about Hillary, Obama, and McCain being the next nominee for their respected parties, Governor Romney has score yet another victory by winning the Main caucuses this evening. Now winning Maine is a far cry from winning the big states this Tuesday, but could be the beginning of a wave of momentum for the Governor. Carry on Mitt, Carry On!!!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Illegal Immigration's Impact on the US

Fire of Liberty

As I tuned into CNN late last night, I came across a question, submitted by E-Mail, that asked the candidates why they could support a policy that advocated more open borders thus allowing a greater influx of immigrants that take away jobs from the blacks in California and other regions in this nation. While the question has become a great concern for the black community in the nation, Hillary and Obama batted away the question by rattling off some "Rainbow Coalition" talk about being all inclusive and some lukewarm talk about securing our borders. Though most politicians will generally answer the same way, with fear of garnering the wrath of LA Raza or losing the Hispanic/Latino votes come Super Tuesday or the general election, voters, much like the one who submitted the question last night, are on to something when they voice their concern about losing jobs to this influx of illegal immigrants. Someone who has taken time to weed through the Democrats obstructions on this issue is Steven Malanga, senior editor of City Journal and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, who has has written a wonderful piece in the Winter 2008 issue of City Journal that points out how the cavalcade of illegal immigrants is indeed taking away precious jobs from the black community and transforming their neighborhoods into non-assimilated Spanish speaking barrios throughout the nation. So while the Obama, Clinton, and McCain might think that they can "whistle past the graveyard" by ignoring this aspect of their open borders proposals, they threaten to forever change the culture of this nation and lead us down a road of utter peril.

Interesting Info on Mexico

Fire of Liberty

As I was reading John McCaslin's January 31, 2008 "Inside the Beltway" column, I came across an interesting bit of information on how Mexico is developing into a dangerous war zone. Here's a look:

For safety's sake, the State Department recommends that Americans not travel to Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria and Somalia, among other nations. (Given that the Taliban is spreading its roots in Pakistan, you might think twice about a holiday there, too.)

Now we learn from Texas Rep. Ted Poe that the Texas Department of Public Safety this week issued its own travel warning: "Due to the increased rising level of violence in Mexico — which is attributed to drug cartels, violent criminal organizations, and increased presence of military personnel in some Mexican border communities — it is recommended that persons be discouraged from traveling to Mexican border towns ... Nuevo Laredo, Matamoros, Reynosa, Rio Bravo, Miguel Aleman, and Ciudad Juarez."

Meanwhile, U.S. Army officials at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, have actually declared travel to Juarez off-limits for U.S. military personnel.

"In other words," Mr. Poe, a Republican, points out, "Fort Bliss, the United States Army, they can go to Iraq, they can go to Afghanistan, but they can't go to Juarez right across the river because it is too dangerous."

While Hillary, Obama, and McCain might think that it's in their best interest to woo the Hispanic/Latino votes by advocating more open borders or a more "humane" immigration bill to secure the nomination in their respective parties, I believe that they should pay attention to this bit of news and various other accounts from Mexico and realize that such decisions might wreak far more harm on this country than what has occurred with the influx of some 12 million illegal aliens.

*Aside from the horrific violence that is occurring within Mexico between these cartels, there's a lot of documentation of an exponential growth of violence that has been inflicted on the state of California by the influx Latino gangs, which include native born and recent immigrants(Most likely illegals or members of the Mexican cartel expanding into the region.), into LA. To gather a greater understanding of such a growth in violence and terror, I highly recommend you go out and buy Tony Rafael's excellent book The Mexican Mafia.

Good News for Romney

Fire of Liberty

Here's a poll from WBZ, a CBS affiliate in Boston, which points out that Governor Romney is leading John McCain 57 percent to 34 percent in the state of Massachusetts for the upcoming Super Tuesday primary. Now I know that Massachusetts doesn't mean a lot in beating McCain for the nomination but such support is essential being that its Romney's home state.

A Call for Conservatives to Stand up to McCain on Super Tuesday

Fire of Liberty

After I watched various programs on Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC, it looks like the media and the Gerald Ford/Bob Dole branch of the GOP are pulling out all stops in an effort to crown John McCain as the party's pick in 2008. Now while the MSM and others would love to return to the days when they were king-maker by releasing polls (On Friday afternoon before the Super Bowl) that says McCain leads Romney by double digits and providing free face-time for the senior senator on the Sunday talk shows, I believe that the conservatives of America have a responsibility to make sure that the Republican party retains the conservative principles established by William F Buckley Jr., Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan and countless others by taking a stand and going to the voting booth and selecting Romney as your pick in the primary. Though the odds are great on the side of McCain (who has most of the established media and GOP politicians in D.C. on his side), conservatives should steel their reserves and stop the originator of McCain/Feingold (campaign finance reform), McCain/Kennedy(immigration reform), McCain/Lieberman(CO2 Cap and Trade) and countless other acts that are complete apostasies to the conservative movement. To get a further understanding of why the conservative movement should step up and shout "Stop!!!" in an effort to stop the media created juggernaut of John McCain, I recommend you read the following here, here, here, here, here, and here.