Archive for April, 2008

Finally! McCain Calls Out Dems On Social Justice

Posted in Elections, John McCain, Obama, politics with tags on April 30, 2008 by Randy Streu

Conservative bloggers and some commentators have for years taken issue with the Democrats’ claim to corner the market on Social Justice issues.  That millions of Americans are taken in by the Left’s claims of “compassion” through entitlement and affirmative action programs (when such things are in fact themselves the height of elitist racism) has been something of a sore spot — with me personally — for far too long.

The problem has been, though bloggers and some commentators have cried foul on this, without politicians coming at this from positions of influence, it simply hasn’t been heard.  But on Sunday, a voice of reason was finally heard — and from a sadly unlikely source:  Senator John McCain.

This, after Senator Obama decried McCain’s plan to eliminate the gas tax during the summer months.

“I noticed again today that Sen. Obama repeated his opposition to giving low-income Americans a tax break, a little bit of relief so they can travel a little further and a little longer, and maybe have a little bit of money left over to enjoy some other things in their lives,” McCain said. “Obviously Sen. Obama does not understand that this would be a nice thing for Americans, and the special interests should not be dictating this policy.”

With this statement from McCain comes a collective sigh of relief from the Conservative base.  Not only has a politician finally taken on the Left in terms of social morality (on their own “turf,” in other words), but it was nice to see McCain turn his ire toward a Democrat instead of a fellow Republican.

I would have hoped to see any GOP nominee take this same route, and it pleases me greatly that McCain did.  It shows the kind of leadership the Conservatives have been wanting to see — and we can only hope this trend (he’s also decided recently that the NC GOP ad he denounced earlier was not such a horrible thing after all) continues.

In that spirit, my McCain window decals, when they arrive, will be applied right-side-up.  But they’re easy-peel, John.  The Hinz movement stands ready for correction should the need arise.

(Thanks to Gamecock at Redstate for pointing out this story.)

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Sending McCain a Message

Posted in Constitution, Elections, politics with tags , on April 26, 2008 by Randy Streu

 

 

 

 

 

 

File under “Ideas I Wish Were Mine”
David Hinz has posted an intriguing idea at RedState; and I am adopting it and inviting you to do the same. 

Though many Conservatives, this one included, are unhappy with McCain as presumptive Republican POTUS nominee, it is what it is.  Ultimately, four to eight years of McCain will be better for the future of this nation than four to eight of either Clinton or Obama. 

However, the problem with McCain, as has been laid out on this site, and many others, is found in his clear proclivity for throwing Conservatives under the bus, while at the same time happily making leftward compromises with Liberals.

One option Conservatives have, though, is to try to send McCain a message.  We can do this by not voting for him, to be sure — but this then puts the nation in the hands of the Democratic nominee.  So, Hinz suggests another option.  One that, if we stand together and all implement it, will send a very strong message to McCain and the Republican Party.

Says Hinz:
“I propose that each and every Conservative demonstrate his or her support for Senator McCain for President by purchasing a “McCain for President,” bumper sticker, or better still, two. Then we should all affix those bumper stickers upside down — as a clear message to the senator. As a former Navy flier, Sen McCain will understand that message only too well. As explained below, displaying an ensign or the American flag upside down is a message of danger. It means, “…a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.””

The message is clear:  America is in danger.  We are in danger of going away from our Founding Principles.  We are in danger of Leftward movement, politically — a movement that pulls us away from liberty and capitalims, and toward more government control.  The message is that we support McCain with much trepidation; not because he is the best man for the job, but because he’s the best of what’s available. 

Incidentally, Hinz also suggests expanding from just bumper stickers:
“Let’s start a movement. Can you see people at rallies holding up McCain signs upside down, and the MSM asking why?”

I can see it.  We have 6 months before this election.  The time to send a message is now.

Alan Keyes Leaves GOP; Nobody Shocked

Posted in Elections, politics with tags , , , , on April 24, 2008 by Randy Streu

I think at this point, pol watchers have been waiting for Alan Keyes to make his departure from the GOP — especially given the presumptive nomination of John McCain as Republican POTUS candidate. 

Keyes disagrees with McCain — and many other Republican leaders, including President Bush — on the issue of border security.  And, he says, it was this that prompted his departure from the party.  Keyes may be headed for the Constitution Party.

Keyes announced his departure during a speech in PA, saying, “The Republican Party has come to a dark and confused place.” 

Constitution Party National Committee Chairman Jim Clymer extended an invitation, which Keyes is considering.

Really, it may be a good fit.  The Constitution Party needs some higher-echelon conservatives to begin the migration, and it will be interesting to see, in the coming months, whether Keyes will start a mass rightward shift of Conservatives out of the GOP, or whether Republicans will stick it out and give McCain the chance to prove himself.

The Constitution Party nominates their candidate for POTUS this weekend, and it will be interesting to see, especially during this time of strife within the Republican Party, what happens.  If the Constitution Party selects a contender this election, I believe there may indeed be a shift.

For me, however, though I have considered seriously the prospect of rescinding my GOP membership in favor of the Constition Party, I am also tempted to give John McCain a chance to prove himself to the Conservatives.  Though I am tired of the two-party system and would love to see a mass movement toward a Conservative stronghold like the Constitution Party, I do wonder if this is the time to shake things up — or if the alternatives to McCain are really dangerous enough force the compromise.  This isn’t my dilemma alone; many Conservatives are wondering whether the Reagan movement is on its way out of the Republican Party. 

Pols like Governor Daniel telling Conservatives to “let Reagan go” doesn’t help this feeling of displacement.

Sadly, I don’t have any solutions for Conservatives today.  I don’t know whether we should rally behind McCain, or look for a home elsewhere.  I know what my gut says — and I know what my brain says in response.  I do believe that, if the Republican Party continues to leave behind Conservative values, it will ultimately be time for a mass migration — perhaps to the Constitution Party.  And I believe that, not only will this send a strong message, but will also create a new, strong Party behind which Americans everywhere can stand. 

I just don’t know if now’s the right time.

Hillary’s First Hundred: Still Running Against Bush

Posted in Elections, Hillary, politics, taxes with tags on April 15, 2008 by Randy Streu

Hillary Clinton outlined a plan for her first hundred days in office.  Included in the plan: immediately begin withdrawl of troops from Iraq (is it me, or does she keep changing her mind on this subject?), roll back the bush tax cuts, un-veto bills for the expansion of embryonic stem cell research and create more government-funded healthcare for citizens.  In short, she says, “starting from Day One, the Bush-Cheney era will be over in name and in practice.”

In other words, she’s working as hard as she can to prove she’s really a liberal, but still avoiding running against Barack Obama or John McCain.  Instead, as she’s been doing from Day One of her campaign, she’s running against George W. Bush.  Somebody ought to tell her that some people understand you only get two terms in office –no matter how hard those nastolgic for the Return of Slick Willy might hope. 

Clinton also hopes to close Gitmo (what?  Another Clinton wanting to close US military bases?  You’re kidding!), end torture (waterboarding, which, no matter what the politicians say, just isn’t torture) and put a stop to White House secrecy.  Right.  Transparency is Hillary’s middle name.

In short, cripple the US military, bring known terrorists to US shores, start asking our enemies nicely to give up tactically important information instead of using a demonstrably useful interrogation method, and pretend there’s no such thing as Executive Privelige, though she herself will undoubtedly find it extremely necessary.

Clinton has never been anything more than a political panderer, frankly, and her “first hundred days” speech is more of the same.  From outright contradictions of earlier policy statements, to her continued insistence on running against the Bush Administration, she proves, as always, that she not only has nothing new to add to the National conversation, but would probably be as inefectual a President as she was a First Lady.  It’s hard to sign legislation with your finger in the breeze.

Though, at this point, it would take either a miracle or outright theft for a Clinton nomination this go-round, it is only prudent to remember who we’re dealing with.  Her current theme is topping (or at least matching) Obama in liberalism.  Until now, she’s been considered the more centrist candidate by some pundits.  Now that she’s losing to Obama, she sees that this is not the right tactic.  At least for now.  I would imagine, should said theft or miracle occur, we’ll see another face of Hillary emerge before November.

… And With That, Political Correctness Takes its Final Nosedive Into Absurdity

Posted in civil rights, Constitution, Elections, First Amendment, Obama, politics with tags , , , , on April 9, 2008 by Randy Streu

The Chicago Sun-Times reports today that an Obama delegate and Carpentersville Village Trustee has resigned her delegate nomination and will not be seeking reelection as trustee after a perceived slur made by her to some kids in a tree.

What happened, in essence, is that Trustee Linda Ramirez-Sliwinski went outside Saturday and spotted two children — black children (this is important) — in a tree.  She says she “told the children to quit playing in the tree like monkeys.”  The mother of one kid was offended because her black kid was likened to monkeys (I liken my own white children to monkeys on a near-daily basis, in much the same way as the Trustee did here) and created something of a scene. 

If this was where the story ended, it may still be considered absurd, but not necessarily unheard-of.  Obama’s own books reveal him to be mellodramatically sensitive about race issues.  And, let’s face it, if more libs would resign their posts because they may have said something that may have offended some people, no matter how innocuous in intent, the word would be a better place.  No, another moronic lib quitting because she hurt somebody’s feelings isn’t the issue here.  Well… isn’t the main issue.

What strikes me as very odd is that the police were involved.  Not only involved, but they issued Ramirez-Sliwinski a $75 citation for disorderly conduct, because evidently somebody was “alarmed or disturbed.”  That’s it.  Evidently, if your words hurt, the law gets involved, out Illinois way.

Look, anybody who does not see this as a travesty of human rights is either an idiot or a resident of Hollywood (but I repeat myself).  I don’t care what planet you’re from, telling a couple kids to get out of a tree so they don’t get hurt simply isn’t a crime.  Whether you call them “monkeys,” or “scamps,” or even “twerps. ” “Ankle-biters” should get you arrested, maybe. 

Neither Obama nor the Board of Trustees should be accepting this woman’s resignation.  If these libs were truly the defender of the common man, as they’d have us believe, they should be out there fighting for this woman’s right to free speech.  Where’s the ACLU in all this, I wonder?  Is this not the sort of thing they were formed to stop from happening?

I realize, for those who think that, perhaps, I’m being a bit dramatic myself, that we’re basically talking about a $75 fine here.  But she’s being fined, not for something she did, but something she said — and more importantly, a person’s perception of what she said.

Can a country that acts in such a manner still call herself free?  I wonder.

-streu-

Freedom By Default

Posted in Constitution, Economy, Elections, News, politics, taxes on April 7, 2008 by Randy Streu

Recently, Cuban leader Raul Castro made headlines by granting Cuban citizens the right to make certain purchases, own cell phones and even to stay at certain posh resorts.   Some have speculated that these changes will serve to strengthen communism; I would submit it at least highlights the difference in thinking between the communist/socialist and that of the libertarian (by which I’m referring not to a political party, but to a philosophy).

The ability to freely choose how you use your resources, and what you do with your own person, is not a right “granted” by a government — or any other — agency.  It is, in point of fact, our “default state.”  We are born with liberty: the freedom to speak and to act on our own behalf, and in the manner of our choosing. 

This freedom works best when tempered by the most basic morality: to not impose one’s will on another self-sufficient member of society.  It is this basic concept which is the basis for true social justice, and for any just law and governance.  It is within this one parameter that we find our most fundamental societal laws: don’t kill, rape or otherwise physically harm another human being; don’t steal, damage or demand another’s personal property.  It is, very simply, the recognition that freedom which negates the freedom of another is, itself, rendered meaningless.  If one person has the freedom to take from another, others, by definition, have that same right to take from the first.  The establishment of simple law as described above effectively makes freedom possible.

Liberty, then, is never a thing “granted.”  It can only be limited, stolen, given away or — in the best of societies — revered and protected. 

Now, in any society, there are scenarios in which liberty (or property) may be justly limited or taken.  Such scenarios always involve either just compensation or else punative cause.  In other words, it is either freely given, as in the case of employment, in which a man may turn over certain decisions to a supervisor for a period of time, in exchange for money — or it is taken by society as punishment for injustices visited on others.

But the starting point is freedom.  When the founders of this country first drafted the Declaration of Independence, it was not merely a declaration of national sovereignty, but of personal will.  “All men,” states the Declaration, “are … endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.”  These rights — life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness — aren’t “national” rights, but individual.  From the beginning, the Founders knew that a nation is made up of people; a free nation created of free people. 

This is all — or at least ought to be — academic.  A given.  Any government not recognizing personal sovereignty over the will is injust.  In theory, you may even find a consensus to this idea among Republican, Democrat, Socialist and Liberterian alike.  However, what certain of these groups fail to realize is that an integral part of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness includes control over property.  What you make, or work, in other words, belongs to you.  This includes money, land, material, intellectual property, etc.  Unless you are contracted otherwise, nobody owns the work of your mind or body, except you — and such contracts are based upon compensation for work done.

It is for this reason that so-called “entitlement” programs are the very opposite of “social justice” — no matter how they’re billed.  Entitlement programs, such as welfare, essentially entail the government deciding that your money would better serve in the possession of somebody else.  In a very real sense, the government using tax dollars in this manner constitutes a denial of liberty.  It is the freedom of one being allowed to negate the freedom of another. 

Enforced collectivization, such as you see in countries like Cuba, or in the Canadian and European healthcare systems, is the same type of thing.  It is an across-the-board denial of freedom to everyone in order to serve the percieved needs of a few. 

Socialism and liberty do not and cannot coexist.  Either you are free or you are not.  Populist programs are, called by any other name, still socialism in practice, and still a negation of personal liberty.  We remain free only by realizing, as did the Founding Fathers of this nation, that we are free by default.  Or freedom may be stolen while we aren’t looking.  It may be willingly surrendered to those who would pretend to serve us.  But not if we are wary.  Not if we are vigilant.  In this, we have failed as a society. 

There is still time to reclaim and assert our freedom.  There is still time to find and route enemies to our liberty.  But first we must recognize them.  Then we must confront them.  We must stop allowing them to steal our freedoms and pass us back the crumbs, all the while pretending they are benificently “granting” us rights.