The Right To Life

A few weeks ago I was asked how conservatives are able to simultaneously support the death penalty and oppose abortion. This is a valid question and the answer is found in the discussion of when an individual gains, or loses, their right to life. Although I have my opinion (which I will naturally share), I cannot give a definitive answer here. However, I can, perhaps, shed some light on the question and open the avenues for constructive debate.

The social conservative accepts the view point that a person receives the right to life at (or very shortly after) conception and may lose that right when they choose to maliciously take away (or destroy) the life of someone else. Conversely, the social liberal follows the perspective that a life is not a life until it is born, that the “state” knows better how to care for a life than do the parents, and that, once life is attained, the right to that life can never be taken away for any reason, regardless of the choices that person makes.

In my ongoing quest to encourage people to vote the issues, rather than turning our race for our nation’s presidency into another popularity contest, I hope that voters will find the candidate that best matches their own position on this important issue and votes for them. Obama and Clinton both feel that a woman has the right to choose not to have a child well into her pregnancy and so it is important to them for women to be allowed to terminate the life of an unborn child. McCain, on the other hand, believes that we must protect these, our most vulnerable, citizens and, therefore, abortion should be curtailed. The right to not have a child ends at conception.

What many people may not be aware of is that Senator Barbara Boxer (California’s most liberal and most expensive senator in history), has legislation in process that would not only further extend the right to murder children under Roe v. Wade, but would remove the ban on partial birth abortions signed into law by President Bush.

For more information on saving unborn children and stopping Sen. Boxer and others like her visit the National Right To Life Website.

The Real Racists in Politics

With an African-American and a woman running for President, it seems unlikely that we could get through the entire campaign without discussing race and gender equality issues. It seems that both have waited for the other to bring it up, but Hillary drew first blood (albeit vicariously) and Barack has since been on the defensive. What has really hurt him, however, are the comments of his pastor, Rev. Wright, and (even more so) the response to that by the press and others. To his credit, Obama has been attempting to run his campaign outside of the race issue, but he was finally forced last week to discuss it at length. The jury is still out concerning the effectiveness of his speech, but it seems to be somewhere between “the best speech on race ever given” and “completely ineffective” depending on who you listen to.

Dinesh D’Souza wrote a great book on the topic, which I read some years ago, The End of Racism. He seems to confirm my own experience that racism now exists, mostly, for the sake of racism. Although there are still individuals with unjust biases towards those of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds from themselves, the barriers that once existed because of color and creed simply do not continue to exist in this country in the form which they once had. Don’t misunderstand me, there are still barriers. But the barriers that now exist are dependant upon an individuals financial status much more than anything else.

Of course there are those who seem determined to perpetuate racism as the cause of all things bad in America. Rev.Wright, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are chief among them. The so-called “Hip-Hop Culture” leads the way in making sure any person of color continues to feel oppressed and repressed. More significantly, they want to make sure that people stay angry and continue to point fingers and place blame.

Not only was Geraldine Ferraro wrong, but she illustrates what is so wrong with the liberal racism. They believe that a black man could not be president without relying on his color to propel him into the spotlight. They believe people of color could not get jobs or educations based on abilities, so they offer affirmative action to compensate. In the public schools we continue to be forced to analyze test scores and general performance according to race and then develop programs designed to help the “lower performing” races.

What is ironic is that when people claim that the need for special programs based on race no longer exists, they are labeled racist and it creates such an uproar that we simply stopped trying to fight it. So racism continues for its own sake.

Truth be told, I don’t mind a woman president, but I don’t want one who wants to be a “woman president.” I don’t mind a president who is black, but I don’t want a “black president.” I don’t want Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama to be president because I disagree with their politics. One of the reasons I disagree with their politics is that their policies will perpetuate the divisions in America; along race lines as well as others. The real racists are those preventing the nation from moving past racism by promoting anger, hatred and blame.

Hillary shows her true colors

I have been watching the woman who would be queen self-destruct the past few weeks. Her desperation has motivated her to turn her campaign to personal smear tactics. Issues have little to do with the democratic primaries since Obama and Clinton do not differ by much. Concern has been expressed that Hillary will try to get Michigan and Florida delegates to the table and that she will employ the super delegates to win the nomination. Some say that she will not do this because it will destroy the Democratic Party.

Excuse me!? Are you paying attention to who we are talking about here? She has more concealed business deals than a mob boss and she has barely avoided prosecution at least twice. She used state employees to hunt down her husband’s affairs, not to call him out or make him clean up his act, but to blackmail the women into silent submission so he could be president. Don’t think she did that for him. No, it was for her. Her husband’s presidency was only a stepping stone to her own. Hillary Clinton may be the single most ambitious person of our time. She doesn’t care about the Democratic Party, her husband, or this country. She cares about Hillary Clinton being president.

She speaks of experience as if she has any of her own. She mocks her opponent’s campaign style because she has nothing left in her arsenal. She asks the people who they want answering the Red Phone at 3AM when a international incident occurs (and if she is president it will).

Truth be told, I want someone answering that phone who I do not know for sure is a cheat and a liar.

Conservative? Now What?

First let me say that I am not yet giving up completely on Mike Huckabee, but I am a realist. Huckabee would need to get all of Romney’s delegates and win a sizable majority from here on out to win the nomination. That combination is not likely.

I would also like to go on record as saying that, from a conservative view point, things are not as bad as the press would have us believe. McCain¬†may not be the most conservative candidate, but his positions are definitely on the conservative side of the spectrum. In fact, McCain supports winning in Iraq and continuing the fight against terror. He supports the current tax-cuts and wants to keep them permanent. He is opposed to same-sex marriage and government paid health care, and, although he has varied his exact position (as Romney has), he is pro-life and thinks that Roe v. Wade should be overturned. So what’s the problem?

Here it is. John McCain has issues with border security and his illegal immigration plan involves a form of amnesty (by another name). Frankly, his abilities to control the border in Arizona leave much to be desired and his “negotiations” with dems on “cross-party” legislation look more like he just lay down and let them take a steam-roller over him. To his credit, he seems to have heard the voice of the people concerning the border and illegal immigration and, although he hasn’t declared a change in position, he is now professing a change in priority. However, he desperately needs to learn that “negotiating” does not mean smile and nod while you let the other side do what ever they want.

Dennis Miller said the other day that the country seems to be “47% left, 47% right, and the elections are won in the 5% in the middle.” Forgiving the math error, McCain is better able to win the 5% in the middle than either Romney or Huckabee and maybe even better than Clinton or Obama. I have previously mentioned that I don’t like the idea of voting for an “electable candidate” over voting by issues, but I do believe in picking someone who is the closest to my view of the choices that are available. McCain is way closer than Obama or Clinton. This means we could end up with a GOP president (at least that is more conservative than the alternative).

Does this mean that true conservatives should surrender their positions and compromise in order to elect the most conservative choice we have? No! What it means is that conservatives have to fight the fight for family values and secure borders through the system with every tool we have available to us. If Clinton or Obama are elected we will be hard pressed to avoid government health care and all the other “programs” these liberals want to tax us to pay for. The tax burden will put our economy into a tailspin and the war on terror will escalate until it is being fought on American soil and, possibly, in our own back yards.

Truth be told, if McCain is president, we will have a safer country (and world), more conservative judges who will protect the sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage, and lower taxes than either democrat he may be running against would provide.

Should we rethink this?

By this time Wednesday we may know who will be representing each party in the general election next November, but maybe not. We will certainly know which, if any, of the propositions will have passed in California. Most of you have already decided which way you will vote so I will spare you the last minutes propaganda concerning the issues behind the issues and the plans behind the candidates. I have done quite a bit of research and watched many of the other commentators and I think I know who supports what and why. If you want my additional insight, email me.

One thing that strikes me is the more frequent discussion surrounding a candidate’s ability to win. I have heard it from both parties, but most commonly from the democrats… “We have got to get a democrat in the White House.” My question is why?

For that matter, why do we “have to have a Republican” in office either? I understand the philosophical differences between the parties, but I am not always convinced that the candidates do. Way too often I have heard commentators reflect that they “really believe [insert name here] is the best candidate, but I just don’t think they can win.” What a sad nation we have become. How we have destroyed the process. What a shame that we have perverted the intent of our founding fathers to the extent that the election of the leader of the most powerful nation on earth to a popularity contest. As a high school teacher I have often pointed out the difference between running for Student Body President and running for actual political office, but it really isn’t that different after all. At least not any more. We are not so concerned with who is best equipped to lead our nation (and the world), than with what team they come from.

The system we have in place is based on the popular vote guiding a well-informed electorate in choosing a leader. However, it is more like an misinformed public not really effecting a corrupt electorate in choosing someone who best represents the currently most powerful lobbyists and special interest groups. In actuality, I think we are all special interest groups, but I digress. With the information age in full swing, we really have no need for the electorate system. We should still have the voting chapters, but only as a means for counting. It is time to let the people really decide. Of course, that would require people to vote the issues and not the candidates, and we are right back where we started.

How to insult a Republican…

Call him a liberal. This seems to be the tact of both Romney and McCain as they battle for Florida’s winner take all delegates primary tomorrow. The fact is that there is no true conservative in the race. McCain, however has several failed efforts to negotiate with liberals to his credit (sarcastic tone intended).

The task falls to the voter to choose between a moderate like McCain or Giuliani, each of whom would be strong on the war on terror, but lean far left of most conservatives, a social conservative like Huckabee, or a fiscal conservative like Romney. It may be that the only way to get a true conservative on the ballot in November would be to morph Mitt and Mike together. If their social and fiscal strengths could be combined we might have something a majority of people could get behind. They would, however need to convince the American people that they are both capable of fighting the good fight on terror and national security.

On the Dem side, the “anybody but Hillary” crowd needs to kick it into a higher gear. Obama has the likability factor, but the Clinton “machine” is still getting the votes. South Carolina was encouraging, but she still leads in national polls, whatever that means. It may be that Obama is so far left that a moderate Congress (if we could get one) could control his policy more easily than they could a Clinton… any Clinton. Of course, you can never tell about the Hillary Clinton. Nobody knows where she really stands, maybe not even her.

Truth be told, if it ends up being Clinton against McCain, I may look at the Unity 08 ticket.

A brief word on the California propositions

Super Tuesday is two weeks from tomorrow and, in California, we will also be voting on several propositions. You really should read them before you vote, but here’s some things I have observed.

You can no longer determine who supports or opposes what because they create an organization to serve their purpose. You also have to look very carefully to follow the money. The propositions seem simple this time around, but they are not.

Be careful on 91. There is no argument against it, but the argument for it says it is not needed and please vote no. I suppose it was too late to remove it from the ballot, but I am curious to see how many votes it gets.

Prop 92, in effect, separates Community Colleges from K-12 education and out from under the influence of the CTA. I would normally think that to be a good idea, but the proponents of this law are students wanting to lower their own costs. No one else seems to think this is a good plan because it doesn’t consider where the expense of educating these students will come from and it virtuaslly removes community college cost from the influence of inflation. California Community Colleges are already the best deal in education in the nation and low income students already get their fees waived.

You have to ask yourself who really benefits from Prop 93. It changes the term limit law to allow elected officials to remain in the same branch of the state legislature for 12 years. It is true that it lowers term limits from 14 years to 12, but it allows current elected official to stay in their current position for 12 years. This dramatically increases the time in office for many of those currently “representing” us. Honestly, if you can’t get anything done in 2 terms (8 years) in the Senates and 3 terms (6 years) in the Assembly, you probably shouldn’t get re-elected anyway. I am not one to use the “slippery slope” argument, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see an attempt to change something again 10 years from now to allow these career politicians to stay in office again. We passed term limits for a reason. We should probably leave it alone.

The Governator and four large Native Tribes negotiated a deal of mutual benefit to the tribes and the State. The results of these negotiation are Props 94, 95, 96, & 97.¬† Here the opponents are the tell-tale indication. Nevada casinos don’t want to risk losing customers to those who would stay home in California. The Casino Workers’ Unions are not provided enough of a grip on the Indian Gaming employees by these propositions. These are the major groups against these propositions which allow the tribes to increase their income potential by expanding their business on their land in exchange for more income for California.

Truth Be Told: I vote for propositions that raise money without raising taxes. I vote against anything that raises taxes or doesn’t provide a tax free method for paying for itself. One more rule… if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Will the real candidates please stand up?

In case you haven’t been watching, there is an election coming up. The major parties will most likely have their candidates determined by the end of Super Tuesday, February 5th. It seems the whole thing has been more like a reality TV show than ever before, but since it will determine the leader of the greatest nation on earth, it behooves us to pay attention.

Here is a great tool for determining which candidate best matches you on the issues. There are a few of these in play, but these two seem to be the best. The USA Today version includes sliders to adjust for varying importance and the questions in the WQAD (Illinois, Iowa) are a little more involved.

I do not yet have a recommendation, but here are some interesting (I hope) observations.

If you don’t like what Hilary Clinton is saying, wait till next week, it will probably change. John Edwards’ purpose may be to make Barack Obama look less liberal. After chiding Obama for doing more talk show appearances than news shows, the Republicans seem to have decided it may work for them as well. Mitt Romney is very good at 2nd place, he may do the same in the general election. Rudy Giuliani is playing the equivalent of football’s “prevent defense.” As John Madden used to say, “the only thing it prevents is winning.” Fred Thompson seems to think the best strategy is to convince everyone that he doesn’t want the job, but if we beg him to, he’ll do it anyway.

I think that the best voting strategy is for the voter to decide their stand on the issues then pick the candidate who best represents those and hope they aren’t lying.

Truth Be Told, the only thing I am sure of is that Hilary Clinton lies (or changes her position) continuously and either hopes the voters won’t notice or won’t care… it worked in New York.