Archive for the Get Active! Category

Exploring the Roots Corruption: How did we get here, and how do we get out?

Posted in Constitution, Elections, Get Active!, News, politics with tags , on December 12, 2008 by Randy Streu

Though it is not completely without a sense of schadenfreude that I watch the Chicago Democrat party implode, this recent Blagojavich scandle has gotten me thinking about the nature of political corruption in general.  And about the simple fact that, as much as we’d like it to be, the Republican Party is not immune to the corruption of power, any more than the Dems appear to be.

In recent years, voters have seen more than our share of corrupt politicians, engaged in everything from prostitution and sex scandles to buying votes on the senate floor to the pay-for-play antics like those of the Chicago Gov. 

But where does it come from?   Frankly, I believe it comes, primarily, from two places.  First, as the saying goes, “power corrupts.”  You’d have to ask a psychologist about the effects being voted into a position of authority can have on the ego.  But I think we can agree that those effects are certainly evident in many cases.  Secondly, put simply, we the voters allow them to get away with it — often with nothing more than a slap on the wrist, and occasionally, without even that.

Let’s explore this second point first, because I know some readers will have several probelms with the idea that we, the voters, are to blame for party and government leadership not holding politicians accountable.  Do you remember Bill Clinton?  That big, overblown scandal that occurred just because Bubba got a little head in the Oval Office?  People claimed that too big a deal was being made about the President’s extra-marital affairs.  Those merits can be argued (though, personally, I believe our leaders ought to be held to the highest of standards), but to do so misses the point entirely.  The problem wasn’t that he violated the sanctity of the Office, and potentially posed a national security risk by letting his intern go down on him in the National Holy of Holies.  The problem was simply that he broke the law.  He lied under oath.  That is a crime.  It is a small, white-collar crime, but illegal, nonetheless.  But the Gatekeepers of popular opinion (AKA the Mainstream Media), Congressional Democrats and even many voters chose to ignore this simple fact because, after all, he was the most powerful man in the world.  Surely such a small thing shouldn’t take down such a powerful person!

And it is precisely that attitude which allows corruption to flourish in state and national power center coutry-wide.  Those in a position of power should not be held to lower standards than the public, but higher.  Leaders lead.  When they fail to be good leaders, it becomes the duty of the citizen to disqualify them from the role.  And, if it is others in power to whom that duty falls, and they also fail in it, then it is our duty to vote them out as well, in favor of those with a correct view of authority.

The other problem goes back to that quote I mentioned: “Power corrupts.”  True enough.  But there’s that pesky follow-up: “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”  As more information about Blagojavich comes out, we find people talking about his “instability,” as though this were something about which many of those who helped get him into power already knew.  So why is it that they still worked to install him into the Governor’s chair?  Basically, because he was a Democrat. 

If it is indeed true that “power corrupts,” and that “absolute power corrupts absolutely,” it must also follow that the more power given to a person or entity, the more potential for corruption exists.  In short, the most basic reason corrupt officials keep getting elected is because we don’t have any other options.

The Party system controlling American politics ensures that only a select group are presented to the voters for election, and of that group, only two are actually serious contenders for a given election.  George Washington warned of exactly this circumstance, and has since been poo-pooed by even Conservatives as “out of touch.”  Nonetheless, it is indeed the Party system which denies the voter a real set of options, and continues to make possible the re-election of those who would sell us out for financial gain, those who disrespect the office to which they are called to serve and those to dishoner their country and fellow countrymen by acts unbecoming leaders.

I will go into greater detail on the party system and how it has corrupted American government at a later date.  For now though, we work with what we have. 

And what we have is a dirty system, peopled by dirty politicias.  It is time for a cleansing, in every party.  It is time, if we must deal within a party system, to stop allowing those who disgrace America leadership to continue to do so.  They are not serving us, but themselves, and it is high time they were routed out.  It is time for voters to make it our business to know what our elected officials are up to, what they know and what they do with that information, who they talk to, and what decisions they are making.

It is time to clean house, starting with Blagojavich, and anybody we can take down with him.  And when we’re done with him, it’s time to move on to national politicians.  Get mad, folks.  Get very mad.  And then, get even.

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Get Active: Stop the Fairness Doctrine

Posted in civil rights, Constitution, First Amendment, Get Active!, politics with tags , , , on July 18, 2008 by Randy Streu

What follows is a “Forward” sent to me by Grassfire.net, after signing the petition to demand a vote on HR290, the Broadcaster Freedom Act of 2007.

7/18/2008

I just signed a petition opposing the so-called “Fairness Doctrine
and similar efforts to silence conservative leaders like Rush Limbaugh,
Mark Levin and Sean Hannity.

Now I understand that liberal leaders are blocking an effort to
protect the rights of conservatives.

Please join me in signing this petition.

Get Active Update… 1.3 Million Americans: Drill Here. Drill Now.

Posted in Economy, Get Active!, News, politics with tags , on July 17, 2008 by Randy Streu

American Solutions, the group responsible for the “Drill Here.  Drill Now.” petition, brought their petition to the Legislature during a press conference in D.C. on Tuesday.  The petition was signed by 1.3 million people.  Or, as one Legislator put it, the first 1.3 million.  Clearly, listening to Democrats in recent days (via RedState’s Vladimir), we know the fight is far from over

We need to continue letting our Legislature know how we feel on this subject… that we will not quietly watch our economy drain, and our feul prices rise.  Keep telling friends and family to tell their reps.  Keep an eye on American Solutions as well, to find out what else we can do. 

-Streu-

Take Action: Tell Congressional Dems to Start Drilling

Posted in Economy, Get Active!, News, politics with tags , , , , on July 14, 2008 by Randy Streu

President Bush has finally lifted the Executive Ban on offshore oil drilling.  As expected, liberals of every stripe are bashing this as a bad move.  Evidently, they believe paying lip service to energy independence will ultimately, somehow, pay off for those citizens for whom $4/gallon gas means ultimate financial ruin, without actually having to do anything about it.  Well, that, or they just don’t give a damn.  Personally, I think it’s the latter.

You have to understand, though:  it goes against the grain of everything New Democrats believe in to actually deregulate something.  Asking Nancy Pelosi to empower the private sector by allowing anything that smells of domestic drilling is a great deal like asking a Shi’ite woman to enter a Daisy Duke Look-a-like contest, or asking Tyra Banks to stop being such a damned narcissist.  It’s just far too ingrained into the core of who they are.

Take heart, though.  There is a language even Democrat politicians understand: votes.  If their position appears to threaten their cushy jobs, they can be swayed.  In representative government, we do this mostly by calling our legislators, writing to them, and, very importantly, signing petitions. 

If we hope to gain independence from foreign oil; and if we hope to lower the cost to the consumer (read: you and I), we must begin building more refineries, we must drill domestically, and we must start looking into nuclear energy.  More than ten years ago, President Bill Clinton informed us that it would take at least 10 years for domestic drilling to provide any results.  It’s in our best interest we avoid being so short-sighted this time around.

American Solutions has several opportunities for action in this respect, with their “Drill here.  Drill now.” campaign, starting with the petition to sign, and including means of contacting your legislators, sample letters-to-the-editor, etc.  Go there.  Now.  Get a sticker while you’re at it, and tell your friends.  We are in a crucial time in American economics.  Far too crucial for Congressional Democrats to continue their silly political games.  And it’s time they knew it.

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-

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.