Thursday, December 26, 2019

Kwanzaa, the made up holiday created by a drug addled radical thug that promotes values detrimental to the Black Community, starts today.

 by Rod Williams - Today was the start of the citywide celebration of Kwanzaa, now in its 37th year here in Nashville. Through January 1st there will a large number of Kwanzaa events. In the past, the city has even participated by lighting the Korean Veterans Bridge in Kwanzaa colors. While our current mayor has not done so yet, and I hope he won't, previous mayors have issued a Happy Kawanzaa press release. To the uninformed, especially impressionable young people, they may think that Kwanzaa is a traditional African holiday and that it promotes something of value. It is not and it does not.

Kwanzaa is a made up holiday created by Maulana Ndabezitha Karenga, a radical American Black Nationalists. Maulana Ndabezitha Karenga was born 1941 with the name Ronald McKinley Everett but adopted the African sounding name in the 1960's. He was active in the radical Black Power movement of the 1960's and was for a while a member of the Black Panthers. When the Black Power movement splintered into violent conflict between different factions he was engaged in that struggle. He started a group called "United Slaves" which positioned themselves as more radical than the Black Panthers. Member of United Slaves and Black Panthers killed each other during the violent struggles for control of the revolution. We know that in the sixties, the FBI was engaged in promoting divisions within the Black Power movement. Some allege that Karenga was funded by the FBI to further that division but the truth is unknown.

In 1971, Karenga was sentenced to one to ten years in prison on counts of felonious assault and false imprisonment. He thought two female followers of his were conspiring to betray him and he took revenge. This is how the Los Angeles Times described the case:

Deborah Jones, who once was given the Swahili title of an African queen, said she and Gail Davis were whipped with an electrical cord and beaten with a karate baton after being ordered to remove their clothes. She testified that a hot soldering iron was placed in Miss Davis' mouth and placed against Miss Davis' face and that one of her own big toes was tightened in a vise. Karenga, head of US, also put detergent and running hoses in their mouths, she said. They also were hit on the heads with toasters. 
Even if Karnega was not a made-up holiday created by a drug addled radical thug, it would not be something worth celebrating. The principles of Kawanzaa are not admirable. The first principle is Umoja (Unity). That is not unity among all people however but unity in the family, community, and race. The second principle is Kujichagulia (Self-Determination). It calls for the right to define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves. Keep in mind this is for Black people to do. It is not a call for cooperation with others or to be accepting or cooperative with others; this is a call for radical Black power. This is a call for separating themselves from the greater culture.

It doesn't get better. The fourth principle of Kwanzaa is Ujamaa which is "cooperative economics," perhaps the last thing the Black community needs. Ujamaa was the 20-year experiment with African- style socialism in Tanzania. It failed miserably. "Cooperative Economics" never works. Voluntary collectives always fall apart. To urge collective or cooperative economics for the Black community is to urge them to remain poor. The Black community needs a good dose of capitalism, not socialism.

I know Christmas is made up also. All holidays are made-up or declared by a proclamation as a day to honor an event or a person. Christmas evolved over time and customs and traditions and elements were added one on the other. The message of Christmas is a positive message however and embraces all mankind. The message matters and any thing that evolves over time, to my way of thinking, has more legitimacy than something someone just set down one day and made up.

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Monday, December 23, 2019

According to the Freedom Works Scorecard, Just How Conservative are your Congressmen and Senators?

Freedom Works is a conservative activist organization with over 6 million members who are passionate about promoting free markets and individual liberty. Members share three common traits: a desire for less government, lower taxes, and more economic freedom. Freedom Works was founded in 1986. Every year, Freedom Works produces a "scorecard" rating each member of the House and Senate. The higher the score the more often the legislature voted in agreement with positions taken my Freedom Works.  Below are the scores of Tennessee's delegation.

The Senate score is based on ten key votes and the House score is based on 30 key votes. To view the issues that comprise the score, follow these links: House, Senate. The highest possible score is "100."  The higher the score the more often the legislator agreed with the positions favored by Freedom Works.

You will notice that Senate Lamar Alexander has a low score of 24. Ten other Republican Senators had a lower scores including Mitch McConnell and Roy Blunt and Lindsay Graham.  There was not a single Senate Democrat who was more conservative than the most liberal Republican.

In the House you will notice that Jim Cooper scored a "9."  Cooper sometimes likes to pretend he is a conservative, but his votes does not support that contention.  There were 75 Democrats who scored as high or higher than Jim Cooper. Among the Democrat Representatives more conservative than Jim Cooper was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Except for one Republican who was more liberal than a Democrat and one Democrat who was more conservative than a Republican, all of the others divided as conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats.

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Sunday, December 22, 2019

According to the Heritage Action Scorecard, Just How Conservative are your Congressmen and Senators?

Heritage Action is the activist wing of  The Heritage Foundation. The Heritage Foundation is a conservative think-tank, that has been around since 1973, and if it is not the most influential conservative organizations, it is certainly one of the most influential. Their mission statement is "to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense."

While the Foundation does policy, Heritage Action does politics.  Heritage Action has chapters all across America, including one here in Nashville. If interested in affiliating with the Nashville Chapter, follow this link. Heritage Foundation is one of those organizations I support financially.

Every year, Heritage Action produces a "scorecard" rating each member of the House and Senate.  The higher the score the more often the legislature voted in agreement with positions taken my Heritage. Below is the results for Tennessee's delegation:

Scores are a good way to quickly label a person's politics. One should note however that it is a shortcut and may not tell you all you need to know about a person to determine if they are worthy of your support. Keep in mind that a score is for the most recent session of Congress.  Sometimes a member may score higher one year than another year.  Also scores are often based on just a few votes. You may not agree with every position taken by the scoring organization. To see the issues that went into the Heritage Action Score, follow this link.

Sometimes a legislator must vote smart or strategically and well as vote for the correct policy.  As an example, while I agree we need to address massive spending, in the short run this may not be the right time to vote against a spending bill and shut down the governments.  Also, if the choice is between a liberal Republican and a conservative Democrat (which it hardly ever is) I would rather have the Republican because who controls the legislature may be more important that how that particular legislator votes. Scores are a good reference but they don't tell you everything. Skill, intellect, statecraft, integrity, work ethic,  and seniority are important factors in evaluating a politician also.

You will notice above that Senator Alexander scored 56%. That is one of the lower Republican scores and is the same score as Senator Roy Blunt and Senator Lindsey Graham.  There were ten other Republican senators who scored the same or lower than Senator Alexander.

Representative Jim Cooper who scored only 6%, sometimes likes to posture as a conservative Democrat and while his score is higher than most Democrats, it is still low.  Most Democrats scored a zero. Some member of Congress, who one may think of as very liberal, actually got a score higher than Jim cooper.  Rep. Rashida Tlaib scored a 7%,  Rep. Ilhan Omar scored a 13% and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez scored a 13%.

There actually was a time when there were some conservative Democrats and some liberal Republican. Now it is very rare.  In the House the more conservative Democrat is more liberal than the most liberal Republican according to the scores. In the Senate, there is only one Republican who is less conservative than several Democrats and that is Susan Collins.  And, there is only one Democrat who is more conservative than several Republicans and that is Joe Manchin.

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