Isn?t That What We are Fighting For?

June 9th, 2012

The following is a guest post from Robert Lobitz. If you are interested in guest posting at Geek Politics, check out the guidelines here.

When it comes to the rights that we have as citizens in the United States it is a given that there are some things we have at birth. We have the right to free speech, we have the right to own firearms, we have the right to have freedom of the press, and we have the right to not have unlawful search and seizure, among other things. The trouble is, this list seems to be somewhat changing and it would appear that as time goes on we are becoming more and more under the watchful eye and control of the U.S. government.

Although this may sound a little paranoid it is important to know that there is reason to be concerned. This is not about political affiliation or party lines, it is about the fact that we are loosing our say, and there doesn’t seem to be much we can do about it.

There are some people who are constantly concerned that they are going to go into their gun safes and find that they are empty, confiscated by the government. This may or may not be possible, but the reality is there are plenty of things that seem to be leading us into that direction and there doesn’t seem to be anyone putting a stop to it.

Although right now you may have your to. Where do we draw the line and say, enough is enough?

One of the most challenging topics to get presidential candidates to talk about is war. Although it is not a correctly republican stance, it is becoming more common to hear people’s concern that the greatest anti terrorism act that we can have is to stop the wars creating the terrorists. There may be some truth in this, but beyond this there is a more fundamental concern that may not have been initially addressed.

When you begin a war one of the first things that you have to do is to establish the victory conditions. This is essentially plotting out a destination on a road map so that you know what it will take to get there, and what it will look like once you do. What are the victory conditions on a war on terror? What will it look like once we win? Can we win a war on terror? Make no mistake; we can go a long ways for a long time and kill a whole lot of “bad guys” but at the end of the day what will it mean to have won?

This is in no way an attempt to undermine what the United States is doing, but if we are going to use a war to continuously strip away our rights as citizens we need to have a clearly defined goal. This again is not something even being talked about. It may not ever be the case that you will have people literally taking guns from your gun safes, but as we are faced with more limitations to our rights there is real reason to be concerned that some day we may not be as free as we once were. Isn’t that what we are supposed to be fighting for?

Author: Derek Clark Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Donald Duck Pays Taxes to Defeat The Axis

March 29th, 2012

I don’t think we’d be so pissed about paying taxes i we only had to pay the .7% Donald did during WWII.

Author: T.J. Seabrooks Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Why Government Run Healthcare Should Make You Nervous

March 20th, 2012

120/365 ALet’s get a few things straight off the bat. Whether you think the new federal healthcare regulations rolling out over the next few years are good or bad it’s important to recognize these regulations have, thankfully, fallen short of a true government administered healthcare program. However, to see what a public healthcare option administered by the U.S federal government could be like we don’t need to look to all of the foreign countries that invariably arise in these discussions. We have an excellent example right here at home; The U.S. Medicaid program.

A family I know on medicaid recently had a scare. Six weeks ago the father, we’ll call him Todd, experienced something doctors diagnosed as a stroke. Todd spent the last 6 weeks dealing with a litany of paperwork and bureaucracy in order to justify the doctor ordered MRI he still hadn’t been able to receive. Today Todd woke up without his vision. Thanks to an emergency MRI a large mass pressing his brain to one side was discovered and emergency surgery is imminent. The unfortunate part is this could have been caught 6 weeks ago, before the mass had grown to it’s current size.

That’s the real danger of a government administered healthcare program. They may just let you sit around and die while some bureaucrat makes sure his t’s are crossed and i’s dotted. He’ll need to make sure you’ve filled out the correct Form HXY-223 and not the nearly identical Form HXZ-234.

If some people want to trust the government with their health needs I might be able to support that. We can institute an optional plan and I can have a tax credit for not participating. I’m on board for whatever these overly-trusting folks have in mind, so long as I get to keep using my Blue Cross Blue Shield card when I go to the hospital. Insurance is unreasonably complicated, no one can figure out the black magic that goes into hospital bills, but at least my insurance company isn’t letting me lay around and die while they muddle through paperwork. They usually save the paperwork muddling portion of the experience for afterwords.

Creative Commons License photo credit: irrezolut

Author: T.J. Seabrooks Categories: Health Care Tags:

Why I’m Voting for Newt on Super Tuesday

March 5th, 2012

This primary season has been very interesting for me, and it has also been the hardest I’ve ever had to think about who I planned to vote for. Unfortunately, none of the candidates excite me very much. There are quite a few people I had hoped would run that didn’t. Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, and maybe even Mitch Daniels. I think each of these men would have made an excellent choice, however they chose not to run this time around. I suspect mostly the reason being age for most of them. Ryan, Rubio, and Jindal are all still very young, and I think the probably expect 2016 or 2020 to be a better time to run for them.

Back to the present and this election, we started with roughly 10 candidates, depending on how far back you want to go. Some were out before the voting even started. Of those candidates, I personally like Tim Pawlenty. I think if he had stuck around he might have had a chance seeing how things have played out so far. He didn’t though, and there have been many other casualties including Rick Perry, Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, Donald Trump, and Jon Huntsman. I wasn’t especially sad to see any of them go.

So for those of us voting tomorrow on Super Tuesday in states like Tennessee, Georgia, Ohio and others, we are left with 4 choices:

Mitt Romney - former Governor of Massachusetts
Rick Santorum - former Senator from Pennsylvania
Newt Gingrich - former Speaker of the House from Georgia
Ron Paul - current Representative from Texas

There are pros and cons to each of these, but at the end of the day you have to pick someone. I’d prefer to pick someone because I really liked them and what they stand for, but sometimes it’s process of elimination.

Ron Paul

Ron Paul is an interesting candidate. I really like most of what he has to say, unfortunately I can’t get behind his isolationist foreign policy. I read his book The Revolution: A Manifesto and really enjoyed it. He explained his policies far better there than he is able to in a debate or short sound bites. When explained well, he comes off as far less crazy than many would believe.

That being said, while I am able to agree with him that we are too stretched and interfere with too much, I think he goes too far in the opposite direction. Germany under Hitler in World War II was almost able to take over all of Europe because of our isolationist policies. If we hadn’t gotten into the war because of Pearl Harbor, the world would be a very different place today. Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Because of this, I won’t be voting for Dr. Paul.

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney has been the frontrunner all along, which is probably because he’s been campaigning for about 6 years now. I personally think he would make a pretty decent president thanks to his background in business where he has been very successful. Unfortunately, I don’t think he is very conservative and that frustrates me.

As a governor he was very centrist. He was pro-choice for a long time, and he said things about gun control that bother me a great deal. Now, running as a conservative for President, I’m not concerned he can or would actually do anything about those things, but the fact that his principles are so easily swayed bothers me. Trying to get elected in a liberal state he said one set of things, and trying to get elected as President (and specifically winning the Republican primary) he has said a different set of things. I understand that might be what needs to be done to win in politics, but that isn’t what I think a person should do. You should form your opinions and stick to your principles. While I think he would make a decent president, and I will vote for him in November if he gets the nomination, I won’t be voting for him in the primary.

Rick Santorum

Now we are left with Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich. The 2 remaining “Not Romney’s” have been hard for me to choose between. Santorum has been running as a conservative family man who has made family values a key part of his campaign. Unfortunately when he was a senator he did quite a bit of pork barrel spending to be considered really fiscally conservative. While that might not be a huge deal, it is at least a black mark for me. The real problem for me though is that he doesn’t seem to be focused on the issue that is going to decide this election. As has been said many times before, “It’s the economy stupid.”

For me in the debate he just came off as an angry white guy, and half the time I wasn’t even sure what he was angry about. There is a fine line sometimes between passionate and whiny. I get passionately angry about a lot of things in politics today, the rampant spending in Congress being on the top of the list usually. He came off as whiny to me, and about the wrong things usually. As I noted above, he was a part of the spending problem when he was in Congress. Once again I’d still definitely vote for him in November if he gets the nod, but he isn’t my first choice.

Newt Gingrich

Finally we get to Newt. Unfortunately, I can fill this paragraph with plenty of bad things as well. The biggest being that he spent a lot of time cheating on his multiple wives. That being said, he has been with his current wife for a significant amount of time, and I think has gotten past those issues he had in the past. The reason I’m choosing him is simple. Frankly, he is the smartest man on the stage. His knowledge of history, government, and the economy is really impressive.

As far as foreign policy goes, I think he is tops by a large margin. As far as the economy, I think he gives Romney a decent run for his money, and he does it without having supported abortion and gun control. In the 90’s Newt’s Contract for America was a great thing, and it helped conservatives take back Congress. Romney ran for the Senate that year, refused to support the Contract, and ran as a candidate that wasn’t very similar to the one we have today. Newt is the same conservative he was then.

As Speaker, Newt helped as we balance the budget for 4 straight years. Just think how nice that would be. Everyone gives Clinton credit for having a balanced budget and a surplus, well Newt and the Republican Congress was a big part of that. Our current Democratic Senate hasn’t even passed any budget, let alone a balanced one.

“Most Electable”

One of the biggest arguments people have to tried to make in this primary season is who is the most electable? For most of the time the argument has been for Romney. Recently, Santorum has risen in the polls against Obama. For me, that is an argument that does a good job of pulling someone in, but in the end it doesn’t hold water. McCain and Dole were also the establishments “most electable” candidates. They both got beat very badly. The elections weren’t even close. Granted McCain had a ridiculously hard task because of the way things were, but he did a terrible job choosing a running mate, and he was just hard to get excited about.

Dole had the same problem. It was just sort of his turn to run. Nobody really got excited about him. Getting people excited about the election is how you really win an election. It doesn’t take a majority, it takes a very passionate minority. Elections are won because of volunteers making phone calls, knocking on doors, putting up signs, talking to neighbors and making donations. That is why Romney is going to have a hard time winning. Because of his change of positions and centrist standing, he will have a hard time getting that grassroots support needed to run a successful campaign. People suggest that he is more palatable to the middle. That may be, but if doesn’t get the right excited enough to work for him, campaign for him, and get out the vote for him it won’t matter.

Conclusion

Like I said at the beginning, there are several people I would have really liked to support. I didn’t get to pick any of them, so I have to make do with what we have. I think Newt is the smartest and most consistently conservative choice we have. I think that makes him the most likely person for the Right to get excited about. Frankly this is going to be a hard election to win, and it will probably be decided by the economy and the price of gas in November. If things are going well, Obama will be elected again. If things are worse, he won’t.

At the end of the day though this is a primary. I have to vote for the person I think is the best person for the job and not just who might be more electable. So much can change between now and then. In 2007 when Obama started running for president, how many of you would have said that a man named Barack Hussein Obama had a good chance of getting elected as the president of the United States. If you did, can I take you to Vegas with me? In September of 2008, McCain was leading in the polls. In November he got crushed. So tomorrow, I’ll be voting for Newt Gingrich in the Tennessee Republican primary for president. I think he is the smartest man on the stage, and I’d love to see him debate Obama this fall. I’m voting for him because I think he would make the best president out of the choices we have.

Author: Derek Clark Categories: 2012 Election Tags:

GOP Primary: Candidate Positions

February 6th, 2012

The following is a guest post from Bridget Sandorford. If you are interested in guest posting at Geek Politics, check out the guidelines here.

It can be tough wading through all the campaign rhetoric to get at the core of what each candidate believes. Even when candidates are asked pointed questions in debates, they have a sneaky way of side-stepping questions or giving vague answers. To help you understand where each of the leading candidates stands on major issues, we’ve made the following helpful table:

Newt Gingrich

Mitt Romney

Rick Santorum

Ron Paul

The Economy

In the interest of smaller government, he wants to scale back regulation and restrict the Fed’s power to set interest rates so low. He wants to make Bush tax cuts permanent, eliminate inheritance and capital gains taxes, and reduce the corporate tax rate to 12.5 percent.

He backs long-term reforms to achieve a balanced budget and lower taxes. He also favors limiting regulation in the financial industry and promoting trade. He backs social programs like unemployment compensation but favors reform for long-term solutions.

A free market is seen as the key to promoting economic prosperity. He favors lower corporate and capital gains taxes, and wants to eliminate corporate taxes for manufacturers. He also favors fewer regulations. Encourages more drilling for oil and gas.

He wants to eliminate the IRS and cut all personal income taxes. He also favors eliminating the Federal Reserve to return to the gold standard.

National Security

Supports increasing spending on the military to remain competitive with foreign powers. Backs a war against Iranian nuclear interests, extending reach of the Patriot Act, and continuing use of Guantanamo.

Holds out war against Iranian nuclear interests “if needed.” Does not consider water boarding to be torture and feels that foreign suspects have no constitutional rights.

Considers national security to be a top priority and action in the Middle East to be important for promoting American values.

Opposes military action in Iran. He also opposes expanding the Patriot Act and considers waterboarding to be torture. He wants to reduce troop levels and cut funding to the Pentagon.

Education

Supports a voucher system for public education, and wants to reduce the Department of Education.

He once supported closing the Department of Education but has since changed his stance. Support No Child Left Behind.

Supports reducing the size of the Department of Education. Supports No Child Left Behind.

Wants to eliminate the Department of Education and let decisions to be made at the local and state level. Believes that parents should have choice of school and students should be able to opt out of public education.

Health Care

Supports tax credits to make health care more affordable, as well as a high risk pool for those who can’t afford coverage. Opposes Obama’s health care plan. He previously supported mandatory coverage.

Though his health plan as Massachusetts governor was used as the blueprint for Obama’s health care plan, he opposes Obamacare. He supported a mandate for coverage in the state, but opposes one at the federal level. Supports subsidies for the elderly to buy private insurance instead of going on Medicare.

Named the repeal of Obamacare as his number one priority. Supported prescription drug program for the elderly under the Bush administration.

Calls Obamacare “the worst possible answer” to what he sees as a broken health care system. Opposes mandatory coverage and any subsidies for insurance.

Of course, there are many more issues to consider, and voters should take the time to investigate each candidate before choosing. Who are you supporting in the primary? Tell us why in the comments!

About the Author:

Bridget Sandorford is a grant researcher and writer for CulinarySchools.org. Along with her passion for whipping up recipes that incorporate “superfoods”, she recently finished research on culinary colleges and culinary schools.

Author: Derek Clark Categories: 2012 Election Tags:

Health Care Reform, Dividing the People

January 31st, 2012

The following post was contributed by Nina Bernice exclusively for geekpolitics.com. All contents for informational and educational purposes only, not to be substituted for professional advice, etc. If you are interested in contributing to Geek Politics, check out the guidelines here.

On March 23, 2010, President Obama accomplished what many before him had failed to do. He signed legislation that proposes to overhaul our national healthcare system. Since the signing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the American people in general, find themselves on one side or the other in this national debate.

There is some common ground between the two groups. Both claim that something must be done soon! Each group states that they are interested in some type of healthcare reform, that affordable medical insurance is needed and that quality of care must remain high. Clearly there is an issue with our current healthcare system. To begin with, healthcare costs are rising quicker than salaries or government revenue. The problem comes as the details unfold.

President Obama and the Democrat side have, as some of their goals; covering millions of uninsured people, expanding the Medicaid roles, providing subsidies, creating insurance exchanges and not allowing insurance companies to refuse products to those with pre-existing conditions. They seek to solve the healthcare issue by using governmental control. For example, if too many patients are readmitted to the hospital or if a doctor orders too many tests, they may be fined for not keeping costs low enough.

Among other ideas, a Medicare commission has been proposed to oversee the Act and attempt to keep health costs down. The bipartisan Congressional Budget Office, has released information that suggests that, even if every Democrat idea were perfectly implemented, little if any money, would actually be saved. The price tag is near $938 billion over about 10 years, but promises to cut $138 billion from the federal deficit.

The Republicans, on the other hand, argue that the government does not do many things well and that healthcare may look and operate something like the Department of Motor Vehicles. They claim that if the government is in charge of cost control, then we will eventually end up like countries who currently practice socialized medicine, with their long lines and waiting lists. One of their main concerns is that the Act requires people to purchase insurance or be slapped with fees.

The system, Republicans favor is free market based. They propose that the suppliers should be the ones to offer the insurance products, set prices and compete against one another for the consumer’s business. While, they are not opposed to some government oversight, they do not want the government deciding on insurance products or costs.

So far, 26 states have filed suits against President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Over the past 2 years, rulings both for and against the law have come down. But, in March of this year, the Supreme Court has slotted five and a half hours to hear arguments concerning 2010 law. Three and a half hours of that time will be spent on hearing whether the mandate to force American citizen’s to purchase a product is Constitutional, and whether or not the insurance mandate can be removed from the Act.

A popular school of thought is that the law may be upheld, with the exception of the mandate portion, making implementation of the Act more difficult. However, many feel that the decision will come down to Justice Kennedy’s vote and that he will rule honorably and fairly.

Author: Derek Clark Categories: Health Care Tags:

Rick Perry Might be the Worst Debater Ever

November 10th, 2011

Perry is pretty much toast I think. He has been awful in all of the debates, but this is really pathetic. I’d really hate to see him go up against Obama in a debate.

Author: Derek Clark Categories: 2012 Election Tags:

Biden Wishing GOP Knew What Rape was Like

October 20th, 2011

This is just an absurd way to try and get a bill passed. Seriously. If he were actually concerned about that shop owner or that woman getting raped he’d support their right to arm themselves and take care of themselves. No cop is coming to save them in time no matter how much money Washington tries to piss away in exchange for votes.

Author: Derek Clark Categories: 2012 Election, Gun Rights Tags: