This category contains 9 posts

New Political Party?

Claiming that ” ‘conservative’ and ‘Republican’ are now mere team names that have lost all meaning,” pseudo-Conservatives are trying to start a new movement, possibly a new Party. However, their #PrinciplesFirst aren’t Conservative.

The Principles have at least two fatal flaws.

1. They’re based on man-made law & artificial designations of “persons”& “citizens,” not on inalienable rights endowed on “all men” (humans).

The Constitution of the United States is an unique, exemplary document. But its strength and legitimacy depends on the concept of inalienable rights of humans that are not endowed by laws, men or any powers that be of this world. The Constitution can be amended. Human rights can only be infringed.

2. The list also errs in supporting “Each and every family unit – regardless of its shape.”

Would these families include those shaped by polygamy? Why not?

The Republican Platform can be downloaded for reading, here.

The Platform confirms most of the items in the Principles First list. However, the Preamble of the Republican Platform is clear on its origin:

“”We affirm — as did the Declaration of Independence: that all are created equal, endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

And equally clear on the”shape” of the family:

“”It is the foundation of civil society, and the cornerstone of the family is natural marriage, the union of TT man and one woman.””

Correct these errors, and the “new” Principles would be indistinguishable from that of the Republican Party Platform. The effort should be to hold our elected officials to the Platform, to strengthen our Party, maintain and expand our Seniority in the Senate, win both back in the House. It’s certainly not Conservative to tear down. #FirstPrinciples

About Those RPT Convention Votes and Immigration

Raise your hand if you were one of the delegates to the Republican Party of Texas Convention who voted for the plank but didn’t have a clue what you were voting for. I didn’t think any of you did. I certainly knew what I was voting for.

In case you were incompetent or driven by ugly emotions when you voted on the Platform – and for those who weren’t there but are hearing from the media and even some Republicans: Here’s the Immigration Plank we voted into the Platform: and here’s my review of the controversy on the floor of the Convention:

The press has been running an increasing number of articles about the crisis in our State resulting in the arrest of over a 1000 people a day in the Rio Grande Valley alone – 148,000 in 7 months, compared with 60,000 caught in Arizona. Over 47,000 of the Rio Grande detainees were minor boys and girls, some as young as 8 years old, since last October. 75% are from El Salvador, Guatemala, and the Honduras, countries other than Mexico.

I don’t fully support only two of the many points in the new plank. For one thing, I’m not convinced about ending in-state tuition for young kids who are brought here before 15 years old who go on to graduate from our high schools. Although I do worry that we are drawing those minors numbered above. In addition, I’m concerned about new Federal data banks and the usefulness of E-verify.

However, I agree with the bulk of the Plank, especially the call for a secure border. I agree with the suggested cooperation between law enforcement branches and relieving ranchers from the fear that they and landowners will face crippling civil suits if a trespasser is harmed on their land while in the country illegally.

I’ve seen some confusion about this line: “Contiguous physical barrier coupled with electronic, infrared and visual monitoring.” That’s support for a fence that’s actually on the border where the two countries meet, rather than miles in. It’s not a call for a continuous fence all along the border, but one where it’s needed and supplemented by actual people and technology where they are needed.

My main sticking point was the Committee report’s appearance of asking for a “provisional visa program,” that apparently started with “the participant’s” application from within the country by people here illegally. That’s why I decided that the plank is a good compromise for our Party. I strongly approve of the statement that “Any form of Amnesty should not be granted, including the granting of legal status to persons in the country illegally”

Edit: cleaned up grammar and typos, 6:22 AM 6/10/14 – BBN

Why Ethics? |

If there’s no such thing as right and wrong or good and evil, why are we arguing in the first place?

If you crack the egg of a bird on the Endangered Species List, it won’t matter that the bird was a fetus or embryo. You’ve still broken Federal law. Why is the species of an (unhatched) animal so clear cut under law, but human embryos have no protection under current law? Legal follies such as this underscore our lack of seriousness and consistency when contemplating our children of tomorrow. My concern is that we are not teaching them why they should treat us kindly, much less giving them a good example.

Bioethics dilemmas and most political disputes may seem to be new problems, but they’re not. Every “new” problem is another facet of the potential to deny the existence of right and wrong or to infringe on the inalienable rights of our fellow humans. Knowledge of the basics can guide decisions and actions.

If there’s no such thing as right and wrong or good and evil, why are we arguing in the first place? These truths transcend relative social considerations and laws, including religious beliefs, ideology, or the wants and wishes of the powerful or majority. They even transcend time and space: if you take a close look at the big debates, the speakers aren’t simply talking to each other: we’re arguing with the great thinkers of the past and trying to convince people who come along after us.

The unique nature of the species Homo sapiens sapiens is the source and the definition of “human dignity,” and the reason that all members of the species and our offspring are human beings who should be valued equally, without discrimination.

And of course, we are unique, since It looks like we’re the only species having this conversation. We’re the only species that, when an individual has safety, food and sex, doesn’t just go to sleep. Our species makes art, records history, and argues about the nature of the universe. Humans seem to naturally “know” “that’s not fair,” even at 3 or 4 years old. We seek Unconditional Justice, Truth, Love, Beauty and Knowledge. And we value Unconditional Love most of all.

The Negative rights to Life, Liberty and Property are owned and endowed upon individuals; they are not the property of or gift of societies or governments. These exist in a necessary order; a hierarchy of importance and power to call on society for protection. The right not to be killed trumps the right not to be enslaved, which precedes the right not to have your property taken from you by force or fraud. If they can kill you, there are no limits on how much they can enslave you or take from you. We must be secure that others won’t take our property against our will, because earning and owning property is how we avoid enslavement to others and how we make plans and lay by the staples of life to support the lives of ourselves and our families, both immediately while we can earn, and later when we are unable to work.

Society and government must protect these “inalienable” rights of individuals, but only as far as to ensure equality of opportunity, not the equality of outcome. These are protections against the actions of others, not against words or thoughts. It is not protection or promotion of someone’s personal tastes and not the right to not be offended. We must be very, very careful when we tax and even more careful if we presume to force the actions of others.

Good politics and science cannot exist in a moral vacuum. The powerful, the majority, the surging mob. the man with the biggest gun or governments cannot do good when their actions infringe on the life, liberty or property of the individual. To claim that people must act or give up property indefinitely for the greater good – Utilitarianism – ends in domination without measurable or objective limits.

And yet, to function in society carries responsibilities. Extraordinary privileges like those given to lawmakers, doctors, and scientists to do good, may also result in extraordinary power to do evil through abuse of unequal power of weapons, tools, numbers or even knowledge and skill. This is where conscience and the first principle of “first do no harm” come in. The right of conscience is a function of the liberty of an individual not to be forced to act against his understanding of good and evil, right and wrong.

Medicine and science have held a unique position to advocate for the protection of human rights, at least since Hippocrates, who formalized the now 2500 year old oath to “heal when possible, but First, do no harm” Non-maleficence, or not acting in order to avoid harm, must precede and be incorporated in the desire to do good or beneficence.

Once again, we come back to that first point: all of our offspring, descendants deserve the same value and protection of their rights to life, liberty and property without discrimination. It’s possible that we already have offspring among us who are not of our species. Science has created human embryos with more than two biological parents and others who have been the subject of genetic manipulation. Also out there are is the Humanity+ or Transhumanism movement in all its permutations, along with more accessible enhancement of the human mind and body through technology, medicine, machines, and manipulation at the nano-level.

We must consider how our children of tomorrow will consider us. It is true that humans aren’t perfect, we will make mistakes, and some humans will purposefully infringe on the rights of others. However, what values and principles will the pattern of our governments and individual action reflect? Will it be our respect and love for one another? Will they respect and love us or will they look back in horror or disgust?

(I want to thank Robert Spitzer, who wrote “Healing the Culture,” one of the best Ethics books in existence.)

This is a March, 2011 post from LifeEthics. org. Why Ethics? | LifeEthics. Edited 5/10/13 to move to top of the list.

Medicine vs. “Health”

Medicine is the diagnosis and treatment of disease and injury, while the World Health Organization defines “health” as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

Doctors practice medicine, but is “health” even possible?

Governor Rick Perry’s Speech at Value Voters’ Summit (Text)

GOVERNOR RICK PERRY: Ah, thank you. Oh, my goodness. Thank you all for that very powerful welcome.

And Pastor Jeffress, I want to thank you for a rousing introduction. He – he knocked it out of the park, as we – we like to say. And – and a fellow who on any given Sunday is working with 10,000 Texans in his – in his church. So I just again want to say thank you to quite a leader.

I’m also proud to be joined today by my best friend, someone who has done more to enrich my life than any other person, an individual who will be a fabulous first lady for the United States of America, my wife, Anita. (Cheers, applause.)

And it is good to be with all of you. I want to thank Tony Perkins for the invitation to speak at the – at the event today and – and – and for his work in advancing the conservative constitutional principles that have built the greatest nation in the history of civilization. Tony, thank you. (Applause.)

You know, so many of you have come – so many have come to this gathering of value voters, you know, and it really strikes me as – as interesting. There is no voter in America who is not a value voter. It’s just a question of whose values that they share. (Laughter.)

(Chuckles.) You know, you think about that. You know, some hold this worldview that government must be central in our – in our lives and serve as our caretaker. They seek more than equal opportunity, they seek equal outcomes. And you know, those in the White House today don’t believe – they don’t believe in American exceptionalism. They’d rather emulate the failed policies of Europe.

But we see what their policies have led to: 14 million Americans out of work, 45 million Americans on food stamps. And according to Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal, Bob (sp), nearly half of Americans now receive government benefits.

You know, in response to this economic misery, you know, liberals are now pointing the finger of blame at successful employers under the guise of fairness. But when they utter phrases like “fair share,” you just know – (chuckles) – they’re once again playing fast and furious with the truth. (Laughter.) (Chuckles.) And the truth is you can’t rev up the engine of an economic growth by heaping higher taxes on job creators. You can’t spread success by punishing it. You can’t unite our country by dividing it.

The answer to our troubles lies in a positive, optimistic vision, with policies rooted in American exceptionalism. See, American exceptionalism is the product of unlimited freedom. And there is nothing troubling our nation today that cannot be solved by the rebirth of freedom – nothing. (Cheers, applause.)

I happen to believe in this great country of ours. I believe in the capacity of our people to create prosperity through private ingenuity. I believe in the values of the American people. Americans know anything worth achieving in life requires hard work, not government’s handouts. And this present generation of Americans, they’re not looking for government to lead the way. They’re looking for America to get out of the way so that they can make the most of the freedom for their families.

But you can’t live free if you can’t find a job. You can’t live free if you inherit $46,000 bill in the federal debt. You can’t live free when the government gets between you and your doctor.

I believe it’s time to revive freedom for our families and our employers. If we’re going to get entrepreneurs and small businesses off the mat and on their feet again, we need to freeze all of the pending federal regulations that are out there for the next six months – freeze them all. (Cheers, applause.) We need to cut taxes for families and employers because the only kind of stimulus that will work is the kind that puts more money in your pocket, not government’s. (Applause.)

We – we need to repeal the job-killing bureaucratic nightmare that’s known as “Obamacare.”

(Cheers, applause.)

GOV. PERRY: You know, there are three pillars that serve as the foundation of our country: strong economy, strong families and a strong military.

In my home state, we have created about 40 percent of all American jobs since June of 2009. Our success is based on four rather simple principles. One is, don’t spend all the money.

GOV. PERRY: And number two is, keep the taxes low. Three is, provide a fair and predictable regulatory climate, and four, stop the frivolous lawsuits. (Applause.)

GOV. PERRY: They kill jobs.

GOV. PERRY: So that we passed the most sweeping tort reform in the nation and – which, I might add, includes a new loser pay law in the state of Texas. (Applause.)

You know, at the same time as the Fed chairman warns that the recovery is close to faltering, just yesterday the Texas comptroller’s office said our tax revenues have rebounded to pre-recession levels. (Applause.)

Our August – our August home sales rose. Our employment expanded. Our exports increased. Manufacturing activity started climbing again.

And yet there was President Obama, standing in front of the White House press corps, doubling down on the same failed strategy that had worsened our economic crisis and doubled our deficits. It just goes to show you that those blinded by tax-and-spend big-government ideology will never see the truth.

GOV. PERRY: Every day – every day – it is clear that the United States economy, for it to grow and to succeed, we need new leadership. (Applause.)

GOV. PERRY: President Obama’s commitment to the same old pro-tax, pro-government, pro-regulation policies – they failed our nation. America needs a new leader, with a proven record of job creation and sound economic policies.

You know, Texas is not immune to the effects of the national economic environment, but recent reports show that low, flat and fair taxes; reasonable and predictable regulations; restrained government spending is a proven recipe for job creation. The key to prosperity is liberty. Yet the larger government grows, the smaller our circle of freedoms. The most basic unit of government (see note at bottom – BBN) is family. And as a conservative, I believe with all my heart that the government closest to the people is the best for the people. There should not be a single policy coming out of Washington, D.C., that interferes with decisions best made by the family. (Applause.)

GOV. PERRY: I’m proud to be the son of two tenant farmers. Where I grew up, we didn’t have much in the way of material goods, but we were sure rich. We were rich in spirit. We were abundant in faith. And we were devoted to family. Happiness wasn’t a product of what we had but what we believed.

And we believed we were blessed to live in the freest nation on this earth, that were fortunate to grow up where there was a strong sense of community, that there was nothing that we couldn’t achieve in “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

In fact, my little country school where I grew up and graduated had a motto. It said: No dream too tall for a school so small. (Laughter.)

(Chuckles.) You know, there are millions of Americans that are born into less than ideal circumstances. Maybe they were born into poverty, born without a parent. But as a society, we must stand for the principle that every life – every life – is worth living, regardless of the circumstance. In America – (applause) – in America it’s not where you come from that matters, but where you’re going. As Americans, we must affirm the value of life, not just in our Declaration of Independence, but in the way that we live.

For some candidates, pro-life is an election-year slogan to follow the prevailing political winds. To me it’s about the absolute principle that every human being is entitled to life. All human life – all human life – is made in the image of our creator. (Cheers, applause.) And every innocent life must be protected, from the most frail, who are elderly, to the most vulnerable, who are unborn.

That’s why as governor I have consistently worked for pro-life legislation, policies such as parental consent for minors seeking an abortion, a ban on third tri-semester (sic) abortions, an informed consent law. And I’m proud to fight for and was proud to sign a budget that defunded Planned Parenthood in Texas. (Cheers, applause.)

Our obligation is not only to protect life and bestow freedom on future generations, but it’s also to instill character. Young Americans must never be taught about rights without also learning about responsibilities. We must not – (applause) – we must not proclaim the responsibilities of a free society and ignore the responsibilities of free individuals. We must never mistake liberty for license. One’s a right; the other leads to bondage.

For more than a generation, our culture has emphasized a message of self-indulgence at the expense of social obligation. We have reaped the consequences – in the form of teen pregnancies, divorced and broken families, the cycle of incarceration that joins young men with their fathers behind bars. The fabric of our society is not government, or individual freedom; it is the family. And the demise of the family is the demise of any great society. (Applause.)

This great country of ours has never been steered off-course when we have advocated policies that expand freedom and promote strong families. But neither can it be preserved without an unwavering commitment to our national security. You know, as Americans, we’re blessed to have the greatest fighting force for freedom in this entire world: our men and women of the United States military. (Applause.)

You know, there are some out there, some misguided souls that just say you can’t find heroes anymore. My, my, are they ever wrong. We have heroes today. They’re fighting in the mountains of Afghanistan and sands of Iraq. They’re those on covert missions, in places we don’t even know about, to find and destroy the enemies of this country. They put their lives on the line every day so that we don’t have to.

Over the years I’ve been so honored to have met a great many of those American heroes as I’ve traveled to their outposts in Iraq and Afghanistan. And I’ve signed letters to their loved ones who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

I consider myself so fortunate to have been able to wear the uniform of our country. And that experience, it informs my perspective about our defense policies. Specifically, I believe we must never put the military on a chopping block for arbitrary budget cuts as part of some political horse trade. (Cheers, applause.) Never.

The question we must ask is not what we can afford to spend on our military, but what it costs to remain secure and free. You see, a real key component of keeping America secure is keeping Israel secure. (Cheers, applause.) We can never forget – we can never forget that it was Israel that took out the nuclear capability of Iraq in 1981, and of Syria in 2007. Israel is our ally. They’re our friend. And when I’m president of the United States, America will again stand with our friend. (Cheers, applause.)

We’re not going to compromise when it comes to our national security, and that is true when it comes to defense spending, and it is also true when it comes to border security. And let me say this about border security. I have lived and breathed this issue for over a decade as a border governor. I’ve signed budgets that contain a total of $400 million of state security operations along that border. I’ve dealt with the carnage caused by those who traffic in drugs and weapons and people. As a border governor, I know firsthand the failures of our federal border policies. And I know the answers to those failures is not to grant amnesty to those who broke the laws to come into this country. (Cheers, applause.)

I was proud to sign legislation requiring a photo ID to vote in order to protect the integrity of our elections. (Applause.) And for the obvious security reasons, I vetoed legislation to give drivers licenses to illegal aliens. (Applause.) There is no homeland security without border security. Let me repeat that. There is no security without border security.

And make no mistake about it. What we are seeing south of our border is nothing short of a war being waged by these narcoterrorists. They represent a clear and a present danger to our country. They are spreading violence to American cities. They are peddling poisons to our children.

In the face of this threat, we shouldn’t take any options off the table, including security operations in cooperation with the Mexican government, as we did with Colombia some years ago. You can’t have liberty, you can’t have opportunity, you can’t have prosperity without security. The issue before our leaders of both parties is securing a better future for all Americans.

You see, economic security is a topic of discussion at millions of dinner tables all across this country of ours. In the past two months I’ve had the great privilege to travel across this country. And I’ve listened to thousands of Americans, and they’re not under any illusions about the current state of our country.

They’ve never mistaken hope for a handout because they want to earn their keep. They aren’t looking for soaring speeches. They’re looking for common-sense solutions. And they know our first order of business to getting America working again is sending our current president to the private sector. (Laughter, cheers, applause.)

You know, like all of you in here, I still believe in the exceptionalism of America. And to paraphrase both Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan, America remains the last best hope of mankind. We must never forget that the exceptionalism of America can be traced right into our founding principles, the fact that the framers of our Constitution were the first in the history to declare that all men are created equal, endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights.

The hand of providence has guided America throughout our history, from those first colonists to arrive in the New World to the courage of George Washington during those darkest hours of Valley Forge to the defeat of tyranny during two world wars and the Cold War. Time and time again America has been the source of – of light in a world that’s been beset by darkness.

And like a lighthouse perched on the shore, we have provided this safe harbor to millions who have been adrift in a sea of economic misery. We can still be the country we aspire to, a source of light and hope to all who live here and those who come here. Anchored by our – our ideals, we can rebuild on the solid foundation of truth instead of the shifting sands of moral relativism. We can restore hope at home while projecting our values abroad. We can be the freest, most prosperous people to ever occupy the planet if we remain one nation under God.

God bless you, and thank you all for coming and allowing me to participate today. God bless you. (Cheers, applause.)

Read more:

Edit, 10-11-11, 12 noon: spelling, removed audience comments. Also, I heard the Governor say “the most basic unit of governance” not “government,” but the other transcripts agree with this one.

Critique of Judge Sam Sparks’ Opinion on Texas Ultrasound Law (part 2)

See Part 1, here
Media reports say that due to the injunction by Federal Judge Sam Sparks, the Texas Ultrasound law will not go into effect at all until a higher court rules on it. However, the Judge does note that there is a severability clause and that his injunction is narrow. I’m waiting to see opinions from lawyers as to whether abortionists will be held to parts of the law that are not specifically under injunction.

In the meantime, I wonder how many women will meet the abortionist before they are gowned and sedated for the procedure and how many will insist on seeing their sonograms?

In the second half of the Opinion by Judge Sam Sparks, the Judge outlines the specific complaints brought against the new law, HB 15, (text of the law, here ) . Most of those complaints are dismissed, even as the Judge continues to call the new law “unwise” and ultimately imposes an injunction against enforcement.

Sparks disagrees with the Plaintiffs, the Center for Reproductive Rights out of New York, that the definitions of “medical emergency,”  “sonogram,”  “in a quality consistent with current medical practice,” and “in a manner understandable to a layperson” are unconstitutionally vague.  He also disagrees with the Plaintiffs on whether or not “visit” and “abortion-related services” are unclear to most people.

The major complaints upheld by the judge appear to be that the law doesn’t allow for multiple-physician practices or for a switch if the original doctor who informed the woman about her ultrasound cannot, “through some unforeseen circumstances,” perform the abortion, requires a woman to sign an informed consent acknowledgement, and   forces the physician to “advance an ideological agenda.”  Sparks also does not like the word “soley,” for reasons that I don’t understand.

It is true that one purpose of the law was to ensure that women were given informed consent by the physician who was to perform the abortion, “in a private and confidential setting.” Most abortionists had been satisfying the 24 hour waiting period and informed consent the same way that Dr. Alan Braid’s Reproductive Services of San Antonio,  had:  over the phone  or by referring the woman to the information on the Internet.

However, it doesn’t appear that Sparks overturned these requirements, since the injunction overturns the objection to the requirement that women receive private and confidential informed consent and the exception for those who live more than 100 miles from the abortion clinic. The opinion only finds fault with the lack of accommodations for “unplanned substitutions.”

The judge makes a surprising statement about the requirement that a copy of the informed consent be inserted in the medical record of the woman:

Compounding this problem is newly-added section 171.0121, which requires both that a copy of the above certification be placed in the pregnant woman’s medical records (presumably permanently), and that the facility that performs the abortion retain a copy for at least seven years.See H.B. 15, Sec. 3 (adding TEX. HEALTH & SAFETY CODE ANN. § 171.0121). Given the nature of the certification and the Act’s retention requirements, it is difficult to avoid the troubling conclusion that the Texas Legislature either wants to permanently brand women who choose to get abortions, or views these certifications as potential evidence to be used against physicians and women.

Sparks says that the medical record is “semi-private,” and is concerned that it might someday be subpoenaed for use in a court case. The only time that these would be seen in Court is if the woman herself sues the doctor.

Sparks also engages in a bit of ideological speech of his own about the requirement for the abortionist to describe  “the presence of cardiac activity,” and “the presence of external members and internal organs.”

“ The Court does not think the disclosures required by the Act are particularly relevant to any compelling government  interest, but whatever relevance they may have is greatly diminished by the disclosures already required under Texas law, which are more directly pertinent to those interests.”

and, from page 50:

The net result of these provisions is: (1) a physician is required to say things and take expressive actions with which the physician may not ideologically agree, and which the physician may feel are medically unnecessary; (2) the pregnant woman must not only passively receive this potentially unwanted speech and expression, but must also actively participate—in the best case by simply signing an election form, and in the worst case by disclosing in writing extremely personal, medically irrelevant facts; and (3) the entire experience must be memorialized in records that are,at best, semi-private. In 7 the absence of a sufficiently weighty government interest, and a sufficiently narrow statute advancing that interest, neither of which have been argued by Defendants, the Constitution does not permit such compulsion.

Edit to add this question: How can a doctor “not ideologically agree” with the facts visible on the sonogram when describing heart or limbs?

In my opinion, the worst part of the ruling is Spark’s legal-speak on “compelling’ and his insistence on bringing back the ever-moving line of “viability:”

Second, while Casey refers to the government’s interest in potential life as “important,” “substantial,” and “legitimate,” it stops short of characterizing it as “compelling.” Indeed, one of the holdings of Roe v. Wade, and one this Court does not interpret Casey as having overruled, was that “[w]ith respect to the State’s important and legitimate interest in potential life, the ‘compelling’ point is at viability.”

Tell me, Judge Sparks, just what is “viability?” 24 weeks, 20 or 18 weeks?

link to Part 1 and “sticky” added September 5, 2011 12:19 PM BBN

The de Tocqueville Moment: will we endure?

Has the United States of America reached the Moment predicted by Alex de Tocqueville when,”The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money?”

Congress and the DC bureaucracies have expanded the federal government, increased regulations and permits, heaped ObamaCare —>on top of “Stimulus” —> on top of TARP and all of this —> on top of the other spending that made Conservatives angry enough to stay home in 2006 and 2008 is not the answer.  We didn’t like it in November, 2010 and we don’t like it now!


Edited for spelling 3/28/2012 BBN

An Open Letter to Republican Leaders

Conservative Republicans from my home town of New Braunfels and all over Texas have made it a point to tell me that they are frustrated with you. Even as you begin asking for our support in next year’s election, y’all don’t seem to remember who brought you to the dance, and that we are supposed to lead.

You may have heard our Conservative song at times; even going so far as to dance all around your own Bills in order to appear in step with us. But you still dance to a beat we don’t like far too often.

We worked so hard last year to send a Republican majority to Austin and Washington, only to have the people we elected seem to pay little attention to us and our Party Platform.

In Austin, it was a compromise on the Speaker and toll roads. In DC, we’re watching this political theater about the budget and the debt ceiling.  Why are Republicans, with a majority in the House and a clear mandate from the voters, still getting bogged down in “negotiation?”

And don’t tell us how hard it is to hammer Bills into Laws. This is your job, the one you volunteered for. It can’t be any harder than what we did to get you there in 2010, and what you’ll ask us to do in 2012.  And we did it on top of our regular duties, not as a paid, full-time job!

After all the time and money we  invested in your campaigns before the primaries, some of us spent  thirteen hours working the polls on Primary Day and rushed from there to attend our Precinct Conventions.  Delegates to our Precinct and County Conventions gave up hours on Primary night and on a Saturday later in the month. Before these meetings, we reviewed the old Party Platform and carefully crafted new resolutions. Then we defended them at our Precinct, County and State Conventions. Some of us served on Convention Committees at the County and State level, giving more time to sift through the Resolutions, put them in order and finally come up with a Platform that our Delegates approved at the State Convention.

I’m sorry if this seems like I’m giving you a hard time, and I’d rather be spending my time encouraging you than griping. But, still,  if we can do all that, why can’t y’all cut spending in DC?

Dividing Conservatives: Who Started This, Anyway?

(The ACLU is probably hiring lawyers as we speak. See! Government can create jobs outside of Government bureaucracies.)

Remember when we were told not to pay attention to what people do in the privacy of their own bedrooms? Now, they’re forcing us to watch. We didn’t start this round, but get ready: Conservatives who believe that marriage is between one man and one woman will be treated as divisive and accused of splitting the Conservative vote.

President Obama has declared his support for legislation ending the Defense of Marriage act. The bill, the Respect for Marriage Act, will be heard today in the Senate Judicial Committee.

The full title is, “S.598, The Respect for Marriage Act: Assessing the Impact of DOMA on American Families.” In the House, it’s H.R. 1116. According to the,

The bill which was introduced by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) would repeal all three sections of DOMA which places a strong federal hold against states rights in the matters of legalized same sex marriage recognition.

The new bill is set out to repeal specifically the sections in which DOMA defines marriage as the union between a man and a women, instructs states not to recognize same sex marriages performed in other states and prohibits the federal government from recognizing legally performed same-sex marriages.

Which is probably exactly where it should be heard. After all, now there can be more lawsuits,like this one in Vermont against private business owners who does not want to celebrate same sex marriage in their Inn.

There’s a conversation on Facebook about whether the phrase “gay conservative” is an oxymoron. I maintain that it is.  Will organizations like the Log Cabin Republicans still want to vote with Conservatives who are happy to form coalitions on fiscal  matters, small government, and the sanctity of life, but who won’t support the change they want to make in the family or the definition of marriage? Will they join in the debate in favor of “Respect for Marriage,” and how will they do it?

The basic unit of society is the family. Social experiments with the family are not conservative because they risk weakening that basic unit, the source of support and protection in times of crisis and where we learn the skills that allow us to function in the greater society.

There is no historical support for same sex couples forming a stable family.  There’s more empiric evidence for stable families resulting from polygamy. For that matter, the Egyptian Pharaohs, who practiced incest in order to keep their power in the family, managed to hold their reign together longer than the entire history of open same-sex lifestyle, much less the legalization of their “marriages.”

Those who disagree with me tell me to go along to get along and to quit bringing “the church” into politics, “because parties are about politics & policy issues not religious ideology.”

While I do have strong religious convictions, I don’t like to use religious arguments in politics. I don’t need to claim that the only reason to support traditional monogamous marriage is because marriage is a covenant with our Creator. I consider the fact that I can debate tough philosophical (even “ideology”) by using empirical arguments is proof that my position is close to the truth.

My fellow conservatives and I did not start this. The ones bringing in “controversy” are the ones who demand to make us aware of what should be a very private matter and that we agree with their redefinition of marriage and the family.  It is they who insist on dividing conservatives by identifying first as homosexual, then as fiscal conservatives, etc. This identification declares that their purpose is not to cut spending or support small government: their primary purpose in forming a political group is to gain sympathy for their true cause.
(edited, 11AM, 7-20-11, to remove a repeated sentence. 8-9-11, for grammar and to add link to NYT story on Vermont Inn.)

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