Posts Tagged ‘education’

Sarah Palin A Pragmatist, Not The Conservative Boogeywoman

September 16, 2008

Sarah Palin, that religious nutjob who bans books, who demands that creationism be taught in place of evolution, who is determined to impose her pro-life views on society, and who is just an all around bad person who compares unfavorably to the Taliban.  That’s the Democrat’s characterization of her.

Well, as usual, liberals are revealed to be liars who viciously engage in the politics of personal destruction.

Fred Barnes has an article that is worth reading for anyone who would like to see the real Sarah Palin:

Palin the Pragmatic
Doctrinaire conservatives beware.
by Fred Barnes
09/22/2008, Volume 014, Issue 02

Conservatives are rushing to crown Alaska governor Sarah Palin as the new Ronald Reagan. And indeed there are similarities. Like Reagan, Palin has a dazzling star quality and an appeal to voters outside the conservative orbit. But there’s another likeness to Reagan that conservatives may find a bit off-putting. She governs as a pragmatic conservative–with heavy emphasis on the pragmatic.

Palin, John McCain’s vice presidential running mate, is a strong social and religious conservative. She opposes abortion and gay rights and, as an evangelical Christian, believes in a God-centered universe. But these matters are neither her top priorities as governor nor even her second-tier concerns. Her social conservatism has been muted.

Instead, her agenda since being elected governor in 2006 consists of oil and gas, taxes, and ethics reform. “Just look at the bills she put her name on,” says John Bitney, her policy director during her first year as governor. “They speak for themselves.” The bills involved a new arrangement for building a natural gas pipeline, higher taxes on oil companies, and new ethics rules covering the governor’s administration and the legislature.

Those were her major initiatives. Next on Palin’s list of priorities were maintaining the solvency of the pension program for teachers, cutting spending in the state’s capital budget, and assuring that parents who home school their children aren’t discriminated against by state regulations.

Palin has frequently voiced her support for anti-abortion bills requiring parental consent for girls under 17 and outlawing partial-birth abortions. “Alaskans know I am pro-life and have never wavered
in my belief in the sanctity of every human life,” she declared in April.

But she refused to introduce the pro-life measures in a special legislative session last spring devoted to the gas pipeline. “These issues are so important they shouldn’t be diluted with oil and gas deliberations,” she said.

Later, she declined to call a separate special session to take up the abortion bills. Her reasoning: Pro-lifers had failed to persuade her the bills could pass the state senate. Nor would she intervene to pressure two Republican senators who opposed the legislation to change their minds. Palin isn’t willing “to jump out in front of the bus on things that aren’t moveable” in the legislature, says state Republican chairman Randy Ruedrich.

Palin’s conservatism, like Reagan’s, has never been in doubt. When I talked to her last year, she described herself as “pro-business and pro-development.” The Anchorage Daily News said the spending cuts she imposed in 2007 “may be the biggest single-year line-item veto total in state history.” Of course, Palin is also pro-gun.

When she attended a governor’s conference in Washington last February and was interviewed on C-SPAN by Steve Scully, she endorsed “across the board” tax cuts because Americans “know best” how to spend their own money. Palin said she’s “committed” to making Alaska “more of a contributing state .  .  . and less reliant on the federal government.”

Her biggest task as governor has been to start construction of the gas pipeline to the lower 48 states. She tossed out the sweetheart contract her predecessor, Republican Frank Murkowski, had reached with three oil companies and negotiated a new deal with a Canadian company. The goal, she said, is “to feed hungry markets in our state, reduce energy costs, help secure the nation, [and] flow that energy into hungry markets across the nation. That’s my mission.”

Her record as governor hardly qualifies her as a doctrinaire conservative. She proposed a graduated tax on oil as the price soared, then signed a bill passed by the legislature that set the new tax rate even higher. Reagan, by the way, cut taxes in 1981 and raised them the next year.

Why did Palin push a pipeline and favor a tax hike? Bitney says the answer is simple: Alaska needs more energy as older oil fields become depleted, and the pipeline will generate jobs and revenue. As for raising taxes, Palin follows the command of the state constitution to get the maximum benefit from the state’s natural resources.

Bitney says Palin never instructed her gubernatorial staff to “go after abortion” or any other issues of concern to social conservatives. In a campaign debate in 2006, she said that both evolution and creationism should be taught in public schools. “You know, don’t be afraid of education,” she said. “Healthy debate is so important and so valuable in our schools.”

The next day she thought better of her comment. “I would not push the state board of education to add creation-based alternatives to the state’s required curriculum,” she said. But there shouldn’t be “a prohibition against debate if [creationism] comes up in class.”

As governor, Palin has appointed a commissioner of education and nine members of the state board–without applying a litmus test on creationism or evolution. And there’s been no effort, either by Palin or her appointees, to add creationism to the curriculum.

Palin’s most celebrated act of practical conservatism was killing the notorious Bridge to Nowhere in Ketchikan. She had endorsed it in a gubernatorial campaign debate, but changed her mind after being elected. By then, the project had become a symbol of wasteful spending, and the congressional earmark with money for it had been rescinded.

But the three members of Alaska’s congressional delegation–Ted Stevens, Lisa Murkowski, and Don Young–still favored the project. Their expectation was that Palin would keep it alive with federal highway funds and state money. She refused.

The anointing of Palin as the new Reagan is surely premature. Let’s say she’s a potential Reagan. Like him, Palin has focused on a few big issues, while allowing others popular with conservatives to fall by the wayside. This brand of pragmatic conservatism worked for Reagan. It’s worked for Palin too.

Sarah Palin is an incredible woman with an incredible story.  Star basketball player, hunter, fisher, beauty queen, mother of five, and top-notch politician, who is married to a rock-steady Steelworker and five time world champion snowmobiler.

And a down-to-earth pragmatist.

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Are Conservatives Lonely On The Internet?

August 11, 2008

Am I the only conservative who often feels rather lonely on the internet?

There isn’t much in the way of official statistics out there. We have internet campaign donation figures that show Democrats are raising far more money online than Republicans.

I came across a study that found that far more liberals get their news from the Internet than do Republicans. And liberals are far more trusting than conservatives on the media across the board.

When I first started blogging – and I dare say to this very day – I have received far more comments from liberals than from conservatives. Which is kind of weird, considering that my blog is https://startthinkingright.wordpress.com. And the phrase “from a conservative perspective” immediately follows my blog title. It’s not like I’m trying to hide who I am or anything.

I’ve learned a few things.

I’ve learned that married people are far more likely to be conservatives than liberals.

I’ve learned that conservatives are far more likely to be raising children than liberals.

And both institutions leave a lot less time for surfing the internet, don’t they?

There also seems to be a rather clear bias on the Internet against conservatives. Recent stories have come out that Google has been actively discriminating against conservative sites.

But we conservatives have got to hang in there. If we don’t, we will lose the field.

An example is education. By and large, religious people – Christians especially – have been virtually shut out from academia. How did that happen?

Well, they largely did it to themselves. What we find is that for decades, even generations, Christians gave both their time and their money to their churches and to the mission fields, and secular humanists gave their time and their money to universities and to activist organizations such as the ACLU.

As a result, universities – following the money – took on a more and more secular humanist and liberal bent. Christians funded missionaries and preachers and secular humanists funded teachers and lawyers. In spite of the fact that universities in America were overwhelmingly founded by Christians for Christian purposes, universities betrayed their origins and turned against the very people who created them. There has recently been an increasingly successful effort by religious people to take back the field of education amongst all the pagans and infidels, but there is a long way to go.

Conservatives need to keep their foot in the door regarding the Internet, or we will find ourselves shut out. And once the door is closed – as was the case in education – it is very hard to force it open.

I hope you conservative bloggers keep fighting the good fight!

Just so you know, liberals are more likely to be unhappy, and more likely to be angry, according to studies. So that might explain all the vicious and mean-spirited comments you get.

So just remember this: you only have to be around liberals for a little while: they have to live with themselves all the time.