Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

If you want to annoy the left, then raise your children to be like Texas senator Ted Cruz

Texas Republican senator Ted Cruz

Texas Republican senator Ted Cruz

Here’s a profile in National Review of my one of my favorite senators.

Excerpt:

The party’s highest-profile Texans, George W. Bush and Rick Perry, tended to match inarticulateness with cowboy swagger and lend themselves to mockery as intellectual lightweights. Bush went to Yale and Harvard Business School, yet no one naturally thinks of him as an Ivy Leaguer. The two Lone Star State governors played into the Left’s stereotypes so nicely that if they didn’t exist, the New York Times editorial board would have had to invent them.

Cruz is different — a Princeton and Harvard man who not only matriculated at those fine institutions but excelled at them. Champion debater at Princeton. Magna cum laude graduate at Harvard. Supreme Court clerkship, on the way to Texas solicitor general and dozens of cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Cruz is from the intellectual elite, but not of it, a tea-party conservative whose politics are considered gauche at best at the storied universities where he studied. He is, to borrow the words of the 2008 H.W. Brands biography of Franklin D. Roosevelt, a traitor to his class.

Democrats and liberal pundits would surely dislike Cruz no matter where he went to school, but his pedigree adds an element of shocked disbelief to the disdain. “Princeton and Harvard should be disgraced,” former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell exclaimed on MSNBC, as if graduating a constitutionalist conservative who rises to national prominence is a violation of the schools’ mission statements.

[...]In a Washington Post column a year ago, Dana Milbank noted Cruz’s schooling and concluded that his tea-party politics must be a put-on, that he is, underneath it all, an “intellectually curious, liberal-arts conservative.” Note the insulting assumption that an interest in books and ideas immunizes someone from a certain kind of conservative politics.

One of the Left’s deepest prejudices is that its opponents are stupid, and Cruz tramples on it. At hearings, Cruz has the prosecutorial instincts of a . . . Harvard-trained lawyer. Watching Attorney General Eric Holder try to fend off Cruz’s questioning on the administration’s drone policy a few months ago was like seeing a mouse cornered by a very large cat.

Cruz hasn’t played by the Senate rules that freshmen should initially be seen and not heard. In fact, he joined the upper chamber with all the subtlety of a SWAT team knocking down a drug suspect’s front door.

For people who care about such things — almost all of them are senators — this is an unforgivable offense. At another hearing, as Cruz says that the highest commitment of senators should be to the Constitution, another senator can be heard muttering that he doesn’t like being lectured. Chairman Pat Leahy (probably the mutterer) eventually cuts him off and informs him he hasn’t been in the Senate very long.

Cruz lacks all defensiveness about his positions, another source of annoyance to his opponents, who are used to donning the mantle of both intellectual and moral superiority.

And here’s a quick review of where Ted Cruz came from:

Rafael Cruz, the father of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, invigorated the crowd during tonight’s FreedomWorks Free the People event.

Describing his own personal journey escaping Cuba and working hard to build a life for himself in the U.S., the elder Cruz noted comparisons that he believes exist between Fidel Castro’s governance and President Barack Obama’s executive actions.

Upon rising to power, he said that Castro, like Obama, spoke about hope and change. While the message sounded good at the time, it didn’t take long for socialism to take root in his home country. And he paid the price.

For his part in the revolution — one that many originally assumed would yield a more vibrant country — Cruz was punished while in Cuba.

“I was in prison,” he said. “I was tortured, but by the grace of God I was able to leave Cuba on a student VISA and came to the greatest country on the face of the earth.”

Cruz described his efforts working as a dishwasher in America and paying his own way through the University of Texas. From there, he built a life for himself — one that was filled with experiences that caused him to greatly appreciate the country that had given him so much.

His plight in Cuba colored his American experience

“You can’t understand a loss of rights unless you’ve experienced it,” Cruz told TheBlaze following the speech.

His unique perspective leaves Cruz with the ability, he argues, to see the troubling signs surrounding socialism. Young people in America today, he told TheBlaze, take for granted the rights and privileges that the U.S. has afforded them.

Fascinating.

Now people always complain when I say that I am trying to find a wife with the background, education, experience and temperment to raise effective, influential children. I have a whole list of influential people I want to clone, in fact. I want a William Lane Craig, a Wayne Grudem, a Michael Licona, a Guillermo Gonzales, an Ann Gauger, a Jennifer Roback Morse, a Scott Klusendorf, a Mark Regnerus, and… a Ted Cruz. And I’ve saved the money to be able to get at least a few of those, too. The truth is that I had some of the experiences that Cruz’s father had, and if he can make a Ted Cruz, then so should I be able to. They have to come from somewhere!

Now of course it’s hard to guarantee outcomes when it comes to raising children, but there are some things you can prepare for. You can study things you hate that are hard, and save your money for Ph.D tuition. You can go to grad school yourself and publish research. You can look for a wife who shows the ability to nurture people so that they get better and rise higher. And maybe, you might just raise the next Ted Cruz. I think the old adage “if you aim at nothing, then you will surely hit it” is a good saying for marriage. If you are going to put hundreds of thousands of dollars and decades of your life into a marriage, then you should aim at something. You might hit it. You’re not just there to make another person feel good – you’re there to make the marriage serve God. Raising influential, effective children is one way of doing that. But it doesn’t happen by accident. And it isn’t necessarily going to be “fun”.

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Ohio governor John Kasich signs legislation to crack down on sex-trafficking

From Cleveland.com, a story about Ohio’s Republican governor.

Excerpt:

Gov. John Kasich intends to sign wide-ranging legislation on Friday morning designed to crack down on sex trafficking in Ohio.

House Bill 130, which passed the legislature unanimously, increases penalties for those who solicit minors or the developmentally disabled, strengthens protections for victims, and makes it easier to prosecute human traffickers.

The state estimates that each year an estimated 1,078 Ohio children become victims of human trafficking and 3,016 more are at risk for exploitation.

Under the bill, which will take effect immediately, buying sex from a 16- or 17-year-old will now be a fifth-degree felony instead of a misdemeanor. Soliciting a younger child will be a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.

The measure also terminates parental rights for those who have trafficked their children and prohibits sex ads that depict a minor or are for a massage parlor.

Kasich will sign the bill at 11 a.m. at the Ohio Department of Transportation headquarters in Columbus. Northeast Media Group staff writer Jeremy Pelzer will cover the event live in the comments section below.

I’m really not sure who could look at a child and think anything other than “this little human is made to know God, love God and love other people, so I will act in a way that helps them to do that, and does not not pull them away from that”. We’re not supposed to be hurting children, because children’s needs are more important than adult selfishness.

You know this story reminds me of one to the reasons why I am for marriage. I think that when a child is born into a home where his or her mother and father are presented and united in their obligation to love that child, then things like this do not happen. Sex-trafficking is something that happens to children who do not have a stable, loving environment to grow up in. But what are we doing to restrain ourselves to make sure that we do the things that we need to do to wrap sex in a layer of responsibility? Responsible sex doesn’t mean “safe” sex. It means sex that is contained inside the boundaries of a marriage and that any children who are produced are not seen as commodities, but as gifts that we are responsible for.

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Libertarian blogger endorses Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in 2016

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

Here’s the post from Liberty Without Apologies blog. (H/T Well Spent Journey)

Excerpt:

I believe Scott Walker is the best possible candidate for the Republican 2016 election. I have believed this since before I moved to Wisconsin, and living here has solidified that belief.

I understand that Rand Paul is by far the most popular candidate for libertarians. I lived in Kentucky during Rand Paul’s primary fight against McConnell toady Trey Greyson, although I stayed home, as he was dominating in the polls. I did vote for him for Senate. I’m proud of my former Senator (I have since moved to Wisconsin, which has a conservative Tea Partier and a Marxist lesbian in the Senate) and think he’s doing a fine job.

He lists five reasons why he likes Walker.

Here are the first three:

1. Competence matters as much as ideology. I remember when Democrats enthusiastically elected a charismatic, ideological liberal with almost no real experience running anything. He then proceeded to screw up one of the most important left-wing issues so badly that Democrats barely even want to say the word “healthcare” anymore, let alone make you extravagant promises about it. Obama’s self-defeating hubris is the only reason we have a chance in 2016. If Obamacare had been a smartly devised system of creeping bribes like Medicare was, the fight would be over. Ideologically, I like Rand Paul, but I have simply no reason whatsoever to believe he would be a competent executive. He’s a risky unknown, and the Presidency is too important. If he turns out to be incompetent, four years of an incompetent executive ensures the liberty movement will be finished for years as a voice in the Republican Party and in American politics as a whole. Scott Walker’s proven he can establish the kind of record that makes limited government more popular, not less. We’re not talking about Chris Christie’s progressive Republicanism. We’re talking about a guy whose signature accomplishments are cutting off public employee unions and balancing the budget.

2. Institutions matter. If there’s one thing that characterizes Scott Walker’s tenure as governor, it’s disarming, defanging, and throttling institutions that serve as the source and foundation of left-wing power. We don’t just need someone who likes capitalism and freedom in the White House. We need someone who understands how the institution of government has been turned into a tool for destroying the right and creating reliable, government-worshiping, Democrat voters. I know Scott Walker understands this, because he’s made it central to his agenda while governor. And I know he doesn’t just understand it, he knows how to do it.

3. The federal bureaucracy has metastasized. Scott Walker has an army of boring, pudgy, bespectacled guys quietly doing everything they can to undermine and confound the progressive agenda at state bureaucracies. He knows who to get the right people doing the grunt work of reforming government. The greatest enemies a Republican President will face are the permanent employees in executive branch agencies, not Congressional Democrats. The petty functionaries that weaponized the IRS are smart, they are vicious, and they will fight. I know Walker knows they need to be fought, and I know that he knows how to win, because he’s winning his fights here in Wisconsin. I’d have more faith in Rand Paul if he’d been the governor of Kentucky and successfully fought the public school establishment or something, but he hasn’t been, so I don’t have it. Making speeches on the Senate floor is important, but it’s not the same as going through the laborious grind of cleaning out a bureaucracy that’s metastasized and is feeding on the body politic. Paul is probably more ideologically libertarian than Walker, but Walker’s won as many battles against government as you could hope to get out of any governor.

I think that in 2016 we should be looking at candidates who will take the fight to the Democrats. We don’t need another Mitt Romney. I want to see a candidate who sticks his neck out for what he believes in and comes out on top. Real accomplishments, this time. Not rhetoric. Why do we always have to care what our opponents think of us? Why not just beat them up and then be magnanimous in victory? If he runs for President on the platform of zeroing out manufacturing income tax, he will win. Every union worker will vote for him.

During the Christmas vacation, I read governor Walker’s new book, which was a Christmas present from my friend ECM. If you want to learn more about governor Walker, I recommend picking that up. I actually got the audio version, and it’s read by governor Walker himself.

Frankly, there is only one person running in 2016 right now who destroys government, and it’s Walker. I want to see them out of a job, or with their salaries and benefits chopped. No mercy. Walker is the man who can do it, because he’s done it. Over and over and over again.

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Republican National Committee adopts resolution to ban all third-trimester abortions

From Life News.

Excerpt:

The Republican National Committee approved today a resolution supporting all federal, state and local legislation to stop abortion after 20 weeks, more than halfway through pregnancy.

[...]Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the national pro-life group the Susan B. Anthony List praised the RNC saying:

“Americans are united in their support for commonsense legislation to stop abortion more than halfway through pregnancy. We thank the Republican committeemen and women for affirming all efforts to end barbaric late abortions nationwide and urge Democrats to do the same. In state legislatures across the county, Democrats are bucking pressure from their national leaders to support this compassionate legislation that is already popular with their constituents.”

This week Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) circulated a letter signed by more than 30 U.S. Senators including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), urging him to bring the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act for a floor vote.

“A federal law is long overdue,” continued Dannenfelser. “The United States is only one of seven countries to allow abortion on demand at such a late stage of pregnancy. The U.S. Senate should follow the RNC’s lead and go on record on this important issue.”

Author and chief sponsor of the resolution RNC Committeewoman Ellen Barrosse said:

“The Republican Party is proudly pro-life and this resolution shows our support for this straightforward, simple pro-life initiative. Children capable of feeling intense pain, as well as their mothers, should be protected from abortion at such a very late stage of gestation.

Still all political parties are the same? On the pro-life issue, Republicans are united. It’s a good reason for social conservatives to vote for them at election time.

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Wisconsin governor Walker’s reforms hit the left in their wallets

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is mean

First, let’s talk about Stephen Harper. I sometimes blog about conservative Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper, who Dennis Prager calls “the leader of the free world”. He has a record of putting into place laws that cut off the ability of the left to get campaign funding without consent from the people supplying the money.

Here’s an article from Canada’s National Post.

Excerpt:

While the political showdown making news this month has pitted Prime Minister Stephen Harper against Senator Mike Duffy, a more important battle is shaping up for the 2015 election. It’s between the Conservative Party and organized labour — as evidenced by the resolutions the party will be debating at its policy convention in Calgary this week.

Proposals include allowing secret ballots during strikes, banning the use of dues for political purposes, requiring increased financial disclosure by unions, and passing right-to-work legislation. The resolutions are moved by electoral district associations in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, and together represent what appears to be the largest block of resolutions on any one theme.

Why the focus on organized labour, and why now? In part, it’s ideological. While small-c conservatives respect freedom of association, they also respect the freedom not to associate. The labour movement’s rules — particularly the RAND formula, which obliges workers in unionized workplaces to join whether they want to or not — restricts workers’ freedom of choice. Unions also spend dues on causes that workers may not support, and demand workers follow their direction on strike action, even if workers may be opposed or not be able to afford the loss in pay.

[...]The Conservatives have pledged to balance the federal budget by the time they go to the polls. One of the elements of their plan is downsizing government, which pits them directly against the Public Service Alliance of Canada. For two years now, PSAC has been fighting against Conservative cuts to the bureaucracy and the party’s policy of reduction by attrition. PSAC’s rallies and campaigns, however, have done nothing to dent the Tories’ resolve (long overdue, considering that they substantially grew the size of the bureaucracy during the early years of their mandate). Curtailing PSAC’s power and voice would help the Tories achieve their downsizing goals for both the short and long term.

Back in 2006, Stephen Harper banned political contributions from corporations and unions. Nasty! And he’s not done yet, according to this article. It’s good to win, and win, and win again. I am tired of conservatives losing, even in other countries.

Governor Scott Walker

Now when I look around at the Republican Party, I rarely see the same will to do effective things that will cripple the left financially. It’s like Republicans don’t want to offend people, especially journalists. They want to be liked at cocktail parties.

But there is one Republican who is fine with being hated by his enemies, and he is getting a lot of attention from conservatives ahead of the 2016 election.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is also mean

Here’s the story from the Associated Press.

Excerpt:

The 2011 state law that all but ended collective bargaining for most public workers has hit Wisconsin’s second largest union particularly hard.

The latest tax documents available show combined income of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) dropped 45 percent in 2012 _ the first full year of the law, according to The Capital Times.

In 2011, the four councils that make up the state organization reported a combined income of $14.9 million. In 2012 that dropped to $8.3 million. Dues revenue dropped 40 percent to $7.1 million.

Walker and supporters of the law said it was a way to help local governments reduce the costs of employee benefits, but the legislation also included measures aimed at financially weakening unions by ending automatic dues deductions.

The union’s Council 40 executive director, Rick Badger, says that while the declines in revenue stemming from the law were expected, he has been encouraged by the number of workers who have continued to pay voluntary dues.

“In fact, what (the law’s) architects might find surprising is our resilience,” he wrote in an email. He said thousands of “front-line workers are remaining engaged in fighting for their rights despite heavy-handed political attempts to silence them.”

While public unions no longer enjoy the official bargaining power that they exercised in recent decades, he said many public workers continue to value their presence as advocates for their rights and welfare.

AFSCME is second only to the Wisconsin Education Association Council, or WEAC, in members in Wisconsin. It has long been a powerful player in state politics, funneling money directly to campaigns and running independent television ads in support of pro-labor candidates, as well as providing a legion of employees and member volunteers who made sure their union brethren voted on Election Day.

The law has also hit other big unions in the state. For instance, WEAC, the state’s largest teachers union, saw its revenue drop from $26 million in 2011 to $20 million in 2012.

This is definitely someone we conservatives need to look at in 2016. He has had to face the left in a blue-ish state, and he won.

During the Christmas vacation, I read governor Walker’s new book, which was a Christmas present from my friend ECM. If you want to learn more about governor Walker, I recommend picking that up. I actually got the audio version, and it’s read by governor Walker himself.

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