20 July 2010

Consistency: Worth Its Weight in Airspace

Actually, it's worth even more than that. ;)

Recent news indicates that the FAA has declined Idaho's request for use of additional horizontal airspace for military training. 

The rejection of that request makes it highly likely that neither Mountain Home AFB nor Gowen field will win the F-35 training mission that the State has been practically counting on.

It is also highly likely that the denial of this request is at least *a little* related to Idaho's rather blunt rejection of another federal agenda: the Obama health insurance mandate.

While I'm far from surprised that the federal government appears to be dealing less-equitably with a State who's leading the charge in a campaign to directly challenge their unconstitutional federal mandate, I'm not shedding any tears over the likely loss of eligibility for the F-35 mission.

When I decided to support Idaho's challenge, the F-35 campaign was in full force.  It occurred to me then that there could (and probably would) be repercussions for the federal challenge; and that they could (and probably would) be exercised via the federal treats we were courting.

I anticipated a federal slap in return for smacking a federal hand, yet I fully supported - and still support - Idaho's challenge to Obamacare and everything that "health" "care" mandate entails.

Why complain?  If we honestly believe in the principles we're defending, we should be willing to accept the consequences, just or not.

12 May 2010

My Thoughts on the Arizona Kerfuffle

[Updated 13May2010/0825: manually numbered points for ease of reference.]

I've been almost completely absent from the blogosphere lately, and for good reason. I'm focusing on my family and my locality. I still engage in real-life discussions and occasional Facebook debates, but the time it takes to narrow my thoughts to a single topic and compose any manner of coherent, complete commentary, let alone engage in further discussion, is something I don't have in any measurable quantity right now. There are far too many topics, and far too little dedicated "thinking time."

That said, I have been thinking about the recent Arizona legislation in regard to handling illegal immigration, (how could one possibly escape it?); and at a friend's request, here - in no particular order of either occurrence or significance - are my current thoughts on it:

1. It's being made into a much bigger deal than it is.

2. It's hard to sort through the propaganda to find the truth.

3. I'm glad I withheld judgment until I'd read it.

4. I'd prefer more narrowly-tailored language than "any lawful contact."

5. It's ridiculous that so many States, organizations, and individuals are condemning Arizona for enforcing laws to which they are subject, as well. Where was this widespread outrage when the Federal law was passed?  And if they're so opposed to it, mightn't it be wise to work on the Federal law instead of "boycotting" a State?

6. We're being propagandized to hate each other based on false classifications, instead of listening to each other or having rational discussions.

7. Re: concerns of racial profiling: isn't some profiling necessary? Hunting down a lawbreaker without any sort of description would be pretty difficult.

8. The race-mongering critics seem concerned that all AZ police will immediately adopt SS practices. I'm not.  Now, revoking Miranda rights, on the other hand... I have a BIG concern about SS practices stemming from that.

9. Much more than race, I've heard from people who actually live or lived in the affected area that there is a noticeable cultural/behavioral distinction between legal immigrants and illegal ones.

10. If it were some racist campaign, they'd be rounding up everyone who might possibly be Hispanic and interrogating them. If it looks like that could happen, I'll fight it by speaking out. In the meantime, I'm vigilant, not overly concerned.  That kind of evil actually has happened in this country before, and it was - oddly enough - during another era of rapid government expansion.

Some notes on immigration in general:

A) I really don't have an inherent problem with people who cross the border illegally to seek a better life for themselves and/or their families.

B) I have a major problem with gangs and crime crossing the border illegally. Also legally.

C) I think we should have a strong, secure border.

D) Perhaps a more effective approach than targeting who-knows-how-many individuals would be to turn off the faucet of employment for them.

E) Employing illegals creates a permanent under-class and is IMMORAL in every way.  Make no mistake: It is modern slavery in the USA.  Illegals are easily exploited and have no legal protections or recourse.  Because of this unprotected status, it is immoral to encourage illegal immigration, whether by employment, benefits, or other means. 

F) Illegal immigration, through that cheaply-paid underclass, has skewed our economy.

G) I believe in the rule of law, intelligently applied.

H) IMO, hard-working, otherwise-honest illegals may rightly be granted a streamlined way to citizenship once the border is secure.

I) It should be much less prohibitive to become a citizen, legally.  Cost- and time-wise, it's a nightmare.  When that is people's only option, it doesn't surprise me that so many seek the "undocumented" route.

    That's it for now... feel free to leave feedback. :)  I've been weighing this for a long time.

    08 December 2009

    I Just Have to Say

    ... that IF I HEAR our President complaining ONE MORE TIME about something he "inherited," I'm sending the White House a list of things MY CHILD is inheriting, thanks to them.

    09 November 2009

    Don't You Feel Responsible?

    drops merging
    Image credit: Focus.aps.org
    The Hate Crimes bill recently passed as an amendment to the Defense Authorization Act, and President Obama signed it into law. I've blogged on the ridiculous nature of "hate crime" legislation before, but now a larger connection is materializing in my mind, bringing with it a fresh sense of urgency.

    As the FCC is looking to the Net Neutrality Act to enlarge its dominion and neutralize the perceived threat posed by speech that is just too free, it's worth considering how hate crime legislation will interact with that speech crackdown, particularly in the style of attack widely favored by the mass media.

    When a lunatic grabs a gun and shoots security guards in a museum, or a lunatic threatens a Federal facility or an abortion clinic, the mass media rush to find a way to blame (conservative-ish) rhetoric and/or a (conservative-ish) pundit for inciting the violence.

    That agenda is hardly hidden. As just one example, in a recent interview with Glenn Beck, Katie Couric asked him whether he wouldn't feel responsible if someone who happened to listen to his show or attend a Tea Party, did something stupid and violent.

    The aim of that propagandist line of questioning is to blame those advocating oppositional ideas for violence - even when those same advocates are actively discouraging violence.

    How far will we go in blaming ideas and groups for the behavior of individuals?

    If ideas considered political are squelched because of individual renegade behavior, how much longer will it be before we see an even broader application of the same line of thought that the mass media is using today?

    Take, for example, the case of someone who is murdered solely because of their same-gender sexual orientation (the spark of the Hate Crimes bill). The criminal who killed that individual is not just guilty of murder, but legally of a hate crime. Odds are that the attacker attended a Christian denomination at some point in his life. Christian denominations generally preach that homosexual behavior is a sin.  Don't you Christian preachers feel responsible for that attack?  Don't you see how your judgmental doctrine of "sin" encourages attacks on homosexuals?

    Aside from basic causal logic, the unsound line of "don't you feel responsible?" questioning necessarily dismisses that individuals are responsible for their own behavior.

    Accountability for our choices is the primary check on individual behavior; and as the foil to statist control, it must be fought by those advocating greater government control of our lives.

    Is the nefarious nature of the "don't you feel responsible?" approach clear yet? Particularly as our government is arguing for even greater control of our speech, I am concerned that not just freedom of speech, but the freedom of conscience that leads to accountability will be disdainfully swept aside in a frenzied media search to blame someone - anyone - but an individual for that individual's actions.

    Collectivizing responsibility that belongs with an individual will eventually imprison us all.

    19 September 2009

    Commie, Neo-con, Whatever.

    Liberal. Conservative.

    Right-wing gun nut.


    Tea Partier (at best).

    Republican. Democrat. Extremist.

    "One of those people."

    Are we in third grade?

    I know that treating people like individuals is just SO... HAAAAARD... but it's what we need.

    Maybe I'm just a contrarian. (Category alert!) But topping off broad, stereotypical, media accusations and derision at political meetings, was a recent conversation sprinkled generously with "you're not one of those people, are you?"

    What I said: "Yeah, actually, I am."

    What I thought:

    24 August 2009

    "Finer Clay"

    Potter at the wheel
    photo credit: drwhimsy

    Perhaps the most fundamental nonsense in collectivist dogma is that while all people are equal, some people are "more equal" than others.

    The idea that - rather than all mankind being born with the same basic rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness - some mankind have a) more rights than others and are thereby fit to rule over others; or b) fewer rights than others and are thereby undeserving of respect for their natural rights, is, in a word, demonic.

    I'll focus on the former for now, as we see it so frequently in practice.

    Those unprincipled individuals in elected office tend to take upon themselves a "creator" role - and the longer they spend in office, the greater grows that tendency and view of their own benevolence toward us, who, no longer their employers, have somehow become their wards.

    30 July 2009

    Thoughts on Allegations of Selfishness

    Image credit: Microsoft
    One of the most effective tactics for making someone feel guilty (presuming they have an active conscience) is to accuse them of being selfish.

    This works particularly well as a progressive closing salvo against free markets and low taxes... at least, it tends to hurt my feelings and shut me up, because "I'm not selfish" isn't much of an argument.

    So I've been thinking about that accusation and honestly evaluating my motives for advocating lower taxation and less government restriction and regulation, and my thoughts have solidified into these grounds:

    A healthy respect for each individual's natural rights: Life, Liberty, and Property (the fruits of our pursuit of happiness).

    This respect leads me to the following conclusion:

    21 July 2009

    Rights, Sociability, and Hate

    An article linked from Trying to Grok has opened up a whole (long) line of thinking for me. The statement that particularly caught my attention appeared in the author's original op-ed:
    I want Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Marxists, Independents and anyone with a halfway decent idea that doesn't incorporate hate.
    "That doesn't incorporate hate."

    Here's part of my comment at TTG, as a springboard to further thought:
    People can have hate, regardless of their political leanings.

    But when it comes to ideology, which seems more "hateful":

    a) Regardless of your feelings, you may not violate Person X's rights, nor may you join with others to do so in a collective fashion; or

    b) Regardless of your feelings or actions, if you have a material or immaterial advantage over Person X, then Person X may individually or collectively violate your rights to eliminate that inequality ?

    In this world, there are a number of things we can't force other people to do - eating, sleeping, and potty training among them.

    We can't forcibly change someone's opinion, and we can't force others to feel love - or not to feel hate.

    We have to figure those things out inside ourselves.

    But as a species, that's been hard for us to accept.

    13 July 2009

    While We're Squabbling over BIG Issues...

    We're being disarmed.

    Anything fishy about that?

    I was listening to a local radio host today, and he just said the same things - using almost exactly the same words - as I did a few minutes ago.

    Specifically, "With all of our other issues, govt focus on further disarming citizens ('switchblade' legislation) is AWFULLY fishy..."

    I just thought that was interesting... and worth pointing out publicly. Your thoughts?

    11 July 2009

    NEA on Education - MUST SEE VIDEO

    Astounding. You MUST see this.
    (I'm even more amazed that it survived on tape!)

    via this tweet from @cboyack - highly recommend following him; he really does find some of the coolest stuff!