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Now At The Podium



"If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism." - Ronald Reagan



Updated: 2015-09-17T02:04:56.512-04:00

 



Mega-Kudos to Team USA!

2010-02-19T13:05:13.340-05:00

After years of being "close" in the Winter Olympics, the Americans have been exceeding all expectations at this year's games in Vancouver. They currently lead the medal count with 18 so far (with 9 days left), and are 7 medals ahead of the number 2 nation, Germany.

This is a leapfrog over the performance in Torino 4 years ago, where the Americans finished 2nd behind Germany (29-25 overall). The United States Olympic team has placed better emphasis in Winter Games in recent decades, and the efforts are showing. Just to give you an idea...

Lake Placid, 1980: 12 medals (3rd place, but 10 medals away from 2nd place USSR, and 11 less than East Germany)
Sarajevo, 1984: 8 medals (tied for 5th place, winner was the USSR with 25 medals)
Calgary, 1988: 6 medals (tied for 6th place, winner was USSR with 28 medals)
Albertville, 1992: 11 medals (6th place, winner was Germany with 26 medals)
Lillehammer, 1994: 13 medals (tied for 5th place, winner was Norway with 26 medals)
Nagano, 1998: 13 medals (6th place, winner was Germany with 29 medals)
Salt Lake City, 2002: 34 medals (2nd place, winner was Germany with 36 medals)
Torino, 2006: 25 medals (2nd place, winner was Germany with 29 medals)

America has only won the overall medal count in the Winter Olympics once, at the 1932 games in Lake Placid. It's nice to see our athletes perform so well on an international stage in a venue that they haven't always been so successful.

On a related note, the Russian team, who predicted they would win 40 medals (including 9 golds), are currently well back with 4 total medals, and only 1 gold.

Go Team USA!!!



Ok, See, When I Warned the Tea Parties Yesterday, THIS is What I Meant!

2010-02-09T14:30:07.119-05:00

Apparently, the Tea Party activists are going after Ron Paul for not being "conservative enough." Although Paul has been supportive of the movement, he's been moving away from them recently because he feels the tone has been overly-antagonistic.

Ron Paul's 2008 Presidential bid is what was the catalyst for the Tea Party movement! I cannot stand for this, and I'm already going to endorse Ron Paul for re-election to his seat in the House of Representatives.

See, this is what happens when you don't stick to your fundamental principles because you attract the wrong kind of people. I'm so angry at this right now, I'm ready to tell the Tea Partiers to stop dumping the tea, and jump off the ship themselves.



An Objective View of the Tea Party Movement

2010-02-08T20:17:19.098-05:00

I'll preface this by saying that I've never attended a Tea Party demonstration. I do like the initial principles that were espoused by the Tea Party: limiting government, promoting free enterprise, and protecting individual freedom. I am skeptical about where this movement may be headed, given the philosophical predilictions of those who have jumped on board with the Tea Partiers in recent months.Anyway, I'm going to take a look at the Tea Party, where it can do a lot of good, and what it needs to do to avoid being "hijacked" by people who don't understand the true principles of the movement.Let's be real, here...the Tea Party Movement is too large to be considered a bunch of "fringe right-wing wingnuts". This movement is something that has appeal to conservatives, libertarians, and third-way/centrist Democrats who saw the prosperity that came with the 1990's and the continuation of non-expansionist government policy.There are those who think that it is a racist movement, since it is anti-Obama. I'm a bit tired of this rhetoric. As long as Obama is black, there will always be someone who claims any attempt to push back against his agenda is rooted in some kind of blatantly racist motive. Since Obama will always be black, there will always be someone who pulls the race card to discredit the push-back.While I'm sure there are those who may hold such sentiments within the movement (as there are in all political parties), it is an obviously small minority. There are too many people who favor the Tea Party principles that it isn't some kind of tiny fringe group who happen to make a lot of noise. Get over it, race-baiters, the Tea Party principles of good, limited government are more in line with Ron Paul than with Pat Robertson, despite what others may want you to think.While many may knock Sarah Palin, she said some things that many people across the majority of the political spectrum (except for dedicated "progressives"). In fact, I was watching MSNBC after Palin's speech, and they had the always-thinking Lionel talking about what Palin said. I do not remember who was hosting the post-speech commentary, but I know it was someone who was a part of the left (I think it was Ed Schultz, but I could be wrong). However, Lionel told the host that in Palin's speech "she said things that, if it wasn't Sarah Palin saying them, you would agree with."Palin's general stance on the fact that government should roll back it's size and scope is one that many, many people can agree with. Given Palin's populist appeal, she can be a lightning rod for the Tea Party Movement to push forward with more support.The movement (and using Palin as a lightning rod) is not without faults, though.First of all, the Tea Party Movement (in principle) should really have nothing to do with religion. However, using Palin as a lightning rod will naturally attract a lot of social conservatives. The same social conservatives who supported the Republicans who allowed government spending and budget deficits to expand on their watch for 6 years under George W. Bush. If we want to move in a different direction, we have to change fiscal thinking and reduce government's size and scope. This will require moving away from the social issues, as they are not part of the Tea Party's principles.There are those who want to push very "Christian" ideals in the Tea Party (I guess sensing an opportunity to "start over and get it right" in their opinion). Some of the ideas I've heard tossed around have involved pushing Christianity in schools (or "keeping God in school"). I've found this to be odd, because all through my 13 years of primary education, I only found "God" to be a part of school twice...once, in Kindergarten, at a Lutheran school...and the other in 8th grade, at a Catholic school. The rest of the time, I was in public school, and I don't remember there being a God to remove...so how can we put him back if he wasn't there in the first place?OK, obviously I was going for a little humor there, but the point is made. [...]



So That Was It?

2010-02-08T00:18:44.280-05:00

Saw the Focus on the Family ad with Tim Tebow...and the only thing I have to say is "that's it?"

All this uproar over that? Hell, I wouldn't have really had a clue as to the whole point of the commercial if I wasn't already expecting to see it. I actually missed the first few seconds of it because it was so nondescript in nature.

The ad seemed harmless enough to me. Didn't even really touch anything controversial, just highlighted the fact that Tim Tebow is a good guy and seems to love his mother. Unless there was something really controversial said in those first few seconds, I don't quite know why this ad was so controversial...unless the idea of giving a link to Focus On The Family's website is somehow subsersive and evil in and of itself.

Meh, seems like it was really much ado about nothing.

Oh yeah, and congrats to the Saints for winning the Super Bowl. A solid enough game that really had to wondering who would win until late in the 4th quarter. I know I enjoyed it.



India Pulls out of U.N. Climate Panel

2010-02-05T16:55:30.245-05:00

Ouch.

The nation of India has pulled out of the IPCC (Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change) due to the fact that they believe they can no longer rely on the data provided by the IPCC. I can believe it, given the recent disputes regarding the validity of the IPCC's study that basically amounted to Chicken Little-esque claims of a weather-related armageddon within the next few decades.

Instead, India has done what sovereign nations should do...they decided to do the research themselves. India's environment minister summed it up well, stating...

“There is a fine line between climate science and climate evangelism. I am for climate science. I think people misused [the] IPCC report, [the] IPCC doesn’t do the original research which is one of the weaknesses… they just take published literature and then they derive assessments, so we had goof-ups on Amazon forest, glaciers, snow peaks.

“I respect the IPCC but India is a very large country and cannot depend only on [the] IPCC and so we have launched the Indian Network on Comprehensive Climate Change Assessment (INCCA)”.

This should sting, not just because of the snubbing of data or the justified claims of because one of the lead scientists on the IPCC is from India.



The Decline of Civilized Society

2010-02-04T13:27:26.394-05:00

It's not coming from anything political. It's not coming from any kind of supervirus. It's not even going to be related to "climate change".

It will come because our future generations of leaders have lives are so devoid of meaning that you end up with things like this.

I shake my head and fear for my future if this is who will be running things when I am old and grey."



Freeman Says What Most Blacks Won't, and a Little History For You

2010-02-04T13:02:26.084-05:00

Morgan Freeman stated in a recent interview that he finds Black History Month to be "ridiculous". When asked how we can get rid of racism, he plainly stated "stop talking about it."As someone who can be classified as a "minority", I can agree with these sentiments. I do not need a special month dedicated to the history of my hispanic heritage (though there is one). I also find the concept ridiculous. History is history, and the history of blacks, whites, hispanics, and everyone else in America should be integrated into "American History", plain and simple.Speaking of Black History Month, here is a little history they don't teach you...Ever notice that S.B. Fuller is never mentioned in Black History text? Of course you didn't, because you probably don't know who Fuller is. Fuller, who lived from 1905-1988, was a notable black entrepreneur who founded Fuller Products Company, publisher of the New York Age and Pittsburgh Courier, head of the South Side Chicago NAACP (the same area Barack Obama represented in the Illinois State Senate), president of the National Negro Business League...and believed that it would be through capitalism, not government intervention and socialism, that black people would move ahead.See, Fuller rose from being a poor child in rural Louisiana who dropped out of school in the 6th grade, and built his wealth on an investment of $25 that he turned into millions over several years. Fuller believed that capitalism, if utilized by the black community, could lead to civil rights and equality a lot faster than if the government mandated it. Fuller believed capitalism is colorblind, stating "It doesn't make any difference about the color of an individual's skin. No one cares whether a cow is black, red, yellow, or brown. They want to know how much milk it can produce." Mind you, he made this statement in the 50's, when racism and segregation were still rampant.However, he made comments that angered the left-leaning black leaders at the time, which have blackballed Fuller from almost all Black History lessons.For instance, in 1963, when inducted into the National Association of Manufacturers (the first black to be inducted), he stated "a lack of understanding of the capitalist system and not racial barriers are keeping blacks from making progress." He also stated that "If the Negro had the amount of initiative, courage, and imagination required, he could control the retail selling in his own community. Since he represents 10 percent of the population of America today, he would be able to employe 1,065,000 people. There are 1,788,325 retail establishments in America and yet in New York City, where there are over 1,000,000 Negroes, they do not own over 15 businesses which employ over 10 people."Now, Fuller didn't state it there, but he did believe that discrimination did play a role as well. In U.S. News and World Report interview, he stated that "The Negroes have been free for 100 years. But, during that time, the white man has not told Negroes the truth. He has always taught the Negroes that they were at a disadvantage. He never told Negroes that they should do business for themselves, that they should clean up their own community and that they should accept community responsibility."(side note...don't we still use that term "disadvantaged" for minority youth in inner cities? Fuller believed this is not the method in which you empower minorities)In the same interview, Fuller also stated "Negroes are not discriminated against because of the color of their skin. They are discriminated against because they have not anything to offer that people want to buy."Fuller also used to talk about he wanted blacks to stop begging the white man with "a handful of gimmes and a mouthful of much obliged".Fuller's statements were meant as a wake-up call to blacks to start pooling their resources and go into business for themselves and empower t[...]



Snowpocalypse 2010

2010-02-04T17:24:13.864-05:00

The first reports have said "12-20 inches" from the National Weather Service. However, a little birdie has told me that VDOT is preparing for totals reaching 36-50 inches. Either they are overpreparing, or this thing is gonna be huge by the time it reaches us.

I saw record snowfall several years ago when 41 inches fell in my front yard and swallowed my yardstick (I had to go out and stick another ruler on top of where my yardstick was). However, that was a "straight snowfall", where the weather was cold and snowy, but nothing else.

I'm now seeing warnings of blizzard-like conditions, with high winds and blowing/drifting snow on top of the accumulation we are expecting. We've seen some real notable snowfalls in the past 1 1/2 months (including 20+ inches in December), but this may be the KO punch that shuts things down for a few days.

UPDATE 5:24 PM

The prediction for the central and northern Shenandoah Valley is now up to 20-28 inches.



Zogby: The GOP Could Win Back the Senate in 2010

2010-02-03T16:28:26.597-05:00

This is certainly interesting, given that many of us (including myself) thought that the President would deliver a solid bounce in popularity for the Democratic Party with his State of the Union address and subsequent media appearances (meeting with House GOP members, the townhall speeches, etc...).

However, this would require a lot of pieces falling in the right place, as well as the right candidates running. The "right" candidates (in terms of chances of winning in November) include undecided former Governors Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin (who is surprisingly leading Russ Feingold in recent polling) and George Pataki in New York (who leads Kristen Gillibrand).

While I doubt this situation pans out for an out-and-out GOP Senate takeover, it certainly does put the Dems on notice...and calls Obama's ability to deliver popular support through his speeches into question.



Fear the Tax-man!

2010-02-03T12:01:01.539-05:00

The IRS is looking to buy 12-gauge shotguns.

"The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) intends to purchase sixty Remington Model 870 Police RAMAC #24587 12 gauge pump-action shotguns for the Criminal Investigation Division. The Remington parkerized shotguns, with fourteen inch barrel, modified choke, Wilson Combat Ghost Ring rear sight and XS4 Contour Bead front sight, Knoxx Reduced Recoil Adjustable Stock, and Speedfeed ribbed black forend, are designated as the only shotguns authorized for IRS duty based on compatibility with IRS existing shotgun inventory, certified armorer and combat training and protocol, maintenance, and parts."

Anyone else think that it's a bit odd that the IRS gets their own "criminal investigation division" (read: "tax police") that has guns? Wouldn't the actual police-work involved be better left to, oh...say, the FBI or local authorities? I can understand their need for a division to investigate tax fraud, but to have an actual division of armed "tax cops"? It is a bit of a scary concept if you really think about it.

Here is the part that bothers me a bit...the majority of people who would defend the IRS's right to have their own form of armed law enforcement would also believe in limiting the 2nd Amendment rights of individual citizens. Anybody else see the hypocrisy in that?



Virginia Raising Interstate Speed Limits

2010-02-02T19:26:22.530-05:00

At least, it appears that this will be happening. Reaction around the state blogosphere has been mixed, to say the least.

- Blubber123 at RockDem claims this is the GOP's attempt to kill more people, and decries that they refuse to pass more restrictions on cell phone use while driving...of course, he completely ignores (or doesn't know about) the recent study that shows that banning cell phone usage while driving does not reduce accidents. Apparently, Blubber thinks that the government should keep you from being responsible for your own driving habits.

- Bearing Drift seems to approve. The comments section of the post there has an interesting perspective from a truck driver.

Personally, I don't see what the problem is. Seems to work well in West Virginia, and I do a good 70-72 MPH on I-81, and I get passed constantly. I would be inclined to believe that most of the accidents on I-81 come from stupid driving manuvers, and not speeding-related incidents (at least it seems that way). Other than making a slight reduction in the revenue that comes from speeding tickets, this change in law shouldn't have any real consequences.



Retaking My Stand on This Issue

2010-02-02T17:54:03.384-05:00

I've stated this before, but I am going to state it again since it is a hot topic as of late. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" should be lifted as an actual policy in the military. Admission of your sexual orientation should not be grounds for dismissal from the armed force. We are a free nation, and we should extend those freedoms to those who are willing to protect it...all of them.

I think the effectiveness of a soldier should be determined by their ability to carry out their duties and work cohesively with their brothers/sisters-in-arms. I think everybody can agree with that.

I've talked to all of my friends in the military (and I have quite a few of them), and all of them don't see the problem in repealing DADT, even though a few have their own discomforts with gays due to personal beliefs. They believe that as long as that soldier can hold up their end of the bargain, they are fine with them serving.



Will It Ever End???

2010-02-02T14:30:21.160-05:00

Damn you, my Punxsutawney namesake!

I'm sitting here, waiting for this 3-6 inches to start falling on me, just in time to screw up the roads when I go home. Then, I hear that VDOT is getting prepared for a possible 2 feet of snow to fall Friday-to-Saturday.

This is the kind of winter I prayed for as a kid, and the kind I can't stand as an adult (because I am considered "essential personnel" at my work, so I have to be there no matter what since we never close down).

Grrr...



Palin Calls for Rahm's Dismissal

2010-02-02T13:19:17.169-05:00

This wouldn't be notable if I didn't already see the spin coming.

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is calling for White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel to be fired for calling the strategy of liberals in the Senate as "f*cking retarded". In her facebook post, Palin states...

"Yes, Rahm is known for his caustic, crude references about those with whom he disagrees, but his recent tirade against participants in a strategy session was such a strong slap in many American faces that our president is doing himself a disservice by seeming to condone Rahm's recent sick and offensive tactic."

While Rahm's lack of candor is disappointing, I almost agree with him. See, he thinks that the strategy of Senate liberals is "f*cking retarded". I simply think the Senate liberals themselves are "f*cking retarded". ;)

However, I can see the spin now...let's see how long it takes before Palin is labeled as an anti-Semite for this since Rahm is Jewish. I understand that Palin's reaction is the use of the word "retarded", given that her youngest son has down syndrome, but I don't know...it's just such an odd instance to make such a call.



More Hiding of Climate Change Truths

2010-02-02T13:07:08.402-05:00

Now it appears that more evidence has appeared that shows that Professor Phil Jones, whose work influenced the IPCC (who has already had more egg thrown on their face this week), went to even further lengths than previously thought to disguise climate data that undermined the argument that climate change is real and man-made. Apparently, Jones used data from Chinese weather stations that has been deemed unreliable due to the fact that the increases in temperature correllate to the growth of urban areas around the stations.

While this does not, in and of itself, declare climate change to be non-existent...but it does call into question the accuracy and ethics of the people who are making these claims.



"Expert" Research by the UN

2010-01-31T16:27:02.865-05:00

The UN's Climate Change Panel based their claims about disappearing ice on a college student's disseration and an article in a mountaineering magazine. Now, this has forced the IPCC to release yet ANOTHER apology about using inaccurate or intentionally falsified data to make it's claims

*slow clap*

Glad to see you guys really put some effort into this. I mean, how much of the taxpayer money of various UN nations was wasted on this whole climate change research? This was the most "expertise" they could come up with?

Yet, somehow, it's people like me who are deemed "crazy" for doubting this panel's research.



Whoa, Just Saw This...

2010-01-30T19:01:32.125-05:00

My Congressional District, the 6th, has a Libertarian Party candidate for this November's election. His name is Stuart Bain.

I can't find a lot of info on Mr. Bain, as his website runs more like a blog than an actual campaign site, but I understand why...the Libertarian Party is woefully underfunded (thanks to the domination of the two-party system) and most candidates run on a fairly shoestring budget.

However, I like what I have read from the man, thus far. His ideas jive with mine, and he even quotes the same Reagan quote that I have on my blog's subtitle.

Should be interesting, as Bain focuses more on what he stands for, and less about how bad the other guys are. I haven't seen any Democratic Party challengers in the 6th (if there is, they've been quiet), but the incumbent is Republican Bob Goodlatte, who was elected to the seat in 1992.

The Podium endorsed Bob Goodlatte over fiscally conservative Democrat Sam Rasoul in 2008. However, I will be keeping an eye out to see what Mr. Bain has to offer. So far, he looks like a promising candidate based on his principles.

(h/t The Ruby Chronicles)



Begging a Question of Utmost Importance

2010-01-30T18:18:34.034-05:00

Did God make conservative women hotter?

That's Right! begs the question and provides the evidence here.

I feel a little humor is necessary with all of the snow falling and the roads being absolutely miserable out there. I urge you guys to stay off the roads tonight.

Stay inside, heat up some hot chocolate (actually, make that a hot chocolate and butterscotch schnapps, if you'd like a nice, warm spirit), and let it snow!



Kurt Warner Retires

2010-01-29T22:27:41.988-05:00

One of greatest QBs I've ever seen (behind only Joe Montana, IMO), and one of humanity's most decent representatives, decided to hang up his cleats today.

We all know his story. He went from a mid-major college starter, to an Arena League standout and grocery stockboy. He met his current wife when he was stocking shelves and she was a cashier. They are still together. He replaces the injured Trent Green in 1999, when Green was touted as the savior of the lowly St. Louis Rams franchise, and rallies them to a 13-3 record and a victory in one of the best Super Bowls ever played.

He would go to two more Super Bowls (Rams vs. Patriots, and last year he took the Cardinals to the Big Game vs. the Steelers), falling short to the two best teams of the decade. A devout Christian, Warner was never caught in a scandalous position, and never complained when coaches tried to replace him with the "next big thing" (Marc Bulger in St. Louis, Eli Manning in New York).

In his 12 seasons with the Rams, Giants, and Cardinals, Warner threw 208 touchdowns with a completion percentage of 65.5% and a career QB rating of 93.7...but his stats may have been even more prolific had he not been used as a backup QB for a few years. He had an overall winning percentage of 58.0% as a starter, including winning nearly 73% of the time in the playoffs.

I raise my evening spirit in toast to Kurt Warner. A great QB and a hell of a role model.



Obama's SOTU Address...Surgically Dissected

2010-01-29T21:56:34.132-05:00

W.E. Messamore (The Humble Libertarian) dissects and counters Obama's speech section by section, and really could not be more spot on.

It's a remarkable effort, I highly suggest you read it.



Failing to Recognize the Situation

2010-01-29T17:56:12.328-05:00

The left is apparently crowing about the Q&A session Obama had with House Republicans because he stood up to them and lectured them and claimed he was not an ideologue and so forth...

They fail to recognize that if the House GOP members really wanted to grill Obama, they would do so. However, if they were gang up on the President and attack him like they want to, it would be an even worse PR move than letting the President have his way with them in a verbal fashion.

If they really went after him, the lefty talking heads and media would say things like "they cornered Obama like a pack of rabid wolves!" and "the way they treated the President was classless and sickening!"

So while Obama did a good job taking advantage of the situation, don't get too excited, my friends on the left...it's not like the GOP had any better options of approach.



John Edwards Made a Sex Tape???

2010-01-29T17:24:38.983-05:00

Oh God...I think I'm going to lose my lunch. It's the blonde girl and the Breck girl!

Apparently, someone is trying to release a sex tape made between disgraced former Presidential candidate John Edwards and his ex-mistress and baby mama, Rielle Hunter. Hunter is trying to stop the release of this tape via restraining order.

Apparently, the tape belongs to Andrew Young, the Edwards staffer who falsely claimed to be the one sleeping with Hunter and the father of the child. You know, the guy that Edwards attempted to shield himself with. It seems Young came into possession of the tape when she asked Young to get her passport out of a box where she had hidden the tape as well.

This whole drama surrounding Edwards, his wife, his staff, and his ex-mistress just gets weirder and weirder.



Is Rachel Maddow Really Michael Douglas's Son?

2010-01-29T13:07:58.356-05:00

I present to you "Exhibit A".

You decide.



Ahead of Storm, Gov. McDonnell Declares State of Emergency

2010-01-29T11:19:32.534-05:00

Looks like the central and northern Shenandoah Valley will miss the real harsh parts of this storm, but it seems like southern VA and the I-95 corridor will get slammed with snow and ice, potentially worse than the 20+ inches that visited the Commonwealth in December.

State of Emergency info can be found here.

Be safe tonight and tomorrow, folks. I'll post updates as I get them.



How Many Times Can I Get Twisted on This Issue?

2010-01-28T19:08:31.929-05:00

Whoa, hold the phone...I may have jumped the gun not once, but twice, on this Supreme Court ruling regarding corporate involvement in elections and campaigning.

Brad Smith at NRO explains where many, including the President, have been wrong about this ruling.

Tonight the president engaged in demogoguery of the worst kind, when he claimed that last week's Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC, "open[ed] the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections. Well I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities."

The president's statement is false.

The Court held that 2 U.S.C. Section 441a, which prohibits all corporate political spending, is unconstitutional. Foreign nationals, specifically defined to include foreign corporations, are prohibiting from making "a contribution or donation of money or ather thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State or local election" under 2 U.S.C. Section 441e, which was not at issue in the case. Foreign corporations are also prohibited, under 2 U.S.C. 441e, from making any contribution or donation to any committee of any political party, and they prohibited from making any "expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement for an electioneering communication." (emphasis mine)

Interesting...so at least I know that my concerns of foreign corporations (and governments through those corporations) will not be pumping money into campaigns to wield influence over our nation's politics and policies.

That actually explains why Justice Alito said "not true", because what Obama said regarding foreign corporations is not true. I'm definitely relieved to see this.

(h/t Mason Conservative)