Political Rant

The GOP just proved it ain’t so grand


Land of the free, home of the brave.
Bullshit.
I tend to fall on the right side of political lines. That said, I am not a republican and I take offense to anyone saying that I am. These clowns keep proving themselves to be liars and hypocrites, the whole bunch.

I consider myself to be conservative or right winged because I believe in the following:

  • Limited Government – Our federal government should be beholden to the state governments and furthermore to the people. I believe the most effective governing happens as close to the people as possible. The local governments know better what is good for the people they serve than the federal government ever will. That said, I understand the need for a federal government and its rules. The Federal government should be concerned with: defending our nation from threats, foreign and domestic (including preemptive defense and nation building when necessary. I am not smart enough to decide what is necessary and what isn’t), establishing federal laws regarding issues that by nature must be unified across state lines (ie. Commerce, immigration, and transportation), and protecting our human rights.
  • Responsible taxation – When new taxes are created, they should have specific and goals written into the bill. New taxes should not be created unless current spending has been validated by public oversight. What I mean by this is that the people should know where our money is being spent. I don’t have a problem with the government spending $500 on a hammer if it has a specific and documented purpose. I do have a problem with spending $500 on redundant paperwork. If one person can get the job done with one well written program on a computer more efficiently than 10 people working in committee, get rid of the committee. We have enough “camels” and that is the drain our money is going.
  • Personal Responsibility – I don’t think government is responsible for the welfare of its people. That said, if the government wants to stick its nose into citizen’s affairs and create safety nets for them then do it right. Make welfare programs self-sufficient. Empower those that can do for themselves to do so. Give the help they need, not more, not less, and not necessarily the help they want. We are inherently greedy. I speak from experience folks. I will take what I can get and my experience has been that most people are the same.
  • Personal Freedom – We have rights built into the Constitution. I think that it is an outdated document that needs new life breathed into it, but it is the best ever written. That said, you people writing laws keep in mind that for every freedom you take away from people, that is one more potential criminal you are creating. Laws make criminals, not safety.

Now let’s get into the actual meat of what I am so damn upset about right now and why you should be too.
If you look at my listing above, I did not discuss morality. I didn’t discuss the right to bear arms. I didn’t discuss child rearing. I didn’t discuss the right of people to do drugs. I didn’t discuss the right of homo- or hetero-sexuals to get married. I didn’t talk about prayer in schools. I didn’t discuss abortion.
I bring these topics up because if you throw health care into that pool, these are the topics I am most conflicted about. In the context of my political beliefs (listed above for those with short attention spans), how does the government have any right passing laws regarding these issues?

  • The right to bear arms – I am not a fan of guns. I think they are dangerous and it is way too easy for people to get hurt around them. That said, making guns illegal in any context creates new criminals. I understand the principle involved and I don’t like the idea of guns in bars or in churches or even on the bus with me. I would rather see those fighting the NRA working with them to improve safety awareness. Let’s either make it cool to not have a gun or at least to be very wary and respectful of the damn things. Let’s work on the personal responsibility of the gun owners rather than make them criminals.
  • Child rearing – It doesn’t take a village to raise a child. It takes a family. This doesn’t just mean blood family; it means anyone responsible enough to be a part of the child’s life and trusted by the parents (blood/adopted/gay/straight). Being able to procreate doesn’t mean you are able to be a parent, but neither does the ability to pass a law.
  • The right of people to do drugs – I don’t “do drugs”. I say this with quotes because I drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes. I don’t do illegal drugs I guess, but that is my point. Why are these drugs illegal? Do we need mama government telling us what is right or wrong? Marijuana is a plant and takes no processing to get you high. Let’s be realistic here. If you tell me it is a gateway drug, keep in mind that we make it that way. If I am getting my marijuana from the state Marijuana store, there isn’t going to be a guy there to try upping his profits and reducing his risk by selling me cocaine. When you make things illegal, you make criminals not protection.
  • The rights of homo- or hetero- sexual to get married – Ok, this should be a gimme. Marriage is a religious institution. What right does the government (city/state/federal) to rule over any religious institution? I understand there are legal benefits for those that are married, but why can’t we just change “Married” to “Domestic Partnership” in all legal context and leave marriage to the churches? Jesus said to love your fellow-man. Why can’t we take this to heart?
  • Prayer in schools – Ok, this should be allowed in privacy. Let’s give up 2 minutes of every school day for private and personal contemplation. If the children get together to pray, let them. If they get together to do physics, let them. Just give them and their parents the choice here. Don’t obligate it, but don’t deny it either.
  • Abortion – Here is the touchiest subject of them all and most important in my discussion right now. This is the whole reason I am writing this piece. The Republican led Ohio House of Representatives just passed HB 125. (they also passed HB 78 but that is for me to address later). This bill effectively makes abortion illegal after the appearance of a fetal heartbeat. This is typically 6 weeks into pregnancy which is defined as starting from the first day of the last menstrual cycle of the pregnant woman. This means that a woman essentially has about two weeks to realize she is late, confirm she is pregnant, make the tough decision to have an abortion, schedule said abortion, and hopefully get into her appointment before there is a fetal heartbeat. That doesn’t even put into consideration women with erratic menstrual cycles. Nor, in my opinion, does it allow for discussion with the male component. I understand it is the woman’s decision but I would hope most women would include the man in making such a decision (obviously, this doesn’t include instances of rape or incest, which, by the way, has not been included as consideration for this bill or HB 78).

I ask the Republican Party, the GOP, those believers in Limited Government and Personal Freedom, how does this jibe with your platform? I will not say what my personal opinion of this matter is because I feel it to be irrelevant. For a party that has been saying over, and over, and over, and over the conservative party is for limited government, I want to know how you can rationalize this absolute government overreach. Yes, I know you aren’t raising taxes or creating a new welfare program and that is great. You are however, limiting personal freedom and removing personal responsibility from the citizens of this great state of Ohio. You are also taking our morality decisions from us and making that decision for us.

The phrase that comes to mind is from the 80′s when Tipper Gore (you remember her, she is married to Al Gore) and the PMRC wanted to take away our right to listen to whatever kind of music we wanted. They gave in and let us just be informed of what we were buying and making the choice for ourselves. These LIBERALS gave us personal freedom and expected personal responsibility. Why can’t you take heed from this example? Otherwise, I am afraid its Goodbye Freedom! Hello Mom!

BTW, if you decide to comment on this please comment on the question of how the government has the right to pass laws about these issues. I don’t care about personal philosophies regarding drugs, guns, gays, abortions, etc. You have the right to believe what you believe. My point is that the government doesn’t have the right to say they are wrong and that is the focus here. So often my comment roll gets off topic.

Unions, Good or Bad?


There is a new bill coming up in the Ohio Senate and I am torn with this. On one hand, I hate the government getting involved in anything that really isn’t their business. From all appearances, that is what SB-5 is all about. Breaking up a unions ability to collectively bargain for the benefits/rights of all the employees working within said union. Specifically, the unions dealing with public workers. This means Police, Firemen, Teachers, and yes those folks at the DMV that we love to hate. There are many others affected by this bill and I recently, incorrectly summarized the bill as impacting relatively few people. I was wrong in this, and though it is no defense I had only glanced at the issue at hand.

Why did I only glance at the issue? Frankly, I hate unions. I think they promote laziness and have created much of of our society’s expectations of the world oweing them just because they exist. Unions are a blight on the nation and from what I know about economics, are one of the reason cost of living keeps jumping every few years.  Yes, I am generalizing but I am sure you get my point. The people that I know that work for unions complain about their co-workers not working anywhere close to their potential. We complain about the DMV because they are so slow and inefficient. We complain about the price of automobiles, yet it is cheaper for a manufacturer to pay someone to fix cars after the line than to pay overtime to make sure the cars on the line are done right the first time. These are only a few examples. I am sure you can come up with more, and probably better examples of how union workers are counter-intuitive to real productivity and progress. Especially when talking about jobs that should be made obsolete by technology and are kept around only because unions force the issue.

I understand the purpose of unions and I agree with that purpose. This is why I am torn. I truly believe that without unions, many employees would be left without a living wage, and/or benefits. I would hate to see our country without unions no matter how I personally feel about them. Without the ability to collectively bargain for their employees, the union has no value.

When Unions and Companies go to the bargaining table, the companies are demonized for not wanting to pay more, or offer more benefits, or more time off, etc. Yet many times, the company comes to the table with all of their statistics of how little actual work gets done by the average American employee compared to how much productivity they get from workers in other countries earning a criminal pittance in comparison. We hear from union employees about buying American, but who can really afford to.

My proposition to resolve this issue is to hold the unions responsible for holding up their end of the bargain. Too often, union employees are lax in their productivity because they have no incentive. They can’t really get fired, they will get the same raise as everyone else when they hit a certain amount of years worked, and there is a precedent set as to the minimum amount of work that can be done without getting in trouble. Let’s find a way to hold the unions responsible for the productivity and efficiency of the employees they represent. Let’s have union stewards that understand what productivity statistics really mean. Let’s find a way to incentivize union employees to do the absolute best job they can rather than incentivizing just being a union employee for as long as possible.

Ayn Rand said that communism was “from each according to their ability, to each according to their need”.

I would like to see a happy medium found in this, but there is a saying about wishing in one hand…