Richard Barnes

A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government. – Thomas Jefferson

Email: lildog@comcast.net

Entries in Republican (6)

Sunday
Mar182012

Am I a Conservative

I've always considered myself more of a Constitutionalist then anything else but I've always felt that true Conservatism stems from following the Constitution on the national level and following a fairly libertarian view of self responsibility and the belief that your rights end where mine begin.  Because of this I've been a registered Republican since I first turned old enough to vote.

Lately though my conservatism has been called into question.

I suppose the questioning began when Merrimack started debating if it should consider switching to a pay as you throw plan to cover the enormous costs associated with it's transfer station.  Considering only a third of the town uses it and even then it's costing about the same as it would for full curbside pickup, people rightly so question why they should be forced to subsidize the cost of other people's trash.  Being someone who believes in self responsibility I supported pay as you throw.  The true "conservatives" however disagreed with me claiming that forcing people to pay for their own service instead of pushing the cost onto everyone in town would be double taxation.  I'm still trying to figure that one out since if you opt out of using the site you wouldn't be taxed at all resulting in lower taxes for most of the town.

My second strike came when the budget committee reviewed this years school budget.  In sense of full disclosure my wife is on the school board in Merrimack right now.  Anyway, the school board felt it wasn't fair to the taxpayers to push a budget that would result in an increase in taxes so they asked the school to provide a level funded budget, which they did.  One of the school buildings also needed a new roof but since this is a need not a want they felt it wasn't right to put it in a warrant article so instead opted to include it in the budget... all $600,000 of it.  But because the budget was no longer level they sent the school heads back to find $600,000 in cuts which they did.

Let me interject here in stating that I do not feel it is the job of the budget committee to set school policy, only to review the budget itself.  Based on this philosophy, when the budget did come to the budget committee there wasn't much wiggle room left.  I was left this year for the first time in my seven years on the committee not making a single motion (I did however second some other members made).

And it didn't stop there.  The committee voted to cut based on a possible savings projected by a bus contract that hadn't been signed yet.  The school officials stated to the committee that even though the savings may end up being there, several members of the public lead by state Rep Jeannine Notter petitioned the school board for more buses since in some cases their children currently have rides over an hour long.  Since the state law requires any revenue on the school side to be returned to the tax payers I felt it the right thing to do not to vote on an uncertainty.  When the budget committee voted, I abstained hoping the contract would be finalized when it went before the town for the deliberative session.

Along comes the deliberative session and unfortunately the contract had not been finalized... however a motion was made to cut the money anyway.  Due to the same uncertainty and the fact the money couldn't be kept if not needed I supported leaving it in the budget.  Oddly the state rep who argued for more buses did vote to cut the money... I guess that's what makes her a Republican and why my status is being called into question.  (Don't get me wrong, I do like Jeannine but I am not the kind of person who wont point out when I disagree with someone regardless of how much I like them).

My third strike as a "Conservative" came when the town council of Merrimack discussed the library budget.  Time permitted I'm going to write another article discussing the library's budget but so not to bore you here with facts, the library budget since 2006 has gone down $223,081.  A nearly 18% drop.  During this same time the three largest departments have gone up by more then the entire library budget, and that's just the amount they've increased since 2006.  So when the town council reviewed it's budget and went after the library cutting even more to the point they now will be forced to shut down all day Sunday and close at 5 PM on Monday's when most tax payers would have otherwise been able to use the service I got upset and challenged them that they were looking in the wrong areas for cuts since they are now impacting a service tax payers use.

The town's highway department since 2006 has gone up by $2,815,185, that's an 89% increase.  That increase alone is almost 3 times the entire library budget.  But silly me, since I feel they should be looking there first instead of cutting away a service to the point tax payers wont even have access to it for 2 days of the week (3 if you consider they already close at 5 PM on Fridays) I guess that makes me less of a conservative.

I don't always agree with Republicans...

I don't support the war on drugs and instead feel that we should have authority to control what we put into our own body's and not the government.

I felt the minute we stopped searching for WMDs the Iraq war was no longer justified.

I don't believe the government should have any involvement in defining marriage one way or the other and should only write laws that allow people to choose who they wish to make life and death choices in their behalf... in which case it shouldn't matter if that person is the opposite sex or same.

But I agree with them far more then I agree with Democrats...

I support life and I do not believe that taking a life should ever be considered a "choice".

I believe in small government.  If you read Article I Section 8 of the Constitution you'd find that much of the federal government is outside the scope of the power they were given.

I believe in the free market.  We'd be far better off in nearly every case getting government out of running most services and opening them up for consumer choice.

I believe in school choice.  This goes hand in hand with free market but never the less should be pointed out.  Children are not one size fits all so who better to know which type of schooling is best for a child then that child's own parents?

I believe in lower taxes.  Taxes like tolls where 50% to 90% go toward the method of collecting them should be abolished.  In fact the more taxes and fees we have the easier it is for the government to mask how much you pay which is why with the exception of user fees for services you directly use, I support tax consolidation.

I believe in the 2nd amendment and unless your Constitutional rights are stripped after due process as stated in the 5th amendment you should have the freedom to own and carry a gun.

 

So what does this make me?

Because I don't support cutting services when we're seeing other departments and being allowed to grow by nearly double during the same time the department in question has dropped 18% am I now a liberal?

Because I don't feel it's responsible to cut based on what might happen when a contract is finalized does that make me a left winger?

Because I don't believe in forcing taxation on a service you do not want or use, does this make me a moonbat?

 

Last year several members of the "right" in Merrimack also pushed voters to vote down the town budget in favor of the default budget which appeared on the ballot about a million less.  Of course doing my homework I realized that the default budget did not account for revenue which the proposed budget did.  This resulted in a default budget that gave the town even more money then the proposed budget and resulted in a higher tax rate on homeowners.  Because I tried to point out that they were wrong should I drop the R next to my name and register instead as an independent?

This year's budget for the record is roughly $3 million more then the default budget but again because the "conservative" council put up an article leaving out the revenue portions in the proposed budget the default would give the town even more money and result in a 10 cent per thousand higher tax rate.  I raised a point in the town meeting to point that out for anyone paying attention.  I sure hope that doesn't make me a socialist.

Tuesday
Jun142011

GOP Debate and Liberal Zombies

This weekend I was in Manchester with my family and I had to stop at the baseball card store just past the Verizon Center for my son's baseball team, while I was there my daughter pointed out there were zombies walking past the store.  Sure enough there were hoards of people dressed like zombies as well as the NH Ghostbusters showing up in force for some kind of flash mob event.  Seeing all the people walking around like mindless zombies had me wondering if the Democrats were in town trying to take attention away from the Republican debate (which I believe may be why they continue to push the Weiner story).

I share that story because sure enough Blue Hampshire once again proves out for me that Democrats are unable to think for themselves.  In their write up on the Republican debate, which you can read in full HERE, they state:

Think Progress  took on the top 6 health care myths from last night's debate. This is handy rebuttal information for those who have Republicans in the family.

In other words here are your talking points all you unthinking zombies.

Being I like to stay informed I followed their link and looked at the 6 "myths" they choose to debunk.  Considering the source I expected bias comment but I always feel the best defense is looking at the counter arguments.

They point to 6 comments made in the debate, 2 by Bachmann, 1 from Romney, 1 from Pawlenty and 2 from Santorum.

You can read them yourself but I'm only interested in debating the ones from Bachmann and Romney since they are the front runners coming out of the debate.

CLAIM 1 FROM BACHMANN: The Congressional Budget Office said the Affordable Care Act will kill 800,000 jobs. FACT: The CBO actually found that some people would leave the workforce or work less because they can find affordable health coverage elsewhere. This is a reduction in the supply of labor, not a reduction in the supply of jobs.

So claiming people would simply stop working to suck off the wallet of others who now pay their health care is somehow a better response?

Regardless of how you look at it, be it how Bachmann put it or how our liberal friends put it, 800,000 less people will be working either because their jobs no longer exist or as I see as a worse option, that they simply choose not to work because they will get the rest of us to pay for what they worked for before.

CLAIM 2 FROM BACHMANN: Obamacare took $500 billion out of Medicare, shifted it to build a new entitlement for young people. FACT: The health law does not cut the current Medicare budget; it slows the growth in the program by removing $500 billion from future spending over the next 10 years.

(unlined part added by me)

So Backmann claims Medicare was cut by $500 billion to which Democrats say no that's wrong but then turn around and say $500 billion was removed from it's budget over the next decade.  And that proves her wrong how exactly since it's saying the exact same thing?

CLAIM 3 FROM ROMNEY: I would issue an executive order paving the way for Obamacare waivers to all 50 states. FACT: The executive branch and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) don’t have the authority to grant blanket waivers — those powers are reserved for Congress.

In the case of Romney I am actually not defending him.  I point to this only because it's a perfect example of what makes Romney a bad choice.

That said however, let's examine the issue.  Mitt wishes to give states the authority to opt out of ObamaCare.  Interestingly enough, Obama himself already stated he'd be willing to allow states to opt out of the anti Constitution act as well.  So Democrats cannot argue that wavers would be a bad thing, their only argument here is that Romney claims he would give them the power via executive order to which they are stating the Executive Branch and Department of Health and Human Services doesn't have the authority to grant blanket waivers... yet in this article I just linked to here they are granting waivers by the hundreds.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) – the federal agency charged with ensuring the law’s implementation – has also been issuing hundreds of waivers to businesses that argue the law will cause their costs to skyrocket.


We've also seen judges in a few states now rule ObamaCare anti constitutional.
If Mitt were smarter and knew the Constitution well, he would have argued from day one that RomneyCare as implemented in MA was allowed under the 10th Amendment giving states rights while ObamaCare is not one of the specific duties listed in Article I Section 8 of the Constitution.  That is the big distinction between both acts.
It's going to be interesting watching the race going forward.  I was a strong Ron Paul guy in the last race but Ron's too old now and missed his window.  He's coming off as old and tired even though he still is dead on when it comes to most issues.
Bachmann clearly came out the winner because she's the one people are talking about the most.  It doesn't matter who had the best responses when it comes to politics, it doesn't even matter who honestly finished the best... it comes down to who finished better then expected and has the most people talking about them.  Mitt was the front runner and was the one everyone was expecting to be the winner... he's popular and had his strong supporters claiming he won in many polls but when I turn on the news he's not the one they are talking about, Bachmann is.  That in my opinion makes her the clear winner of the debate and clearly someone I'll be reading more about in the next few weeks.
Thursday
Jul082010

That's No Republican

From the years I've been involved in political debating and politics in general I've found that usually when something smells fishy there's a reason for it.

This seems to be the case regarding the controversy surrounding "republican" candidate Ryan J. Murdough.  Ryan signed up to run for state rep for Grafton County District 8.  In a letter to the editor in the Concord Monitor Ryan wrote the following:

I am running as a candidate for state representative in Grafton County District 8. I am running as a Republican, but I have been endorsed by the American Third Position. I am also the American Third Position state chairman of New Hampshire. The American Third Position is a political party that stands for the interests of white Americans.

"I am running as a Republican", that struck me as odd.

It apparently struck others as odd as well because NH GOP spokesman Ryan Williams looked up Ryan J. Murdough's voter registration from 2008 and found he was registered independent.  Further more doing a whois search against the website "AMERICAN3P.ORG" reveals that it was first registered in Oct 2009.

Given this I wouldn't at all be shocked to find this is yet another Democratic plan to try to make Republicans look bad, after all they were caught doing this with the tea party groups.  So far though there isn't any proof of this.

Best guess is this Ryan J. Murdough is just some random nut who lives in a mostly Republican town so he thought he could use the Republican party as a platform to launch his own party into State office.  I have yet to hear any true Republican willing to even consider him or take him seriously though.

What's more troubling though is how Blue Hampshire is using this sole nut case to attack Republicans and even attack NH Insider. Jim Splaine wrote an article titled "REPUBLICANS: What The Hell Is This About?" which he attempted to link Murdough views to NH Republicans as a whole.  Joe Kelly Levaasseur correctly called him out writing:

Mr. Splaine, I am deeply troubld by your post on BlueHampshire attacking the republican party because of one lunatic running for state representative. Jim, you have been able, over your long career, to cross party lines, someone that many republicans have respected for yuor seriousness and your professionalism and mostly because you have always been respectful of people no matter what party they are from. I am not sure why you posted that headline. I'm not sure what caused you make such a knee jerk reaction. What I do know, is that it is below your standards and it certainly is not the way for you to go out. There isn't one republican that could take this idiot seriously, and as you are well aware, the republican nor the democratic pary can stop nuts from running for political office. Your post is innapropriate for the standard that you have set for yourself over the years. I wish you would take it down. Thank you.

Jim Splaine has proven himself to be a partisan hypocrite on a number of cases, when it comes to trashing Republicans such as he did in this case he's quick to come out swinging just as he did when Doug Lambert made his comments which Doug has since been ostracized for, but to this day I have not seen a single comment from Jim regarding the racist remarks made by Democratic state rep Nick Levassaeur who wrote his hobbies include hunting republicans and made the claim that two bombs on Japan weren't enough.  When I see Jim holding his own to the same standards he hold Republicans I'll think otherwise but until then I'll call them as I seem them and he has been a partisan hypocrite.

What is even more interesting are the comments that were made by Thomas Simmons on Blue Hampshire in regards to the articles Jim put up.

There has been a running commentary on America 3rd on NH Insider... (0.00 / 0)

...I wonder of there is a personal connection....odd that both the letter and the NH Insider story occurred one after the other...

And
Unfortunately.... (4.00 / 1)
....as I've said before, the same filth from the same group has been splashed on both NH Insider and Granite Grok...so while there has been the Necessary Token Condmenation on the RH site, the group continues to foment hatred on the more-widely read sites of the Right Wing - with no outrage expressed by the GOP there.


[ Parent ]
The "filth" he's referring to on this site are unfiltered press releases.  Bob, the owner of NH Insider goes out of his way to allow ALL views to be expressed here and when he receives press releases he prints them as written for viewers to analyze and make their own judgements on.  I have not seen anything on this site to ever make me believe that anyone writing on it or associated with it is a racist.
I find the above comments especially troubling considering their source.  Thom Simmons claims to be a libertarian who was unsure what party to join.  He asked members of the free state project to help him given his views and after discussions he eventually sided with being a Democrat.  For someone who was so unsure of which party to side with he sure has taken a firm hold of the Democratic side not to mention for someone who claims to be libertarian he of all people should see this site as fair and unbalanced, after all there are other libertarians such as Matt Simons who write here and people like myself, who while I don't consider myself a libertarian I see myself as a constitutionalist and I do call out republicans when they have it coming.
Unless Thom can produce evidence supporting his claim, which I would be happy to be the first to discuss and debate, I strongly suggest he withdraw his claim and issue an apology to the owner and affiliates of this site.
Monday
Jun012009

Leaving The Republican Party For What?

As I read Dave Jarvis's article about switching back to the Democratic Party I began typing a long response but then stopped.  It wasn't until I read THIS column that I found a response nessisary.

Dave asks the following questions (I'm leaving them worded as he worded them):

1) Do you really want to be in the party of torture?

2) Do you really want to be known as the politicians who worked to deny gays their civil rights (someday soon it won't seem so wise).

3) Do you really want to be the party of “Health Care is JUST FINE AS IT IS?”

4) Do you really want to be a Republican?

Here are my response to his questions.

1)I thought I understood Dave's views on torture and thought he viewed torture as a simple morality issue but recent comments regarding 9-11 he made leaves me questioning whether it is about morality.

But basing a response assuming it were simply about morality I pose this to ponder...

Killing is immoral yet if we did not kill the enemy in a war they would take over our country and kill us. Horrible choices such as dropping the bomb on Japan are viewed as choices that had to be made in order to save many more lives. So if treating someone rough but not killing them saves hundreds or thousands of lives is that too not also acceptable? Or should we sit back and allow our enemy to take over our land and kill us all so we can at least die feeling we died on the moral high ground?

We know for a FACT that torture did in fact save American lives, even Obama's staff has confirmed this.

President Obama’s national intelligence director told colleagues in a private memo last week that the harsh interrogation techniques banned by the White House did produce significant information that helped the nation in its struggle with terrorists.

“High value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qa’ida organization that was attacking this country,” Adm. Dennis C. Blair, the intelligence director, wrote in a memo to his staff last Thursday.

So were we wrong to drop the bomb? Are our soldiers wrong for shooting the enemy in the battlefield? And if it was ok to bomb Japan and shoot enemy in a battlefield yet you have a problem with torture, where then is the line and why is it where you claim?

2) I wrote an article already discussing same sex marriage and in it I asked a very simple question, if same sex marriage is a civil right (as Dave claims here it is) then why would Lynch need language to protect freedom of religion in expanding government's definition of marriage?  I'm not opposed to two men or two women having the same rights my wife and I have, nor does it bother me what they call themselves however I think it's the wrong direction to allow government to grow by expanding it's definition.  Instead the way we should look to go is to get government out of the marriage business altogether.  Let any two people enter a government contract together and get the benefits currently given but leave it to religions to define the word marriage.

3) I don't feel health care is fine the way it is.  I see serious problems with health care but I see the proposals presented by Democrats as being even worse then what we have now.  Look into the problems we're facing in the health care industry today, most if not all of them are created by government.  And we want MORE government control over the industry?  Sorry but again that's the wrong direction to head.

4) Do I really want to be a Republican?  Yes.  I want to be what a REAL Republican stands for.  I want small government, more personal freedom and liberty and I want the federal government's role to stick to what is defined under Article I section 8 of the US Constitution.

All that said I do understand that there are those who disagree with Republicans.  While I don't agree with Dave's desire to have government run health care I understand some want that.  But I have questions back for those who do feel the Democratic party is the "right" one...

 

1) If you view torture as immoral and wrong then how can you support abortion specifically late term abortion?

2) How can you defend the idea that a child of even 14 can walk into an abortion clinic and get an abortion paid for with the tax dollars of those who oppose it and view it as murder and all this can be done without ever having to notify that little girls parents?

3) For those who felt Bush was an out of control (justly so) how can you not see fault with Obama who is dwarfing the deficit spending of Bush?

4) How can you support a president who lied during his campaign saying he would get us out of Iraq and now is reverting to the same exact plan Bush had in place which he highly criticized while running for office?

5) How can you support a president who claimed when running for office he would give larger tax breaks to those who needed it and now in an effort to cover his out of control spending is not only withdrawing his promise to give tax breaks but is also looking to increase taxes on the poor by pushing for a national sales tax?

6) For those who feel Republicans violate the Constitution, how can you support a president who nominated a judge for the supreme court who has had multiple cases reviewed and turned over by the current supreme court by large majorities and in the one case they didn't turn over found her logic to be faulty?  How can you support someone who would nominate a judge who's rulings have gone against nearly every amendment of the Constitution (working on an article pointing each out, watch for it)?

7) Do you honestly believe the party that helped created most of the problems we see today is the right party to fix them?  Read THIS and THIS for evidence.

I don't fool myself into thinking Republicans are perfect.  They aren't.  There is a LOT I would like to change about the party but when I look at both parties and I compare which party supports the constitution and which party pushes for less spending and more personal liberties I see Republicans beating Democrats hands down.  Where I see a handful of Republicans who go against all of this I only see a handful of Democrat who do support less spending, lower taxes and more personal liberty.  Look at the NHLA ratings if you seek evidence of such.

Thursday
Apr232009

Newest UNH Poll Has Shocking Results

UNH's polling center released a new poll this week with some rather interesting results and they show that in nearly every issue currently being discussed in Concord, the majority of those polled agree more with the Republican party then Democrats.

First question was regarding the Death Penalty, would you be more or less willing to support a candidate who supports it.  56% of those polled said they would be more likely to support a candidate who supports the death penalty.  Only 26% said they would be less likely.  What's most shocking here is that 35% of Democrats polls said they would be more likely to support a candidate who support the death penalty.

Then come parental notification for abortions, this time 58% said they would be more likely to support a candidate who supports it and again only 26% would be less likely.  This flies right in the face of the Democrats who have taken this right away from parents.  And again 36% of Democrats polled even said they would be more likely to support a candidate who protects parental rights.

Regarding transgender discrimination, only 38% polled said they would be more likely to support a candidate who supports this bill, 57% of those being Democrats.  What was a little troubling with this question though is that with all the news and discussion about this issue 39% admitted to not knowing enough about it to make up their minds.

The issue I found the most troubling and unexpected was the support for mandatory seatbelts.  58% of those polled admitted they would be more willing to support a candidate who supported this.  This 58% openly admitting they would like to see others forced against their will to do something they think is a good idea.  Troubling.

The last issue polled about was the issue of medical marijuana which once again proves to be a divided issue across party lines.  Overall though more people support it then not, with 45% more likely to vote for a candidate who supports it and only 24% less.  Republicans are nearly evenly split with 35% supporting and 37% opposed.  Over all more democrats do favor legalizing it for medical reasons (58%) which leads me to question why with Democrat control of all branches of NH government why they haven't pushed this issue and instead are favoring more controversial issues such as transgender rights.