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Racism in the Political Machine May 6, 2010

Posted by rjpeel in Conservative, Liberal, Life and Politics, Politics, Truth.
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I’m watching all of this furor over the new Arizona law. As I said before, I have personal reasons for feeling compassion toward some illegal immigrants. My family counts some illegal immigrants among the circle of friends we have built in the course of our lives–those friends that always remain friends despite distance and even lack of communication in many cases. Despite this, though, I have been supportive of Arizona’s new law because I feel I understand the need for it and the out of control problems that have been caused by the immigration issues. I also feel that since the Federal Government has failed in its responsibility to address this issue, states have every right to protect their own citizens and communities.

However, after seeing the expansive nature of the furor over this new law–and all of the ugly things being said about it by various groups and individuals, I wanted to know for myself if the law really had anything in it that either 1) promoted or 2) allowed for racial profiling and the targeting of Hispanics.

So, I read the law. The law was not as short as some reports I’d read (it was 17 pages long), but it was very organized and easy to understand–and it gave clear answers to my questions.

My first question was: Does it promote racial profiling? The answer is no. My second question was: does it allow for racial profiling? The answer to this was also, very clearly, no.

The law specifically forbids acting on the basis of race alone. Given the sue happy society we live in, this will give anyone who was even possibly stopped for only this purpose grounds to sue and create a real problem for any authorities caught doing this. So, the pressure will not only be present it will be HUGE in favor of having other concrete and provable factors present before pursuing the identification of a potential illegal immigrant.

Given this, I believe that every group or individual who is laying claims of racism and racial profiling with regards to this law has committed a serious infraction against our society. It is clear that this law will not promote either.

To all of the Hispanic communities and their supporters that are rising up against this law, I say: Read the law. Tell the rest of us where, exactly, you see racism in its text. Prove to us that you have real grounds for fear that this law will target honest, law-abiding citizens of the United States. Otherwise, we can only conclude that you are simply trying to protect illegal immigration–and if this is the case, you are complicit in every murder, drug addiction, rape, broken home, and ruined life that results from your protection of this activity. Those tragedies are what the state of Arizona and their supporters are trying to stop.

Let’s find a way to fix legal immigration and stop illegal immigration, so we can at least attempt to keep the murderers, drug dealers, gang members, terrorists, and other bad guys out. Arizona is helping us with one half, let’s all work together and focus on getting the other half done. Hate is wrong, no matter what side of the issue you stand on.

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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.

A Change March 26, 2010

Posted by rjpeel in Conservative, Democrat, Liberal, Politics, Republican, Truth.
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The starting of my blog (No Dog in the Race) sometime back started a journey of understanding for me. It caused me to start thinking of things in a different light. I began to question things. Being a conservative, one of my first questions was, Why do Liberals embrace Liberalism?–because my understanding of Liberalism really made it seem strange and actually ridiculous to embrace these philosophies.

However, pondering this question soon led me to another question. Given that I have friends that I respect who are Liberals, people who I believe to be intelligent, well meaning people, I had to accept that this philosophy held some draw and positive meaning for them. I wondered, then, did they see Liberalism differently than I saw it?

This led very quickly to yet another question: Do these people see Conservatism differently than I do? Seeing what the Liberals on TV say about Conservatives, and even the rather ignorant comments of some of my intelligent and well meaning friends, I began to think that this might actually be the case.

I have not yet mustered the courage for a frank discussion with one of these friends on this topic (for the purpose of learning, not preaching), but I think I must at some point. Since the time that I first began to ask myself these questions, though, I have made a decision to look more closely at my own beliefs–and to ask myself what a conservative really is.

After all of this, I have concluded that the philosophy of sociality and government that I espouse is most certainly conservative, but I now realize that the label Conservative can be accurately applied to individuals whose belief systems I would find to be repugnant as well. Also, if one looks further back into history the terms Liberal and Conservative become even more malleable.

However, there are some core principles that most emphatically make me a Conservative and not a Liberal. Among these beliefs are some obvious ones.

I believe in limited government. A study of history should convince any rational human being that there are people out there with power who have an insane dedication to taking power, freedom, and happiness from others. History teaches us that there are those outside and inside our society that want to destroy our freedom and subject us. There are many ways that our free, democratic republic can be replaced with another form of government. There are other countries who would invade and do this if they thought they could. But there are people in our own country that would do the same, people who think we should all live a certain way–whether we like it or not. This second kind of change can come through a revolution like our country has seen once before, or it can come more slowly by slowly building tyranny while disguising it as something else.

There are people on both sides of the aisle that would like to be in control of our country, for their own purposes. If the federal government is too small and impotent, then people of power can step in and abuse the people of this country. Our history has seen such times as these. Also, if our government is too big and is able to control too much of our lives, then one simply needs to find a way to control that government and you control the nation. And I am forced to conclude that a government that is made large because it is given the power to give the American people everything they need, it will also have the power to take away everything we need as well.

Our country’s constitution, properly applied, creates a government that has the power necessary to protect us from power-hungry citizens, but also creates a government that must remain small enough so that it never transforms from being our protector into being our oppressor.

This principle, in and of itself, makes me a conservative. There are others, but I don’t have time to belabor them now.

However, I see way too much of both Conservatives and Liberals drinking their “side’s” Kool-Aid. As Conservatives and Liberals we must agree to put party affiliation aside in the search for truth. If the Liberals have good ideas, we should acknowledge them and adopt them. If the Conservatives have good ideas, we should do the same. There are principles given the appellation Conservative that I, as a Conservative, would denounce. I must, therefore, accept that the denouncing of a principle does not invalidate a philosophy–on either side.

Our loyalty to the truth must always, no exceptions allowed, prevail over our loyalty to any political philosophy, group, or party we belong to. If Conservatives, Liberals, and Independents can embrace this, then no one and nothing will ever take our freedom. If not, then eventually, someone will.