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It’s the Liberty, Stupid

Mark Steyn at NRO hits the health care nail squarely on the head in a piece published yesterday. What I’ve been screaming since the debate began (and goes along great with my New Independence Movement concept) he has a much better way of saying calmly and to great effect: That we concede the noble high-ground if we allow the debate to be about anything other than liberty and responsibility. I remember from history class that this Nation fought a war for that once. From Steyn:

How did the health-care debate decay to the point where we think it entirely natural for the central government to fix a collective figure for what 300 million freeborn citizens ought to be spending on something as basic to individual liberty as their own bodies?

Too much in this great piece for me to cut-and-paste the good stuff. You MUST read the whole thing.

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from HQ)

Goodbye, 95% of Americans!

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 11:23 pm - August 2, 2009.
Filed under: Economy,Obama Voter's Remorse

Well, this shouldn’t surprise anybody (who’s been paying attention and never believed the HYPE in the first place):

2 Obama officials: No guarantee taxes won’t go up

– Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from HQ)

Wading Into the Birther/Anti-Birther Swamp

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 9:45 pm - August 2, 2009.
Filed under: Blogging

Perhaps I should never have blogged on this issue.  It’s not one I think about very much.  About the time I first heard about the issue of Obama’s missing birth certificate, I had also read the Republican Governor of Hawai’i, Linda Lingle, had seen the certificate which showed that Barack Obama was indeed born in the Aloha State.  As far as I was concerned, the case was closed.

But, then, this week, it seemed that each passing day I checked the various blogs and news-sites I read, there were more posts on the “birther” issue.  The U.S. House even voted on the issue.  So, I hacked out a quick post, basically echoing what a variety of bloggers on both sides of the political aisle were saying–that the president should release the certificate so we could move on.

(Also wondering if poll DailyKos commissioned triggered the latest round of discussion on this issue.)

Yet, some of our critics, apparently since I raised the issue and am a conservative, put words into my mouth so they could criticize them.  They acted as if I shared the view of the “birthers” that the president was not born in the USA, even though I said the exact opposite:

I believe Barack Obama was indeed born in the United States and has met the constitutional requirements to serve as President 

Not just that, I had written (in the very post):  “Release the Birth Certificate to allow the focus to return to [the president’s] agenda.”  In short, I only posted on the issue to say we needed to move on.

So, please feel free to criticize my posts, but when you do so, at least show me the courtesy of addressing the points I make, not the ones you want me to have made so you can attack me as representative of the rabid right winger you relish reproving.

Gunman Attacks Gay Center in Israel, Murdering Three

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 2:58 am - August 2, 2009.
Filed under: Gays in Other Lands

A gunman dressed in black “burst into the basement of the Tel Aviv Gay and Lesbian Association” Saturday night, opening “fire on a support group for gay teenagers.” He fled the scene.

Not only have police “have launched a massive manhunt for the perpetrator“, but

Large numbers of emergency vehicles [have also] converged on the scene, and patrol cars could be seen scouring the area for the gunman. A police crime scene investigation unit gathered evidence from the scene and a gag order was later placed on the details of the investigation.

It is truly a sad day and reminder that no matter how open a society may be, how tolerant it is, hatred still surfaces.  Israel has been the most tolerant nation in the Middle East for gay people, with gay Palestinians fleeing to the Jewish state for refuge, a place where they can live openly.   Note also how speedily Israeli authorities have reacted to the crime, rushing to save the lives of the victims and to search for the perpetrator.

Even in such an open society, prejudice persists, particularly among the extreme Orthodox.  At least one of the religious parties has condemned the attack.  In a statement, the Shas faction condemned any use of violence:

The attacker must be located quickly and judged severely. Murder naturally contradicts the way of Torah and any harm is against the religion of Israel.

At least some religious extremists seek to punish the murderers of gay people.  And condemn this vile deed.

Words cannot convey my own sadness right now when I think that people just like, just like I was, not all that many years ago were murdered in a place they sought refuge as they were only beginning to come to terms with their difference from the social norm.  Where they had hoped to find a safe environment where they could be open about themselves, they were instead subject to the worst form of barbarism, cold-blooded murder.

We grieve for these young people who lost their lives and pray with their familes.

Aquino’s Passing Reminds us of a Reagan Accomplishment

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 2:40 am - August 2, 2009.
Filed under: Politics abroad,Ronald Reagan,Strong Women

Given all the issues on my plate and my departure for San Francisco tomorrow (I’m blogging before bed Saturday night in LA), I won’t have much time to blog on the passing of former Filipiino President Corazon Aquino, described by the AP as “the beloved democracy icon who swept away a dictator and inspired nonviolent resistance to autocratic rule.

What the AP doesn’t mention was how the Reagan Administration helped her achieve that status, arranging for the exile of Ferdinand Marcos, the pro-American dictator she ousted in a popular election in 1986.  Marcos had claimed he won, yet few outside of his circle believed him.   With hundreds of thousands protesting the result and the military divided, some then feared civil war might break out.   (Remind you of something else in the news recently?)

Alas that the AP is reluctant to report the support the Gipper gave to democracy, a legacy which endures today in the Phillipines.  Let us hope that with the passing of Mrs. Aquino. Reagan’s successor takes note of the near quarter-century of democracy in this Asian archipelago and learns from one of the Gipper’s many successes.

And let us all remember the courage and principle of this late, great lady, Corazon Aquino.

Waxman Eager to Mandate Abortion Coverage in Health Care Bill

Of the issues that I have thought a lot about over the years, I have blogged the least about abortion.   My views on the issue have been in constant flux.  I used to consider myself a pro-lifer, having twice participated in the March for Life when I lived in DC.

Perhaps, as part of my general libertarian lurch while living in the Golden State, I have found myself moving into the pro-choice camp, though still favoring certain restrictions on the practice.  To be sue, the arguments of the pro-choicers did little to sway me; they’re not very good at making the case for the cause they champion.  It was more my own experiences, listening to women who had had abortions.  Some, I grant, had them just to dispose of what had become an inconvenience (I was not very sympathetic with these women), others because they bore a child which, amniocentesis revealed, had severe deformities which made Down Syndrome seem normal by comparison.

I still struggle with the issue and don’t think I’ll ever reach a conclusion with which I feel entirely comfortable.

While I reluctantly* believe that the state should allow abortions in certain circumstances, I remain sympathetic to a good many pro-lifers, aware of the sincerity of their advocacy.  Given their deeply held views, given even the ambivalence of many who struggle with the issue, I join them in supporting the Hyde Amendment, barring the federal government from funding abortions.

I would daresay a majority of Americans support that provision, even those of us who do not want to ban all abortions.  And for this reason, my meddlesome Congressman Henry Waxman seems to have created an issue which can help bring libertarian-inclined Republicans and social conservatives together.   Indeed, he may help make abortion part of the glue which holds the GOP together.

You see, as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Waxman “invoked House rules” to defeat an already-passed amendment to his health care bill barring that measure from imposing requirements for coverage of abortion.  After apparently strong arming Tennessee Democrat Bart Gordon to change his vote, the provision was defeated.

Without this amendment, it is entirely possible that the government could mandate coverage for abortion.  Tell that to the American people.  You’re going to get a lot of the ambivalent pro-choicers eager to join forces with pro-lifers in opposition to this legislation–and in outrage against those who would try to get others to pay for a practice they abhor.

* (more…)

“Birthers” & Their Critics

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 1:36 am - August 2, 2009.
Filed under: Blogging,Obama Watch

Holding views similar to those of blogging law professor William Jacobson, I believe the “birther” story has released critical mass in large part because Obama supporters want to paint the President’s critics with a broad brush, as if we’re all extremists.  Why else would left-wing extremist website (DailyKos) have commissioned a poll on this topic for unhinged leftists to wave around in much the same manner as some of the birthers wave around their facts?

One reason the “birthers” have gained so much traction in America is that while promising a new era of transparency, Barack Obama has been less than forthcoming about his own past, misrepresenting his relationship with William Ayers, refusing to release his transcripts from Occidential College or Columbia University and offering evasive explanations about his youthful years in Indonesia.  He could clear up a lot if he, as past presidents have done, just released the various documents.

In my initial post on the topic, I noted that I was impressed with the awarenes many “birthers” have of the issue which so animates them.  They, like our reader Charlene in commenting to my post, marshal a good deal of eividence when I argue that they’re making much ado about nothing.

Charlene does, however, raises one issue which makes me wonder if maybe I’ve been wrong to dismiss this issue altogether.  If there were nothing to hide then why would Obama spend nearly three-quarters of a million dollars keeping the records secret?  Another reader, Silverwolf, contends there are two camps of birthers, considering himself part of the second, those believing “there is something on the birth certificate that would be rather embarrassing to be found out.”  That notion makes a lot of sense.  Ashpenaz has a theory what that supposedly embarrasing fact might be.

And while the DailyKos poll suggests a majority of Republicans falls in the first camp, the real question for those on the left who want to use that number to trash Republicans is this:  if so many rank-and-file Republicans support the birthers, why aren’t leading GOP politicians making more of this issue?  Can these lefties identify any national Republican who has supported the birthers?  Are they aware that no House Republican voted against the resolution declaring Obama a native of Hawai’i?

My Congressman voted “present.”  Maybe he did it to honor the president’s legislative record in Illinois.  Or maybe he’s a closet birther.

FROM THE COMMENTS:  Sonicfrog reminds me why I had long ago lost interest in this issue:   “Yet, when the Republican Governor of Hawaii Linda Lingle declares that she’s seen the original and declares Obama a natural born citizen, well, this inconvenient fact is shrugged off.”  Believing this good woman, I paid the issue no heed until it was all over the blogosphere this past week.

Perhaps, I shouldn’t have blogged on this, given the number of our perennial critics who have faulted me for saying the exact opposite of what I actually said.  But, then again, this isn’t the first time, they’ve put words into my mouth so they can fault me for saying them.