The slippery slope to bland

The American Academy of Pediatrics “is issuing a new policy statement calling on the government and manufacturers to implement a food labeling system warning parents” of the risk that their kids may choke on a hot dog. File this one under “cures worse than the disease”.

Labels urged for foods that can choke kids

Think that they intend to stop with labels for hot dogs? Think again. This is the same liberal group that concluded that “the absence of guns from children’s homes and communities is the most reliable and effective measure to prevent firearm-related injuries in children and adolescents.” And undoubtedly it is merely a matter of time before these jackasses decide that “the absence of tasty food from children’s homes and communities is the most reliable and effect measure to prevent choking in children and adolescents.” Sorry docs – hot dogs don’t kill people, not chewing kills people.

Seriously, with an obligatory nod to Judge Lowell A. Reed, perhaps we do the minors of this country harm if the right to eat hot dogs, which they will with age inherit fully, is chipped away in the name of their protection.

Frankly, this constant whining by pediatricians, activists, pundits and parents unable to take care of their own children makes me think that every two year old should be inoculated against such idiocy with a serving of hot dog fried in peanut oil.

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That “split” in the conservative movement: The Mt. Vernon Statement

Remember all that noise about 4 years ago about the “split” between economic and social conservatives. Back then I opined that:

Life issues may not be core to conservativsm, but Constitutional issues are and intellectual honesty puts both social-conservatives and libertarian-conservatives in agreement…The real threat is not to the conservative movement, but rather that both halves of the movement may abandon the spendthrift GOP Congress like we abandoned Bush the Elder in 1992 when he broke his tax pledge.

That second part did, fortunately, come to pass. Now, with conservatives of both stripes thoroughly fed up with out of control federal power, leaders of the movement have come together with a new statement of conservative principles geared to unite all stripes of conservative around Constitutional, limited government principles,

The Mount Vernon Statement

Constitutional Conservatism: A Statement for the 21st Century

We recommit ourselves to the ideas of the American Founding. Through the Constitution, the Founders created an enduring framework of limited government based on the rule of law. They sought to secure national independence, provide for economic opportunity, establish true religious liberty and maintain a flourishing society of republican self-government.
These principles define us as a country and inspire us as a people. They are responsible for a prosperous, just nation unlike any other in the world. They are our highest achievements, serving not only as powerful beacons to all who strive for freedom and seek self-government, but as warnings to tyrants and despots everywhere.

Each one of these founding ideas is presently under sustained attack. In recent decades, America’s principles have been undermined and redefined in our culture, our universities and our politics. The selfevident truths of 1776 have been supplanted by the notion that no such truths exist. The federal government today ignores the limits of the Constitution, which is increasingly dismissed as obsolete and irrelevant.

Some insist that America must change, cast off the old and put on the new. But where would this lead — forward or backward, up or down? Isn’t this idea of change an empty promise or even a dangerous deception?

The change we urgently need, a change consistent with the American ideal, is not movement away from but toward our founding principles. At this important time, we need a restatement of Constitutional conservatism grounded in the priceless principle of ordered liberty articulated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

The conservatism of the Declaration asserts self-evident truths based on the laws of nature and nature’s God. It defends life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It traces authority to the consent of the governed. It recognizes man’s self-interest but also his capacity for virtue.

The conservatism of the Constitution limits government’s powers but ensures that government performs its proper job effectively. It refines popular will through the filter of representation. It provides checks and balances through the several branches of government and a federal republic.
A Constitutional conservatism unites all conservatives through the natural fusion provided by American principles. It reminds economic conservatives that morality is essential to limited government, social conservatives that unlimited government is a threat to moral self-government, and national security conservatives that energetic but responsible government is the key to America’s safety and leadership role in the world.
A Constitutional conservatism based on first principles provides the framework for a consistent and meaningful policy agenda.

* It applies the principle of limited government based on the
rule of law to every proposal.
* It honors the central place of individual liberty in American
politics and life.
* It encourages free enterprise, the individual entrepreneur, and
economic reforms grounded in market solutions.
* It supports America’s national interest in advancing freedom
and opposing tyranny in the world and prudently considers what we can and should do to that
* It informs conservatism’s firm defense of family, neighborhood,
community, and faith.

If we are to succeed in the critical political and policy battles ahead, we must be certain of our purpose.

We must begin by retaking and resolutely defending the high ground of America’s founding principles.

February 17, 2010

It’s morning again in America

Senator-elect Scott Brown holds up a first edition of today’s Boston Herald during his victory speech last night at the Park Plaza Hotel.

Senator-elect Scott Brown holds up a first edition of today’s Boston Herald during his victory speech last night at the Park Plaza Hotel.

Text of Senator-elect Scott Brown’s victory speech:

State Senator Scott Brown: Thank you very much. I’ll bet they can hear all this cheering down in Washington, D.C.

And I hope they’re paying close attention, because tonight the independent voice of Massachusetts has spoken.

From the Berkshires to Boston, from Springfield to Cape Cod, the voters of this Commonwealth defied the odds and the experts. And tonight, the independent majority has delivered a great victory.

I thank the people of Massachusetts for electing me as your next United States senator.

Every day I hold this office, I will give all that is in me to serve you well and make you proud.

Most of all, I will remember that while the honor is mine, this Senate seat belongs to no one person and no political party – and as I have said before, and you said loud and clear today, it is the people’s seat.

Interim Senator Paul Kirk has completed his work as a senator by appointment of the governor, and for the work he has done, I thank him. The people, by their votes, have now filled the office themselves, and I am ready to go to Washington without delay.

I also want to thank Martha Coakley for her call of congratulations. A hard contest is now behind us, and now we must come together as a Commonwealth.

This special election came about because we lost someone very dear to Massachusetts, and to America. Senator Ted Kennedy was a tireless and big-hearted public servant, and for most of my lifetime was a force like no other in this state. His name will always command the affection and respect by the people of Massachusetts, and the same goes for his wife Vicki. There’s no replacing a man like that, but tonight I honor his memory, and I pledge my very best to be a worthy successor.

I said at the very beginning, when I sat down at the dinner table with my family, that win or lose we would run a race which would make us all proud. I kept my word and we ran a clean, issues oriented, upbeat campaign – and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

When I first started running, I asked for a lot of help, because I knew it was going to be me against the machine. I was wrong, it was all of us against the machine. And after tonight we have shown everyone that – now – you are the machine.

I’m glad my mom and dad, brothers, sisters, and so many family members are here tonight.

Once again, before I go any further, I want to introduce somebody very special… That is my wife, Gail.

And as you know, my wife Gail couldn’t join me on the campaign trail because of her work as a Boston TV journalist. But I will let you in on a little secret. She didn’t stay neutral today, and she voted for the winner. I rely as always, on Gail’s love and support and that of our beautiful daughters.

Arianna will be returning a day or two late to her pre-med studies at Syracuse, because she’s been giving her all to this campaign. As always, Arianna and her sister Ayla have been a joy to Gail and me, and we’re so grateful to them both. Even before her campaign performances, millions of Americans had already heard Ayla’s amazing voice on “American Idol.” As Boston College basketball fans know, she’s also pretty good on the court.

If the President thinks they’ve got basketball talent at the White House, I ask him to pick his best teammate and find some time to play two-on-two with Ayla and me.

I’m grateful to all those from across Massachusetts who came through for me even when I was a long shot. I especially thank a friend who was there with encouragement from the very beginning, and helped show us the way to victory – former Governor Mitt Romney.

I’ll never forget the help of another man who took the time to meet with me months ago – who told me I could win, and gave me confidence for the fight. It was all so characteristic of a truly great and heroic American, and tonight I thank my new colleague, Senator John McCain.

On a night like this, when so many people mark your name on a statewide ballot, you think back to the first people who gave you a chance and believed. For the trust they placed in me, and for all they have taught me, I thank my neighbors and friends in my Senate district and especially my hometown of Wrentham. The cause and victory that all America has seen tonight started right there with all of you.

Let me tell you when I first got the feeling something big was happening in this campaign. It was when I was driving along and spotted a handmade, Scott Brown yard sign that I hadn’t actually put there myself.

This little campaign of ours was destined for greater things than any of us knew, and the message went far beyond the name on the sign.

It all started with me, my truck, and a few dedicated volunteers. It ended with Air Force One making an emergency run to Logan. I didn’t mind when President Obama came here and criticized me – that happens in campaigns. But when he criticized my truck, that’s where I draw the line.

We had the machine scared and scrambling, and for them it is just the beginning of an election year filled with surprises. They will be challenged again and again across this country. When there’s trouble in Massachusetts, there’s trouble everywhere – and now they know it.

In every corner of our state, I met with people, looked them in the eye, shook their hand, and asked them for their vote. I didn’t worry about their party affiliation, and they didn’t worry about mine. It was simply shared conviction that brought us all together.

One thing is clear, voters do not want the trillion-dollar health care bill that is being forced on the American people.

This bill is not being debated openly and fairly. It will raise taxes, hurt Medicare, destroy jobs, and run our nation deeper into debt. It is not in the interest of our state or country – we can do better.

When in Washington, I will work in the Senate with Democrats and Republicans to reform health care in an open and honest way. No more closed-door meetings or back room deals by an out of touch party leadership. No more hiding costs, concealing taxes, collaborating with special interests, and leaving more trillions in debt for our children to pay.

In health care, we need to start fresh, work together, and do the job right. Once again, we can do better.

I will work in the Senate to put government back on the side of people who create jobs, and the millions of people who need jobs – and as President John F. Kennedy taught us, that starts with an across the board tax cut for individuals and businesses that will create jobs and stimulate the economy. It’s that simple!

I will work in the Senate to defend our nation’s interests and to keep our military second to none. As a lieutenant colonel and 30-year member of the Army National Guard, I will keep faith with all who serve, and get our veterans all the benefits they deserve.

And let me say this, with respect to those who wish to harm us, I believe that our Constitution and laws exist to protect this nation – they do not grant rights and privileges to enemies in wartime. In dealing with terrorists, our tax dollars should pay for weapons to stop them, not lawyers to defend them.

Raising taxes, taking over our health care, and giving new rights to terrorists is the wrong agenda for our country. What I’ve heard again and again on the campaign trail, is that our political leaders have grown aloof from the people, impatient with dissent, and comfortable in the back room making deals. And we can do better.

They thought you were on board with all of their ambitions. They thought they owned your vote. They thought they couldn’t lose. But tonight, you and you and you have set them straight.

Across this country, we are united by basic convictions that need only to be clearly stated to win a majority. If anyone still doubts that, in the election season just beginning, let them look to Massachusetts.

Fellow citizens, what happened in this election can happen all over America. We are witnesses, you and I, to the truth that ideals, hard work, and strength of heart can overcome any political machine. We ran a campaign never to be forgotten, and led a cause that deserved and received all that we could give it.

And now, because of your independence, and your trust, I will hold for a time the seat once filled by patriots from John Quincy Adams to John F. Kennedy and his brother Ted. As I proudly take up the duty you have given me, I promise to do my best for Massachusetts and America every time the roll is called.

I go to Washington as the representative of no faction or interest, answering only to my conscience and to the people. I’ve got a lot to learn in the Senate, but I know who I am and I know who I serve.

I’m Scott Brown, I’m from Wrentham, I drive a truck, and I am nobody’s senator but yours.

Thank you very much.

Economic update

When Wal-Mart has a shortage of shopping carts, I’d call it a good sign for consumer spending.

That’s all for now.

Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!


We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

Ronald Reagan, June 12, 1987 at the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin

Ronald Reagan speaking in front of the Branden...
Image via Wikipedia

What Would Reagan Say to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Kim Jong-il? I suppose it doesn’t really matter when the current occupant of the White House won’t even celebrate the unmistakable sign of the dramatic advance of freedom and peace.

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If McChrystal is wrong, fire him; if not, shut up

Thus we may know that there are five essentials for victory: (1) He will win who knows
when to fight and when not to fight. (2) He will win who knows how to handle both
superior and inferior forces. (3) He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit
throughout all its ranks. (4) He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy
unprepared. (5) He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the

Sun Tzu, The Art of War

The Obama administration is making a huge mistake in fighting out an internal dispute over Afghanistan strategy on Sunday talk shows. National Security Adviser James Jones undercut the position of the general in the field, Stanley McChrystal, with his statement that:

…the end is much more complex than just about adding ‘X’ number of troops…But I don’t foresee the return of the Taliban and I want to be very clear that Afghanistan is not in imminent danger of falling.”

If that is the position of the administration, then the correct course of action is not to fight it out in public, undermining the “spirit of the army” and further eroding public support for a war that last fall as a candidate President Obama said must be won.

If McChrystal is wrong and there is a better man with a better plan, then Obama should take the Truman approach and fire him. That approach achieved Truman’s objectives in Korea – containment of Communism and 50 years of stability on the Korean peninsula.

If there is doubt and dissension in the civilian administration and it’s not clear from this side of the globe whether McChrystal is right or wrong, then Obama should take the word of his commander in the field, possibly firing the civilian advisors, provide the military capacity that’s needed and not micromanage. That approach is a time tested path to victory.

Either of those decisions is a potential war winner and the action of a decisive Commander in Chief. Airing the military advisors’ dirty laundry on television is the Vietnam Strategy and bound to lead to defeat in a country that is already notorious for defeating the Soviet Army.

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The Latest on Bush’s Third Term

In the latest effort by the Obama administration to continue the worst policies of the Bush administration, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs announced increased tariffs on Chinese tires of an extra 35 percent in the first year, 30 percent in the second, and 25 percent in the third. The Bush steel tariffs of 2002 contributed mightily to the destruction of the US auto industry. Now instead of pursuing the sensible, pro-growth course of “removing all tariffs on their raw materials” and other inputs the Obama administration intends to add insult to the injury of the taxpayer bailout of GM and Chrysler with further tariffs on auto industry input. Look for the losses of the companies you now own to grow still larger and, if the Third Term policies continue, for Ford to end up on the dole yet.

Stay tuned for more reading on The Third Term.

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Minirants: Congress, Jets and Townhalls

Every once in a while we get a stark example of how markets are simply much more efficient than government. The latest example: While Congress is being slammed for planning to spend $550 million for a handful of new jets, including $66 million a piece for three Gulfstream G550s with a sticker price of $49 million, Southwest Airlines has bid $170 million for over 80% of Frontier Airlines and all of commuter airline Lynx. Congress could still get in on the action though, as Southwest is only after Frontier’s routes – the 40 Airbus jets will be retired over the next year and replaced with Southwest’s signature 737’s.

Sometimes politicians lack of historical perspective is astounding. I mentioned before that it surprised me to see “law and order” GOP politicians jumping on the “Tea Party” bandwagon with no regard for what could logically be expected to come next. Now Democrat politicians are showing their own historical myopia by complaining that the tea partiers organized action at town hall meetings reflects a lack of sincerity and is somehow un-American. The original Tea Partiers were an organized bunch too – Committees of Correspondence, Continental Congress, defeating the British Empire – and yet no one since has doubted their sincerity. And, of course, they set the standard for American patriotism.

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