Wally Wonders Why

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American Culture

Rocky Road

rricWalk through the frozen section at Haggen and you will pass by about a hundred varieties of ice cream. We Americans can take our freedom of choice pretty seriously and people can get pretty passionate when it comes to choosing their ice cream. I haven’t traveled the world extensively, but I think it is safe to say we are unique both in our ability to choose a dessert and in the variety we have to choose from.

My favorite is Rocky Road and if I were going to go on a little private binge, that’d be in my bowl. Isn’t binge eating what made Ben & Jerry successful? Ice cream can also be consumed socially, but I think the last time Rocky Road was served at a party, it was my party. Usually compromises are essential for harmony and some non-offensive flavor like vanilla is chosen. Am I disappointed with vanilla? Do I spend what could be a happy event bemoaning the lack of marshmallows, nuts and chocolate? No way! I’ll eat vanilla and savor every spoonful.

Protecting our nation is tops on my list for candidates. Fred Thompson’s expounded national protection in his First Principles.

Protecting our Country. The first responsibility of the federal government is to protect the nation and the American people. There is no more important task. We must have a strong and effective military, capable intelligence services, and a vigorous law enforcement and homeland security capacity.

Originally I was for Fred Thompson, but settled for Mitt Romney when the market was out of Fred. Now at the party, I find John McCain served up as the centrist vanilla compromise. Am I disappointed? Will I bemoan the lack of this or that in John McCain? No way!

SolyentGreen28dAt the Democratic Party they are serving up nothing but Soylent Green. So even though I still value Fred Thompson’s principles, and Ron Paul’s conservatism, at the Republican Party I will enjoy and savor every spoonful of John McCain.

Why I am supporting Mitt Romney

The field has narrowed enough that it is no longer just a matter of who I think would perform well as president. Effectiveness and electability are rising on my list and purely ideological arguments are drifting down. I like the ideals and issue focus of both Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. However, I feel that at this point Mitt Romney is much more electable against a Democrat opponent and therefore will be a more effective candidate than Mike Huckabee. This decision left me with 2 options, Mitt Romney & John McCain. Both would make good candidates in a race against Democrats, so the choice comes down to who would make a better president and that brings us back to issues. And in the next short paragraph I will dismiss John McCain as an option.

John McCain may be a Republican, but he is a liberal Republican and I see very little difference between he and the Democratic Party front runners. That very little difference is national defense. I’ll admit I like his stance on the Middle East, but how can he call himself strong on defense while he has been weak on borders? That don’t add up. Bottom line: If I wanted a liberal candidate who said they were strong on defense I would vote for Hillary. At least she is consistent.

Mitt Romney scores high on my Fred Thompson list of big issues and challenges facing our nation.

Issues & challenge

Tidbit about Mitt

The ongoing threat of Islamist terrorism Mitt Romney states his position very clearly when he says: Jihadism – violent, radical, fundamental Islam – is this century’s nightmare. It follows the same dark path as last century’s nightmares: fascism and Soviet communism. Many still fail to comprehend the extent of the threat posed by radical Islam, specifically by those extremists who promote violent Jihad against the United States and the universal values Americans espouse. Yet, the consequences of ignoring this threat – such as a radicalized Islamic actor possessing nuclear weapons – are simply unacceptable.
The unresolved economic threat of entitlements I think this great quote by conservative Governor Mitt Romney says all that need so be said. “Every legislator and politician knows this spending can’t be justified, so why do they do it? Because it gets politicians praised — and re-elected. There’s no courage involved in spending more money. Drawing a line on spending is hard and fraught with criticism. When I vetoed $458 million of excessive spending in the budget this spring, I knew that community newspapers across the Commonwealth would decry my elimination of local pet projects. And, I knew that the Legislature would over ride most of my vetoes. In fact, they over rode all of them, to a chorus of community acclaim. But someone has to say no.”
The need for lower taxes to ensure our nation remains economically competitive and innovative
  • OPPOSING ANY EFFORT TO RAISE OUR TAXES — Governor Romney was the first 2008 presidential candidate to
    sign the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” — promising to oppose any effort to raise taxes.
  • LOWERING TAX RATES FOR EVERYONE — Governor Romney supports making investment income and savings
    interest tax-free for middle-class Americans.
  • ABOLISHING THE DEATH TAX — Governor Romney knows taxing the American people three times — when you earn
    a paycheck, invest it, and pass it on to your children — is unfair. That’s why he will work to abolish the death tax.
  • CUTTING SPENDING — Governor Romney’s management philosophy is grounded in common-sense: spend less
    and balance the budget so future generations of Americans are not saddled with the burden of our nation’s debt.
The need to secure our borders The number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. has exploded in the last decade from 3 million to over 12 million. The increasing tide of illegal immigration has eroded Americans’ faith in the rule of law, put great pressure on our health and education systems, and compromised our national security as our ability to secure our border is questioned around the world. This tide of illegal immigration has made a mockery of our legal immigration system and been fundamentally unfair to those legal immigrants who play by the rules as they wait patiently to pursue the American dream. Sanctuary cities, in particular, attract more illegal immigrants and increase the pressure on federal law enforcement and border control.
The need to support families and to protect our children from the harder edges of culture Governor Romney fought activist judges who imposed same-sex marriage on Massachusetts and testified before Congress in support of the Federal Marriage Amendment. Governor Mitt Romney sided with life in the fight to protect the unborn.
The need to remain engaged in the world while remaining true to America’s principles The American values that have been at the heart of our historic rise to world leadership are being challenged everyday. These include, among others, the institution of marriage, respect for life, and the protection of our children. To remain a superpower in the world we must continuously and vigorously reaffirm these key components that have led to America’s greatness as a country.

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Mitt Romney has experience as a conservative governor of Massachusetts, one of the most liberal states in the nation; great experience for a president who will have to deal with a Democratic Party Congress. Mitt Romney is a fiscal conservative with extensive business experience; great for a nation who some say is in a slump. Mitt Romney is a social conservative; great to lead an ailing nation.

Lastly, our nation and the world need a leader, not just a qualified candidate. Mitt Romney has successful high level leadership experience both in private business and in public office.

I am supporting Mitt Romney because he is a qualified conservative leader. That’s it.

Legislating immorality

I’ve started writing a post on legislating morality. The problem is though, that I’ve started writing it over and over again. In fact, just a few days ago while writing Right to Life, I started it over again after reading the opening of our Declaration of Independence and Constitution.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

moneychangers God ultimately defines morality and each person must choose to act either morally or immorally. However, these two documents define the base set of morals that are required for our nation to function as a free and open society. They are the moral values that are legislated into our nation.

Since I actually wanted to finish this post I will just cut it off without any long winded dissertation. Just this thought.

While many Christians are shying away from legislating morality for any number of ludicrous excuses, there are a growing number of groups fighting daily to legislate immorality. Follow Christ’s example and turn a few tables in our legislative temples.

2008 Candidates on abortion

This post is an adjunct to Right to Life.

I feel that the right of an unborn child to live is about the most basic right there can be for anyone regardless of nationality, religion etc. Yet our nation’s candidates are split into 2 camps on this issue. In the case of the 3 Democratic Party front runners; Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards, they all seem to think that woman’s right to choose supersedes the right of a child to live. Even to the extent that they all oppose banning gruesome partial birth abortions. They say that children who are cruel to pets grow up to be serial killers, but I say that surely at least a few have grown up to be Democrat presidential candidates.

Barack Obama – Supports Roe v. Wade; criticized Supreme Court decision that upheld ban on partial-birth abortions. “I think that most Americans recognize that this is a profoundly difficult issue for the women and families who make these decisions.

Hillary Clinton – Supports Roe v. Wade; opposes ban on partial-birth abortions; judges should protect women’s rights. “This decision, which is one of the most fundamental, difficult and soul searching decisions a woman and a family can make, is also one in which the government should have no role.

John Edwards – Supports Roe v. Wade; criticized Supreme Court decision that upheld ban on partial-birth abortions; opposed John Roberts’s nomination, partly based on his abortion views. I believe in a woman’s right to choose…I believe they should have the freedom to make them for themselves.

NYT Election Guide 2008

For myself, I tend to value life over choice and convenience. Also, being number 6 in a family of 8 kids, I am happy my parents valued life as I do. And lastly I am happy that there is a political party that believes the same. The Republican Party has a wide field of candidates all basically for a child’s right to life.

John McCain – Wants to overturn Roe v. Wade, but has been supportive in the past; supported Supreme Court decision that upheld ban on partial-birth abortions; “strict constructionist judges.”

Mike Huckabee – Wants to overturn Roe v. Wade; supported Supreme Court decision that upheld ban on partial-birth abortions; opposes federal funding. I’m pro-life because I believe life begins at conception, and I believe that we should do everything possible to protect that life because it is the centerpiece of what makes us unique as an American people. We value the life of one as if it’s the life of all.

Fred Thompson – Wants to overturn Roe vs. Wade; opposes partial-birth abortions. “We’ve had a lot of different kind of issues come up in the Senate from federal funding to stem cell research, Roe versus Wade and the partial birth abortion debate or as former Senator Pat Moynihan of New York used to say it’s more like infanticide than partial birth abortion.”

Mitt Romney – Wants to overturn Roe v. Wade, but was supportive in the past; supported Supreme Court decision that upheld ban on partial-birth abortions. “I’ve always been personally pro-life, but for me there was a great question about whether or not government should intrude in that decision. And when I ran for office, I said I’d protect the law as it was, which is effectively a pro-choice position. About two years ago when we were studying cloning in our state, I said, look, we have gone too far; it’s a brave new world mentality that Roe v. Wade has given us; and I change my mind…I won’t apologize to anybody for becoming pro-life.”

Ron Paul – Wants to overturn Roe v. Wade; opposes partial-birth abortions. “As an obstetrician, I know that partial birth abortion is never a necessary medical procedure. It is a gruesome, uncivilized solution to a social problem.”
NYT Election Guide 2008

If some day it were possible to ask the unborn child how they felt about their impending abortion, I’m reasonably sure they would choose their right to life over your right to choose.

Fred Thompson: Education

I think this is the third post regarding Fred Thompson’s position and direction on several issues key for American, both in everyday life and in next years presidential election. As a parent, what Fred has to say in this white paper on education hits right at home. A child’s education truly does start at home and it is important to have an education system that supports parents rather than attempting to negate them.

Fred Thompson believes that every child in America deserves a quality education, and that every parent should determine how that is best accomplished. Despite the tens of billions of dollars spent on education by Washington each year, and the hundreds of federal education programs now in place, our children are still falling behind, particularly in subjects crucial to success in the global economy in which we live. Given the importance of education to our nation’s security, prosperity, and unity, we should all be alarmed and committed to solving this problem.

At a time when America is behind other developed countries in education excellence, the federal role in education is too intrusive and too bureaucratic, and has become part of the problem. No Child Left Behind was a good start — the testing component, in particular, was a necessary measure. The associated federal mandates, however, have put significant administrative burdens on teachers and caused many States to lower testing standards.

State and local governments are closest to the parents, the kids, and the schools. They are best situated to implement changes and innovations that result in better educated children. A new, simplified, federal education block grant program with objective testing standards would bring us closer to reaching the shared goal of improving our schools, while preserving local control. We must begin by returning to our core principles of more parental control and choice, higher standards, and greater accountability as described below:

Empowering Parents, Teachers, and Local School Boards

  • Give parents the ability to choose the best setting situation to meet the needs of their children–whether in a public, private, religious, home or charter school setting.
  • Empower parents and provide choices through vouchers and tax credits.
  • Help educators and school boards by removing federal bureaucratic red-tape and paperwork.

Promoting Higher Standards for Academic Excellence

  • Give states greater flexibility to better measure individual student progress by encouraging the development of individualized state education plans.
  • Remove federal mandates that penalize states for adhering to higher academic standards.
  • Condition education funding on states setting objective, measurable test standards.
  • Encourage students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

Ensuring Accountability within America’s Education System

  • Measure individual student progress and provide assistance to those who need it.
  • Challenge America’s children to succeed in the competitive global economy by offering advanced course-work and more focused educational opportunities.
  • Incentivize teachers who help close the achievement gap by rewarding them for serving in the most challenging schools.
  • Promote transparency to assess academic performance and share innovations in education.

Fred08.com

Grand Old Partisan

It seems like only yesterday that I was fielding comments regarding racism and lack of diversity in the Republican Party and then today I get a great little emailed story from a Republican friend.  Here’s a piece:

 “The first Republican I knew was my father and he is still the Republican I most admire.  He joined our party because the Democrats in Jim Crow Alabama of 1952 would not register him to vote.  The Republicans did.  My father has never forgotten that day, and neither have I.”

That was a quote by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice from the 2000 Republican National Convention.    The emailed story, or post was from Michael Zak’s site Grand Old Partisan.  I’ve added a link my blogroll and for a time I will be displaying their RSS feed in one of the sidebars.  Michael Zak describes the purpose for his mission and his site as.

…Republicans can be thrown on the defensive on nearly any issue because most do not appreciate our Party’s heritage of civil rights achievement. Our heritage is the moral high ground, and giving that up costs us the political initiative. Republican candidates and activists would benefit tremendously from integrating this truth into political campaigns.

He seems to be a rather prolific writer so there doesn’t look to be any shortage of reading material.

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