Sunday, June 24, 2007

Left or Right?

As I watched the second Republican presidential primary debate a few weeks ago, Ron Paul articulated an anti-war stance that was far more reasoned and principled than that of any Democrat candidate. Of course I agreed with Dr. Paul, but I soon realized that had this been 1997 instead of 2007, I would have viewed any such anti-war talk as liberal twaddle at best or even treason. In my brilliant and informative piece “My Declaration of Independence” I stated that the Republican Party had largely left me, but I have changed my stance on some issues as well. I thought I would take inventory of the issues that I have changed my stance on, and which way I’ve moved on the conventional left-liberal/right-conservative continuum on each.

WAR/MILITARY- Left Turn: Once a proud “Bomb the Bastards” conservative, I’ve come to realize that our current military adventurism is not what the founding fathers had envisioned. Their ideas of “free trade with all, entangling alliances with none” and being well-wishers of freedom and democracy across the globe, but not trying to dispense them by bayonet-point, are pretty far from the interventionist nation that we’ve become. It increasingly seems that the military is the only club that Uncle Sam has in his golf bag.

This is not to say that America should entirely lay down her sword; the world is still a rough-and-tumble place. A policy of armed neutrality would be best. A small military could protect our DIRECT and TANGIBLE interests and commerce abroad (such as Thomas Jefferson’s naval excursion against the Barbary pirates who were preying on American merchant ships) as well as defend against invasion, while the general militia (an armed populace) would serve as further deterrent from invasion as well as domestic tyranny. And don’t get me started on conscription, the biggest blight on individual liberty in this country since chattel slavery.

FOREIGN RELATIONS/U.N.- Right Turn: I called this a “right turn” since conservatives have traditionally been thought of as more “isolationist” than the liberals. As I stated above, a policy of armed neutrality, similar to Switzerland, would be best. Foreign aid? Lower taxes and let individual Americans decide if they want to send their hard-earned dough over seas. And the U.N. is a corrupt, despotic, robber of national sovereignty. We should leave it and take our money with us (and return it to the U.S. taxpayer).

DRUG PROHIBITION- Left Turn: Free people should be able to decide for themselves which substances to ingest, just don't come crying to us taxpayers for your rehab programs. Also, why did alcohol prohibition require a constitutional amendment giving Congress power to regulate that, yet drug prohibition only requires legislation? Because after the New Deal, nobody even pretends to care about the Constitution. If they did they would have to admit they have no authority to ban any substance.

Rather than getting better, I think this governmental paternalism is going to get worse. The conservatives will continue their "war on drugs," while the liberals, trying to pick up the "Health Nazi" vote, will begin a "war" on the "health epidemic" of obesity, banning more substances such as fatty foods and sweets. There's all ready been talk of a "Twinkie Tax" on junk food, which is a shot fired directly over my chubby bow. On this at least, maybe Teddy Kennedy will vote my way for once.

ABORTION- Right Turn: This is probably not in keeping with the ideas of many libertarians, but I’ve gone from being “Pro-Choice” in my youth to “Pro-Life” now. At first blush this would seem to be a question of individual liberty: “Who is the government to tell a woman what she can and can’t do with her own body?” But, if human life begins at conception, as many of us believe, then the woman’s “choice” involves a second person’s body as well, and if government only exists for one reason it’s to protect innocent people from being killed by others. If human life begins at conception, then it is more just to infringe upon a woman’s right to liberty for 9 months than to completely deny the child’s rights to life , liberty and property forever (by killing him or her).

However, I believe abortion should be dealt with in a Constitutional manner, meaning it’s not a matter for the Federal Government, but for the states. That’s were I differ with the Congressional Republicans, Bush, and the U.S. Supreme Court as well. And if the pregnancy threatens the mother’s life, an abortion would be justifiable homicide since the right to self-preservation is sacrosanct.

SECOND AMENDMENT- Right Turn: I’ve always supported the right of the people to keep and bear arms. However, in my younger days, I probably would have supported “reasonable” restrictions on that right, restrictions that even the NRA supports, such as instant background checks on gun buyers, federal licensing of gun dealers, or bans on fully automatic “machine-guns.” No more. I now realize that any tool or restriction that we give up to the government can AND WILL be twisted by them and used against peaceful citizens. Such as Bill Clinton’s efforts to use the instant background check as backdoor gun registration (a precursor to confiscation) and in raising the fee for federal firearms licenses, cutting the number of legal gun dealers in half. Lest we forget, the Second Amendment doesn’t say “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be 'unreasonably' infringed.”

GAY RIGHTS/GAY MARRIAGE- Left Turn: Homosexuality is sinful, immoral and none of the government’s damned business, thank you very much! How consenting adults choose to pursue happiness is up to them and in free country they shouldn’t need approval from the government or from the rest of us to do so in a manner of their choosing. No one, gay or straight, should have to get a LICENSE (a bloody permission slip!!) from the government to engage in a religious sacrament. In so-much as a marriage is a legal contract, adults should be able to enter into contracts with whomever they choose.

That being said, gay rights shouldn’t trump other people’s rights. For instance, if a property owner doesn’t want to rent to gay couples, that would be his business. (Or if he wanted to rent EXCLUSIVELY to gay couples, same thing.) Individual employers and insurance companies should be able to decide whether or not they want to extend benefits to gay couples, at the risk of potentially losing valuable employees or customers. Religious folks who believe that homosexuality is a sin (and they’re probably right) still have the right to peaceably assemble and speak out against it, even if it hurts gay people’s feelings.

In a somewhat related topic, if a consenting adult wants to have more than one other consenting adult as his or her spouse, so be it. People lobbying for gay marriage that promise that allowing it won‘t lead to legalization of polygamy are typical liberal hypocrites. Why should gays have the right to marry whomever they want, but not Mormons?

BORDER SECURITY/IMMIGRATION- Even Keel: The pure libertarian view on this is “Who is the government to keep free people from crossing their arbitrary little lines in the dirt?” I understand that viewpoint somewhat, but I believe a sovereign nation should have the power to control its own borders. That being said, the red tape on legal immigration should be reduced, thereby lessening the need to enter illegally.

While I support a border crackdown, I don’t support a national ID card, as I once did, since it would be used more for keeping tabs on our own citizens than it would for illegal aliens, nor do I support any other tool that our government could potentially use against us. Border fortifications, on the other hand, would be hard to use in creating a domestic surveillance/police state, so I have no qualms about using them. Apparently I’m not alone on this one, since even a solid libertarian like Ron Paul supports beefing up the borders.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Yes, I know many of the bleating sheeple believe me to be an isolated crackpot hiding out in the Montana Redoubt. Even many supposed "conservatives" are put out with me for not toeing and spouting the GOP Party Line. Howsomever, I recently dredged up a list of quotes from some rather famous folks throughout history who seem to argue some of my points quite eloquently for me. Proof of their sheer brilliance is in how much they agree with me:)

"Government: If you refuse to pay unjust taxes, your property will be confiscated. If you attempt to defend your property, you will be arrested. If you resist arrest, you will be clubbed. If you defend yourself against clubbing, you will be shot dead. These procedures are known as the Rule of Law."

"We have the best politicians money can buy."

"A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government."

"In a nation of sheep, one brave man forms a majority."

Edward Abbey

"No man's life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session>"

"The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist only takes the skin."

"It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctively native American criminal class except Congress."

"Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself."

Mark Twain

"I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle."

"The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery."

"If you are not a liberal when you are twenty, you have no heart. If you are not a conservative when you are fifty, you have no brain."

Sir Winston Churchill

"Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys."

"Politicians are interested in people. Not that that is always a virtue. Fleas are interested in dogs."

"If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free!"

P.J. O'Rourke

"If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would promise them missionaries for dinner."

"Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule--and both commonly succeed and are right."

H. L. Mencken

"My choice early in life was either to be a piano player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference."

Harry S Truman

"Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad name."

Henry Kissinger

"When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not Guilty.'"

Teddy (The Good) Roosevelt

"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it."

"The government is like a baby, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other."

Ronald Reagan

And, saving the very best for last....



RON PAUL 2008!!!!!!!!!