Collateral Damage.. not so bad when its far away from home?

It seems that innocents are regularly killed along with the guilty, in the drone war on terror.  At times, these may even be innocents who were important to helping to fight terrorism in the hearts and minds of the people closest to the terrorist breading grounds, as described in this article at the NY Times.

I understand the need to “take out” terrorists and the reasons for using drones but I can’t help but wonder… how would people react if a serial killer was taken out at a moment of opportunity by a bomb that also killed nearby innocents in a US city… for the greater good?

… just something to consider.

Moving Past the Election, a Better Perspective

Some have been dramatically proclaiming that America is dead, liberty is dead, and so on.  While I can understand having such feelings at the spur of the moment after an election like that which we just witnessed, to dwell on those feelings and buy into them is self destructive and just plain wrong.

The reality is much more positive.  Liberty is not defeated.  We are alive.  We will fight on for the cause of liberty for ourselves, our children, our grandchildren, and beyond.

Please see the following posts by my good friend Chris Littleton…

This post (“America Is Not Dead”) is excellent in and of itself and includes a link to a prior post, titled “Obama Won, What Now?” which, itself, has a link to another great post titled “Obama Isn’t the Enemy”, from prior to the election.  I highly recommend reading all three.

Are there reasons to Vote for Romney over Obama?

I’m constantly deluged, from my Libertarian leaning friends, with lists of things that Obama and Romney have in common.

Okay fine.  I won’t argue against the point that they have more in common than I’d like.  But, I remind them that while apples and oranges are generally round-ish, have seeds, grow on trees, and may have many more things in common, it is the differences I focus on when choosing between them.

Obama vs RomneyBefore I go further, for perspective, I want readers to know I voted for Ron Paul in the primaries and, years ago, voted for Ross Perot, so I know what it is to support a 3rd party candidate.

Here are what I consider the top 4 reasons to vote for Romney over Obama even if, like me, you think Romney is far more of a Big Government Republican than you’re comfortable.

1. Supreme court justices:  Even if you’re deeply disappointed with the bottom line decision supported by Roberts in the Obamacare case, a read of the opinions by Roberts as compared to Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan, within that ruling, make it crystal clear that we can’t afford more Obama appointed justices.

Here are a couple quotes from Ginsburg, who’s opinion was joined by Sotomayor and Kagan;  for examples:

  1. “at the time the Constitution was framed, to ‘regulate’ meant, among other things, to require action.”
  2. “the Commerce Clause authorizes Congress to enact the minimum coverage provision”

In short, Ginsburg supports the notion that the Federal government really should have no bounds where it perceives need to act.

We truly cannot afford more Liberal justices like Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan.

2) Debt: Even with all the spending Bush did at the end, he “only” (there’s an ironic word) added about half a trillion per year to the debt. As awful as that was, Obama has added at over twice that rate (about 1.25 Trillion per year). Obama has added more in 4 years than Bush did in 8.  While there can be no guarantee, I just don’t believe Romney will spend at anywhere near the rate Obama has.

Our country desperately needs to slow the rate at which we’re taking on debt until we can implement real and major reforms.

Did you know that if we completely eliminated the military and the government, the entitlements plus interest on the debt is still more than we take in with taxes each year?  See here.. that’s a scary fact!

3) Obamacare:  Simply put, constitutional or not, Obamacare is bad law.  Key issues like tort reform and common sense solutions for pre-existing conditions have been proposed and can be put in place upon the repeal of Obamacare… which we simply can’t afford.

4) Energy:  I’m all for alternative energy but there’s no reason to kill our economy by attacking coal and oil before alternative energy solutions are more mature.  Obama will continue to attack American oil producers, even while supporting drilling for oil in Brazil.  If he cared about the environment, why is drilling for oil to be supported in Brazil?  Romney will support American energy production which will help our economy and create hundreds of thousands of jobs.

The bottom line…

If everything else is the same between Obama and Romney, the above are reason enough to vote Obama out this year by voting for Romney.  Even if you don’t agree with all of the above, if you agree with some of it, a vote for Romney is the logical choice.

To be clear, a Romney win is a small step in the right direction but is not the end of the fight.  Everyone should be contacting your local liberty groups like Libertas, Tea Parties, Ohio Liberty Coalition, etc. to learn about how to get involved in your local precincts to reform the Republican party from within and work toward a future where small-government candidates have a chance.

Please help remove Obama from office and give fledgling liberty groups a chance to grow, hopefully with your help, before we are buried in debt and unbridled government growth.. vote Romney.

Ohioans not voting for Romney better be sure…

Even though Ohio is now reportedly in a dead heat, many Ohio Libertarians and Libertarian Leaning Conservatives are still planning to either not vote, vote for Gary Johnson, or even write in Ron Paul.

Like them, I agree that Romney was not my first, second, or even third choice for the GOP candidate.  And, like them I’m upset about how Ron Paul supporters were, and are, treated by the GOP.  But, unlike them, I’m voting for Romney.

When I say I’m voting for Romney, many argue that I’m betraying my principles, ignoring the abuses of the GOP, and even allowing myself to be used, like a pawn, by Romney and the GOP.

But, I see it this way, point by point;

1) Ignoring My Principles:  Not Hardly.  To pretend that Gary Johnson can still win this year is beyond naïve.  Even more so for Ron Paul.   The reality is that Obama or Romney will win.  (I’ll buy the most annoying Libertarian I know (he knows who he is), lunch weekly for a year if Johnson or Paul win on November 6, 2012.)  So, when faced with the two actual choices, how am I abandoning my principles to vote against the person I see as farthest from them?  If Obama and Romney were identically bad on 99 points but Romney was better on 1 of 100, Romney is still the logical choice.

2) Ignoring the abuses of the GOP:  Seriously?  I’m just stunned by the people who reference being angry with the GOP as if that’s something new.  Duh!  Of course we don’t like the establishment GOP!  That’s exactly why we formed Tea Parties back in 09.  In fact, I helped organize the first very Tea Party rally on Cincinnati’s Fountain Square in 2009 and have been active in the Tea Party ever since.  If I liked the GOP or expected good things from them, I wouldn’t bother with the Tea Party.  Folks need to check their expectations and get real.

3) Romney and the GOP are using people like me:  Sorry, but they have it backwards when they say this.  It is I and people like myself who are using Romney and the current GOP establishment.  We have no illusions that Romney is the ultimate answer.  We just want to slow the bleeding while we continue to build liberty groups to the point where we can install the more liberty minded candidates we all want instead of these big government solution Keynesian types we’ve always been stuck with.  It is we who will discard the GOP old-guard big government types when they no longer represent the best available option.

For those wanting to make a statement vote, I ask you this:  What was the impact of those who made a statement vote in 2000, 04, or 08? (insert the sound of crickets here)

And, for those in Ohio, where we have a 50% chance of determining the election outcome (or in any battleground state): Are you really sure you’re willing for your individual vote to be the one that gives us four more years of Obama and 1 or 2 more Liberal Supreme court justices that we could have to live with for decades?  Better be sure…

Conservative & Liberal Weapons of Mass Destruction

Occasionally, I’m struck by what I think are compelling parallels between differing perspectives. Moments ago, I was lying awake in bed, suffering a bit of insomnia, when one such parallel occurred to me.

When it comes to both Conservative war-hawks and Liberal “welfare-hawks”, to coin a phrase, they often like to see only the “positive side” of the actions they advocate and are prone to disregarding, to the point of completely ignoring, the collateral damage they cause.

When a literal bomb is unleashed in war, sometimes a great good is accomplished if, for example, a mad man’s ability to engage in nuclear war is destroyed or a dictator who had practiced mass murder of his own people is “taken out” but the so-called collateral damage can be huge and is  always tragic. Most assuredly, the net effect on humanity can be positive if you can buy into the numbers game in which estimates of lives saved through removal of a threat far exceed the actual lives destroyed in the effort. And such benefit is most clear where the threat is most grave and imminent. But not always.  Many of us, along side those we refer to as Liberals, would argue that the threat must be clear and great before we allow for such heartbreaking destruction of life… and I believe that any among us would be reduced to sobs if we witnessed, in person, the “collateral damage” of the bombs that continue to be dropped in our names.

But, meanwhile, another form of devastation is being carried out in the name of “good.”  Liberal welfare hawks refuse to consider the collateral damage done by their social programs, and Obamacare is a prime example. Liberals like to cite the good they see in getting more healthcare to everyone, not even seeing that there is a big difference between providing coverage and providing actual healthcare (as will be evident when doctor shortages are exasperated).

Still, yes, perhaps some good is accomplished.. Yet, it is now the Liberals who refuse to consider the collateral damage that results because of the means by which they choose to accomplish that goal.

They turn a blind eye to the loss of liberties. They’re blind to the untenable additional financial burden on a government that is already borrowing nearly half of what is spends. They say just end the wars to pay for it but don’t bother doing the math and pretend that we never ran deficits without war, they pretend that welfare and entitlement spending are not crippling our economy. They’re blind to the implications of expanding the reach and power of the Federal government into the intimacies of our everyday lives. They’re blind to even long held religious liberties being trampled.  And, as ever, they’re blind to the moral hazard and individual discouragement of creating greater individual dependence on the government.  I could go on…

In the vernacular of war, there is such a thing as “proportional response” wherein one attempts to keep the level of force used to no more than that which is warranted and necessary to, in part, reduce collateral damage. In the case of Obamacare, a weapon of mass destruction was unleashed when, perhaps, a small series of surgical strikes were much more appropriate.

For both sides of the coin we must always carefully weigh our decisions and remember; the ends don’t always justify the means… or at least not “any means.”

Circa 400BC vs. Today… Has anything changed?

It has been said, “the more things change, the more they stay the same”.

This line came to mind while I was recently listening to an audio book on philosophy (“The Story of Philosophy” by Will Durant) where Plato (~428-348 BC) was quoted as saying that, in a Democracy,

“to get a doctrine accepted or rejected it is necessary only to have it praised or ridiculed in a popular play.

Now, enter a recent story talking about how a PR firm has been hired with your tax dollars and with their plan being to put pro Obamacare storylines on popular TV shows like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Modern Family.”

In over 2,000 years, how little has really changed when it comes to the nature and minds of people.  What hope do we have when a large portion of the populace is so easily swayed by the views advanced by popular entertainment?

I ask you to pledge to be a well informed and educated voter, and to help inform and educate others where you can.  Subscribe to your local Tea Party and/or other Liberty groups’ email distributions, such as Ohio Liberty Coalition, Americans For Prosperity, Tea Party Patriots, etc. and read the Constitution, the founding fathers biographies, the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers… anything you can.  And, if you’re like me and don’t have as much reading time as you’d like, make better use of your commutes with audio books.

A quote from Jefferson also comes to mind;

“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”