12 Jan

Reason Magazine – Hating the “Sinner”

Now, it’s true that social conservatives can be unfairly ridiculed as bigots in these debates. But sometimes, as it happens, they act like bigots.

When, for instance, a bunch of influential organizations decide to boycott the Conservative Political Action Committee yearly confab simply because a gay Republican group named GOProud happens to be participating, we have stumbled upon such a moment.

via Reason Magazine – Hating the “Sinner”. Calling all people who are social conservatives bigots is a intellectually weak argument, but it is fair to call out such bigotry when it occurs.

11 Dec

Eric Cantor – Citizen Review

First, we will take a look at the National Science Foundation (NSF) – Congress created the NSF in 1950 to promote the progress of science. For this purpose, NSF makes more than 10,000 new grant awards annually, many of these grants fund worthy research in the hard sciences. Recently, however NSF has funded some more questionable projects – $750,000 to develop computer models to analyze the on-field contributions of soccer players and $1.2 million to model the sound of objects breaking for use by the video game industry. Help us identify grants that are wasteful or that you don’t think are a good use of taxpayer dollars.

via Eric Cantor – Citizen Review. There is a huge problem with this plan, namely how are average citizens (the vast majority non-scientists or never having written a NSF grant) supposed to identify grants that are honestly wasteful versus those that they either just disagree with or just don’t even understand. Though leave it to a politician to leave scientific decisions to average citizens with no training in science.

11 Dec

Reason Magazine – Faking the Pledge

In the "Pledge to America" they unveiled last week, House Republicans promise they will "launch a sustained effort to stem the relentless growth in government that has occurred over the past decade." Who better for the job than the folks who ran the government for most of that time?

If the GOP’s record of fiscal fecklessness were not enough reason to doubt its newfound commitment to curbing "Washington’s irresponsible spending habits," the pledge’s failure to address entitlement and defense programs would be. The Republicans say they want to "have a responsible, fact-based conversation with the American people about the scale of the fiscal challenges we face and the urgent action that is required to deal with them." That’s hard to do when only a small share of the $3.8 trillion budget is open for discussion, and then only in the vaguest terms.

via Reason Magazine – Faking the Pledge. When even Reason Magazine is calling you out something is wrong.

28 Mar

The Rage Is Not About Health Care – NYTimes.com

But the bill does not erect a huge New Deal-Great Society-style government program. In lieu of a public option, it delivers 32 million newly insured Americans to private insurers. As no less a conservative authority than The Wall Street Journal editorial page observed last week, the bill’s prototype is the health care legislation Mitt Romney signed into law in Massachusetts. It contains what used to be considered Republican ideas.

But the explanation is plain: the health care bill is not the main source of this anger and never has been. It’s merely a handy excuse. The real source of the over-the-top rage of 2010 is the same kind of national existential reordering that roiled America in 1964.

via Op-Ed Columnist – The Rage Is Not About Health Care – NYTimes.com. Frank Rich on the recent health care bill passage and the similarity between that and other bills that changed society.

29 Sep

This Republican Party Bothers Me

(I am a registered independent and my views align with the Libertarian, Republican, and Democratic Parties, yes, all at once. I consider myself a social libertarian, something I conjured up on my own to explain my views, which are too complex to explain here.)

The Republican Party of the United States over the past several years has bothered me, more and more.

The party has in the past years undergone a change that I believe will not cause the party to gain more unity, but rather cause more people to split from the party. The party has been pretty consistent in only area, everywhere else it says and does two very different things. The party also seems to be promoting the idea that logic and intelligence are flawed qualities in a politician. Wikipedia (as normal in this day and age) has more sources and more information than I could hope to convey regarding this so go look there for more details.

My largest problem with the party has been a promotion of people who genuinely appear to know nothing about how proximity doesn’t equal experience, economics, international affairs, or it seems just about anything other than religion or lipstick. I am genuinely bothered when opponents paint Obama as an elitist to win an election. I want an elitist President, I want a President so ridiculously smart and intelligent I can’t even hope to follow him/her. I want a President who believes in science, a President who is curious beyond anyone else I know, a President who sees the world as the complex system it really is, I want a Renaissance President. And yes I do want a President that actually causes excitement amongst both this nation and other nations. Let’s face it we can’t do everything on our own, we do not rule the world, not by far. Especially in the face of our declining economic strength and political power in the world (awesome book on this subject).

Most of all, I want a President who expresses a belief and actually applies it fully. This is one of the largest reasons why I can’t vote for a Republican the majority of the time. As I stated at the beginning of this post, I do believe in some of the views that the Republican party expresses, but they don’t apply those views.

What is going on with a party that as far as I can tell says one thing and does another except when it comes to religion? The only thing that the party seems to actually say and do regards social conservative positions.

This party needs to find itself and figure out what it really believes or work out some new form of logic to explain the disconnect between what they say and do.

Most of all a party that believes in the idea that one religion is somehow righter than everybody else and that the rest of the country should fall into line with a religious belief. Let’s get one thing right – Social Conservatives ultimately believe in their views not because it makes sense or they have the evidence to back it up, but because their religion says this is the way things should be. Their religion doesn’t and shouldn’t dictate my life. It’s freedom of religion – not freedom to have religion pushed on you. How does homosexuals being allowed to marry harm their marriage? I also didn’t realize I needed to be reminded to pray in school.

If I was a member of the RNC I would be embarrassed by Sarah Palin just as any Democrat should have been embarrassed by Kerry in 2004. We shouldn’t be embarrassed by our candidates, we should be proud of them.

Intelligence and logic should be first qualifications for a candidate something the Republican Party seems to ignore as far as I can tell, though I would love to hear otherwise.