Local opinion columnists

How important is liberty to you?

By From page A8 | June 30, 2014

You’ve heard it said, “This election is important . . . perhaps the most important in our lifetimes.” Is that just hype, or is it true? Here are some questions that might help answer that.

Are you OK with a president who ignores his oath to faithfully execute the laws?

How about picking and choosing which laws to implement? For example, enforcing parts of the Affordable Care Act that put taxes in the Treasury; but exempting favored groups from enrollment deadlines and certain rules in the same law.

How about Fast and Furious – the scheme that put guns in the hands of criminals? How about reneging on U.S. promises to place defensive missile systems in Europe to deter potential attack? How about refusing to allow U.S. companies to go after oil and gas reserves that would make us self-sufficient in energy?

How about using the IRS to harass and intimidate conservative groups? How about leaving four Americans to die in Benghazi without trying to save them? How about trading five hard-core jihadi leaders for one apparent deserter? How about using executive orders when he can’t get Congress to go along with what he wants?

The president is not up for election. Congress is. Are you OK with a Congress that will not hold the president accountable for such behavior? Or a Congress that passes laws they haven’t read and ordinary people can’t understand?

Here in California, are you happy with a Legislature dictating what our children are taught? Or opening school bathrooms to whatever sex a student thinks he or she is? Or refusing to enforce or defend state law on traditional marriage? Harboring illegal immigrants? How about laws and taxes that are driving companies – and the jobs they provide – to other states and countries?

Now if you’re OK with how government is running things, or you always vote the party line, nothing will change. We’ll continue to sink into the slavery of communism.

But if you’re worried or angry with the direction our nation and our state are going, then this is an important election. If you believe that we’re heading for disaster – financially or morally, or both – then this is the most important election!

Ignore party or candidates’ mailers and ads – those are just what they want you to see. You’ll need to compare candidates’ campaign promises and their records, to see if they do what they say. You’ll need to evaluate ballot measures from a perspective of common sense and morality. If you have a computer, all of this information is available online. Take the time to find it.

If you’d like to get a better understanding of what’s at stake, attend a local tea party or taxpayer group meeting.

If you believe that this election is important, do the work to get it right. Your neighbors and your children are depending on you.

John Takeuchi is a Fairfield resident and serves as president of the Central Solano Citizen-Taxpayer Group. Reach him by email at John Takeuchi [email protected]

John Takeuchi


Discussion | 58 comments

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  • mike kirchubelJune 30, 2014 - 6:19 am

    Great summary of every Fox talking point. I just wish your article had some sort of local connection. Maybe you could find a way to tie in Fairfield, like Colleen kinda did at the very end.

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  • Larry WJune 30, 2014 - 6:38 am

    Mike. It becomes local when those of us who are working have to pay the taxes that never seem to end. The national debt impacts us all. People should spend less time voting for a particular party and look at what the party's do when they get elected. Eventually laws that are written in sacramento or Washington impact us at home.

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  • DanielJune 30, 2014 - 7:31 am

    Mike instead of parroting and stereotyping political points merely brushing them off as "FOX talking points" on anything that you don't agree with, how about addressing specifics like, are you do you agree that Democrat Presidents can postpone enacting and enforcing laws that he signed into law (I already know that you'd crucify a GOP Prez)?

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  • mike kirchubelJune 30, 2014 - 8:51 am

    George w. Bush was not a democrat. You WERE talking about him, right, when you talk about trampling the Constitution?

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  • Rudy MadronichJune 30, 2014 - 11:27 am

    Mike. Great come back with every CNN and MSNBC talking point when are you going to have any thing to say that you can come up with and not blindly follow the party line.

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  • mike kirchubelJune 30, 2014 - 1:46 pm

    I'm an independent. No party line. I just try to show people the truth. That seems to rub a lot of people the wrong way. It seems that a lot of people get caught up in political propaganda and really get highly irritated when somebody points out that their belief system has a foundation of air/error.

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  • Salty DogJune 30, 2014 - 4:23 pm

    Mike you say you are an independent yet you continue to blindly follow what ever President Obama does and repeat what CNN and MSNBC says and then accuse those that don't agree with you of using every talking point of fox.news. You can try and fools us all but we can see through your lies and false truths that you try and spread.

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  • Danny BuntinJune 30, 2014 - 5:24 pm

    @SD: " you continue to blindly follow..." Thats cheeky coming from you.

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  • CD BrooksJune 30, 2014 - 7:40 am

    Blah, blah, bah! "Slavery of communism?" WTF is that? "How about picking and choosing which laws to implement?" Really? Like the GOP does trying to shuffle citizens out of their freedoms every single day? C'mon Mr. Takeuchi, this is nothing more than Conservative trash as usual.

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  • Larry WJune 30, 2014 - 9:05 am

    Cd. the question is how much of my hard earned money the government has a right to. It can get to the point to where the worker becomes a slave to the state. It is not a blah blah blah. I work quite hard for what have earned and simply Wish for the government to live within its means like I do.

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  • UnabashedProgressiveJune 30, 2014 - 7:42 am

    John would just LOVE an American theocracy, with the Constitution reduced to "Thou shalt not." He believes the government should leave us all alone to live as we fit---so long as it's in a way that John and his ilk don't think is icky. John would like us to mindlessly accept every bit of Fox News/Rush Limbaugh/Ann Coulter/Tea Party ignorance because the last thing voters ought to do is think for themselves, right? John, you can't pick which liberties people "should" enjoy while allowing the American Taliban to kick out the rest. You're sounding off like the John Birch Society: a commie around every corner, and caring for the least fortunate with taxpayer funds is labelled an abomination. Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized republic; how do you think government pensions are financed? Let's stop using the taxes for foreign adventures, showering other nations with bribes disguised as "aid," and needless illegal wars, and start improving infrastructure, treating education and health care as rights instead of market goods, and combating poverty. Several countries do that and they sure don't seem like communist hellholes to me. What exactly does YOUR ideal society look like, anyway? Do you even know?

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  • DanielJune 30, 2014 - 7:51 am

    Still not answered, yes or no (please don't answer with "FOX talking points"), do you libs believe that any President, GOP or Dem, can pick and choose the laws that he's going to enforce including his own, yes or no?

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  • Mr. SmithJune 30, 2014 - 9:18 am

    "Fox talking points" is all they've got when confronted with the cold, hard truth. They won't admit it, but they, too, are worried about what their "Emporer Who Has No Clothes" is doing and saying. But for now its the same old "Fox talking points" defense. It makes them feel better.

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  • rlw895June 30, 2014 - 9:42 am

    Mr.S: Now you're not only putting words in our mouths that aren't there, but your putting thoughts in our heads. I, for one, am not worried a bit about our president. He's doing the best he can with the Party of NO in charge of the House and the stupid Senate cloture rule still in place for most actions there, plus an often uninformed or misinformed public due to our free, but commercial, press. Now, do you interpret that as not admitting what I REALLY think?

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  • Mr. SmithJune 30, 2014 - 11:20 am

    Ok, rlw. I see that you are a staunch advocate of all that Obama says and does, or has done, while in office. And that is because those nasty old Republicans have opposed him from....oh, let's say from the point when he declared he was going to "fundamentally change the United States of America."

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  • rlw895June 30, 2014 - 12:14 pm

    Mr.S: So you're back to merely putting words in my mouth. I have and will continue to oppose Obama from time to time, but I must say it gets hard when the irrational opponents fly off the handle at every opportunity.

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  • Mr. SmithJune 30, 2014 - 1:34 pm

    Ok, rlw. I'll concede your point and modify my observation to "most of what Obama days and does..." However, I must say that I can't recall a single post where you have been critical of him. How about this: I'll match your critical comments about BO with a positive comment about him?

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  • rlw895June 30, 2014 - 3:16 pm

    OK, Mr.S, I strongly oppose Obama's continued abuse of the 4th Amendment on national security grounds. All I can say good about it is it's a lot better than Bush/Cheney, who started it.

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  • Mr. SmithJune 30, 2014 - 3:58 pm

    Rlw: Good choice for your first criticism. It puts me in somewhat of a bind. But at this point, I am inclined to look with favor upon Obama's lack of hesitance to keep us safer from overseas terrorists by using technology that may or may not be ruled in violation of the 4th amendment at some point. So in this one particular effort I say, "So far, so good, BO." Now if he can manage to drone a few ISIS leaders and a couple of the terrorists released from Gitmo, I might have to cut him some additional slack.

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  • rlw895June 30, 2014 - 4:02 pm

    Mr.S: So you're OK when Obama says, or strongly implies, that you can trust him in control of all your personal information the government may decide it needs?

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  • Mr. SmithJune 30, 2014 - 4:52 pm

    Rlw: Yes, for now. I thinks some mitigation strategies are in the works that might put a leash on the NSA somewhat. It is definitely a slippery slope, a fine line, damned if you do or damned if you don't, etc. Fighting a totally deranged, religious fanatic enemy (that would be a few million Muslims) that longs to die while killing infidels (that would be us) rather than live, kind of forces an asymetrical defense. Especially since we have a growing number of "American" citizens and other infiltrators in this country who are part of the jihad movement. So I give Bush, Cheney and Obama some room.

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  • rlw895June 30, 2014 - 7:38 pm

    Mr.S: Well it's nice to know you can trust Obama sometimes, despite all the qualifiers. I think you will get your wish on ISIS. How much time are you giving Obama?

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  • rlw895June 30, 2014 - 7:40 pm

    Oh, and it's also perversely nice to know you side more often with Obama than with me! You guys are going to become real buds before we're through.

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  • Mr. SmithJune 30, 2014 - 8:16 pm

    Rlw: I give Obama 30-60 days to take out the ISIS top dogs; a year for the released terrorists--unless they for some reason shave their beards and become Methodists. I'm not ready to "friend" Obama on Facebook, just yet. The negatives far outweigh the positives, and there is no chance of the scales balancing in the next two years. Too much damage has been done. I have said it before--it's not all his fault. He should not have been elected, and the Republicans are partly to blame for that. The rest I attribute to racism and a treasonous press that to this day refuses to do its job.

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  • rlw895June 30, 2014 - 9:10 pm

    Mr.S: Is it OK if Obama leads from the rear?

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  • Mr. SmithJune 30, 2014 - 9:30 pm

    Rlw: Leadership from any position would be appreciated. All the cards have not been played in Iraq, so let's see how good he is at the high stakes table this time around. Correct me if I'm wrong, but his bluff has been called more often than not.

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  • rlw895June 30, 2014 - 9:47 pm

    Mr.S: The signs are all over the place that the U.S. is organizing an alliance to take out ISIS, or whatever it's calling itself now. Kerry has been making the arrangements in person for weeks. I expect the Kurds and Turks to be major players, possibly also the Jordanians. The Iranians will hold the Shia Iraqis out of it.

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  • Mr. SmithJune 30, 2014 - 2:06 pm

    Rlw: One last try. It is my observation that your main objection to what folks like Rudy, Daniel and me are saying seems to lie in our opposition to and dislike for Obama. That really seems to be your main beef. If it is not, then what about the substance of these comments? The arrogance of this president, his sustained and excessive bypassing of congress by fiat, the obstructionist Senate that opposes Republicans without end, the treatment of laws of the land as though they are written with silly putty (e.g., the ACA)? More Foxisms? As if we can't see what is happening in this country without Fox News. Yeah, right.

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  • rlw895June 30, 2014 - 3:20 pm

    Mr.S: My main beef is Obama is fighting for me, and he has all this irrational opposition from people who are a lot like me and should know better. That's why their opposition is irrational.

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  • Rudy madonichJune 30, 2014 - 11:21 am

    RLW Do you mean the Senate lead by and controlled by The Democrats and Harry Reid. The party that would not allow any budget that the House brought before the senate to be voted on for over 4 years. It is the Democrates that are the party of NO. But you liberal democrats that blindly follow President Obama refuse to see that.

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  • rlw895June 30, 2014 - 12:28 pm

    RM: Yet the government goes on operating, just the same. Maybe the House needs to try something different if they expect a joint resolution, like not putting in "poison pills." Reid knows how the game is played, and his Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement is a continuing resolution. The Republicans will have to provide something more attractive if they really care about more than scoring political points, which evidently they don't.

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  • Salty DogJune 30, 2014 - 4:17 pm

    RLW So it is the Republicans that have to come up with something more attractive That is the typical answer that you liberals come up with some one else has to comprise but not you. That just shows every one that you the liberal democrats are the party of no it's your way or the highway.

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  • rlw895June 30, 2014 - 7:46 pm

    SD: Yes, if the Republicans want something better than Reid's BATNA. It's Negotiations 101.

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  • Salty DogJune 30, 2014 - 8:39 pm

    RLW So you are saying that the Democrats and Harry Reid is the party of no?

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  • rlw895June 30, 2014 - 9:12 pm


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  • rlw895June 30, 2014 - 9:37 am

    No, unless they're unconstitutional, or arguably so.

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  • rlw895June 30, 2014 - 3:23 pm

    That was to Daniel's first post.

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  • BeatupandtiredJune 30, 2014 - 10:42 am

    It is time for a 3rd party, If you are talking about making a massive change you are not going to get it with the current republicans party and the democrats are OK with the way the U. S is running right now, the majority of voters are ok with things like shared responsibility for example additional school bonds on a local issue and health care as a right on a national stage Look Thad Cochran a republican just won on (bringing home the bacon) campaign so if you are talking about stopping all of this we will need to make a major change, You ask the question (Are you OK with a Congress that will not hold the president accountable for such behavior?) No I am not but a majority of the country is and that’s what counts (majority) I understand if a 3rd party is started we will lose our a** for a while and maybe we even have to move and take over 6 to 8 states and rebuild the party push the rino to the democrats side and have a true right party. Jag

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  • DanielJune 30, 2014 - 1:44 pm

    RW you need to do some studying, the part of "yes" the GOP House has passed over 100 bills with the Senate and Reid blocking them from coming to a hearing let alone a vote. The party of "NO" (unless it includes out of control spending with no restraints), the Demos have shot down everyone of Obama's proposed budgets for 5 years without a single Demo voting in favor of them. I know this actual scenario doesn't fit your MSNBC propaganda parroting and rantings but it's all true. Now back to the original subject, are you for any President Bush or Obama enforcing laws that they choose to enforce and unilaterally creating their own laws, yes or no?

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  • mike kirchubelJune 30, 2014 - 2:22 pm

    I was very vocal against George W. Bush's "signing notes" were he would unilaterally change Congress' laws as he signed them. He would pick and choose which parts of the laws he would uphold. Remember that? I can't think of any other president doing that. Executive Orders, on the other hand, have been around since George Washington and Obama isn't using nearly as many as past presidents. But Fox and Friends never tell you that. They just say he's an Imperial president, stepping on the Constitution. All the limited information viewers then get just as outraged as as the Fox entertainers. And then we see the sad, misinformed results here.

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  • DanielJune 30, 2014 - 2:29 pm

    Give me an example of his restraints and not being radical, maybe his refusal to enforce immigration laws, how about drones killing even American citizens, or NSA spying on all if us including the press, maybe Afghanistan escalation with the alleged withdrawal time table almost here and not a peep about threatening to leave at least 10,000 troops there forever, which case do you say shows restraint?

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  • mike kirchubelJune 30, 2014 - 2:40 pm

    Danny, who are you asking and what are you asking?

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  • Salty DogJune 30, 2014 - 4:49 pm

    Mike stop acting like the liberal that you are by trying to avoid the question and answering a question with a question. Yes Mike Danny is responding to you and asking you. So what do you have to say or are you going to respond with another question.

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  • mike kirchubelJune 30, 2014 - 6:59 pm

    Sd, i'd love to respond. Perhaps you can tell me what he/she is trying to say. Go ahead. I'm sure you speak the lingo.

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  • Salty DogJune 30, 2014 - 8:36 pm

    Mike their you go avoiding a question when you do not have answer. Then answering with another question just like i knew you would.

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  • rlw895June 30, 2014 - 7:52 pm

    Daniel: See above. And I have no idea what MSNBC says about the budgets. I do know it's a tempest in teapot. It's appropriations that matter, not budgets, if by "budgets" you mean budget resolutions.

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  • UnabashedProgressiveJune 30, 2014 - 3:52 pm

    Because of this letter, the Hobby Lobby decision, and the fact that John Takeuchi once walked up to the podium at a City Council meeting with a smug smile and declared himself the self-appointed "Chaplain of the City Council," insisting on reciting a Christian prayer, I can see how Sinclair Lewis' definition of American fascism is coming true: wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.

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  • Danny BuntinJune 30, 2014 - 5:20 pm


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  • Mr. SmithJune 30, 2014 - 5:47 pm

    If you want to see American fascism in action, visit most American universities around graduation commencement speech time. Or any other time if you are identified as a conservative and want to speak your mind. What are you guys smoking? "Wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross?" Puh-leeze! Who? When? Where?

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  • Danny BuntinJune 30, 2014 - 6:03 pm

    @MrSmith: "American fascism in action, visit most American universities..". It is a waist of time having a discussion with people when they get to redefine the English language, only to shape it to fit their ideological brains that have been washed. Mr smith, you should be old enough to know what the definition of "fascism" is. If not, look it up and recalculate your opinion.

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  • Mr. SmithJune 30, 2014 - 6:59 pm

    Danny: Tsk, tsk. You are probably a young pup, but you should be old enough to realize the term "fascism" can mean more than a governmental philosophy espoused by an old, dead Italian. Common usage these days actually broadens the term to include "prejudice against the subject specified." In this case, that subject would be "conservatism." If that doesn't describe the situation I was referring to, I don't know what does. Now go finish your milk and cookies.

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  • rlw895June 30, 2014 - 7:56 pm

    Mr.S: Then common usage is wrong. And if not wrong, useless.

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  • Danny BuntinJune 30, 2014 - 8:00 pm

    @Mr Smith: And I rest my case ladies and gentleman.

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  • Mr. SmithJune 30, 2014 - 8:40 pm

    Rlw and Danny: I rest MY case. It is what it is--your refusal to acknowledge it notwithstanding. But hey, we have bigger fish to fry right here in River City. For example, people buying fireworks to set off in a few days during one of the driest years in California history. The fireworks may be safe and sane, but many of the folks using them are not. And then there are the other fools with illegal fireworks. Recent events around here don't exactly put me at ease.

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  • rlw895June 30, 2014 - 9:15 pm

    Mr.S: Just when we were making such progress on your therapy!

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  • JimboJune 30, 2014 - 4:41 pm

    Ever notice how lately those who try wrapping themselves in the flag usually do so just before going into a sore loser rant about losing the presidency. Nevermind a democratic election put him there. Nevermind the GOP policies that made people vote for him that are still in place. The flinging themselves to the ground is hopefully just death throes of the republican party.

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  • rlw895June 30, 2014 - 8:00 pm

    A wise man said "you can't call yourself a good American by wrapping yourself in the flag while poking holes in the Constitution."

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  • Larry WJune 30, 2014 - 8:39 pm

    Jimbo. No rants here. I am just concerned about if we can continue the debt burden that the president and his allies are piling up. All the fancy vacations and golf matches will not help pay it off. If you are one of those who choose to suck at the government trough fine. But for those of us who toil to pay your way, not so good.

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