Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Sonia Sotomayor is Obama's nominee to replace Justice Souter. The opportune announcement allows us a little more insight into what Obama values and gives us the chance to focus in on Sotomayor's views. Obama claims he was looking for empathy in his nominee. He seems more interested in her life story than in what she stands for as a judge. In my opinion, she has three glaring strikes against her. Didden v. Village of Port Chester, Doninger v. Niehoff and Ricci v. DeStefano.
In Didden v. Village of Port Chester the Second Circuit addressed the case of a taking of property by the village of Port Chester. Didden owned a parcel of property in a redevelopment district which was overseen by Wasser. When Didden requested permission to develop his property as a CVS pharmacy, Wasser demanded $800,000 or a partnership interest or he would condemn the property and take it for the village. When Didden did not meet these demands, the village did take the property and built a Walgreens. The Second Circuit upheld the taking. This expansive view of the government's right to take private property puts even Kelo to shame.
Doninger v. Niehoff dealt with a student's First Amendment rights. Doninger was running for student council when she objected to the school administration's cancellation of "Jamfest" calling the administrators "douchebags" on her livejournal. The school refused to let her run for student council based on her comments and ignored write-in votes she received. The Second Circuit ignored the First Amendment implications and felt that the administrators were correct to punish private speech. This speech was made outside of school, but that mattered little.
Finally, in Ricci v. DeStefano Sotomayor joined in an unsigned opinion that upheld the lower court's ruling without touching on the constitutional issues raised by the case. Frank Ricci and several other firefighters filed suit after the New Haven fire department refused to certify the results of an exam because no African Americans had passed to be promoted. The Second Circuit upheld what amounts to reverse discrimination.
Sonia Sotomayor may have an admirable past. She may have the right background in Obama's eyes, but from the decisions she's supported, she clearly is no defender of the Constitution. She's an activist with an agenda and anyone who believes in property rights, free speech or opposes discrimination should be concerned about Sotomayor's nomination.
Link: The Random Blog Post Generator Service
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
I find it hard to believe that the same government body that was unable to properly run their own restaurants, cafeterias and coffee shops is now suggesting they take over health care for all Americans. In 2008, Congress voted to privatize the running of their dining areas after four decades of taxpayer bailouts. This is proof of how efficient the government is.
Obama's first pick for HHS Secretary, Tom Daschle, wrote a book about health care and it is so telling of how those on the left want to control it. He states in the book that a Federal Health Board should be created to make decisions on proper treatment for the masses.
I don't know about you, but the last group of people that I would want to be in charge of making health care decisions for me or my family would be some bureaucratic arm of the government. Those decisions should be made by the doctor and the patient.
Recently a doctor wanted to start a program where he would charge an individual $70 a month for any number of visits they needed. Sounds like a great plan right? Not to the government or the insurance lobby. That doctor is not allowed to offer such a plan.
Tort reform also needs to be addressed to solve the health care problem. If a doctor has to pay an astronomical amount in malpractice insurance, what happens to his operating costs? It goes up and that gets passed along to us. As long as we have an environment where people can sue a doctor for absolutely anything, we will have a problem with health care. Former Vice Presidential candidate, John Edwards, made his millions from these types of frivolous lawsuits.
There are many reasons why we have health care problems in the United States and there are many ways in which we can solve them. I promise you though, government take-over of it, is not the answer.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Obama on Sacrifice:
"Uh, and that's going to mean, uh, a set of sacrifices from all parties involved: management, labor, shareholders, creditors, suppliers, dealers. Everybody's going to have to come to the table and say, "It's important for us to, uhhh, oh, to take serious restructuring steps now in order to preserve a brighter future down the road." http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_033009/conten/01125113.guest.html
The inaugural address also made the call for sacrifice and some may have been inspired to do so, in the beginning, yet many of these inspired people are now murmuring and questioning their great savior.
In his very first sentence, (in his inaugural address) Obama cited "the sacrifices borne by our ancestors" and said the confidence he feels in the face of two wars and the worst economic crisis in three-quarters of a century rests on Americans remaining "faithful to the ideals of our forebearers and ... our founding documents" wrote David S. Broder in the Washington Post. http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/inaugural-address/
"I think folks are sacrificing left and right," Obama said during a prime-time news conference. "I think that, across the board, people are making adjustments large and small to accommodate the fact that we're in very difficult times right now." http://www.marketwatch.com/story/obama-families-sacrifice-left-right
"Obama said individual and national sacrifice is urgently needed to tackle difficult problems such as poverty, climate change, and an energy crisis." http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2008/05/26/obama_asks_graduates_for_sacrifice_service/
Lent, It Rhymes with Spent
Compact Oxford English Dictionary: • noun 1 the practice or an act of killing an animal or person or surrendering a possession as an offering to a deity. 2 an animal, person, or object offered in this way. 3 an act of giving up something one values for the sake of something that is of greater importance. — ORIGIN Latin sacrificium, from sacer ‘holy. http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/sacrifice
What does Mr. Obama know about sacrifice? His inaccurate usage of the term is applied to all sectors of life as he demands the sacrifice of America's founding values on the alter of Obamanism. He collects his tithe from all who have worked hard to attain it. He accepts the "sacrifice" of those he deems must give on behalf of those who he deems should not. His sacrificial animal today is big business and capitalist values, while America waits in earnest fear as to what the "deity" might require next. He is the "greater importance" and the sacrificial giving he demands for "the greater good" lines up with the Stalins of the world and not the Washingtons or the Lincolns.
Sacrifice can not be forced on a person or a nation and when it is, it is no longer sacrifice, but martyrdom. It is tyranny over the governed. The idea that sacrifice can be demanded demonstrates that Obama doesn't understand at a personal level, what he has required. Sacrifice is a life choice based on a deeper understanding of a necessary good. America is a nation of sacrificial giving and this ideal was foundational in the lives of those who first stepped onto her shores. When the government becomes the entity that demands sacrifice, it is no longer the government of our founding fathers, but more reflective of a feudal system with a twenty-first century means to obtain the demanded sacrifice from its slaves.
Madison wrote in Memorial and Remonstrance, "The preservation of a free Government requires not merely, that the metes and bounds which separate each department of power be invariably maintained; but more especially that neither of them be suffered to overlap the great Barrier which defends the rights of the people. The rulers, who are guilty of such an encroachment, exceed the commission from which they derive their authority, and are Tyrants. The People who submit to it are governed by laws made neither by themselves nor by an authority derived from them, and are slaves."
We are today facing a Tyrannical Government that demand sacrifice from its slaves. They have crossed the bounds set by the Constitution and have quickly begun to implement ideals that are not a representation of those in America or its founding documents. Power is an intoxicating drug and the worship service to Obama continues in this mad orgy of spending, that rapes the American people today and enslaves the children of tomorrow. The tyrants must be stopped before the shackles are too firmly in place.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Reading, writing and arithmetic will be taking their summer break in a few weeks time. California teachers specifically may be looking for places to teach the “Three R’s” due to the inability of the State Legislature to do the needed reading, writing and arithmetic required of California school children, in the jobs they were elected to do.
Fortunately the voting population of California was able to handle the verbiage in the propositions and crunch the numbers in a realistic manner, in order to send a message to Sacramento that the fools are not the voters of California, but the members of the State Legislature who seem unable to do basic math while trying to hide this inability to balance a budget in flowery, legal language.
Though the California budget is complicated, the idea that cutting waste and spending is not. Every American household has done this very thing in order to weather the times in which we live. We do without specialty items, knowing that one day, the tide will change and the little extras will be affordable again. We clip coupons to save and carpool to lessen the gas burden. We give up our weekly Starbucks and make coffee at home and we pack lunches instead of eating out. As a mother, I give up my needs for the needs of my household, in order to keep it well and afloat when the storms of life rage. Why isn't Sacramento able to see the value in thrift and true sacrifice? Why haven't the "specialty items" been cut from the budget? The unwillingness and selfishness of the legislature to do what best serves the people is staggering.
A new breed of legislator is needed, one who is willing to be a public servant without a paycheck. One who is willing to serve for the love of country and state and to leave when their privilege of service is complete, in order to allow another the opportunity to serve.
Power corrupts, and the root of all evil is the love of the money that seems to line the pockets of many politicians. Most appear to have contracted this infection. It is as if, upon arriving in Sacramento or any other legislative body, the true “Swine Flu” affects the newly elected politician, and they are doomed from the start. The only way to handle this virulent strain of corruption is to do away with those who carry the disease, put them in quarantine and begin with fresh blood.
We talk about education reform, campaign reform and budget reform, yet we the people seem unable to send those who corrupt our government to reform school by voting them out of office. We must begin anew and elect those who can read, write and compute for the service of their fellow man and not for the bolstering of their esteemed careers.
School may be out for the children of our nation, but it is high time that we teach those who serve us in elected office how to earn an “A” or to be on their way.
The call for universal healthcare has grown louder over the past few years. We constantly hear from the President and the Democratic majority that we can’t fix the economy until we fix healthcare. Now come the commercials preaching the same message. Is healthcare broken? Is the only solution to march down the path to socialized medicine?
Obama and the Democrats are rubbing their hands together and hatching their plans to “fix” healthcare. The ultimate goal being universal coverage, we can guess what some of those plans may be by looking at Obama’s campaign promises. Imagine a Medicare-like government program for those who don’t qualify for the newly expanded SCHIP program, but who are dissatisfied with their current insurance or who have none available. Medicare is currently a growing nightmare, with increasing costs and recent estimates showing its bankruptcy looming closer than expected. How would a new government program control costs where Medicare has failed? Rationing. Medicare has already seen the light and started down this path, refusing to cover new technology for less invasive colonoscopies currently being covered by many private insurers. This is just the start of the restrictions that people will have to face on their new universal coverage. Prescriptions drugs with be assessed for cost and efficacy. Procedures will be weighed by your age, potential for survival, etc. The United States currently has the highest cancer survival rate in the world. We may be sacrificing that too in the name of universal coverage. Michael Moore may think he’s willing to wait for access to doctors in the name of “fairness,” but is he willing to wait 19 months for bypass surgery? Knee replacement? A tumor biopsy?
Conservatives have been accused of finding fault with the Democrats’ plans, but offering no solutions themselves. This is not true. The love affair with European-style socialism has blinded people to smaller, more practical solutions that have been offered. First, tax breaks are key to making insurance affordable and portable. McCain offered the idea of replacing the tax benefit of employer-provided coverage with a tax credit for individuals and families. Removing the employer/insurance link that limits the portability of insurance is important and often misunderstood.
Another good idea that has been put forth is removing regulations that limit individual insurance policies sales. For example, living in Ohio, I can’t shop around for a cheaper policy designed in Oregon or Utah. If your state regulates insurance policies heavily and these barriers are removed, you can expand your choices and be responsible for your own coverage choice.
Obviously, innovation would help lower costs. I believe liberals and conservatives can both agree on that. Improved technology prevents duplicative testing and procedures and also reduces errors.
Finally, part of the reason that insurance is so costly is that it is so abused. Why do we run to insurance to cover day to day costs from routine doctor’s visits to antibiotics? Why is health insurance so different from car insurance or homeowner’s insurance. Paying for routine visits and having insurance for crisis or prolonged illness would put less strain on the system. Encouraging healthy people to opt for higher deductible insurance policies would reduce the drain on insurers and help curb rising premiums.
Universal coverage is a beautiful idea, but is America really ready for what it truly brings: rationing, wait lists, limited selection of doctors and little control over your own healthcare decisions? And we haven’t even mentioned how Obama plans to pay for it. Conservatives need to start screaming from the rooftops that universal coverage isn’t free and it won’t just harm our wallets, it will harm those we love the most.
Link: The Random Blog Post Generator Service
Friday, May 22, 2009
By Lenny Moynihan
Now that GM and Chrysler will be owned by Obama it is time for a boycott. Just like we need to start buying only American made products, we need to do the same for our cars. At this point, I can’t consider GM or Chrysler American. This is because in my America, our government could have never hijacked a car company. Not only that, they are taking away PRIVATELY owned businesses.
I read a heart breaking letter on the American Thinker blog by a George C. Joseph. He has been the sole owner of his dodge/Isuzu dealership since 1974. He employs over 50 people and has been active in his community for decades. He received a letter stating his business will be taken from him with no compensation on June 9th. It will then be handed over to another dealer at no cost. He rightfully asks how can this happen in America?
We should all be beyond outrage. This is a very sad and scary day for our country. I no longer look at President Obama as my President but the Godfather of the mafia. His henchmen ready to act in any fashion to get the job done. This is nothing more than an act of piracy done by our own government. We must assume that many that voted for "hope" and "change" did not have this in mind! We are called to action by denying any car sales once the government procures these lots. As Paul Revere warned, "The British are coming." We must warn the people of something much more sinister: The Grim Reaper is alive and well in the destruction of America.
All eyes on President Obama.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
By Carmen Grant
Realism is the conservative theory of international relations that has maintained its place throughout the development of modern political science. Its premise is that all states are rational actors and their main goal is to attain power to survive. In this tumultuous world, the basic assumptions of realism are clearer than ever and can easily show how a liberal agenda will never be completely effective.
There are five basic assumptions that explain the realist theory.
The world is anarchic, meaning that there is no global government. Citizens within a nation depend on government for protection from outside threats from other nations or rogue actors, like terrorists. Because there is no global governance, it is important for a nation to have as much power as it can to ensure that the citizens are protected.
Nations want to rule themselves to pursue their own domestic destinies. If a nation is constantly battling the imposition of another, it can't focus on its own domestic affairs. In relation, If a person is constantly worrying about being fired (power struggle) then they act differently in regards to raising their children, perhaps by skimping, sending them to bad schools, or making them work to help out. However, if a person doesn't have to worry about money (security) then they can send their kids where they want, have money to buy them what they need, and make decisions for the household that they want to make. By having government provide security, a person is able to fulfill their own destiny.
The Military is the Greatest Resource of Power
The most common way for a nation to get protection and have domestic freedom is to have a strong military. Any type of military is essential for protection, whether it is strictly defensive like Mexico's, or both defensive and offensive like the United States' military. The stronger the military, the less chance of an attack.
This unfortunately leads to paranoia in the world. Many questions arise such as why "Nation A" needs so many nuclear weapons if they are only trying to protect themselves. In theory a nation only needs as many weapons as its closest enemy. When it starts building more their true intentions are questioned and their defensive acts may be construed as secretly offensive.
A nation's intentions need to be disclosed so that other nations can act accordingly. If a state is transparent, or open about all of its actions such as arms building or joining an alliance, then its enemy will know what it is up to, and can act accordingly. However, even when a nation's leader gives an official statement about promoting a given policy, skepticism still ensues. For example, not too many people believe that the Iranian government is using nuclear technology for domestic energy even though this was the government’s official declaration.
In a card game, if you tell everyone else what cards you have, then you lose leverage to win the game, or power to bluff your way through it. In addition, you could be lying about what cards you have, therefore accepting that your opponents could be lying about their cards too. Negative behavior is hard to control internationally because there is no way to punish it.
Survival in the Global Arena
Everything circles back to the original idea of survival. Considering all of the above, a nation's goal is to survive and figure out what it needs to do in order to stay one step ahead of everyone else. Realists believe that there is no room for ethics in the international arena, and that everything that can be done will be done to gain and sustain power and protect the well being of the citizens it protects.
Obama has certainly made his position clear on the issue of taxing the rich. A modern day Robin Hood, he sees it as fair to redistribute wealth. You tax the rich as much as you can and give that to the poor and magic happens and we are all equal, socialism abounds and peace reigns. Right.
What I fail to grasp about the revival of socialism v.2.0 is why this dead philosophy keeps being resurrected. How can something fail repeatedly and still be considered viable? The poor don't get richer. The rich just get poorer as they are taxed more and more to sustain the burden of carrying numerous social programs that, in the end, don't elevate the poor. The poor continue to stagnate, dependent on the social programs that the government doles out. They are also dependent on the government and will continue to vote themselves more and more benefits, thinking that maybe more will be better, more will bring wealth. I believe we will reach the tipping point soon, when those who don't pay taxes outnumber those who do. When you have that majority, how do you convince people to give up the dole? How do conservatives ever get a foothold again when liberals are passing out all the goodies?
What can people do if things keep going down this path? When states raise taxes, the rich can call "Two Men and a Truck" and move on to greener pastures with lower taxes. If they can't outrun the taxes because it's the fed that comes a calling, they may just go Galt. After the election there were numerous articles interviewing people who intended to reduce their incomes in protest of unfair taxation. If you cant soak the rich, they'll have to move on to the middle class, which I think will open people's eyes as to the unsustainable nature of entitlements. How happy will people be to pay 50% of their income to receive less competent medical care? When cancer survival rates start to match those of Europe, will it be enough comfort to know that we are all receiving the same reduced care? When will we realize that equal isn't always an admirable goal, if equal means we all suffer.
Link: The Random Blog Post Generator Service
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
by Kimberly Moore
It’s an interesting question and one that isn’t easily answered. I don’t know anyone who would see someone suffering and not want them to seek medical help. After careful consideration, I believe to force upon our country a universal health care plan is immoral.
There have been many figures announcing how many people in the U.S. are currently uninsured or underinsured. 46 million people seems to be the most common number as those uninsured. What we need to remember is this number is slightly elevated. According to "Liberty and Tyranny" by Mark Levin, 9.5 million were not citizens, 17 million lived in households with incomes over $50,000 a year, and 18 million were between the ages of 18-34 and were in good health or chose not to purchase it. So, if these numbers are correct, that would leave 1.5 million people without health insurance that are American citizens who couldn't afford it. But there is a solution to help many of those without health insurance.
In 1965, the Medicaid bill was passed when President Johnson was in office. Medicaid fell under the Social Security Act and currently Medicaid is the largest state expenditure. For those citizens who are unable to purchase health care insurance due to low income, they have the option to get the medical care needed. Children can be eligible for Medicaid, even if the parent is not. Lawfully admitted immigrants may also be eligible for Medicaid.
The moral issue is not if America has universal health care but rather it becomes a moral issue when asked how a decision is made under the universal health care regarding who lives and who dies. Oregon has a state-run health care program for those who live under the poverty line. According to ABC News, Barbara Wagner had lung cancer, which had been in remission, but returned. In order to live, her doctor prescribed medication that cost $4,000 per month. The state-run insurance program refused to pay for the medication but offered to pay for assisted suicide. So, basically, they are telling Ms. Wagner, we won’t pay to help you live, but we will pay to help you die. What kind of message is that sending to the rest of the U.S.? Unfortunately, I see this as a common problem if the universal health care plan is passed. At the request of her doctor, Ms. Wagner was able to receive her medicine free of charge.
There are concerns with the medical professionals staying employed in the medical industry or searching other employment should the universal health care plan be enacted. With the cap of bonuses that the White House is placing on the automobile industry executives, there will certainly be a cap on salaries of physicians and medical specialists. With government-run health care in the U.S., frustrations being felt by doctors to meet the demands of the government may force early retirement of physicians and encourage future students of the medical field to seek employment in other professions. Not only would we have a shortage of doctors, there will be an increase in patients and the quality of the health care will decrease while the wait time to see a doctor for diagnosis of a potential life-threatening ailment could be months away.
The Republicans have planned to unveil the Patients Choice Act on May 20, 2009. This is an alternative to what the Democrats are proposing. Rather than depending on the federal government to determine our health decisions, the Patients Choice Act will provide a tax credit of $2290 for an individual or $5710 for families each year to help those without insurance and use the tax credits to purchase insurance through a private insurance company. This is budget-neutral compared to the $2 trillion already considered for spending on universal health care. Also, the Patients Choice Act will help get people off of Medicaid because of the tax credit and the ability to choose their own doctor.
Until a final decision is made, think about this: the United States already has a universal health care plan. It is Medicaid and Medicare. For all others, it seems to be a choice. If health insurance is not offered by an employer, there are insurance plans available. Like car insurance, the best advice is to compare prices and benefits and choose which you can afford based upon your income. Do you really want to leave your life or death in the hands of the federal government? I certainly do not.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
(photo Associated Press)
the more they stay the same. I think Arlen Specter has learned a valuable lesson. He learned that calling himself a Democrat hasn't improved his ability to negotiate a compromise on the Employee Free Choice Act or Card Check. I just have to wonder how long it will be before Specter caves and just votes for the bill as is and solidifies the grip of the unions in this country? Card Check ends the right to a private ballot. This enables union organizers, who certainly have an interest in the outcome of any vote as they collect a percentage of employees' income in dues, to more directly coerce or threaten employees. Union organizers can visit employees' homes and could refuse to leave until a card is signed, not to mention the possibility of fraudulent signatures. Card Check also requires binding arbitration if the parties fail to agree on an initial union contract. Arbitration isn't a discussion or a chance to reach a compromise. The decision of the arbitrator is final and imposes a contract on both parties for two years. This destroys the right of employees to bargain with their employer. It just slaps a contract in place and both parties have to live with the results.
The unions tout this bill as necessary to save the middle class. They claim that the corporations deny people the right to join unions, that they coerce and control their employees. Because unions are so much less coercive? Locally, Ohio's AK Steel employees were out of work for a year. They couldn't get other jobs if they wanted their AK jobs back through the union. People lost their homes because the union organizers stuck to their demands and AK Steel argued that it needed to cut positions and benefits to remain profitable in the current market. If a company starts losing profits due to union demands, does it really benefit the employees for the unions to keep pushing and push the company out of business altogether? How much fault do the unions bear for the problems America's car industry is facing? The economy of this country is changing and union membership is declining. Card check is a thinly veiled attempt to swing the balance back in the union's favor. Card check as it stands replaces the corporate bully that the unions claim controls the system, with the union bully.
Link: The Random Blog Post Generator Service
Monday, May 18, 2009
Federal Hate Crimes Bill or Pedophile Protection Act?
I was watching this clip that someone sent to me the other day, and I just had to do a double take.
The Federal Hate Crimes legislation, S. 909, is cited as the “Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act.” Why? For sympathy points? What does this monstrosity have to do with Matthew Shepard?
The two miserable human beings who killed Matthew Shepard are currently serving life sentences for their crimes – and rightfully so. Why do we need hate crimes legislation pushed through under his name?
When it comes to the government and regulation, “more isn’t better”, so why are we signing ourselves up for this bill anyway? What’s the draw? I don’t get it.
In addition to being unnecessary, it’s also dangerous.
As often happens in government, there are unintended consequences to laws. Perhaps in this case they are intended, I’m not sure. Whatever the intent, it can’t be denied that producing special classes of people has nothing to do with “equal protection”. In fact, just the opposite.
If a gay man slaps me, it’s a misdemeanor, maybe a fine. Under this law as proposed, if I slap him back, it’s a felony hate crime. How is that equal? In fact according to some who are familiar with the text of the bill you don’t even have to touch someone for them to feel a hate crime has been committed. It can be as flimsy as mere perception. Orwellian thought crimes anyone?
Now I’m against all forms of hate crimes because it smacks of thought police and government religion, but even if you support hate crimes and special protections for minority classes, how can you possibly support the defense of pedophilia as one of those protected classes?
This bill has earned the nickname “Senate Bill S. 909, Pedophile Protection Act” because it specifically protects pedophilia and many other “philias” along with homosexuality and transgenderism. In fact, when a legislator suggested adding a clarification to the bill to specify that pedophiles were not among the protected classes, it was flatly voted down.
Now that’s just bizarre. Why protect the pedophiles but not religion and freedom of speech?
The Senate is expecting a final vote on this starting next week. Call your Senators! We’re facing an uphill battle on this one, which just boggles my mind. S. 909 is a terrible bill, poorly written, dangerous, unnecessary, and bad for everyone all around.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
All Men Are Created Equal
Everyone has heard of Matthew Shepard, but have you heard of Jason Shephard?
Any Google search on the name "Matthew Shepard" turns up hundreds of thousands of stories written in the ten years since Matthew Shepard was brutally murdered, reportedly, because he was gay. His murder brought national as well as international attention to the issue of hate crime legislation at the state and federal levels.
A story you may not have heard is the case of Jason Shephard, nearly identical in age to Matthew, but who was brutally murdered by a gay man after fighting off his sexual advances. This Shephard is a virtual unknown, having received little, if any coverage in the national media.
Jason was studying to be a teacher. He was also an athlete, a runner. Taking a semester off to earn money, he took a job interning for Daktronics Inc., a sound equipment company. His dad said he was excited about the new job and hoped to do well. He had good friends, had no interest in drugs, and as testified in court, had no interest in having sex with other men.
On a three day business trip to Philadelphia, his employer, William Smithson, slipped date rape drug GHB into Jason's food during a dinner and tried to rape him. Prosecutors said during the trial that 43-year-old William Smithson, frequently had gay sex parties featuring methamphetamine and GHB, and had developed a fatal attraction to Jason.
When Jason, even in his drugged state, rebuffed the attempted rape, Smithson brutally strangled him. As testified in court, Smithson continued his strangulation hold for more than two minutes after Jason's body quit struggling and lost consciousness to ensure his death. Tipped off by one of Smithson's former lovers, police found Jason Shephard's nude body, bound in belts and wrapped in sheets a few days later in Smithson's basement which also contained a mirrored ceiling, couch and video equipment.
The 40-year-old Smithson was arrested and charged with first, second and third degree murder, attempted rape, abuse of a corpse, aggravated assault, unauthorized administration of an intoxicant and tampering with evidence. He was convicted and sentanced to life in prison.
Both Matthew Shepard and Jason Shephard were brutally murdered. One was gay, murdered by straight men, the other was straight, murdered by a gay man. Both sets of murderers received life in prison, without parole, both got what they deserved, regardless of race, color or sexual orientation.
The Equal Protection Clause secures the promise of the United States' professed commitment to the proposition that "all men are created equal". Yet federal hate crimes laws are being rushed into the books based on motives involved specifically in Matthew Shepard's case because he was a gay man targeted for his sexuality and killed by straight men.
Yet are not these two cases, Shepard and Shephard demonstrating the epitome of equal protection? Why is one being elevated to national furor, while the other is overlooked?
Already society seemingly values the life of one Shepard over the other. Is it right that the law should also?
Equal is equal, regardless of sexual orientation. In our abhorrence and rush to judgment, we're being sold a line that hate crimes bills are necessary to prevent what happened to Matthew Shepard. But in that rush to judgment, we forget that we cannot be legislated into utopia. No amount of grandstanding or legislating can prevent people from hurting other people.
The two miserable human beings who killed Matthew Shepard are currently serving life sentences for their crimes – and rightfully so. That being said, can I ask the obvious question?
Why do we need “hate crimes” legislation to monitor thoughts and intents? Why can't actions speak for themselves?
In a society that is increasingly Orwellian in nature, the question that should be asked is not what we have to gain by this hate crimes fiasco, but what we have to lose.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
By Lisa Farrar Wellman
For years conservatives have blubbered and blustered about liberal media bias. In the past the liberal agenda promotion was subtle, now the mainstream media is basically one giant cheerleading squad for Team Obama. What is obvious and maddening to you and me, is still an accepted form of journalism to many people. The problem is that most Americans either don’t recognize it for what it is or don’t know where else to turn for information. For all our technology and forward movement, Americans are still pretty traditional. They turn on ABC, CBS or NBC out of habit. They know the anchors. They know the sets. They know the basic order of the programs and they find it comfortable. Just because something has been around for a long time does not give it integrity or ethics. The networks are entirely lacking in both. Familiarity is the only thing keeping the networks alive and don’t even get me started on MSNBC. They don’t even pretend to report anything positive about free markets, the tea parties, Sarah Palin, or America for that matter.
One problem conservatives face is proving to others that the media only tells one side of the story. If you need help backing up what your gut has told you for ages, look no further than the Media Research Center. It’s hard to remember details from individual news stories and with MRC, you don’t have to. They do the hard work for all of us. Subscribe to their daily digest and get a succinct, easy to understand analysis of the previous day’s television coverage. Sure it’ll make you hot under the collar but we all need to remain that way these days to stay on top of what is happening in our nation and our world. Get mad and have the unbelievable statistics to justify your anger to friends and family. Show them the truth about network television (and most cable sources) and challenge them to avoid further brainwashing by finding a more trustworthy news source.
Americans need to take ownership in what they read and watch. They need to investigate for themselves so they don’t fall into the lazy and comfortable practice of being spoon fed just what the Left wants them to hear or see. The MRC arms you with the ammunition you need to motivate yourselves and others away from the Kool-Aid drinkers and back to reality.
From its website: “The mission of the Media Research Center is to bring balance to the news media. Leaders of America's conservative movement have long believed that within the national news media a strident liberal bias existed that influenced the public's understanding of critical issues. On October 1, 1987, a group of young determined conservatives set out to not only prove — through sound scientific research — that liberal bias in the media does exist and undermines traditional American values, but also to neutralize its impact on the American political scene. What they launched that fall is the now acclaimed Media Research Center.”
By Kelli Krauss
Please excuse me while I bang my head against the wall!!! Is this not what we have been saying since January 20, 2009? Some of us have been saying it since the fall when the first financial rescue package was signed. This is what the Tea Parties on April 15th were about. More and more people are getting fed up with the spending in Washington and this Congress and Administration have been so good at it. Even John McCain, who I do not always agree with, called the current spending practices in Washington "generational theft".
It is being reported that the Obama administration has revised it's own estimates for the deficit this year to a record $1.84 trillion, which is up 5 percent from their February numbers and the 2010 deficit is being estimated at $1.26 trillion, up 7.4 percent from February.
Why is President Obama agreeing with us now? I guarantee it is not because he wants to stop spending. This is Obama paving the way for a tax increase and it will not be just for the "rich". As he said during his campaign when gas prices were skyrocketing, "High gas prices are just fine by me, I just wish we could have raised them more slowly." Will this be his model for tax increases?
Those of us who did not vote for him knew this was coming. So as the saying goes "Buyer beware". Or in this case, "Obama-buyer beware".
Friday, May 15, 2009
You stole the old finger shake from your good 'ole pal Bill and told America you were never briefed on any water boarding tactics. Unfortunately for you, CIA director Leon Panetta disputes your denial. It is also reported you encouraged the CIA to do even more than water boarding if needed. If you considered this tortue, why would you encourage even harsher methods if needed?
We all know this was never about torture but the left’s insidious hatred for President Bush. I believe it is this hatred that has maligned our country over the last 8 years not the former sitting President. The left loves to waste time and resources on committees for which we have no need. How better to spend our time as our economy fails and our liberties are stolen than blister the former administration. With leaders like you, how can we do anything but fail?
Not only do many of us Americans salute President Bush and his administration for keeping us safe, but we would like to demand recourse for having to listen to you badger and lie your way through office.
(photo from http://www.visitingdc.com/)
Last night we put our two-year-old to bed and I decided to update myself on current events. After a quick scan of our national news, a realization came to me. Our Congress (all of them, not just the libs) and many others in our government greatly resemble a room full of toddlers.
Think about it.
Toddler Trait: They lie to get out of trouble.
When a toddler can’t look you in the eye, don’t believe a word he’s saying. Nancy Pelosi doesn’t want to admit she knew about waterboarding. The winds have changed. It’s not politically correct anymore so she’s lying about what she knew and when. (This particular scenario is quite common in Washington. They expect us to trust them with what is now unlimited power and our grandchildren’s money, but they can’t remember where they were or who they talked to or if they knew anything about anything… ever).
Toddler Trait: They smile a lot and hope we don’t notice what they’re really doing.
When our daughter is up to something she shouldn’t be, she smiles and hugs us and tries to distract us from the fact that she’s shoved a toy into the toilet. Day after day our leaders hold press conferences on Capitol Hill. They grin wildly and shake hands and the president signs bills into law. Lots of hip, hip hooraying, yet when you get down to it, the smiles are there to cover up reality. Our lawmakers pass bills they do not read. They hobnob with lobbyists and accept donations to their campaign funds from the shadiest of the shady. They do not do what we sent them to Washington to do.
Toddler Trait: They’re expensive.
Toddlers go through clothes at a pace that boggles the mind. They’re picky eaters and they are sick many times each year. They’re expensive little boogers, but they’re also darn cute so they make up for it. Wish I could say the same about Congress members. Their pork spending gives us all the swine flu. We suffer because they can’t live within a budget. Pet projects trump common sense time and again. And it doesn’t matter, right? What they don’t have, they’ll just borrow, or we can always print more money.
Toddler Trait: Rules don’t apply to them.
Toddlers don’t want to share or eat their vegetables. Bedtime means nothing to them. Congress is the same way. They have a different set of rules to live by. Who else gets to vote every year for his/her own pay raise? Did any of Obama’s cabinet nominees actually pay their taxes? No wonder they don’t mind taxes. The rules don’t apply to them. They feast on a special Congress-only retirement plan while the rest of us make the Sign of the Cross over our Social Security checks and hope for the best. They work approximately 15 minutes a week and get to call themselves representatives of the American people. They don’t represent me, my beliefs, or my work ethic, I can tell you that.
Now that I think about it, there really are only two differences between toddlers and our government leaders. If something smells, you check a toddler’s pants. For Congress members, check their pocketbook. The other difference is that toddlers grow out of this stage.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
By Carmen Grant
Or pick it up if you want to fund Obama's new health care plan. The Obama administration is searching for ways to fund the proposed health care initiative. One way is to slap a federal tax on soda beverages. The revenue from the taxes would pay for part of the cost in setting up health-insurance coverage for all Americans. Early estimates put the cost of the plan at around $1.2 trillion. The administration has so far only earmarked funds for about half of that amount. The tax already faces strong opposition from the beverage industry and devoted soda drinkers.
Soda linked to obesity and diabetes
Research shows that drinking sugar-sweetened drinks can lead to obesity, diabetes, and other health problems like bad teeth. They say the tax would lower consumption, reduce health problems and save medical costs. At least a dozen states already have some type of taxes on sugary beverages, said Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest who states that "soda is clearly one of the most harmful products in the food supply, and it's something government should discourage the consumption of," Mr. Jacobson said.
Stop obesity, or fund health care?
Supporters of this soda tax are sending mixed messages. They say this is a good way to raise funds for health care, and to get people to stop drinking so much soda. Do they want people to stop drinking soda, or do they want them to keep drinking it to bring in the revenue for Obama's health care goals? In addition, the tax will be placed on standard sugary beverages and not diet sodas, which a 2005 study at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, and separate studies released in 2007 at the University of Alberta in Canada and the University of Massachusetts found that diet soda drinkers were more likely than regular soda drinkers to be obese. In retrospect, the government wants to tax standard soda drinkers when the more obese soda consumers are those that drink diet soda, which won't be taxed.
Tax food, tax life
I propose a tax on Twinkies, chocolate, ice cream, and lattes. I also propose a subsidy for gym memberships, taking the stairs, and walking to work. Tax everything that makes us fat and, in turn, give me health care and initiative to be healthy. Force us into submission. Instead of educating about being healthy and allowing for the choice, tell us what to eat and drink and how to live life. Wow, liberty is sweet. I wonder if they'll tax that too.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
What true sci-fi geek can resist a good Star Trek metaphor? Not this geek. I've got two. First, I was eavesdropping the other day at lunch and some folks were discussing the new Star Trek movie. This will include major spoilers, so beware! They commented that the movie's alteration of the original Star Trek timeline, on which all the series have been based, may upset the traditional Star Trek fans. My thoughts turned to politics. How's that for a one track mind? I thought that the new Star Trek movie represents more moderate Republicans. Traditional old school Star Trek is the hardcore right Republicans. Maybe the traditionalists will hate the new Trek for selling out or watering down the story line, just as some Republicans dislike the more inclusive moderate view that is moving through the Republican Party and wish to reject those who support it. But, new Star Trek seems to appeal to non-Trek fans just as a moderate focus for the Republican party would be more likely to attract Independents. Would traditional Trekkies rather have no new Star Trek movies because they want to stay true to the original series, or would they rather keep the story alive with a modern twist? Would traditional Republicans rather see the party lose national elections rather than welcome those who sit a little closer to the center than to the right?
The second metaphor is borrowed. I certainly think the comparison of Obama to Spock and Bush to Kirk as accurate. There's a reason that Spock was always better as a First Officer or Ambassador and when it came to a crisis, he turned things over to Kirk.
Link: The Random Blog Post Generator Service
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
by Carmen Grant
Contrary to popular belief, the Tea Party Movement is not a conservative agenda movement. It is a movement against increased taxation and wasteful spending. There are many democrats that voted for Obama and support Pelosi who are equally as disgusted with the increase in spending and increase in taxation on the wealthy that is unfair. Perhaps if the government would elaborate on HOW spending more can make more money, then perhaps the feuds would end. I wish I could spend more to get out of debt. Sounds fun.
Instead the White House is leaving their own followers in the dark and the only thing left for them to think is "maybe we should have voted for Ron Paul?" That would have been historical too.
Now before I get backlash for being anti-historical, anti-Obama, anti-government and anti-family (yes CNN, I'm talking to you), let me relay a message from a loyal reader. He is a long time San Francisco resident, Pelosi supporter and Obama voter. He admitted he doesn't like what the Democrats are doing. For the first time in 30 years he decided to take a strong political stand by taking up a sign and joining the over 550,000 people that rallied on tax-day. After a long day of exercising his American rite, he came home and saw Pelosi's opinion of his efforts. She belittled the protesters, said they were being controlled by high power corporations, and were "astroturf" activists. A hard slap in the face for anyone who favored her and her fellow Democrats.
Here is what my reader professed in a letter to Pelosi:
"I found her words not only insulting and dismissive but also disheartening and discouraging. If this is not true grassroots I guess I don't know what is. For her to not understand this it means one of two things. Either she has not taken the time to take a closer look at what we are doing or she does know better and ridicules our process as it better fits her agenda. I find both of these to be disturbing."
I don't think anyone got the memo that we're not allowed to protest the Democratic agenda. Apparently we have to agree and adore the intentions of the Democrats and not criticize the results of their policies. Love the intention people, the intention.
"Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions." ILN, 4/19/30 G.K. Chesterton
Read the fine print. Never sign anything without reading the number 4 font legalese at the bottom of every legal document. This is what got so many homeowners in trouble; they failed to read the fine print before signing a note their paychecks couldn't keep up with down the road.
But it is not just the mistake made by those on "Main Street" as Obama so cheerfully calls them, but those ruling on "E Capitol St NE & 1st St NE," on behalf of the American citizens who should be reading the fine print before they sign anything into law. Any business plan worth its salt is never rushed into, but thoroughly researched, analyzed, professional advice sought, and legally examined prior to a signature. It is said the foolish man begins to build without counting the cost, yet the very men and women who attempt to run our government have fallen prey to the same blind mistake thousands of displaced homeowners have faced.
The Congress has panicked, they have not done their due diligence, they have signed their John Hancocks to legally binding contracts that affect the lives of Main Street, Wall Street, and every dirt road in America. Don't do as they do, nor do as they say, for those who have signed legislation into law without adequately reading, let alone researching, the full letter of the law, which their signatures whole heartedly declare support for, do so in ignorance, not in the good faith of their constituents.
Terry Neece of the NCPA stated in an interview with Our Blook, "There is little to praise in this $787 billion stimulus bill. The President signed a colossal bill that virtually no one read, which relies on out-of-date economic theories to stimulate the economy." No one read the fine print and no one did the homework. According to Neece, the economic theories that Congress is operating with in order to write this legislation is "obsolete."
The rush to judgment, on a rush job, that stimulates a rush to panic should cause the governing body to rush and reconsider their ways and means. The ire felt due to bonus pay for AIG, on the backs of American taxpayers, is the fault of those who penned their names without doing their due diligence. So instead of taking responsibility, they pass the buck, or rather steal the buck back from the very ones they mistakenly gave the money to in the first place. It seems to me that our representative body would do well to give back the pork and beans and the bonuses they gave themselves and their pet projects when they signed this stimulus legislation.
The Magna Carta stated that the king was not above the law and even he must obey it. Our founding documents are largely based on this philosophy and yet I wonder if the Senators, the Congressmen, and the President have ever read and given credence to the values found in this most important legal document. I find it hard to believe that they have read it, let alone practice it. They live and rule as if they are above the law of the land and they punish the peasants and wealthy landowners for questioning.
Monday, May 11, 2009
By Carmen Grant
Washington State is front and center on ridding the U.S. of the Electoral College and pushing for electing the president by National Popular Vote (NPV). Olympia legislators passed Senate Bill 5599 which made Washington the 9th state in the U.S. ready to kill the Electoral College. Ironically the NPV law only needs 270 out of the 538 electoral votes to be enacted into law. The vote is currently at 60 or 23%.
Why we have an electoral college
The Founding Fathers decided against NPV because it would not represent the smaller states. Candidates could ignore rural areas, and focus on densely populated regions where they could get more votes. The Electoral College (EC) is meant for candidates to work harder to get their votes. Each state gets a certain number of electoral votes based on the state's population, determined by the U.S. Census. Washington State has eleven votes, less populated states, like Alaska and Delaware, only have three while California has the most electoral votes at 55. It is a winner-takes-all system, meaning when an absolute majority is met, then the candidate gets all the electoral votes from the state.
A National Popular Vote doesn't just mean a 51/49 split. It means whoever gets the majority wins. A candidate could very well win with a mere 20% approval. It is more complex than people understand. It might kill the two-party system that has carried elections throughout history. Currently, each party has to agree on a candidate who can appeal to the greatest number of citizens to gain a majority of votes of the Electoral College.
Paul Greenberg argues that this shift in electoral reform makes us more like the French. There were thirteen candidates in 2003, and barely any of them could carry a majority. The result was to have a second round of voting that put a right wing radical against an unpopular conservative. Ridding the U.S. of the EC would water down the quality of candidates and open the door for right and left wing radicals to be legitimate presidential contenders. It would segregate states, regions, and people.By ridding the U.S. of the electoral college, we are watering down the quality of our candidates and making it so that any schmuck can run for office. Unfortunately, my state voted to kill the EC, despite huge groups of protesters whose voices were never heard. Shows a lot about the representative democracy we have in Washington State.
The train wreck that is socialized medicine is speeding towards us and it seems that there is little being done to stop it. It seems Democrats plan to use budget reconciliation, a procedure normally used to reduce spending, to ram healthcare through without meaningful debate. Clinton was tempted to use budget reconciliation to pass Hillarycare, but the story is that Sen. Byrd enlightened him to the fact that it would not be a proper use of the process. Clinton agreed. Hillarycare was also killed, in part, by the strong opposition of the healthcare industry. Doctors, hospitals, insurers voiced their dissent.
Where is the dissent this time? It seems that the clamor for "free" healthcare is drowning out the sane voices that are pointing out the pending disaster. Obama paints his plan as a public alternative for those not covered by Medicare, Medicaid or private insurers, and that if you are happy with your current insurance you can keep it. But, when the government competes against the private sector, it will most likely win. Not because it's better, but because government can run at a deficit.
Private insurers must be profitable or they go out of business. All government has to do is keep providing enough coverage to keep people happy until the private insurers tank and then they can start rationing and dictating your healthcare because then there will be no alternative.
Governments don't go out of business, they just provide shoddy service and tax you more for it. I regularly hear people comment that they would pay more taxes if it would provide universal healthcare in this country. Really? How much more? Will 50% of your income be too much? 70%? Every government program runs inefficiently and costs more and more over time. How many years will we have to live with this mistake before we realize that it's a failure everywhere it's been tried?
By Kimberly Moore
Who could have imagined that a draft request received on October 27, 2008 proposing an act to exempt from federal regulation the right to manufacture commercially or privately a personal firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition would actually pass? While tea parties were occuring all over the country on April 15, 2009, the Governor of Montana signed into law the Firearms Freedom Act. At the time of this writing, there has been little discussion of this in the mainstream media, but soon, they (the media) will be forced to report this because states such as Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas, and Wyoming are following suit with similar acts in their state legislatures. As a matter of fact, Tennessee has started the voting process on their own Tennessee Firearms Freedom Act just this week.
I'm curious why the media, including the cable news channel networks, are not discussing this? This act is a direct challenge against federal law and will probably go to the Supreme Court. However, if that happens, Montana may threaten to secede from the Union. Texas has threatened this as well. If patriots band together, especially from the states that are proposing Firearms Freedom Acts, the Feds may have their hands tied and have no choice but to allow the states these freedoms. "Article II, section 12, of the Montana constitution clearly secures to Montana citizens, and prohibits government interference with, the right of individual Montana citizens to keep and bear arms. This constitutional protection is unchanged from the 1889 Montana constitution, which was approved by congress and the people of Montana, and the right exists as it was understood at the time that the compact with the United States was agreed upon and adopted by Montana and the United States in 1889." Legislative Services Division, Montana
This legislation should be a wake up call to the federal government that the American people will not tolerate any infringement to their 2nd Amendment rights nor their states rights regarding firearms, firearms accessories, or ammunition. The more states pass similar bills into law, the more difficult it will be for the federal government to enforce any future consideration of imposing stricter gun laws within state territories.
So, instead of 'Made in USA', we will start seeing 'Made in Montana' or 'Made in Arkansas' or 'Made in Wyoming' or 'Made in (fill in your state's name)'.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Bristol Palin is getting a lot of flack right now for speaking out in favor of abstinence. As a teen mother of a baby boy she gave birth to in December, Bristol has taken to the airwaves to let teens know that the best way to prevent teen pregnancy is abstinence. This brings the critics out of the woodwork. She is a hypocrite according to many. Especially those who do not believe that abstinence is a practical choice for young women.
If a teen traveled around the country talking to their peers about the dangers of underage drinking because they did it and killed someone while driving, does that make them a hypocrite, or one who has experience with a very serious issue? Is the former teen drug abuser who gives lectures to other teens about the dangers that face them if they abuse drugs a hypocrite? They are hailed, as they should be, as strong individuals who are telling the world about their heartache and hopefully will help others make better decisions in life. Of course, with Bristol Palin, we are only talking about sex. Not that big a deal, right? Teens are going to do it anyway, so the important thing is to teach them how to protect themselves.
As a mother of young children who are going to eventually face this issue and make choices for themselves, I want them to hear from someone with experience on it. Kids these days are extremely concerned about how they look, the brand of clothing they wear, and what kind of shoes they wear. Should they not be just as or more concerned about when they have sex? I applaud Bristol Palin for her message and know that it is probably very difficult for someone so young to take on the message and the criticism. Giving birth and taking care of a baby is not glamorous or something to be taken lightly and neither is having an abortion. I think it is extremely important for our young girls to know everything about the consequences of sexual activity. What better way than a real person, your own age, speaking from experience.
It doesn't surprise me that the father of Bristol's baby, Levi Johnston, responded that abstinence is "not realistic." Any teenage girl who has had a boyfriend understands the pressure that is put on her to engage in sexual activity as well as the casual reference to it in the world everyday. I hope that more young girls stand up to the pressure of teen sex and say no to it. I would like them to realize that abstinence is a decision to be proud of and that becoming sexually active at an early age is not a step to maturity. Having the courage and knowledge to say no, in the face of pressure, is.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Nearly a month later people are still yapping about the tea parties. Big name liberals can’t stop calling us (by us, I mean radical extremists like myself who attended a tea party with my husband and 2-year-old) ignorant, racist, redneck, and backward. The tea parties have been ridiculed and belittled all over TV and the Internet. The mainstream media claims our little shindigs were ridiculous, promoted by the GOP, and a failure. Yet we definitely riled ‘em up, didn’t we?
Sure I’m irritated by the left-leaning (or toppling over) media’s version of how things went down on April 15, but I’m also flattered and inspired by it. We got their attention whether they want to admit it or not. We’ve upset them. I think maybe they thought we’d just roll over and let them tromp all over our Constitution without even a peep of protest. They assumed we couldn’t organize or unite behind a cause. The media has told the country for years that the conservative movement is dead. How can the dead rise up by the thousands and holler “taxed enough already"? But we did. And we were joined by Democrats with voter’s remorse and Libertarians and Independents alike. This tea party movement is not about right or left. It’s about Americans saying, “I don’t think so” to a group of politicians who aren’t told “no” often enough…or ever.The hypocrisy of the left is so obvious; I don’t want to waste your time digging around in it. You and I both know that they spent the last eight years raging about President Bush. If we were Code Pink, they’d have been out in full force, lobbing softball questions and bringing us sandwiches and lemonade to quench our thirst and hunger.
Let’s do it again. Let’s shock their elitist socks off again! Show up for a tea party on July 4. March on Washington. Write your representatives. Send them a tea bag or 40. Join The 9-12 project.
And above all, in 2010, don’t you dare send these morons back to Washington, D.C. Let’s elect us some radical tea-partying patriots instead and change the course of this nation and get it back on track. That will really give the media something to talk about!For a view of what Tea Party goers are really like, check out Andrew Klavan’s column on Glenn Beck’s website.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
(Photo from the Ronald Reagan Library)
Arlen Specter's defection to the Democratic party has added to the growing concerns about the future of the Republican Party. While Specter's move was more about self-preservation and less about the nature of the Republican Party, the question still must be asked: Which way is the party heading: towards tolerant inclusiveness or a purge of those deemed Republicans-in-name-only (RINOs)?
I have identified myself as a conservative, a Libertarian, and a Republican. In our current two-party system, if you don't fit into the mold of one particular party, you worry that your voice won't be heard. Most people have an issue that is close to their hearts and mine is limited government. I can compromise on many things, but the expansion of government under the Bush administration was something I found frustrating and harmful to conservative ideals. I still voted for Bush in 2004 because I felt Kerry was too weak on national defense. I supported Ron Paul in 2008. I knew there was no chance that he'd get the nomination. I voted for McCain with many trepidations. I am one of the moderates that Olympia Snowe thinks the Republican Party is driving away.
The question now is, will the Republican party embrace the moderates or push them away to their own detriment? I have to agree with Rick Moran's article on PJTV that opines that purifying the party is harmful and embracing moderates is the only way the Republican Party can survive. A purified party is unified by it's ideals, but too small to garner a majority vote. Purity equals extinction.