Thursday, July 12, 2012

Daily Dose of Disgruntlement

Two stories in this morning’s round-up have caught my eye. I will admit that both have made me try to see things from the perspective of the “other side.” But I have had no luck understanding how the progressives justify either of these issues. 
First is the voter fraud issue that has gotten so much attention in the recent months – actually since 2008 and even before. It’s not a new issue, but the video of S.E. Cupp taking on four liberals on MSNBC is frustrating in that S.E. does her best, but fails to argue the case for requiring voters to have ID.

Here is the question that is so fundamentally polarizing: If voting is such an important right, as most liberals will agree with me that it is, then is not one case of voter fraud too many? Stated differently, if voting is such a basic and sacred right, why do we not want to protect it and make sure that only those who are eligible and qualified are allowed to exercise the right. The liberal point of view is that because it is a sacred right, everyone should be able to exercise it, unrestrained, as many times as they want, without anyone questioning their motives. I tend to lean toward voting as a PRIVILEGE as much as it is a RIGHT. And a privilege is not unbridled.

Liberals accuse conservatives of wanting voter ID requirements in place in order to prevent unqualified people from voting who normally vote for Democrats. I concede! True! But by the same token, liberals want unqualified ID-less people to vote (and vote often) BECAUSE they tend to vote for Democrats. It does not matter to them that  these people may not be eligible to vote. So I challenge Liberals: don’t use political motivation as a weapon against Conservatives when that is the very weapon that you wield as the basis for your own argument in favor of NOT requiring voters to show ID. 

This nonsense about voting being a sacred right and so on is smoke and mirrors when it comes to liberals. They could care less about whether Hannah Homeless gets to exercise her "sacred right" to vote. If those people without IDs were inclined to vote Republican, liberals would be introducing voter-ID legislation in every state, county, municipality and PTO board meeting in the country. And the Black Panthers would be doing more than wielding batons at the polls -- they'd have M-16s while patrolling and asking voters to show them some identification.

Now, the ridiculous assertion that one of the panelists uses--that voter fraud cases are only .002% of all voters--is another liberal argument that defies logic. By way of analogy, people who use handguns to kill people are an equally “miniscule” percentage of the population than the instances of voter fraud. But that does not stop liberals from introducing gun-control legislation at every opportunity in every jurisdiction they can get into. Does it make sense to them if I say, "The number of people who use a gun to kill someone is only .002% of the entire population, so we don't need any type of gun controls"? Of course not. But if owning a gun is a right and voting is a right, why does the argument not work for both? We DO require an ID to own a gun--which right to bear arms is expressly stated in the Constitution. So why not require it for  voting also? The point is, it is a losing argument that because there are only a few proven cases of voter fraud on record there is no need to require voters to show ID, whereas the few cases of gun owners killing someone does warrant a LICENSE before exercising the Constitutional right.

Despite what these liberal MSNBC panelists try to assert, we cannot measure the gravity and occurrence of voter fraud on how many prosecutions or convictions there are. It is nearly impossible to identify a perpetrator when you KNOW that fraud has been committed. As the Project Veritas films have pointed out, the fact that voter fraud is so easy to accomplish is reason enough to restrict voting to only those who can prove that they are who they say they are.

I have worked the polls in Arlington, VA for several years now. I can tell you that even in a state where we ask for ID, there is no guarantee that fraud is not being committed. That’s because in Virginia if someone does not have their ID--which does not have to be a picture ID but merely their voter registration card—we ask if they want to go get it. If they do not want to go get it, they simply have to fill out a form saying “I swear that I am John Doe and I live at 111 Anywhere Street,” then they cast a provisional ballot tucked inside an envelope with that address on it. The vote is counted the next day as long as no one else comes in and says “I am John Doe and I live at 111 Anywhere Street.” This is still an imperfect system, of course, but at least someone would have to write down the lie and leave evidence of their crime if they are committing fraud.

As for the ridiculous suggestion by the liberal panelists that it is preposterous that you can use a concealed-carry ID for voting purposes but not a student ID, I cannot believe that S.E. Cupp did not lambaste the liberals on that one. For one thing, the process that you have to go through to get a concealed-carry license is more stringent than getting a driver’s license. On the contrary, student IDs do NOT tell you if someone is a resident, much less whether they are entitled to vote in a given jurisdiction. That’s because the school has no way of knowing what the student’s intention is. The school issued ID is only intended to identify the person for school purpose. If a movie theater or an airline wants to give it credence in issuing cheaper tickets, more power to them. That is not an decision that affects the greater good. But to insist that a state’s election board be forced to accept a school issued ID as proof of someone’s right to vote is ludicrous.

Here’s why: If Jane Doe is in school at UTEP, how did she get into school? Did she not have to show some government-issued ID, such as a birth certificate? Probably not, since colleges most likely do not ask about citizenship these days. Is she paying in-state or out-of-state tuition? Does she also go to her home state of NM and vote later in the day? There is no way for me as an election judge to be able to verify the validity of a school ID from every university in Virginia, much less every school that a Virginia resident might possibly attend in the Metro area or the entire United States.

I also worked in the student ID office of my college during freshman week years ago, and I saw numerous occasions of fraud – mostly friends supplying a second ID for underage students showing them to be 21 when in fact they were not. It is common for students to staff those stations to avoid having to hire extra people during the start of the school year. So student IDs are no better or truthful than something I can create on my laptop using Photoshop. The feigned indignation is but another red herring in the liberal arsenal.

Enough about the voter fraud/voter ID issue for now. [Edited 7/17/12 - Yesterday I read an article in the Daily Caller on this subject. It is worth posting the link here for future readers:]

Moving on to story #2 that I want to rant about for a while. How about this story headline on Melinda Gates: “Catholic Melinda Gates defies the Vatican over birth control funds.” Granted, this one comes from a British tabloid website, but no doubt American media will pounce on it here also. To say this title is inflammatory – or at least is trying to be -- is an understatement. Now, without even getting into the substance of the story, just reflecting on the title, I have to ask: Would I want my philanthropic actions to be portrayed as a sin and broadcast across the world? Yes, I said it – sin. Since, according to the British tabloid, Mrs. Gates is “defying” the Vatican, they are accusing her of sinning. (They also have posted a not-so-flattering picture of her at a podium with mouth open, as if she is shouting something to her audience.)

Does the author really think that Catholics care what Melinda Gates is doing with her money – that she is buying condoms for third world countries? Are they holding her up for ridicule or as a model of how Catholics should follow her lead and “defy the Vatican”? No news agency has neutral motives these days. Whichever is the case, the only one that Mrs. Gates would be defying is God, not the Vatican. The Vatican does not dictate how she should live her life or what she should do with her money. This type of story is such a waste of time and cyberspace. Anyone who would think that because Melinda Gates wants to buy condoms for third world countries she is defying the Vatican is too-far-gone to reason with. If what Mrs. Gates is doing is wrong, she will answer to God, not the Vatican. End of story.

Only it’s not the end of the story because the so-called-news in the article is such hogwash. Mrs. Gates is quoted as saying “I believe in not letting women die, I believe in not letting babies die….” Ohhhh. Okay. So you just believe in doing the deed that makes babies without the risk of having babies come into being. Keep that sperm from reaching the egg and voila! No more unwanted pregnancies in the developing world. 

Mrs. Gates also reportedly says, “As a Catholic I believe in this religion, there are amazing things about this religion, amazing moral teachings that I do believe in, but I also have to think about how we keep women alive.” Say what? When did she become God – having to worry about keeping women alive? Is this her new slogan – “Use condoms, stay alive.” Yeah, makes perfect sense.

What about doing something like establishing and funding a clinic, like the one the Medical Missionaries have established in Thomassique, Haiti? They provide prenatal care and they teach and provide midwifery for pregnant women. Mrs. Gates’ money would go a long way toward saving women’s and babies’ lives if they approached the “problem” in this way. Then she would be helping to save babies lives rather than preventing them from ever coming into being.

The article goes on to say that Mrs. Gates’ money will “provide free access to family planning for all 64 million women currently denied the opportunity to control when and how many children to have.” So, yeaaaaaaaa, it makes perfect sense: 64 million women are “denied the opportunity to control when and how many children to have,” so give them condoms and all shall be well. Yeah, like her man is gonna just put that baby on and have his way with her, and she will be not get pregnant, and they will live happily ever after. And if she decides she wants a baby, she refuses to give him the condom, and baby makes three.Isn't life simple and swell.

This ridiculous approach is like giving a Band-aid to someone who just stepped on a landmine. If a woman does not have “control over when and how many children to have,” do these people honestly think condoms are the solution? If the man is determined to get him some, do they honestly think he is going to take the time to put on a condom? It nearly makes my head explode to try and understand the logic – or lack thereof – in giving contraception to third world women as a panacea for the world's troubles. You can read the entire article yourself, and perhaps you will see the good in what the Gates are doing. It still defies all logic to me. 

To be clear, what Mrs. Gates does with her money is her business. What she thinks about the morality of what she does is her business. Whether it is a sin is between her and God, as a matter of moral theology. My beef it with it all is the notion that dispensing millions of condoms to women of third world countries will somehow magically or otherwise solve the health problems of the world is naive and harmful. In addition, the fact that the news article even brought Mrs. Gates' religion into the story is pathetic and divisive. But as we know, Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals call for you to divide and conquer, particularly when you cannot win an argument (or an election) on your merits.

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