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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I actually agree that coporations get too many breaks sometimes. I agree they should pay their fair taxes. I agree they get too many special privileges that individuals don't get.

    Yow, where should I surrender my Republican membership card?

    Corporations are fine, but they shouldn't get special treatment. I am for various tax breaks for business expenses, for doing "humanitarian" work, and even for capital gains (which I consider double-taxation). However, we often in this country go far beyond that, suc
    • *blink*

      Pudge, are you feeling all right?

      Your point about the Democrats not being above reproach resonates with me. In fact, I'm uncomfortable being grouped those alcoholic, philandering ass-clowns (although I'd sure like to party with them). However until there's a party governed by perspective and compassion (that also has a reasonable shot at winning seats in Congress or taking the White House), I have to pick the "evil of two lessers." Given the chronic low voter turn out in recent years, is America ge
      • Anyone really familiar with my beliefs wouldn't think I said anything extraordinary; I may be a card-carrying right-wing Christian conservative Republican, but that doesn't mean I have to always think like one!

        I have my own thoughts [perl.org] about the election process, which boil down to the parties and the media conspiring to deprive the people of real democracy, and the people not really caring that it's happening. So yes, we do get the government we deserve, but it's not like they aren't to blame. I certainly don't think Bush is the best man for the job, though I certainly think he's better than Gore or Clinton. I've never voted for a President, Senator, or Congressman that I thought was well-suited to the job. I do my part to try to change the system, and try to get along as best as I can until it does change, and that's all I can do.

        So yes, we do have to pick the lesser of two evils sometimes. Most of the time. So which is lesserly evil? In regard to national politics, my main concern is that government is small and efficient. My main goal is to return to following the Tenth Amendment [findlaw.com]:

        The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

        This was, in effect, enumeration of the widely held understanding that the US government was only allowed to do what the Constitution said it was allowed to do. It was codifying the promise that the states would remain sovereign in most instances. And why is this important? Because the closer the government is to you, the freer you are, the more power you have over what happens to you, the more powerful your own voice is. I'd have been a Federalist in the 1700s, but today I suppose I am an Anti-Federalist. Funny how times change.

        Of course, the problem is that the Republicans in Washington don't seem much more interested in this than the Democrats; but at least the Republicans say they agree with the principle. It's the best I can do right now, like you.

        As to perspective: neither party has any more than the other.

        As to compassion: I disagree strongly that the Democrat party has an ounce more compassion than the Republican party. The problem as I see it is that the Democrat party puts the principle of compassion above the principle of freedom. Achieving or maintaining freedom sometimes isn't "compassionate," but it is always right. "Live Free or Die" isn't just a quaint slogan on a license plate for some people. Freedom is the most important thing. While neither party acts in accordance with this belief, the Democrat party openly attacks freedom in the defense of compassion, such as in most forms of taxation, such as in centralization of powers to "help more people," such as in many forms of federal regulations ... designed to suck away our freedom all for the supposed greater good, for compassion. Well, I don't buy it. The systematic stripping of freedom is not compassionate to me.

        Further, I think that we can help more people directly by de-centralizing services, even privatizing them in many cases. Charity was alive and well long before the government took it over, and it can be again. But even if the government does remain in control, the more local the control, the better people can be helped. This principle is almost universal. It's not like I am against government welfare; but if it exists, I want it locally controlled. I was on the town Finance Committee and voted to give thousands of dollars to various charitable causes. I also voted against a few causes, because I felt that if the local government does support charities, they should be real efforts of funding and not just a few donations here and there, which I feel citizens should take responsibility for.

        So similarly, I denounce Bush's current proposal to put more strict controls on how states deal with people on welfare (he wants to increase the required percentage of people on welfare who work) simply because I want the states to, each in turn, decide what is the best way to help their own people. If that means 65% or 50% or 90% instead of 70% who have jobs, then so be it. I believe in democracy and the power of people, when given the chance, to make the right decisions (funny as that may sound). I don't think Washington politicians are better equipped to say how to handle Massachusetts welfare than Boston politicians are. When the federal government is in control, we have no voices as individuals; no one listens to a word we say. When the state is in control, we have at least some voice. When the city is in control, our voices are tremendously powerful, and that is the essence of our system of governance.

        Of course, none of that says anything about issues that are federal issues, like wars, treaties, environmental policy, abortion, and more. But while I agree with the Republican party on many of those issues, my main reason for affiliation is as outlined above. You may notice that pretty much all of my political opinions stem from the concept of freedom I've outlined in brief above: that each successively greater level of government (family-> neighborhoood-> district-> municipality-> county-> state-> region-> nation) only exerts that power which it must exert, usually only because the lower levels are unable to. Where the Republican party strays from that principle, I oppose it, and giving corporations far more rights than individuals is certainly an example of that.

        And as a somewhat related issue, it is looking like the head of the Salt Lake City Olympics, Mitt Romney, is going to be a candidate for Governor of Massachusetts. I am an alternate delegate (alternate because of my child's impending birth) to the GOP convention in a little over a month; if he is a candidate, that might be enough to make me try to attend. Go Romney!