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Arizona’s New Law April 27, 2010

Posted by rjpeel in Conservative, Democrat, Liberal, Life and Politics, Republican, Truth.
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It is truly amazing to see the brouhaha over this illegal immigration law in Arizona. However, what really amazes me is the idea that some people think that the law is racist or worse. Arizona is being labeled a Nazi state (notice they don’t say communist, why is that?). 

Does it really not make sense that in an area where there is a massive influx of illegal immigrants and illegal invaders, the authorities would require individuals to be able to prove their citizenship, so they can remove those who are there illegally? I mean, really?

Now don’t get me wrong, I see the issue of illegal immigration as being more complicated than many conservatives. I believe our country has a right to protect itself against illegal immigration and that we need to close the borders and instead focus on ways to bring the people who want to come into this country here in a way that is legal and mutually beneficial–however, I do have compassion for some of those who already find themselves here.

I believe that our response to those already in our country illegally should be tempered by an understanding that it has been our choice for years not to enforce the laws–which seems an invitation to a people who are desperate to escape abject poverty and horrid violence. They must bear responsibility for coming here illegally, but our lack of enforcement did create an unwritten invitation for these people and we must include that understanding in our response.

In addition, my family knows, from personal experience, that some of the illegal immigrants here in this country are here because they were brought here by others–and they bear NO responsibility for the crime that brought them here. Some might say that then it is their responsibility to leave. I say that compassion can and should lead us down a different road for these individuals. Our family knows a young man and a young woman who were brought into this country years ago by their parents. These children did not commit any crime, their parents did. Our hearts were softened to the plight of the illegal immigrant and those U.S. citizens who help them when we learned of the young woman in this family I mentioned leaving her parents because her father was abusive. She was scared, all alone, and in this country illegally. Someone helped her. They gave her a place to live for a short time, helped her with other resources, and did not turn her over to the authorities. I admire and applaud this family for their compassion.

So, like so many of the issues that are so divisive between the political factions in our country. Things are much more complicated than either side wants to admit. We should neither turn a blind eye to illegal immigration because we want to increase our voter pool, nor treat all illegal immigrants without compassion or understanding. It takes more effort, it takes people who care more about right and wrong than they do about right and left.

Arizona’s law is a good one. Rather than focussing on killing a good law that the people of Arizona need to protect themselves against drug cartels and other criminals, we should be focussing on working with those who made the law to ensure that it is not abused. Those of us on both sides of the aisle must work with mutual respect to see that this law is implemented with that same respect.

Instead of turning our wrath on the typical illegal immigrant, we must hold accountable those politicians and businesses who create an environment that encourages people to enter this country illegally. These are the people who deserve our disdain. They are the ones who are keeping our borders open to drug cartels, murderers, and gangs for their own selfish benefit.

Abusing Freedom April 24, 2010

Posted by rjpeel in Conservative, Liberal, Truth.
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In the political world in which we live, each side seems to have grown quite adept at finding the faults that exist on the other side. It is also all to common that we do not see the faults that exist on our own side, nor fully acknowledge those that exist on both sides. We’re too busy trying to discredit the other side to let in anything that might distract from this focus–even just a little. As a result, we miss opportunities to improve and correct ourselves–and missing these opportunities may prove more dangerous than it at first seems.

One of those opportunities that I think conservatves have missed, and that I think Liberals are misunderstanding or using to their advantage (depending on the purity of their individual motives) is the fact that in a free society there are always those that abuse freedom. Some companies and groups abuse freedom by engaging in behaviors that may turn a profit, but that do harm to individuals, groups, the nation, or even the world. Individuals abuse freedom by engaging in selfish, dangerous or even illegal activities.

The financial meltdown that occurred in this country and that affected the entire world was caused by risky investments that some on ‘wallstreet’ chose to sell, encourage, or engage in. These investements were made possible by liberal policies that were put in place many years ago and promoted and safeguarded by both Democrats and Republicans over the years. This abuse of freedom has caused many to call for more regulation, more oversght, more controls and laws put in place to ensure that this never happens again–and all the time, those ultimately responsible for this haven’t even taken responsibility and been punished (mostly the politicians that put the policies in place that made this meltdown possible).

When we see stories of kidnappings, murder, and other such tragedies, we wonder if more couldn’t be done to ensure that the police had all of the information they needed at their fingertips–we don’t believe that infringing on the privacy of malicious people is a bad thing. We see that peope die from not having seat belts on, so we make laws that they must wear their seatbelts. We see that some parents don’t treat their kids the way they should, so we put more laws in place that give the government and the courts a greater ability to control families.

Ultimately, those individuals who choose to abuse freedom are giving ammunition not only to well meaning, but misguided, inividuals who want to make the world a better and safer place, but they also give ammunition to those who want to take our freedoms away, so they and theirs can have more power and wealth. Ultimately, individals and groups in a free society that do not exercise self restraint create reasons to give the government more and more power over our lives–which takes more and more freedom away.

This will lead to socialism or even something much, much worse in time. Many people in our great country want socialist policies and laws to be put in place, not because they like the idea of socialism (something many of us don’t even understand), but because they have been convinced that we need protection and help and that the only entity powerful enough to provide that is the government. They don’t realise that when you give the government that much power, eventually it will be abused–the protector will become the abuser and then there will be no one who can save the people from this threat.

So, as conservatives, we need to reject the idea that those things which distract from our fight against liberal policies and such are always damaging or destructive to our cause. We must champion the principles of freedom, which start with self restraint. We must teach the current generations that without self restraint, we WILL eventually lose our freedom. We must champion this with even more vigor than we use as we stand against those policies that we know will take our freedom, because if we take our eye off this ball, eventually the abuses of freedom will overwhelm our society to the point where freedom cannot, not will not, but CANNOT be protected.

Rights and Responsibilities April 9, 2010

Posted by rjpeel in Conservative, Democrat, Liberal, Politics, Republican, Truth.
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Being that my profession is in the marketing industry, I try to learn from some of the giants in the industry. One of these giants is a man named Seth Godin. He’s a remarkably insightful person who blogs on marketing and business development, but also comments within these contexts and without, on life in general. Seth is also openly liberal.

His post for today was titled ‘Rights and Responsibilities’. His basic point here was that businesses should focus on their responsibilities and their rights would take care of themselves. One example he gave was of restaurants that lobbied against regulations that forced restaurants to post their health department grades and who said this was a violation of their free speech rights. He also cited Pepsi and other soft drink suppliers who are fighting against a tax on soda–his point being that they should welcome the tax because the tax was for the good of all and would affect all competitors in the industry the same.

This is an example where even some of the wisest among us can get it very wrong–and I think that his oversight is common among those who have enjoyed having rights their whole lives, but who have seen other kinds of injustice perpetrated around them and are naive enough to think that every wrong can be fixed with laws and taxes. What Seth doesn’t realize is that rights must be protected with vigor and determination, or they will eventually be taken away and that a given action is often not all right or all wrong. The restauranteur who doesn’t want to show his health report (making him very suspect in any reasonable person’s mind) IS defending liberty when he tries to stop this law–and consumer advocates are fighting for something good when they simply want the restaurants to tell the truth, so individuals can make their own decisions.

Sometimes we actually need the nut jobs because they’ll fight harder than any of us for some important things. In a free society, people, groups, or institutions will always arise that will mistreat or abuse others. Some will have the power and influence to cause great harm against the innocent or other guilty parties. However, in a free society, you can always turn to the government to help redress these issues (when all other means have failed). However, when the government gains too much power and is in the position to set all the rules up front, rather than respond to the cries of the people when wrongs are done, that government will eventually be run by the same type of selfish power-hungry people who abuse the citizenry anyway–in fact, giving this kind of power to the government will ensure that government positions are the most coveted for this type of individual and so they will lie, cheat, abuse, murder, and do all manner of vile things to eventually ensure that they get that power. Then, when the government is filled mostly with this kind of person, who will redress the wrongs committed by them?

This is the one oversight among the liberals that I think is most dangerous. The best, most noble and honorable among them simply feel that the government is the only one that can right these many wrongs that exist in our society (which are many and, in some cases, very heinous). What they don’t realize is that the existence of these things is a price a society like ours pays to avoid evils that are so much greater that these people’s experience just hasn’t prepared them to understand. Our government doesn’t have the power right now to kill its own citizens the way Hitler, Stalin, and Mao did–however, all of these men got their power by promising to create a government that was the people’s government. Each embraced socialist policies and claimed to be putting the good of the society above the good of any individual or group of individuals–they claimed the moral high ground.

So, to all of those who fight for rights, even rights I may not necessarily agree should be protected, I say: Fight On! There is a balance when people have the right to fight for their rights. When they lose this right (either because the government takes it away, or because they willingly give it away in favor of their responsibilities or for any other reason, everyone loses).

Some will think that this blog entry is trying to make the point that individuals and businesses should fight for their rights and avoid their responsibilities (I think that might even be a stereotype held against conservatives to some degree). Please know that I think every individual should take their responsibilities seriously, probably even a little more seriously than their rights, but I’m just not naive enough to think that a society that focusses solely on their responsibilities and doesn’t fight to protect their rights will keep their rights by some magical means. Fight for your rights or lose them–those are the only choices.