Archive for May, 2008

Get Active: 10-yr-old Suspended for Shell Casing

Posted in civil rights, Constitution, First Amendment, Get Active!, politics, Second Amendment with tags , , , , on May 31, 2008 by Randy Streu

A Fourth-grader at Toy Town Elementary School in Winchendon, MA was suspended for five days for showing his friends an empty shell casing to some friends at lunch.  According to the NRA-ILA, Bradley Geslak had been given the casing — from a blank fired during Memorial Day — by a US veteren.  He was given two, one of which he gave to his grandfather, also a veteren.

He was showing his souvenier off to some friends during lunch when a teacher confiscated the casing and called the boy’s mother to take him home.  He’s also been told he won’t be getting the very dangerous shell casing back.

This is getting beyond the point of ridiculous, and it is time for citizens who care about freedom to step up to the plate.  So frightened of another Columbine situation are school officials that children are being suspended for even drawing pictures of guns.  Schools are overreacting, and creating new problems — and worse, these naive and idiotic new rules provide a false sense of security.  Keeping a kid from drawing a picture, or bringing empty shell casings to school, will not prevent another Columbine.   All it does is punish good kids.

It’s time to tell school officials that there are appropriate ways to safegaurd the safety of students, and that punishing them for innocent and harmless acts aren’t among them.  Rather, this sort of response is a copout to the real work that needs to be done.  Instead, they could actually do their jobs: educate teachers, parents and counselors on recognizing warning signs, be on the watch for actual weapons entering the premises and work with local police to provide an armed safety officer during the school day.

We who love liberty cannot any longer stand quietly by and let things like this happen.  Freedom, no matter where, is everybody’s business.

Let Winchendon Public Schools know how you feel about their punishing a young boy for nothing.  The school needs to give this student a public apology, and expunge this incident from his record.  And, if they have it, they need to return the boy’s property.  Tell them about the appropriate ways to keep their schools safe.  It only takes five minutes to draft and send an email — even less time to leave a voice mail.

To email Superintendent Brooke Clenchy:  bclenchy@winchendonk12.org
To leave a voicemail:  978-297-0031

There is no change without action.

-streu-

Best. Conspiracy Theory. Ever!

Posted in humor, politics with tags , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2008 by Randy Streu

So, I was minding my own business on my way to work yesterday, listening to Rush Limbaugh, when I started hearing this caller suggest that, yes, we need to open more refineries.  This is a notion I agree with (and will be writing more on later), so I turned it up and listened closer.  The caller goes on, however, to say that we don’t need to do any more drilling, shouldn’t open ANWR, etc.  This, as I will explain in my later post that I just mentioned, is stupid.  Fortunately, Rush has more sufferance of fools than I: he patiently asks the caller, “if we don’t drill, where will we get the oil to refine?”  This prompts the general lib claptrap about BIG OIL with which you and I are plenty familiar (never answering the simple logistical question put forth by El Rushbo — they never do), so I begin to tune out. 

But then I hear it.  Rush asks the obvious question: “So you think BIg Oil is pretty much unregulated, they get to do whatever they want, whenever they want to do it?”  What followed was the most random answer I think I have ever heard, and it launched a diatribe that will change my life:  “Well, did you see a trial for John Lennon’s murder?  They own the media.”

Wait a minute.  What?!  Now is where I admit that, alongside being something of a folklore/urban legend buff, I’m also a conspiracy buff.  But somehow, I had never heard Big Oil linked to Lennon’s murder.  But that’s not all.  I’m not going to quote line by line; I highly recommend you read the transcript and just “Imagine” Limbaugh hamming it up, going along with it and feeding the lunacy.  It’s hilarious.

Here’s the gist, though.  Basically, Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon, under orders from Big Oil, hired author Stephen King too off John Lennon, who was the only man capable of turning the masses against the Iraq War.  This Iraq War.  20-odd years after Lennon’s death. 

Damn.  I wish I could plan that far ahead.  I don’t even know with any certainty what I’m doing this Saturday.

Sound crazy?   Yeah.  To me, too.  But something about it made me believe that this lunacy didn’t originate with this one caller.  So I googled it. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, this may be one of the most elaborate conspiracy theories by one of the most narcissistic idiots (Introducing, Steve Lightfoot) I have ever seen.  I am awed by its thoroughness, as I am by the fervor with which this man believes it.  9-11 truthers are amateurs; this guy is the Real Deal.  The guy has a booklet.  I bought it.  There’s too much funny here not to have a copy lying around.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, yeah — the guy endorsed Kucinich.  Who’s he voting for now?  Who else, but the Messiah?

Conservatism as Moral Imperative: Why am I Conservative?

Posted in abortion, civil rights, Constitution, First Amendment, national defense, politics, Second Amendment, taxes with tags on May 8, 2008 by Randy Streu

In July of 2003, a group of Berkely researchers for the American Psychological Association did a study on what makes a Conservative.  Rather unsurprisingly, after basing their “research” on the fairly specious definitions to be found in “fifty years of literature,” they basically decided that Conservatives are narrow-minded, bigoted fearmongers by nature or psychology.  That Conservatism, in other words, was a pathology rather than a set of values.

I’m not going to spend this post dispelling the moronic notions put forth in this five-year-old study; if I recall it was fairly deftly dispatched at the time.  But I did come upon this study again the other day, and it got me thinking:  why am I conservative?  What is it that makes being Conservative make so much sense to me?

It is that question I’ll try to answer.

I like to tell people I tried being a liberal once, while I was in college.  I found out I felt neither guilty for my own position in life, nor entitled to anyone else’s.  As glib as this is, there’s also a lot of truth to it — and it cuts to the heart of my position of Conservatism. 

In contrast to the mainstream (and incorrect) view of Conservatism, I am not judgemental or pessimistic.  I’m not wealthy by any financial standard.  I’m not distrusting of, nor biased against, those of other races or genders.  I’m also not a fan of NASCAR, just to eliminate all stereotypes.

Instead, I am something of an optimist.  Although I usually consider myself a realist, the fact is, I believe the best is always possible.  I’m quick to give my trust (though not as quick to give it back once I’ve been burned), and quick to believe in people.  True to stereotype, I am an Evangelical Christian, which goes a long way to explain my concern and, yes, compassion, for my fellow man.

All these things are why I am a Conservative. 

I believe Thomas Jefferson was right when he said, “A man is governed best who is governed least.”  I believe man — every human, regardless of race, creed or sex, is capable of providing for himself without help from a government entity.  Because of this, I believe every individual ought to be responsible for himself and his own family.  Indeed, I believe we function at our best when we are unfettered by government intervention.  I don’t believe a man ought to be given special dispensation because of race.  Being black is not a handicap, and anyone who thinks it is, is a racist.  The same goes for being female.  Or gay, for that matter.  I believe it is not compassionate to foster dependence upon others. 

Real compassion, I believe, is in allowing a person to make his own decisions with the same opportunity for reward and consequence as everybody else.  I don’t believe compassion is forcing others to provide for anyone — rather, when somebody needs help, compassion is providing for them yourself.

I am Conservative, because I believe it is the morally correct position.  I believe a man’s thoughts, beliefs and actions (so long as those actions don’t adversely and without permission impede another’s freedoms) are between him and God alone.  I don’t believe in telling somebody what they can and can’t do within their own persons or households — with exceptions only for that which would needlessly harm another human being.  I also don’t believe in forcing members of society to morally justify or accept those positions in others that they find distasteful or immoral.

I am a Conservative because my conscience demands it.  Slavery in any form — intellectual, moral, political or physical — is evil.  I believe the money a man makes is his money, and that when that money is taxed, it is to be for the purposes outlined in the Constitution — and not for anything else.  To do otherwise is to make that man a slave.

I am a Conservative because I believe life is precious, and must be protected.  I believe humanity is the highest life form on earth, and created after God’s own Image.  Therefore, at all costs, human life must be sustained.

Finally, I am conservative because I believe it is the job of government — the job we, the People, pay them for — to protect us from those who would do us harm.  This is the mandate from the people.  This is the only morality of government:  to keep the peoples’ trust.  To keep us safe. 

Conservatism is for me, a moral imperative.  I am Conservative because it is the way that makes the most sense — from an intellectual level, as well as spiritual. 

Blogivism vs. Activism

Posted in Elections, Get Active!, politics with tags , , , , , , on May 7, 2008 by Randy Streu

It is a unique little hobby we political bloggers have undertaken.  We spend untold hours a week following the news, poring over political and legal texts, studying history, not to mention checking the other blogs to see what we’ve missed, and ultimately writing it all down — becoming arguably some of the best-informed voters in America — all for the few dozen, few hundred or few thousand people who happen to wander by our web pages to read what we have written.

This is done, ostensibly to inform our fellow voters, thereby helping to create a better America.  For the Conservative blogger, this means an attempt to convince others of going back toward a more Constitutional view of government.  However, if this election season has shown us anything, it’s that the blogosphere is a great deal like Vegas: what happens here tends to stay here.  Just ask a Fred Thompson supporter

Blogging is a great outlet for thought and opinion, and it can satisfy that activist streak — at least on an intellectual level.  As a real-world tool, however, it has its limitations.  Even at the most popular individual sites, like IMAO, or group sites like RedState, where there is a built-in audience, bloggers ultimately find themselves preaching to the choir.  Though there are occasional dissenters, regular readers are often those people who already agree, for the most part, with what you’re saying.

Even new readers, people to whom your blog has given a new way of thinking about an issue, will only rarely let it effect their lives on a level that inspires change.  I liken this to preaching.  From experience, I know that a well-given sermon will inspire people at least in theory.  They listen.  They nod.  They tell you they “enjoyed it” or that it “made them think.”  They may even tell you their favorite part.  But rarely does it inspire anything above a temporary life change — if that.  There are those for whom a sermon or a piece of writing really does create a paradigm shift.  And it is because of those people, I suspect, that we find our practices worthwhile. 

In short, even if you advertise your blog to get a wider readership, the capacity of the blogger to affect real change through just writing, is very limited.  That doesn’t mean blogging isn’t a wothy pursuit — quite to the contrary!  But as informed citizens with a heart for our nation, and to create positive change, we have the ability — and perhaps the responsibility — to do more.  To act.

There is no shortage of opportunity for Conservative activism — much of it right here on the net.  And quite often, it takes no longer than five seconds.  What follows are some links to some of those opportunities.

First, if you’re not a member of RedState, I recommend it.  Not only is it a excellent place to blog, and a great community for discussion of issues, but also for information and activism.  Sign up for RedState Action Alerts: semi-regular emails outlining where action is necessary, and what sort of help is needed.  This is a great starting point for the political activist, providing addresses and numbers for key players in particular issues or pieces of legislation, opportunities to help candidates, and more.

Next is the NRA-ILA: the Institute for Legal Action.  You needn’t be an NRA member to stand up for the Second Amendment.  Sign up for weekly emails (and more as necessary) to learn about potentially threatening events and legislation throughout the country — on both a national and State level.  The emails also link to surveys, petitions and ways to contact representatives.

NumbersUSA is an immigration reform organization.  You may or may not agree with all the group’s goals (I don’t), but they are also the premier clearinghouse for anti-illegal immigration activism.  Regular emails from this group (again, I recommend you sign up) detail immigration legislation and provide means of contacting legislators — including FREE faxes to your local rep’s office with a click of the mouse.

Finally (cue shameless plug), keep checking with the Society for Independent Thinking.  When this site was conceived, it was always meant to be a Conservative activism clearinghouse.  Consider this post inaugural to that goal.  Regular “Get Active” posts will outline ways opportunities for spreading conservatism, upcoming legislation, and how to be heard on it, and more.  There will also be permanent links to the above sites and others so you can be informed of opportunities as they happen.  Stay tuned also for the creation of a SIT mailing list which will regularly discuss such opportunities.

If you know of other conservative sites like those mentioned above, also feel free to leave those in the comments section.  I’ll check them out and link those as well.  Thanks.

Because 80% Right is Better than 100% Wrong

Posted in blognews, Elections, John McCain, politics with tags on May 3, 2008 by Randy Streu

Society for Independent Thinking is slowly creating shamelessly self-promotional merchandise.  But for now, we’re going to promote McCain.  Because, well…

T-shirts bearing similar designs are available at the SIT store.