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.

AnCap vs. Conservatism

November 18, 2015 by

I am intrigued by AnCap (Anarcho-Capitalism). The philosophy seems robust: Just let people choose their own government, vote with their dollars, etc…

The thinking behind AnCap goes something like this. If we had no government, then people would contract out security services which would represent them, the customer. These security services would work together to come to some sort of amicable resolution in disputes, since fighting is more costly than peaceful negotiations. Thus, everyone can have the “government” the choose, at a price they seem is fair.

I honestly wonder where AnCappers think government came from in the first place. It’s pretty clear in the history of England how governments emerge and grow.

At first, there were tribes and villages, each independent. They got along more or less ok, since there was a sort of truce between them. Since most people were just interested in farming, raising livestock, and raising families, there was little reason to fight each other. When fights did arise, they would either duke it out or resolve the disputes among themselves. This kind of arrangement isn’t uncommon in the world. In fact, where these arrangements exist, laws are eventually agreed upon and sometimes even people are appointed to execute on those laws.

When foreign powers came to invade England, the tribes would unite, usually electing a temporary king, and thus come to each other’s defense. This worked out great, more or less, until the raids and invasions became so common that it made sense to have a permanent king who commanded the militia and could summon them at will.

Having a permanent king worked even better. Now the king could do things like ensure people had the right kinds of equipment and training, and he could quickly organize them into a command structure and even wage war in different parts of the country at the same time.

It worked great, that is, until they faced a greater foreign threat than they had the resources to fight. Or rather, the king was too weak to call up a large enough army and next thing you know, the French are running England. Had the king had even more power, perhaps England would’ve been able to face the French properly. Regardless, that kind of government was now present in England, whether they voted for it or not.

This is every AnCapper’s nightmare: What happens when a bunch of people get together and decide that they want your stuff, and they aren’t willing to trade? If you can’t muster a large enough army to protect it, your best bet is to accept whatever crumbs they offer you. Perhaps the chains of slavery and servitude will rest lightly on your wrists.

This is why most anarchist philosophies fail. If we lived in a world where people didn’t raise large armies and try to invade each other, anarchy would be a completely reasonable solution. But people *do* decide to do that, they have and they forever will. Unless I’m missing something about human nature, I’m pretty sure that we carry the same genes that Hitler and Napoleon had, and I’m pretty sure any of our kids could grow up to be just like them.

Conservatism has, at its core, an acceptance of the way things actually are. We live in the world we live in. Things are pretty bad when you consider the human condition. None of us can call themselves good. All of us have flaws. We can’t trust any of us to be an absolute leader, lest they abuse that power and harm us. On this, we agree with anarchists: people make terrible rulers, and we should seriously think of ways to get rid of government.

Conservatives also believe that in addition to the material world, there are things like “rights”, “justice”, and “good”. Conservatives believe that we have a duty to secure these things, by force, if necessary. That means, we are willing to kill people who disagree with us in certain ways. IE, if you think it’s ok to murder someone, we’re going to kill you. If you think you can use military force to abuse the rights of people, we’re going to kill you. If you try to make a slave, we’ll kill you.

Obviously, we don’t like to kill, and it is good to give people a chance to change their ways, and we don’t have the power to figure out who exactly needs to be killed nor have all the power to execute them, but ultimately, conservatives are willing to pick up a gun and kill someone when absolutely necessary.

I think this is where we really diverge from AnCappers. An AnCapper, seeing someone enslaved to someone else, might say, “Well, that’s unfortunate. They shouldn’t have let themselves be enslaved. And the slaveowner should really consider if they are getting the maximum value out of the slave by keeping him as a slave. Wouldn’t you both make more money if you entered into a voluntary agreement?”

A conservative would use force to free the slave, even killing the slave owner if necessary.

Or, in the case of a murder in progress, an AnCapper might say, “Gee, they should’ve spent more money on their security detail. I’m sure they would be willing to trade all of their material wealth for their life at this point! They should’ve thought of that before this situation arose.” All the while, they would carefully consider the economic benefit of intervening to protect the victim.

A conservative would kill the murderer.

Because of the nature of the material world, governments exist. Even AnCappers agree that there is an economic benefit to combining capital to form security companies, which are just governments, albeit weak and limited ones.

In the business of making governments, conservatives know that things always go wrong. So we believe in the principles of the Constitution, which is a really good attempt to get all the good bits of the different kinds of government, and keep all the bad bits in check. We know that government is the ideal home for evil people. Therefore, we put these checks in to keep government under control. And then conservatives use the power of the constitution to keep things under control, treating each violation of the fundamental principles as a gross infringement on all of them.

AnCappers suppose that economic forces will keep their security companies under control. They suppose that if one security company becomes more popular than all the others, they would never, ever consider using violence to subjugate the customers of another security company, nor would they exploit their own customers. I mean, if the big security company decided that they were going to raise rates, and if you disagreed or wanted to leave, then they would take all of your assets and force you to continue to subscribe–I mean, why would any company ever choose to do such a thing? I mean, never has any entity that uses force ever used its force to do things in its own self-interest at the cost of others, right? (That’s sarcasm. Entities which use force often use that force to harm others in their own self-interest, frustrating the economic win-win of voluntary trade.)

AnCappers would do well to contemplate what sort of government we should have rather than contemplate what life would be like without government. I value their contributions in pointing out how when choices boil down to simple economics, rational people will make decisions that not only benefit themselves, but as a completely unintended side effect, benefit others. But they do not consider what irrational people will do if given the same freedom that the rational deserve.

In other words, evil is real, and it requires violence to keep it contained. Conservatives are willing to use that violence, and AnCappers hope it would just go away.

My Perspective on France

November 16, 2015 by

The destruction in France is horrible. It doesn’t matter if it’s one life or thousands. It doesn’t matter if it’s French lives or Syrian lives, it’s horrible. We have a wake-up call in France. What happened in France has been happening in Syria and Iraq for some time.

In our world, we cannot tolerate murder, even a little bit. We must be vigilant in bringing murderers to justice and taking threats of murder very seriously and responding to them with force.

I believe that people have a God-given right to live. They should live as long as they can on this earth. This implies that people that try to prematurely end life need to be killed. It is not enough to contain them. Threats of murder must be faced with killing those who so threaten.

ISIS is an organization that has threatened and continues to threaten murder. As a civilized society, we must take their threats seriously and respond by killing them and destroying their organization.

The nature of ISIS and other Islamic terrorists makes it incumbent on every able-bodied male to keep and bear arms. We must take responsibility for our own security and not rely on government to do everything for us. Government is useful for organizing large-scale responses such as war. They are not so effective in securing individual homes and places of business.

Whenever a country is exporting refugees, we must consider first that our responsibility is not to shelter the refugees permanently. We may shelter them temporarily, but we do not need to integrate them into our society. Our attention should be focused on ending the problems in their home country that causes them to flee in the first place.

There is a difference between someone who is moving from one country to do business or find a better life, and people who are fleeing their country because of war.

Like it or not, as the sole superpower, the United States has a responsibility for the overall security of the nations. That doesn’t mean we should go it alone, but it does mean we are who everyone looks to when there is a world problem. I propose that we abandon the United Nations and establish the United States as the meeting ground where countries come to discuss their problems. When there is a world-wide issue, we should assume leadership and organize the countries of the world to address the problem. Not commanding them to do one thing or another, but soliciting their opinion, ensuring that everyone gets a chance to state their piece. Then we decide what to do, and if that involves working with other like-minded nations, we take leadership and delegate responsibilities appropriately. If there is going to be a large-scale operation involving many nations, we are the ones who need to establish how much each country should donate.

One thing we must encourage is for advanced nations to build and maintain an effective military that they can use to respond to international events. They may need to respond to immediate threats unilaterally, and we (as a world) may need to call on their help to respond to larger, more on-going issues.

In terms of what we should expect as minimum behavior from any state is the following.

  • Sending and receiving ambassadors to the United States and other countries.
  • Respecting borders, cultures, and political differences by securing their own country against threats and preventing their country from exporting things such as terrorism.
  • A basic respect for the most fundamental rights, such as life, liberty, and self-determination.

When a country acts in bad faith, making threats to its neighbors and supporting terrorists, then is the time we need to act, and we need to act decisively. The action would be to depose the government and hold free and fair elections. For as long as the people elect leaders who act in bad faith, we will continue to occupy their country. When they elect governments who respect other countries, then they are put on probation. After a certain time period, we can safely withdraw our coalition military forces and count the country as one of the advanced ones.

There are those who complain that we (and other countries) shouldn’t pay to clean up countries like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. They must remember that there is a cost to not doing so, and I believe the cost of not doing so outweighs the cost of doing so, both in terms of human life and capital.

We can and should work towards building a world where people can travel freely between the countries, where we can safely assume that anyone we meet is not going to try to kill us, and where different cultures and religions can be respected. We can and should use force when those ideals are not met.

Let me give an example on how the world can respond to North Korea. As of today, North Korea has shown itself to be belligerent and murderous. South Korea has tried to deal with this problem, but Japan and China are also interested. China has been, historically, a protector of North Korea. However, pressure applied from the international community can perhaps persuade China to support some basic reforms in North Korea, particularly reforms regarding belligerence. If North Korea doesn’t respond to these reforms, then is the time I think we are justified to use military force, with whatever allied nations are in agreement, invade North Korea and dismantle their military. While we are up there, we can hold free and fair elections where the people of North Korea can decide who should be their new government and what their constitution should be. We would remain in North Korea for fifty years or more, enough to ensure that North Korea’s government would be perpetually peaceful.

China would resist, particularly because China doesn’t believe in free and fair elections. Thus, it would be in China’s interests to convince North Korea to cease its belligerence to prevent an invasion and consequent elections. China’s best move would be to choose peace. As long as a country is peaceful with its neighbors, and respects (more or less) basic human rights, we have no cause to invade.

In Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, the solution is obvious. We should be leading a coalition force to secure the country. Since Assad has been, more or less, peaceful, we could restore his control. However, we would remain in Syria for 50 years or more, until we could be assured that something like ISIS never happens again.

It is inarguable that Obama’s foreign policy has been anything but a disaster. Rather than dwell on past mistakes, it’s time we asserted ourselves and stood for basic, common-sense foreign policy. We should not be scared of resorting to war, especially in this day and age when our military capability plus the military capability of peaceful nations dwarfs theirs. We should use the threat of war to bring belligerent nations and entities to the discussion table, and exchange peace for peace.

Sacred Cow Tipping

November 12, 2015 by

There are certain sacred cows in our society that we seem even to forbid ourselves the thought of tipping them. I’ll start with the most inflammatory ones and move on from there. The point is in the last paragraph, not that anyone who is offended by anything I think will ever read it.

Let’s start with these. Gender is encoded in every cell of everyone’s body, and it affects how people function physically, mentally, and spiritually. Thus, there are no transgender people, only crazy people who need to be convinced that their body is not trying to tell them they are something they are not.

A healthy society requires that men and women behave certain ways. Men should behave a certain way. Women should behave a certain way. That doesn’t make men better or worse than women. In fact, those who think men “get to” behave a certain way and are thus superior to women are actually saying that men are better than women, not the other way around. A true feminist would focus their efforts in exemplifying what women are actually better at, not trying to make women into men. A true feminist would find no quarrel with a true masculinist. Both would be trying to make their sexes better. Having better men and better women is not a bad idea!

Homosexuality is an abomination and gross perversion. Our bodies are simply not built for it, and it is physically harmful. There are no benefits to it, and no one should ever engage in it. I look forward to the day when people who engage in it are rightfully labelled as sick and they can get treatment for their illness.

Speaking of sex, sexual relations are only appropriate inside the marriage bond between male and female. Everywhere else, it is a perversion and brings all sorts of problems, not the least of which is out-of-wedlock child birth, AKA **** children. Yes, it’s a word so evil that it is censored in polite society, but it is that way because it is a horrible, horrible thing that polite people don’t even like to think about. But really, if that were the only evil, it wouldn’t be so bad. Sexual relations cause certain emotions to appear, and when people violate those emotions, it hurts very deeply. This hurt goes way beyond the two individuals who violated each other, and extends across generations. A very possible reason you are sad is because you took sexual relations too lightly, and you didn’t bother to try and mate for life with one individual.

People who try to make sexual relations outside of marriage look anything but wrong are actually sick, perverted people. Think about it: grown men telling young women that it’s perfectly normal and good to have sexual relations before marriage — what would you call that? If a man told my daughter that, I’d kick him out of the house and tell everyone that he is a perverted freak who should be locked up. That is, if I could restrain myself from killing the man. And yet, when the TV or movies teach that, what is our reaction? Frankly, any TV show or movie that says it is OK to have extra-marital sexual relations is perverted and has no business being shown to anyone, let alone my family. It’s quite a different experience not being force-fed the message that sex doesn’t matter, that homosexuals are perfectly normal, etc… Cutting the cable was the best thing I have ever done.

I think it’s fairly obvious why people are so insistent that sexual liberty be preached from every corner, and sane sexual relationships be villified and mocked: It’s because they are perverted. They are sick and broken, and need professional help. We shouldn’t be elevating them to positions of honor and recognition.

I think it’s fairly obvious that these perverted freaks have lead us down a path of sorrow and broken homes, and its time we stopped listening to them. I think we can safely blame at least 90% of society’s problems on out-of-wedlock sexual relations. The remedy is to keep your pants on until you get married, and being very careful about how you approach marriage. If we’re going to get there, it’s going to be by pointing out perversions when they present themselves and demonstrating a better way with our own lives. It’s going to require we re-program our culture. It’s going to require we take back our media and stop shoving fistfuls of dollars at those who are trying to pervert us.

Here’s another sacred cow: No one owes you anything. You don’t deserve a single red cent from government or anyone else. If you want something, you have to earn it, just like everyone else. If you think you deserve something, you’re a spoiled brat, and have no business telling anyone what to do. If someone promises you something, collect as soon as possible. Government is the least reliable in fulfilling their promises, so you should ask for a check up-front rather than a lifetime pension.

And another: You owe everything you are and have to society in general and God in particular. How have you been showing gratitude for your gifts? The very fact that you can trade your goods and services with others is because society has made that possible. No one owes you anything, but you owe everyone else everything. If more people thought like this, we wouldn’t have most of our problems.

I think this is really tied to the sexual relationship bit above. I mean, those who think that because they have an animalistic urge to exercise their procreative powers entitles them to executing upon it are the same as those who claim everyone owes them something but they owe nothing. The way you treat your sexual urges says a lot about how you feel about others. Are you selfish, insistent that only your feelings matter, or do you see it is a tool that, when properly used, can bring great joy to the world? If you’re the former, you really don’t belong in polite society. If the latter, we should build statues to you.

This cow irks me a lot, but it’s low down on the priority list: You really don’t need government. If you simply lived your life the right way, thinking of others as yourself (AKA the Golden Rule), then you wouldn’t need government telling you what to do. On the other hand, people who do need government because they can’t comprehend the Golden Rule won’t be fixed by government. That is, government really isn’t the answer to anything. On the one hand, it’s unnecessary. And on the other hand, it’s insufficient. Government, at best, can only be a small part of society, and then, only if it is given its proper, subservient role to other institutions.

What other institutions? Why, the only institution that can tell a man how to think and act: churches. You need to participate in your church. I don’t mean showing up every Sunday, though that is a good start. I mean taking upon yourself a leadership role, even if that is just living the teachings of your church to the best of your ability. In your family, we need mothers and fathers who are religiously educated and capable of explaining how to live one’s life and turn lives around without using government force. Without this, we have nothing.

Speaking of religion, those who see religion as oppressive miss the entire point. Religion teaches individuals how to act so that government is unnecessary. When religious people misbehave, they need more religion, not less. If you think religions aren’t doing a good job of keeping people well-behaved, have you thought that perhaps you’re part of the problem, since you’re not actually following any of the religions? What would a society without any religion look like? What would tell someone they should do one thing versus another? What would tell them that someone is watching when no one else is? What would tell them how to change and improve themselves?

Government? Really? You want us to worship government as a god?

Speaking of misbehavior in a religious context, AKA, sin, the point of Christianity is not that we all need to be perfect. Every religion teaches that. The point of Christianity is how to reconcile the fact that we aren’t perfect with the fact that we have to be. The core of Christianity is this: It’s going to be OK. As long as we focus on the perfect being Jesus Christ, as long as we try our best to follow him (even though we usually do a pretty bad job at it), as long as we keep turning back to him, it works out. Some people focus on the inward forgiveness and reconciliation they feel in Christianity, but really, it’s all about people actually changing their behavior, not just through force of will (all religions teach that), but through the miracle of learning how to forgive each other and forgive one’s self.

So the sacred cow I’m looking at here is the one that lumps Christianity in with all the other religions, or rather, unfairly lumps any two religions together improperly. The saying goes you can’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes. Christ taught that you can’t judge a man unless you judge perfectly, and only he knows how to do that, so don’t be silly.

Another sacred cow: Science is not about what we know to be true; it’s about what we know to be false. The record of science is the heap of failed theories and the experiments that disproved them. That’s where we learn not only how wrong we are as human beings but how we figured out how wrong we were. Running around telling people that science proves something or other to be true is doing a disservice to the word science. You can’t prove anything to be true with experiment; you can only prove things to be false.

The final sacred cow is that we’re living in a society where we are taught to hate people who we disagree with. This is not civility or tolerance or compassion. It is the exact opposite. We can only learn by listening to those with new ideas. New ideas are different than the ideas we already have. Knowledge comes from understanding those we disagree with.

Are there any other sacred cows I missed?

Materialism is Logically Inconsistent

November 9, 2015 by

Materialism is the philosophy that nothing but the material exists. Since the philosophy “nothing but the material exists” is immaterial, it doesn’t exist according to materialism. Therefore, materialism is logically inconsistent.

Also, logic is immaterial, so it doesn’t exist according to materialism. So why are we even arguing using logic?

All Scientists Must Be Christian (and Vice-Versa)

November 9, 2015 by

Another inflammatory title, to teach what should be a commonly understood point. The reason why it is inflammatory is both Christians and Scientists misunderstand what it is they and their counterparts stand for.

In another forum, I had a discussion with an evolutionist of my faith. It boiled down to a fundamental question: If a theory is correct, should it agree with reality? That is, should experiments contradict the predictions of the theory?

It may surprise you that I, the creationist, took the side that yes, theories should agree with experiment. If experiments contradict the predictions of the theory, then the theory is wrong. The evolutionist took the side that theories are mere suggestions, and it really doesn’t matter what reality has to say about it.

What a world science would be in if we hailed back to the era of Roman gods, capricious and untrustworthy! Let it not be so!

Now let me explain why Christians should be scientists, and scientists Christian.

First, some history. It wasn’t until people like Isaac Newton and Francis Bacon began to write about their ideas about a subject called philosophy (what we might call physics today) that we could definitively say that modern science began. Up until that point, what the intelligentsia was doing wasn’t much different than what witch doctors were doing, with roughly equivalent results. Sure, we had engineering marvels, but to those who were not deeply entrenched in Christian thought, these were mere curiosities, aberrations, not descriptive of the universe as a whole.

The definitive attributes of people like Francis Bacon and Isaac Newton was their attitudes toward Christianity. Or rather, their sincere and devout faith in it. Before you dismiss this as the illusions of a crippled mind, let me propose to you that perhaps there was something about their particular brand of faith that was different than all the millions of very intelligent people before them. There was some aspect of their faith that translated into microchips and airplanes, while the beliefs and actions of all who went before merely rendered the most simple chemistry and mathematics.

That aspect, I believe, was their fundamental belief that truth was very real.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” When you ponder this statement, a statement that no other philosopher or religionist has ever said with any degree of authority until Jesus, you begin to see the foundation of modern science.

  • “I am the way” — meaning, there is only one way to do things, and Jesus is that way.
  • “I am the truth” — meaning, there is only one truth, and Jesus is that truth.
  • “I am the life” — meaning, there is only one life, and Jesus is that life.

The verse continues: “No man cometh unto the Father except through me.”

To the religious who believe in God, God is the possessor of all truth. If we want truth, we need to go communicate with God to receive it. Jesus in this verse is explaining, “You can’t have the truth unless you do things my way.” What is his way? Truth. Sin. Faith. Forgiveness. Compassion.

(This is also why no one should accept Jesus as a mere philosopher. Either he was the most lunatic man to walk the earth, or he was the Son of God. You can’t have a serious philosopher make pronouncements such as the above.)

These principles that Jesus embodied were the scientific method. Or rather, attitudes and practices that allowed the scientific method to exist.

Let me walk through them.

Truth: Jesus never lied, and he lived the truth, even when it made his life difficult. Scientists should also be unceasingly interested in the truth, and ready to sacrifice everything for it, even their political power or standing. As scientists, we cannot compromise on the truth anymore than Jesus can. Just like Jesus taught us to be perfect, we as scientists should teach others to seek absolute truth.

Sin. In science, we know that people make mistakes. It’s very easy to forget something or to misinterpret something. Scientists do not put their faith in experts or opinion, but in scientific results. Likewise, to a Christian, we know that all of us are fallen and in no way worthy of the blessings God would like to bestow on us. We cannot put our faith and hope in humanity, but in God.

Faith: Faith merely means “trust”. As scientists, we need to trust in the scientific method. We need to trust reality above our own ideas. If what we think conflicts with reality, it is our thoughts that are wrong, not reality. As Christians, our faith is in Jesus Christ. If our ideas conflict with his, we should adjust our thinking, not his. The second part of faith is active: Once you trust, you do. As scientists, we perform experiments and compare the results with what we believe. As Christians, we should be doing the same, putting Christian principles into practice and seeing if the results line up with what we believe. As Christ said, “If any man will do his will, he will know of his doctrine.” Meaning, you cannot know until you try.

Forgiveness. In science, failure is not the end. It is, in fact, a new beginning, a rebirth. It is upon the failed theories that science grows and progresses. It is because we know that failure is not hell, but the opportunity for starting anew, just like Christians. When someone sins, they are in a bad place, but merely accepting Christ, repenting, and moving forward despite the failure is enough to overcome any sin.

Compassion. Christians believe that all mankind are the sons and daughters of God, and that all possess the power to become like God through Christ. So too, scientists believe that truth is universal, and anyone can try their hand at experiments, and anyone could be the person who proposes the next theory that will be the prevailing thought for some time.

Scientists and Christians are not at all unlike. Science is a natural branch of Christianity. There is no war between science and Christianity, and there never was.

Why Statists Don’t Want to Shut Down the Government

October 27, 2015 by

The fight between conservatives and statists is flaring up in congress again. The conservatives want to bring the federal government back under the control of the American people, while the statists want to see it put unborn generations of Americans in even further debt. Up until now, the fight has been favoring the conservatives.

On the subject of shutting down the government, I had the following thought.

If the government shut down, conservatives would just shrug their shoulders. We know how powerful the average American is and how truly unnecessary the vast majority of what the federal government does is. We know that if you stop paying our military and our elderly, they won’t die in the streets but will figure out a way forward without government’s help.

On the other hand, the statists have the most to fear from a government shut down. Not only do they rely on the government for all of their power and wealth, they also need to perpetuate the lie that the American people are helpless without the federal government. Should the federal government shut down and the American people find out how truly unnecessary it is, they would be forever out of a job.

That’s why the fight is the way it is. Statists like John Boehner are fighting tooth and nail to ensure the government has permission to borrow from children as yet unborn, with no end in sight. The small group of conservatives in congress are fighting to ensure that this unsustainable policy ends, and sanity returns.

How Centralized Government Causes Pollution

October 23, 2015 by

The following video is a satirical look at China’s pollution.

If you aren’t familiar with the channel yet, check it out. He does a great job of explaining the problems with centralized authority in a humorous way. It will help shed light on how we, as a government and culture, need to change to avoid becoming like China.

Now, let’s examine the issue with pollution.

In China, if someone is destroying your home with pollution, what can you do? Since all the power is centralized, the answer is nothing. Unless you are the son of on of the rulers running the country, your opinion doesn’t really matter. If you petition too loudly, you go to jail. If you don’t have something that the centralized government wants, they don’t care about your opinion.

In the US, under our decentralized federal system, issues such as pollution are assigned to the states and to the people by the constitution. What do you do if your neighbor is spewing toxic fumes into the atmosphere and won’t stop? You engage the state and city government to stop them. All it takes is enough people complaining and the city council and state legislature will do just about anything to keep themselves in power. The federal government focuses on international matters, and so if another country was polluting into ours, they would be your advocates.

Pollution is an economic problem. There is a financial incentive to pollute, otherwise no one would do it. There is also a financial cost, which the polluter usually doesn’t have to bear. We call this “externalities” in economic terms. Meaning, something I do makes you pay for it. External costs are a bad thing. After all, we’re all human, and if I can make an extra buck by making you pay ten, why wouldn’t I? We could rely on our good nature and appeal to logic and reason, but we all know that doesn’t work very well in the real world. Thus, wherever externalized costs exist, there is going to be problems until those costs can be internalized.

Of course, if the external cost is good, then people won’t complain. Let’s say a farmer is using a fertilizer that leeches into a lake that causes it to overflow with even more fish that are healthier. What fisher would be upset with that? So if the external cost is good, we don’t call it pollution.

In a capitalist system, where the means of production is owned by the people and not by the government, and property rights respected, when you externalize a cost, then the person whose property is hurt has a claim for just recompense from the person who did the injury. In the case of pollution, the obvious compensation is to clean up the pollution. Thus, the producer of the pollution bears the external cost of the pollution. The courts exist to provide this mechanism. Thus, the external cost of pollution is internalized. The polluter has to think whether it really makes sense to pollute, or if it will be cheaper for everyone to not pollute.

In one very special case, when a small external case is distributed among a large number of people, should government get involved a more than an arbitrator. In this case, since it is difficult to have all the hurt individuals come together to petition for redress, and difficult to fairly distribute the cost and expense, government can and should step forward and levy a pollution tax equal to the cost of cleanup and for the sole purpose of cleaning up the pollution or compensating those affected. Of course, the danger of raising taxes too high always exists, but taxes that are too high end up killing the tax revenue stream anyway so it will self-balance.

Let’s take a specific example. Say that a farmer wants to use extra fertilizer to increase his yields. However, that fertilizer is washed into the local streams, rivers, and lakes causing problems. The owner of that land would have a just claim to demand the farmer clean up the mess caused by the fertilizer. This provides the farmer an incentive to minimize the damage or ensure it is cleaned up. The economic cost will drive people to innovate in new ways of farming with less pollution or cheaper ways to safely clean it up.

Another example: Let’s say a power company is burning coal to make power. This pollutes the atmosphere, which affects a lot of people very little. Since so many people are affected, government steps in and demands that they either install a scrubber to eliminate the pollution or pay the government to do it themselves. At the same time, the government could demand that the power company pay the bill for restoring the land back to its clean state, perhaps by de-acidification of lakes and soil. Or government could simply distribute the money among the people, which they could use to clean up their own land or spend in some other way they see fit.

In China, since natural rights are not recognized and all the government occurs in a centralized body, none of these things occur. The temptation to pollute and have someone else bear the external costs of it are too great, and there is no redress for those so affected. We’ve heard the story far too many times of Chinese people asking their government to do something simple, just, and honest and ending up in jail for it, or even dead.

If you want to make America clean or rather, keep it clean, we need to continue to apply property rights and decentralized government. Having the EPA be a federal department is actually what allows pollution to continue. Having each state, county and city manage their own pollution will ensure the proper balance. When people get affected by pollution, they will petition their local agency to crack down on the polluters, and will have far more influence than they can ever have on a central bureaucracy.

The Solution to Out of Control Federal Government

October 22, 2015 by

It would surprise you, or at least should, if the Founding Fathers had not anticipated our day.

Indeed, they probably could not have conceived of the weapons we use in war. They probably could not conceive of the computers and the internet that tie us together. But they did perceive man’s propensity to accumulate wealth and power, and the attraction that government offers to such people.

They knew that governments do what governments do: grow. Government start off with a fair promise and a fair deal. You, the People, give us money, give us food, and give us your young men, and we will protect you so you can live in peace.

This was the deal that gave rise to the first kings of England, more general and less king, appointed by the local governments across the land, to a temporary term for the purpose of rallying the troops and expelling the invaders. Over time, the kings stayed kings beyond their terms, and could call the army when they thought it was necessary. By the time the Normans invaded in 1066, they had a full-fledged government, still with the purpose of protecting the people, but doing other things as well. The Normans brought their castles and knights and French words like beef and pork. They quickly learned that the English people were not subjects, but partners, and it wasn’t long before they resurrected the age-old promise of protection for products. And thus the English people remained, with much of the power focused in the local villages with lords and kings handling the affairs of state and calling upon the young men for the occasional war.

By the time the American Revolution occurred, England had already experienced several revolutions. It was not a few times that the kings asked too much, and it was not a few times that the lords or the people refused. There was even a period of time where there was no king, although that was abandoned when it was realized no king could be worse than a king.

The Americans were just another revolution in a long list of revolutions. Perhaps they saw it that way, and perhaps the English saw it that way too. Thus, the War of 1812, when the British said, “You have had your fun. It is time to get back together again.”

The Americans, however, had something new. They have perspective. They had wealth. They had a bit of time. And with these resources, they developed the modern statesman, an individual who, with his wealth and privilege, sacrificed so that his people could benefit. This was the era of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. It was also a time for George Washington, the man who refused a crown because he cared too much.

We suppose that the Founding Fathers did not expect that our government would grow too large or powerful only if we ignore that they lived under a government that grew too large and powerful. Their desire was not independence, no not at first. They wanted unity with their brothers and fathers in Great Britain. However, by that time they had grown too powerful and too pompous as to consider the colonies anything like one of their own villages. Perhaps they didn’t understand what was happening overseas, the “Little Britain” that was quickly developing, the intellectual Renaissance of the American independent spirit. Perhaps they saw men wielding hatchets and wearing buckskin as backwards and unrefined. Regardless, they did not accept the entreaties of the Americans, and in the end, the Americans decided they were better off alone.

Having lived under such a government, the Founding Fathers conceived a plan to prevent it from ever happening again. Or rather, a plan to recover balance when it does occur. That is, the constitution is not so much a roadmap as a fire escape. It is to be employed when things go wrong.

And who can say they haven’t gone wrong?

In Federalist 46, James Madison under the name Publius describes why things won’t go wrong easily, and how to remedy it. His chief concern was twofold: One, that the states would grow too powerful, one bullying the other. Two, that the federal government would overpower the states.

If a state grew too powerful, the federal government would be the device by which its power would be limited. We see this today as California and New York are rebuffed by senators from Wyoming and South Dakota. To them, they would prefer we had a national popular election to settle matters, while the smaller states insist on the power of the senate. We have not had a case where one state grew too large, and I don’t think it will ever happen if we insist on applying the constitution. Should we ever abandon the Senate and the Electoral College, that would spell the end of that.

If the federal government grew too powerful, then it would be limited by the states. On the one hand, the states are closer to the people. On the other hand, they deal with matters of greater concern to the people, and so the people are thus more interested in maintaining its power and are thus loyal to it. With its power it can reward its people with rewards that the federal government cannot afford.

The only cause for concern to Madison was the absurd notion that the federal government would build a military which would dwarf the states. He wondered aloud how it could possibly do that, and why the states would send the federal government the funds and the equipment and the bodies needed to build such a war machine. Nevertheless, he points out, should the federal government somehow manage to raise an army larger than any other, it would still be dwarfed by the people. Unlike Europe, Americans were heavily armed, and not just with anything, but with military equipment. And so it is simply impossible for a minority to use military force to compel the majority. Sure, in Europe this happens all the time, but, he says, imagine what a lord in Europe would do if he could actually access the sentiment of the common folk? What kind of army could he raise and who could stop him? In America, any man who can rally the people would be such a lord, and if he were sufficiently popular, all but unstoppable.

Madison asserts that ultimately, the power behind the state and federal government come from the people. The people, as a separate body, are the power that any official in either government wants to gain control over.

I doubt that Madison knew that one day, militaries would become so efficient. Our federal government now possesses the means to destroy entire cities at the push of a button. A crew of men can put a bomber in the sky to wipe out an entire army. With technology, I fear that the federal government has reached a point where it could possibly challenge the people and win. The only hope I have is that there are enough good people in the military who won’t push the button and won’t order the troops to do such a horrible thing.

This fear, I think, should translate into a general policy. The parts of our military should not be controlled by the federal government, except in times of war, and only for the purposes of that war. Every missile, every bomb, every member of the armed forces should make their oaths to their state, and then pledge their loyalty to the federal government only inasmuch as the state permits it. In this way, if we were to break down to the point where a group of people would like to use military force on another, they would have to negotiate an alliance among the several states — which would be what we wanted all along. We wanted people who have competing interests and ideas about how government should work to sit down and talk about their ideas and convince others of the validity of their ideas in the several realms. Only once you can gain a supermajority can you make significant changes.

Those of you who are fed up with the federal government: Take over your state governments, and use the state to poke the federal government in the eye. Tell the federal government to stick it when they ask for help or resources. If push comes to shove, the state governments should be quite capable of rallying the people to a righteous cause, even if it means rallying them to fight a war.

I am reminded of one thing. During the 80’s, there was a big push to lower taxes at the federal government level. Yes, they were lowered, but the states raised their taxes and the actual effect wasn’t that much on the average family because of it. Had we instead focused our efforts on making tax shelter states, and then prevented the federal government from collecting from the state’s people, we would never have had a need to limit taxes on the federal level. That is to say, if you really want to change things, change Olympia, not DC.

Rights are Not Wrongs

September 30, 2015 by

In the ancient order of things, our ancestors viewed the world through the lens of religion. Whether it was the Romans who worshiped dumb idols made of stone and fancy, or the Europeans who worshiped Christ the Savior, the end result was similar.

In a religious world view, there is another actor beyond nature and man, that of God. According to religious thought, God is the Creator, the Law-giver, the Life-giver. Some people view God’s commandments as restrictions, but honestly, if there is a God who gave us life, isn’t it clear that the laws are given to help sustain it?

The concept of a right is something founded exclusively in religion. There can be no rights without some God commanding them to be. The European Renaissance brought with it a new question of what the role of men and governments should be, and the conclusion was that everyone was given rights. What they do with them are up to them, of course, but as long as those rights were respected, all would be well.

What is a right? In our society, we think of rights as “freedoms”. Just like a particle of matter in an ideal gas are free to move one way or another, or spin about the various axes, we view our rights as a mechanical thing. That is, anything we can do is a right.

This definition of rights is entirely foreign to the word and to every understanding of rights as they were originally described. To understand, let’s think of the kings who claimed they had a right to rule over a particular patch of dirt or a group of people. What gave them that right? Was it their freedom? Did the people choose him to be their king? These ideas are contrary to how our ancestors understood them. No, what gave the king the right to rule was God. That is, God himself, they believed, gave a particular individual the right to rule God’s children. It was this force, this religious force, that kept kings in power (for who can stand up to God’s will?) but also, at the same time, limited their freedom to do as they please as king.

It was God, after all, who required an accounting from the kings for how they behaved. If God was displeased with a king, he would strike him down and put someone else in his place. But if the king reigned according to God’s will, then God would reward king and kingdom with blessings innumerable.

This sounds like a uniquely Christian concept, but we see it repeated all over the world. To the Chinese, they call it a Mandate from Heaven. To the Greeks and Romans, the right to rule was a gift of the gods. I am sure you can find this idea repeated no matter which culture you look at.

In our American culture, we tried to do away with that. We did it through sleight of hand, per se, and we were successful, at least for a short time.

The first trick was to change the “right to rule” into the “right to do certain things”. We looked at God and saw that he commanded us, as individuals, to speak our minds on certain subjects, particularly religious ones. So we saw a “right to speak”. We saw a right to move around, to preach the Word, and so we saw a right to liberty of movement. We also saw a  God who gave strict commandments regarding property ownership, so we saw a right to own property and receive profits from it. Some of our ancestors saw a right to rule slaves, it is true, but others saw that it should not be so but was contrary to how the kingdom of God should be organized.

The second trick was the responsibility associated with these rights. That is, even if you have the right to speak your mind, there are certain things you can’t say. You can’t lie under oath (that would be the bearing of false witness). You can’t deceive or cheat. You can’t let your mouth run off. So when our Founding Fathers saw the right to free speech, they knew that it had certain limits.

And so it was. That is, until something changed. Somewhere along the line, the idea of rights being connected to an all-powerful, all-seeing Judge in heaven were lost. Rights became mere freedoms. Freedoms meant we could do anything we wished, **** the consequences.

And that is how you enslave a people who think they are free. They become subjects not of God but of the devil, thrown about in his whirlwinds, ensnared by every deception and trap. And in this state, they look up to heaven and curse God and wish to die because of the miserable lives they lead.

Folks, if you are not happy, you are not free. Freedom does not lead to freedom. No, that is not how it worked, and it never was. The king who sat on his throne and did whatever he wanted quickly found out his throne was under someone else’s rear end. Yes, he might have had a right to rule, but God be judge and he is just.

We may have had, at some point, the rights we so eloquently defend. But they are with us no longer. Go ahead, and see for yourselves, and see if you are truly free or if we are closer to servitude and bondage. We are told we are free, but which one of us is free to do as he truly pleases?

The way to liberty is obedience to God. There is no other way. We have no right to do wrong. We never did. When you do wrong with your rights, they are taken away by the same Power that gave them to you. And only He can restore them.

On Social Security

September 28, 2015 by

One of the things I don’t hear a lot of people talking about is the fact that Social Security is already bankrupt.

First, a point of clarification. Most people seem to think that  Social Security is a sort of investment plan. The way it works, in their minds, is we give the government money, the government holds on to that money and earns a bit of return, and then we get the money back after we retire. This is certainly the way the government wishes we thought of Social Security, but it is wholly false.

Some people think that Social Security is similar to the above, except if you die too young or make too much money, Social Security keeps the rest. This is closer to the truth, but not in the way you think. Under this understanding, it becomes clear how discriminatory Social Security really is. Any other type of retirement investment would pay out the remainder to the survivors as part of the estate of the deceased. That’s only fair. If there were a retirement program that kept the remainder, we would rightly throw them in jail and expect them to pay back what they stole, because it would be theft.

The way Social Security actually works is the government takes, by force, money from workers. This, in addition to cashing in government bonds, is paid out to the survivors who collect on Social Security. If there’s not enough money, then Social Security cashes in more government bonds. The money for the bonds comes from the American Taxpayer, of course, which includes Social Security recipients nowadays. So you’re paying taxes on your Social Security so that you can collect Social Security!!

One day, Social Security will run out of government bonds. At that point, estimates are that the survivors will only collect 75% of what they were promised. I’ve been getting letters for years from the Social Security administration explaining this.

This is, in short, a plan not designed to support seniors in their retirement, but to fleece the American public. In years past, it has become a plan to fleece even those who aren’t working anymore, our retired elderly.

Social Security has served two purposes in our society. One is to enslave the American people to government. Nowadays, the thought of shutting down Social Security is met with angry violence. “How dare you make me independent of my government! It feeds and clothes me and I can’t survive without it!” This is the behavior of slaves who are bought and sold by their masters. I cannot do much to convince someone so entrapped in slavery that they are in slavery and they need to take (painful) steps to become independent again. The only good thing going for us is we need to wait a few years and they will pass on, their slavery becoming, one day, a distant memory to us. I can, however, convince people not to enter into slavery. I am certainly doing my best to prepare for retirement, and I’m counting on collecting $0.00 from the government in cash and benefits. All who have yet to retire should do the same. If you aren’t able to build up enough cash and wealth to support your retirement, then it’s time you taught your kids that the young’uns should take care of the old’uns, and you do that by taking care of your parents. If you haven’t any kids, well, what can I say? Since the beginning of time, kids have been the only sure retirement plan, and it looks like you missed the boat on that one. If it is true that human life is worth more than anything else, then it stands to reason that those who have sacrificed to bring human life into this world and raise them right have more wealth than anyone else. Don’t expect someone else’s kids to take care of you when you have not made the same sacrifice their parents have.

The second purpose of Social Security is to usher in communism and socialism. The slaves of Social Security are merely pawns in the grand scheme that is communism. You might know it by other names, but in the end, it is all the same. All the power to a  few, and the rest are mere serfs. That’s why the great desire to reform the medical system such that the government can dispatch of those who actually collect on the promises they made.

Of course, my understanding of the Middle Ages is that a serf working the land for his master had only to render a maximum of a few month’s labor to secure his own plot for himself. In today’s money, that is a far lighter tax burden than the burden we hold now. In short, we’d probably be better off as subjects to a despotic lord than “free” as we think as we are now.

We have a choice, today. We can reject the Social Security system, calling all the money we give into it a “tax” and reminding ourselves of how corrupt and evil it is. We can refuse government benefits and instead insist on building our own fortunes that will defy time and rot — our families.

Or we can pretend like communism and socialism are perfectly sound social systems, and pray our chains rest lightly on our wrists.

As for me and my house, I choose freedom and family, not slavery and government.


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