Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

I have not voted for one of the major two party candidates for President since ’92. Back then it was Bill Clinton (D), who got my vote. For many reasons I chose to not make what I considered a mistake a second time. From 1992 till now I have not voted for either of the two Party’s candidates for the Big Chair.

This year’s election cycle is much different from most, this year’s candidates are very, very different from most, and the things the next President will be responsible for handling are of such consequence that I will be making the hard choice. I must ignore my reservations about Hillary Clinton AND my absolute, fundamental disagreements with her social ideas, her economic policies and, indeed her ‘approach’ – mostly via her surrogates in the Liberal Water Carrier media – for presenting the case against her opponent, one Donald J. Trump.

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Yes, Hillary Clinton IS a liar, perhaps a compulsive one. Yes, Hillary Clinton’s email/server fiasco WAS and IS criminal. Yes, Hillary Clinton’s record as Secretary Of State was abysmal. Yes, Hillary Clinton’s likely appointees to the Supreme Court fill me with trepidation and dread. Finally, yes, Hillary Clinton’s fundamental hypocrisy vis her economics (Goldman Sachs speeches, anyone?) and her clear dis-ingenuousness over  her alleged support for the Middle Class, the poor, and ‘Social Justice’ makes my skin crawl.

This and yet…we have one Donald J. Trump.

There is no contest, not when the primary job of the President is to serve as Commander-In-Chief of our military, to enter the US into Treaties, and to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed”.

There is no contest.  I will ignore my disagreements with her on policy, my fear of her likely SCOTUS appointments, and my reservations about her character, BECAUSE we have one Donald J. Trump.

Before I give my reasons for voting FOR Hillary Clinton, I shall make my case for why I am NOT voting for Donald Trump. I will deal with all the main arguments made in support of him by way of a series of questions his supporters SHOULD grapple with.

On the issue of the Supreme Court: Trump has explicitly stated his support & admiration for judges who are, objectively, Liberal. What evidence exists that he will NOT nominate a Liberal – or several?  On this, it is a wash, as Mrs. Clinton will all but certainly nominate only liberals.

On the issue of immigration and on refugees: Trump has ‘modified’ (and then had to ‘clarify’ those ‘modifications’) his positions on refugees AND on immigration policies, often within a matter of days between changes. At times even within the same speech. What evidence exists to indicate he will support policy that is positive vis national security & economy and what evidence exists that one can make use of to know which of the many versions he has proposed that he will eventually support? On this, it is a wash. His policies MAY be different than hers,  though we have no idea what they are today and no way of knowing what they will be tomorrow, but the ones he HAS come out for thus far are nearly universally panned by experts on National Security and covert intelligence as being counter productive to our overall interests vis Radical Islam. The have been panned also by pro free market economic experts as counter productive to our interests vis jobs and growth.

Trump has been all over the board vis tax policy. What evidence exists that one can make use of to know what policy he will eventually support? Trump has showed a penchant and admiration for Big Government authority and a contempt for free market capitalism (via his own crony capitalism) his entire career. What evidence exists by which one can know that he will do ANYTHING positive in relation to the private sector to boost employment, help employers raise wages or to deal with our broken Tax Code? Why would he? He has benefited from said brokenness  and from the crony capitalism it creates his entire career.

The primary arguments folks make for Trump, his ‘expertise’ on economics and his “strength” in dealing with our adversaries, are smoke and mirrors. The man is not only no ‘expert’, the things he supports – on the days when he does – will have the opposite of the stated intended effect. He knows it, too.

He cannot be as ‘smart’ as he himself alleges if he does not know it. I believe he knows, and I believe that he does not care.

But I do not vote AGAINST a candidate, I vote FOR one. I shall be voting for Hillary Clinton. Let me tell you why.

Radical Islam.

As I previously stated, the primary job of the President is to serve as the Commander-In-Chief. Unlike in 1992, when I voted for Mrs. Clinton’s husband, or in 1996, when I chose to NOT vote for him (I believe I chose wisely), and unlike from 1996 till now when I have voted for NO major party candidate, today we have the specter of an organized, fully all-in,  worldwide and murderous Radical Islam.

Mrs. Clinton, if need be, will do what Trump will not and she is guaranteed to NOT do things he certainly will, namely to ostracize more non violent Muslims whom we need if we ever intend to actually fight Radical Islam. And now that Radical Islam is everywhere, including here in the Homeland, fight it we must.

Tackling the ideology of Radical Islam and completely destroying its practitioners IS the number one job our nation faces today. All other issues are irrelevant if there is no tomorrow. There will be no tomorrow if there is no US to guarantee that it will come – that is what we do – and there will be no US if Radical Islam succeeds. Despite claims otherwise, they are indeed winning today.

War against Radical Islam. The choice of who will lead the fight is between Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump. I’d normally vote libertarian for most offices, but today that is no option. On the whole the Libertarian Party refuses to recognize the reality of the threat, so the choice is clear.

Consider this: On the issue of Radical Islam and its most successful incarnation – ISIS – Donald Trump claims he “knows more about ISIS than the {US} Generals”. I submit that this arrogant, absurd and dismissive statement alone disqualifies Donald Trump to ever give a single order from the Big Chair.

Consider this also: Though her former boss, President Barack Obama, clearly has little stomach for this fight, Mrs. Clinton has shown herself to be fairly hawkish by comparison, much to the chagrin of her supporters on the extreme Left.

Finally, there is the issue that rises above all others in relation to what we may eventually have to decide:

IF it becomes necessary to take the fight all the way with the ultimate ‘fist as argument’ approach…when and/or IF it becomes clear that no amount of reasoning and no amount of counter propaganda will prevent ever more young Muslims from being radicalized…IF it is clear that the march of Radical Islam cannot be stopped by all other tools at our disposal…..IF we must decide whether to Go Nagasaki on Riyadh, on Raqqa, or on any space where Radical Islam’s Caliphate finally settles, who is the person we want as Commander-In-Chief?

Donald J. Trump has shown a demonstrable lack of courage (indeed, a lack of basic knowledge) on the President’s number one hard choice. We may well end up needing a Harry Truman in the Oval Office. With his vacillation and his two steps on the issue of Nuclear First Strike, we have instead a Herbert Hoover.

The choice is clear: Hillary Clinton, an unknown quantity vis hard choices, or Donald Trump, a man incapable of simply stating he will make the hard choice if need be. The Donald is attempting to hold opposing positions simultaneously in his mind. His conflicting premises on this – the most important of all issues facing any President – is,  I submit, irrationality unworthy of a Commander-In-Chief and deadly in its consequence.

Risk vs. Reward.

The choice is clear.

On Tuesday, November 8th I will be pulling the lever for a Democrat (and for one of the two major parties) for the first time in nearly a quarter century.

I will do so with a clear conscience.

Choose wisely, folks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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image courtesy of wikimedia.org

image courtesy of wikimedia.org

Once again the Grand Old Party has a prime opportunity to do the right thing by ending federal funding of the nation’s #1 abortion provider.

The moral scandal of Planned Parenthood helping to facilitate the sale of body parts of aborted children – exposed in living (pardon the grotesque pun), graphic detail in a series of (appropriately) deliberately humiliating videos – should be more than enough of a reason to end any and all Federal funding of that organization.

Once again, however, the GOP is its own worst enemy.

I say “should be” enough of a reason because, beyond the fact that in the court of public opinion the GOP has already failed miserably, these videos are not necessary to make the case.

The Pro Life Movement and the Republican Party have chosen to focus on these videos as some magic bullet or smoking gun that will rip from Planned Parenthood’s grip a half billion dollars in Federal Aid. Why?

One need only look at the absolutely irrelevant and distracting form of argument employed by the chief prosecutor of this ‘case’ – House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah – to understand that the GOP has already lost the argument.

In Tuesday’s ‘questioning’ of {read: attempt to humiliate} Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards,  Chaffetz insisted that “the question before us is: Does this organization — does Planned Parenthood really need a federal subsidy?”

By framing the discussion this way, Chaffetz, Pro Life activists  and the GOP ceded the case to Planned Parenthood…..and Ms. Richards and the abortion zealots know it.

Observe that Ms. Chaffetz handily brushed aside all questions regarding the ethics of funding this organization in light of the videos in question:

“The outrageous accusations leveled against Planned Parenthood based on heavily doctored videos are offensive and categorically untrue. I realize, though, that the facts have never gotten in the way of these campaigns to block women from health care they need and deserve”

That the videos are NOT edited beyond the removal of scenes showing participants taking bathroom breaks, paying the meal check, ordering drink refills, etc,  is beyond the point now. That the videos clearly show discussions of the illegal sale of body parts and discussions of a consistent practice of illegally altering abortion methods for the purpose of ensuring intact body parts for sale is beyond the point now also.

The opportunity to make the case for defunding Planned Parenthood has been effectively squandered thus far because the opponents have ceded to Planned Parenthood and its supporters the critical ethical point.

If indeed, as Chaffetz says, the entire question hinges on whether Planned Parenthood ‘need{s} a Federal subsidy’ (or, as Ms. Richards puts it, whether to ‘block women from health care they need and deserve”), who would dare to say ‘no’?

Some have argued that because Planned Parenthood is awash in cash they do not ‘need’ more from the government. However, if ‘need’ is the deciding criteria,  the fact that Planned Parenthood  has only spent a fraction of the funding they have received becomes irrelevant. Women (and men) will always ‘need’ more.

Some have argued that the videos are a fair and accurate representation of Planned Parenthood’s ethical corruption. They argue that because the videos are accurate no more tax money should go to such an organization. However, if ‘need’ is the criteria, what good are arguments about video editing, fungible cash, or the question of funding something another person abhors?

Where ‘need’ is the deciding factor, who would dare to say ‘no’?

Some of us, however, have no problem with saying:  ‘hell no’.

Some of us understand that the videos are irrelevant. Some of us understand that the question of ‘need’ is instead the smoking gun and the magic bullet.

You ‘need’ the cash, Planned Parenthood? So what? By what right do you dare to insist that tax payers give it to you? You ‘need’ the condoms, the birth control pills, the abortion, or the pap smear, Planned Parenthood client? So what? By what right and by what standard do you demand that your neighbor pay for it?

Why MUST one person pay for the carelessness, poor judgement, unfortunate happenstances, wants, wishes, desires or NEEDS of another? Why is your need a claim on my paycheck, my tax dollars, my labor or my life?

Why?

When Planned Parenthood and its supporters can give a coherent, rational affirmative answer to THAT question, then and only then should anyone be discussing whether to force others to fund them.

 

Image via Flikr and is owned by Gage Skidmore

Image via Flikr and is owned by Gage Skidmore

Donald, I wish I could look beyond your loose mouth, your impulsiveness, and your short fuse, but I can’t. They were fun, attractive, exciting and very different from what I had come to expect from politicians. Your latest comments went too far, however, old friend.  You have shown a crass inability to know that, as in business, there is an art to being a Commander-In-chief. The two arts are very, very different, though.

This is a campaign to decide who will be my next President, it is not a reality show and it is not your next ‘Deal’. Do you understand the difference? (more…)

Pink triangle worn by gay prisoner of Nazis during WWII - Image courtesy of Padraig Rooney ( http://padraigrooney.com/blog/ )

Pink triangle worn by gay prisoner of Nazis during WWII – Image courtesy of Padraig Rooney ( http://padraigrooney.com/blog/ )

As I write this ten days have passed since the Supreme Court of the United States granted to same-sex couples throughout the Republic the same legal benefits and responsibilities of civil marriage available to straight couples. I have written previously  of why I will not wave the rainbow flag and my views on marriage, and about the attitude and actions of many gay people chasing down alleged ‘rights’.

I’d like to speak now of why I think many gay people, rather than feel grateful that the culture at large has become supportive of us, instead feel compelled to force those few folks who do not support gay marriage or gay relationships to either change their minds or pay in dollars, ostracism and loss of basic liberties. (more…)

Marriage equality?

Marriage equality?

Well, it’s official.

Marriage equality has arrived in America. It seems appropriate to mark the occasion, seeing as the issue hits so close to home.

Where to start? First, I’ll begin by saying that I am happy beyond words that gays and lesbians throughout the Nation, finally, will have the exact same civil benefits and responsibilities everyone else is afforded. It is proper and right that we should have them.

No government of a nation dedicated to treating its citizens equally under the law should be allowed to discriminate against its own citizens. Moreover, no nation that claims to pride itself on valuing property rights can dare to deny to citizens the basic right to enter into a contract. That being said, this decision, the debate leading up to it and the aftermath that has followed, is not something I feel like dancing and smiling about. You will not find my profile pic draped in a rainbow flag. (more…)