Political Manifesto for the 21st Century

January 7, 2010 by

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. (Declaration of Independence, 1776)

We affirm these self-evident truths, and declare that it is time to abolish our form of government, not by armed revolution, but by the election of representatives who will change it.

The Constitution of the United States allows for the people to elect their representatives every two years, and to elect every senator every six, and to elect the president every four. Each state constitution allows the citizens of that state a similar power to choose their government. Through electing representatives that represent our desire to preserve our government solely to protect the individual rights of everyone, we propose the following changes be made.

  1. Limited government. Our governments are limited by the constitutions that form them. We need to enact a common understanding among the people of what those limits are and impose them on our governments. We need also to strengthen the already existing limits, overturning bad interpretations by our courts, legislators, and executives, and impose new and stronger limits on our governments which will forever ensure our individual liberty.
  2. Dramatic cuts to spending. Our governments should spend our money procuring only those goods and services that will protect our rights.
  3. An end to government charity. It is the role of our churches and the individual to supply charity to the poor, not the state. If the individual and churches cannot supply the charity, government could only do worse. Having government provide charity absolved the conscience and duty of the people from their proper role to love their neighbor.
  4. An end to unfunded legislation. Any program that congress enacts must be completely and fully funded at the time of its creation. We will not enslave future generations to programs that we create but do not fully fund. Existing programs that are unfunded should be canceled or modified until they can be funded.
  5. Dramatic cuts to taxation. Our governments should collect far less taxes than the people can bear. The people should be free to pursue whatever economic matter they wish without burden or undue influence due to taxes. Taxes should not be used to punish the rich or to mold society’s behavior. They should only be used to raise the necessary money to meet the spending requirements of a government that protects the rights of the individual. Any surpluses should be immediately refunded to the people in proportion to taxes paid, or used to pay off debts. Taxes should never be raised to meet spending; rather, spending should be cut to meet tax revenue.
  6. An end to government debt. Our people have become more prosperous than any other people in the world. We do not need to borrow money anymore to provide for the needs of government. Paying interest on our government debts is slavery, not freedom. We are not free until we have paid off all of our debts. Any debt that we must incur should be paid off within a very short time frame, so that our debts are not repaid by our children.
  7. An end to bureaucratic regulation. Any kind of regulation must be debated and passed by the legislatures of our governments, and no other way. No public official should be allowed to set policy that governs the life of anyone but their own employees. No court should dictate legislation. No executive should issue orders except to his troops and employees. Anyone exceeding these limits should immediately be removed from office by impeachment because they are a threat to our liberty.
  8. An end to over-litigation. The laws of our country are unjust, in that they are used to punish those who have done no wrong with tort laws and allow the criminal to go free. Let our laws be simple and just so that we no longer have need of lawyers. Do not allow our constitution to be interpreted as giving shelter to the guilty or limiting the freedoms of the individual.

We boldly declare that freedom and liberty are dramatically different than tyranny and slavery. In a free society, government works differently than in an enslaved society. Our governments should be eternally fearful of the will of the people, forever locked in by the limits of the constitution which creates them, and ever subservient to the people, both the individual and as a whole.

We emphatically reject the tenets of communism, socialism, fascism, totalitarianism, colonialism, and every other form of government or political idea that sets one person above another, that limits the freedom of the individual for the “greater good”, or attempts to convince any individual that they have no rights or fewer rights than the rights man is endowed with by their Creator.

We boldly declare that in our society, the checks and balances in our government includes the individual, private organizations such as businesses or churches or political groups, and federated governments such as the local, state, and federal governments. By distributing the power to govern among these people, organizations, and governments, no one person or group of people is able to obtain much power over the rest.

We also declare that there is enough in this world, and to spare, if the individual is freed from the constraints of government to seek his own fortune in life. We also declare that the man who has obtained wealth is capable of providing charity to the poor, jobs to those who want them, and also to pursue the critical role of participating in politics to keep government constrained. We encourage all men, everywhere, to embrace their freedom, seek their own fortunes, and once having obtained it, spend their time and resources as they see fit in service to their fellowman, without the entanglement of government.

Mormons and the TEA Party

June 17, 2013 by

Stallion Cornell refutes an anti-mormon piece over on his blog in a series of posts. (link)

Let’s look at the state of affairs:

(1) Romney lost, as we now know, because he was Mormon. If low-income white voters had voted anywhere near the way they usually do, we would have Romney as president. The only reason they refused to vote for him was because of his faith.

(2) The TEA Party, led by chuckleheads like Sarah Palin, is inherently anti-Mormon. No matter how hard I wish it weren’t so, it is so. Despite what they claim, their purpose is to further their religious ends, IE, use the state to endorse their religion, which is sad because I had hoped it was not.

(3) The Republican Party, along with the Democratic Party, are inherently anti-religion, so it goes without saying that they are anti-Mormon. Rush Limbaugh’s expose on the fact that republican leaders wish the Christians would go away, along with the democratic convention’s obvious vote to reject God from their platform, are clear testimony against this.

As a Mormon, you can imagine how I feel about politics. Ah well. Such is life. I didn’t sign up to be Mormon because I thought it would be cool and fashionable.

I am trying to imagine some sort of political system that can be used to “overthrow” the way things are today. I just can’t see our country continuing in this mode of winner-takes-all, loser-be-damned and good things coming of it. I don’t believe our political opponents are really our political enemies, and I don’t agree with the vast majority of what the TEA Party, the Republican Party, or any other party agrees with, and I think most Americans feel the same way, particularly when they can see through the cloud that the media throws in our path.

The end result, in my mind, should always be a government focused on protecting people, a government focused on doing as little as possible to do so, a government which empowers people to live their own lives and govern their own houses and businesses the way they think is best, and at the same time, provides massive incentives for people to overcome their natural bigotry and turn towards people unlike themselves for their mutual self-benefit.

I think the changes that need to occur start in our homes, our churches, and our communities. Once our society is right, then the government will naturally follow, later rather than sooner. Step one would probably be just getting to know your neighbors — but that’s mostly a Seattle thing anyways.

We don’t need riots or wars or close elections to change things. That’s not how successful things are done in life. So I am not looking for a massive confrontation. Just a gradual turning of the ship of state, a gradual change in attitudes.

In short, I want a revolution, the most non-revolutionary revolution in the history of the world. And I think if enough of us want it, there is nothing any conspiracy in the world can do to stop it.

On MMR Vaccines and Autism

June 17, 2013 by

Apparently people still believe there is a causal link from vaccines to autism. I remain skeptical, as I do about almost everything in the medical professions.

The suggestion is that there is some massive conspiracy covering up the negative effects of vaccinations. There is some degree of truth to this: There is a conspiracy, and it involves pretty much every parent, every citizen, and the government of pretty much every country. See, we really, really hate diseases that can be prevented by vaccinations.

Now, there are some negative effects to vaccinations, and perhaps it may make sense to keep certain children from getting them. After all, you do not need a 100% vaccination rate to completely eliminate a disease. But human behavior being what it is, if you start handing out excuse slips, pretty soon everyone has one. In this case, we err on the side of vaccination, for obvious reasons.

The people driving the vaccination scare do not strike me as particularly trustworthy or mentally competent individuals. On the one hand, we have Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey and Robert Kennedy, Jr. Aside from their politics, these are hardly people who have the kind of background that give them any credibility at all in the medical profession. We are better off paying attention to people who run journals and get their papers published, as well as people who sign for prescriptions. Their overwhelming opinion is that we should all get our kids vaccinated.

The silliness really needs to end. Either you trust discredited doctors and actors, or you trust the medical industry. Or you trust yourself to make a professional judgment in a field you have hardly any understanding of at all.

On Immigration

April 16, 2013 by

Immigration is not a simple issue. It certainly doesn’t split down party lines.

Let’s try to break apart the immigration issue, and let’s see where we all stand on each issue.

First, is the question of citizenship. Who should be allowed to become a citizen? I think everyone universally agrees on the qualifications needed. No argument there. Bottom line, they should understand what our country stands for, agree with it, and swear an oath to be a part of it.

The only question worth debating is a question of numbers. How many citizens do we allow? Of what nation, race, creed, etc..? What about education level? The divide is mostly protectionists vs. free traders. Free traders don’t care who becomes a citizen, as long as they swear an oath to our country after demonstrating an understanding of our political values and their love for it. Protectionists are concerned with cheap labor flooding the market, crowding out people who are already facing intense pressure from international markets.

I’ll talk about protectionism and why it is wrong later. For now, just be satisfied that there are protectionists in both parties, and there are free traders in both parties.

Next is the issue of voting. Who gets to vote? Conservatives favor only citizens voting, and are very upset that we are registering people to vote who are not citizens, and we do not have strict controls over who is allowed to throw a ballot into the box. Liberals think that the fraud votes, votes by those who are not citizens or who are voting twice, end up helping them. The moment they think otherwise, they will be just as vociferous as the conservatives in securing our ballot boxes. Really, this is a side issue that has little to nothing to do with immigration.

There is one tiny aspect, however, and that is that each party wants to bring likely voters into the country. We know which countries produce what kind of voters, and so you’ll see the parties try to give preference to the ones that favor them.

Next comes the issue of who gets to work here. Free traders think anyone who comes here in peace should be allowed to work, own property, and do whatever a citizen could do, economically speaking. Protectionists, again, fear the flood of cheap labor. Another group of people worry that our language and culture will be swept by foreign languages and cultures.

Personally, I’m a free trader and I don’t think our culture is as weak as some people think. Our culture will adapt to changing preferences and needs. We will take what is useful, and leave the rest behind, from our own and other cultures. America isn’t defined by culture anyway. We’re defined by political ideology.

Next comes the issue of who gets to come here. Free traders don’t care, as long as they are peaceful. Protectionists don’t mind tourists, and even encourage it since they think it benefits us. So there is no disagreement here. Everyone wants more visitors, as long as they stay visitors and don’t become workers. Then it becomes an argument.

Finally, there is the question of the law. Let me begin by reframing what our current state is.

We talk about illegal immigrants and the businesses that employ them. Both are ignoring and thwarting the law. This is really bad. In a nation of laws like ours, keeping the law is everyone’s paramount duty. People who ignore the law set a bad precedent.

I want you to think about why it is that people come here illegally. There are those who come here for nefarious purposes. We all agree that they should be stopped and punished. But there are those who come for good reasons, reasons which, in our heart of hearts, we think are noble and great. Basically, they want to make money.

Why is it that someone can think they can come here illegally and make money? It is a number of things. Let me try to list them all.

  • Employers who don’t respect the law.
  • The fact that our wages are much higher than their country’s.
  • The fact that we are more productive than their country.
  • The fact that, economically speaking, we are more fair than their country.

If you take away one or more of those things, then you won’t get illegal immigrants. Here’s the thing, though. The only thing I would ever want to change is the first item. The other items I want my country to have, in perpetuity.

Now, let’s look at the employer’s side of the equation. Certain industries have adapted to the cheap and abundant labor available from illegal immigration, to the point where enforcing the law would ruin the industry. We can’t propose enforcing the law without, simultaneously, giving them access to cheap labor of similar quality and number. Anything less, then of course they are going to fight tooth and nail to keep the status quo.

The bottom line is that we need some kind of amnesty program because we simply are never going to send these people home.

Free traders like myself see a simple solution: Open the borders to all who want to come to America, keep our laws, and live peacefully. I would go one step further and eliminate the green card program altogether. Make it so that employers don’t need to even check for legal status or Social Security Numbers. However, protectionists abhor such a solution, thinking that it will lead to massive unemployment and the ruin of their favorite industries.

Which gets me to the bottom line: Protectionism vs. Free Trade.

I will argue that Protectionists have it all wrong. In a country founded on freedom, the idea that we can somehow limit economic freedom and good things will result is absurd. The whole reason why we have an immigration problem at all is because of the protectionists trying to use government force to give themselves an economic advantage. This is wrong.

Finally, I want to end on this note. There are those who employ illegal immigrants who see them as slaves. Sure, they get paid, but at a much lower rate than Americans would take, with no legal rights and protections.  We must end this slavery. The way to end it is to bring the illegal immigrants out of the illegal status. We’re not going to be able to do this by shifting incentives or suddenly enforcing law. We have to do it by making illegal immigrants legal by an act of law.

 

I do not discriminate against homosexuals

February 21, 2013 by

One of the most absurd charges that proponents of same-sex marriage throw around is that people like me, people who believe every child deserves a mother and father, and that there is a state interest in supporting the institution of marriage as between one man and one woman, discriminate against homosexuals.

The fact of the matter is, I do not believe a homosexual man is any different, in any substantial way, from a straight man. The same goes for homosexual women and straight women. Whatever differences people claim exist are superficial and not important, in my beliefs.

That means I really don’t care if your mom or dad are homosexual. It is irrelevant. What is relevant is that your mom and dad are female and male. Gender is much, much more important than sexual orientation, especially when it comes to raising children. Children need role models to look up to. These role models teach children how to be men and women, and how to treat women and men. Without seeing the mother-father interaction on a day-to-day basis, they will not know how to function in society.

If you want to argue that gender is unimportant, that would be an interesting discussion.

If you want to argue that I am discriminating because I do not discriminate, I don’t think such an illogical discussion would be fruitful. It’s like calling a Republican racist because they think skin color is only skin deep. It boggles my mind how up is down in your mind, and frankly, I don’t see any point talking with a person who cannot distinguish what is and is not.

For the record, what Washington State has done is we’ve told our families, children and adults, that marriage is not important, that kids don’t deserve a mom and a dad. At some point, we’re going to have to admit our mistake and change our law back to the way it was, or continue to suffer the consequences of having broken families. Perhaps, in the process, we’ll discover why it is that sexual relations should be kept within marriage, why it is that adultery is such a serious crime against families and the people of our state, and why it is we should carefully consider what we tolerate in the public square.

If we do not, then I promise you, no amount of education spending or crime fighting or legislating or governing will give us the peace and prosperity we so desperately need. See, the purpose of life is family. Or, in other words, the purpose of life is life. Without families with a mother and a father who are devoted to each other and their children, we will never have peace or prosperity. As it was with the ancients, so it is with us. We go the way of all the earth.

The tragedy in the last days, the age we live in, promised by prophets ancient and modern, are tragedies that arise when kids do not have a mother and a father. That is all.

Protect Yourself and Your Country

January 22, 2013 by

Natural rights are rights that are given to us by the very fact of our existence.

First, a word concerning the word “right”. The best way to think about this is to imagine what people are thinking of when they claim the “right to be king”, both the person who says that and the people who hear it.The would-be king asserts that due to his special circumstances, IE, God said so, or his ancestry (with the connotation that God gave the throne to the descendants of some ancient king), he has the unique ability to ascend to the throne and rule an entire nation of people.The subjects of the king acknowledge and submit to his claims. Whether or not they believe God gave him the right to be king, they act accordingly anyway.
At such a point that the people no longer tolerate the king, they may refuse to acknowledge his right and put some other king in his place, or in the case of the American people and many modern nations, put in a new form of government that may or may not have a place reserved for the king.As such, rights are interesting things. They exist the moment you claim them, but are of no effect unless others acknowledge and respect them.In America, we claim rights for ourselves, as individuals, by the fact of our existence. There is no logic or reasoning behind it, and so there is no logical or reasonable argument to overthrow it. We have not documented a full list of our rights, nor do we ever intend to do so, asserting that our rights are unlimited while the powers of government are limited.The right to bear arms is an interesting right. It is a right which immediately puts us at odds with our own government. The purpose of the right to bear arms is clear: We want to be able to kill things that threaten us. In fact, we wish to be able to muster a militia that can kill any threat, foreign or domestic, from time to time as the need arises.As such, we assert, without justification nor explanation, the right to keep and bear arms. This means we get to have military-grade weapons in our homes and on our persons. And we have the right even to parade around our cities and streets so armed and ready for conflict, and government has no power to infringe upon this right.Many people think this is barbaric and insane. I propose that they are barbaric and insane. They would rather put their liberty and safety into the hands of people who we know do not have their best interests in heart—the politicians and corporations with so much power in our country. What insanity! Do you think your elected officials really care about anything but whatever privileges and powers they receive in office? Do you think they count anything but votes as important in their career goals? We have seen them, time and time again, violate the trust we have given them to execute their offices faithfully, and yet you believe that we can trust them to protect us and defend our liberties?The insanity is that you would listen to our elected officials and believe them when they spew lies about their intentions. You look out in the world, see a father keep and bear arms for the purpose of defending his home and neighborhood, and question HIS motives, but you do not question the motives of those elected to serve us? Are politicians more righteous than our heads of households? Is it more noble to make the safety of our children a campaign issue than it is to try and actually protect your own family?I wish to assert to my reader that they have the right to keep and bear arms, damn the constitution and legislation of any government. I wish to encourage my reader to disobey any laws that restrict your right to arm and protect yourself. If you are sitting on a jury, you can refuse to convict people of gun crimes because you acknowledge they have a right that the court does not admit to.Yes, we need to be discrete about these things, and avoid piquing the interest of our would be masters. But we need to be sure that when the time comes that the militia needs to be mustered to defend our country from tyrants foreign or native, that we muster armed like any soldier who would be found on the battlefield today. The more sure we are, the less likely we’ll actually have to muster.Do not put your hope and trust in our military men and women. Do not think that because they were charitable and kind and good in years past that they will always remain so. It is always the case that tyrants and dictators find a way to pervert the military, replacing good soldiers with bad, and in a matter of a few years, bring that military to bear against their country’s own people.If we take our rights seriously, and acknowledge each other’s right to keep and bear arms, regardless of what the government says, then when the government finds out that every home in every neighborhood not only has a pistol, but a rifle, a shotgun, and a fully-automatic assault rifle with plenty of ammunition, then that may be enough to convince them not to attempt a war with the people. That may be enough to convince them that the matter is settled and there will be no seizing of arms and there will be no more tyranny in our country than the amount our people accept.If they do not accept it, and attempt to start a civil war with the people, then we will have enough arms and armaments and people to overwhelm them. Do you think a military of a million or two fighting men and women will win against 50 or 60 million citizens? If they do win, what will be left of the country they tried to rule?If we do not, then we will watch as our military and policemen sweep through neighborhoods, leaving us disarmed and incapable of fighting our future corrupt government. We will have accepted the bonds of slavery in exchange for our liberty. And our only choice will be to live as a happy slave or die.PS: I hope that as part of keeping and bearing arms you exercise your right to train yourself in military skills, tactics and strategy. If the day comes we need to fight, I doubt we will have much time to train each other.

“Well-regulated milita”

January 10, 2013 by

The text of the 2nd Amendment reads:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Although the second clause of the amendment is completely plain and obvious (the American people get to keep and carry weapons used in war and congress can’t even begin to stop them), the first part is not as clear. I wish to focus on “well-regulated militia” and what that means. When we understand the purpose, the method becomes painfully obvious.

First, “militia”. What is the militia? George Mason famously wrote this in relation to this very amendment:

I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials.

This might seem like a foreign concept to our modern American, but it is an important one. The militia is NOT the National Guard. It is not the military. It is everyone else, besides the government. It is anyone who can pick up arms to fight for our country, which is everyone.

When you rewind history, you see that it wasn’t always the case that governments could support a standing army. A far more reliable method of securing land and property was to simply call up regular folks to fight and defend it. Socrates, the famous thinker of Athens, was a soldier who picked up spear and shield to fight and defend Athens in his youth. You might think that he was always a philosopher, but that isn’t the case. Everyone, no matter what their chosen profession, except perhaps government officials, are part of the military and are called upon to defend the homeland when they are needed. That’s the way it always has been, and even the way it is today.

When you think of a country like Russia or China contemplating invading the US, the consideration they must always consider is what happens if they successfully defeat our standing army, take out all of our military assets and installations. What next? If they intend to take our land, they must deal with the hundreds of millions of armed citizens who will spontaneously organize and resist invasion. That’s the bottom line. That’s why Japan didn’t use its naval superiority in the beginning of WWII to invade the mainland. That’s why Germany never said they wanted to invade the US. That’s why no country since Great Britain in the War of 1812 thought it wise to set foot in military conquest on our nation’s shores.

The next word we need to study is “well-regulated”. You may think you know what this means, but you are probably wrong.

The phrase “well-regulated” was in common use long before 1789, and remained so for a century thereafter. It referred to the property of something being in proper working order. Something that was well-regulated was calibrated correctly, functioning as expected. Establishing government oversight of the people’s arms was not only not the intent in using the phrase in the 2nd amendment, it was precisely to render the government powerless to do so that the founders wrote it. (source)

In other words, “well-regulated” means “working and existing”.

So, the 2nd Amendment reads, in our modern language:

If we want to keep America secure, we need a working and existing group of regular Americans who can pick up arms and fight a war without government direction. In order to do that, the people will always have the absolute right to own and carry weapons of war, and this will not be questioned or modified in any way.

Now, I ask you, those of you who oppose our 2nd Amendment rights, are you ignorant of what the text says? If you have read what I wrote, you are not. You know now that the only reason the Founding Fathers wanted us to have the right to own and carry guns is because they wanted a way to protect the American people from military threats.

If you, knowing this, continue to advocate the banning of guns in one way or the other, or even the infringing of our right to keep and bear arms, then you are knowingly trying to make America less secure, and prevent the people from forming spontaneous armies to protect themselves.

Obama and Biden are not ignorant about the 2nd Amendment. They know exactly what they are trying to do. And that is they want America to not be secure nor free. They are actively working to overthrow our government and our freedoms, and they are doing it in the only way it can be done. They are, in effect, working for our enemies.

It seems rather brash to make these accusations, but when you understand why we have the 2nd Amendment, it becomes painfully clear.

That militia the Founding Fathers wanted? It can be called upon to fight its own government, if necessary. It is the last line of defense against tyranny, the last resort of freedom and liberty. You can take our government, our military, our economy, and everything else, but as long as we have our guns, we will still be free. Even if we controlled our government, military and economy, if we don’t have our guns, we are not free.

Yes, Mint Our Money

January 10, 2013 by

The $1T coin idea you may have heard of is being mocked by conservatives. I, too, think it is a terrible idea, but not for the same reasons conservatives typically give.

Let me propose a better, yet similar, idea.

In order to meet our budget, the government is spending north of $1T more than it brings in in revenue. Right now, we’re borrowing that money from lenders, one of whom is this corporation you might have heard of called the Federal Reserve. Rather than mint currency and deposit it in the Fed, we should, instead, stop borrowing the money altogether. Let’s just print what we need.

Now, people are going to scream that that is inflationary. It’s too late. What the Federal Reserve is doing by financing our debt is inflationary. They’re already printing cash in absurd amounts and sending it off to DC. The difference between us printing it for ourselves and us printing it for the Federal Reserve is that when we do it for ourselves, we don’t enslave our children, grandchildren, and great-great-great grandchildren to debt. The money is ours.

If we do print too much money and cause inflation, then it’s a problem we deal with right now. Once the deficit matches the growth of the economy, inflation disappears. On the other hand, if we don’t print enough money, then we may see deflation, which is a horrible beast far more devastating than inflation, but the solution is, once again, simple and immediate, with no long-lasting effects.

How much should the deficit be? I propose it should be about the change in the real, non-governmental GDP. That is, if our economy grows from $15T to $16T in 2013, then we print $1T in new currency to keep inflation and deflation away. If we’re not too certain, then we can print a little extra, maybe $1.2T, so that we definitely won’t hit deflation. Think of it: this is free money, money that we owe no one for, money that must be printed and put into circulation anyway so that the people have a stable currency they can trust and use for everyday transactions.

We can, today, write a law preventing the Federal Reserve from printing another red cent using our country’s name. Let them make their own money, and see if anyone wants to use it, like any other bank. We can print all of the money our economy needs with our own name and faith and credit, and we can use the surplus that needs to be printed to keep our economy growing for whatever we like.

Some will argue that the Fed serves an important purpose by preventing bank collapses and keeping the economy stable. I say they have a terrible track record, and we are better off leaving that responsibility with congress than the Fed.

If President Obama chooses to print that $1T coin, then I hope he doesn’t stop there, and pulls an Andrew Jackson and takes on the banks and wins by keeping the power to print money to the federal government alone. If he were to exercise his dictatorial presidential powers to do something like that, I would call him a hero.

Who do you trust?

December 12, 2012 by

I’m watching the story about the violence in Michigan unfold.

The republican legislature and governor passed a bill and signed it that granted everyone the right to work without paying union dues.

The unions responded, as could be expected from an organization that operates with violence, through violence. Steven Crowder got punched several times, and decided to stand down in fear of his life. The Americans for Prosperity tent was knocked down with people inside of it, and the tent cut up and shared among union members as some sort of souvenir reminiscent of John Kerry’s memory of Vietnam where he claimed that soldiers would take the enemy’s ears and such.

What’s fascinating is how the “other” side is responding to these events. “It’s a fake! It’s staged!” they claimed. Or they just ignore it altogether.

I often wonder why our society is so gullible. Why could anyone claim that videos showing a man being beaten down by a union member were faked, and not be laughed off the world stage?

We live in a society, today, where a significant portion of the population doesn’t care about facts or reality. The democrat political machine seems to be all about crafting a message, any message, as long as the message furthers their political goals. “Mitt Romney doesn’t care about you because he’s rich.” “Mitt Romney wants to take away your contraceptives.” “Mitt Romney is going to get rid of Medicare and Social Security.” It doesn’t matter what the truth is to them.

And we live in a society where the vast majority of the media we watch, read, or listen to, doesn’t care either. Did anyone outside of some conservative media outlets bother to report about Mitt Romney’s quiet charitable life? Did anyone bother to point out that Barack Obama is rich too? Did anyone care to show how Barack Obama’s campaign was outright lying about what Mitt Romney stands for? No.

I fear for our country. We should always fear for our country. But I don’t believe the resolution to our fears is to sit on our hands and hope the media decides to operate morally.

Instead, we can only turn to ourselves. What do we prioritize? Morals and values? Or ends despite the means? If, in our own lives, we think honesty is very important, then we will demonstrate to the people around us what that means.

I believe our answers lie in religion. We need to redirect our beliefs and thoughts and attitudes to what is really important. We need to put life in perspective, and find a place where there is no confusion or doubt.

Who do you trust? Do you trust the media? Do you trust conservatives? Can you trust in any one man or group of men? The answer is, resoundingly, NO.

We can only trust in the infinite perfection and goodness that God is.

Principle 2: Community Violence (Government)

November 12, 2012 by

The Government, in my mind, is the most fearsome monster ever imagined.

To understand why, you need to understand why we have government at all, and why government should instead be called “Community Violence.”

Governments form to fight wars and rid the world of evil. We count on our government to blow up the bad guys before they blow us up. We count on them to find and catch and prosecute the criminals.

When governments turn to do harm to the people, where are the people supposed to turn for protection?

Our country started with the idea that while governments can and should protect the rights of the people, when they begin to infringe on those very rights, it should be altered or abolished. That’s what compelled the Founding Fathers to rebel against England.

Most rebellions end up with a worse government than the one they started with. France’s rebellion of the same time period is certainly a case. So our Founding Fathers thought long and hard about what kind of government would not only preserve our freedom, but be superior to the system that the English had set up.

They settled on a government with strict limitations. Community violence could be used, they wrote and explained, but only in certain cases.

Our governments of today have exceeded all reasonable bounds. We are no longer free, not when you compare our freedom with that of our ancestors. Government controls every aspect of our lives. It controls what we are free to eat or do, what kind of businesses we can run and what kinds of things we can talk about. It has been a gradual movement from freedom to the current “soft” tyranny we are experience, but we cannot deny it any longer.

What would freedom look like? Quite different than what we have.

Rather than turning to gangs, poor minorities would be starting businesses doing all sorts of things. From the minority who wants to braid hair, to the kid who wants to shine shoes, to any number of menial businesses that require no education at all to run successfully, the poor minorities could be active participants in our economy. Instead, there are roadblocks from every government agency. You’d need an advanced college degree even to start your business. Trust me, I know, I tried. I was unable to navigate the mountains of regulations. Not for lack of trying, of course.

Police forces would disappear. People would be called upon to defend their own property and lives, and each others. Gangs wouldn’t be a problem. You see, if a gangmember threatened your business, you would form an ad hoc militia with your neighbors and drive them out with the point of your guns. Despite all the movies to the contrary, life in the “Wild West” was really quite peaceful. Crime was rare.

The laws would be much different. Even schoolchildren would be able to figure out what is and is not legal. You wouldn’t need a lawyer to go to trial, except in rare cases. In fact, most issues would be settled outside of court. Our litigious society would quickly turn to self-reconciliation.

Elections would be different. Anyone could say or do anything they wanted, with any funds they wanted to use. There wouldn’t need to be any reporting of any kind, since there is no legal requirement to report the exercise of your free speech rights.

The medical system would be different. Employers probably wouldn’t offer health insurance, since you probably wouldn’t want health insurance. The costs of health care would be so low, thanks to the elimination of all regulations and taxes, that you would be able to pay out of pocket for almost any treatment. Experimental, expensive treatment would, of course, be only available to the richest among us. But as with everything in a free economy, it isn’t long before costs drop and supply increases. After all, if I were a drug company, I would rather sell a drug that $10 million people would use for $100 than 100 people would use for a $1 million.

What about crime, fraud, corruption? A free society protects itself against these  things rather easily. Normally, these types of people aggregate to institutions of power. Case in point, the global warming movement. There is absolutely no weight behind any of their absurd claims, and yet here we are. Why? Because they are working through government. If they had to instead compete in the free market of ideas, we would’ve recognized and rejected their baseless allegations immediately.

When we turn to Community Violence to provide social services, we are asking the fox to guard the henhouse. Government tends to attract people who are less than scrupulous. They have no qualms taking our money, spending it on the poor, and then claiming credit for it. The only way to eliminate this kind of abuse is to stop the practice altogether. Government should be for those people who want to hurt and kill bad guys who threaten our freedoms. Let the churches and societies care about the poor.

Principle 1: Liberty

November 8, 2012 by

Conservatives believe in liberty.

Libertarians believe in something else.

Let me explain.

It seems odd that my first post about explaining conservative principles targets the libertarian viewpoint rather than the liberal one. But this is the core critical principle behind everything else we believe.

Conservatives and Libertarians agree that men are free to choose. To the conservative, this is God’s ultimate gift to mankind. To the libertarian, this is a fact of nature.

The conservative believes one thing that is in conflict with the libertarian: We believe we are free to do good. Namely, that our freedom expands when we do right, and contracts when we do wrong.

If I choose to eat healthy, exercise, and not do things like drink heavily or smoke, then my physical body will be as healthy as it could be. I will be able to work long hours. I will be able to play and recreate outdoors. I will be able to wrestle with my kids. My mind will be as clear as I can expect it to ever be. My economic contributions will help other people improve their economic situation. My contributions to family life will help build a stronger society. There is a lot of good that will come of it.

If I choose to eat junk food, slob around, drink heavily and smoke, then my physical body will not be as healthy as it could be. I will not be as great a benefit for society as I otherwise could be. There is an opportunity cost to myself and society by doing this, meaning good things that would have otherwise happened will not happen.

Now, I’m not saying that government should regulate what we eat and how we spend our time. We’ll talk about what the government should do or should not do later on. But I am saying that conservatives do not think the freedom to do what we like includes the freedom to eat junk food, slob around, drink heavily and smoke. That is, if we choose to do those things, we’re doing wrong, and we know it even though many do it.

The libertarian might believe that it really doesn’t matter what I do with myself, as long as I don’t hurt others. They often forget that by reducing your economic ability, you are hurting others. Even private actions, such as engaging in extra-marital relations or smoking a joint have long-term and expensive costs to society.

Thus, when God gave man freedom, it came with strings attached. If we choose to do good, then our freedom expands. We can choose to do more things. If we choose to do evil, then our freedom contracts. We will have fewer choices later on.

This core principle, the strings that are attached to our freedom, is our moral duty or responsibility. At the same time we say you are free, we say that you are NOT free to do everything. There is a sort of contract between you and God and society, and it reads something like this:

  • God gives you freedom and life
  • Society promises to not interfere with most things
  • You promise to use your freedoms wisely, for the benefit of yourself and mankind.

Now, let’s talk about where our liberties end.

Libertarians are right: actions which directly harm people are prohibited. Mostly. The basic rule is found in the Mosaic Law: eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. If you hurt your neighbor’s eye, you must restore that eye or you must pay a penalty of the eye, etc… This is the basic idea behind our tort laws, which can be traced back to the Bible. This is also why it makes a whole lot of sense to charge polluters for the cost of cleanup, and then allow them to pollute anyway.

Libertarians forget that we also have duties, things we must do.

  • We have a duty to protect ourselves, our family, and each other from those who would violate our liberties.
  • We have a duty to use our liberties for our benefit and the benefit of others.
  • We have a duty to provide for our own food and shelter and wants, rather than relying on others to do so.
  • We ALSO have a duty to help others provide for themselves, not to make them dependent or lazy, but to help them obtain the means to obtain their own support (more on this in a later post).

Conservatives understand where the freedom to do as we please ends and where we are “enslaved” to our liberties through out duties. We cheerfully and happily accept our duties as a small price to pay for our liberties. Some examples include:

  • Soldiers who volunteer to fight so others don’t have to. People who pay their taxes knowing it is used to support those soldiers.
  • Business owners who pay their taxes, knowing that it is used to provide common infrastructure for themselves, their business partners, their customers and competitors.
  • Individuals who pay their taxes, knowing it funds the legal system which protects their individual rights.
  • Individuals who give away their time, talents, and resources without expectation of remuneration, so that others can enjoy a better life.
  • Churches which stand up for moral issues, such as the sanctity of marriage and the protection of unborn life.
  • Organizations formed, without expectation of profit, so that people can learn or develop talents of their own.

Unfortunately, liberties and duties are not simple. It takes careful study and thought to understand how and why charity is a critical component of capitalism, pacificism requires a military, etc… We could spend our entire lives studying our rights and duties and never come to a complete understanding of them.

Nevertheless, we ALL have a duty to understand our rights and duties for ourselves. If we do not understand them, we will fail in our duties and lose our rights.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 98 other followers