The Liberal Conservative

Name:
Location: Texas, United States

Friday, October 20, 2006

Absent

Taking the day off. I'll start posting again on Monday.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Corruption of Politics

It doesn't matter what topic you discuss. Chances are if it's scandalous, a politician somewhere is engaged in it. And this is not party-centric. If you're absolutely fair, you can't point to a particular major political party and say "See! They alone are guilty of this!". For every Mark Foley, you've got a Gerry Studds. For every Harry Reid, you've got a Bill Frist.

The point is, our political system is broken. Congress as a whole is more concerned about keeping their jobs, with pulling down more pork and benefits. And less concerned with actually governing this country the way it's people deserve. The election process becomes more and more bedraggled with every turn. Allegations of campaign fraud, voter fraud, polling fraud, and vote counting fraud dog the steps of most elections now. Some of it's sour grapes on the part of the person that lost their bid for office, and some of it is genuinely plausible.

Politically active judges do not help the situation at all. Can anyone come up with a valid, plausible reason why we shouldn't force people to prove who they are, as a requirement to vote? I think I know why judges are doing things like forbidding the enforcement of laws that do just that. But that thought makes me ill to my stomach. It encourages voter fraud. And if I think that the judicial branch is attempting to influence elections, I get upset to the point of ranting aloud to myself. So, in a brief moment of fortune telling, here's what I see happening next month.

Whoever loses in Arizona and/or Missouri (and any other places that have voter ID laws circumvented) will launch a massive lawsuit claiming voter fraud. Votes will be recounted, registration lists will be double-checked, machines will be diagnosed, and nothing will change. The election will be allowed to stand. But the political party of the loser will from that day forward, point to that election as fraudulent. The problem is, they might be right.

Politicians have forgotten how to campaign honestly, and lose gracefully. Pointing out character flaws has devolved into mud-slinging, which has devolved into bitch-slapping, which has devolved into eye-gouging, which has devolved into public character castrations. How long until the situation has deteriorated to the point where someone just kills their political opponent? Think it can't happen? Look what happened to the mayoral candidate over in Russia.

Why have things gotten so bad? Because professional politics is lucrative. It's no longer about representing your constituants. It's about benefiting yourself. Gubanatorial candidate Kinky Friedman said it best. "Why did people spend millions of dollars, for a three hundred thousand dollar a year job?" when he discussed the last Texas gubanatorial election.

Ideally in my opinion, the way to fix things is to completely reform campaign finance, reform lobbying, and form a new political party that's free of all past (and hopefully future) scandals and questionable dealings. Of course, what do I know? I couldn't get elected if I wanted to. Too many mud-bogs in my past.

On a completely unrelated note, if anybody knows of more moderate liberal and conservative blogs than the ones I have in my links section. Please pass them on to me. I try to read the ones I have, but some days it's just too difficult to handle all the ranting, raving and genuine insanity.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

What exactly do we expect the Border Patrol to do?

http://www.thenewamerican.com/artman/publish/article_4188.shtml
http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txw/press_releases/2006/Sutton statement re compean and ramos conviction.pdf

Agents Ramos and Compean are scheduled to be sentenced for a total of fifteen felony charges resulting from their attempt to apprehend a drug smuggler in the El Paso area. Let's repeat that one again, because some people have trouble believing it isn't a mistake. Two Border Patrol agents were convicted of fifteen felony charges on the word of an illegal alien who was also smuggling drugs into the United States.

Whisky. Tango. Foxtrot!?!?

The criminal is also suing the Border Patrol for five million dollars for violation of his "civil rights".

Whisky. Tango. Foxtrot!?!?

What civil rights would those be? He's a drug smuggler, and he's not a citizen of the United States. I guarantee you that the moment a citizen of the United States enters Mexico, their "civil rights" fly right out the window. But "political correctness" (see previous post for my opinion on that) dictate that we extend non-existant rights to undeserving people for some reason.

So what do we reward these two agents with for doing their job? We make them convicted criminals. The illegal in question, fled from lawful legal detainment. He assaulted one of the agents and continued running. He was toting up to one million dollars worth of drugs in the back of his van. According to testimony from the other agent. He appeared to be armed. He fled the country to escape justice and we're going to ALLOW him to use our courts to cripple our border security.

Whisky. Tango. Foxtrot!?!?

These two agents are guilty of failing to file a report regarding the discharge of their firearms. Firearms utilized in the attempt to enforce the law in our country. The agents failed to follow the "No Pursuit" procedure in dealing with a fleeing illegal alien. The illegal alien in question has since been caught smuggling drugs into the United States AGAIN. He was detained, allowed to testify against the agents in question, and released to go his merry way. The immunity he was given in the first case did not extend to the second drug smuggling attempt. But we let him go anyways.

Whisky. Tango. Foxtrot!?!?

Okay, the agents screwed up. They failed to follow multiple procedures in dealing with this incident. Discipline them. Official reprimand, suspension, or even termination for failing to follow said procedures. I've got no problem with that. Convict them of fifteen felony charges?

Whisk... Forget it. There's too many WTF moments in this story to keep that up.

The illegal alien was allegedly coached through his testimony by a childhood friend, who just happened to be a Border Patrol agent himself. One with suspected ties to the drug cartels of Mexico. Let's process that for a moment. A potential corrupt agent, is helping a known drug smuggler through the legal process to convict the agents that stopped a million dollar shipment of drugs into the United states? A potential corrupt agent is helping a known drug smuggler through the legal process to sue the Border Patrol for five million dollars because non-existent civil rights were violated in the attempt to apprehend him for being in the country illegally, and attempting to smuggle one million dollars worth of drugs into he United States?

I see holes large enough to drive jumbo jets through in this case. It should have never gone to trial in the first place. The defendants were performing their sworn duties. Yes they violated PROCEDURES, but in my opinion committed no criminal acts. The accuser has EVERY reason to lie. Revenge, financial gain, immunity from criminal acts. Take your choice.

Once we were stupid enough to let this come to trial. It should have never taken place in a border city. The potential for the jury to be biased is far too great.

Once the trial started, we should never have taken the word of a known criminal over the word of two agents who swore oaths to uphold the laws of our country.

Once we were stupid enough to convict sworn law enforcement agents, the sentencing phase should have been put on hold while the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT went forward with their investigation of the incident. But it looks like these two men will be sentenced today or tomorrow.

Blame America first people! It's the popular thing to do. When the system finishes it's complete and total failure to function. We'll really be able to blame ourselves. Because we let it happen.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Alternative Fuels

Now, before you get the wrong idea here. I'm not some hippy tree-hugger. Okay, I look like a hippy, but the last tree I hugged was something really fragrent to lend some taste to the bar-b-que. And my idea of a vegetarian pizza is dead cow (it's a vegetarian, and goes on pizza).

The world has a major dependancy on oil. It has for decades, and it doesn't look like that is going to change any time soon. But it should for the US. I'm not saying this because of global warming, or air pollution, or any other environmentalistic reason. My reasoning for saying this is quite simply national security.

Right now, we send billions of dollars out to hostile countries for the oil they hang over our heads like a guilletine. What would happen to our economy, or our very way of life if all the people that hate us, decided to impose a massive oil embargo? They won't lack for customers. The rest of the industrialized world would be more than happy to pick up the purchasing slack. And we'd be stuck in gas lines a mile long struggling to get to and from work on a daily basis. There's thousands of alternative scenarios where we could be badly hurt by oil, so don't take the one I mentioned to heart. We are in a very vulnerable situation right now, due to oil. In addition, I'd love to see those billions of dollars go to someone OTHER than people that hate our guts. And would like nothing better than to see us roast over an open flame.

The largest objections to alternative fuels to date have been energy efficiency, storage, infrastructure and cost.

The elecric car? Big bust due to limited speed, range, and the time it takes to recharge the batteries. Lack of power was also a major consideration as well. It's hard to cram all the necessities for modern transportation into an electric vehicle that isn't the size of a small semi truck.

Hydrogen? Wow, it's great stuff, but it's got limitations as well. It takes a great deal of lighter than air gas to reach 1 GGE (gallon of gas equivilent). But advances are being made all the time. Some people scream about safety with hydrogen. "Remember the Hindenberg!" being the rallying call for those that would bury hydrogen in an unmarked grave. Unfortunately, those people don't realize it wasn't the hydrogen that burned all those people to death. It was the flaming envelope, and the diesal fuel that powered the engines that came plummeting to the ground and burned for hours. The hydrogen went poof in seconds, and the "explosion" from that went up into the atmosphere.

Gas-Electric Hybrids? Great theory, but the cost is out of reach for the common 4 person/2 dog family with a mortgage and a white picket fence. The average hybrid vehicle costing up to $10K more than the equivilent gas vehicle. The savings in gasoline expenditure do not sufficiently offset the extra cost of the vehicle. Economically it takes the life of the vehicle to save enough money from increased mileage, to make up the extra money out of pocket to purchase the hybrid in the first place. Advances are being made all the time, but not fast enough. And not enough automotive manufacturers are embracing the concept. A Diesal-Electric hybrid would be much more efficient anyways.

Ethanol? There's that infrastructure issue. Not enough made, and not enough vehicles utilize the flex-fuel technology that would make it viable. To the best of my knowledge if your vehicle can't handle flex-fuels, it's one or the other as far as go-juice is concerned.

The United States has the greatest capacity for change in history. We proved that in WWII. We went from a peace-time footing, and the destruction of a large part of our Naval forces. To play a large part in winning the war in a few years. The only reason we "can't" overcome any of the limitations regarding alternative fuels, is a complete and total lack of desire to do so. On the part of our government, and the part of our citizens.

I think the main problem we as a country have to embracing alternative fuels, is we're not willing to take a single step towards fixing the problem. We want a total solution, or nothing. And that's just begging for problems. We have the knowledge, the technology, and the ability to impliment partial solutions immediately if we would just take that one step towards the ultimate goal.

Monday, October 16, 2006

An Introduction to your host

I'm sitting here, trying to figure out how to start this whole blog commentary thing.

I guess an introduction is in order first. You can call me Rookster. I'm a rookie to blogs, commentary, and all things political. Before a couple years ago, I was willfully oblivious to the political world. As long as the corruption didn't get too out of hand, I was more than happy to just lightly research the issues that interested me, and vote for the candidate that fit my needs the most.

I'm what you could call a Centrist, Centralist, True Moderate, whatever term floats your boat. I have my own stand on many issues that just do not fit into any of the "organized" political parties. Some examples are (in alphabetical order):

Abortion - Pro Choice (Just be prepared to pay the consequences of your actions before God.)

Drug Use - Legalize it (Regulate it like you do alcohol. Just be sure to enforce it this time.)

Gambling - Pro Gambling (Just tax it out the wahzoo, and put the money to good use.)

Immigration - Tightly controlled and ENFORCED.

Prayer in Schools - If the student or teacher wants to pray, let them.

Prostitution - Legalize it (And tax it out whatever orifice you care to utilize.)

War in Iraq - My approval does not matter in the least. We're there. Stop screwing around and win it.

War on Terror - We must win this at all costs. (Note, this is not the same as Iraq.)

My personal opinion, is that moderates can no longer be heard in the political process. The rants and raves of the fundamentalists, the radicals, have drowned out the calmer, reasonable tones of the moderates. If you want to be heard these days, you have to scream. You have to take your points to the extremes of the spectrum in order for people to even consider that you might have a point. Polite disagreement has gone the way of the DoDo bird. It's now to the point where people have to insult your opinion, you, and your ancestry for you or anybody else to listen to what is being said. And that is a truely lamentable loss.

My thoughts on the greatest ill facing the world today? Believe it or not, it's not terrorism. It's not global warming. It's not Radical Islam. It's Political Correctness. This absurd mindset will destroy the world as we know it today. It will destroy your freedoms, and the world your children must live in. Something we have to ask ourselves is. Will being politically correct give my child a better world to live in? Taking the extreme measures of today into account, can you honestly answer that question with "yes"?