January 29, 2011

Liberty Lost Due to Stupidity

The state of New York wants to strip its citizens of a little bit of their liberty in their never ending quest to remove every aspect of individual responsibility from people's lives.

Based purely anecdotal accounts of distracted pedestrians being injured or killed a New York State legislator has introduced a bill banning the use of electronic devices while crossing a street. Illustrating perfectly the governmental impulse to chip away at liberty for any reason they can imagine.

Here's the bottom line as I see it. You're walking down the sidewalk and you come to an intersection. At that intersection you are about to step into the street. You know, I hope, that the street is where cars and trucks and busses are. If you are stupid enough to step out into a street without knowing what's coming, that's really too bad for you. It should not be an excuse for further government intervention in everyone else's life.

Like everyone, I am occasionally distracted while walking or driving. For me the distraction is most often that I am lost in thought. I hope the day doesn't come when little by little they have successfully banned that.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 09:55 AM | No Comments | Add Comment

January 20, 2011

Sending a Message

Yesterday the House of Representatives voted to repeal the ObamaCare federalization of the healthcare industry. Many on the left have derided the vote as purely symbolic and a waste of time since it will not get passed in the Senate. In fact it will likely not even be considered by the Senate.

I heartily approve of the House vote for a number of reasons. First I am adamantly opposed to even further government intrusion into healthcare. Before the 2,700 page bill passed I thought the government was too involved and in many ways responsible for most of the problems they claim they were trying to fix.

Second, it sends a message. Actually multiple messages. It sends a message to the American people who voted out large numbers of Democrats and voted in large numbers of Republicans in the expectation that they would do something to reduce overreaching expansion of the government - starting with healthcare. It sends a message that "Yes, we heard you. Yes, we will represent you." It also sends a message to the now slimmer Democrat majority in the Senate. Even if they kill the bill in committee they are putting themselves on the record opposing the will of a significant majority of the voting population. The House Republican majority has put Harry Reed and Company between a rock and a hard place. There are 23 Democrat held Senate seats up for re-election in 2012. The odds of them maintaining majority control of the Senate are very, very slim. No matter what they do to not pass the ObamaCare repeal will be used against them in the next election.

Even if the decided to throw The One under his own bus by passing the repeal and forcing him to veto, they would lose a good deal of their far left base that already doesn't like ObamaCare that much because it doesn't go far enough. Is it any wonder the left wants us to think the vote doesn't matter?

Lastly I like it for all the false reasons the left are using to try to discredit it. I have a certain fondness for tilting at windmills.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 11:18 AM | No Comments | Add Comment

January 18, 2011

A Class Above Us All

I now it's getting a little dusty around here lately. In fact for the last 18 months or so Hold the Mayo has been rather neglected. For those of you who found some enjoyment in reading here over the years enough to have possibly missed it, I'm terribly sorry.

(Also, you should get out more!)

The waning of this site has largely coincided with a special project I call "OPERATION GET A JOB." Sadly, that is still an ongoing endeavor. That's not say I haven't been busy. There's the three days a week of freelance temp work for a VERY large corporation. Fairly pedestrian work on largely internal communications, but it provides a steady base of income. On top of that there is my own business that is doing OK too. All of that, plus the regular life stuff, keeps me busy.

But busy isn't really why I haven't written much here. It goes back to something I wrote describing this blog a long time ago; that my posts tend to fall into two distinct categories, This Amuses Me, and This Pisses Me Off. I don't know if its the stress of life right now, or the state of the world, or both but finding things for This Amuses Me is a challenge. As for This Pisses Me Off, there seem to be a lot of those, but again I don't know if its me or the world. I do know that mustering the energy for a good rant here is difficult. It's easier to utter a few obscenities at the radio,TV or computer screen and move on.

But sometimes though I come across something that I feel compelled to share. Something that moves me beyond shouting into the wind and motivates me to tilt at windmills here once again. Lately, most of them are the MoveOn emails forwarded me by Jack. You remember Jack? Today I'm here not because of something Jack sent me.  Today I'm motivated to write by a story I found via InstaPundit. A story that you can pretty safely assume will not be filed under "This Amuses Me."

It's a short article on The Hill that you should really read. But the quote from Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), with emphasis added, that started my typing is:

We’ve had some incidents where TSA authorities think that congresspeople should be treated like everybody else,” he said. “Well, the fact of the matter is, we are held to a higher standard in so many other areas, and I think we need to take a hard look at exactly how the TSA interact with members of Congress.”

I'm not really sure the category "This Pisses Me Off" is quite strong enough to cover my reaction to this quote. In a sense I think the arrogant S.O.B. got it right in the second part of the quote - though not, I think, in the sense that he meant it. We should take a hard look at how the TSA interact with members of Congress. The TSA should subject members of Congress to every form of screening a mere citizen might face. They should get the naked x-ray (please though, don't share the pictures) and the full body pat-down. Make it as humiliating and degrading as allowed under the TSA rules. If a few of them miss their flights because they are stuck in security, so be it.

If we have reached a point where a member of Congress can make such a statement, and it's not part of a comedy skit, then clearly the Tea Party and the results of the mid-term election were not enough. The voices calling for limited government and a return to our founding principals have to be louder and more persistent.

The entire time I have been writing this, there has bee a faint echo of words rattling around my subconscious trying desperately to break through the outrage and make themselves heard. Words much greater than anything I could ever conceive. Words written for another purpose in another time that now provide a much stronger answer to Clyburn's words than I can. The words belong to Abraham Lincoln.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 10:34 AM | No Comments | Add Comment

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