Saturday, September 25, 2010

It’s My Vote and I’ll Use IT My Way!

I can’t stand to be told “Don’t waste your vote just to make a point!”  My classic answer is, “Why not?” or “It’s my vote, I’ll use it my way.”  That typically doesn’t go over too well, but let me explain a little further.

This past Presidential election, I couldn’t stand my choices.  On one hand, I had Obama (enough said about that) and on the other hand, I had McCain, who, quite frankly is too liberal for my liking.  While McCain was definitely the lesser to two evils, when it came to time to press that button, I just couldn’t pinch my nose tight enough to be rid of stench that was leaving the horrible taste in my mouth, to vote for the guy.

After mulling it over quite a bit, I opted for a protest vote and voted a straight Libertarian ticket.  I came away from the voting booth with a clear conscious and not feeling as if I had swum in a vat of green slime.

When I got home, I got a bit of a dress down from KX59 and not to mention a real ear full from Ma-Belle (my mother) about throwing away my vote on a protest and how it’s just a waste and not the right thing to do.  My mother voted for Obama because she bought into that whole ‘hope and change’ shtick, not realizing what exactly he was going to change, I tried to warn her but I digress.  KX59 was worried that my vote for Bob Barr was going to put Obama in office (we live in Texas, who was he kidding?).

So now we’re up on another election year and I’m ready to head to the polls again and vote third party, in hopes that I can get someone who will put forth real change in Washington.  I want EVERYONE to go to the polls and FIRE CONGRESS.  Until we get rid of the two party system, nothing will ever change.

I would like to see the following things happen:

1.        I want government to shrink so that it will stay out of my personal life.  Ronald Reagan said it best when he said, “As government expands, liberty contracts.”  There is nothing truer than that statement.

2.       I want government to be kept in check.  I want to retain the right to keep and bear arms because I do not trust a government that does not trust me with a gun.  The right to keep and bear arms is the Second Amendment for a reason; the founding fathers felt that this basic human right was very important.

3.       “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”  Thomas Jefferson.  I want my government to be afraid of the people in that each election cycle they will understand that they are there to do OUR business, not to rule over us.  Once they lose sight of that, they lose their jobs.

4.       I want government to do only what it is proper for it to do, and that is to protect individual rights.  Every time that government steps out of that role, it fails.  See Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid and see the EPA, the FDA and the FCC.

5.       Last and certainly not least, I want government to remember that tax dollars belong to THE PEOPLE not to them.  What we earn, belongs to us, if government would stay in its proper role, it could easily afford to operate without putting us in hock to China.

What people seem to forget more often than not is that our rights are not something that is granted by government, they are inalienable.  They cannot be taken away; however, they can be violated.  When our rights are violated, they still exist.  Nothing changes that.

Our constitution was not created to give us our rights, or to tell us what we, the people can and cannot do.  Our constitution was written to tell the government what IT can and cannot do.  We are not subjects, we are citizens.  As citizens it is our duty and responsibility to vote, but not just vote for someone because he’s not the other guy, but vote for the person who will best serve the people and who will ensure that government stays within its proper role.

Until next time.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I'm from the government and I'm here to help...

Ever have one of those face-palm moments where you hear something that’s so absurd that you are left speechless, with your mouth hanging open and all you can do is plant your face in your palm?  I just had one of those when my husband, KX59, informed me that 800,000 of my tax dollars (via the stimulus package) went to Africa to teach men how to properly wash their uncircumcised winkies.  (Yes, I called it a winky)

This is wrong on so many levels; I don’t even know where to begin. (Face goes into palm again)

First of all, would someone please tell me how African men knowing how to wash their willies will stimulate our economy?  Secondly, is this really a role for government to teach penis washing?  Seriously?  I mean, have you seen Capitol Hill lately?  They can’t even clean up their own act, much less clean up winkies in Africa!

KX59 suggests that we just all send them a bar of soap and tell them to hit the showers and apply a little manual self-gratification, that should do the trick.  It would only cost about a buck a piece plus postage….  I’m game.

Until next time.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Let Freedom Ring......

I love those three words, but what do they really mean?  As I sit here having my morning cup of coffee, I realize that today is September 11, 2010 and the 9th anniversary of that horrific day when the twin towers were brought down killing thousands, our Pentagon was attacked and a plane was so bravely crashed into a field, diverted from its original target.
I keep thinking to myself that what exactly was under attack that day, was our freedom, our very way of life, everything that as citizens of the free world we stand for.  Freedom is a wonderful and beautiful thing, but with freedom comes responsibility. 

The main issue in the news over the past few weeks has been two things.  The first is the building of a Mosque just a couple blocks away from ground zero in Manhattan.  The second is a crazy pastor down in Florida who wants to burn a bunch of Qurans if the Mosque is not moved.  I can’t help but to find myself saddened that we, as a society have come to this crazy place where these two things are actually the lead stories in our news.

In my heart of hearts, I believe that it is a horrible thing for a Mosque to be built so close to ground zero because of what that Mosque being built there will mean to radical Islam and to the families of the victims of 9/11.  On the other hand, being so against it or offended by it only gives radical Islam power.  If we stand together and say, “You might want to build your Mosque here to declare victory, but you have lost because freedom still exists here,” it would steal their thunder and make their purpose not quite so meaningful.

The Pastor in Florida, may want to burn the Quran, but to flip out in protest of it only fuels that flame.  As it stands now, he’s not going to do the burning, I think that he has made a wise choice; however, I support his right to burn the Quran in protest, just as I support the right of the Muslim world and/ or our own citizens to burn US Flags in protest of what we stand for.

Freedom is not easy.  If the government were to step in and not allow a Mosque to be built so close to ground zero, what’s to stop the very same government from not allowing the Jews to build a Synagogue or the Christians to build a church for whatever reason?  Is this a path that we wish to set our feet upon?
I support the right for people to build a church where they wish to worship, regardless of which faith they represent, just as I support the right of the surrounding community to protest in outrage, as they are doing.

What I do not support is our President speaking on the topic at all, regardless of his point of view.  It’s inappropriate.  He is head of State, it’s hardly appropriate for the State to get involved in concerns regarding our First Amendment rights, unless it’s to defend them….. on all sides.  The essential role of the government is to protect individual rights, and to ensure that its citizens do not violate the rights of others.

When asked to comment, I believe as the President, Mr. Obama should have said, “I do not want to get involved in these matters as President, I support the US Constitution and I support the right of the existence of the Mosque, and the right of the people to protest said Mosque.  I support the right of the Pastor in Florida to burn the Quran in protest as I support the right of the Muslim world to protest in the same manner.  What I will not tolerate are acts of violence against other individuals, both here and abroad.”  Those words would have been music to my ears.

Freedom is never free, there is always a price.  Sometimes that price is defending that in which you abhor simply because it’s ethically and logically consistent.  With freedom, comes an obligation to defend that which makes someone truly free, regardless of whether or not we agree with that person’s ideas.  When you can do that, then you truly understand what those three words in the title of this article mean.

Until next time.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

To Speak or Not to Speak

The following post was originally written by me several years back, but the opinions within, still hold true today.  I hope that you enjoy.

A former NBA All-Star by the name of Tim Hardaway really found himself eating his shoes as he announced during a radio interview that he hates gay people.  He went on to describe that they make him uncomfortable and that he doesn’t think that their behavior is acceptable.  As stupid and paranoid as he sounded in his interview, I support his right to express his point of view.

The NBA Commissioner, David Stern, has removed Hardaway from all public appearances on behalf of the NBA because of his remarks.  I find that this action is over the top on the part of the commissioner; however, I also support his right and the NBA’s right to make the decision.

Am I confusing you yet?  I hope not, but never-the-less, the issue isn’t simple.  There is not a single person that wishes to be censored.  We have a right to free speech.  Our constitution guarantees that right.  What the constitution does not guarantee, is a right to be heard.  I can not come into your home and force you to read my article, nor can Jane Doe stand on a street corner and give a speech, hold people captive and force them to listen to her.  No, we do not have a right to an audience.

Some may say that the NBA is violating Hardaway’s right to free speech but are they?  I think not.  Remember, the constitution is designed to limit government, not the private sector.  The NBA is not the government.  The wording in the constitution is specific “Congress shall make no law……”  That means that the government may not abridge free speech; however, as unfortunate as it is, the NBA, Clear Channel, Disney or Haliburton, Exxon and Six Flags certainly can.

I’m sure that you all remember the Dixie Chicks debacle back in 2003.  They were performing in London and Natalie Maines said, “Just so you know, we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas.”  There was a huge backlash from the American public and sponsors forced radio stations all over the US to pull their music from the air.

Just like with the Hardaway comment, I disagree with Maines’ comment, but support her right to be an ass.  I support her right to express her opinions, regardless of whether or not I agree with them.  I also supported the right of the radio stations and sponsors to decide not to air Dixie Chicks’ music (on a side note, Maines’ comment was insulting, but not what I would call seditious and did not endanger our troops in Iraq or Afghanistan unlike some other comments that have been made since).

What I find to be the most comical about both the Hardaway situation and the Maines situation is the way that the two have been dealt with in the media.  In 2003, Maines was portrayed as a poor victim of big business and a poor victim of censorship.  Hardaway, on the other hand, is different.  I am not hearing a peep about his right to free speech.  In fact, other than hearing about what happened on the news, all I hear are crickets chirping about the subject (aside from talk radio, of course).

Where is the outrage in the media over the subject?  Where are the Hollywood pundits on this issue?  Why the silence?  I’ll tell you why.  It was the subject matter.  Maines was criticizing the President, whom Hollywood and the media despise (it’s a bit of sour grapes over their golden boy, Al Gore, losing in 2000).  Hardaway; however, spoke out against homosexuals, who are the Democrats’ newest pet project.

(As a civil libertarian, I have to express that I happen to agree with the Democrats on the gay rights issue.  I believe that people should live and let live.  If two men or two women wish to be ‘married’, then so be it.  Let them be happy.)

Back to the subject at hand, when should we speak out regarding our opinions or our beliefs?  Should anyone ever not be allowed to express themselves?  Is this really a slippery slope that we want to travel down?  These are all questions that only each individual can decide for themselves.

There is one thing that every free society needs to understand; with freedom comes responsibility.  With every freedom of action, speech or thought there are consequences.  If you are willing to take responsibility for your actions or your words, by all means, speak out and/or act.  Just remember, we all have a right to do and say as we please as long as we are not violating the rights of another.

In closing,  I would like to again say that we all have the right to speak freely, but we do not have a right to be heard.  No one has a right to an audience, but to deny anyone the right to express their opinions is simply inhumane.

Until next time..........

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Apathy or just plain tired?

With November just around the corner and yet another election under way, I can’t help but to find myself strangely apathetic towards the whole deal this time around.  It’s really not like me to be so disinterested during an election cycle but the fact of the matter is that I don’t particularly like my choices
In the Texas Governor’s race, I have either Rick Perry or Bill White to choose from.  Neither is a viable choice in my book so needless to say I will most likely vote 3rd party, much to my husband’s angst.  I realize that a vote for third party might be a vote for Bill White but to be honest with you, I see very little difference between Governor Good Hair and Mayor Monkey Face, except for the hair and face.  Both are ineffectual and neither have the people of Texas’ best interests at heart.

My district is a solid conservative district and I really have no problems with my elected officials.  It’s unfortunate, however, I have no control over how people in other districts vote.  All I can really do is sit and wait and hope that the people in Sheila Jackson Lee’s district wake up and smell the coffee and vote her butt right out of office.  Of course, that is about as likely as the possibility that she would refuse a photo op.
I think that my biggest problem is that I really do not see any difference in the two parties which represent the status quo.  Both parties are corrupt and both parties are hungry for power.  That is power over you and me.  The only difference between the two is that one wants to control our daily lives by forcing us to drive cars they think we should drive, and force us to buy government healthcare, the other party wants to make our moral choices for us.  Neither scenario is acceptable to me.

I can only hope that at some point, these grass roots movements will take hold and people will wake up and realize that they are simply voting away our freedoms, our individual liberties, our lifeblood simply by sticking to the status quo.  My advice?  Fire them all……..

Until next time.