May 24, 2011

Another Day. Another Survey.

Today has been a stomping on alligators kind of day, so it’s only fitting that I got another political survey/fundraiser in the mail. Since it is my firm belief that the only answer they give a rat’s ass about is the "How much money are you willing to send us?” question, and because they never provide adequate space to explain my answers (as if they cared to know) You get read my response to the:

County of Fairfield 2011 Republican Party Area Assessment

Part 1 Demographic/Political Proifile 
Note: I am not going to list all of the multiple choice for these questions - just the relevant ones.

1. Gender: Male

2. Age: Prefer not to Say (or think about.)

3. As a representative of Fairfield County, how would you describe yourself politically?
Don’t Know/Other. I have to check this because they didn’t include a libertarian option.

4. How do you typically receive your news?
In order of relevance: Internet, radio, TV, Newspapers

5. In general how long have you identified yourself as a Republican?
Other. I became a Republican in 1982. I was a Reagan libertarian. That I am still a registered Republican is somewhat shocking and due entirely to inertia. One of these days I’ll have to fix that.

6. Did you vote in the 2008 election?
Yes. I did not vote for The One!

7. Did you vote in the 2010 Election
Yes. Even though I knew my vote for the marginally less statist candidate with an R next to their name was essentially meaningless.

8. Do you believe the Republican gains in the 2010 election will help get America back on track?
No. I think Republican control of the the House is largely meaningless. I think this because so many of them are spineless political hacks. I think the best we can hope for is that the stalemate with the Democrat controlled Senate results in fewer new things being done to us by the government.

Part 2. Economic Issues Questions

9. Should we cancel any unspent money from the $787 "stimulus” bill from 2009 and use that money to pay down the debt?
Yes. And if there is any way we can take back some of the money that was spent, we should do that too.

10. In general, do you think more "stimulus” spending would fail to help our economy?
I think more stimulus spending would be every bit as successful as the previous stimulus spending. It would destroy more private sector jobs and grow the government. The present administration clearly sees these as good things. I could notdisagree more strongly.

11. Are you against the "card check” bill that would force more workers into unions?
Yes. If people want to hand over a chunk of their income to a union for whatever benefit they perceive they will gain, so be it. However, using a secret ballot in deciding whether or not to unionize minimizes the possibility of people being coerced to join a union they might not want.

12. Are you in favor of making all the "Bush Tax Cuts” of 2001 and 2003 permanent?
Yes. If that’s the best we can do. What I really would like to see happen is to make them bigger and then make them permanent.

14. Are you concerned that President Obama is not serious when he talks about how we need to rein in the out-of-control spending?
Concerned and convinced. When he calls tax deductions "spending in the tax code” serious has left the building. Actually, I think they could have just stopped that question at: Are you concerned that President Obama is not serious?

15. Do you support the moratorium on pork-barrel "earmarks” that Republicans are pushing?
No. I don’t think they are serious. I think they will find a way to do the same crap and just call it something else.

16. Do you support a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Cobstitution?
Actually, no. I think it’s a farce and way for them to dodge responsibility for making the kind of decisions they should be making anyway. It’s a fig leaf that allows them to say "don’t blame me” for that spending cut or tax hike. Besides, they almost all pretty much ignore what’s in the Constitution now, what makes anyone think they would live by it for this amendment?

17. Did you disapprove of all the bank bailouts and government ownership of provate companies?
Vehemently. Beyond disapproval, I was disgusted when Bush did it and utterly appalled at the extent to which the Obama administration expanded it and manipulated it for the benefit of their labor union and wall street patrons.

18. Generally is there too much government involvement in our free market system?
If you can’t see the inherent contradiction in the expression "government involvement in our free market system” I don’t think any amount of explanation for an answer of "Hell Yes" is worth the effort.

Part 3 Domestic Issues Questions

17. Do you support Republican efforts to repeal the government health care takeover ("ObamaCare”) that was shoved into law year by President Obama, Senate Leader Reid and Speaker Pelosi with zero Republican votes?
Yes, I do. But we should also not lose site of why they were able to do that. They were able to that because when the Republicans held both houses of Congress and the White House, they sucked. They spent money like (pre-Obama) democrats. They sucked so bad they got kicked out of power by a thoroughly disgusted electorate. If you guys hadn’t sucked so bad, none of this would have happened.

18. Should Senate Republicans continue working to de-fund "ObamaCare” and strip away the most damaging provisions until we have a new Republican majority that will vote for a full repeal of that law?
Yeah. Duh. You’re aware you need a Republican president to sign it right?

19. Should we pass free market health care reforms to reduce costs and expand access?
No. We should pass free market health care reforms, period.

20. Are you against federal "cap and trade” legislation that amounts to a national energy tax?
I would be against it even if it didn’t amount to a national energy tax.

21. Are you in favor of the ban on partial-birth abortion that became law in 2003?
I don’t have a clear answer on the issue of abortion, and that does trouble me. My problem is this: some time after the sperm meets the egg the result goes from being some cells to being a living entity that should be considered to have rights. I think once that line is crossed terminating a pregnancy is taking a life. I don’t know where to draw that line. I certainly don’t agree with the idea that the moment the sperm meets the egg the resulting cell has rights. Being the father of two children both born prematurely (6 and 5 weeks) via emergency c-sections I don’t accept the argument that a fetus doesn’t acquire rights until it is actually born either.

22. Should we pass a permanent ban of federal taxpayer funding of abortions?
Can’t be done. Nothing passed in Washington is ever permanent. We even undid an amendment to the Constitution. That said, I think  in the vast majority of cases, i.e.in any case in which carrying a child will not result in the death of the mother, abortion is an elective procedure. I believe the person exercising that choice should pay the bill.

24. Do you support federal protections for marriage as a union between one man and one woman?
No, I don’t think it’s necessary. I’ve been married for almost 17 years and I can say with absolute certainty that one wife is enough.

25. Do you believe in school choice measures as the best way to improve education?
I believe in anything that gives back some measure of individual liberty and individual responsibility. I say give people a choice and if they make a bad choice, it’s their responsibility to deal with it not mine.

26. Do you consider yourself a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms?
I am a strong believer in the rights of ownership of property. Guns are property and they are also a means with which to defend our other property when it is threatened.

27. Do you prefer judges who strictly interpret the law, as opposed to using the courts to push their personal social agenda?
Yeah I wish we had a few of those. If we could get five of them on the Supreme Court some day that would be nice.

Part 4 National Security/Foreign Policy issues questions

28. Should we do more to secure our border with Mexico?
What we’re doing now doesn’t seem to be helping so doing less wouldn’t make much sense would it?

29. Do you believe Bush-era measures like the USA PATRIOT ACT have helped keep us safe? 
I think parts of it have probably helped and other parts of it not so much. In the end I don’t know if was worth the threat to liberty. Someday, some administration will really push the limits of the act and then we will all know the answer.

30. Do you think we should reserve the right to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities by force?
What, like calling "Shotgun?” I think we should be prepared to do so. I hope we have the resolve to do so if it becomes necessary.

31. Do you believe America must remain a steadfast ally of Israel?
Yes I do. Israel is the closest thing to a functioning liberal democracy in the Middle East. They fight to preserve their lives and their liberty and we should fully support them. If the primitive tribalists at war with them stopped to examine what such liberty could mean to them, their terrorist leaders would be dead and buried. 

32. Do you support the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s mission of electing a new GOP Senate Majority?
Only if it means the majority is made up of a new GOP. If it means more go along to get along spineless wimps whose "principles” amount to getting re-elected and trying to make the left and the media like them, then no thanks. I’ve had about enough of your kind.

Question 33 is about how much money I want to give them. It includes a footnote telling me that $25 or more "automatically confers NRSC membership.” Well that seals it for me. Zero it is. Because if I sent them $24.99 I’m sure they wouldn’t get the hint.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 06:40 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


May 19, 2011

In Which I Sort Of Agree With Newt

First things first, I do not want Newt Gingrich to be the GOP nominee for President. I do not want this because I don't want Newt to be President and if it came down to The One vs Newt I would have to support Newt. And I would enjoy that even less than I did having to hope McCain beat The One last time.


Newt is the GOP old guard candidate. As much as he wants to paint himself as an outsider because his ethics problems forced him to resign many years ago, he is the guy the GOP nominates because it it his turn. He is this season's Bob Dole, or John McCain.

After his major gaffe when discussing the Paul Ryan Medicare reform plan the chances of me having to back him as a candidate are greatly diminished. I don't agree with his characterization of Ryan's plan as radical and a step too far (mostly because I think it doesn't go far enough). Nor to I believe a single word of the damage control spin Newt and his team have been trying to put on the issue.

And though I don't think it applies to the Ryan plan I have to agree with the sentiment he expressed when he said that conservative social engineering is just as bad as liberal social engineering. Given that this sentiment comes from a man who has in the past expressed support of the idea of an individual mandate in health insurance, I may believe the statement more than he does.

I don't like social engineering of any kind. I tend to prefer something more akin to social chaos theory. I believe that government should be constituted to maximize individual choice with minimal government control. When it comes to the federal government, I am a strong believer in the concept of Federalism. I believe there should be a minimum level of  federal control and states should have greater freedom to decide how they are governed. Constrained, as all government should be, by the Constitution.

This is why when I got an email this morning from Townhall.com urging me sign a Rand Paul petition supporting something called the National Right To Work Act, I said "No."

There are currently 22 states with Right to Work laws in place (Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina,  South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Wyoming) and 28 sates in which you can be forced to join a union if you want a job. I have absolutely no problem with that.

People who want to increase the prevalence of Right to Work should be focusing their efforts on changing the laws in those 28 states not working to impose a top-down one-size-fits-all federal solution. What the National Right to Work people should be focusing on federally is changing federal law so that an union controlled bureaucracy like the National Labor Relations Board can't tell a company like Boeing that they can't open a production facility in a Right To Work state if they so choose.

And it should not matter what Boeing's reasons are. It should not mater if in opening a facility in a right to work state they are eliminating jobs in a forced union state. (They're not, by the way. In addition to the jobs in the new facility they added 2,000 union workers in Washington State.) It shouldn't matter if they decided they are sick and tired of dealing with the union and wanted to move their entire production out of Washington. The federal government should not be allowed to tell them they cannot.

As for the Paul Ryan medicare reform plan here is where I think it didn't go far enough. It doesn't provide for enough individual choice. 

It keeps the existing medicare system intact for current and near future retirees. And while I understand the political realities behind that idea I think the system, the budget, and the nation would be better served by giving those people a choice. Say to that portion of the population for whom the Ryan plan would preserve the current defined benefit system that they can choose to stay in that system, or they choose the premium support alternative.

I applaud the Ryan plan for bringing level of individual choice and market activity into the picture. But why not give people that choice now. The faster we can put markets to work developing solutions, the sooner we can begin to dismantle government intrusion into individual medical choices and eliminate federal one-size-fits-all solutions to every problem.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 07:48 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


May 13, 2011

Job Hunting Fun

Every now and then as I continue to trudge along through OPERATION GET A JOB, I come a long a job description that is worthy of sharing with those of you may not have seen it because you're not busy scouring the World Wide Web trying to find a job as a graphic designer.


My favorites are the ones that present an incredible list of requirements for which they will pay very little. I found one today that is the epitome of the approach that they want really bright talented young people because they can do great stuff and you don't have to pay them a lot.

I knew from the headline on the job description that didn't have a shot at a position:

Hiring Generation Y and Z Graphic Designers!

Let's just say I'm older than that and leave it there.

But even without that. Even if the description of what they wanted wasn't peppered with comments like "We want the rookies, the entry level, the teens and twenty somethings that have the skills," and "Because almost everyone in the office is under 26," there is no way I was ever going to apply for a job with these people.

Why? The opening of the job description reads:

Are you awesome? We’re awesome! Let’s be awesome together!

There is no way in hell I would consider working for someone capable of writing that.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 12:31 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment


May 02, 2011

OBL ADT

Headline translation:


Osama bin Laden - Another Dead Terrorist


This is one of those times when I sort of wish I believed in the idea of heaven and hell.

A bullet to the head will have to suffice. I hope he saw it coming.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 06:22 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


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