January 28, 2012

The Problem With Romney

I have repeated it often, but I'll say it again. I don't like any of the current Republican candidates for President, but I like them all better than the socialist in the White House today.

Of all the GOP candidates, I have particular disdain for Mitt Romney the reason for which was perfectly encapsulated in the most recent of the endless series of primary debates.

Rick Santorum, about whom I remain utterly apathetic, went hard after Romney for RomneyCare and its individual mandate. I like that Santorum went after this issue. It should be a huge red flag (with a hammer and sickle?) for every conservative voter who thinks of Romney as "electable."

Santorum gets to heart of what I have said about Romney all along:

"Think about what that means going up against Barack Obama ... You are going to claim [about the Affordable Care Act], ‘Well, it doesn’t work and we should repeal.’ And he’s going to say, ‘Wait a minute, governor. You said it works well in Massachusetts.’ Folks—we can’t give this issue away in this election. It is about fundamental freedom ... It’s going to be on your ballot as to whether there should be a government mandate here in Florida. According to Governor Romney, that’s OK.”

Here's a video of the exchange.

The problem with Romney:

"First of all it's not worth getting angry about."

Apparently Mitt doesn't view government mandated heath insurance as an issue of fundamental freedom. Apparently he doesn't see de facto government control of the entire healthcare and health insurance industries as an issue of fundamental freedom. Apparently he's just fine with all that. Apparently he has missed that whole thing we call the Tea Party which consists of a very large number of voters who are very angry about ObamaCare and its erosion of liberty.

He opposes and pledges to repeal ObamaCare because it plays well in a speech. Not because he has any philosophical or moral opposition to the idea of ObamaCare. His argument in this response that 98% of the people in Massachusetts already had insurance so not much changed is a meaningless dodge of the issue.

First of all if 98% of the state's population had insurance, why enact legislation that infringes the liberty of all, to deal with the 2%? 

But most importantly, Mr. Romney, it is not a matter of math and percentages. It is a matter of Individual Liberty. And if you don't see that as something worthy of getting angry about, you're no better than the man you seek to replace.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 10:15 AM | No Comments | Add Comment

January 20, 2012

What if The GOP Loses?

In the wake of the Tea Party limited government wave in the 2010 election the GOP primaries are a bit of a disappointment. 

Romney is a supporter and advocate of government run healthcare. That he thinks, for now, it should be the states running healthcare and not the federal government is a difference without a distinction. And I say for "for now" because the man seems entirely bereft of core principles.

Gingrich is an unprincipled, ethically and morally challenged bombast who though he occasionally makes sense, just as often leaves me scratching my head asking WTF? He also likes government solutions to everything, as long as they're his government solutions.

Rick Santorum is a party politician. That is all he is. He is not a leader. He is not a thinker. He is a politician. In my book that makes him slime.

Crazy old Ron Paul? I like his fiscal policy of don't spend any money you don't have. Unfortunately that same idea is the core of his foreign policy and it leads him to some outright looney positions. Positions that seem to be based entirely on short-term budget savings, but with no reference to what those policies might mean in the real world.

Republicans have managed to narrow the field down to this entirely uninspiring foresome, along the way reminding me of why I am not card carrying member of the Republican Party.

To borrow phrase from another GOP also ran, here's my unconventional endorsement. I unabashedly and whole heartedly support whomever the GOP nominates to run against The One.

I will support Romney despite RomneyCare. I will support Gingrich despite everything. I will support the party politician Rick Santorum. I will support Crazy Old Ron Paul despite his misguided isolationism.

There is simply too much at stake. Another four years of an administration that rules with complete disdain for its subjects and utter disregard for the Constitution is something from which we as a nation might never recover.

If The One wins reelection there will be no chance of repealing the federal takeover of healthcare. 

If the example of Kelo v New London is any indication we cannot necessarily rely on the Supreme Court to uphold the Constitution and protect individual liberty from the rapaciousness of government's quest for power.

ObamaCare includes not only the liberty killing "individual mandate" but panels of government bureaucrats whose job will be to review healthcare treatments and determine if they are cost effective. Government will be involved with, if not directly making, every healthcare decision for every individual in the country.

Those individuals, all of us, will have no say in who is making those decisions. The One has clearly shown his complete disregard for the advice and consent authority of the Senate. The Constitution clearly states that one house of the Congress cannot be in recess without the consent of the other. The House of Representatives did not consent to a Senate recess over the Christmas and New Year holidays, therefore Constitutionally the Senate was not in recess. The One decided that since that interfered with his wishes he would simply ignore the law and the Constitution and make "Recess Appointments." The Constitution be damned he will have his way.

We cannot survive four more years of a lawless and unconstitutional government.

I don't have a high level of confidence that electing any of the current GOP hopefuls would result in reducing the scope and reach of the federal government. I would be pleasently surprised if they managed to stop its growth. Much more likely we will see what we always see, that once elected their need to go along to get along will result in merely a slowing of the rate of government expansion. 

A second term for The One, however, would mean full steam ahead and don't look back at "what it once was like in America when men were free."

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 07:06 PM | No Comments | Add Comment

January 07, 2012

Virtually Sailing Around the World

Leg two of the Virtual Volvo Ocean race is complete. Cape Town South Africa to Abu Dhabi.

At times I was feeling poorly about my prospects. It is hard sometimes to pick a strategy and stick to it while your position in the fleet keeps getting worse and worse. But there is a valuable lesson to be learned in keeping to a long-term plan instead of going for the quick easy short term gain. Still, doubt creeps in when you see yourself fall to 48,000th place!

I stopped looking at leg rank and forced myself to focus on the weather, both current and forecast.  THe point was not to be as close to the lead as possible sailing past Madagascar, but to be as close as possible to the lead at the finish line.

I knew for the start of the whole virtual adventure that winning a leg was probably not in the cards. I don't have the time to do nothing but virtually sail around the world. I wanted to finish as many legs as possible and the whole even in the top 10%. It's a goal that keeps getting easier, in part because more people keep joining the race!

My finish in Abu Dhabi? 9,089 with a total of 164,478 boats competing.

My current standing after two legs: 14,594. I'd love to get this number under 10k.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 09:40 AM | No Comments | Add Comment

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