Archive for July, 2005

Along the Blue Ridge…

Monday, July 18th, 2005

So I’m spending the night in Charlottesville, VA, in order to visit the Monticello and the James Madison House tomorrow. Mostly drove today, but I did get these photos along the Blue Ridge Parkway:

On the Road Again…

Monday, July 18th, 2005

I’m just out the door this morning, headed for Washington, D.C., and then to New England. I will be blogging as often as I can over the next week and half or so, probably mostly posting photos, so check back often!

Tancredo ‘08?

Sunday, July 17th, 2005

Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo is testing the waters for a run at the Republican nomination for president in 2008. Tancredo is most well known for his stance against illegal immigration, and plans to make it a top issue in his campaign. While he lacks the name recognition of the Frists, McCains, Giuliani, and Romeys of the world, he has three years to change that.

And even if he can’t, he can force Republican hopefulls to address a topic they’d probably just assume stay quiet about.

UPDATE: 07/19/05: Comments like this certainly don’t make Tancredo look like a viable candidate.

Cooper Conspiracy

Saturday, July 16th, 2005

Bill Hobbs has the scoop on some more legislative shenanigans.

Island Idiocy

Friday, July 15th, 2005

Ed Meese and Todd Gaziano take on a silly bill about to be debated in Hawaii.

McCain Panders to Social Conservatives

Thursday, July 14th, 2005

NOT! There went the last the last of McCain’s support among the so-called “Religious Right.” Good luck in ‘08, Senator!

Bredesen Approval Below 50%

Wednesday, July 13th, 2005

Gov. Phil Bredesen’s approval rating has dropped to below 50%, according to a Survey USA poll (via Jay Bush). Interestingly, Bredesen’s numbers are better among Republicans (55%) and conservatives (51%) than among Democrats (45%) and liberals (42%). Bredesen remains fairly popular among women (51%), but has very little support among minorities.

UPDATE: (07/14/05): Bredesen responds to his falling numbers: “I’m not worried. I’m not a person who operates on polls.” Meanwhile, Adam Groves speculates that blogs might have played a roll in Bredesen’s decline.

Academic Freedom Fight Continues

Tuesday, July 12th, 2005

Even though the 2005 legislative session has ended, Rep. Stacey Campfield is continuing to push for the Academic Bill of Rights. You can read my argument in favor of this legislation here.

TennCare and Victimhood

Tuesday, July 12th, 2005

The general consensus across Tennessee is that the 300,000 or so people removed from TennCare rolls are victims of the government. In what way exactly the government is to blame has been debated, but most seem to believe Gov. Bredesen’s reckless fiscal management is at fault. Perhaps they have a point; there is much to criticize about the governor. But proponents of this theory are missing a bigger issue: the role of government.

Let me state here that I agree with most insofar as I feel that those cut from TennCare are clearly victims of government. Having said that, they are not victims in the way that many, both on the Left and the Right, would have you believe. Their victimhood goes far beyond simply losing their health insurance. They are victims of a government that attempts to buy their votes and to control their lives.

Until fairly recently in our history, no one would even considered healthcare to be a right. It was very important, to be sure, but it was not the role of the government to provide (perhaps because it is to important for government to botch). It was the role of the individual to plan for himself or herself. For those unable to afford healthcare, family, churches, and charitable organizations were options, and were generally available and more personalized than anything the government has ever offered.

Today these options are not as visible as they once were – not because they no longer exist (they obviously do), but because they have convinced our elected officials to perform their duties for them. No longer does government exist simply to protect our rights; it now exists to take care of us as well. Over time, individualism and self-reliance eroded, and government stepped in. Churches, families, and charities abdicated their responsibilities, and, of course, politicians were more than happy to spend other people’s money in their place.

Which is what I mean when I say those affected by recent TennCare cuts (and those still enrolled as well) are victims of government. They are victims of elected officials cynically manipulate them by telling them that government is their only option (and thus ensuring their votes). Most have probably never considered asking family, friends, churches, or charities for help. Government has taken the place of these things, with much poorer results.

So instead of examining other options, they continue to demand more from the government. They are mostly good people, but they have been badly misled. And even now they are continuing to be misled. Elected officials and political pundits of all political stripes continue to perpetuate the mythical right to health coverage. Most disappointingly, conservatives, once the ideology of individualism and limited government, have used this situation as a hammer to bash Bredesen instead of reminding our fellow citizens what government is all about, and calling on each other to help these people through non-government means. Even religious leaders have gotten in on the act. Instead of calling on their flocks to help these people, they’ve called on the government. That’s much easier, of course.

This whole episode illuminates a massive failure of society to educate itself about what our founders intended for our government to be. It illustrates a horrible politicalization of mostly innocent people by both conservatives and liberals.

So what about those who have been cut, you ask? This is surely too late for them, right? Wrong. The time has come for private charity to step in. Tennesseans are generous people, and would be more than happy to help those less fortunate. We are not called the Volunteer State for nothing. So please, put your trust in them, not the government. Unlike our elected officials, they won’t just be trying to buy votes.

What we are seeing is the fruits of an overbearing, bloated government. Placing people on government support puts their lives at the whim of politicians, a terribly precarious place to be. Liberals and conservatives need to recognize this and work to help these people the old fashion way instead of using them as political mallets with which to pound the governor.

Europe’s Population Problem

Monday, July 11th, 2005

Chuck Colson examines the decline of European civilization, and the rise of immigrants (overwhelmingly from the Middle East and North Africa), who threaten to outnumber them in only a few years. Colson doesn’t mention it, but in our lifetimes we may see a nuclear armed Islamic Republic of France.