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Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Politics of Steve

My political thoughts and leanings...

Government's Role...In General - I want the government to more or less stay the hell out of my life. In fact, I think it needs to really just do three things:
  1. Protect me from foreign invaders.
  2. Protect me from you (for example, prevent you from opening up a pig farm outside my bedroom window).
  3. Protect me from organizations what want to screw with me (such as monopolies) where otherwise I would have no recourse or ability to effectively fight back.
Gun Control...I think that law abiding citizens should have the right to own guns. I don't think that they have the right to superior firepower though. Want to own a pistol? Go for it. Same thing for any hunting rifle or shotgun out there. Machine guns? Nope. Same thing for a bazooka, flame-thrower, shoulder-fired missile, etc. This falls under the category of the government protecting me from you...I don't mind if you have a weapon, but I do mind if you have a weapon that can blow up my house.

Abortion...This is a personal decision between a woman, her partner, and their God. The government needs to stay the hell out of it. I find strict abortion controls to be ultimate example of an over-intrusive government. For the record, I am not in favor of abortion on demand in most instances, but that's my personal belief, and I don't feel that my personal belief (or that of any politician) should be a matter of public policy.

The Death Penalty...Another example of a government that becomes overly intrusive. Seriously, do we want a government to be able to put people to death? Murders should be put in work Alaska...raising reindeer herds (or something equally horrible).

Healthcare...Healthcare is not a right, but I do think it is an obligation on the part of both government and individuals. Government needs to make sure that people are not getting screwed by folks who want to make enormous profits via sick people. I'm sorry, but an insurance company earning a 15% ROE while denying coverage to people who need it is just simply wrong. Conversely, individuals have to have "skin" in the healthcare game. That means, in part, that everyone has to pay something for healthcare coverage, period. I don't care if you earn $5,000 a year...part of that $5K needs to go towards paying for medical insurance. It's time for the free-rides to end. NO MORE FREEBIES.

Immigration...The federal government has a legal and moral obligation to protect our borders, period. Immigration made this country great, and I have no sympathy for the modern version of the "No-Nothings"...but...we are a nation where we expect people to play by the rules. Part of those rules include the notion that there is a process for becoming a citizen, and a failure to vigorously enforce immigration laws is a slap in the face of everyone who followed the rules to legally immigrate to this country.

"English Only"...Let's be honest here: there are more than a few folks in the "English Only" crowd who simply don't like people who are different than them. That may be offensive to some, but I think that we all know it's true. That noted, it's time for the government to say that official business in this country should be conducted in English. I have no problem with anyone speaking any language that they want, but as Americans, we all need to have a common ground for communication.

Censorship...It's time for the government to get out of the "deciding what is in good taste" business. This is yet another example of big government gone too far. Now does this mean I want S&M videos playing on CBS at 8pm? No, but conversely, it's rather stupid that a TV show can depict someone getting killed at 8pm but God forbid they a have a character utter the word "shit". Let's set very, very broad and consistent guidelines and leave it at that. All too often censorship is more about the personal standards of politicians and their interest groups than it is about anything else. For me, while I think Rush Limbaugh is a drug-addicted, hypocritical idiot (knocking Al Gore for his service in ole Rushbo dodged the draft via a boil on his ass), I'll defend his right to speak to his mindless automatons .

Taxation...It's time for the government to "de-complicate" the tax code. Let's move to a flat (or flatter...say two rate tax system) or consumption based taxation. I earn more than some, so I don't have a problem paying my fair share. I do, however, have a problem with someone who earns more than me getting enormous refunds because they can claim all manner of tax loopholes.

Spending...Governments need to live withing their means, period. NO MORE unbalanced budgets, ever. If the government wants to do something to make the healthcare system in this country more effective, then I'm all for long as they pay for it. The bottom line is that the laws of in not spending more than you have...should apply equally to governments as well as people.

Religion and Politics...Nothing pisses me off more than people who try to make the point that the separation of church and state exists only to protect religions from government, but not governments from religion. In point of act, that street runs both ways. This country was founded by people who wanted religious freedom, so the notion by some that the United States is a "Christian" nation shows nothing but contempt for those came here in the first place. It doesn't matter that the people who wrote the Constitution were "Christians"...what matters is that they had the foresight to demand that personal religious views were not meant to be tied to the hip of public policy. Yes, there is a role for religion in this country, as it forms the moral fabric of individuals; however that moral fabric should provide guidance, not hard and fast direction, to those making public policy.


Anonymous said...

I am not sure I fully agree with you here, but for the sake of argument let us assume what you have written is true.

It does not therefore follow that the Church has no right to compell the government on matters it feels important, or that the Church is not allowed to speak out against those things which it percieves to be unjust and immoral.

For example the people will claim "You darcen't speak out against abortion becasue of 'Seperation of Church and State'" ironically will DEMAND that the Church speak on on the "right to health care" or the "right of people to have housing" or the "right of people to immigrate" or whatever social justice issue happens to be in vogue and trendy at the time.

To these people I will often say "So let me get this straight: the Church IS NOT allowed to speak on the fundamental right to life which is garunteed to ALL not by government fiat, but by GOD, but we ARE allowed to speak on whatever social justice issue happens to be trendy at the time? Why does this 'Seperation of Church and State' matter only when speaking about abortion?"

Finally, I do not believe the founders of the country intended use the Constitution to purge all displays of religious belief from the public.

Father Dave Bechtel

Anonymous said...

By the way Steve- I am not in favor of killing- but I think the government should stay out of that too.

When you write what you write on the subject of Abortion, you forget that mothers do NOT have the right to murder their children. Tell me: do you feel the government should get involved if a mother tries to murder her child outside the womb? If so, what is the different INSIDE the womb? Why should the government forbid a mother to murder her child outside the womb, but all bets are off INSIDE the womb? Why does it magically become the mother's "choice" when talking about INSIDE the womb? What is the difference in your mind?

Also Steve, with all due respect-you can't claim to be against abortion, and at the same time believe a women "has the right to choose" Such is an oxymoron. It just doesn't work. If you believe the "choice" should be left up to the mother, then you are by defintion pro-abortion.

Anonymous said...

Woops- sorry-- I forgot to sign my name. The above comment is mine. You probably could have guessed that, but I wanted to leave no doubt.

Father Dave Bechtel