Archive for the John McCain Category

The Obama Win: Come January

Posted in civil rights, Constitution, Economy, Elections, Energy, First Amendment, healthcare, John McCain, News, Obama, politics, taxes with tags , , on November 5, 2008 by Randy Streu

Congratulations to Barack Obama for a hard-won presidential election.  I won’t say it was well-played, because it was not — on either side.  But, the people have spoken and, sadly, it would appear they’ve grown weary of liberty, and have chosen instead to sacrifice it to the god of Financial Security.  History, it would seem, has not been as eloquent a teacher as Obama has been a communicator.  The irony is in how many of those voting for Obama were so very fond of paraphrasing Franklin: “those who would sacrifice liberty for security shall have none and deserve neither.”  And yet…

Does that sound bitter?  It isn’t.  I’m not even angry.  Just sad.

Democrat rhetoric during the last year or so has shown us, I think, the directions we’ll be looking as a nation, come January 2009.  In spite of the closeness of the election, there will be talk of “mandates,” and the Democrat win (aka the de facto ‘mandate of the people’) will be used as justification for more and more federal intrusion, higher taxes, and fewer freedoms.

People who sincerely love freedom, no matter who you voted for, I sincerely hope you watch this new administration closely.  I hope you watch for the erosion of our liberty — and I hope that, no matter who you voted for, you will fight to keep that freedom when the time comes.  This erosion is going to come in many small ways, from many directions.  It’s going to come as a gift — a trojan horse: in the form of healthcare, new entitlement benefits, new Social Security rules.  But these small intrusions will turn into larger ones.  These gifts will soon reveal their costs.  And, once the mistique wears off — once the thrill of making history has worn thin — we will perhaps begin, finally, to see what we have wrought.

Watch for a re-emergence of the so-called “fairness doctrine.”  The idea that freedom of speech only applies to private entities who willingly give up their podium to the opposition, in spite of the fact that the opposition controls the majority of the mass media, and suffers under no such requirement.  Make no mistake; this doctrine has nothing at all to do with fairness, and everything to do with silencing criticism of the establishment.  Congressional Democrats have long been vocal about their wishes in this matter, and Barack Obama will, given the chance, seek to abide by them.

Watch for unreasonable mandates to appear, with an aim toward crippling the energy industry as we know it.  And understand that, before those “evil” energy corporations go bankrupt, it will be you and I who first foot that bill.

Watch for “free healthcare” to become a mandate to business owners to pay beyond their means for employee benefits — benefits which were not negotiated between employer and employee, or even between employer and union, but instead introduced, coerced and enforced by federal government.  And watch the prices for simple goods and services skyrocket as business owners try to comply with federal law without going belly up.  And when the market finally ceases to be able to bear the burden, watch for the unemployment rate to acheive new highs.

Watch for the government to sieze control over your 401(k) as a means of alleviating the damage done by the collapsing economy, and place caps and limits on your retirement earning potential.

Will all of this happen under Barack Obama?  God willing, it will not.  But none of this is outside the realm of possibility, and, indeed, most of the policies listed are either direct interpretations of Obama’s own policies, or policy suggestions made within the Democrat Party.

This is History’s sad truth about handing over liberty for the sake of financial security: it doesn’t work.  It never has.  The most successful communist/socialist countries are either, like China, finding that they have to embrace some forms of Capitalism in order to stay afloat, or, like Cuba, are home to a vast population of the impoverished — but at least they have nice hospitals.   Most, however, either never make it out of third-world status or, like the USSR, finally kill off enough citizens to render itself unsustainable.

Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power.
-Benjamin Frankin, Poor Richard’s Almanac, 1738

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The Nanny Congress and Tobacco

Posted in civil rights, Constitution, Elections, John McCain, News, Obama, politics with tags , , , on August 1, 2008 by Randy Streu

On Wednesday, a not-well-publicized vote went to Congress, to turn over the regulation of tobacco to the FDA. The bill, of course, puts more money into the FDA to combat smoking, in the latest federal attempt to keep adults from taking care of themselves as they see fit. John McCain approves of the measure. So does Barack Obama. And, as evidenced by a 326-102 vote in favor, so do far too many “Republicans.” Virginia Republican Tom Davis even called it a “vital step in protecting the public health.”

So is mandating condom use, Tom… at least in theory. Where does it end?

I got a letter in the mail the other day from the treasurer of the RNC, asking if I’ve given up on the Republican Party. With votes like this one, I continue to wonder if it’s not the other way around.

Michigan rep John Dingell, in making his own impassioned plea for the bill’s passage, even tipped his (and most of the Democrat Party’s) hand as to their attitude in approaching the smoking issue:

The distinguished gentleman (Rep. John Boehner, a smoker), the minority leader, is going to be amongst the next to die. I am trying to save him, as the rest of us are, because he is committing suicide every time he puffs on one of those things.

In other words, since Boehner — and every other consenting adult that chooses to light up — is too stupid to care about health, we, the federal government, should do it for them.  This is, frankly, the type of big-government, elitist nanny-state nonsense I thought we elected Republican leaders to fight.  But only 102 had the cojones to stand up to it?

Of course, other Dems (and GOP supporters) tried to deflect the nanny-state explanation of Dingell with the same old song and dance number called “It’s about the children.”  If I hear that tired refrain again, I may actually tear my hair out.  If I hear it from another Republican, I think I’m switching to a doomed third party.

Aren’t we paying these idiots to deal with important things?  Don’t we have bigger fish to fry?  This week, they’ve apologized for slavery and now taken “great strides” in fighting tobacco.  I thought maybe they’d want to toss around that off-shore drilling idea a bit, since their constituency is losing their collective shirt on gas prices.  Or maybe vote to kill attacks on the First Amendment like the “Fairness Doctrine.”  Does anyone else get the feeling that the Legislature is just running down the clock until vacation time?

Nazis Had the Jews; Democrats Have “Big Oil”

Posted in civil rights, Constitution, Economy, Elections, John McCain, News, Obama, politics, taxes with tags , , , on June 18, 2008 by Randy Streu

Yahoo! News reports that 67% of Americans polled wisely believe we should drill domestically.  George W. Bush and John McCain, fortunately, agree.  That’s the good news.

The bad news, from a freedom perspective, is the number of people either seriously considering or already sold on the idea of “nationalizing” (read: socializing) the fuel industry.  When asked the question, “should the government nationalize all the oil companies and run them on a non-profit basis,” a mere 47% of those polled said, “no.”  Even more troubling, to me, is that when asked whether an oil company who discovers an alternative fuel sourceshould be allowed to keep the profit, only 52% said “yes.”  These are the main numbers I want to deal with.  You can view the entire Rasmussen Report here.

For some people, the above numbers will be read as a victory, of sorts, for the “common man.”  Most of those individuals will be voting for Obama.  And it is to those individuals I would like to address my rebuttal.

Gas prices are making people angry.  And, perhaps, rightly so.  Fingers of blame for these prices are pointed in every direction, but as usual, it is not the argument that makes the most sense, but that which is shouted the loudest, that seems to gain credibility.  As a result of the Democrat propaganda machine, the oil industry has been demonized and incorrectly turned into “enemies” of the American people.  I would submit that the poll results listed above reflect not a considered approach to economics, but a response made in anger — a smackdownof the Democrats’ official scapegoats.  The result?  There are now Americans who favor violating the Constitutional rights of those who have made investments into America’s fuel and energy sources.

Let’s focus on this point for a moment.  Let’s forget that, had Bill Clinton agreed to drill ANWR and off-shore when he was asked, we would not right now be dealing with a dependency-based supply-demand crisis.  Let’s forgetthat, thanks largely to Environmentalists and Congressional Democrats, we have not built a single new refinery (including to replace those which have been destroyed by natural disaster) in thirty years.  Let’s forget, in other words, that this is ultimately the government’s fault — that same government to whom people now advocate handing over the reins of oil production.  We’ll touch on the real culprits later. 

First, let’s deal with what’s being advocated by some Americans: the socialization of the oil industry.  History has shown repeatedly that socialization simply doesn’t work.  It creates a bureaucracy that is expensive to taxpayers, and time and time again has caused the necessity for rationing of needed product — which directly negatively impacts the liberty of all Americans.  There are those who suggest that such a necessary item should not be left in the hands of private individuals — that, since oil is so very important to our society, government is its right and proper controller.  Of course, food is also pretty important (more so than oil, even), but I doubt very many of these advocates for oil nationalization would be in favor of the government taking over America’s farms.  Or have we really forgotten that every socialist nation in the world has either failed outright, been relegated to third-world status, or embraced some forms of capitalism in order to stay afloat?

Then you have the simple fact that this approach run counter to the role of government established by our Constitution.  Of course, when it comes to “Big Oil,” the Constitution seems to some Democrats, and at least 29% of those polled by Rasmussen, not to apply.  Though everyone seems to agree that oil companies would do better if they invested in alternative energy (or, for some, that oil companies should do it regardless), only 52% of those polled believe companies should be allowed to keep profits from those discoveries — with 29% saying they should not(!).  What?  Not only is this a horribly naive approach to economics (crossing well past the border into stupidity, actually), but this runs so counter to Freedom and Liberty that these people must choke when they are forced to call themselves “Americans.”

First, nobody is going to invest time, energy or funds to explore alternative fuels without the potential of profit.  This simple fact ought to be a no-brainer.  But evidently those without brains disagree.  Either that, or they simply aren’t suggesting that people “volunteer.”  They are suggesting instead that either companies be forced to invest in alternative fuels without compensation (slavery), or that a government bureaucracy do it (socialism).  And of those who don’t believe outright that these are horrible, horrible ideas, half just aren’t sure.  It’s as if years of history have been either forgotten or ignored.

How does such a thing happen?  Simple.  It’s pretty well-established that in order to succeed, liberals rely on dissatisfaction.  In order to get elected, Democrats need crisis, and they need somebody to blame for it.  They can’t very well point the fingers at themselves, so the National Socialist — oops — I mean, Democrat Party found a class of citizens to blame for society’s ills: the wealthy.  “Big Drug,” “Big Tobacco” and “Big Oil” are the perpetrators of crimes against society, while CEOs and other “Corporate Executives” are the Juden in the Democrats’ little historical pageant.  The creation and prosecution of a scapegoat is the most important element to the success of those who would limit freedom — a scapegoat recognized only by the hero on the white horse, who alone can combat him.  For Germany, it was Hitler.  For us it’s Obama and the Democrat Party.   I am not seeking here to minimalize the horrors visited on European Jews during the Nazi regime — nor to suggest that Obama et al have plans to torture, murder and burn corporate CEOs or oil execs.  Jail, over-tax and strip of basic property rights, sure… but murder is mean, and doesn’t in general get people re-elected.

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.

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.)

Dear John: Don’t Make Us Regret This

Posted in Elections, John McCain, News, politics, Uncategorized on March 5, 2008 by Randy Streu

So, predictably at this point, John McCain has cinched the Republican primary.  Unlike most Republican nominees, however, McCain’s win seems not to be because of Conservatives, but in spite of them.  McCain’s win was handed to him largely by open primary states, which allowed Democrats and indies to help select the Republican nominee.  This is evident to anyone who deigns to pay attention: Conservatives don’t want to vote for John McCain.  McCain himself seemed to know this; he’s spent the entire primary process pandering to “independents and independent-thinking Democrats.”  This has not gone unnoticed by the core of the Republican party.  Even in these latest Primaries, where McCain was essentially the only viable candidate running, he barely scraped more than half the vote. 

Rather than celebrating, McCain should perhaps be wondering how he managed to alienate his party so badly, and what he can do about it.  It is a victory, for certain — but if McCain is half the Conservative he has recently claimed to be, it ought to ring as a hollow one.

I am one of many registered Republicans who has not yet fully made up his mind about whether or not to punch the ballot for McCain come November.  He spent the entire primary fairly blatant about neither needing nor wanting the help or input of my fellow Conservatives.  There’s a part of many of us that thinks perhaps he also doesn’t need it now.  It is this part of me that cries out not to pull that lever.

Then there is another part of me.  A more fatalistic part that says no matter what, we’re going to get somebody in office with a far more liberal record than I’d prefer.  It is this more logical side which suggests that 60% right is far better than 100% wrong.

Let’s step back for a moment from what this election means for Conservatism in general.  Others have touched on it already, and I’ll look more in depth at it in the future.  Let’s focus instead on this country’s direction in the next four years.  The time for hand-wringing is over.  Either McCain, Obama or Clinton will be in the White House for the next four years.

I’m going to pretend my mind’s made up — that I’ll vote for McCain.  It isn’t, and I’m not sure I will, but for the sake of conversation.  John McCain needs to understand that, whatever he thought during the Primaries, he does need the Conservative vote.  To some degree, he accepts this premise, and has indicated as much. 

He and his supporters cannot make the assumption, and should not make the demand, that Conservatives simply put aside their differences and fall in line.  “Shut up and do what you’re told” isn’t going to work anymore.  As I said, too many Republicans simply don’t want to vote for McCain — he hasn’t earned it.  There are plenty of legitimate reasons to consider not voting McCain, and those need to be addressed by the McCain camp if he hopes for victory — not merely waved off as annoyances or distractions.

McCain needs to court the Conservative vote.  He needs to start by choosing an acceptable running mate.  Not somebody he chooses under the guise of “bipartisanship” — Conservatives are about sick to death of hearing that word — but a strong candidate with strong conservative credentials.  He needs to show us — not just tell us — that his “gang of 14” days are behind him.  He needs to repudiate McCain-Feingold and McCain-Kennedy as the travesties they are — or at the very least establish a commitment to listen to our concerns on these (something which he has repeatedly failed to do) and examine the issues from a perspective of Constitutional law.  Both of these pieces of legislation aimed to accomplish something that a more Constitutionally-sound (and conservative) approach would have addressed better, and he needs to show a willingness to examine those options.  And he’d damn well better make good on his recent promises regarding taxation.

In short, McCain simply cannot take his nomination as a mandate for “business as usual.”  We’re not going to tolerate four years of dismissing or acting confrontationally toward the conservative wing of this party.  He’s spent his career as a Senator doing just that — four years doing it as president will all but guarantee a Democrat President for the next four years.  If I choose to vote for him this year, this is his second chance.  If he fails to deliver, there won’t be another.  Certainly, not from me.

-Streu-

Yellow Journalism and The Non-issue of McCain’s Citizenship

Posted in Constitution, Elections, Hillary, John McCain, News, Obama, politics, Stupid Media with tags , on February 29, 2008 by Randy Streu

The New York Times has recently published an article questioning John McCain’s constitutional ability to become President, based upon the fact that he was born on a military installation in the Panama Canal Zone.  Oddly, though the headline on the Times article says McCain’s off-shore birth “prompts queries,” the article doesn’t mention anybody as actually bringing up the subject.  Indeed, the “queries” seem to come from nobody other than the Times themselves.  Yellow journalism at its finest.

First, for clarification, I understand that there are many people who believe themselves to be intelligent, but haven’t managed to pull their heads out enough to understand the fairly simple language and intentions of the Constitution on this matter.  Even the Times, though it repudiates it as being “potentially unconstitutional,” mentions a measure passed by the first congress which indeed takes the pains to define the “natural-born citizen” clause in Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution.  A natural-born citizen, according to this measure, includes those children of citizens “born beyond the sea, or out of the limits of the United States.”

Even without that measure as guidance, common sense ought to rule the day here.  Clearly, the children of citizens are, themselves, citizens.  If a group of missionaries have a baby in Africa, that baby is, in fact, an American citizen.  If a soldier and his wife have a kid in Germany, that child is legally American.  This is fairly clearly the definition of “natural-born.”    I would further suggest that the only reason this definition would ever be called into question is as a distraction from actual campaign issues. 

One wonders if the New York Times would be so quick to post this question if it had been Barak Hussein Obama or Hillary Clinton born on a military installation.

Point number two: an American military base is, in fact, American soil.  Just the same as a United States embassy is considered American soil.  This is an internationally recognized convention.  An individual questioning the “Natural-born” citizenship of a person born on a Panama military base might just as well question the status of a person born in Alaska.

The truth is, only an idiot would consider this anything but a frivolous issue.  Only a complete moron would honestly believe that McCain ought to be disqaulified from the race based on this fact.  It’s simple logic.  So, the question we have to ask is, why is the New York Times so interested in it?  Simply put, they aren’t honest. 

The New York Times has no scruples, when it comes to seeing their desired outcome in this election.  They backed McCain as Republican nominee, hoping to weaken the conservative base — and, given the timing, keeping this and that other little gem just waiting on the backburner.  The Times has known what they were doing this whole time.

And you have to hand it to them.  It would seem that there are still plenty of people stupid enough to believe them to be anything other than a glorified tabloid with an agenda.

-Streu-