New Site: Texas Students for Life

Texas Students for Life (TS4L) is an exciting new student organization at UT. It’s a prolife group and I have the pleasure of being the official webmaster. Here’s the site I designed for them from the ground up:

Texas Students for Life - TS4L

Today is our launch day so go check it out!

If you are excited about create a campus culture of life at UT Austin, please drop by and lend a hand. Share a post with the nice social media integration or stay updated yourself. This is TS4L’s official mission statement:

Texas Students for Life seeks to educate our UT family on life issues such as abortion, euthanasia, stem cell research (adult and embryonic), and human cloning in a peaceful way. We also strive to support men and women who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy or are hurting from a past abortion.

This is my first site to theme and launch on my own, and so now I’m starting up a Portfolio. Maybe soon I will start adding other projects I’ve done for school, work, and in my free time (haha… free time…). Oh, and I plan to come out with my first official WordPress Plugin… soon. How soon? I have no idea, but the code is on GitHub.

Ronald Reagan “Cut and Run”

Ronald Regan - 40th President

1982. The Invasion of Lebanon. President Ronald Reagan decided to support the Israeli offensive and invade Lebanon. After a horrible car bomb killed 241 American Soldiers in Beirut, Reagan “cut and run” (or that’s what I think many neo-cons would be calling that kind of troop withdrawal today).

Today, we can all learn a lot from what Ronald Reagan wrote afterward concerning that incident and the Middle East in general:

“Perhaps we didn’t appreciate fully enough the depth of the hatred and the complexity of the problems that made the Middle East such a jungle. Perhaps the idea of a suicide car bomber committing mass murder to gain instant entry to Paradise was so foreign to our own values and consciousness that it did not create in us the concern for the marines’ safety that it should have.

“In the weeks immediately after the bombing, I believe the last thing that we should do was turn tail and leave. Yet the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics forced us to rethink our policy there. If there would be some rethinking of policy before our men die, we would be a lot better off. If that policy had changed towards more of a neutral position and neutrality, those 241 marines would be alive today.” (From his autobiography)

Ronald Reagan is often seen as the role model of a “strong foreign policy” – Yet in retrospect he advised “neutrality” in the Middle East. We need to take a lesson from our past, President Obama.

Seriously… Arabs don’t attack because you leave them alone

Picture of Muslim Worship in Mecca

Most conservatives today would say that withdrawing troops from the Middle East is nothing short of cut and run – abandoning the mission and admitting defeat. To that I say: so what? An important part of growing up is knowing that sometimes you shouldn’t fight.

One lesson to learn from the Lebanese invasion of 1982 is that afterwards no terrorists attacked us at home. Terrorists don’t attack us because they think we’re weak; usually they see themselves as defending their homeland.

Image you’re a typical jihad recruit: a young, zealousness, poor Muslim man. Which motivation is more likely to motivate you:

  • “See the American on your back door! Defiling your home land! Go attack.” OR
  • “The Americans are leaving us alone. They’re afraid. Go to a foreign land and kill as many as you can.” ?

Seriously, it’s ridiculous to think that radical Muslims will more zealously attack us in our own country just because we leave them alone. Ronald Reagan’s expedition into Lebanon is evidence to that point.

The Principle of the Matter

The best advice on the subject of foreign relations was given by George Washington in his Farewell Address:

George Washington Portrait. Courtesy of Wikimedia.

“The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop. …It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world…”

For all their talk, “Conservatives” don’t seem to follow the founding fathers on this point. Do you think Republicans today are walking in the Reagan legacy? Or are they repeating all the mistakeshe told us to rethink? My rule is “…peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none…

Previous post on the topic: How Bush would have been against the Iraq War before he got elected.

He’s The Almighty!

I helped some behind the stage of this project and know all the main faces behind the music and the acting you see above. Through various stages, I’ve been a doubter. I wondered secretly if this would come out as another cheesy Christian music gig. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

WOW guys. I am supper impressed with what God has done. He put together all these people who each were gifted in different ways, and this is what they did. The video leaves me spell-bound every time.

What do y’all think? Do you agree that this is a great mix of quality and message? Sure, it’s not perfect; it’s better than perfect in my opinion. It’s beautiful. It’s… God-breathed. If you are impressed and God puts it on your heart, please share this.

For more information, check out the website: Almighty Music Video [dot] com

Counting on the Republicans to tackle the deficit? Think again.

If you look at the speech, they’re against debt and believe in balanced budgets. If you look at their plan, they’re spend-a-holics who get sober just in time for election. There is, unfortunately, a growing gap between the words and the actions of the GOP. Especially when it comes to the deficit.

GOP.gov is the website for Republicans in Congress. It outlines their plan on debt like this:

Under the President’s [Obama] budget the national debt exceeds 100% of GDP in 2030. By contrast, the Republican plan gains control of the debt, by never exceeding 75% of GDP over the next 75 years.

The way one of my friends put it after I said this was: Sooo… do you want to be killed by four bullets or three? Your choice. Whether you choose the donkey’s or the elephant’s plan, your children have to pay for our mistakes. And that is just wrong.

Wordy bill syndrome? Republicans got it, too!

Many complained about the great length of the Health Care Reform bill that passed recently, and with good reason. I would contend that bills with such volume are the main reason we’re in debt right now. They’re just so much space to slip in a little money here and there. It’s death by a thousand cuts.

In fact, the House’s version of health care rationing is the longest bill ever heard (or not heard) in congress. There’s definitely a veil to keep the bill’s actual action obscure. The problem is that the Republicans can’t remove the veil while standing on it. Open Congress’ report on “How Long is Long?” speaks the truth.

Over the last 10 years, half of the top ten longest bills were proposed by Republicans. Simplicity: out the door!

Tea Party Response

Independents and loyal Republicans can turn around the status quo both by working loyally and by turning on their precious party.

In a rare moment, I got a bit of insight from a report in the Huffington Post. The point made in this article by Bill Lucey is how the tea party has made a major impact on the party by defeating incumbents. Both republican and democrat, that is.

While many people credit independently-minded tea partiers with Scott Brown’s victory, they can also take credit for Bob Bennett, R-Ut. He would have been on his fourth term, but seniority means nothing to principle-first voters. This block kicked out this TARP and Obamacare loving RINO. May his political career R. I. P.

Unless we want to face our children and tell them that they’ll have to pay for our mistakes, we need to vote on principles before party.

The Economics of Freedom

Hayek vs. Keynes

This is one of the best videos on this economic debate. It also happens to be a pretty good rap.

F.A. Hayek was one of the pioneers in the Austrian school of economics, a school of thought that held the government is not knowledgeable or motivated enough to try to steer the economy in the right direction. He received the Nobel prize for his work. It believed in total economic liberation and that the only legitimate use of government was to protect people from violence. Mises called it “liberalism”; today, we might say it’s “libertarian.”

John Maynard Keynes was an English economist who completely changed the profession of economics with his ideas about how government could put the economy on the right track. His ideas included spending money you didn’t have through debt, discouraging saving, and legal plunder. All of this so that money would continue to cycle and get stuff done. He is the founder of modern economics, and provided the economic theory for the stimulus package.

Liberty or Regulation?

What about that video? Now, how ’bout the ideas behind it? Should the government spur the economy?

See this video for a little more: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXqc-yyoVKg
Hayek doesn’t even trust government to have a monopoly on the money supply. He believes there should be competing currencies. Do you agree the government should have so little to do with the economy? Would the free market have avoided the crash?

Now time for Milton Friedman quotes! Another liberty-leaning school of economics was the Chicago school of economics, the most famous member was probably Friedman, also a Nobel Laureate. He said:

“The market gives people what the people want instead of what other people think they ought to want.”

“‘Fair’ is in the eye of the beholder; free is the verdict of the market.”

So, what do you think?

iVote

Hey everyone. I cast my vote in the primary runoff election yesterday, voting for Rick Green and Brian Russell. I’m writing this quick post to encourage all you voting-eligible folks to take a couple minutes and vote at your polling station. For all of you who aren’t voting age, encourage all your friends who CAN vote to not overlook the run-off elections.

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/miscellanea/ / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Your last vote didn’t count

At this point, it doesn’t matter what the votes were cast in the last election. I applaud you for voting in the general primaries election, but you will not get to decide who represents you in Texas unless you go and vote again. This is when your vote will actually make a difference. Think of your last ballot as practice for the real thing.

Why it’s more important now

Unfortunately, most people only think of the general election as the “real thing” and don’t bother to show up for the run-off. If you go and vote this week, your minute or two will be more important than ever.

The way it works for party elections is that the candidate that wins must have a majority – meaning over 50%. If they don’t get that in the general election, then the top two candidates go into a run-off race. In these cases, your vote only got to decide the semi-finals, not who actually represented you.

What’s at stake

I could talk a lot to you about what’s at stake in these various Texas election, but instead let me just give you some good links on the candidates I recommend.

Rick Green for Texas Supreme Court

Rick Green’s official website

Green’s opponent, Debra Lehrmann’s liberal endorsements are enough to make me vote for Rick Green by themselves. You might also want to check out the Liberty Institute Voter’s Guide. Here’s were Lehrmann not only refuses to answer important questions, but she also states another endorsement missing form the above list – Hillary Clinton’s “Children’s Defense Fund.”

So, it’s Green, endorse by the Texas Homeschool Coalition, Texas Alliance for Life (oh, and Chuck Norris) versus a more experienced candidate endorsed by cooperate law firms, the liberal Statesman, and Clinton’s “Children’s Defense Fund.” So, Green’s election is very important. He’s the kind of man we need on the bench.

Other Picks

The other guy I voted for was Brian Russell, A principled Homeschool Dad for State Board of Education.

And a couple more good articles that overviews good candidates for your vote:

When?

Early voting is NOW. Go do it. You have ’till Friday. If you vote during early voting week, you can go anywhere. The actual election will occur on April 13th. Check out the Secretary of State’s Website for more info.

I hope to see you making your voice heard at the polls this election.

Pro-Life Socialists: an open letter to "conservative" republicans in Texas

(Warning: recommended for people who are voting in the election. Or are close to voting age. This is… shall we say… mature, but hopefully not vulgar. It is my intention to deal with issue honestly, not to offend.)

A bill that reduces abortion

Here at the office of Representative Robert J. Rino, we are very proud of our pro-life record. We are doing everything to not only stop, but also reduce the number of abortions, because we believe every life is sacred.

That’s why we’re sponsoring the “Pro-life Socialism in Action” house bill: a bill designed to not eliminate, but fight the tide of abortions. The genius of it is that it will not only cut down on abortion, but also gain bi-partisan approval, and get Rep. Rino elected again.

Here’s how it works: every time a male comes in for a check-up at his doctor’s office will be given a condom and explained its use in preventing unwanted pregnancy. If a doctor fails to hand out these pro-life condoms, he will loose his license.

Don’t we have the right to do this as a state? After all, we’re the ones that give the doctors their licenses and Roe v. Wade says we have the right as a state to regulate in order to reduce the number of abortions. Currently, almost 8,300 unborn lives are destroyed every day. If we can’t stop abortion, don’t you want to see that number at least go down?

That’s a good thing, right?

No. I’m being very sarcastic here. I hope you get my point.

I’ve been quite upset by the way that UT hands out condoms like they’re cough drops. I do not want the government to think it has the authority to tell doctors that they need to give me one every time I go in for a checkup. Wouldn’t you vote against such a law requiring doctors to do so?

Why does this matter?

I know you probably wouldn’t support a bill like this (if you would, then I’m not writing to you). But conservatives all over this state are just about to do the exact same thing, or at least use the same reasoning.

I’m not saying here that doctors shouldn’t show the sonogram. For me, it’s a duh. They should. However, I object to the government making it mandatory.

The Sonogram Proposal: Socialism is Socialism, even if it’s Pro-life

First, there’s Ballot Proposition #5 on Sonograms, which will appear on the Republican Primary ballot today. Then, there’s the Texas Alliance for Life griping over Medina supporting liberty. Finally, I said enough is enough.

Socialism is socialism, even if we would like to call it pro-life. There is a fundamental difference between incrementalism and unrelated compromise. How can we tell the government it doesn’t have the authority to tell doctors what procedures to preform (or what to hand out) if we reserve the right to tell them to be pro-life?

So, take it or leave it. But if you agree with what I’m saying, I hope you vote that way today. If you disagree, then post a comment. I’m open to the possibility that I’ve missed the elephant here.