Welcome to my blog! While North Carolina is a Red state, the metro Charlotte area is a Blue outpost dominated by liberals and RINO's. I have established this Conservative bastion to provide me with a creative outlet to express my views about local, national and world events. Feel free to chime in.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

My Perspective on Gas Prices

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a believer in Capitalism and so I don't subscribe to the notion that because oil companies are enjoying huge profits that they ought to pay a windfall profits tax. After all during times when they're losing money, do you ever hear anybody offering to help them? Many politicians, mostly Democrats are pushing hard to levy this tax against big oil. They claim that the money would be used for rebates to Americans and to help low income people who struggle paying for gas. In other words, this would be just another income redistribution scheme. If these politicians really cared about how gas prices are impacting lives of Americans, they would move to reduce the amount of tax we pay on a gallon of gas. So while I don't fault the oil companies for their profits, I do feel that their business practices are a contributing factor to skyrocketing gas prices. Yes oil is hovering at or above $70 a barrel and that has a direct impact on what we pay at the pump. And yes liberal politicians and radical environmentalists are keeping us from drilling for oil off our coasts and in Anwar. But big oil is playing a critical role here in the U.S. which is dramatically impacting the supply and demand curve which has a more direct impact on gas prices. They're not using their profits to build more refinery infrastructure. Why? No money in it for them. Yes there is more regulation but that's not the main issue. It's not in their best interest to build more refineries and that is killing us at the pump. We in the southeast saw how fragile our gasoline delivery systems are when Katrina devastated New Orleans and crippled our refinery capacity. We also saw how little tolerance people have when delivery of gasoline is interrupted. Long lines at gas stations, panic and eventually fighting each other. Even with all of our refinery capacity running at 100%, we are not able to refine enough oil to keep up with demand. To fill the gap, we import gasoline from places like Canada. So any disruption in our capacity to refine oil into gas means we must import more gasoline to fill the gap. This is what we experienced last fall. And despite all that we learned last year about how vulnerable we are, nothing has changed to improve our situation. To be fair, oil companies are pouring millions of dollars of profit into discovering new sources of oil and improving the oil extraction process and that's great. But they must also build more refineries so that we are less vulnerable to an interruption of refining capacity. So how is all this impacting today's gas prices? Oil financial experts have already been speculating about what will happen if another hurricane were to interrupt our refinery capacity this year. The speculation alone is enough to trigger fear in the markets and cause the price of gas to soar.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Send a Brick to Congress

There's a new grass roots movement afoot to protest Washington's illegal alien amnesty plans called Send A Brick:

The Send-A-Brick Project was created by concerned citizens to send bricks to Washington encouraging our Congressmen to stand tough on border security.

Each brick sends a message to our Senators and Representatives that we want our borders secured before any other action is taken on illegal immigration.
I've also read several blogs that recommend sending Congress a double message by mailing in LEGO bricks -- support of immigration enforcement and standing in solidarity with Denmark over the Mohammed cartoons.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Illegal Immigration

I saw this article today and couldn't believe what I was reading. Hispanic protesters in Los Angeles demanding that we leave this continent because they were here first. Unbelievable!! I am vehemently opposed to illegal immigration, the key word being illegal. Immigrants from all over the world have come here to America for a better life and have built this country. The key to immigration is successful assimilation into the American way of life. That means becoming a U.S. citizen, paying taxes and above all speaking English. I am all for legal immigration. Illegal immigrants do not assimilate, they create a heavy burden on local, State and Federal social programs and they refuse to learn English. I strongly oppose any hint of amnesty to illegal immigrants. If the Republican controlled Senate pushes through their version of an immigration bill that 89% of Americans oppose, it could spell the end of Republican control of Congress. Here is an opinion piece written by Rep. Steve King that supports this.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Failure of Public Schools

John Stossel who is one of the hosts on ABC's 20/20 recently hosted a TV special called "Stupid in America". In this show he pointed out several facts and statistics that highlight the failure of our nation's public school system to educate our children. He writes about the fallout he has experienced since the showed aired here. Here are some highlights:

Teachers unions are mad at me. The New York State United Teachers demands I apologize for my "gutter level" journalism, "an irresponsible assault on public school students and teachers." This is because I hosted an ABC News TV special titled "Stupid in America," which pointed out:

-- American fourth graders do well on international tests, but by high school, Americans have fallen behind kids in most other countries.

-- The constant refrain that "public schools need more money" is nonsense. Many countries that spend significantly less on education do better than we do...

-- Most American parents give their kids' schools an A or B grade, but that's only because, without market competition, they don't know what they might have had...

-- There is little K-12 education competition in America because public schools are a government monopoly...

All that angered the unions. But when they criticize my "bias and ignorance," I don't hear them refute the points listed above. They don't refute them because they can't. It's just a fact that rules that insist an energetic, hard-working teacher who makes learning fun must be paid exactly the same as a lazy, incompetent teacher are rules that promote mediocrity...

Instead, teachers' unions announced that Wednesday (3/8), they will hold demonstrations against me and ABC in New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit, and elsewhere. One police permit suggests the crowd outside my office will number 750-1,000 people. It should be interesting...

Here once again is a prime example of the liberal establishment refusing to see things for how they are and making the choice instead to live in fantasy land. At the expense of our children I might add. Look no one argues that there are many fine people working as teachers and administrators in our public school system. But if America is to keep her innovative edge in the global economy then we must at least be willing to admit that the current education system is not working and throwing more money at it is not the answer. What we're getting instead is the teacher's union putting their interests above the education of our children because they don't want to disrupt the status quo.

Iran Threatens "Harm and Pain"

In the latest exchange of words over the threat of a nuclear Iran, Iran has threatened to bring harm and pain to us for our role in bringing Iran before the U.N. Security Council over their so called "peaceful" quest for nuclear energy. Personally I think we should skip the U.N. entirely and if necessary go unilaterally to take out Iran. Recent evidence has shown that Iran is manufacturing and smuggling improvised explosive devices (IED) into Iraq. The latest generation of these IED's being manufactured in Iran is able to penetrate the strongest armor we have deployed in the field and they are killing Americans. As far as I'm concerned they have already declared war on us. But in the interest of diplomacy, we have chosen the world view on this issue for the time being and are giving the U.N. yet another opportunity to take action. It is very unlikely that the U.N. will do anything to prevent Iran from joining the "nuclear club" and becoming a very destabilizing force in the Middle East. More than likely it will come down to another U.S. lead effort to oust a radical regime. So that brings me to the title of my post. What harm and pain can Iran bring to the U.S.? Certainly they are a major exporter of terrorism and some sort of terrorist attack is a possibility. I tend to think the harm and pain they're referring to is more subtle than a terrorist attack. Iran is the second largest producer of oil in the Middle East. They have recently forged very strong financial ties with Russia, China, Japan and India by setting up exclusive oil contracts with these countries and nuclear technology sharing from Russia in particular. Oil has become a global commodity and the price of oil is set not by OPEC or the U.S. but by oil traders. This puts us in a very vulnerable position. The U.S. has had trade sanctions imposed against Iran since 1979. This does not mean that oil produced in Iran does not make it to our shores. Any disruption or rumor of disruption of the flow of oil into the global market causes spikes in the price of oil. We have already seen this occur several times since Hurricane Katrina. There has also been a move afoot over the past few years by the oil producing countries in the Middle East to shift to the gold Dinar as the currency with which to buy and sell oil. Currently the U.S. dollar is the currency used in buying and selling oil. President Nixon took us off the gold standard back in 1971 and today the U.S. dollar, no longer backed by gold is traded as another commodity on the open market. As the value of the dollar rises and falls against other currencies, money is made and lost in oil transactions. Let's say we pay someone for tanker full of oil at $60 a barrel today. Tomorrow the value of the dollar drops so that the $60 barrel of oil we paid for yesterday is now worth $58 a barrel. The seller of that oil just lost a ton of money. Unlike the U.S. dollar, the Dinar is gold and is therefore not subject to same fluctuations in value as the U.S. dollar. Saddam Hussein saw the logic of moving to the gold Dinar and realized that doing so could cause damage to the U.S. economy. He made several attempts while he was still in power to make this move. I believe that Iran will use the only weapon it really has against the U.S. right now and this is oil, to bring us harm and pain. By disrupting or threatening to disrupt the flow of oil, they hope to bring America to its knees at the gas pump. If they're able to couple this with influencing other oil producing countries to move to the gold Dinar, it could cause us some problems. We've already seen how Americans react to a disruption in gasoline supplies. Nothing short of sheer panic. Many of our parents and their parents suffered through the great depression and had to make great sacrifices at home so that "our greatest generation" of fighting men and women could go overseas to defeat Germany and Japan. Thousands and thousands of volunteers willing to sacrifice their lives if necessary to preserve this country for us to enjoy today. I look around and wonder; would Americans today with their apathetic view of the world beyond their backyard and their narrow focus of chatting on cell phones and downloading MP3's to their iPods be willing to make the same sacrifices Americans before us have had to make? I want to believe that we would but I can't say it with certainty as I watch the moral fabric of our nation unravel before my eyes

Friday, March 03, 2006

Unions in America

Thomas Sowell over at Capitalism Magazine has written a great article about unions in the United States. The recent financial debacles over at GM and Ford are the latest evidence of how unions are making it impossible for unionized companies to compete on the global market. In the case of the auto industry, GM and Ford are laying off thousands while Toyota, who also builds cars in the U.S., is hiring. Why? Because GM and Ford have become healthcare providers instead of builders of cars and Toyota is not saddled with pensions or excessive healthcare costs. Perhaps at a time earlier in the last century unions had a role to play in improving treatment of workers in the U.S. but those days are gone. Consumer Reports just released their Top Ten Car Picks for 2006 and not a single domestic model was in the list. Just one more nail in the coffin for domestic auto makers unless some big changes take place and fast.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

More Iranian Ignorance

Okay this is good! You all know who Tom and Jerry are right? I grew up watching Tom and Jerry cartoons. Well there's an article over at WorldNetDaily today about an Iranian official who claims that the Tom and Jerry cartoon is a Jewish conspiracy. Prof. Hasan Bolkhari, a cultural advisor to the Iranian Education Ministry says that Tom and Jerry was created to eradicate the association between mice and Jews created in the minds of Europeans by Hitler. Wow is this over the top or what? To start with, this guy needs a history lesson. He claims that the Jewish Walt Disney Company created this cartoon. In fact Tom and Jerry was created by Joe Barbera and Bill Hanna in 1939. This guy seems to be taking lessons from the liberals in this country who love to re-write history and demonize people we all grew up to believe were heroes, like our Founding Fathers.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Stop the Port Sellout - UPDATE

Ever since the story broke about the turnover of control of several east coast ports to Dubai Ports World, I have been doing my due diligence to better understand the whole affair. After all I do support President Bush and it is only fair that I give the man the benefit of the doubt since he so strongly supports this merger. Before I get into my philosophical views on this, I'd like to get some facts out. For one, Dubai Ports World would take over management of the ports. Port security would remain the responsibility of the U.S. This is important because whenever I hear criticism of this merger, one of the points of contention is we cannot turnover security of our ports to the UAE. The UAE was one of only 3 countries in the world to recognize the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Another little known fact is that China already manages several of our ports on the west coast of the U.S. Where was all the opposition when that deal went through? I would think that a known Communist country taking over control of our ports should have raised a few eye brows, but then again Clinton was President then and the MSM did not go after him like they do Bush. I have learned that while there is objection to this from both Republicans and Democrats on the hill, there are also many people who I respect who do not see a problem with this merger going through. And as far as the objections go, I do want to make clear that I believe most of the opposition from the Democrats is politically motivated and simply an opportunity for them to try and paint themselves as "tough on terror". I listen to Rush Limbaugh on occasion and I was tuned into his show the other day and while he does not come out and openly support the merger he does feel that it warrants some serious consideration. While I don't always agree with Bill O'Reilly, I do think he tries to present a "fair and balanced" view of issues and he is in support of this deal. Condoleezza Rice has also come out and publicly supports this deal. Obviously she would not come out and publicly oppose the President, but like President Bush I believe very strongly that she would not approve of something that could bring harm to America. I watched Hannity & Colmes last night and General Tommy Franks was one of their guests and he weighed in on the deal. Now here's a man who knows the real deal about what is going on in the Middle East and he considers the UAE one of our strongest allies in the region. He also made a point to mention that the UAE has the largest ports in the Persian Gulf region and that they are very efficient at moving large amounts of product through their ports. When I served in the U.S. Navy I was on a ship that participated in Desert Storm in 1991. We pulled into Dubai and Jebel Ali several times for repairs to take on supplies and I can attest to the efficiency of their port operations. I want to take the President at his word and trust that he and his administration are doing what they believe is best for this country, but I can't seem to get past my distrust of Muslims. My Dad is a wealth of common sense and when I was growing up he would occasionally impart words of wisdom onto me which I continue to use in my everyday life. One of his favorite phrases is "actions speak louder than words". And my distrust of Muslims centers around the fact that their inaction is speaking volumes about their attitude towards the terrorists and us who are fighting them. Drudge Report had a link to a story yesterday titled ISLAMOPHOBIA? It came from the anti-American news service Reuters so I didn't place much credence in it. But it does go into an issue I find interesting and that is several analysts and security experts in the UAE region interpret our opposition to this ports merger as an "Arab phobia" and that opponents of the deal "are reopening 9/11 wounds, turning this into an Arab-Muslim conspiracy to control the lives of Americans." The vast majority of Americans are good people, we all know that. All many of us want to do is to come home from work everyday, watch some TV, have a beer, spend time with the family, have cookouts on the weekends, watch sports and be left alone to live our lives. That's the American way. We want to connect with other cultures, we want to help other people. That's why so many people around the world want to come here and live. These people attacked us on Sep 11, 2001 and killed over 3,000 innocent people. For me, the wounds can't be reopened because they've never healed. And one reason they've not healed for me personally is because I have not seen a single so called "moderate Muslim" stand up and say that they support the U.S. in our efforts to rid the world of Islamofacism. I did not see one single protest or march of Muslim Americans standing in solidarity against the terrorists after the attacks of 9/11. Instead it seems like the only time we hear anything out of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is when our political correctness runs amok and we're accused of racially profiling Muslims. If the UAE is such a staunch ally of the U.S. why aren't they speaking out publicly about their support of us and our efforts in the Middle East. I believe it's because "blood is thicker than water". They refuse to acknowledge that a radical segment of their faith is interpreting their holy book, the Qur'an to meet their objective of world domination and violence against innocent people who don't happen to believe in Allah. We've recently had the opportunity the see Muslim tolerance of other peoples and faiths play out on the world stage in the form of death and destruction over a few cartoons. Again "actions speak louder than words". Where are the moderate Muslims speaking out against this intolerance? Until I see Muslims standing with us against the tyranny of Islamofacism, I cannot and will not trust them. And I think there are many Americans who feel the same way I do. I understand that President Bush would like to mend ties with the Persian Gulf states by promoting this merger as a step forward, but the American people must be behind him on this or he will appear like he is simply going after his own agenda and I believe that would spell doom for Republicans.

Monday, February 20, 2006

The Cartoons of Blasphemy

The MSM has caved in to the extremists and will NOT print the cartoons that have sparked so much rage worldwide. The Muslim worldview aims to strip us of one of the West's most fundamental principles, freedom of speech. It's pretty much been left up to bloggers to put the truth out there. I have decided to join these freedom fighters and make the cartoons available for viewing here.

The Myth of Separation of Church and State

There is a battle waging in our country for the hearts and minds of every God fearing free American and that is the effort underway to remove God from the public square. Some may say "so what, what's the big deal?". I mean just because a few words get changed in the Pledge of Allegiance or our currency no longer has "In God We Trust" printed on it doesn't make us a bad country. We'll still be a country who cares about others, right? And it's this very apathetic attitude that we see prevalent in our society that may very well spell the end of the America we all know and love. Like many Americans, including our Founding Fathers, I believe that our greatness as a Nation is a blessing from God. Our freedoms come from God and if we take that for granted and allow the forces behind this movement to remove God from our public consciousness, we will be turning our backs on Him and His blessing on us. What is even more outrageous to me is that the basis of the argument of removing God from schools, courtrooms and other public places is based on a myth. Yes a myth that has been perpetrated by the ACLU, left-wing liberals, the mainstream media (MSM), agnostics and atheists across this country. There is nothing in the Establishment of Religion clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution that justifies the legal actions that are playing out in courtrooms across America. Furthermore and even more disgraceful are the activist liberal judges who are establishing legal precedents making the removal of God an acceptable action adding more legitimacy to this myth. I found this great article at NoApathy.org that explains the origin of this myth and how it's being used to unravel the moral fabric of this great nation. You can read it here.

In the Face of Evil

The documentary In the Face of Evil: Reagan's War in Word and Deed will make its national television debut today (President's Day) on the Trinity Broadcast Network (TBN). This documentary chronicles the history of the Cold War and Ronald Reagan's 40-year campaign to bring an end to Soviet Communism and reveals how one man's faith, determination and unwavering conviction altered the course of world history. Originally released in theaters in the fall of 2004 for a limited theatrical run, it broke box office attendance records for a documentary in a number of cities where it was screened. At that time, the film received critical praise from all sectors of the media and was the recipient of several awards from the film industry and prominent film festivals. It will air tonight on TBN at 10:00 pm Eastern, 7:00 pm Pacific. If you love Ronald Reagan as I do, then you must watch this documentary.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Bad News for the Death Watch Liberals

Harry Whittington has been released from the hospital and has done a press conference. As I expected he came across as a real gentleman and he expressed regret about the turmoil Vice President Cheney has had to endure. I'm real happy that he is all right and on his way to recovery. That's more than I can say for the bloodthirsty liberal vultures who have been on a death watch just waiting for the chance to bring Vice President Cheney up on manslaughter charges. I hope America has been watching these people over the past 3 days.

Activist Judge Smackdown

There's a great article over at StopTheACLU about the activist judge whose ordering the turnover of Top Secret NSA files to leftists. Once again an appointed judge goes beyond the scope of their authority this time putting America at risk. I expect that this judge will get smacked down by a superior court but it makes me realize that we have more to fear from leftist judges like this than we do from someone at the NSA listening in on a phone call.

Stop the Port Sellout

This is an article today at World Net Daily about a recent merger deal approved by the government's Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States that would turn over control of several major east cost U.S. ports to Emirati firm, Dubai Ports World. The ports involved are located in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Jersey, New Orleans and Miami. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has known ties to terrorists and the 9/11 hijackers. As the New York Post reports:

Dubai Ports, after all, is owned by the United Arab Emirates, whose banking system - considered the commercial center of the Arab world - provided most of the cash for the 9/11 hijackers. Indeed, much of the operational planning for the World Trade Center attacks took place inside the UAE. And while the Bush folks now consider the UAE a major ally in the war against terror, the Treasury Department has been stonewalled by the emirates, and other Arab countries, in trying to track Osama bin Laden's bank accounts. The new leader of Dubai, one of the seven small countries that make up the UAE, has said all the right things about fighting radical Islam since 9/11. But this remains very much an Islamist nation, where preaching any religion other than Islam is prohibited.

When questioned by World Net Daily, Presidential press secretary Scott McClellan responded with:

Well, my understanding is that this went through the national security review process under [the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States], at the Department of Treasury. That is the agency that is responsible for overseeing such matters. And this includes a number of national security agencies – the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, the Justice, among others, and there is a rigorous review that goes on for proposed foreign investments for national security concerns
He then went on to say that any questions about the specifics of this issue should be directed to the Department of Treasury. Well I 'm sorry but I just can't imagine how our Federal government can have such a flippant attitude about the turnover of control of these ports to a company in the UAE. President Bush has the authority to stop this deal and he should.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

New Attack on the Boy Scouts

This one comes from a group of agnostics out of San Diego, Ca. The full article appers on World Net Daily. These agnostics sued the city of San Diego in protest of a lease of parkland in Balboa Park and Fiesta Island to the Boy Scouts of America. Their claim is that the Boy Scouts are a religion and that the lease violates the Establishment of Religion Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution, and that they are suffering "inferior usage" because they don't want to have to apply for permits, or pay usage fees to the Boy Scouts. And of course a federal judge in San Diego granted a summary judgment to the agnostics, finding that the Boy Scouts are a "religion" because of the Boy Scout Oath which includes doing one's duty to "God and my country". An appeal has been filed with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena, Ca. The city of San Diego is not part of the appeal. No these weasels settled with the ACLU to avoid further expense, agreeing to terminate the lease and give the ACLU $940,000.00 in attorney fees. Oh and did I mention that many other groups lease parkland from the city of San Diego including Jewish groups, one of which conducts Sabbath services on parkland. When I was a boy, I was a Cub Scout and went on to become a Boy Scout. This organization provides wonderful opportunities for young men to learn about nature and to test themselves in a healthy uplifting environment. This law suit is nothing more than another ACLU sponsored attack against the Boy Scouts of America because of their policy to exclude homosexuals and protect our children from their influence. One of the agonstics, Michael Breen is a Web/Internet consultant in San Diego and has a web site. I have already contacted this low life liberal and I encourage everyone to do the same. We conservatives are in a battle with the liberal left of this country and it's important that we acknowledge that and take the necessary steps to fight back. The liberals know that their ideaology is rejected by most Americans and this is proven during every election. They have resolved themselves to use the courts and activist judges to legislate their ideaology onto America. We fight back by communicating with our elected officials and by electing politicians who will appoint judges who interpret the Constitution and do not legislate from the bench.