Posts tagged ‘Liberty’

01/12/2012

Ron Paul: Why Voters Support Him

While the inside the beltway crowd cannot understand why Ron Paul finished a close third in Iowa, and now second in New Hampshire, if they had been listening, they would have heard his anti-war, anti-torture message, his willingness to cut military spending, his pledge to withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan, his promise to avoid conflict with Iran, his hostility towards corporate welfare, deficit spending, his defense of liberty, and personal freedom, and scorn for wasteful projects, like the war on drugs.

FOREIGN POLICY: Paul clearly receives his popularity from his foreign policy. He said: we need to stop our wars. It angers foreigners when we occupy their lands. We were attacked on 911, he explained, because we had troops in Saudi Arabia. We are disliked because we have done nothing to stop the abuse against the Palestinians. We have 900 bases around the globe in 150 nations. Paul asked why we keep troops in Korea, Japan, or Germany. We have more weapons than all other nations combined–enough to blow up the world 20 to 25 times. He said we have to stop trying to be the policeman of the world.

WAR ON TERROR: He said the war on terror is like the war on drugs. It’s a pretend war. No formal declaration of war was ever made. Terrorism is only a tactic, he said. Others may want to bomb us, because we bomb them, not because of what we believe.

LIBERTY: As to profiling, Paul asked what if a person looked like the white Oklahoma City bomber, Timothy McVeigh? As to the Patriot Act, our Founders warned not to sacrifice liberty for security, Paul said, something our government now does too willingly. We should not give up freedom for a police state.

TORTURE: Paul correctly argued torture is illegal under U.S. and international law. Water-boarding is torture, he said in no uncertain terms. It’s uncivilized and immoral. We should not give up so easily on the rule of law, he said, as he pointed out over 300 terrorists were convicted in civilian courts and sent to prison.

MILITARY BUDGET: Paul said there is a lot of waste in the military and we can no longer afford to be the world’s policeman. Our new embassy in Baghdad alone is costing 1 billion. He courageously said the military budget must be on the table and offered to cut billions from their overseas spending. He accused others of just talking about reducing proposed increases.

FOREIGN AID: Paul would also cut all foreign assistance, including aid for Israel, since the Constitution does not authorize it. We gave military aid to an Egyptian dictator and got nothing.

AFGHANISTAN: He would clearly withdraw from Afghanistan now, and would save billions. He said the U.S. should withdraw from Afghanistan, because that’s where the Soviet Union was brought down. He predicted the same may happen to us.

IRAN: Paul does not pander or say things he thinks the audience wants to hear. He explained Iran wants to build nuclear weapons, because they have well-armed neighbors who already have the bomb, and for them, it is a matter of self-defense. He was not afraid to say Iran is no credible threat to the U.S. He warned the imposition of sanctions against Iran would provoke yet another war. He said it is not worth going to war against Iran to prevent them from gaining nuclear weapons. What is going on right now with Iran is the same propaganda used in the build-up to the Iraq War. He would not support an unprovoked unilateral attack by Israel upon Iran. He asked: why are we flying drones over Iran? While we don’t want to see Iran with nuclear weapons, he said it’s dangerous to declare war on 1.2 billion Muslims.

SYRIA: Paul would stay out of Syria. The Syrians need to deal with Syria, he said. We would only get in trouble if we got involved. We should simply support self-determination.

IRAQ: He would complete the withdrawal from Iraq, reminding us we still have 17,000 contractors on the ground over there.

ISRAEL: Paul asked: why should we commit our kids and our money to endlessly aid Israel?

CORPORATE WELFARE: Paul accused both parties of bailing out big corporations and Wall Street speculators, who ripped off regular people in the derivatives market. He would deny government aid to private enterprise.

HOUSING: Paul said Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae caused overbuilding and distortions, and government needs to get out of housing. Easy credit built too many houses and caused a bubble, he argues, which eventually burst, and now we are going through a correction, that is costing Middle Class people their homes. If money was to be given out, Paul said, it should have gone to those who lost their mortgages, not the banks. He said government sponsored enterprises received excessive credit from the Fed under the Community Reinvestment Act, and the housing debt must now be liquidated, as we are just prolonging the agony.

BUDGET/DEBT: Paul said nobody cares about the national debt, but it is a burden on the economy. Our financial condition is actually the biggest single threat to national security, he said.  Unnecessary wars have added to our deficits, and yet we are not cutting anything; it’s just talk. They only nibble away at baseline budgeting. They get hysterical on the Hill, because their budgets are not going up as rapidly as they want. The budget is out of control, because of earmarks. Paul said he would eliminate five departments and cut 1 billion in spending from the federal budget in his first year.

SOCIAL SECURITY: Paul said the Social Security Trust Fund should not have been used to fight wars.

DRUG WAR: Paul argued the war on drugs is a total failure, which should be handled like alcohol.

THE FED: Paul does not believe the Fed Reserve should set interest rates or decide how much money should be in circulation. He would return the gold standard. He said the Fed set interest rates well below market levels and keeping them low only distorts the economy. He does not believe they stimulate economic activity. He said Greenspan kept them too low for too long. He criticized the ability of banks get loans at zero percent, a practice which cheats the elderly of interest income they could earn from CDs. He was concerned the Fed sent five billion overseas to bail out foreign banks, and wants the Fed audited.

HEALTH CARE: Paul correctly said the insurance and drug companies will love the individual mandate. He wants more market competition in medicine. He supports medical savings accounts and would let people opt out of the health care plan.

 

08/16/2011

Bachmann & God’s Plan: Deny Liberty

Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, former Sen. Rick Santorum, and other Republicans at the Iowa Straw Poll this past weekend, showed their willingness to impose fundamentalist religious beliefs on all Americans, as they advocated social policies outlawing abortion, gay marriage, and other freedoms.

At the Straw Poll were: 2 Evangelical Lutherans, Bachmann and Pawlenty, 2 Mormons, Romney and Huntsman, 2 Baptists, Paul and Cain, and 2 conservative Catholics, Gingrich and Santorum.

In the 1960 presidential race, Democrat John Kennedy, a left-of-center Catholic, made every effort to separate church and state, by distancing his personal religious views from the public policies he advocated. He made no effort, while campaigning, or as president, to convert his religious beliefs into federal law. He understood the 1st Amendment ban against the establishment of religion.

In the 2012 campaign, Republicans like Bachmann, Santorum, and others, do not understand the letter, spirit, or intent of the Constitution. They don’t appreciate the secular nature of the American system. If they gained control, they would establish a Christian Nation, by imposing their religious views on us all.

Instead of embracing the secular right to liberty found in the 5th and 14th Amendments, which allows women in the first trimester of their pregnancies to have an abortion, Bachmann would instead implement her non-negotiable religious convictions, which were solidified for her at the Oral Roberts Law School. She believes the termination of a fetus is the same as murder, and wants to force all Americans to live under the rules established by her church.

While former Penn. Sen. Santorum correctly described Bachmann as one who demands everything, and compromises nothing, he too harbors uncompromising views derived from his conservative Catholic beliefs, as he promised to criminally prosecute all doctors who perform abortions, even though it is legal to do so.

Bachmann pledged not to nominate activist judges, but what she meant to say was she would not name any liberal activists. She certainly intends to nominate right-wing activists, like Supreme Court Justices Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Roberts, who share her views. She apparently does not realize that the conservatives on the court are just as active in shaping the law, as some liberals.

As to the issue of marriage, Bachmann was asked to explain a comment she once made that wives should be submissive to their husbands. She instead dodged the question, saying submission meant respect, an entirely new definition, not in any dictionary.

Although laws as to marriage and divorce have always been made at the state level, Santorum wants to throw out the 10th Amendment, and govern all families from Wash. DC. He disapproves of states’ rights on this and would rather dictate his religious dogma nationally. He was proud of his efforts in Iowa, where he helped defeat state justices, who found illegal the ban on gay marriage.

Romney joined Santorum in his ill-conceived idea to govern marriage from Washington. He wants the Constitution amended, so marriages are limited to just one man and one woman.

Huntsman, the only reasonable Republican as to social issues, said civil unions are acceptable. He warned the Republican audience that they need to do a better job on equality. Perhaps what the Republicans should do is start listening to Huntsman, and stop hearing voices from God.

05/12/2011

Abortion: Will They Abort The Issue?

Roe-v Wade (1973), the abortion case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court 38 years ago, is still an issue in national and state politics. Last week, the Republican-dominated Florida legislature passed six bills, all designed at making it more difficult to obtain a legal abortion. The Republicans also placed on the 2012 ballot, a proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution as to abortion.

The Republican objective is to increase government interference in the personal lives of women, and to restrict their constitutional right to liberty. Their goal is to meddle, as much as possible, in the doctor-patient relationship. These latter-day Republicans don’t respect the right to privacy, liberty, or the freedom from religion.

The Court recognized a constitutional right of personal privacy in Roe v Wade. They said: “This right of privacy…founded in the 14th Amendment concept of personal liberty…is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision…to terminate her pregnancy.”

As to the unborn, they said: “There has always been strong support for the view that life does not begin, until live birth” (p. 160). “No case could be cited that holds that a fetus is a person within the meaning of the 14th Amendment.” (p. 157). “The word ‘person’ as used in the 14th Amendment does not include the unborn.” (p. 158). If the Court had found otherwise, they would have been writing law, not interpreting it.

The Roe Court conceded abortion rights are not absolute. (p. 154). “Some state regulation…is appropriate.” (p. 154). “At some point the state interests as to protection of health, medical standards and prenatal life, become dominant.” (p. 155). The state’s “legitimate interest in potential life…is at viability. This is so, because the fetus then presumably has the capacity of meaningful life outside the mother’s womb….If the state is interested in protecting fetal life after viability, it may…proscribe abortion.” (p. 163).

The Court further defined viability in Colautti v Franklin (1979), when it said: “Viability is reached, when in the judgment of the attending physician on the particular facts of the case before him, there is a reasonable likelihood of the fetus sustaining survival outside the womb, with or without artificial support.” (p. 388).

The Supreme Court did not write law in 1973, they simply did their job, and interpreted the word liberty in the 14th Amendment. They gave it a practical meaning. Now, it is the law of the land.

The basic problem with those who wish to overturn Roe is their failure to understand and accept that Americans live in a pluralistic free and democratic society, where there is no official state religion, and where individuals are guaranteed liberty.

The Republicans want the U.S. government to suppress liberty. They want to dictate religious values. They want their religious point of view force-fed to all agnostics, atheists, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, and fellow Christians, who accept abortion.

The Florida Republicans prefer the model of government used by the Taliban, Iran and Pakistan, whose governments merge religion and law into one, and prohibit religious freedom. In this sense, the Florida Republicans are as bad as the fundamentalist Islamists.

When will the anti-abortionists abort the abortion issue? Hopefully someday, they will understand the guarantees of religious freedom, and liberty, mean all of us have a right to live side-by-side, and none of us is allowed to dictate our religious views regarding the meaning of life onto the rest of society.