Andrew McCullough's Blog

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Another "family values" champion bites the dust

July 28, 2009

I was getting ready to go home tonight when I came across a great AP article that I just had to comment on. Tennessee State Senator Paul Stanley has just resigned after an affair with a 22 year old intern. Senator Stanley has a wife and two children and voted against funding for Planned Parenthood because "unmarried people should not have sex."

"'Whatever I stood for and advocated, I still believe to be true.' he said during an interview Tuesday with Memphis radio stations WREC-AM. 'And just because I fell far short of what God'; standard was for me and my wife, doesn't mean that standard is reduced in the least bit.'"

The Republican Party sets itself up as an organization of those who are just more "righteous" than others, and that facade has crumbled so fast lately that it makes one dizzy. We Libertarian do not make a practice of claiming that we are better than others, so it just isn't interesting when one of us has an affair. Perhaps it is time for the Republicans to come down off their pedestal and admit that the moral high road is not exclusively theirs.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

And the "wars" go on

July 23, 2009

On this eve of Utah's Pioneer Day holiday, it is important to remember that the State of Utah was founded by those who were forcibly ejected from polite society for their different religious views, including the right to have multiple wives. Times have changed, and now the outcasts see themselves as the bulwarks of society, the ones who can now "prevent the breakdown of conventional marriage" by doing such things as harassing gay men who happen to express affection while walking by the LDS Temple. After the Church issued a statement earlier this year urging respect for everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, many of us hoped for more.

On Saturday, several groups, including the Libertarian Party, will sponsor a rally at the State Capitol to urge sensible policy toward drugs, especially marijuana. Today the U.S. "Drug Czar" dashed hopes that the Obama administration would change policy to go along with its previous announcement that it would no longer use the term "war on drugs" in policy statements. Today the Drug Czar announced "Marijuana is dangerous and has no medical benefit." Most educated people know that this is utterly without factual basis; so we now know that the new government will lie to us, just like the old one. And our hopes of something better are dashed once again.

On the local front, the Salt Lake County Sheriff reopened the "Oxbow Jail" on Monday, to help hold the prisoners that are being held for minor drug crimes and other victimless offenses. On Wednesday, it was announced that the jail might have to be closed again, because there is no money to operate it. If the waste of taxpayers money that has already gone into this farce wasn't so tragic, it would be very funny. Even staunch Republican Doug Wright of KSL radio wondered aloud if the time hadn't come to stop incarcerating people for possession of marijuana. To me, it is too obviouis to require much discussion.

Back to the national stage. Republicans have used every possible opportunity to criticize the President for his "Stimulus Package" to increase government spending to stimulate the economy. Libertarians, along with Republicans, think it is only common sense that the government must tighten its belt and cut spending when everyone else is forced to do the same. This week, however, the Republicans in the Senate put up fierce resistance to cutting back on the production of F-22 fighter aircraft. We have already built over 150 of them; and have yet to find a use for them. They have not been used once in the two expensive wars now being waged overseas. So, the Pentagon suggested that we should not build more. The reason for the fierce resistance to this request was NOT that we really need them. No, it was that those employed to build the worthless machines need the jobs! And many of them appear to work in States with Republican Senators. Wow!

Some of my Libertarian cohorts suggest that the only way we will ever elect our members to public office is to change the electoral system to something like proportional representation. I maintain that, if the two "major parties" continue to do dumb stuff to our country, the electorate will look elsewhere for a real alternative. If you are seeing some of what I see, please join us in our efforts to bring common sense back to government, and to support our freedom from a government that has gotten too big and too intrusive. Unfortunately, the two "major parties" will not restore the freedoms we have lost, so we must do it without them.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Letter to Ogden Standard Examiner

July 17, 2009

Last week there was an article in the Salt Lake Tribune about an Ogden Standard Examiner reporter who has made the restricted flyer list, though he cannot figure out why. My letter to that newspaper (which I think is very good and should be circulated widely) is linked at my website at blog page. Please go there and read it and then pass it on.

I am writing this in Vancouver, BC, which is a beautiful city, where I am attending a conference of First Amendment Lawyers. Will comment more soon.

Friday, July 03, 2009

July Fourth and other fun events

July 3, 2009

Tomorrow is Independence Day, and a great cause to celebrate. Our country has many problems; and there is much disagreement over solutions. We all have to admit, however, that it is a better place than most alternatives. And we all can and should work to make it better. Tomorrow, for instance there will be a "Tea Party" rally at the Utah Capitol from 1 to 4 PM. These anti-tax rallies started as protests on "Tax Day" in April, and have expanded to remind us that the government is too big, spends too much of our money, and makes too many rules. I have been asked to make a short speech between 2 and 3 PM, so if you are utterly bored with other Fourth activities, come up and join us. Our tax protesting Founding Fathers would feel right at home.

Today I first heard that Governor Palin of Alaska would not run for reelection in 2010. Then, in only an hour or so, it was announced that she will resign next month. Some say she will devote full time to running for President. I sure hope not. Her resignation announcement today was disjointed, rambling and almost incoherent. I was very grateful that she was not a heartbeat from the presidency. Wow, for those of us who like to watch Repbublcian follies from afar, it has been an interesting time. Perhaps we will soon hear that she has been having an affair; but at any rate, I can only believe that the citizens of Alaska will be better off.

Yesterday, it was announced that the National Security Agency will be building a large "spy center" in Salt Lake County, near the national guard camp. that will bring lots of new "Federal money" to Utah; and some see it as an economic boots. Personally, I am not thrilled to be surrounded with Federal spies. If I were given a choice between this and a nuclear waste depository, I would have to give it some thought before deciding.

Well, I always spend part of the July Fourth holiday time watching my favorite old movie -- "1776". It is a wonderful musical about the Declaration of Independence, and is a great history lesson. If you haven't seen it, buy it or rent it and find out more about how your country was started. So, I am off to watch my movie, as tomorrow evening I will be out watching fireworks with friends. Hope you have a great holiday too.
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