The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Saturday, September 04, 2004

Judging the Speech 

I'll start out right away with this... W is not my ideal guy in so many ways. Then again, I can't think of a politician who is. That is the choice we have to face every election. I definitely agree with him on certain things. On other things, he says things that I agree with, but you know like any politician he's just giving you lip service. Then there are the things where I think he's just dead wrong. George had all three on Thursday night.

He's My Guy

He spoke out on the war on terror. He made the case, once again, that the the war in Iraq wasn't about WMD. He said that he'd be proactive, and never outsource our national defense to another country or organization. In case you, my readers, didn't know, this is issue numero uno for me. Most importantly, I didn't have to listen Thursday night to know where he stood. He doesn't change positions on this issue. It's his, no matter how loud the protestors have gotten. He talked passionately about liberty, and how everyone deserves it, and what it can do for the world. He read my mind.

He briefly mentioned (in a very subtle gray way) that he's not a big fan of abortion. I personally consider myself to be a libertarian. For a lot of people, that automatically means you are pro-choice. Not for this libertarian. For me, it comes down to when you think life begins. I'll admit it's gray. Is it conception? Is it only after you give birth? Is it somewhere in between? There are too many unanswered questions there to err on the side of letting it all go. If you can't use a rubber, and you can't not have sex, and you can't not keep the baby, put it up for adoption. Why isn't that ever called a choice? This is a life we're talking about.

Lip Service

Personally I think that the Dept. of Education ought to go away. The only control the federal government has over education today is through blackmail. Do what we tell you, or you don't get these tax dollars. If you don't do it, then you end up having to double tax your citizens to make up the difference. The choice they give the states is clear. Bush talked about local control - excellent. Then he starts talking about national standards and testing and Federal accountability. Hello - which is it? Local control or Federal control? Do us a favor and let parents and school districts decide how their children ought to be taught. While we're at it, most federal control over local matters is through blackmail. Can't drink till your 21 - do it or we won't give you highway money. Remember the 55 MPH speed limit? Same deal. Why is it OK for a government to blackmail people? Grrr.

He pushed ownership and liberty. I think a lot of people saw this as two distinct themes. Liberty in foreign policy and ownership at home. No. They're the same. When you own things, when you control them, you have liberty and can make choices about your life. You should control your retirement (as if anyone really thinks Social Security will last till I retire anyway). You should control your health care (damn straight). I loved it. The problem is he talked about it right next to expanding federal programs in that regard. George, buddy, ownership means staying out of my hair. Seriously. I don't want your help. By the way, did anyone else catch the dig on John Edwards and malpractice suits? I haven't heard any opinions on that. It was very subtle. We call that stategery.

He talked about the flat tax. God I wish. I almost believe him too. I would have almost believed him if he hadn't riddled tax breaks and incentives for this and that throughout the rest of the speech. George, I don't think you understand the concept yet. Think post card. I tell you how much I made, and then give you a percentage (the smaller the better thank you). No shelters (that is how the rich save their money by the way), no incentives, nada. I hate incentives. Why? They always talk about the marriage penalty. Whatever. I constantly pay a single non-home owner penalty and I'm sick of it. Why doesn't anyone fight to get rid of that? I'm suddenly reminded of an episode of Sex and the City where Carrie talks about how there is no Hallmark card for "Congratulations - You didn't marry the wrong guy".

Just Don't Get It

I think the whole stance on gay marriage is fool hardy. I'm a big fan of the 14th amendment. Let em fuck. Let em get married. They have the right. What is a civil union any way? Personally every time I hear about that, I think "separate but equal" marriage. They're really the same thing, it's just that we're not going to use the "M Word". Maybe they should have separate bathrooms and drinking fountains too. Get over it.

There were probably other things too that fit in this category, but he really didn't emphasize them if they were there. And frankly, it Saturday morning at Starbucks, and I just don't remember. Overall I think I would have been much happier if W's speech was filled with a lot more decrease, cut, get rid of kind of things, rather then increase, expand, etc. Government ought to be small. Liberty is government not telling what I can and can't do about things that affect only my life. The one thing I definitely noticed in contrast to John Kerry was how comfortable W was. He was speaking on things he honestly believes in. Not only that, he joked about himself. He talked about what he's done as president, and what he wants to do in the future. He didn't dwell on history. Did you see Kerry at midnight afterwards? I saw clips, and he didn't look comfortable at all. Not only that, but did he say what he'd do as President, or did he just talk more Vietnam? I think we're seeing a slow implosion here.

So there you go, my delayed two cents. I hope you enjoyed it.

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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.


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