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SOPA

Originally published Wednesday, January 18, 2012
on The View From The Street (transferred here from blogspot)

SOPA

An internet blackout in protest of SOPA (and it’s partner in the Senate, I forget what it’s called).

First, I neither support nor oppose SOPA.  I have not read the bill, and I am not about to blithely believe that it contains what someone so desperately wants me to believe it contains.  I have this thing about agendas and whole truth being mutually exclusive way too often.  SOPA is supposed to protect intellectual property, the supporters of it are purported to claim (purported by news services).  SOPA will enable the government to steal the very breath of life, that of free knowledge and the sanctity of free speech, from all of us, claim the opposing voices (way too many places on the net to make citing any source of any value).  Some go on to claim that SOPA will do so, and others talk about how it enables and equips government to do so.

If the bill would indeed do what the opponents say it would do, then I’m all for stopping it.  I don’t like equipping a government, even mine (shoot, especially mine, in this day and age), to do something such that only the good will and good intents of the government (or whoever makes the decision for the govvie that day) stand between me and the abridging of a right.  It’s a principle I try to follow, as best I can.  So far, so good.  Where this issue appears to affect the inalienable right of free speech, I opposed the same efforts regarding another inalienable right, all the way back to 1968.  Specifically, the Gun Control Act of 1968.

I find it interesting that the overwhelming bulk of people I encounter who oppose SOPA because it enables the government to encroach on an unalienable right even though the government might not do it now are in the same philosophical camp as those who spend a fair amount of time deriding those who oppose gun control for making exactly the same argument about legislation that enables the government to encroach on another unalienable right.

Tends to make me think that such a philosophical camp cares little about rights, and much about swimming in Lake Me.

Al

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I See In The News

Originally published Tuesday, January 17, 2012
on The View From The Street (transferred here from blogspot)

I See In The News

I see in the news that the Wisconsin Democratic Party has gathered enough signatures to call for a recall election of Governor Walker.  In the article I read, the author, in an effort that can only be responsibly understood as an attempt to bolster the Democratic Party effort, made much of the fact that a whole lot more signatures were gathered than were needed.  Noted.  They’d better do that.  If they need (for instance) 537,359 and they get just that, then disallowing even one of those – and you know somebody signed “Mickey Mouse” – makes the petition invalid.  According to the article, Gov Davis (Cal) got 18% disallowed when he was challenged.  Ergo, a bunch more is merely good political management, not an indicator of any sort of public cohesion.

I expect they will be successful.  Walker took on the unions and won.  That won’t be popular.  It will be particularly unpopular during these lean times, when a generation that has been trained that government is Daddy and God both will look to someone to fix it for them.  The sad part is that most of the time, union workers merely trade control centers.  They make the argument that the company will not take good care of them, so they go find a sugar daddy that will.  Enter the union.  In their paradigm, either the union owns them or the company owns them.  What’s sad is that they don’t wish for an option to not be owned.

A Wisconsin resident remarked to me during the union vs state government fight that Walker was just put up there by the Republican Party to be a union buster.  Setting aside, for now, the point that a party very likely did in fact put him in office, as opposed to the people insisting on being independent enough to have done it themselves, it’s as reasonable a bet that he is just that as that he is not that.  Who knows?  It’s simply a sad drift away from common sense (see the below blog) that allows the discussion of whether or not a government can manage employees or whether they have to ask the union’s permission to twist into whether or not he was sent up there to be a union buster.  It’s a dodge, and it was well employed by the Democratic Party.  The term “union buster” is an undeniable perjorative to most Americans, and the Party is not above doing whatever is necessary to gain power.

What will be most interesting to watch will be the response of the professional pundits: Limbaugh, Maddow, et al.  That is, it will be interesting to see if any of them have any sort of new line of bull to throw at the situation, or whether they will simply recycle some version of “the (pick one) Party is inherently stupid and my Party is inherently right.”

Al

Originally published Tuesday, January 17, 2012
on The View From The Street (transferred here from blogspot)

Let’s Try This Again

When I started this blog, I was ready to say what I needed to say, but hadn’t bothered to say on so many political message boards.  On all the conservative message boards I could find or knew or, liberals were held to be the stupid spawn of Satan on an anti-American mission.  This makes reasoned discussion of principles impossible.  Either it’s an echo chamber, or the person who thinks different is tarred, feathered, laughed at, and ridden off the board on a rail.

Then, on the liberal message boards, all conservative people are Republican (they are treated as synonymous) and therefore are the spawn of Satan.  No, wait, liberals would never believe there is a Satan, that would require having Biblical beliefs, and I have yet to run across anyone who self-identifies as a liberal who does not either discount the Bible out of hand or water it down until it has no influence.  It’s more correct, therefore, to say that conservative thinking people are treated as though they were the spawn of the Satan that does not exist and is as much a fable as God is believed to be, but which Satan can be conjured up long enough to condemn someone who is just evil, evil, evil.

Wait, “evil” also presumes the existence of a right and wrong outside human determination, and that’s way too close to Bible for them, too, but I think you get the idea.

Oh, and for the record, the tirade against the liberals was so much longer because they make less sense in their opposition to conservatives.  For the conservative boards it’s simple: you’re liberal, you’re gone, end of discussion (of discussion with the liberal person and of all other discussion of value).  Doesn’t take much to say that.  Liberals, being creatures of anti-standards – and as a result, near-zero consistency – require much more explanation.

There, that part’s done.

We are headed for a bad day, folks.  There have always been extreme partisans, at least in the last 56 years that I’ve been alive.  However, there was a level of common sense that prevailed.  The extremists had a voice, the huge common sense majority had a laugh, and we all went forward; sometimes in a liberal direction, sometimes in a conservative direction, and sometimes in a direction between them.

Now, not so much.  Strike that.  Now, basically not at all.  Now, common sense is not only frowned upon, common sense is laughed at, and worse, twisted around and applied with a darning needle, as though it only applied to one tiny little convenient part of an argument.

I have three grandchildren now.  I fear for them.  If they are not liberal, I fear they will be marked as outcasts by society at large.   Yes, that sounds pretty “out there” but it’s remarkably possible.  After all, all of white society marked all the blacks in the south for nearly a hundred years, and for the same reason, because black people showed them something about themselves that they did not want to see.  The longer this country goes in the direction of laughing off societal standards and of substituting law for society’s self determination, the more and more liberal this society will become, and it’s likely to be the brand of liberal we see everywhere today, because both situations are based on each individual doing whatever they want to do, with a premium placed on being the first one to do something that the previous generation would consider abnormal.  Rather than pushing ourselves from within to get better, the liberal mindset would push/enable us by the government to get weirder, then to claim that is also better.

Another sad day.

I’ve rambled, I know, and much probably needs expanding and explaining.  I’ll be back to do that.

Al

Wondering

Originally published Monday, August 30, 2010
on The View From The Street (transferred here from blogspot)

Wondering

I wonder if the general poster on internet political message boards represents the thinking of the general majority of the people politically associated with that poster.

I used to spend an inordinate amount of time on political message boards. These days, not so much.  Oh, I go look at them, as a guest, not logged in, but I watch the tunnel visioned mud-slinging without participating anymore.  Two good reasons for that, really.  One, it takes a lot less time out of an already busy day.  Two, I’m tired of wondering when some admin is going to make something up out of thin air, or going to grossly twist and misconstrue something I said, and play stupid “I have power over you nyah nyah nyah” games, like the turtle named admin did on one board a while back.

Still, I do wonder.  Do these who write on these message boards stand for hundreds, thousands, even millions, who share their thoughts?  I hope not.  I have seen some of the weakest reasoning (if it can be called reasoning at all) on these boards.  People who will use the flimsiest references, sites with no reputation, no established credibility outside one narrow socio-political spectrum, and then jump all over someone who doesn’t act as though itellitmyway.com is equivalent to the Library of Congress.

One scout claims to be independent, but he rails against everything conservative, and if he doesn’t like something from the Democrat side of the house, he condemns it by describing it as though it were on the conservative side of the house.  Independent?  Hardly.

Then there’s the pilgrim that knows everything, and everything is that all that is conservative is bad, much that is Democrat is bad, corporations are bad, rich people are bad…  Remember the movies from the 60s where the “beatniks” were portrayed as idealistic kids rambling on and on about the evils of everything they could think of to ramble on about, but you kind of knew that once they entered the real world, they’d figure out reality?  Seems this fellow never left beatnikville.

It gets a little tiring, the gross double standard of “believe me because of my political persuasion” yet “no one should believe you because of your political persuasion.”  Sounds kind of silly when it’s reduced to it’s basic fact, doesn’t it, yet that is the root of all their silliness, in the end.

The whites in Mississippi in 1955 took that stand, “I’m right because I say so, and (wink, wink) you know I am, right?  Sure you do.”  These self proclaimed saviours of the world would be livid if they realized that they are taking the exact same stand, simply on a different subject.

More later, perhaps.  I just thought I’d mention this junk, in the hope that posters on these politically agendized boards and blogs represent no one but a tiny splinter minority of America.  I sure hope so.  If not, we are in HUGE trouble; not from wrong political leadership, but from a population that cannot or will not recognize leadership.

I’m a little worried, to tell you the truth.

Originally published Thursday, March 25, 2010
on The View From The Street (transferred here from blogspot)

Well, we are closer…

Sorry, not in much of a good mood. I knew the health care bill was going to pass, and for the people who will get medical treatment that would not have had medical treatment if it hadn’t passed, well, I’m glad for them because of that. I just wish there had been another way, other than establishing yet another way that the government will do for citizens what the citizens of a generation behind us routinely expected to do for themselves, because it was called “standing on your own two feet.”

I know, of course, that there are some who cannot do that, for reasons outside their control, and I have no issue with them getting help. My issue is with the fact that being only 54, I can remember a time when a youngster grew up to leave home and make his/her own way in the world. Now, we are one significant step closer to the place where “growing up to leave home” means switching who takes care of you, from Daddy to Government.

We’re not there yet, and opponents of my position will be quick to point out that the bill is now signed and the world didn’t stop.

Noted.

No, the world didn’t stop, but America got one step closer to laughing at the memory of individual liberty for two reasons: one, the fact that passage of this bill institutionalizes the concept that someone belongs between the citizen and the person providing health care to that citizen and two, the acceptance of the idea that it’s a good thing for Government to replace Daddy.

Now, about all that’s left is to chink at the armor of liberty long enough to make it ok to admit that in so many words.

If you leave a comment, don’t go the “you don’t want people to have health care” route.  It’s an argument full of baloney.  If opposing this political effort absolutely equals not wanting people to have health care, then the only way it can be equal is if the government is the only place that health care can be provided.

It is not a good day. I look at my USN Chief Petty Officer uniform, hanging in my closet, and I’ve begun to wonder why I wasted my time.

Simple and True

Originally published Tuesday, March 2, 2010
on The View From The Street (transferred here from blogspot)

Simple and True

Happened to hear this on TV yesterday, and modified it a bit to suit my sense of detail:

Politicians are like bananas.  While they are green, they’re not much use.  Once they are not green anymore, they are yellow, hang in bunches, and they’re all crooked, not a straight one among them.

Well said, whoever you were writing that email to the CNN show.

I Believe

Originally published Sunday, November 29, 2009
on The View From The Street (transferred here from blogspot)

I Believe…

My Beliefs Regarding America

I believe the Constitution says what it means and means what it says and it doesn’t take a genius or a law degree to read it and understand it.

I believe that the Constitution can only be properly understood in light of the people who wrote it, whether it is the main body or an amendment.

I believe the Constitution defines what government can do, and that government can’t do anything the Constitution does not give it permission to do.

I believe the Preamble to the Constitution is a description of what the rest of the Constitution puts into place, and cannot be correctly understood to be binding in and of itself.

I believe that changing the “understanding” of a standing portion of the Constitution is changing the Constitution itself, and is therefore anti-Constitutional. Only one method exists for the changing of the Constitution; that method is by amendment. Otherwise, any phrase in the Constitution means today and tomorrow what it meant yesterday and it has the same effect today and tomorrow as it had yesterday, unless it is modified by amendment. That is true for any set of three days since the signing of the Constitution into perpetuity. If a court determines something to be unconstitutional, it is only properly done if the action determined would always have been unconstitutional, as long as the phrase proposed to have been violated was in effect.

I believe that the next order of legislation that should taken up by both federal houses is the disallowance of specifications in legislation that are not materially connected to the stated title and purpose of the legislation. In this vein, all legislation must be required to have a stated title and purpose, and said title and purpose cannot be compound.

I believe that the body politic and the body social are not the same body, even though comprised of the same people. Political solutions do not solve social problems and social solutions do not solve political problems.

I believe that equality before the law can only possibly apply to opportunity. If failing to avail oneself of an opportunity occurs because of a personal decision (whether immediate or historic) or a personal capability (as opposed to a non-personal restriction), the law cannot address these in a free nation. Any attempt to make the law address either of these is attempting to apply a political solution to a social problem and is therefore doomed to failure.

I believe that convenience is no justification for legislation, under any circumstance.

I believe that in our present population, there are at least two generations of Americans who have been taught by precedent that convenience is sufficient to establish need, whether an objectively bona fide need exists or not.

I believe that the moment any elected official takes the oath of office, that their political affiliation should become moot, and I believe that their constituents should hold them accountable for this characteristic first and foremost.

I believe that all constituencies should have the ability of recall of any elected official at any time, when a simple majority of the constituency indicates so by personal signature, or by an equivalent accounting to the method of election when a simple majority is not the method of election to that billet. I believe that this should be the subject of the next amendment to the US Constitution, and to every state constitution, and that this must be undertaken before this nation can recover the concept of government of the people, by the people and for the people, which concept is now lost. In this application, recall should be a separate action from replacement.

I believe that because leadership can be sometimes stern and serious, that actual leadership was rejected in a previous generation in favor of convenience and the sanctioning of ease and irresponsibility; therefore leadership is now unrecognizable by the overwhelming majority of Americans.

That is what I believe.

Liberty for the Brave,

Al