Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Pursuing alternatives 

The itch to vote third party is something I have given some thought to over the past couple of years. I understand the reasons for doing so (one of the most creative I have seen thus far can be found here.) After some thought though, I have reached the opposite conclusion. After you have read the post linked above, go here for some serious analysis of the situation third parties find themselves in. I don't have the time to go in depth now, but the two major parties may be moderate in their tone and their policy pursuits, but the big tent means there will probably be room for a rock ribbed conservative like myself somewhere.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

An Opportunity 

The issue of Social Security solvency is one that will become hotter and hotter as the impending retirement of the "baby boom" generation draws nearer. In a debate tonight, Nick Clooney suggested taking the ceiling off of Social Security taxes paid by employees in order to ensure its sustainability. In this brief article (here), Mr. Clooney said his idea is
"a revolutionary idea that nobody is talking about". . . "We're doing that with Medicare," . . . "People with high income don't like the idea but it can make the whole system solvent for 75 years."

If there was ever a hanging pitch for the Geoff Davis campaign to hit, it was this one. According to the story, Mr. Davis' spokesman wasted no time in calling it (rightly) a tax increase saying
So far in this campaign Mr. Clooney has called for increasing federal income taxes by $90 billion, said he is against eliminating the death tax and today called for increasing payroll taxes

If I may, I want to suggest to the Davis people two possible routes with this statement from Mr. Clooney: 1. Point out that there is nothing revolutionary about increasing payroll taxes to fund a government entitlement. It would seem that a changing world and changing economy require different ways of thinking about things, including government programs and how they are run. This leads naturally to point 2: Mr. Davis' campaign should not hesitate at all to grab hold of the President's plan to privatize part of Social Security. By advocating privatization of Social Security, Geoff Davis would draw an immediate and positive contrast with his opponent. Mr. Clooney can try to patch things up as they are but Mr. Davis wants to change a government program to meet future challenges. The images drawn for the average voter would be very effective. Walter Mondale sealed his electoral doom with admitting his desire to increase taxes in 1984 at his nominating convention. Mr. Clooney might have done just the same last night.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Swaggarting into history 

To be honest I have mixed emotions about this story from Canada. I will detail some of my thoughts and feelings in a stream-of-consciousness post.

I don't think Swaggart was right for saying he would kill a gay man. Jesus did say that having hatred in your heart was just as bad as actually killing them. Paul tells many different churches that hatred and malice are things that should be put off when putting on Christ. Jimmy Swaggart is in clear violation of the direct commands of Scripture. He should apologize immediately and look to God to change his heart.

Having said all of that, I am going to depart from some of my brothers and sisters and actually seek some kind of defense of Swaggart. While what Swaggart said was stupid and hateful in its own right, nevertheless, I don't think Swaggart would actually inflict bodily harm on anyone, making his comments inflammatory, but not actually threatening anyone. Further, while one may be quick to condemn Swaggart for opening his mouth, let us not forget that homosexuality is still an unhealthy and quite frankly repulsive act. I think that he was expressing base emotions with his comments, and was saying what a lot people regardless of culture generally think about the practice. Should his comments have been kept in check? Yes, they should have. Was he simply saying what others were thinking? Yes to that too.

What I found disturbing most of all wasn't Jimmy's foolish comments, but the very real threat of the Canadian government treating his comments as hate speech. Other religious broadcasters in Canada have been punished by the state for simply broadcasting what the Bible says about the practice of homosexuality. If I find the practice of homosexuality to be objectionable (and I do) and if I broadcast my opinion, why should I need a lawyer handy to simply state what I am thinking? I don't agree with Swaggart's statements, but the Canadian government would do well to simply leave well enough alone and butt out. I would like for either Evangelical Outpost or Hugh Hewitt or someone address this specific point about voicing a dissenting opinion. I am scared and outraged at the possible chilling of free speech this case could highlight. By the way, what is the difference between what the Canadian government is threatening to do and what many colleges and universities have already done with "speech codes" on campus?

I invite all points of view on this subject and any responses I receive will be greatly appreciated.

(hat tip): Evangelical Outpost

something to ponder 

I was reading about the new movie Sky Captain and the World of Tommorow being created entirely on a "blue screen" set. This use of technology in the end really is going to be revolutionary in its impact on entertainment. I saw the trailer for the film and decided that the film was a huge gamble as a movie, but when I found out it was completely computer generated, my mind changed. It also brought to mind this article from techcentralstation.com talking about how Lord of the Rings must be remade.

While I'm cool to idea of embracing the latest technical trend that comes down the pike, I can see some good uses and applications if handled properly and rightly.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Outsource This! 

Being a resident of Ohio, I have the "pleasure" of seeing the occassional commercials for John Kerry (Being one of the shrinking number of states he HAS NOT given up on is a burden to bear till November, but I'll take it.). In some of these adds, they talk about ending tax loopholes for corporations who "outsource" jobs. Leaving aside the problems with defining "outsourcing" for a moment, let us consider how much of a "problem" the practice really is for workers. According to Jerry Boyer on National Review Online, the number of jobs lost due to outsourcing in a quarter are made up for in less than a day in our economy.

You can read the quick piece and look at the pretty "buzzchart" here.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Razormouth.com, a website that my wife and I have frequented in the past, has become the domain of one Joel Miller, a libertarian author. It seems that all of the other posters have either been kicked off or have left on their own accord. It was a site that I used to look at every day and will be one that I will visit from time to time. Go there and check it out. Mr. Miller brings a unique perspective that should be heard.

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