Barriers to entry

I’ve been taking a lot of flack from self-defined “one-issue” voters lately. What’s annoying is that these are really not one-issue people at all, but they think they are. They (most of them) think “conservative” is an issue and the Tea Party defines “conservative.”

I refuse to vote the self-identified “conservative” candidate in the Virginia gubernatorial race.  Because every gun-rights group in the Commonwealth has endorsed him, I’ve been called stupid, a traitor, a “liberal” (as a pejorative, of course), misguided, and other terms.

What many of these people – people who have known me for years – fail to realize is that gun-rights is simply the barrier to entry.   After that, you other positions come in to play.  If you don’t support my gun rights, I don’t recognize your “right” to my vote, pure and simple.  That lets out Terry McAuliffe, though I have a strong handful of other reasons.  My only other absolute barrier is a conviction that the Tennessee constitution got it part right (“Whereas Ministers of the Gospel are by their profession, dedicated to God and the care of souls, and ought not to be diverted from the great duties of their functions; therefore, no Minister of the Gospel, or priest of any denomination whatever, shall be eligible to a seat in either House of the Legislature.”) and I’d carry that to “any elected office”.  Those are the barriers to my vote.

After the barriers comes the curtain – the other civil rights.  Candidates can pass the curtain if I disagree with them on these issues, but only if they have very very strong credentials and a record of respecting others’ beliefs and practices.  Among these are the right to marry the person I choose; the right to confer with my doctor and elect those medical procedures best for me; the right to speak my mind even if that speech might offend your god; the right to be treated equally under the law; and the right to insist that your religious preference not affect mine.    In other words, believe what you want, but don’t restrict others.  After that, I assess life experiences and personal characteristics.  And I consider whether my votes can help keep the government split.  That is, all else considered, let’s assure that no one party controls the Governor’s mansion and both houses of the legislature.

It’s that latter set of criteria that many of my gun-rights acquaintances don’t understand.  I believe that in their minds, those rights are inextricably linked, and individuals can have differing opinions on each and every one of them.  It’s a matter of prioritization, and deciding which have to be met and which can be squishy.  In my mind, the gun-rights question must be met, and a combination of the others must be met.  Cuccinelli can’t meet any of them.

Both barriers are in place for LG.  That’s a shame, because the LG is an important person in Virginia, with tie-breaking authority in our evenly divided State Senate.  “None of the Above” as a write-in is the only option.  I feel this is a cop-out, but it is the only way an American has to show that no candidate is acceptable.   We are literally prevented by election law from expressing our opinions.  Even a “none of the above” is seen only in the category of “write-ins” – also-rans – unless there are enough of them the same.   If all voters would write in, maybe the message would be carried, but there are just too many who are happy to select all the people with the same letter after their names, no matter their qualifications.

I am still seeking the election that has a slate of candidates without barriers.

A tale of two hardware chains

Or are they “home-improvement” chains.


On the one hand, Home Depot, whose customer service has become atrocious lately, has stood up for its beliefs.

The hate group “American Family Association” *  has been pressuring Home Depot not to speak out in favor of human rights.  Apparently, it’s okay to favor human rights; you just can’t say so and stay on AFA’s good side.

On the other hand, Lowe’s chose to pull its advertising from the TLC Show “All-American Muslim”.  All-American Muslim follows families in Dearborn, Michigan.  Yet the primary hate group opposing it is the Florida Family Association (*).  Lowe’s comment:  “We believe it is best to respectfully defer to communities, individuals and groups to discuss and consider such issues of importance.”   Apparently they’ll defer to communities far removed from the one portrayed.

I haven’t watched All-American Muslim.  It’s not in a time slot I pay a lot of attention to; I know a number of American Muslim families; and I’m not a big fan of TLC.   I  cannot comprehend, though, a company pulling advertising based on opposition from a hate group.  When verifying the information on the Florida group’s web page, I note they’re pissed that neither Hershey’s and Campbell’s Soup has bent.

Excuse me.  I’m off  to buy Hershey’s cocoa, Hershey’s chocolate, and a few dozen cans of Campbell’s soup.   Then I’ll stop at Home Depot for my DIY needs.

One-issue voters, and party voters

I’ve written before that I cannot in good conscience vote for an Attorney General who only wants to enforce laws he agrees with, who thinks the AG should be involved in the legislative process, and who expresses such vehemence against fellow humans who disagree with his worldview.  I was once again reminded since I’m a gun owner and advocate of 2nd Amendment rights, I must vote for Cuccinelli.  Bullshit.    Since he’s right only on guns, I cannot reward his arrogance, pigheadedness, and pandering.  The other candidate is not only wrong on guns, but has shown an amazing willingness to read laws with a preconceived notion of how he wants to interpret them.  He has been negative, and has been sponsored by single-issue organizations I’ve spent much of my adult life opposing.

Then yesterday I got a stupid robocall “press 1 for …” political survey, which asked who I was going to vote for for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, and delegate, and whether I had favorable, unfavorable, or neutral opinions of various candidates.  Finally, it asked if I would vote Democrat or Republican.   No option, on any of the questions, for “other”.  To quote one of my favorite characters — DUMBASS!  I vote issues, not candidates.

In this November election, the Republicans won’t leave me alone, and only one Democrat has contacted* me, asked my opinion on anything, or asked for a vote (I think.  I wasn’t feeling well, and asked the volunteer to call back another time; she never did).

* – disregarding the junk mail that arrives 2-3 pieces, from each candidate, per day

“None of the above” will be my write-in as my candidate of choice.

Turn the tables …

Imagine, just for a second, this quote came from US Attorney General Eric Holder, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, or Democrat Steve Shannon:  “I will not defend what I, in my judgment, deem to be an unconstitutional law.”  (K. Cuccinelli, 4/4/09) [emphasis mine]

The fearmongers would be having a heyday.  Fox News would go national (probably giving it even a more tabloid spin).  Anti-liberals would be apoplectic, sputtering all over themselves about people who would ignore duly passed laws.  They’d be arguing that it’s not the government’s role to make those determinations, but the people’s.

So I cannot in any way comprehend why these same people are endorsing that attitude for the Virginia Attorney General seat.

What are they thinking????  Don’t tell me “conservatism” (in Cuccinelli’s case, conservatism manifests itself as anti-gay, anti- non-traditional family, anti-choice, holier-than-though power plays to control what choices you make for yourself), or logic.    Call it what it is … hatred of “liberals” – another undefined term.

I guess he doesn’t know the word “hypocrite”

Ken Cuccinelli.

You know, the guy who’s been running for AG in Virginia for longer than Terry McAuliffe has wanted to run for Pope.

Yeah. That guy.

Who started a “don’t tread on me campaign” … forgetting that “don’t tread on me” means leave me the hell alone. From the same man who thinks “choose life” is the only choice, forgetting to take in to account that he has no say in someone else’s moral choices, that he would deny women choice of a perfectly legal medical procedure (good stance for an AG, eh?), and that “Don’t tread on me” means mind your own flipping business.

The same man who led the fight to deny two perfectly rational adults the right to marry.  Who still insists they have no right to marry – because they don’t fit into his idea of what love and marriage might mean.  Who forgot that “Don’t tread on me” means mind your own flipping business.

Ken … don’t tread on me.  Get out.

Well, at least he did what few others have been able to do — seriously consider making me actively support a Democrat.  Attorney General is a position where legal skills and clarity of thought should be significantly more important than ideological extremism, and so far he has campaigned on his priorities to target lawbreakers, while  Cuccinelli has gone negative and stressed ideology.  I’ll be watching Shannon closely, but so far he seems the more honorable man.

Candidates who have lost any hope of my support …

Ken Cuccinelli.  First, he’s been bugging me for two years; he can’t take “no” for an answer (i.e. I will not guarantee him my support yet); he claimed victory in debates, and then slammed his opponents for doing the same.  Hypocrite.  Plus, he’s anti-family and anti-choice.

Dave Foster.  I’ve spoken with Foster, and told him some of the things that are important to me.  Yesterday, I got a pre-recorded phone call that said his number one priority is getting Bolling and McDonnell elected.  So he’s putting politics over the job.  No thanks.

Bill Bolling.  I got the most hateful letter today, lambasting “liberal democrats” for being pro-abortion and pro-gay.  Good for them.   His letter includes these paragraphs…

I will continue my fight to stand up for your family by defending pro-life policies, fighting for traditional marriage and stopping leftwing (sic) extremists who want to take away your Second Amendment right to bear arms.

Our opponents will continue the Obama-Kaine legacy of high-taxes (sic), big government and fiscal mismanagement and turn our entire state government over to liberal Democrats and their pro-union, pro-abortion, anti-marriage, anti-gun owner (sic), anti-business friends. …

As I’ve mentioned before, pro-choice is NOT anti-abortion.  And anti-marriage?  I suspect he meant to say “pro gay marriage”.  He apparently doesn’t want gays to vote for him.  Pro-union I can agree on, partly, but only because unions as a rule went way beyond what they should have done — they went beyond “fair” to “greedy”.

Kris Amundson.  Not that she’ll be opposed, but once again she’s playing the “House Republicans obstruct my agenda” card, this time in her blog.  Note, no link, so no indication of which Democrats also agreed.  Not even a “x Republicans and x Democrats voted …”

Someday, perhaps one of these four will realize that you don’t always win voters by placing the party above all else.  I will not vote for you BECAUSE you’re a Republican, or BECAUSE you’re a Democrat.   I might support you in spite of party affiliation, but you have to earn it.

Even the third party wants to legislate morality

It’s a shame that none other than the Democrats (with whom I disagree on almost everything else) are willing to be pro-rights.

Even the Constitution Party is bringing religion and the desire to legislate morality into their platform.

Where in the Constitution does it say marriage is divinely inspired?

Where in the Constitution does it say life begins at conception and ends at “natural” death (so death in a car crash should be illegal?).

Where in the Constitution does it say an individual has no right to marry whomever s/he wishes?

Published in: on March 6, 2009 at 12:08 am  Leave a Comment  

Is being married a civil right?

I note this article, which includes:

Meanwhile, lists of donors to Prop. 8, once trumpeted on the Yes on 8 website, have been taken down to protect individuals from harassment. “It’s really awful,” says Frank Schubert, campaign manager for Yes on 8. “No matter what you think of Proposition 8, we ought to respect people’s right to participate in the political process. It strikes me as quite ironic that a group of people who demand tolerance and who claim to be for civil rights are so willing to be intolerant and trample on other people’s civil rights.”

Initially, I thought freedom of speech – the ability to write things, if they’re true – should trump some desire for one’s political contributions to remain private.  Then I thought of right to privacy, and how I’m opposed to making the names and addresses of concealed handgun licences public.  What’s the difference?  Licensees could be targeted by the criminal faction, because it makes their homes known gun-storage locations.  But it appears political donors can be targeted as well.

So, individuals have a right to free speech.  Check.

Individuals have a right to privacy.  Yes, but …    See where there’s a dilemma here?  I haven’t determined the “right” answer.  I know I want to publish names of those who both supported and opposed Prop 8, but why?  Because I feel strongly about gay marriage.  Still, that’s not a “right” – is it?  Or is it, if only by convention.  Heterosexual couples have the “right” to marry.  Not only does Prop 8 deny that “right” to homosexual couples, but it further states CA will not recognize legally married homosexual couples.

I’m finding more and more arguments like this, which I find to be logical and well-written.  (He wrote another, equally good, piece – this one on abortion).  What is it in our national culture to have conflated the religious institution of marriage and the civil one?  There aren’t other instituions so conflated, are there?  No other religious ritual confers the legal status of a contract, does it?

So what makes marriage a “civil right”?  It would seem to me the civil right is the right of Americans of legal age to enter into a contract,and if they choose, to seek religious approval of that contract.  We don’t restrict real-estate sales – a contract.  We don’t restrict other contracts.  Why this one?

Published in: on November 18, 2008 at 8:56 pm  Comments (2)  

What is it they don’t get?

Category:  STUPID POLITICIANS – the redundancy is worth it.

What movie is it one of the characters asks “Are you MENTAL?”  I wanted to ask that after reading this e-mail, but realized it would be insulting to the mentally retarded to compare them to this.

Got this e-mail today:

Tess,Governor Romney I just want to thank you for being an early supporter of my campaign.

You recognize the importance of electing a Washington outsider with the experience, vision and values to confront our nation’s challenges, and with your help, your fellow Americans are quickly joining our effort.

With Mayor Giuliani’s disappointing finish in the Florida primary – a state where he dedicated most of his time and resources – this race has come down to a contest between me and Senator McCain.

And with victories in Nevada, Michigan, and Wyoming, and strong second-place showings in Florida, Iowa, and New Hampshire, it’s clear that I’m the only candidate with the broad-based support to unite the coalitions within the Republican Party.

You have come through time and again, and now, I must ask for your support at this exciting time.  We’ve done so well in the early states, but in just one week, we will face an unprecedented challenge – 21 states will hold their nominating contests!

That’s right.  I need the resources necessary to take my message to 21 states in just one week.

If you can contribute $500, $250, $100, $50, even $25 or any amount you can afford, it will be so appreciated and go a long way to clinching the nomination … and then the White House.

I have the energy and the right combination of business background and strong family values and leadership experience.  It’s going to take a strong, determined approach to ensure liberal initiatives fail and conservative principles prevail, and our nation heads in a positive direction.

Can I count on you today?  Any amount you can give will be so helpful.

Thank you so very much,

Mitt Romney

P.S.  Please contribute $500, $250, $100, $50, even $25 or any amount you can afford.  Also, you may ask your friends and family to contribute as well.  There’s no better time than the present to make history and keep American moving on a path to strength and prosperity.  Thanks again.

Of course, this is AFTER I wrote to the campaign to say he got it wrong on guns, gay marriage, and abortion.  I would have liked to support him, and would have done so had he not pandered to what he thinks is the Republican Party base.  I like his business acumen, and wanted him to know this is one registered Republican who would not be supporting his campaign.

When Romney first announced, I was prepared to get behind him.  The more I looked, the more I disliked, and I let him know early in the campaign.

Desperation smells funny.

Mind you, I don’t particularly care for McCain, though he’s looking like the least of all evils.  Huckabee is a preacher and Ron Paul a kook (and a hypocrite).

Is there a single person I could vote FOR?  I dream of that day.

I still don’t understand

Okay, I hope someone can explain this to me.

Why is there no such thing as “civil union” between a man and a woman? Why are “domestic partner” benefits limited to partners of the same sex? I don’t understand. After all, I was married in a civil ceremony, at a courthouse in Colorado, and there has never been a religious component to our union – why does my paper say “marriage” instead of “civil union”? If politicians want to endorse civil unions that give all the legal benefits of marriage, why don’t they just make it legal to marry?

So it’s rather obvious from the wording that I really don’t understand. What bothers me is that I’ve yet to find a logical explanation. So if you can explain it, or know someone who can, please please do so.

I’m sure it’s also rather obvious I’m in favor of gay marriage. Well, not “in favor” – any more than I’m “in favor” of heterosexual marriage – if it works for you, do it. I’ve yet to find any rigorous, unbiased studies that indicate children raised by gay parents lack something other children have – particularly something meaningful. I’ve seen anecdotal replies, but there probably aren’t a lot of situations for which you can’t find anecdotal evidence. Frankly, the only benefit I see of marriage is that of legality – oh, civil benefits! Commitment can’t come from a piece of paper.

Published in: on August 12, 2007 at 10:11 am  Leave a Comment