« Happy Thanksgiving 2011 | Main | Ruminations - 27nov2011 (updated 28nov2011) »

25 November 2011


Brad Croul

The above listed tenets are those that every American should subscribe to, Left or Right.

Tensions arise when the tenets are perverted for personal/corporate/special interest gain at other's expense.

Todd Juvinall

When a liberal negotiates a better price on the good or service, they consider that a compromise, when a conservative does that it is exploitation.

Russ Steele


The silence from the left is going to be deafening. You are asking them to look within themselves and and then justify what they fined. Not going to happen.

Bob W

George, I guess you're a party pooper.

Paul Emery


The Bush Cheney administration and the Republican Party in general is the antithesis of this expression. How do you reconcile your lack of opposition to the previous administration's policies based on this credo? Perhaps it's because when the rhetorical games and idealistic posturing are over your ultimate roosting place is is predictable as the difference between D and R.

George Rebane

PaulE - I note with some satisfaction that you don't want to address the point of this post, and are again taking the ever more satisfying sidestep.

Paul Emery


You very clearly articulated your Conservative positions and I agree with many of your views and disagree with others. Those are of course you personal views and for what purpose should I challenge them? I will and have challenged them on specific issues but that's not the question asked of you in this post. What I'm still curious about is how you can support the Republican Party and still hold those views. At least if you were a Libertarian or an Independent I could respect the actions you take in the pursuit of your beliefs.

Please help me to understand this.

To make it very clear you cannot possibly believe that the Republican Party is the party of the Right that you describe. So the extent that you cast your vote in that tent certainly compromises the integrity of your rather articulate and vital credo.

Paul Emery

As an example

"The US should join with other nations only to promote its openly announced national interests; such unions should be minimized as appropriate. "

Are you on record as opposing the deceptive excuses for us going to war with other nations in Iraq? To be consistent with your stated belief you must have either believed and accepted the stated purposes for going to war or known that the real reason, strategic resources, was justifiable and did not feel it was important for the real reason to be made known.

To the extent that your beliefs are not even adopted by the Republican Party they may indeed considered extreme if the definition of the word is to describe fringe beliefs that are not accepted by the vast majority.

Talk is cheap, the price of action is colossal.

Paul Emery


To the extent that your beliefs are not even adopted by the Republican Party they may indeed be considered extreme if the definition of the word is to describe fringe beliefs that are not accepted by the vast majority.

George Rebane

PaulE - am I to take from this reply that you do not consider me to be a 'Rightwing extremist'? You were to "challenge" these tenets, which I believe apply in the aggregate to conservatives, for the purpose of ascribing them as extreme or not.

Re Republicans: I already qualified the Republican Party's relation to these tenets. As to how can I vote for Republicans, it all depends upon the alternatives I am presented. For example - I would vote for a randomly drawn name from the Kansas City white pages before voting for Obama, especially now that we know his talents, propensities, and track record. In no case do I want my standard of perfection to be the enemy of the better, or at least tolerable, no matter the party. How about you?

Paul Emery

I ascribe them to be extreme in that very few actually believe in them enough to incorporate those beliefs into a political action that could actually affect policy. My question to you is that do you consider yourself to be independent enough to deter from your traditional path as a loyal Republican. I have respect though differences with Libertarians, for example, because they actually are willing to stand together as a defined minority for what they believe. To the extent that you tent with Republicans you allow yourself to be a hypocrite to your grand beliefs.

I tend to vote Democratic out out self defense. To the extent that you tend towards Republicans for the same reason is consistent with my actions, although in different camps. To the extent that you support the Republican Party in the belief that it is a Conservative movement consistent with your beliefs is a path so naive that I cannot believe you would venture into.

George Rebane

PaulE - Never have I blindly been "loyal" to the Republican party, traditionally or in any other sense. I vote for them when they are the best alternative available. I believe that other well-read and ideologically astute conservatives around the country do the same because they see their choice as being the closest match to the principles which I have outlined. In short, we also "tend to vote" Republican "out of self defense", and not that they are always "consistent with (our) beliefs".

In sum then, you ascribe the numbered tenets to be "extreme" from a relative frequency standpoint, and not in the pejorative sense that your ideological compatriots here use the term. Although I disagree with your diagnosis about the extent to which these tenets influence conservative political action, I accept your statement as reasonable in that it coherently represents your reading of history, and interpretation of our daily dose of data on the political goings on.

It would be interesting to see which of these tenets you actually reject.

Mikey McD

To Rebane's point... is anyone else right of center tired of hearing "no matter the republican presidential candidate he will be better than what we have now." It is a sad state of affairs when the best attribute of a candidate is that he is not someone else.

Also, most republicans do not focus on the above tenets. Rather, they listen to the (warmongering) media for direction. Else Ron Paul would be leading in the polls (no other candidate matches the above tenets better, has a better grasp of economics, constitution, liberty).

Being a CA voter is freeing. I can vote for the best candidate since the repub has zero chance to win anyway. Obama could ignore the national unemployment for 3 years, bailout 'private companies' (especially banks and Unionized companies), start/continue unconstitutional wars, Kill an American without right to trial, sign into law a damning/unconstitutional health care scheme, attack the wealthy and still get re-elected in CA!


George, a good post. Interesting that the radical far left demands you to explain your conservative beliefs while evading anything of substance about their own. Never letting go of blaming Bush/Cheney ~ LOL. Today's Democrat Party was hijacked years ago and resembles nothing of what it was when originally founded other than it's jackass logo. My parents were of the old Democrat Party and would have changed their voter registration had they lived long enough to see what it morphed into today. I've found today's Democrats to be hard left radical socialist/communist ideologues grounded in the philosophy of What's Mine Is Mine and What's Yours Is Mine. There is no compromise unless it is you with them.

Bob W

I am encouraged by Paul Emery's desire that the principal individuals of the Republican party more closely follow the tenets that George has described. Because that would not result in Paul's conversion I suggest you all contemplate hypocrisy.

Paul Emery


To quote a Duke Ellington lyric "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing"

How do you expect to convince anyone of those those grand mantrasif you don't yourself.

You have it backwards Bob. It was my curiosity as to why George allows his lofty ideals to be so compromised as to be an active member of an organization that in no way embraces those principals. I use Bush and Cheney as the most convenient manifestation of Republican leadership to illustrate my point.

A simple example would be the question of a balanced budget amendment. There was no attempts during the Bush-Repub years to make that happen. In fact it was barely proposed. It could have happened in 2000 when we had a balanced budget and even a surplus. Instead the Repubs went for a tax cut instead increasing the deficit etc. It was not even considered by the Repubs and only became an issue when the Democrats were in control because they knew it would never happen because they never really wanted it to begin with. The bubble for defense contractors created by deficit spending was too sacred a cow for Bush and Cheney to touch.

Here's an example of the futility of the pleadings of Balanced Budger proponents to Bush Jr

"Unfortunately, President Bush did not utter the words "balanced budget" or "tax reform" in his SOTU speech."


The inevitable nomination of Romney ("Let's win one for he Flipper") will call in the flock of so called Conservatives who will chest bump with fellow Rep[ublicans thinking they really stand for something.

Meanwhile I'm looking at Gary Johnson who might make a Libertarian run as an option. I may not agree with all Libertarian dogma but at least they believe in something.


Paul Emery


How do you expect to convince anyone of those those grand mantras if you don't support them yourself.

George Rebane

PaulE 1048pm - you are still confusing the discussion here. Those "mantras" stand on their own as my vision of the tenets held by the conservative or so-called Right. I maintain that they are 1) not extreme, and 2) worthy of being embraced by all Americans who are not of the collectivist bent.

And in your question you have totally ignored my 945pm re my support of these tenets; so I shall return the favor.

Greg Goodknight

George, the super obese one who derides you and others as "extreme right" whenever he has a chance almost certainly does not actually believe it, nor would I expect him to actually believe his claim to be a "moderate". It's just a well worn rhetorical tactic of portraying one's opponent as being unreasonable and one's self as being a voice of considerate, moderate reason.

He's a documented liar with more than a hint of unhealthy narcissistic tendencies, who needs his fawning followers. His undergraduate study was Rhetoric, a venerable and valuable field if one is wanting to argue for a living, great for a lawyer but it seems to me to be almost completely at odds with his eventual profession, journalism, since journalists aren't supposed to be arguing for a point of view.

He claims to be a moderate, but always supports the Democrat in the room, and is nearly incapable of identifying anyone on the right as anything but a "right-wing extremist" unless he's trying to start a fight between a relatively nice liberal Republican and a nasty conservative one. He also has rarely (if ever) identified anyone as "left-wing" whether "extremist" or not, despite a number of past and present candidates in the area. Jeff's choice is to portray local politics as a struggle between "moderates" and "right-wing extremists".

In short, George, "extremist" isn't so much a label as it is a cheap debate tactic.

George Rebane

GregG - Thank you for those considerate and comforting observations.

Russ Steele


Great insight, "a cheap debate tactic."


Thanks for making my 25 November 2011 at 01:40 PM, ring true.

Bob W

Paul, Backwards? No I don't think so. Backwards is when one rambles on about unrelated issues in an attempt to deflect or change the issue for lack of a substantive response that he can credibly claim to support.

Hypocrisy is when someone refers to something he would never espouse as a "grand mantra".

Greg Goodknight

Regarding Paul E's derision of the Republican Party, I'd say the current D's are no less the party of their ideals than the Republicans are of theirs.

Libertarians take their ideals seriously, and until they can erect a larger tent, won't get more than low single digit votes. Put three Libertarians together and two will start fighting over which is the purest; that isn't the way to assemble a ruling coalition.

That all said, George and Russ, you do invite the extreme label with the Bastiat Triangle Alliance graphic which even looks a bit spooky to me, and while divisive rhetoric like "Feminazi" drives Limbaugh's mail order tea sales, "raghead" will always work against you no matter how hard you work to narrowly define it.

George Rebane

GregG - It is indeed a bitch. Having understood Bastiat's point, the graphic is supposed to unambiguously convey the notion that those three rights, in and only in concert, are the necessary but not sufficient basis of everything that makes America the exceptional country that it is. If you don't accept that minimalist stable structure (represented in mechanics by a triangle), then you accept little of the formational documents that inform, direct, and gird our society. In other words, by not accepting that triangle of rights, you can logically deconstruct the Founders' prescription for America's governance exactly as it is being done today by the progressives. Perhaps someone can come up with a better graphic to communicate that idea.

'Raghead' I have explained in detail, and I do reject labeling them with some vanilla moniker like 'militant', 'terrorist', 'Muslim extremist', 'Islamist', ... because it does not convey a sufficiently pejorative idea of them. And I do want to make it clear that they are the hated enemy of everything I hold dear about human civilization. If in that I am labeled an extremist, then so be it - I have drawn a clear line in the sand and stand unambiguously on one and only one side of it. Our Founders were also extremists, and so was the bearer of every new idea in history. Quoting Popeye - I yam what I yam.

And thanks Greg, your comments on this form a useful viewpoint for further discussion should it be needed.

Greg Goodknight

George, it isn't about Bastiat's philosophy or the meaning you ascribe to your favored label for Muslim terrorists. It is about the impact of the graphic and the word that undermines your effectiveness.

The first time I saw the triangle graphic it had me wondering if it might be some right-wing militia thing, and raghead will never be free of earlier meanings, just as trying to reuse the infamous N-word or any other racial epithet as some narrowly defined subset of the group originally included will be destined to fail. No amount of detailed explanations will eliminate the baggage you drag along with it.

These two items lets some the crap the FUE throws in the fan stick when it hits, rather than just sliding off as it should.

George Rebane

GregG - I do understand that (and am sorry that such understanding did not come through). And my "effectiveness"? Long ago I was offered the political road in soCal, and knowing my weaknesses, I rejected it. I try to speak plainly about my beliefs and observations to an audience that self-selects according to how I deport myself in these pages and my other outlets. Given my other interests, I have about all the effectiveness I can now handle.

In sum, my effectiveness lives only through the thoughts that I invoke in my readers, that are then passed on by them after they have been appropriately reformulated and edited for polite company. I am satisfied with that. None of this contends with your points.

Paul Emery

Bob W

Of course I was referring to Georges self proclaimed Grand Mantra not anything that I said I necessarily believed in.

The definition of a hypocrite is

a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion

a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings


Both the Democratic and Republican parties are primarily collection agencies for special interest money so a history of financial and membership support for either one would be hypocritical to the stated beliefs expressed in the subject of this post.


"It would be interesting to see which of these tenets you actually reject.'

Let me give it an abridged go at this request to answer a massive and complex question. I will refet to thes tenente by number

1. Bastiat Triangle

I need to know more about this and the origins of the belief system.

2. Constitutionality – Interpretation

I do not claim to be a Constitutional expert but I am aware there are as many different interpretations to the founders intent as there are views of the Bible. Remember, if the courts had not intervened in 2000 Gore would have been President so be aware of what you ask for. Again this is a sweeping and massive simplification of due process that I certainly cannot accept in the sound bite manner that it's presented.


Free Trade

There are so many versions of free trade that I cannot accept that as a universally understood defination.

Heres a start at loking at the question in detail

"What does the balance of the evidence say? What does it actually mean to make trade fairer? Fairer for whom? Must the two goals be mutually exclusive? These are some of the questions this debate will tackle."


4. Limited and Fiscally Prudent Government

Sure, let's have a balanced budget based on paying off the previous years excesses with necessary tax revenues. No unfunded wars and massive debt to support make work for defense contractors.

5. The United States was constituted as a democratic ......... All forms of collectivism, especially collectivism founded on a direct democracy, are inherently unstable and lead through autocracy to tyranny.

Not historically accurate. Collectivism in various forms is supported by the vast majority of Americans as is the progressive income tax. This is a bit of personal shrillness on your part that does not bode well when examined by current and recent history.

6. Citizenship and Voting

Sure. Sounds reasonable. What do you propose we do with the millions of non citizens already here? That is the vital question.

7. Foreign Policy and Trade

I'm pretty much in Ron Paul's camp here. Bring the troops home and defend our borders.

8. Liberty and Opportunity Yes, let's get the government out of the bedrooms and gardens of Americans. End the war on drugs and get out of the marriage business for a start.

It's obvious that each of these statements would be interpreted differently by most everyone. While this serves George well as an articulate expostulation of beliefs it certainly is not ready for mass acceptance. Not ready for prime time as the Republican party has demonstrated over and over.

George Rebane

PaulE - I really do believe you still do not understand what is the purpose of this post and what the listed tenets are intended to convey. You are going all over the map with considerations and questions that are not germane to this post.

The tenets are stated to the precise level of specificity required for this kind of exposition. You have the tendency not to accept anything that others say until it is detailed so the last ounce of meaning is squeezed out of it. (A condition that you yourself don't satisfy in your own broad statements. It seems you would have rejected the Declaration of Independence because Jefferson did not spell out all the means and methods he may have intended for implementing "the pursuit of happiness".)

One more time - these tenets, as stated, are those that I believe are accepted by the aggregate of conservatives. These are tenets that would serve as objectives to be satisfied by acceptable public policies. They are not proposals for detailed implementation, nor claims of Republican performance. I thought I made that very clear in the body, but apparently not.

Again, what would be of interest is how other conservatives view these, and which ones would not be acceptable (as stated) to people of the Left. The question still is, are these tenets extreme in the body of today's conservative thought. I don't think so, but then again, I may be wrong.

Russ Steele


I am on board with the tenets as you outline above. I cannot find any thing to argue with, or could be considered extreme. I just wish that more of our political leaders would put a copy in their pockets and check the list every morning with with their start of the day cup of coffee. And, then check it again to see how they did during the day before turning in at night, and then commit themselves to do better in the morning. We really need to return to our roots, to the Republic that our founding father envisioned and the freedom that they envisioned.

Larry Wirth

I've been around awhile and have heard every perjorative that exists. So, what was the prior meaning of "raghead" that I somehow missed. PS: this is actually a serious question.

Larry Wirth

In re: Point 4. No balanced budget law (with exceptions) = deficts forever = bankruptcy. If you think Congress can do this without a legal requirement to do so, you haven't been paying attention for the last 80 years.

In re: Point 6. Simple, pass a law making illegal entry a felony = no citizenship = no franchise. With that out of the way, we can worry what to do with the rest, probably a case for case-by-case consideration.

Paul Emery

"These are tenets that would serve as objectives to be satisfied by acceptable public policies."

So let's take it the other way around George. Let's look at public policy ahd those that support those policies and ask do they subscribe to your definitions of contemporary Conservative directives. Let's look at the illegality of growing Marijuana for your own consumption in your backyard as an example. It this acceptable activity by your decrees? How about the Government being involved in marriage declarations and responsibilities or a womans right to choose.

As to whether these tenants are extreme to the body of today's conservative thought as you put it I say they are as evidenced by the policies of the Republican party and the acceptance of those contrary policies by the vast majority of members who call themselves Conservatives but don't really believe in what you propose. Does that make any sense? Using that gauge It seems you are extreme even in your own Republican camp.

By the way, thanks for the respectful and stimulating conversation.

D. King

Paul Emery | 27 November 2011 at 03:20 AM

"How about the Government being involved in marriage declarations and responsibilities or a womans right to choose."

I love that term. The attempt to somehow disconnect the action of killing another human being from the crudity of killing another human being. Beautiful!

Especially in the face of the majesty of all our lives.


George Rebane

PaulE 320am - Well, we gave it a mighty try. I'm sure we'll do better on the next idea/issue. Thank you for the effort. (BTW, how come you're not cutting Zs at 320am??)

Todd Juvinall

George I had a post here this morning and it didn't show up.

Bob W

Paul E., Hypocritical is when someone finds every instance he can muster of one group failing to steadfastly comply to a set of tenets while occasionally throwing in the mention of the opposing group without any particular criticism in an attempt to absolve himself of the same shortcoming.

You're great at it, and you belittle yourself.

George Rebane

ToddJ 849am - Sorry to hear that you lost a comment. I did not see it. Always good to compose in your text editor, or at least copy everything from the comment editing box before you hit 'post' and confirm that it is posted. Please try it again.

Todd Juvinall

It was so good I don't think I can recrete it. Darn.

Greg Goodknight

Just couldn't leave this one behind...

"Remember, if the courts had not intervened in 2000 Gore would have been President so be aware of what you ask for."

Actually, Paul, had the courts not intervened Bush would have had his Florida electors sooner. The duly elected officials of Florida had Bush ahead after a recount or two, and only then the Florida Supreme Court (7 Dems, 0 R's after years of one party rule) started rewriting Florida election law on the fly. What SCOTUS did was provide adult supervision to the out of control Florida Supremes, split 4-3 on their last decision (that chose to largely ignore the first SCOTUS decision) with their Chief Justice writing the minority opinion to the effect that what the 4 were doing was unconstitutional.

Worst case, the Florida election count would not have been certified and the selection of electors would be made by the Florida legislature, which was majority Republican at the time. That would have taken more time and been messier, but the outcome would have been the same.

On top of all that, had the media followed their own rules, there would have been thousands more Bush votes as the conservative panhandle, in a different time zone, had a huge drop off in voting after the whole state was called for Gore before their polling places closed.

Really, Paul, you got to let that one go. It was a messy election, but it wasn't stolen by the Supreme Court.

Todd Juvinall

Greg excellent remembrance. PalE constantly bashes Bush and it appears to me to be personal.

The Florida Supremes were going to allow a recount only in Gore victory counties to mine for more votes for Gore. The SCOTUS said nope, equal protection means all counties. Gore withdrew if my memory is good. Gore wanted to cherry pick and his democrat pals if the Florida court were obliging.

Greg Goodknight

Todd, bashing Bush is fair, but the vandalizing of the reputation of the Supreme Court and elections harmed the country with the effects continuing to this day.

Paul Emery

I was using that as an example of how he Courts intervened in the election process, something that our blog host disagrees with.

George Rebane

PaulE - How did you deduce that I disagree with the courts' intervention in the 2000 election?

Paul Emery

I nevfer said that you did. It was just an example of using the power of the courts for partisan purposes. Most legal decisions that reach the Supreme Court have sound arguments both ways. They knew what to do, nobody had to tell them.

Todd Juvinall

The patented PaulE didge. Come on Paul, we read what you write.

George Rebane

PaulE 1105am and 1217pm - Now I'm really confused. Then what is the "something that our blog host disagrees with."?

Paul Emery

I thought elections were the domain of the States? Isn't that what Republics do?

Greg Goodknight

The Florida courts intervened, not because they were itching for a fight, but rather after Gore filed suit. Blame Gore and the activist Florida Supremes for the partisan purposes.

The time and place to invent new election law is not in the aftermath of the election, in judge's chambers. The Florida courts should have deferred to existing law and the legislature but that would have led to Bush getting the electors, exactly what then current law and elected authorities had found.

So Paul, where was misuse of "the power of the courts for partisan purposes" coming from, exactly?

Todd Juvinall

The myth that PaulE continues to believe has been disproved many times, the latest by Greg in these blogs. Gore filed suit to cherry pick two or three counties where he had already won! He thought he would pick up more votes and he would have if the SCOYUS had not said "equal protection" means you do all the counties. Gore withdrew. So PaulE, you need to move on man, unless you are still stuck in the grassy knoll mindset.

Todd Juvinall

Oh and BTW, the only elected person nationwide are the Prez and Vice Prez so the Founders put the electoral college in the constitution to handle that. That is a federal election PaulE, not a state election.

Paul Emery


I suggest you read this (the Constitution) and tell me where it says the Supreme Court will be the final arbiter in contested elections.


Todd Juvinall

Regarding the Presidency it only takes a teeny bit of logic to see the SCOTUS has taken that from Marbury v Madison.

George Rebane

PaulE's 1022am is a precious example of how the Left attempts the deconstruction of the Constitution, and thereby argue and legitimize the passage of volumes of extra/un-constitutional laws. Nowhere does the Constitution spell out that SCOTUS "will be the final arbiter of contested elections" or, for that matter, a billion other potentially contested specifics. But in Art 3 Sec 2 it does spell out that the "judicial power" of SCOTUS "shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the Unites States, and Treaties made." The laws of the US allow appeal of contested federal election matters, and untold other matters, to SCOTUS as the final arbiter.

Paul Emery


Does this, in your opinion fall under the legitimate arm of the courts or is it as you described:

" 2. Constitutionality – Interpretation of the US Constitution according to the intent of the Founders as explicated in their writings. Recognizing also that the Constitution is a living document and contains explicit directions on how it may be modified to best serve future generations. Modifying it by other means – e.g. from the judiciary bench – undermines the Constitution and our national weal. "

Greg Goodknight

Just can't figure out a good response to my challenges, eh, Paul?

It would appear that in your world, the four Democrat(ic) rogue Florida supreme court justices (doing what their Democratic Chief Justice and two Democratic colleagues warned was unconstitutional), and the Democratic minority justices in the SCOTUS (including a past ACLU general counsel) voting to support them, were just following good Constitutional principles, and the majority in the SCOTUS that didn't were just partisan hit men who knew what to do without being told.

This strains your credulity, not that it needed any more straining.

George Rebane

PaulE 1235pm - To what exactly what does the "this" in your question refer?

Nevertheless, if there is contention in the land as to 1) how the Constitution may be modified, or 2) whether some action has modified the Constitution illegally, then SCOTUS is the final arbiter. In this light, tenet #2 stands as written.

Paul Emery

What is your take Greg?

Was this an acceptable example of judicial intervention in States affairs?

You reveal your prejudices by referring the the Florida supremes as "Rogues". Their credibility was never a question contemplated by the Supremes. That strains your credibility Greg.

Steven Frisch

The pattern here continues...interventional from the federal level is fine as long as it suits ones purposes, evel if not. I think this effectively demonstrates the " constitutional governance" fallacy of many in the Tea Party movement, and many posters here.

George Rebane

SteveF 819pm - without giving more evidence or argument, does your stating that a 'constitutional governance fallacy' exists make it so? Shouldn't you connect a couple more dots?

Todd Juvinall

Liberals have always used the courts at all levels and especially since the 60's to make law. We on the right generally resit that.

Michael Rogers

George, I would say that I agree with the vast majority of what you outline here. Some of what I don't may be a matter of interpretation and could be clarified by debate. The part I would add is the right of people to form any alliance they deem necessary to preserve their liberty without forcing others to participate against their will. I will create a posting on the core elements of my political philosophy as you requested, but it may take a while as things are getting pretty busy for me now.

George Rebane

At your convenience MichaelR.

Todd Juvinall

So Michael, are you a friend of Mr. Frisch? Truckee is a place I knew well.

The comments to this entry are closed.