Valuing individual freedoms


I am a liberal independent who tends to vote more for Democrats now than for Republicans. That is because the Dems tend to represent my concerns more than the Repubs. For instance, I think you own your body and if you want to do something stupid, like smoke or avoid seat belts and helmets, that's your business because it is your body. You own it.


If you and your doctor agree to do something with your body you think is a good idea or the best choice, that too is your business and neither the government nor me should stand between you and your doctor, even if we think implants or an abortion is a mistake.


I think you should be treated like any other American, regardless of whom you love and commit to. As such, it is wrong for our government to restrict who you may marry or how you can serve in our military. Openly gay military service works fine in Israel, Britain, Canada, and some other countries, so regardless of the Reverend Mr. Fred Phelps exercising his freedom to misrepresent the Baptist religion in spreading his hateful opinions to the contrary, his use of fear of God or the Republicans use of fear of Iran or Muslims is insulting to me. While I reject their positions, I support their freedom to speak.


If you were God, who among your children would you punish, those who love their neighbor or those who war against him for profit and power? And while it admittedly is not that simple, we seem to agree we are all sinners in God's eye.


Take our Rep Howard P. "Buck" McKeon for example. Here's a guy who avoided military service during the Vietnam War when he was of age by going on a missionary to Texas for his church. Yet now he sits as the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee where he profits from war. For instance, he received thousands of dollars from General Electric and Rolls Royce into his PAC funds and has consistently voted to force the Pentagon to spend billions on a spare engine for the F35 Joint Strike Fighter program that (Republican) Defense Secretary Robert Gates describes as "wasteful spending" because the engine they have is already tested and works fine. Buck is a borrow-and-spend guy.


Worse yet, GE has partnered with a company in Turkey to design and manufacture critical parts of this extra engine. So not only is Buck advancing the outsourcing of American defense jobs, he may also be jeopardizing our national security in the process as we then will have to rely on the Muslim country of Turkey.


Buck McKeon avoided wearing the uniform, but now he profits from war and will soon be the chairman of the HASC unless we vote him out of office in November. Then some other Republican can chair the HASC for America's sake. Visit www.TheBuckStopsNow.org to learn more about Buck's issues.


Joe Orawczyk, Yermo