Monday, October 15, 2012

Recommended Reads for the Inquiring Mind

Greetings Digital World,

Wow this is two posts in three days, I'm on a roll!

I have thought multiple times about including a "recommended reading list" here for anyone that may be interested. So that is today's entry. There are a few authors out there that have made an indelible impression on me and I feel the need to let people know.  There is such a lack of original political thought and substance today in the media, even in literature. Consequently there is also a complete lack of conservative music or even bands/musicians that stand behind conservative causes. With the exception of country music and maybe Ted Nugent virtually EVERY rock/punk rock/whatever band out there is over the top liberal, socialist or "anti-establishment" in some way. Maybe it's because of the general nature of rock and punk rock to "fight the power" and bring down "the man." Still I have never come across an actual talented, intelligent, conservative band that's not singing about "Amerrica" or God and beer. Conservative politics don't always have to be an old man's or hick's game. If anyone knows of any good bands out there that I may not be aware of, send them my way.

Getting back to books. Despite the apparent conservative flavor of the following works I try to read books from varying perspectives and not simply stick to things I will always agree with. If anyone should be interested I am happy to include authors or books I have read with which I do not agree. With that said, here are a few writers that have helped shape me politically and intellectually.:

-Pat Buchanan (Patrick J. Buchanan)
Pat Buchanan was one of the first political writers that I ever read. He is an awesome writer, combining the right amount of logic, history and sense into his arguments. Having been a senior adviser to Presidents Nixon, Ford and Reagan as well as one of the original hosts of CNN's Crossfire in addition to running for President in 1992, 1996 and 2000 he has political experience and is familiar with the ins and outs of the Body Politic. What I like best however is his use of actual events in history and current events and his citing of sources in everything he writes. He backs up everything he writes about with statistics, cited sources and facts. He has written numerous books but the ones I have actually read and highly recommend are (in order of publication date):
-The Great Betrayal: How American Sovereignty and Social Justice are being Sacrificed to the Gods of the Global Economy
-A Republic, Not an Empire: Reclaiming America's Destiny
-The Death of the West: How Dying Populations and Immigrant Invasions Imperil our Country and Civilization
-Where the Right Went Wrong: How Neoconservatives Subverted the Reagan Revolution and Hijacked the Bush Presidency
-State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America
-Day of Reckoning: How Hubris, Ideology and Greed are Tearing America Apart
Books I haven't yet read but plan to:
-Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War: How Britain Lost its Empire and the West Lost the World
-Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?
I also recommend reading any of his articles he has written for newspapers and magazines all over the US.

-Ezola B. Foster
Ezola Foster is an African-American woman that was a vice-presidential candidate in the 2000 elections. She was the first African-American and second woman to ever run for vice-president and it's surprising that more people don't know about her. She is the president of Black Americans for Family Values and even though she has only written one book it's very good.
-What's Right for All Americans

-Tammy Bruce
Tammy Bruce really interests me for many reasons. She is the former president of the Los Angeles Chapter of NOW (National Organization of Women) and later served on its board of directors. She describes herself as openly gay, a feminist and pro-choice. For many years she actively campaigned for Democrat senators, presidents (including Bill Clinton and Senators Feinstein and Boxer in California) and various "liberal" causes. This gives her a very unique perspective when she writes because I consider her to be someone that has been "on both sides" politically so to speak and is able to compare and contrast both parties and ideologies in the US. She has a radio talk show in LA and has written three books which I highly recommend (in order of publication date):
-The New Thought Police: Inside the Left's Assault on Free Speech and Free Minds
-The Death of Right and Wrong: Exposing the Left's Assault on Our Culture and Values
-The New American Revolution: Using the Power of the Individual to Save Our Nation from Extremists

-Ron Paul
Ron Paul's politics are a breath of fresh air to me. I'm honestly of the opinion that if he looked or sounded a little more like Romney or Obama he would have done much better in the campaigns for president. Congressman from Texas since 1997 and US House Representative from 1979-1985. He has run for president three times, in 1988, 2008 and 2012. He's written numerous books, the only one I have read I recommend. I plan to read more of his work.
-The Revolution: A Manifesto

-Michael Savage
Michael Savage is a radio talk-show host in San Francisco, California. In many ways similar to Rush Limbaugh (which makes me not like him as much), but much more credible and infinitely better than Rush or Glenn Beck. He has written many books on various subjects. He holds Master's Degrees in Anthropology and Ethnobotany and a PhD in Nutritional Ethnomedicine from UC Berkeley. He once was very involved in leftist politics but has since switched to become very conservative. At times very abrasive (as seems common for radio talk show hosts) his books are straight, to the point and easy to grasp. I recommend the following (in order of publication).:
-The Savage Nation: Saving America from the Liberal Assault on Our Borders, Language, and Culture
-The Enemy Within: Saving America from the Liberal Assault on Our Churches, Schools, and Military
-Liberalism Is a Mental Disorder: Savage Solutions

That is all for now. I'm sure I will add more as time goes on. If you are interested (even if you don't consider yourself a conservative in any sense of the word) take a gander, read through it, it may help to give you a different perspective on life and American society. If anyone has any books they feel I would enjoy or should read, send them my way. I will definitely read them and let you know what I think.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Israel, Interventionism and the Woes of American Foreign Policy

Hello World,

I have been neglecting this for far too long and I apologize. The busy life of a student, father and husband has consumed my time (in more important endeavors of course). I have given this blog a lot of thought and introspection. About where I want it to go, how often I should update it and what it should include. I have a running list (both mental and actual) of discussion topics, talking points and overall thoughts I wish to contribute which, hopefully, will grace these pages in the coming days and years. Now that that is out of the way, here is today's entry...

As I am constantly saying here, something has changed in politics. I feel as if the "spirit of debate" has left our debates; real, true honesty I regret to admit seems a far cry from the half-truths, public placations (appeasements) and sensationalist exaggerations we are fed  daily in the news and all other media outlets. The great men and women of yesteryear are gone, never to return. I do not know if this makes me a modern American romanticist but suffice it to say that my heart longs, even at 27 years of age, for the "good old days" (and I am not referring to the Reagan years) of American politics and government. One of the areas that this seems very apparent to me and which I also find frustrating is in US foreign policy. I strive for eloquence of speech and pen but I feel that I only seem to achieve wordiness at best, not commendable. With that being said here are a number of my favorite quotes from the Founding Fathers regarding their views of US foreign policy (should anyone like to see my sources I am happy to oblige).:

-"We certainly cannot deny to other nations that principle whereon our own government is founded, that every nation has a right to govern itself internally under what forms it pleases, and to change these forms at its own will." -Thomas Jefferson
-"If there be one principle more deeply rooted than any other in the mind of every American, it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest." -Thomas Jefferson
-"Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none should be our motto." -Thomas Jefferson
-"My ardent desire is to keep the United States free from political connections with every other country, to see them independent of all and under the influence of none." -George Washington
-"We mistake the object of our government, if we hope or wish that it is to make us respectable abroad. Conquest or superiority among other powers is not or ought not ever to be the object of republican systems." -Thomas Pinckney
-"Indulging no passions which trespass on the rights or the repose of other nations, it has been the true glory of the United States to cultivate peace by observing justice, and to entitle themselves to the respect of the nations at war by fulfilling their neutral obligations with the most scrupulous impartiality." -James Madison
-"Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will be America's heart, her benedictions and her prayers. But she does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own." -John Quincy Adams
-"In the wars of the European powers [read: world powers] in matters relating to themselves we have never taken any part, nor does it comport with our policy so to do." -James Monroe
-"Separated as we are from Europe [read:the world] by the great Atlantic ocean, we can have no concern in the wars of the European Governments nor in the causes which produce them." -James Monroe
-"Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens,) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove, that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government. But that jealousy, to be useful, must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation, and excessive dislike of another, cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other." -George Washington
-"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." -George Washington

There are many more but I will stop there because I doubt anyone will even read this post, let alone even half of those quotes. I simply wanted to clearly illustrate the amount of literature out there on this particular topic. We have little need to engage ourselves in as many foreign causes and conflicts as we do. I am not advocating isolationism (though it may not hurt in some respects), rather I feel that American foreign policy needs to be reigned in a great deal. Let's be honest. Iran a threat? How exactly is that even possible? That has got to be the biggest joke I have ever heard. Israel, though they should be our friend, does not deserve or even need any more help "defending itself" in the Middle East. The Six-Day War, War of Attrition, Yom Kippur War, 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Operation Entebbe, look it up, the Jews can handle themselves in combat. They do not need a blank check from the US to continue stoking the fire that is the Arab and Islamic world. All it does is paint our country in a bad light, create negative feelings toward us in the Near East and provoke incidents like September 11th and the recent attacks on US Embassies and Consulates in Libya, Egypt and Yemen. Fun fact: the US has had more attacks on its embassies and consulates than any other country in the world (so far at least 26 attacks, the next closest country is France with 10 followed by Israel with 7).

My wife has criticized my blogging because of the length of my entries, arguing that people are less likely to read them because of their length. Prove her wrong. I strive to make my arguments and opinions as academically grounded as possible. I would never want to be considered "just another Tea Party-er" or be marginalized with the weirdo religious right. Please share your thoughts and opinions with me and let me know what you think. Feedback and comments are always appreciated. I will end here. More to follow.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Brief Explanation...

I feel an explanation of the (somewhat) subtle references in my blog is necessary. I realize that this may negatively affect my (limited) credibility in the public eye but I am losing faith in the education, awareness and what I guess could be called "social wherewithal" of the American people (or all people in general for that matter.)
Symbolism: First and foremost, my profile/sign-on name--Publius. This is to pay homage to the three authors of The Federalist Papers: Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay who wrote under this same pseudonym. It is derived from Latin and means "public" referring to "the public or the people." Second, my profile picture (it is hard to tell what it is without looking closer)-is a picture of a fish, more specifically, a Coelacanth (pronounced SEE-la-canth.) This species of fish was thought to have become extinct 65 million years ago but was discovered by chance in 1938 and has since been found in various oceans across the world though its existence is threatened. Third, my occasional "Rambler" essay titles. This is because they really are just the rambling thoughts of the author but is also an homage, this time to the British author and essayist Samuel Johnson, a brilliant writer and veritable master of the English language and who's skill with the pen I hope to someday emulate. Fourth, the web address of the blog, 19th of April, this is the date of Paul Revere's and William Dawes' night rides to warn the citizens of Lexington and Concord of the impending British invasion in 1775. I have considered changing the name (indeed I already have changed it once) to something a little more creative but as of yet I have not found a more suitable or appropriate title for this, my creation. Fifth (and last for now), the title, "Against The Grain" refers to how I feel at the present time but politically and societally speaking (though it may turn out to refer to Joris-Karl Huysmans' novel of the same name). I feel I do not conform to a Republican or Democrat ideology and though I consider myself a conservative (and definitely not liberal or moderate, libertarian, or anything along those lines for that matter), I do not conform to the social flow of the duopoly of the political arena now extant in the United States. Rather I feel I most closely follow a political way of thinking referred to as "Paleoconservatism." I have also considered revising the name of the blog to make it something more appealing or clever but have not yet been able to do so. If anyone reading this has any suggestions on any topic or anything else for that matter feel free to let me know. Also, the background is green because it's my favorite color.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Rambler #3 -US Foreign Policy: The World Police or Hegemony?

To all the proles and the unwashed masses yearning to breathe freely of my words. I realize that this blog, with its sporadic and spasmodic updates of a political nature are not read regularly by anyone, it is simply a means for a frustrated man to express himself in the media-saturated society in which he finds himself(sorry to be so redundant.) I have found that waxing political, ideological, or religious on Facebook only seems to alienate and offend people. This generation takes social networking WAY too seriously. Anywhoo, let us dispense with the pleasantries and pointless introduction paragraphs, on with the opinions...

The United States of America. A global superpower? Yes. An economic and a military force to be reckoned with? Yes. The (self-appointed) hall monitor of the world? Yes. But why is this? Why is the supposed "leader of the free world" a policer of the nations? Is it necessary or right that we should be so? It was not always this way.

In my opinion (obviously), nearly every terrorist attack or military action and probably most of the wars that have occurred in the modern age against America or involving America are because of our national insertion into the business affairs of others (nationally speaking). This, for the most part, can all be traced back to one single, historic event, the establishment of the League of Nations under President Woodrow Wilson in 1919. The League of Nations later became the United Nations which spawned the creation of the World Bank and IMF, the International Court of Justice, International Criminal Court, UNESCO, the Euro (not an organization), The European Union, the World Health Organization, and an army referred to as "peacekeepers," and numerous other global organizations. The intentions of these various organizations are obvious: global understanding, communications, peace and prosperity for mankind. Fine goals all to be sure. But how much regulation is necessary? Is every nation to be modeled after a westernized capitalist or socialist nation like the US or Great Britain? Are there no other options for developing/struggling countries?

In the interest of having too lengthy an essay I will forgo citing references (laugh me to scorn if you wish, I realize I should know better, being a history major and all.) I have facts and figures to prove anything I write it's just tedious and laborious to put all that crap in here and no one reads it anyway. Moving on... Woodrow Wilson believed that he had had a vision of sorts, a revelation from the Almighty that it was his job to "make the world safe for democracy." This was accomplished by establishing the aforementioned League of Nations as well as the US entering World War I, "the war to end all wars..." After the dust from the Great War had settled and the Treaty of Versailles was signed (which later incited another even greater war less than 30 years after, but that's another story) the world (with the exception of the US) was in a state of ash and destruction. Following a period of reconstruction and depression the globe was again shrouded in conflict with the beginning of World War II, which came as a direct result of World War I. At the end of this horrendous time period one nation stood intact and strong, the United States. To make a long story short...

Because of the global conflict that was WWII the US now had military bases and soldiers on every continent and in almost every nation in the world. It became our self-imposed task to keep the peace in the aftermath of the Second World War. The reason? Hubris. Fears of Communism and another world war. Imperialistic desires. We immersed ourselves in virtually every conflict from then until now as a result and it is time we stop. We have overstretched ourselves across the world. Why do we still maintain massive military bases in Hawaii and Okinawa 60 years after the conflicts there? Why do we still maintain thousands of US soldiers on the 38th parallel between the Koreas 50 years after the armistice was signed? Why are American boys the first to die if Kim Jong-il (or any of his replacements) decides to take back what he claims is his in the south? Is it really the responsibility of the United States to have a finger in every military pie in the world? The Federal government is spending the country into the poor-house maintaining occupational forces across the planet for causes not our own. The US also has treaties with almost every major world power in the event of a war. Should a war erupt in England, France, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, South Africa, South Korea, Japan or Honduras, America has committed to providing economic and military aid (but not vice versa for these respective countries, which is interesting.) Is this smart foreign policy? With the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11th I would argue no. Contrary to popular belief, Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda do not and did not hate and plan to attack America because of our freedoms or our religious faith. They are and were angry with us because of our occupation of their countries and our meddling in their affairs, and they have said as much. When will we learn our lesson? Hanging on to outdated, imperious military dogma has not done well for us. How many more US civilians and soldiers need die before the country learns to put America first and leave the business of other nations (with the exceptions of our national interests and security) to themselves? As a side note, I once had a military history teacher in high school who often said that America's involvement in the national affairs and conflicts of others is exactly the reason why we have no wars here on our own soil. This, he argued, is the reason we are always in everyone's "bidness." The more we meddle in others' conflicts, the less Americans back at home will worry about what's going on around them and the less those countries whose affairs are being meddled with will be able to strike us where we are weakest, on our own ground.

The farewell address of President George Washington is read aloud regularly before the meeting of the US Congress. In it he pleads with the inheritors of this nation to avoid "entangling alliances" and to keep out of the wars and conflicts of Europe (and the world). Perhaps it is time we heeded his warnings.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Thoughts on Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employment

Apologies to all my faithful followers out there hungering for more of my opinions. OK, so I'm kidding, I realize no one actually reads my blog but it at least makes me feel better knowing that I have it and people at least have the chance to read it.

While sitting in my math class the other day I made a list and a commitment to myself regarding this blog, I made a list of all the topics I wished to discuss, which you can find herewith, as well as a commitment to update this blog much more frequently, so here ya go...

Affirmative Action. Beginning with JFK in 1961 Affirmative Action has been a law based on the civil rights acts of the 1960's and in Equal Opportunity Employment. It states that the measures are intended to prevent discrimination against employees or applicants for employment, on the basis of "color, religion, sex, or national origin." Fair enough, I am all for equality in the work place, but at what point does the government begin to establish quotas in the hiring and admitting to colleges of women and minorities? Technically speaking would this not break the law that this is supposedly fulfilling? We all know that the white male is looked down on in our day and age as the oppressor of women and minorities, especially blacks, but is this fair? At what point is it OK to say "OK we have this law to make sure anyone and everyone is equal under the law in the work place, but you have to hire more women and minorities or you will be forced to pay fines and face loss of state funding,expulsion from the state, etc. We do this to be fair to everyone."? How does this make sense? To paraphrase George Orwell (again) are "all [people] created equal, but some [people] are more equal than others?" Is this not racial and gender motivated discrimination in the workplace and on our college campuses? Where is the justice in this?

The government mandates that if you have a school with a majority of white male student applicants the school has to admit x percentage of minorities and women, regardless of qualifications. In other words if you have 100 white male students with above average grades and test scores and 10 blacks with average test scores and grades, the school MUST admit most or all of the black students instead of the white students, solely based on race. Why not reward effort? What does that teach our society? That even if there are people that work harder and longer than you that you will be treated better because your skin is a different color? What does it teach the white males of our society? Work as hard and long as you want and excel as far as you wish but you still may not be able to get the job you want or attend the college you deserve because of your race? Where is the common sense here?

Any one reading this I imagine would like to see proof of my claims and could easily say that I am jumping to conclusions or making hasty over-generalizations, but I would ask you to prove me wrong. Do the research. I have plenty of facts, figures, and graphs laying around that I would be happy to post here should the need arise.

The point is if we are all REALLY equal, we wouldn't need affirmative action or Equal Opportunity right? We'd all be equal. Rewards for employment and academic acceptance to universities should be based solely on merit and nothing else, if the majority end up being white or black or women or whomever else, so be it.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The 4th of July: A Continuous Battle for Freedom

Happy Independence Day everyone!! Don't forget the reason that we celebrate this momentous occasion. Do one thing extra today to kindle the American spirit inside each of you, one additional activity or action that will perpetuate your patriotic pride in and love for our great country.
I've decided to start a new tradition in our family: to read The Declaration of Independence every July 4; to ensure that my family and I feel the full power of this great day and of the world changing events that transpired in this nation so long ago. Don't let your gratitude, pride, or love of the United States of America die. Long live the U.S.!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010