Archive for October, 2013

Care for a spot of TEA?

Not if you’re a libertarian, apparently. Reuters reports that most Americans who consider themselves libertarians (note: with a small l)¬†do not identify with the TEA party, differing the most on social issues.

Now that’s interesting, because if I remember correctly, TEA is supposed to stand for Taxed Enough Already! It really seems that the TEA party has gone off-track from its original identity of opposing large government, and now seems to be a strictly Republican entity, focused not so much on reducing the size and scope of government. Now, personally, I’m strongly in favor of reducing the number of abortions in this country, as well as protecting gun rights and religious rights, but none of that has to do with taxes.

So who do libertarians identify with? Practically speaking, probably nobody, but according to this survey there’s a significant favoring of Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. Additionally, 96% are opposed to Obamacare. Should be a shoe-in for the GOP, right? Well, actually no. Brink Lindsey of the Cato Institute commented, “Libertarians are not part of the Democratic Party’s base… but they’re not a reliable part of the Republican Party’s vote. Republicans can scare away libertarian voters.” And that, my friends, sounds just like the kind of rope the GOP may eventually hang itself with.

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Hang In There

Here in the U.S., we have a rule won’t try a person twice for the same crime. But, in Iran, they don’t mind hanging you twice for the same crime. A 37-year-old drug smuggler was unsuccessfully hung for his crimes. Since then there has been a lot of swinging back and forth on whether or not to hang the poor guy again.

Amnesty International estimates that Iran has executed 508 people in the past year. No word on how many of those people had to be killed twice. Considering that the sentence was given for drug smuggling in Iran, stoning may have been a more appropriate verdict.

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Push ‘Em Back, Push ‘Em Back, Waaaay Back!

But not to far back, because it might hurt the other team’s feelings. Then, it might get a bullying complaint filed against you. Just like the head coach of Aledo High School, whose football team won their last game 91-0.

The team has recently been placed in a new district where, apparently, the other high school football teams aren’t that great. Instead of those schools using this as a David and Goliath moment, or for improvement, a parent from the losing school filed a formal bullying complaint against Aledo’s head coach. Just another instance to illustrate how appreciating excellence has given way to riding the wave of victimhood.

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Fed Up, Shut Down, and Taking Control

Recently, the government re-opened its doors after being shut down for sixteen days. And, unlike a Monty Python interlude in Holy Grail, there was NOT much rejoicing.

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t notice that the government had gone fishin’. At least, I didn’t notice in any kind of negative way. Here’s what I did notice:

  • The term ‘bully pulpit,’ really got a whole new meaning.
  • Don’t screw with parks and monuments, unless you like to take beatings from 90-year-old veterans.
  • I’m sorry, did someone say ‘wolf’? I couldn’t quite make that out. Oh well.

In its inglorious 225-plus year history, the government has not been shut down enough. Over the past 37 years, there have been 17 blessed government hiatuses. This one was different because people are tired of the government’s whining and stuttering. And the government knows this. You’ll notice I’m not saying ‘the administration,’ ‘Republicans,’ or ‘Democrats.’ I have opted for the more inclusive ‘the government,’ because this shameful gaggle of blustering blowhards is, for once, a truly bipartisan effort.

The government, knowing that people don’t take it very seriously anymore, decided to do what any good ineffective and impotent group would do: make a lot of noise and jump up and down until someone notices. The government did this with this shutdown go-round by closing national parks and monuments.

Many of these locations are out in the open, and you can walk right up. By trying to deny access to these locations during the shutdown, the government was being a bully. Like that kid in 5th grade who won’t let you onto the jungle gym because he wants to stand in front of it to get some attention. That kid hasn’t taken into account two things. First, there are a lot more access points to the jungle gym than the one he is standing in front of. Second, there are a lot more kids than there are stupid bullies standing in front of jungle gyms. And, if the bully has done this before, he should also consider that those usually well-behaved children will reach a breaking point.

And, we did get fed up.

Why were 90-year-old veterans jumping barriers in front of monuments? Because it’s their monument? Yes, of course. More so, the pictures you saw of veterans and others removing the ill-conceived barriers in front of monuments and parks was emblematic of the foul taste we all have in our mouths from the government trying to shove garbage down our throats.

The way the government decided to let you know it was shutdown most recently, was purposely meant to be uncomfortable and rude. At this point, regardless of party affiliation, there is cannot be a single thinking person who believes that the government is a good steward of our trust.

The Lockean thinking, on which our government is based, is that governments are formed to protect property rights of individuals, not to keep us from our property. We have private property, like our homes and personal possessions, and we have publicly held interests, like national parks, as well. The government held up its collective middle finger when it walled off open air monuments. It threw in a “neener-neener,” for good measure. The government said, “we know this belongs to everyone, but you can’t have it.”

Why was the government shut down? They can’t figure out how to spend money. Whose money? Ours and our posterity’s. Have they spent our money well to this point? No. How did they try and prove they would be good stewards of our financial trust and mental trust? By spending more effort blocking us from our collective property than trying to find a real solution.

They wanted us to notice, and we did. We noticed that the government is really good at abusing its power and our trust. We noticed that there are more of us than there are of them. We noticed their threats are empty and absurd. We noticed that this government is so far off track, not just from founding ideals, but from being anything close to useful. And if the government would like to do any noticing, it should notice that those flimsy barricades didn’t scare us, and they can be moved easily. If we are willing to remove barricades to our monuments and parks, we will be willing to remove those obstructions, and obstructionists, blocking individuals and the nation from realizing the burning vision of liberty that forged this nation into existence and continues makes it exceptional and a light to the world.

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Liberty News – October 19, 2013

This Week in Liberty News, the weekly collection of stories I run across affecting your life and liberty in Oklahoma, Texas, and on the national scene.

Stellar News for Standard Excellence and the Lone Star State

Maya GrimWelcome back to Standard Excellence! After a little over a month of absence, we have a big announcement to bring you. There has been a lot of behind-the-scenes work going on lately. Earlier this year, Maya Grim became the first additional contributor to this site. As the Arizona state coordinator for Smart Girl Politics, Maya has brought her perspective from a border state, believing in guns, individual liberty, and the Constitution.

As the tagline indicates, Standard Excellence focuses mainly on Oklahoma and Texas, so writing from Arizona certainly presented challenges to maintain that emphasis. Well, things have changed. Effective immediately, Maya is reporting from the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, to bring you news and opinion with a North Central Texas flavor.

This is a very exciting move that will help to grow the reach of SE and enable us to cover more news first-hand, develop original, in-depth content, and focus on issues that affect our lives in the Heartland. Stay tuned for more announcements by visiting the SE Facebook page, Maya’s Twitter profile, and articles to come, right here on StandardExcellence.net.

Oklahoma

Governor’s Race Officially Underway

With Governor Mary Fallin announcing her plans to run for a second term, and others throwing their hats in, the 2014 Oklahoma campaign season is soon to be in full swing.

Here’s a list of those who have announced their plans to run so far:

  • Mary Fallin (R) – The obvious front-runner and likely nominee, currently unopposed
  • RJ Harris (D) – Interestingly, Harris has run for office as an Independent, Libertarian, and Republican in the past
  • Some have also suggested former Governor Brad Henry (D) could run for a 3rd term

Texas

Gun Rights Rally at the Alamo – “Come and Take It San Antonio!”

Today Texas residents gather at the Alamo for a rally led by Lieutenant Governor hopeful Jerry Patterson, currently holding the Commissioner of the General Land Office of Texas. The rally is being met with plenty of opposition, including a counter-rally protest, and even calls for Patterson’s resignation. It is at least a little ironic that the site of Texas’ most famous battle for independence, including the right of Texans to keep and bear their own arms, would become a controversial place to carry those arms and demonstrate.

For more Oklahoma, Texas, and national news and opinion that matters for Liberty, visit the Standard Excellence Facebook page, and my Twitter profile @FoaRyan.

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