Sunday, February 5, 2012

GOP Presidential Candidates - My 2 Cents

For some reason, the last formatting of the last post was a little funky - the more I tried to fix it, the worse it got, so it is how it is. Regardless, Bishop Ketteler's words don't ring any the less true.

Anyway, for those who still read this once in a while, I thought, as every good conservative blogger has, I would weigh in on my take on the GOP President Candidates:

Mitt Romney - If his record was consistent with his words, I wouldn't have a problem with him, and I think his business experience is an asset. However, having been an elected executive, we have the benefit of reviewing his record, and it's not a good one. Pro-abortion. Anti-gun. And let's not forget "Romneycare" - you all probably know it as "Obamacare." Romney's supporters try to portray him as a frustrated conservative, who didn't have the votes to pursue a conservative agenda in a liberal State. However, a simple Youtube search will show that Romney was every bit an entusiastic Northeastern, "Rockefeller" Moderate when he was running for office in Massachussetts. He is either insincere now, or he was insincere then. Unfortunately, he is currently the frontrunner. The only ray of hope is that if Romney gets elected, in his first term, he will be beholden to the conservatives for his re-election chances. But if he gets elected to a second term, all bets are off.

Newt Gingrich - A very intelligent man, but his personal baggage and his own inconsistencies on Global Warming and the Individual Healthcare Mandate would make it difficult for him to win a general election, and , frankly, I only trust him slightly more than I trust Romney. Gingrich would do GREAT as a close advisor, perhaps Chief of Staff, but I don't think he's Presidential material.

Rick Santorum - His social views are excellent. However, in the Senate he was a "party man" all the way - he supported No Child Left Behind (and anything else GWB put forth, good or bad), backed Arlen Specter, voted for budgets that included funding for groups like Planned Parenthood, etc. Not to mention his interventionist foreign policy. This gives some cause for concern - will he be the barnstorming agent of change (good change, not "Obama Change") we need right now, or just another George W. Bush?

Ron Paul - Really the only candidate who will attempt true, bold, "change," and who has proposed a reform agenda. And I actually like his foreign policy, to an extent. However, I disagree that sanctions constitute an act of war, and think he goes a little far opposing sanctions on Iran, which I see as a legitimate tactic SHORT of war, which could PREVENT war. Also, some of his positions, like drug legalization, are a little to "libertarian" for my tastes.

Bottom line: None of them are perfect, but, for me, it's a toss-up between Ron Paul and Rick Santorum. Ron Paul is the only one, really, who will try something different than Nixon/Ford/BushI/BushII (neo-cons) or Carter/Clinton (establishment liberal)/Obama (radical liberal), and is worth serious consideration; while Santorum has solid social values, and fairly sound economic proposals.

We will see who's still in by the time the Idaho caucuses come around.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Food for thought

Well, I still haven't been as active on here as I'd like to be. I've been posting quite a bit over at and, though, so if you want to see my takes on the latest Idaho news, you can generally find my two cents there.

Anyway, I have been reading a rather interesting book, called The Church and Labor, by John A. Ryan and Joseph Husslein, published in 1920, which discusses Catholic Social Teaching and the labor movement. They discuss Frederic Ozanam, founder of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and Bishop Wilhelm Immanuel von Ketteler quite extensively. Here is a quote by Bp. Ketteler that struck me as particularly relevant - keep in mind, this was written in the mid-19th Century:

The States of Europe are staggering under the huge burdens of public debt in spite of their compulsory system of taxation, and their financial embarrassments have given birth to that mystery of iniquity, gambling on the stock-exchange, with all its attendant moral corruption. Christianity, on the contrary, with its system of taxes, has always found abundant means for all its glorious enterprises. Look at our churches and monestaries, our charitable institutions for the relief of every human ailment and distress, our parishes and bishoprics spread over the surface of the globe; think of all the money that has been gathered for the poor, for our schools, our colleges and ancient universities; and remember that all this, with scarcely an exception, is the result of personal sacrifice, and you will have some idea of the life-giving power of Christianity.

Food for thought in the times in which we live.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Yet another party on the Right...

Sorry I haven't had a chance to post as regularly as I'd like to - this past few months have remained very hectic for me.... Hopefully, there's a few loyal readers who check in periodically...

Anyway, lately, I've receiving "spam faxes" from something called the "Independent American Party of Idaho," which is attempting to establish itself as a recognized political party in Idaho. While I agree with a lot of their platform (which should hardly be surprising, given that my political views lean to the Right - hence the name of this blog), this development bothers me somewhat, for a number of reasons:

1. For better or worse, Ron Paul's 2008 candidacy brought a lot of Constitutionalists, Libertarians, and other right-leaning folks disillusioned with the Republican Party back into GOP. This has led to a more ideological shift to the Right in the Idaho GOP's Central Committees and conventions, and has brought much of the Party leadership, in addition to the platform, to a position which should make the Republican Party more palatable to those to the Right of the establishment Republicans;

2. If the Republican Party isn't far enough to the Right, or not libertarian enough, we still have the Constitution Parties and Libertarian Parties for those who insist upon ideological purity to try and make a go of it if they think they can (actually, in the case of a RINO who manages to win the Primary, the Constitution Party serves a very useful public service in providing a conservative alternative);

3. As such, we need another right wing party with the potential to split the vote, like we need a hole in the head. What makes this all the more perplexing is that the Independent American Party and the Constitution Party have close historical ties (some "Independent American Parties" are, in actuality, State affiliates of the Constitution Party).

So, then, the question is "why?" Is it personality issues between either the GOP or CP leadership and those behind the IAP Idaho? If so, a better alternative would be to get involved with either respective party, and get your people in there and make a difference, rather than "take your bat and ball and go home," and play with a new group of friends. Remember, on the Left, we have the Democrats, Greens, Socialists, and Communists, and that's pretty much it. On the Right, we have the Republicans, IAP, AIP, America First Party, Consitution Party, American Heritage Party, America's Independent Party, Conservative Party USA, and a few more that I'm probably leaving out. Of those on the Right, all those besides the Republicans are, in truth, pretty much identical, in addition to being the same as the Right wing of the Republican Party.

Until conservatives unite, rather than form even MORE splinter groups, we aren't going to get anywhere.

Monday, December 27, 2010

I'm back!

So, it's been quite some time since I've posted on here - been very busy. But, hopefully, now I'll be able to start posting regularly again!

On the election, of course, Raul Labrador beat not only Vaughn Ward in the primary, but re-took the seat for the GOP in the general election as well. While, of course, Ward was my first choice (and Ken Roberts would have been my second choice), Raul Labrador should, at the very least, vote with the conservative wing of the Republican Party, and help put a halt to Obama's left-wing social agenda (I will admit that Minnick, at least, put on a good show as a fiscal conservative - it was his SOCIAL views which made him a poor fit for Idaho).

For the Idaho races, not surprisingly, it was a clean sweep for the Republicans statewide. More locally, the GOP took a Shoshone County seat for the first time in almost 30 years, with Larry Yergler, and Shannon McMillan took a state legislative seat that had been held by the Democrats since 1996, spending only a fraction of what the heavily-PAC sponsored incumbent had spent. This should PROVE that the old saying "money wins elections" is not always true. All in all, 2010 was good for the Republican Party. Now, let's see if Obama has Clinton's skills in recovering from the mid-term defeat, or if this is a harbinger of things to come in 2012.

Another big local news item has been Phil Hart's (R-District 3) difficulties regarding not only the on-going tax issues (which is old news by now), but revelations about his taking of timber off of school enowment lands in 1994, to construct his home. Of course, the State dropped the ball on renewing the judgment the obtained against him, rendering it useful only in the event of a toilet paper shortage, but that has not stopped Eric Anderson (R-District 1) from attempting to make it fodder for an ethics complaint nonethess, in addtion to the tax issue, which was already dealt with in a prior complaint. How does an alleged wrongful act committed 10 years prior to being elected "involve legisilative duties," to use the language of the Rule? Your guess is as good as mine.

So, a lot has happened, and a lot promises to happen in the future. Hopefully, I'll be able, once again, to offer my insight on both in the coming months and years!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Been a while.

I've been rather busy lately, so I haven't had the chance to update this blog as much as I'd like.

Since last time, the big change has been the 1st District Race - as you likely know, Roberts is out, Labrador is in, and Salzburg is still hanging in there.

My opinion of Ward remains the same - I still think he's the best man for the job. However, here is my view of the challengers:

Raul Labrador: Ward has a large fundraising advantage over Labrador, who is a latecomer to the race. I still don't know an awful lot about him, yet. His career as an immigration attorney, by itself, doesn't concern me, as defending those accused of illegal activity does not make one supportive of such acts. Also, being a native Spanish speaker (he's Puerto Rican, BTW, not Mexican) in an area with many immigrants, it is only smart from a business perspective to tap into such a potential client base. That being said, his stance on immigration is a legitimate question to ask, just as with Ward (or Salzberg).

Allan Salzberg: He's not very well funded, and, realistically, will probably not win the primary (it would be interesting, though, to have an Idaho Congressman with a New York accent). However, he is a very intelligent man, and has many excellent ideas on energy independence. It would behoove the winner of the race to sit down with Dr. Salzberg, and listen carefully to what he has to say.

More to come as the race develops.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ward v. Roberts - Update

Since my last post, Ken Roberts has, in fact, made a visit to Shoshone County - he spoke at our Republican Central Committee Meeting last night. As such, I must retract the portion of my last post regarding his refusal to visit Shoshone County.

My assessment? If Roberts wins the Primary, I would have no problem supporting him in the general election. He seems like a competent legislator, and his policies seem both socially and fiscally responsible. I can, actually, understand why his fellow Idaho legislators support him. However, in Congress I would envision Roberts as more of a compentent backbencher. No controversy along the lines of Chenoweth or Sali, but not the outspoken advocate for his constituents like Otter or Craig, either. Basically, my impression is that, if he gets in, Roberts would serve a few terms, be on a few non-descript committees, retire, and be a guest speaker at the odd Lincoln Day or State Convention. I think you'd maybe only see his name in the paper a few times during his term, and that would just be to announce a vote or his candidacy for re-election. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but I think our district needs more, especially in what may be a liberal House, hostile to natural resource industry. In other words, Roberts seems like a good Idaho State Representative, but the Federal House of Representatives is a whole different ball game.

Vaughn Ward, on the other hand, has a more dominant personality, and has that "smooth" demeanour about him, which would work very well in D.C. He draws a perfect balance in his campaign style - he's not a "used car salesman," but he's not a lawyer/businessman-turned-cowboy either. Obama proved that personality can go a long way in politics and influence, while, unlike Obama, Ward has the credentials to back it up, and his policies are every bit as responsible as Roberts.

So, bottom line - Between the two, I am still behind Ward. But, if Roberts wins the Primary, he would still be 500% better than Minnick.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

First District - Ward v. Roberts

I recently heard a rumour that Ken Roberts is considering dropping out of the First District race. While it would be nice to have an uncontested Republican primary, so that the GOP candidate can focus on defeating Minnick, rather than another Republican, I recently got an e-mail from the Roberts campaign commenting on the healthcare controversy (not sure how I got on his e-mail list, but be that as it may...), plus his website lists his various visits around the State. So, if he's thinking about throwing in the towel, he's keeping it pretty close to the vest for now.

However, I also heard that Roberts has no intentions whatsoever of making a visit to Shoshone County. I hope this is not true, but if it is, he gets a big THUMBS DOWN from me - in fact (again, if it's true), if he gets the nomination, I will seriously consider giving my vote to a third party candidate in November (Minnick's vote to keep giving my tax money to Planned Parenthood cost him my potential vote months ago).

So, until Roberts shows his face over in the Silver Valley, Vaughn Ward has my vote.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ted Kennedy has Died

Apparently, Ted Kennedy has passed away from brain cancer: Rightfully called the "least talented of the Kennedy brothers," ironically, it was Ted, the youngest, who would die of natural causes. In yet another irony, it was Ted Kennedy's brother-in-law, Sargent Shriver, who was the last pro-life Democrat to be on a national ticket.

While I did not much care for the man and his morals, we can only hope that, in his final days, he was able to make his confession, recant his support of abortion, and make peace for his past indiscretions.

As such, Edward Moore Kennedy: Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Requiescat in pace.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Concerns with Obama's Healthcare Plan

As I continue to slog my way through the new Encyclical, I just thought I would share something I recently received in an e-mail from the Knights of Columbus.

While, being the "Shoshone Conservative," it may surprise many that I, actually, support healthcare reform, one thing which should be of grave concern to pro-life conservatives is this: If you have a few minutes, I encourage you to listen to the re-play of the webcast. Apparently, there is a possibility that Obama's healthcare plan may lead to taxpayer funded abortion - any fellow pro-life social conservatives who otherwise support alternatives to our current healthcare "system" must vehemently oppose any plan which would result in our paying for such an abonimable practice.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Caritas in Veritate - Introduction

In starting to go through the new encyclical, and reading the commentary on the Internet, one over-arching theme of the Pope's critics is that "the Pope shouldn't be getting involved in politics/economics." In anticipation of such criticism, Benedict XVI states in the final paragraph of the introduction:

"The Church does not have technical solutions to offer and does not claim “to interfere in any way in the politics of States." She does, however, have a mission of truth to accomplish, in every time and circumstance, for a society that is attuned to man, to his dignity, to his vocation. Without truth, it is easy to fall into an empiricist and sceptical view of life, incapable of rising to the level of praxis because of a lack of interest in grasping the values — sometimes even the meanings — with which to judge and direct it. Fidelity to man requires fidelity to the truth, which alone is the guarantee of freedom (cf. Jn 8:32) and of the possibility of integral human development. For this reason the Church searches for truth, proclaims it tirelessly and recognizes it wherever it is manifested. This mission of truth is something that the Church can never renounce. Her social doctrine is a particular dimension of this proclamation: it is a service to the truth which sets us free. Open to the truth, from whichever branch of knowledge it comes, the Church's social doctrine receives it, assembles into a unity the fragments in which it is often found, and mediates it within the constantly changing life-patterns of the society of peoples and nations."

As I go through and comment on the encyclical (and if you choose to read it yourself), please keep this paragraph in mind. I will have more to offer as my schedule allows...