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    Greg and Beth

    the political and personal musings of two
    mountaineers living in west-central Florida
     
    Thoughts on Obama '08 Comment
    Gregory Morris, 4/30/07 12:00:01 am
    "The Lugar-Obama initiative cracks down on conventional weapon caches ... in order to find and destroy conventional arms."
    Ok, they say they are trying to keep bad guys from getting their hands on RPGs, mortars, etc. Duh. What they mean is Obama intends to support the UN's plan to globally outlaw all civilian-held small arms. That means the antique rifle in my closet. That means the rifles an oppressed population can use in a third world country to defend themselves from those bent on ethnic cleansing. Nobody wants terrorists to have surface-to-air missiles, but to try and disarm someone who hunts for food, or worse, an otherwise helpless minority who is being actively persecuted (read: slaughtered), is simply irresponsible.

    "Senator Obama passed legislation with Senator Lugar to prevent weapons of mass destruction from being smuggled across the globe."
    Because, you know, legislation is going to keep terrorists from getting WMDs. A strong military presence, and no-nonsense diplomacy is what we need. You have to lean on other countries sometimes to get them to help you, as well as punish those who oppose you. I'm not saying we should bomb Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, etc. because they support terrorists, but we definitely need to make sure they are fighting the good fight.

    "Senator Obama was one of the first legislators to recognize the dangers of a potential avian influenza pandemic..."
    Yeah, that flu thing. Catastrophe averted, thanks Barack!

    "Senator Obama has been a leading voice in Washington urging the end of genocide in Sudan."
    Urge all you want buddy. Air-drop food to refugees all you want. If the UN is too pussy to go in and help people who are being massacred, then screw the UN. We can do more to help people, or we can stay out of their business. But don't stand there and say you are helping when we don't have Special Ops troops on the ground training the refugees and handing out rifles.

    "...Senator Obama passed..."
    <sarcasm>A lot of the statements on his website start out this way. I guess we don't need congress anymore, since he seems to be able to pass laws all by himself.</sarcasm>

    "Plan to end the Iraq War ... in November 2005, Senator Obama called for:
    (1) a reduction in the number of U.S. troops;"
    Yeah... that is terribly well-thought-out idea. Let's pull a Vietnam and not give the military what they need to win. Democrats will bitch about our Humvees not having good enough armor, but what good is armor when you don't have enough troops to effectively patrol? I won't vote for somebody who doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground, just as I won't vote for someone who doesn't understand good military tactics versus bad military tactics.

    "(2) a time frame for a phased withdrawal;"
    Two for Two! This is nothing but political pandering. Instead of worrying about how to win, he's worrying about how to get popular. March 31, 2008. 1 year is all he thinks it will take. How in the bloody hell can I be expected to trust somebody who puts political aspirations above doing what is correct?

    "(3) the Iraqi government to make progress on forming a political solution;"
    What the hell does that mean anyway? Everyone wants to see Iraq become more stable, and a large part of that is to convince the leaders to work together more and stop squabbling and jockeying for power. There is a cultural problem there, and I fear until that is addressed, little or no political progress will be made. I want a real meaningful statement on how you intend to fix the problem, not some nebulous concept that you are "calling for" a sovereign nation to accomplish.

    "(4) improved reconstruction efforts to restore basic services in Iraq; "
    Yep. We're doing that. Don't you get the daily briefs? You are probably too busy watching the latest polls on CNN. Guess what, if we have more troops on the ground, maybe we can keep the insurgents (what a dumb word... let's just call them terrorists from now on) from blowing up everything as soon as it gets built.

    "and (5) engaging the international community, particularly key neighboring states and Arab nations, to become more involved in Iraq."
    Ya know... Iran already is pretty involved. Syria too, from what I hear.

    I have a plan to end the Iraq war too... kick ass until there is nobody's ass left to kick. Force terrorist-supporting individuals and countries to stop it... by whatever means necessary. (Woohoo Machiavelli!) Here is where I'll be an arrogant prick again: Make it known to the world that you and your culture can only exist so long as they don't f**k with mine!

    "...a law that will lift the veil of secrecy in Washington by creating a Google-like search engine that will allow regular people to track approximately $1 trillion in federal grants, contracts, earmarks and loans online."
    That's nice. I'll bet I can throw together that system in a couple of months. I'll get right on it. I'll only charge the gov't $25 million for it. Now how does this help convince congress to drop the habit of reckless taxing and spending? Sure, watchdog groups here and there will say "hey, this is wasteful", then there will be a media sh*tstorm, and some congressman will take the fall for it, and next year, they'll re-word the same spending slightly so it doesn't show up in the "google" search. When you cut off gov't funding for things (earmarks, grants, etc.), you piss people off. That's life. That's politics. But if nobody has the balls to do it, then we'll just see spending keep going up and up and up.

    "Although the federal role in education is limited..."
    Good way to start a sentence about the federal government's role... but in reality, the role is far from limited. Some of his ideas are interesting on paper, but this really isn't something the federal gov't should get involved with.
    Of course, Bush did the same thing, and while NCLB has been arguably successful, I don't think standardizing the lowest common denominator is the best route to take. That being said, Obama supports rewarding good teachers, although he doesn't seem to mention punishing the bad ones.

    "Transitional jobs are a promising way to help chronically unemployed people break into the workplace."
    I regularly say (being a prick again?) that the gov't stop spending my money to feed people who don't want to work. This concept of Obama's is not new (see the Tennessee Valley Authority), but I do agree with it, conditionally. I can only support gov't subsidized jobs if A) this entirely replaces welfare and B) the jobs do no interfere with private industry. These points are important, because simply adding another social welfare program is not fiscally responsible. Basically, this should only be in place if the goal is weaning dead-beats off of the taxpayer's collective teet. The second point deals primarily with my hatred of socialism... if these jobs are filled and distributed in a way that either hurts an industry or favors one company over another, then it simply won't work. I can see a particular case where it might work, and that is the farming industry, which currently employs illegal aliens to do low-wage work. If we can have Americans doing this work, then subsidize the wages, it is a win-win situation. Or for that matter, wouldn't this be a great place for aliens to prove they can be gainfully employed as part of the process towards them becoming citizens? Gov't subsidized work programs are one of the few places I bend on my social welfare beliefs.

    Obama said he "will not support any bill that does not provide [an] earned path to citizenship for the undocumented population."
    Once again, I tend to agree with him. Although we probably disagree on how that "path" works, I think that if you want to become a US citizen, and you are able to earn it, citizenship should be available to you.

    "Obama worked ... to introduce legislation lowering the income limit so that 600,000 more families" can receive the Child Tax Credit.
    Here is where I have to disagree again. I know it is hard to survive with a family and a low income, but it isn't impossible. Too many people with the "live in a trailer, but own a big-screen TV and a pickup truck" mentality are allowed to claim to be "low income". For me to agree that you need gov't assistance, you better be too disabled to work. I'm ok with offering free financial counseling to low income families, but then it is their responsibility to listen to the advice. The "teach a man to fish" philosophy can apply to so many places, especially when it comes to social welfare. Too many Americans simply don't want to bother picking up the pole and walking down to the river.

    "There is no more fundamental American right than the right to vote."
    Obama is dead-on here. Although my arrogant side says that I don't want dumb people, uninformed people, party-line voters, or extremists voting... fundamentally, I think it is important that we keep the ability for everyone to vote, and for their votes to count, a high priority at all times. Both parties have taken heat over this issue for different reasons at different times, whether it is redistricting to help one group of people, or adding a burden to certain types of voters.

    In 2006, he called on Iran to "take some ownership for creating some stability" in Iraq.
    Bravo. But I'm sure it went in one ear and out the other. The only thing insane dictators understand is losing power. Also, I'd hate to punish the entire population with years of economic sanctions (See Cuba.) Besides, any strife sanctions cause the country, the Ayatollah will simply blame on the US, and gain more support. The entire country of Iran has to be leaned on hard and fast, and using brilliant psyops and propaganda.

    Regarding net neutrality, Obama has stated he would support legislation to ensure telecom companies could not set up a "pay for priority" or a "pay to not be censored" system.
    While I don't think that the telecom/provider companies should do that, I think they have the right. Why shouldn't we just let the consumers decide what they want? The internet, it has been said, interprets censorship as damage, and routes around it. Since there are many telecom companies out there that "run" the internet, I have no problem believing that consumer choice can solve the problem. I know many people who have already switched providers simply because ports are blocked by their current provider. In addition, there are completely valid reasons for doing what some telecom companies are wanting to do. For instance, let's say CNN wants to broadcast a hi-def video feed across the entire internet, and they want to pay the telecom companies extra to make sure it is available to everyone, that might take some tweaks to network traffic priority. Why should the government say how a company sets up a router? Once again, this is legislation for the sake of legislation, not something that is fixing an actual problem. I am always wary of a politician saying "such-and-such could happen." Usually, they don't know any better than my dog.

    Finally....
    "Barack Obama advocates stricter gun control."
    Of course he does, he's a democrat. If he were to step away from this issue, he would not lose so many votes... WV, a historically blue state, voted for Bush in '00 because people were afraid of Gore's anti-gun politics. The democrats should know by now that being anti-gun will lose more votes than it gains.

    "His agenda includes banning the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic weapons"
    Even worse. We're not talking about what liberal gun-grabbers refer to as "reasonable gun control", we're talking about banning guns the millions of Americans already own and use to hunt, protect themselves, and participate in shooting sports. We're talking about guns that are pretty much used for nothing but Duck hunting. We're talking about one of the antique rifles in my closet. We're talking about guns used in the Olympics! Listen, this is not just something that he "feels strongly about". This is ON HIS AGENDA!

    "increasing state restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms"
    Getting "worser". Keep on pushing the Second Amendment to the breaking point, and see if you can't increase sales of firearms, much like the Clinton gun ban did.

    "and requiring manufacturers to provide child-safety locks with firearms."
    Yeah, they should provide them. Almost all of them do now anyway. But this does not need to be law. I don't use trigger locks, because I don't have little kids around, but I do own trigger locks for all of my guns should I ever have kids around. And trigger locks still can't teach your child firearm safety, which should really begin before they are old enough to start digging through you stuff to find your guns.

    "He has voted against legislation protecting firearm manufacturers from liability."
    Well, I agree that this legislation should not be passed... simply because nobody should get any kind of special privileges when it comes to our court system. But of course that isn't why Obama voted against it. He wants to see these lawsuits... more proof that he doesn't give a damn about personal responsibility, when there are big corporations you can blame!
    No sane judge should ever consider hearing a lawsuit against a gun manufacturer due to the misuse of a firearm. It is unfortunate that there are plenty of judges out there who are anti-gun enough to allow this kind of nonsense to go on.

    It is clear to me that Barack Hussein Obama is an intelligent, well-spoken, charismatic man. But too many of his policies seem to be either naive, or simply political pandering. Too many of his policies are either ill-conceived, or in many cases, not even complete. I am, however, interesting in seeing what he has to say in the coming months.

    [Comments are closed after a month.]

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