Saturday, September 17, 2005

The politics of (hurricane) destruction

It was pointed out to me today that Mayor Nagin of New Orleans is sticking very close to President Bush after previously being unreasonably critical of the President, denying any personal responsibility and claiming the CIA might kill him for criticizing the President.

Maybe Nagin thinks that the CIA can't get to him if he is inside the Secret Service ring... :)

President Bush on the other hand has avoided personal attacks and focused on correcting problems and getting results... now if he could only find offsets for the new spending.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

In-state rates for illegal immigrants challenged

WASHINGTON – Nearly 4,000 Texas students would face a major tuition hike or loss of state financial aid if a conservative legal group successfully challenges a state law that has made college affordable for many illegal immigrants.

Well, that would be one way to put it. Another way would be that 4000 illegal immigrants are taking subsidized slots that are supposed to be reserved for in-state citizens.

Yet another way would be to say that 4,000 people have been caught stealing from the tax payers.

"Let's just call it what it really is," said Adrian Rodriguez, Texas LULAC's chief of staff. "This isn't about human rights for all of the citizens of the United States. This is about bigotry and racism."

Well, it is biased in that it favors people who are legitimately in the country but it has nothing to do with bigotry or race - many Texas citizens and legal residents are also of Mexican decent (about half, in fact)- every illegal who takes a slot could just as easily be taking it from someone else of the same race but who isn't breaking the law.

Another reason it's not about race is that the suit is directed at all illegals, not just illegals from Mexico... they could be British or Canadian but if they are not citizens then we should not be subsidizing their education.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Top 10 flaws in the conservative agenda- part 2

5. The "war on drugs" - Nobody rational thinks cocaine and heroine should be legal because widespread use would constitute a clear and present danger to the Republic. But at the same time it isn't rational to fill up the prisons with non-violent users of soft drugs who just wanted to quietly get intoxicated. We might as well have a "war on saturated fat" for all the good that does.

4. Writing off the blue states. Yes, the majority rules in a democracy but in our Republic minorities have rights too. A conservative seeking to live his life without being oppressed in a blue state is just as valuable and just as many rights as if he lived in a solid red state.

3. Attacking dissenters. One important principles is for each person to be true to his beliefs even in the face of a majority who disagrees. You didn't see Barry Goldwater or Ronald Reagan changing their position because of some new poll. When a conservative breaks with the majority of his party on principle we need to respect that and not attack him personally. Otherwise we wind up with only sheep who don't dare think for themselves and a few leaders who think their job is to maintain purity.

2. Falling for the obvious. A mother blames the president for her son's death in Iraq. Conservative bloggers quickly go after her. Someone suggests the Teletubbies are gay - conservatives quickly want them banned. The Dixie Chicks say they are ashamed to be from the same state as the President - conservatives flood radio station with demands that their songs be banned. These knee jerk reactions to things that "conservatives" don't like just makes the conservative movement look intolerant and foolish. It is so predictable. And here in Atlanta when the bloggers discredited one grieving mother, the newspaper just picked a different grieving mother to focus on and the conservatives look both vicious and ineffective. These people are allowed to speak and if we disagree we should argue our side, not fall for the obvious and go for the censorship knockout.

1. Being mean in general. It is one thing to disagree. It is another to attack those who disagree. President Bush43 gets this - that is why he is President. Conservatism means respecting traditional rights and values not about hurting others. It feels like too many conservative pundits enjoy the battle more than the principles. On the biggest conservative board you can be banned for suggesting looking inward - if we treat those who disagree decently we don't need to be afraid to look inward.

Top 10 flaws in the conservative agenda

10. Privacy - the abortion debate debate has led conservatives to argue that there is not right to privacy - nothing is more conservative that the right to privacy - in our homes, in our cars and in our persons.

9. Equating conservatism with the religious right. Not all conservatives wish to impose morality on others. many conservatives recognize the right individual choices and then taking responsibility for those choices. Even Barry Goldwater was attacked and ostracized for addressing this point.

8. Intelligent Design: I believe in intelligent design - God is intelligent and he designed the universe. But ID has become a means to sneak religion into public schools. This is bad because it is dishonest and it is bad because it requires attacking science and makes conservatives look backwards. If we want religion in public schools we should change the constitution to allow it personal expression of religion anywhere including school.

7. Global warming. The earth is warming - it really is. Conservatives are wasting their time arguing that global warming is a myth when 100+ years of scientific evidence and the U.S government say the climate is getting warmer. Conservatives should refocus on the cause of the warming - if it is not man-made then it may not be in our power to stop it and while the Kyoto accords may be useless the problem is still real.

6.The relationship with minorities: Lincoln, Republican, freed the slaves (at least that what people believe), and most minority communities share many conservative values but they don't vote conservative? Why? I believe it is because conservatives has lost sight of the importance of individual freedom - this is particularly important if you are a minority. Minorities and conservatives are a natural alliance if we re-focus on individual rights and freedoms - classic conservative values.

Next post - the top five flaws in the conservative agenda.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Conservative groups oppose Roberts over pro bono work

Two conservative public-policy groups are refusing to support President Bush's nomination of John Roberts for the Supreme Court due to his donating time to homosexual activists who subsequently won a key high-court case
Full article from Worldnet Daily

Rational Conservative Commentary:

Conservatives have been demanding judges who will follow the constitution and not invent new laws. The constitution guarantees equal protection under the law. The Colorado law in question forbid cities from passing laws that required equal protection. It would be hard to think of a more unconstitutional law based on strict interpretation and yet groups claiming to be conservative now oppose supreme court nominee John Roberts because he did pro bono work on the case in support of equal protection.

Being conservative doesn't mean following the constitution except when you wish to hurt people who are different - it means following the constitution all the time. These groups are not acting as conservatives but rather as religious police roaming the land beating up conservatives who try to apply American principles fairly and equally.

The trial court's grant of a preliminary injunction was sustained by the Colorado Supreme Court, which held that Amendment 2 was subject to strict scrutiny under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because it infringed the fundamental right of gays and lesbians to participate in the political process.

"His actions not only cast doubt on his support of the American family, but also raise the possibility that Roberts will join the activist wing of the Supreme Court," said Delgaudio. "In Romer vs.. Evans we saw another example of the radical homosexual lobby loosing democratically and having to use the activist Supreme Court to force their agenda on the American people.

Complete Public Advocate statement on Roberts

Rational Conservative Commentary:
There is a tendency in conservative circles to turn against anyone that the fundamentalists decide is not bent on imposing their brand of Christianity on others - it is ugly when it happens and if happened to Barry Goldwater it can happen to any conservative.