Well…. I know, I haven’t posted in nearly a year. School this last year has truly kept me busier than I think I’ve ever been before. One of the things that kept me so busy was my junior design project (a two credit hour class), which ended up taking more of my time per week than all my other classes combined. Since all this hard work  ended up depriving my loyal readers of getting to read my posts, I figured the least I could do was share some of the fruits of my labor. Below is our design team’s final presentation, filmed and edited by yours truly, with lots of help from other people on the team.

 

 

Admittedly, I had lots of fun stealing ideas and music from Apollo 13. Suffice it to say that our presentation had everyone in the room laughing, and we got quite the thunderous applause. It’s fun to be on a team that’s so easy to dramatize.🙂

For anyone who cares about the technical details, our rocket went to 18,000 feet this test flight and flew just over Mach 1. Ultimately, the team’s goal is to fly our rocket in the 2013 intercollegiate rocket engineering competition this June. Based on how well our test flight went, we may very well place or even win. Everyone on the team made huge contributions to the project, and we’ve had really great year. And of course, I loved getting to do all that filming and video editing.🙂 Now that school is mostly over, hopefully I will have more time to write!

This post is in response to a comment posted in the “Suggestions” section. Thanks jenevieves for the request!

Despite nature’s best efforts to hinder the Republican National Convention and the subsequent nomination of their less-than ideal candidate, the time for Mitt Romney’s inevitable nomination as the GOP’s candidate for president is inevitably drawing closer. This leaves many conservatives, including myself, at a loss as to who we should vote for. We can all agree, (or at least, all of us conservatives) that we don’t want to see Obama in office for another four years. But is it worth selling our souls, compromising our principles, ignoring our consciences, and voting for a middle-of-the-road moderate in order to get rid of our current commander-in-chief? More and more these days, I hear grumblings amongst the hard-core conservatives about the leftward leaning Republican Party and their rather undesirable nominee. More and more often, I hear people say that they would sit this election out or vote for an obscure third-party candidate rather than throw their support behind a middle of the road moderate. But is this the right thing to do? Is it worth throwing away a vote just to avoid the guilty feeling that may come from pulling the lever for Mitt?

In terms of numbers, the answer is obvious. A vote not cast by a conservative is a vote for Obama. A vote cast for a third-party president is a vote for Obama. By not voting for Mitt Romney, conservatives are effectively voting for Obama. So in terms of numbers and statistics, it’s straight forward. If we want to get rid of Obama (which is one thing that ALL conservatives seem to agree on), then we’d better grit our teeth, bite the bullet, and cast our votes for Romney, even if it does give us a sick feeling inside to vote for someone who once pedaled his own version of Obamacare.

Despite the straight-forward logic behind the numbers, there are some very convincing arguments to be made against voting for Romney. For example, supposing we conservatives get out there and vote Romney into office. Okay, great. What have we actually accomplished? Granted, Romney in office means that we’ve gotten rid of Obama, which is no small accomplishment. But what else will we have accomplished? If conservatives come out in force to vote for Romney, they will be sending the GOP a definite message. In essence, they will be admitting defeat. If conservatives vote for Romney, in essence they will be saying to the Republican Party: “You can shove us around, force your moderate candidates down our throat, and as long as they’re only marginally better than the democrat against whom they run, we’ll get out there and vote for him.”

Now, that’s the last message I want the Republicans to get from me, and I think most conservatives would be in agreement with me on that. So when viewed from that perspective, it might be worth sitting this election out just for the purpose of waking up the GOP. After all, if Mitt Romney loses by a land-slide because conservatives decided to stay home, it won’t take Republican leadership long to figure out that they need to come up with candidates who hold real conservative values rather than trying to cajole us into supporting their moderate choices. But there are a couple of problems with this way of thinking.

First of all, we have to ask ourselves whether or not the GOP will get the message. Even if enough conservatives sit the election out to make Romney lose, will this actually get the Republican Party’s attention? One would hope so. I mean, of all times for a Republican candidate to win, one would think that this election would be the easiest. Obama’s done such a bad job for the last four years that Mickey Mouse could run against him and win. Or at least that’s what one would think. So if Mitt Romney were to actually lose this election because enough disgruntled conservatives didn’t vote, one would think that this would be enough of a wake-up call to get the party leadership’s attention. But then again, it might not. Is it worth throwing away a vote and possibly handing Obama another four years in office in order to send the GOP a message that they might possibly never get?

Furthermore, it’s worth considering the price that we might have to pay if Obama gets another term in office. Our nation is heading towards destruction. Our economy is ready to take another nose-dive, we’re practically owned by the Chinese, our military is being downsized, and our liberties are being whittled down to nothing.  Given another four years, there’s no telling what kind of havoc Obama might wreak. Remember, these last four years that Obama’s been in office, he’s been thinking about getting reelected this year. So the Obama we’ve seen so far is most likely the more conservative version of the man. Once he doesn’t have to worry about reelection, then he’s free to pull out all the stops, and let loose with a storm of liberal executive orders. True, Obama will most likely have a conservative congress to stand in his way, but as we’ve seen already, Obama doesn’t let the Constitution stand in his way. He’s more than happy to grab whatever power he can and use it however he likes. The prospect of a two-term Obama presidency is truly terrifying.

One might rightly wonder whether or not Mitt Romney is really a much better alternative than Obama. Obama is driving our country towards disaster at record speed, no doubt, but will Romney be able to put on the brakes in time? While I’m not confident that he will, I think that it’s reasonable to say that Romney will be able to at least somewhat reverse the changes Obama has made. With a conservative congress and a Republican president, our chances of getting Obamacare repealed are fairly good. Also, I think the Republicans actually mean business about cutting spending and reducing taxes. Finally, I have no doubt that Romney’s foreign policy will be better than Obama’s, and that Romney will work to restore the military which Obama has worked so hard to downsize. Now, I’m not overly confident that Romney and the Republicans will bring about the deep, across the board reform that the country so desperately needs, but I do feel that despite their numerous, glaring flaws, the Republicans in office will be at least somewhat better for our country than the Democrats. If our country weren’t so close to disaster already, or if Obama were a slightly less radical liberal and weren’t quite so hell-bent on destroying our country, then I would seriously consider sitting this election out to send the GOP a message. But we as a nation are teetering on the brink of disaster as it is. We can’t afford to play political games with this election just to make a point to the party leadership or satisfy our consciences.

No doubt, the GOP knew at the start of this election cycle that they had the Republican base over a barrel. More than likely, the moderates in the party took advantage of the situation, knowing that they could force a moderate down our throats now, when the stakes on this election are so high. The Republicans hold the trump card, and they know it. Despite our moral qualms, most conservatives are going to grudgingly cast their vote for the Republican candidate, no matter how moderate he might be, and the Republican Party leadership knew that. But just because the GOP took advantage of the situation doesn’t make their position any less strong. Despite whatever devious tactics might have been used to get Romney nominated, we still have to grit our teeth and vote for him if we want to keep the country from going over the proverbial cliff.

But what does this mean for the future of the party? Does this election doom us to having to live with moderate candidates from now on? Well, I sincerely hope not. And I think that there are ways that the conservative base can fight back, even if we do vote for Romney.

First of all, we need to keep our politicians accountable. This means writing letters, making phone calls, going to rallies, etc. It’s a lot harder than just sitting out an election, but it will likely be far more effective. As long as Romney knows that he has a conservative base on his back, watching his every move, I think he will ere on the side of conservatism as long as he’s in the White House. But we need to make sure that Romney and the Republican congress (assuming the Republicans do in fact win) know that we’re watching their every move, and we must keep them accountable.

Secondly, if Romney gets elected and then blows this term, then I say by all means, we should boot him out in 2016. If in four years we’re still facing high taxes, irresponsible spending, and more attacks on our liberties, then we should first of all try to get someone besides Romney nominated to run for the GOP, or else not vote for Romney to get a second term. (Romney has said that he plans to be a one-term president anyway, so this may be a non-issue, if Romney keeps his word.) We need to send a strong message to the GOP: Yes, you forced us to vote for a moderate candidate, this time. But don’t get any big ideas; we won’t let this happen again.

In conclusion, I say that despite the moral qualms many of us may have, I think that the right thing to do in this election is to vote for Romney, even if he is just the lesser of two evils. As much as I wish there were a viable conservative candidate to vote for, our country is in too dire of a position for us to play around with this election. But at the same time, we should not give up and give in to the moderate trend which seems to be dominating the party. Winning the election will be the easy part, and we will by no means be done after November 6th. In fact, Election Day will be just the beginning of the battle we must battle to set our nation back on track, and we must be prepared to join the fight.

 

If you’re like me, you probably get a bunch of emails from every corner of the political world every day. With most of them, I promptly hit the delete button and move on, but there is one variety which always catches my eye. For some reason, I always enjoy reading the emails which predict the eminent collapse of the United States, either from foreign invasion or else from inward destruction, or possibly a combination of both. I normally only sort of half-way pay attention, for the most part writing the warnings of disaster off as paranoia with a hint of fear-mongering. But I saw an article today that causes me to change the way I look at such emails. You can read it for yourself here: http://nation.foxnews.com/russia/2012/08/14/russian-attack-submarine-sailed-gulf-mexico-undetected-weeks

In case you didn’t read the article, here’s the short version. A Russian attack submarine has been cruising around in the Gulf of Mexico for WEEKS, and we didn’t even KNOW about it until after they left. At the same time, Russian strategic bombers were flying in restricted U.S. airspace near Alaska and California. I assume we DID know about those at the time, but our military did absolutely nothing about it.

I don’t know if the Russians are out to get us, or whether they’re just flexing their military muscles. Regardless of the Russian intentions, this clearly demonstrates that as a country, we are vulnerable and ripe for destruction. I mean, my goodness, if the Russians can fly bombers over our RESTRICTED AIRSPACE without us so much as batting an eyelash, what WILL it take for them to get a reaction out of us? Will they have to fire cruise missiles at the White House before they get our beloved leader’s attention? It seems hard to believe, but I think Obama truly is intent on bringing America down. Maybe he doesn’t want to destroy the U.S. entirely, but I think he definitely wants to destroy our prosperity and give us a big slice of humble pie. If you have any doubts, just look at his record so far. He’s spending us into bankruptcy, while at the same time cutting our military. He’s reduced our nuclear arsenal to almost nothing, and cutting the military budget by $487 billion. And when Russia flies bombers into our strategic air space, he does NOTHING.

I truly think that Obama has a chip on his shoulder, and an enduring grudge against the U.S., particularly the middle and upper class. Any one of his blunders might be excusable as just that: a stupid blunder. If it were JUST the economy, or JUST our national defense, or JUST the excessive taxation of the upper and middle classes, or JUST the assault on our personal liberty and freedom through healthcare takeover, I MIGHT be able to write it off as the mistake of a well-meaning liberal. But all of these combined leads me to one conclusion: Obama wants to teach the U.S. a lesson. He’s tired of us being number one in the world, and he’s ready for us to be brought down a notch. To me, this is truly frightening.

I’ve felt for a long time that our country is headed for some kind of disaster, and this just makes me more sure. I just wonder if it’s too late to save ourselves. Maybe we should all move to Texas and secede before things get really ugly.

Normally, I like to post only the stuff that I write. However, on some occasions, there are so many well-written opinions already out there that I feel like whatever I write will only be regurgitating what has already been said. Obama’s bungle about “you didn’t build that business” is just such an issue. I could go on for a great many paragraphs about how wrong that statement is. It is an assault on us as individuals, and it undermines the very basis of the American way of life and capitalism itself. But, as I said, so much has been written already that I feel that anything I would say would consist of me parroting back to you what others have already written. So instead of continuing to rant, I’d like to invite you to read an excellent piece on the subject:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/08/what-you-didnt-build-that-really-means-and-why-romney-cant-explain-it/260984/

I was just reading a comment on a recent post, and realized that this blog has crossed the 100 comment mark! So, I thought I’d take this opportunity to say again just how much I appreciate everyone’s comments. Whether you love what I write or hate my guts, your comments are what makes doing this blog worthwhile. So please, if you have something to say about what I’m saying, leave a comment!

Amidst the doom and gloom of the most recent economic meltdown, combined with the abysmal unemployment numbers, and topped with Bloomberg’s idiotic plan to prohibit the sale of sugary sodas larger than 16 ounces (I hope and plan to write about all these in the near future), there remain a few bright spots on the political and social landscape of the country. One such bright spot can be found in Louisiana, where Republican governor Bobby Jindal along with the legislature is working to get government out of the way and let the private sector work. I’m referring to Louisiana’s major step towards privatizing public education.

According to Reuters, this fall thousands of families will be given vouchers which they can use for private education options. Of course, this is not the first attempt at a voucher program; ten states already have voucher programs. But the program in Louisiana is by far the broadest yet tried. Currently, about 170,000 students are on a voucher program of some kind. The Louisiana program will make some 360,000 students (over half of the state’s student population) eligible to receive vouchers this fall and drop out of public schools. Every time a student drops out of a public school, that school district will lose the funding associated with one student (about $8000), and that money will go to the student’s private school.

Now, this program is not without problems. For one thing, children in families who make too much money are not eligible for the program. This is clear discrimination against the rich, but then again, what else is new? But its flaws aside, this program is a major step in the right direction. Why is this program such great news? Let me explain.

First, we must remedy a common misconception. It is truly amazing how many people have the mistaken idea that the way to fix schools is simply to pour more money at them. Guess what? It doesn’t work. I have personally seen schools which receive an obscene amount of state money every year and turn out some of the most under-qualified students in the nation (assuming their students even graduate). This may be a newsflash for some of you, but here it is: throwing money at public schools is not the solution to education problems.

Let’s think for a moment about the idea that we ought to give under-performing school districts more money. What type of school does the government reward if it follows such a policy? The underperforming schools! By simply throwing more and more money at schools which do a bad job of educating students, the government simply encourages ineptitude and dysfunctionality in the school systems. After all, why would an under-performing school ever want to improve, if their only reward would be to lose their source of funding?

This is what happens when the government runs something. The government, unlike the free market, is incapable (or at least grossly incompetent at) creating solutions to problems. When the government funds anything, whether it be schools, the DMV, or healthcare, it encourages laziness and underperformance. The solution to education problems (and probably most other problems relating to the government’s involvement in business) is not more spending and more taxes, but privatization and competition. And that’s exactly what the Louisiana voucher program encourages.

Now, back to Louisiana. This fall, underperforming schools will have to face the prospect of losing students and their associated funding. This will force them to either improve, or shut their doors. At the same time, new private schools will be started by educators who see an opportunity to make money, while existing private schools will expand. And those private schools will be able to tailor their curriculum to the religious and philosophical beliefs of their customers, the parents, without the government breathing down their necks. With privatization of schools, public schools will be forced to be better, private schools will flourish, and parents will be allowed to choose schools with curricula compatible with their worldviews. And, as a side bonus, thousands and thousands of kids who otherwise would have gotten a next to worthless education in some dumpy public school will now have a chance of getting a quality education from a private school. And all of this will be a result of the private sector and free enterprise being allowed to work as they were intended to.

So if the news about Obama or Bloomberg has got you down, and you feel like the nation’s headed down the toilet, take refuge in the fact that there are still conservatives out there fighting to preserve freedom.

Yesterday, Mitt Romney visited Solyndra, a symbol of the failed Obama economics policies. You can watch the speech he gave here:

I must say, I think Romney hit the nail on the head. Solyndra is a perfect example of Obama’s complete lack of understanding of business and economics. As Romney said, Obama’s idea of “free enterprise” is taking money from the taxpayers, and giving it to his friends. Although, I would go further than that. I think that Obama knows exactly what free enterprise is. Obama is actively running against free enterprise. See one example here:

This video is only one of many examples of Obama’s anti-capitalism, anti-freedom philosophy. Obama doesn’t have a poor understanding of free enterprise. He knows exactly what free enterprise is, and he’s out to kill it.

Romney goes on to criticize the Solyndra plant as being too extravagant, citing the thermostat adjustable showers with music for the employees to listen to as they bathe? To that I would say, bravo Mitt. Why is it that corporations get chewed out for having private jets, while Solyndra can get away with building an extravagant palace using tax-payer money? Why is it that corporate executives get criticized for living lavish lifestyles, while government officials can get away with millions in bonuses? Corporations actually produce things and make people’s lives better. What has Solyndra, or any government investment like it, actually produced? Absolutely nothing, other than a debt which will be next to impossible to repay.

Romney also made a good point on why government intervention in the private sector is a bad idea, even if the company the government invests in is successful. As Romney said, the government is sending the message to everyone else that the best way to succeed in business is not to have a good product, not to have a creative idea, but to have good lobbyists. The simple fact is that it’s not the government’s job to pick winners and losers in business. The government’s job is to remove barriers to private enterprise, not to decide which companies deserve to succeed and which companies don’t. The free market works if left to itself, but as soon as government sticks its nose into private sector’s business, the result is multi-million dollar blunders like Solyndra.

There is an active war on capitalism and freedom in general underway in the country, and Barack Obama is leading the charge.

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