Recent Posts From Kevin Boyd
AJ Delgado had a piece in Mediaite last weekend asking whether conservatism was dead or not. She cites three major policy “defeats” as she sees them for conservatism this month.
1) Immigration reform is all but a foregone conclusion.
2) The gay marriage debate is essentially over.
3) The plan to defund ObamaCare — conservatives’ last stand after the Supreme Court failed to throw out the Act — is over
I think Miss Delgado misses a lot in construing all of these as catastrophic defeats for conservatives. A look at each issue on its own shows that it is not as catastrophic as it first appears.
Firstly, I wouldn’t put my money on comprehensive immigration reform becoming law. After Rand Paul outlined his position on the issue last week, he has been very careful to walk back certain aspects of it. Plus, the GOP House has shown exactly no interest in this issue. Finally, this is an issue that divides Democrats as well. Blue collar unions, African Americans, and many environmentalists want to kill immigration reform as well for their own reasons.
As for gay marriage, this is probably her strongest argument. Yes the gay marriage is over. It will become the law of the land in every state in the country within 20 years, if that. What conservatives need to is rebrand on this issue. What conservatives need to fight for on this issue is to make sure adequate religious liberty and conscience protections are in place for churches, businesses, adoption agencies and others opposed to gay marriage.
Law enforcement agencies want to require cellular providers under the force of Federal law to keep a record of all text messages in case they ever need them:
AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and other wireless providers would be required to capture and store Americans’ confidential text messages, according to a proposal that will be presented to a congressional panel today. The law enforcement proposal would require wireless providers torecord and storecustomers’ SMS messages — a controversial idea akin to requiring them to surreptitiously record audio of their customers’ phone calls — in case police decide to obtain them at some point in the future.
So the cops want a record of every single text message sent. What ever happened to privacy and being secure in our communications? How can people communicate if they know that a permanent record of the communication is being kept by a third party? This is an attack on the right to privacy:
“Billions of texts are sent every day, and some surely contain key evidence about criminal activity,”Richard Littlehale from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will tell Congress, according to a copy (PDF) of his prepared remarks. “In some cases, this means that critical evidence is lost. Text messaging often plays a big role in investigations related to domestic violence, stalking, menacing, drug trafficking, and weapons trafficking.”
Yes, but most Americans are not criminals. There is no compelling need for the state to require a permanent record of all text messages sent.
Today is the 10 year anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq War. It is a good time reflect on what, if anything, was gained. It is also a time for those of us to learn about what, if anything, can we learn from the mistakes of the war.
I supported the Iraq War when it began. I looked at the evidence leading up to the war and I came to the conclusion, as most Americans did, that the regime of Saddam Hussein was in possession of weapons of mass destruction and that the status quo that was in place after the end of the Gulf War was simply unsustainable. Also, I was also intrigued by the possibility of bringing democracy to the Middle East to combat the appeal and vision of radical Islam. Furthermore, I do believe the Bush Administration sincerely believed that Iraq possessed WMDs. I do not think this was an attempt to steal Iraqi oil or other conspiracy theorist nonsense.
However, I was wrong. I’m enough of a man to look at the evidence that has emerged in 10 years and more importantly the results of the war and acknowledge that I was wrong to support the Iraq War. I do not believe the war has served the interests of the United States. I also believe that the high losses, in both blood and treasure do not justify the results achieved.
The Obama regime is drawing up final plans to create a massive database and give access to it to government agencies. What will be in this new database?:
The Obama administration is drawing up plans to give all U.S. spy agencies full access to a massive database that contains financial data on American citizens and others who bank in the country, according to a Treasury Department document seen by Reuters.
The proposed plan represents a major step by U.S. intelligence agencies to spot and track down terrorist networks and crime syndicates by bringing together financial databanks, criminal records and military intelligence. The plan, which legal experts say is permissible under U.S. law, is nonetheless likely to trigger intense criticism from privacy advocates.
I guess due process and asking a judge for a warrant to get this information is apparently a thing of the past in this new “changed” America. With the continuing reckless disregard of the Constitution and traditional American liberties by the Obama regime, at this point the University of Chicago should offer full refunds to anyone who ever took a Constitutional law class taught by Barack Obama. But I digress.
The database is compiled by banks and other financial institutions who report “suspicious financial activity” to the Treasury Department:
Financial institutions that operate in the United States are required by law to file reports of “suspicious customer activity,” such as large money transfers or unusually structured bank accounts, to Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).The Federal Bureau of Investigation already has full access to the database.
On March 1st, the so-called sequester which is a series of automatic spending “cuts” that were agreed to in 2011 are supposed to take effect. The “cuts” are supposed to be around $1.2 trillion over 10 years spread equally among defense and non-defense spending. Democrats are complaining how women, children, and old people will be (insert one or more of the following here) starved, made homeless, and/or impoverished by the “cuts” in social welfare programs. Republican defense hawks are claiming that sequester will destroy the US military. Both groups also claim the sequester will put the economy back into recession and/or maybe even a depression. Indeed, both groups say that the sequester should be avoided at all costs and that we should “raise revenues” which is Washington speak for raising taxes to cover the amount that was supposed to be “cut”. However, if we are ever going to get our nation’s fiscal house in order, we have to allow the sequester to take effect.
Why I Hate The Sequester
Although I do believe that the sequester must be allowed to take effect, I don’t like it. For starters, $1.2 trillion in “cuts” (which are not actual budget cuts but instead are merely reductions in the rate of spending growth) is a very small amount when you look at how grave the nation’s financial condition is.
Secondly, the sequester does nothing to address entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare which are the two long-term drivers of future financial problems.
Third, the Democrats do have a point when they say the cuts fall disproportionately on non-defense spending. The Department of Defense is the largest single item of discretionary spending and all other agencies combined do not equal it. But the DoD is only taking 50% of the cuts.
On Wednesday, Senator Rand Paul gave his long awaited foreign policy speech at the Heritage Foundation. In it, he tried to outline a foreign policy vision that is a departure from the foreign policy that has been offered for more than a decade by the GOP. Also in the speech, he tried to distance himself from his father, Ron Paul’s, more radical non-interventionist views. Predictably, both neoconservatives and libertarian non-interventionists were not pleased with the speech. However, Senator Paul’s speech may open up a path for Republicans and conservatives to regain lost credibility on foreign policy and national security issues and tie it into the larger issues of debt and spending.
Senator Paul began the speech with this.
I see the world as it is. I am a realist, not a neoconservative, nor an isolationist.
That sentence largely defines what Paul’s policy is. Traditional conservative realism as oppose to the alternatives of neoconservative hyper-interventionism and quasi-isolationist noninterventionism. A third way that is skeptical of intervention while at the same time engaged and active in the world.
Senator Paul also did something very few American politicians have done since 9/11, have a frank discussion with the American people about radical Islam.
The West is in for a long, irregular confrontation not with terrorism, which is simply a tactic, but with Radical Islam.
It’s that time of year when I take a stab at guessing what will happen in the new year. Just like always, I will take a stab at national politics, international politics, the economy, and sports.
*There will be a debt ceiling fight. America’s credit worthiness will be downgraded. Ultimately, the debt ceiling will be raised with no real spending cuts or entitlement reforms.
*No gun control legislation will pass this year on the Federal level. However, the left will embark on a cultural campaign against gun ownership in general.
*Minor filibuster reform will be enacted in the Senate and will be largely limited to Presidential appointments and budgetary issues.
*Chris Cristie is reelected governor of New Jersey and Terry McCauliffe is elected governor of Virginia.
*There will be a significant terrorist attack on US soil.
*Gay marriage becomes legal in Illinois.
*Proposition 8 in California is struck down by the Supreme Court on very narrow grounds that would apply on to that particular case.
*At least one state abolishes the death penalty.
*John Kerry will be confirmed as Secretary of State, but Chuck Hagel will be denied Secretary of Defense.
*Japan begins to rearm and becomes more aggressive with China.
*North Korea will create an incident with South Korea that will raise tensions but will ultimately die back down after a month or two.
*NATO forces strike Syria and force Bashir Assad from power.
*Hugo Chavez finally dies and makes his voyage to Hell.
*The European Union continues on the path towards centralizing into a superstate, while anti-EU parties do well in various national elections.
*Netanyahu reelected as Israeli Prime Minister
National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre broke his organization’s silence since last week’s atrocity at Sandy Hook Elementary by giving apress conferencethis morning. The press conference’s tone was rambling at times and it appeared to generally lack focus. The NRA gave some reasons they thought that there were mass shootings
There exists in this country, sadly, a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells and stows violence against its own people. Through vicious, violent video games with names like “Bullet Storm,” “Grand Theft Auto,” “Mortal Combat,” and “Splatterhouse.”
LaPierre also went on to blame violent movies and music videos as well. LaPierre also appeared to claim that there was a media conspiracy to cover up the role of violent media by blaming gun owners.
The problem with blaming violent video games for crime is that its simply not true as is pointed in this piece in the National Review. Also, is the message that we need to gut the First Amendment to save the Second Amendment the right message we need to send right now?
LaPierre unfortunately wasn’t finished with his Joe Biden impersonation. He had some suggestions for improving school security:
Since the defeat of the Republican Party last month in the elections by our glorious Dear Ruler Barack Obama, many questions are being asked about the Republican Party and by extension the conservative movement. One of the first questions that comes up is how the Republican Party and maybe conservatism itself has to change in order to be competitive in future elections. The future of conservatism is to return to the first principles of limited government, Federalism, and individual liberty. The key to that is by embracing constitutional conservatism.
Constitutional conservatism is what exactly what it says, governing according to the Constitution. Constitutional conservatives like myself believe that the powers of the Federal government are limited, especially by Article 1, Section 8. There is no Constitutional justification for things like the Department of Education, food stamps, Obamaphones, nutrition guidelines and the vast majority of the other things the Federal government does. The Federal government exceeding its Constitutional limits is why we run annual deficits of over $1 trillion and have a national debt of around $16 trillion. The most logical way to bring down the deficit or better yet eliminate it without resorting to job killing tax increases is to eliminate all unconstitutional spending.
Our rulers in Washington DC are fighting over the so-called “fiscal cliff” which means that at the end of the year a bunch of “spending cuts” and tax increases will take effect causing all sorts of calamities. Our wonderful representatives in Congress and our brilliant President/Messiah, Barack Obama are trying to work out a “balanced” deal to make everything alright. The “balanced” deal appears to be we raise taxes today, especially on the evil “rich”, and that we cut spending in a few years (ie. never). No one on Capitol Hill dares to suggest that instead of asking American taxpayers to pay more taxes that we actually, you know cut spending. The fiscal cliff debate is actually America’s time for choosing of whether or not we will be a country that values freedom and liberty or we will be a country subservient to the state.
Both parties proposals’ are generally the same. Higher taxes, no real spending cuts, and no real entitlement reform. The only differences are the numbers and who benefits and who loses. There is no real choice for those of us who believe in liberty and freedom. The Republican Party, which is supposed to be the party of limited government, is now actively purging fiscal conservatives from important committee positions. What are those of us who believe in liberty supposed to do?