Sunday, December 21, 2008

What's Conservative About War?

Ronald Reagan is said to have unified the three branches of conservatives: social, fiscal, and national security. At the core of conservatism is the philosophy is that human beings, when left alone, are quite capable of achieving greatness and handling their own problems. Conservative philosophy states each individual can and should make decisions for themselves, particularly regarding their own beliefs and behaviors. Pursuant to this end, conservative activism acts on behalf of ideas and causes that perpetuate long-term success and happiness of society, such as individual choice, strong families, thrift, and government non-intervention.

Social conservatism is rooted in the idea that many traditions are good and foster happy and stable society. Studies upon studies show the value of being raised in and living in a traditional family and the devastating effects of not in areas ranging from mental health, life longevity, crime, to economics. As anyone who pays attention to the news at all knows, the benefits of being fiscally conservative and the pitfalls of being otherwise are stunningly apparent. Without delving into the details of the nation's financial problems to illustrate this point, think of the people you know and even have seen on TV. Financial success is not about income - Mike Tyson earned hundreds of millions in his career and yet is broke. A retired couple with whom I'm familiar, the Bowens, have made a nice life for themselves: they own two homes outright and have plenty of money to travel at their leisure. The husband worked for the phone company and the wife worked as a nurse after the kids left home. Being conservative with money, which can be boiled down to earning interest and not paying it, has obvious positive effects.

But what of the so-called national-security conservatism? Advocates of this belief system, sometimes known as hawks, call for huge military expenditures with vast personnel requirements, incredibly expensive equipment payouts, and involvement of our troops in countless conflicts abroad which may or may not have anything to do with us. Defense consumes a third of our national "budget", but does this number include the actual amount spent in "discretionary spending" and "supplementary funding"? Can one reasonably simultaneously call for fiscal restraint and yet conduct two trillion-dollar wars which are being paid for in the form of debt, especially to an increasingly suspect country like China?

The most recent Iraq invasion was disingenuously called "Operation Iraqi Freedom," the blackest of black comedy. CIA was in full CYA mode after September 11th, providing even more bad intelligence. But the main intelligence failure belonged to the Bush administration and Congress (including John Kerry and Hillary Clinton). Everyone acknowledged that any sort of nuclear threat was not viable, though President Bush did reference it in his bill of goods. So the question remained: even if the Iraqis actually did have WMDs, how would it actually affect us? Rumsfeld's own report in 1998 detailed that Hussein had no long-range missile capabilities and extremely weak mid-range missile capabilities. As far as the logic of "what if the chemical and other weapons were put in the hands of the terrorists," one could question the necessity of it. Which weapons were used on 9/11? Box-cutters. What more damage could a terrorist do with serin gas than he could with an 18-wheeler? If the purpose of the Iraq war was actually about "liberating the Iraqi people," is this not forcing our beliefs and political systems on other people? How is that conservative? And if Iraq, why not Cuba 90 miles south of us, where our soldiers could be home by dinner time? There is nothing conservative in pre-emptively invading a sovereign nation, not to "free" it, not to force a political system on it, and certainly not to pursue spurious intelligence which wouldn't have mattered even if it was true.

The only true conservative war is one of defense, defense of our territory, people, and allies. Spending trillions of dollars the country doesn't have and racking up a debt to our potential enemies not only completely contradicts fiscal conservatism, it undermines our national security, the supposed motivation for these engagements.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Lost the Battle, Winning the War?

The New York Times is mortgaging its own building to the tune of $250 million after trimming their workforce. The Seattle Times just implemented its own round of cuts. NPR just laid off workers. Air America was bankrupt but was bailed out by investors. The LA Times and Chicago Tribune just both filed bankruptcy.

Meanwhile, Glenn Beck just signed huge and lucrative deals for his radio show and a new TV show on Fox News. Led by Fox News, News Corp's cable revenues increased 31% over the last quarter. And finally, Rush Limbaugh just signed a $400 million contract extension.

Is there a pattern discernible here?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Going Green - An Islamist Conspiracy?

The Ghost of Michael Savage told me that Osama bin Laden and Leonardo di Caprio have the same goal: going green. Green is the color of both the environmental movement and Islam (just look at the Libyan flag), which leads me to the conclusion that the "earth first" movement is really a front for Islamic terror. NBC and its "Green Week" are no better than al-Jazeera.

Seriously, with ice shelves growing, the last decade being one of the coolest on record, and animals coming off of the endangered species list, should we take the alarmists seriously? Wouldn't it behoove Al Gore, the prophet of global warming, to start taking credit for some of these changes because of all of their good work the last couple of decades?

I'm going green...'cuz I'm gonna puke.

ESPN Analysts Determine Football Players Play Football in Football Games

ESPN football analysts lead the charge in explaining that football players use a football in the football game. "Ben Roethlisbeger is a football player. Nobody throws the football in a broken football play like Ben, " Mark Schlereth pointed out. Merrill Hoge suggested, "On the defensive end of football, football linebacker football Joey Porter attacks the football at the football line of scrimmage as well as anyone in football."

Tom Jackson opined, "Scoring the football is important to winning the football game, but preventing the other football team from advancing the football is at least as important." Summing up the conversation, Ron Jaworski concluded, "That's how you win football games in the National Football League."

Football football.

Props to the Prop 8 Protesters

As we all know, nothing is more effective in changing things than a handful of intellectually diverse individuals protesting at completely irrelevant place. Therefore, kudos to the handful of unwashed losers who protested outside a Mormon Church in Seattle with signs like "Stop Preaching Hate" and "Keep the Hate in Utah." The Mormons have a long history of caving in to contrarian groups and governments, so a half dozen sign-wielding hippies a thousand miles from headquarters was the perfect way to stick it to the church.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A New Campaign Tactic?

You may attract more flies with honey than vinegar, but neither get as many flies as a corpse. In the midst of a political argument, one man became so heated he slammed the other man's head into the wall in Port St. Lucie, Florida. What could convince someone your ideas are superior more than a tasty knuckle sandwich?

P.S. I have yet to discover any evidence that the state of Florida isn't chock-full of idiots. Please message me with any refutations.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Gang Members: Buy a Prius

Every gang member should buy a Prius. I realized this when I was nearly struck by a Prius crossing the street and didn't even hear it coming. The gang-related benefits of owning a Prius include the quiet when sneaking up for a drive-by (as opposed to loud, clunky, decades-old Chevys) and obviously the fuel economy necessary when cruising your turf. Besides, what cop is going to suppose it's a Crip behind the wheel of America's most pretentious vehicle?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Celebrating Intellectual Diversity

In an often cold, unsympathetic world, it's important to choose one's words carefully. As a nation, we've come a long way in the way we describe minorities, the learning disabled, and the male gamete-deficient gender. But a group commonly discriminated against with almost no repercussions are individuals sometimes referred to as "stupid", "dumb", "dim-witted", or "George Bush-esque." We must stop using these horrible adjectives and start using a more compassionate phrase: intellectually diverse. The term "intellectually diverse" recognizes the multiplicity of intellectual faculties and their roles in our lives. Similarly, what was once called "making fun of stupid people" must now be referred to as "celebrating intellectual diversity." Please, join with me in celebrating intellectual diversity and identifying people of weaker faculties as intellectually diverse so that we might act with the utmost sensitivity while communicating.

Author of Astronaut Diaper is an Unoriginal Douche

I Googled "manopause" trying to find my own blog and saw 11,300 entries, roughly the number of times John McCain has talked about Vietnam in this campaign. My apologies to the simultaneous creators of that word and all other clutchers of low-hanging fruit.

P.S. Vincent Gallo, Brody Jenner, John Edward, Seal, and Joe Biden are the first five famous people described as a douche when you Google that particular word. Other famous Google douches are Dane Cook, Michael Phelps, Jimmy Carter, and the Marlboro Man. Just thought you wanted to know.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Learn to Speak Stevebonics: Manopause

In my series "Learn to Speak Stevebonics" I take you to the cutting edge of linguistic pursuit, meaning words I make up (or let's be honest, steal) to amuse myself.

Ladies, do you ever tire of middle-aged men losing their minds and it getting chalked up to a completely avoidable "mid-life crisis" while you are to look forward to "menopause," an inevitable, possibly decade-long insanity and complete hormonal overhaul and are treated like mental patients? No longer, ladies do you have to take this. I have identified the condition "manopause." Have you noticed your middle-aged parents and acquaintances of both sexes? They all want to quit their jobs and take a completely different path. Both sexes cry more often, lose their temper, and their reproductive capabilities both diminish (have you seen a Viagra/Cialis/etc. commercial lately?) Can you simultaneously believe a woman is crazy for going batty over an empty nest while laughing off a man who purchases a vehicle appropriate only for a female cast member of 90210? It's called manopause.

No, I am Not a Polygamist Spokesperson

One of the trials of being unique in a certain way is that people expect you to speak for all of your "kind." You might ask a foreigner "wow, what's it like in India?" or "why do you Germans love David Hasselhoff so much?" Being the only Mormon at work (and coincidentally, I'm a Texan), my coworkers pelted me with questions about the FLDS compound and the goings-on, as if the LDS and FLDS get together and compare notes. I simply told them the F in FLDS stands for "f-ed up" and told them I'd have to consult one of my many wives. I guess I should have been more interested in wackos from my home state who are besmirching my faith's name and promoting the world's ugliest clothing line (check the website...wish I was joking) but I tired of the story quickly. Asking the LDS folk to answer for the FLDS is a bit like expecting Barack Obama to represent the crew of Sunset Tan. Both Obama and the neon beach crowd have dark skin, but like the LDS/FLDS comparison, one is the real thing and the other one is faking it.