zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)
2012-11-06 10:54 am
Entry tags:

The 2012 election.

This is the time where I sit down and say who I voted for and why.

Since most of you are going to scroll down for the answer anyway, I'll save you the trouble: I voted for President Barack Obama to continue to lead the United States of America.

Ultimately for me, the decision came down to having more equal rights.

Last night Ari asked me, "What makes America great?" A fantastic question and we had a lot of discussion about it. Ultimately, the answer for me is opportunity. People come here because they want a change, they want the American Dream, they want something and believe that the US can offer it. Freedom, jobs, a better government, whatever the reason is.

Even those of us born here are blessed with a country that has more opportunity per square mile than most of the world. Yes, I realize that these days the western world is pretty equivalent, but it's still a theme here in this country -- and an idea that I embrace wholeheartedly.

And yet, Mitt Romney has explicitly stated that he wishes to take away some of the opportunities that are available here. He wants to take away things that we already have, and ensure we don't get things we've been trying to get! He wants to perpetuate the privilege divide that he and I, as white cisgendered males, have enjoyed for all of our lives.

  • Romney wants to overturn Roe v. Wade.
  • Romney supports the Defense of Marriage Act.

These two points alone, regardless of everything else, make Romney an untenable candidate for me. These points alone have dictated that I must not vote for Romney today. If what I say about opportunity is true, and I believe it is, then there is no way I can support a candidate who would take away the rights my friends have fought for -- the rights that they still fight for. I don't want to take steps backwards.

Every election is always difficult for me. I think that there are a lot of compelling reasons to choose the Republican party. I generally prefer their stance on almost every other issue, honestly -- but when it comes to the opportunity that this country (the country that I love!) affords to the people I care about? You can sign me up for the man who has stood up in front of this nation, while still President, and said:

"when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or Marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don't Ask Don't Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married." --President Barack Obama

Whatever else he might be, whatever else the Democrats might support, I think that it's important that my friends and family be afforded the same opportunity that I am.

President Obama has made a stand for more equal rights. President Obama has made a stand for what he believes in, regardless of how it might affect his re-election campaign. I respect that.

My name is Mark Smith, and I voted for more equal rights. I voted for Obama.

zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)
2010-03-22 04:25 pm
Entry tags:

it has to be said

Dear Congress,

I am disappointed that you passed this insanely huge, complicated, expensive, and generally pointless bill. I'm not looking forward to how much money you're going to charge us for the "privilege" of paying for other people's healthcare. I'm not excited about what you're offering. I think that people should be responsible for themselves, generally speaking, and any universal system of care (health, welfare, medicare, social security, etc) is not something I support.

I'm especially not excited about all of the earmarks and random things you stuck into the bill to make it palatable to enough Representatives to make it pass. Student loan reform? In the healthcare bill? Really? This just strikes me as yet another example of the decrepit American legal system that could use a rebuild. I don't make software that lasts 200 years, I don't expect a major system of people to reasonably work after that long either.

Also, dear Republicans: none of you voted for it? Really? That smacks of partisan politics and I don't like that game. At least the Democrats seemed to have the spine to vote against the party line if they didn't approve. I expect you to vote how your distract wants you to vote, not how Uncle GOP dictates. Come on now!

Sigh. I suppose we'll have to wait and see how bad this ends up. On the plus side, the majority of it won't start kicking in until 2014. Maybe by then we'll be able to repeal it -- or at least get it into some sort of position where it's not so obscene.


No love,
Mark Smith
zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)
2009-09-14 12:13 pm
Entry tags:

appropriate times and places; respect paramount

I've been thinking recently about the incident where Rep. Joe Wilson from South Carolina yelled out "You lied!" during President Obama's speech on healthcare. I've got really mixed feelings about it, so I'm going to lay them out here for your gray matter pondering.

First up: I think that it's definitely within Rep. Wilson's right to say what he said. Free speech and all that. His statement is also correct, technically. The bill, as proposed/supported by the President, does not provide for citizenship checks in the eligibility criteria. Hence, it is certainly possible and, given the left's track record for social issues, downright plausible that they will leave this in to allow for the coverage of illegals paid for by yours truly, the working Americans.

With that said, I do not think it is appropriate for a member of Congress (or any other branch of our government, hell, for any of our citizens) to show such flagrant disrespect for the office of President. Regardless of your feelings for the person with the title, it is completely inappropriate to so violently and flagrantly show disrespect: especially on such a public, national level. That's just not okay.

Shame on you, Rep. Wilson, for doing that. You may be right, but there are far more appropriate ways of getting your voice heard. (Of course, this little outburst has apparently raised over a million dollars for his campaign funds. That's good, I guess, but I'm not sure I'd want to be represented by a man who willfully disrespects the President in such a way.)

And on that note, I leave you with a little reminder. If you happen to think that Rep. Wilson should be canned, censured, etc etc etc, then I would like to remind you of a certain period of time where it was "fashionable" to mock, deride, and publicly disrespect our previous President. If you intend to say something about Rep. Wilson's comments, make sure to research the 2005 State of the Union address where Democratic members of Congress did similar en masse. Or during President Obama's inauguration where Democrats started singing "na-na-na-na, hey hey hey, good-bye!" at President Bush.

I may be the only conservative on Dreamwidth (not true, but it's fun to say), but I promise to be fair in my critiques and commentaries. I ask only that you do the same.
zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)
2009-08-12 01:50 pm
Entry tags:

Man attends healthcare "town hall" while open-carrying sidearm

A gentleman by the name of William Kostric attended one of the healtcare "town halls" that President Obama has been leading. I call this out because Kostric showed up with a sidearm -- an openly carried pistol strapped to his right leg below the knee. (Which, just to note, is completely legal in New Hampshire, where this event was taking place.)

I don't really have much to say, but kudos! Kostric makes the point that if we do not exercise our rights then we lose them, and I think that's entirely valid. The more you don't stand up for what you believe in, for what is right, the more quickly you will lose those rights.

The video below is interesting, too. Chris Matthews is basically yelling at him, including swearing at one point, and the entire time Kostric keeps his cool, answers the questions, and defends himself calmly and rationally.

Good on you, William.

...

Source: There are many, here's one: http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/08/11/politics/politicalhotsheet/entry5235445.shtml

And here's the video of William Kostric on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews:





zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)
2009-07-13 11:37 pm
Entry tags:

it's all in the messaging

I'm endlessly amused that global warming is now becoming climate change. Hedge your bets, people! Why settle for a 50% chance of being wrong when you can have a 100% chance of being right, given a long enough period of time?

Seriously. The planet's been changing temperatures long before we got on the scene. While we're certainly not helping the situation any (read: I agree that humans could be responsible for some climate delta, in theory), I think that the hundreds of billions being spent (or proposed to be spent) are better used elsewhere.

...

In the meantime, have a photo of Janine on our Honeymoon:

IMG_5370
zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)
2009-07-10 09:55 pm
Entry tags:

happy fuckin' fourth

Had this in my buffer, forgot to post it. It's not as refined as I was hoping, it's sort of must a brain dump.

...

I admit, Independence Day is my favorite holiday. I further admit that on the hole, I'm fucking proud of my country and to be an American. You can say what you want about us, but overall, I think we do a damn fine job, and I'm glad to be here. I can't see myself ever living anywhere else for any extended periods of time.

The Fourth just makes me think about that a lot. About who I am, about the life I've lived, family, friends, everything. How the world would be different if we had failed in our little revolution. Some things would have certainly been better without our arrival, but by and large, I think we've made a net positive impact on the world.

That being said, I do have a list of things I want to see this country accomplish in the next 20 years, to make it even better:

* Legal and social equality for race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. We claim that "all men are created equal" and then we do things like ban two people who love eachother from marrying. Doesn't fit, for me.

* A stronger local government, reducing federal involvement in many issues. In my opinion, our federal government is too large and oversees too much.

* Increased visibility of the military. I want to see our forces off of base, participating in local events in their communities. I.e., helping out with Race for the Cure. I think our military is a valuable tool, but they lose a lot of their connection with the people they're meant to protect.

* Decrease federal spending on social programs like welfare, etc. I don't think the programs work. I'd rather see the money go into Social Security and the like: you put in, you take out. You don't put in, you get nothing.

* With money saved from reducing our social expenses, we should start doing things to bring jobs back home. I'm not quite sure how, but we should investigate and try.

* Increased focus on innovation and R&D. This country was a leader in most sciences for a number of decades, and has fallen behind. We have the money, people, and space, let's fix that.

* Decrease our dependence on the rest of the world. We should not depend on foreign oil, food, etc nearly as much as we do for the bare necessities.

* Make this country truly open, like it once was: all the "it's so hard to get a visa to come to the US" stuff should stop. Provide ways for illegals to become legal without all the rigmarole.

* Loosen up the nonsensical laws. Legalize marijuana, gun possession, lower the drinking age (or rescind it period).

I had more, other random things. I've lost them.