Serpents and Doves

stl-tp-logo-dark-200x200

President Obama has been leading from behind when it comes to foreign policy. That fact is very apparent right now more than ever.

We have seen this with Guantanamo Bay, in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. And as President Obama and his team have vacated the premises on foreign policy, Senators like Ted Cruz have taken the lead in shutting out the Iranian Ambassador from the United Nations, supporting Israel, and in interaction with Russia regarding the Ukraine crisis in what some see as the first steps to rebuilding the USSR.

President Putin and Russia’s leadership have been betting on all the horses and petty dictators that the United States of America is betting against.  With Russia’s recent pushes against Ukraine largely ignored, it is for the United States to reassert itself on the international stage.

As Obama has abdicated his place of leadership for tee times, it is time for us to no longer wait on a Commander in Chief who has shown that he and his administration are unwilling to act. Congress is coming off of its recess and should stand resolved to do what they can, without military intervention, to impact nations fostering animosity towards our Republic.

The ability for the United States of America to have a direct impact on Russia does not require a carrier group to be anchored in the Barents or Black Sea. Congress must simply take the first step of taking funding away.

Congress holds the purse strings to an ever-growing amount of foreign aid, a significant portion of which is going to countries who are not earning the friendship of the United States of America.

In fiscal year 2012, $440.9 million of our taxpayer dollars were obligated to Russia in foreign aid (for the Top 25 countries that received millions of our taxpayer dollars, go here to see the list).

It’s a head scratcher-we fully admit it.

We wonder how quickly Russia would stop bullying former states of the USSR for their own financial gain if we pulled the purse? On a different topic, how different the Mexican border would look if the United States spent the money on the southern border instead of across it (Mexico received over $200 million our dollars in 2012 in foreign aid)?

This is not a call to end all foreign aid. However, it is a call to restructure how we hand out our money and to whom.

Defining Conservatism

stl-tp-logo-dark-200x200

It’s Campaign 101 sort of stuff -define your opponent before he defines you. For years, there has been a struggle to define terms in American politics: conservative, liberal, tea party, leftist, socialist, big government, crony capitalism, etc. The list could go on and on.

Many of these terms are bandied about by politicians and pundits with no real attempt to actually define them. In recent years, politicians and others have taken great liberties to slap whatever label they want to on a given issue and hope that it passes muster.

Those of us who follow the inside baseball of politics remember when Matt Latimer wrote that George W. Bush and those inside his administration either 1) didn’t know there was such a thing as a “conservative movement” or 2) felt they could redefine what conservative meant. We remember reading Matt’s articles and the write-ups on his book, Speech-Less: Tales of a White House Survivor, and chuckling at some of the stories he told. They seemed impossible, but No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D, TARP and other legacies from the Bush Administration said otherwise. On all of these was slapped the label “compassionate conservatism.”

Frankly, none of them were either compassionate or were they conservative. They were bald-faced attempts to buy off constituencies and special interests and soothe conservative angst by slapping “conservative” on them.

So what do we mean by “conservative”? How do we define “conservatism”? Words and the definition of them are fundamental for so many things, not the least of which is to be able to argue definitively for or against something.

Consider for a moment if words lost their meaning. How would people interact? How would conversations have any sort of meaning if words had no definitions?

This is our attempt to at least start a conversation. There will be some who will disagree with us and that’s fine. Our goal with this blog and others to follow is to answer the questions: Are there hard and fast tenants of conservatism and if there are, what are they?

So let’s start by defining “conservative” and for the sake of keeping things simple, a simple definition with suffice.

A conservative is one who believes in limited government, the free enterprise system, the sanctity of life, lower taxes and the freedom to make individual decisions within the parameters of an ordered society. In other words, for society to function properly, there must be a list of do’s and don’ts.

Here’s where things get interesting.

What is “conservatism”? Are there core tenants to it, principles to live by?

The answer is yes.

Let’s follow up with this question: Is expanding government conservative? The question itself seems trivial, but there are many in Washington, DC and state capitols that tie themselves in knots trying to justify the expansion of government in the name of conservatism (see “compassionate conservatism” above.).

Take for example the Internet Sales Tax pushed by some who call themselves conservative. The argument made by them and their corporate funders is that it is conservative to take the Internet sales tax away from the federal government and give it to the states. Better yet, this tax creates jobs.

At first glance, the argument seems sound enough until you realize that this now gives 49 states the ability to collect taxes from the 50th and so on and so forth. The latter is the argument big government advocates make all the time: this new government program creates jobs!

So ask yourself: does the Internet Sales Tax create more or less government? Does it create more dependence on government or less? There are fundamental tenets of conservatism. You cannot be for the expansion of government and dependence on it and call yourself or the issue you are pushing conservative.

The argument will be made that it is the “fair” thing to do as brick and mortar retailers like Wal-Mart are taxed differently than online entities like eBay. But is a conservative solution one that creates more red tape or reduces it for all parties? Is it fair to create more government bureaucracy for small online businesses?

The obvious answer is to reduce the intrusion of government into the marketplace, not expand it.

Over the next few weeks, we will dig deeper into this issue and next week tackle the question: can you be fiscally conservative and socially moderate and still be considered a conservative?

Bureaucratizing Street Gangs

news

Original Post: Bureaucratizing Street Gangs.

Did you ever wonder why do-gooders and social planners never pay for their crimes? Yesterday, I wrote about Jesse Jackson dressing down at the hands of activists in a McDonald’s parking lot in Ferguson. I pointed out that Martin Luther King and Dick Gregory were similarly dismissed by rioters in the 1960s. Some things never change.…

The post Bureaucratizing Street Gangs appeared first on Hennessy's View.

Exposing the Race Hustlers in Ferguson

stl-tp-logo-dark-200x200

Original Post: Exposing the Race Hustlers in Ferguson.

There’s an awesome YouTube video of Jesse Jackson getting skewered in Ferguson. First, though, a little history. One of the greatest books ever on race-based poverty and jobs programs is Tom Wolfe’s Mau-Mauing the Flak-Catchers. You won’t understand race politics in America without reading it. Twice. Four times, maybe. If you’ve read it, you know why…

The post Exposing the Race Hustlers in Ferguson appeared first on Hennessy's View.

How Jay Nixon Lost the Liberal Press

stl-tp-logo-dark-200x200

Original Post: How Jay Nixon Lost the Liberal Press.

“And then say what? say, ‘forget you’re hungry, forget you got shot inna back by some racist cop—Chuck was here? Chuck come up to Harlem—’ ”“No, I’ll tell you what—” “‘Chuck come up to Harlem and—’ ”“I’ll tell you what—” “Say,‘Chuck come up to Harlem and gonna take care a business for the black community’?”…

The post How Jay Nixon Lost the Liberal Press appeared first on Hennessy's View.

ACTION: Tell Missouri Legislature to Pass Tax Holiday for Ferguson

stl-tp-logo-dark-200x200

Original Post: ACTION: Tell Missouri Legislature to Pass Tax Holiday for Ferguson.

We’ve officially kicked off the #Ferguson BUYcott, but we’re far from done. First, we’re asking people to keep the BUYcott going while we organize a bigger event for Labor Day Weekend. Second, I texted Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones on Thursday with another idea: an emergency Sales Tax Holiday for Ferguson/Dellwood area.  Please contact your…

The post ACTION: Tell Missouri Legislature to Pass Tax Holiday for Ferguson appeared first on Hennessy's View.

What I Saw at the #Ferguson Riots (Video)

fergusonriots1

by Sgt. Gary Wiegert

I respect St. Louis County Police Chief John Belmar and wish he was in charge the night I happened to be in the fergusonriots1middle of a riot.

Like everyone in the country, I had different opinions on the actions of the police and protesters in Ferguson, Mo.  I became set in my beliefs when I worked the security detail Friday night for CNN reporters covering the protest in the Ferguson maelstrom.

To quell the looting, rioting, and gun shot incidents,on previous nights, the Ferguson police needed help from police departments in the St. Louis area. These officers worked  under the unified command of the St. Louis County Police Department. St. Louis County Police Chief John Belmar was in charge. Some people took exception to the use of armored vehicles, displaying of  guns and arrests of protesters and media.

That is when politics changed the equation and a void in leadership occurred.  Governor Nixon, with the support of Senator Claire McCaskill, County Supervisor Charley Dooley and St. Louis Police Chief Doyle Dotson determined to give command and control to the Missouri Highway Patrol.  The highway patrol was out of their league and chaos ensued.

While working security for the camera crews I was stunned when the highway patrol abandoned the citizens and businesses of Ferguson.  I, too, felt abandoned. I watched looters and rioters ply their trade while the police refused to respond.  I was powerless to protect the camera crew, so I kept the van running with an escape route if rioting became too dangerous.

For 3 hours I was parked beside the Ferguson Market and watched as looters systematically stole liquor and cigarettes.  The thieves were a gang of bloods wearing red and black and they controlled the theft until they had their fill.  When they drove off  individuals ran up and mass looting occurred with looters running off in different directions carrying the leftovers from the market.

I also observed rioters go to their vehicles and place handguns in their waistbands as they shuffled past me to join the protesters.  Meanwhile, carloads of thugs arrived wearing masks. Scores of white agitators wearing gas masks joined the pandemonium.  Through all of this, random gunfire punctuated the night. No police response.

At one point, the gunfire grew so heavy that an eight-man security team evacuated its position in the QuikTrip parking lot, dragging along newscasters. I was stunned by the courage of news cameramen who hung in to the last possible moment of escape. They had to get  “The Money Shot” of looters and arsonists. At this point, it was every man for himself as news crews and security scrambled to save their lives. The Missouri Highway Patrol was missing in action.       .

The predators observed weakness in the new commander Captain Johnson. Criminals took advantage of his appeasement strategy.  His comments apologizing for police behavior and stated embarrassment at wearing the blue uniform did not help the situation.  His misguided belief in hugs and kisses to the protesters did not placate the looters and rioters.

The solution to the problem relies on local control and strong, local leadership.  Interference from Governor Nixon and Attorney General Eric Holder won’t help the situation.

Video by Lee A. Presser

Why St. Louis Tea Party Went to Ferguson To Shop

stl-tp-logo-dark-200x200

Original Post: Why St. Louis Tea Party Went to Ferguson To Shop.

You can’t change the world in your living room. That’s why a small band of (mostly) white people from (mostly) West County drove to Ferguson (and Dellwood) to shop tonight. We targeted the small businesses that were hit hard by violence–violence committed (mostly) by out of town agitators, criminals, vandals, and hooligans. We drove to…

The post Why St. Louis Tea Party Went to Ferguson To Shop appeared first on Hennessy's View.

The Export-Import Bank Story the Post-Dispatch Refused to Print

stl-tp-logo-dark-200x200

Original Post: The Export-Import Bank Story the Post-Dispatch Refused to Print.

Since the Post won’t run my reply a recent op-ed about the Ex-Im Bank, I’ll publish it here: Huge multi-national corporations like to preach from the “small business” bible when it comes to the Export-Import bank. Unfortunately, most of the Ex-Im propaganda about how “small business” benefits crumbles under scrutiny. Professor Stanford Levin of Southern…

The post The Export-Import Bank Story the Post-Dispatch Refused to Print appeared first on Hennessy's View.

Ferguson Shopping Ideas

stl-tp-logo-dark-200x200

Original Post: Ferguson Shopping Ideas.

Here are some businesses people should frequent: Eat at Sweetie Pies on W. Florrisant, or head to Paul’s Market on Elizabeth, Drive down N./S. Florrisant for Shop-n-Save, Chinese Food, local eats, bakeries, dollar tree, etc.  Ferguson also extends to New Halls Ferry and 270, where there is a Home Depot, another Shop-n-Save, Party store, UPS…

The post Ferguson Shopping Ideas appeared first on Hennessy's View.