Archive for May, 2018

Split the State?

May 4, 2018

Rep. Matt Shea is stumping for splitting Washington State into two states, separating Eastern Washington from Western Washington. http://www.dailysunnews.com/news/2018/may/02/51st-state-rallies-coming-zillah-benton-city-and-w/

I think this is a great idea.

States should, ideally, be about 1 million people. This is about the minimum number of people needed to form an autonomous unit. Anything less, and there’s not enough diversity to fill all the roles necessary to make a healthy society. Any more, and there’s too many people and it’s too easy to corrupt.

This would mean that there would be about 350 states in the United States for our roughly 350 million people.

Each state would have 2 senators in the federal government, making a senate with 700 members. If we went back to 1 representative per 30k, then we’d have roughly 12,000 representatives. Presidents would need about 6,350 electoral votes to get elected.

Now, some geographic areas are densely populated, and breaking them up into states would not be reasonable. But when you look at larger cities, and how they rightfully divide up their city into different governing districts, to better represent the people and handle issues locally, I don’t see a big problem with it. We’re already seeing cities blend together, often across state lines.

Imagine the freedom you’d have by having a state government represent you on a smaller scale. You’d have your own laws, your own tax code, your own regulations.

Here in Washington State, Eastern Washington is usually in disagreement with Western Washington on all sorts of issue. Eastern Washington doesn’t want to invest in an expensive commuter rail system. They don’t want higher taxes and more police. They don’t want stricter controls on how property can be developed.

Indeed, rural states should be free to develop as they see fit, while more urban states should adapt to their burgeoning population with more controls on how land can be used, with deeper investments in infrastructure projects.

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Real Marriage

May 1, 2018

In a previous post, I talked about the logical foundation of marriage, why it is the most reasonable solution to the problem of how to protect the rights of children with minimal invasion.

In this post, I want to talk about what marriage should be, and why.

Traditionally, marriage was the only place where expression of sexual activity was encouraged. It was expected that a couple would produce children, and not a few.

While societies tolerated violations of this basic principle, the norm throughout history was to have laws expressly forbidding sexual relations outside of marriage. The punishment varied according to time and the people, but usually it was death.

I look up to the original Mosaic Law, that God gave Moses via revelation, as the ultimate guide to what God’s law looks like. In it, God punishes adultery with death, both man and woman. Remember that adultery is having relations as a married man with a married woman who is not your wife.

Other sexual infractions would include fornication, which is having relations with someone who is not married. The punishment for that is that you either die or marry the person — what we call a “shotgun marriage” today. If you can’t satisfy your wife, and she wants a divorce, then you are killed when she divorces you.

These seem especially harsh in today’s world, and rightly so (death is a severe punishment), but honestly, it wasn’t so long ago that our laws read similarly. It wasn’t until the 70s that “no-fault divorce” became common. Up until that point, it would take acts of the state legislature or more to get a divorce.

I can’t help but think how our society would be different if we went back the traditional view of marriage.

  • The only single mothers would be widows. Widows get special treatment by the extended family and community.
  • Every mother and child would have claim on the income of a man. Thus, there would be no need for a social safety net. Men are expected to be able to provide, and those that can’t aren’t ready for marriage.
  • Every man would have a sexual claim on a woman, and every woman on a man. If they don’t like their sexual partner, their choices are to wait until they die or to build them up. IE, if your wife is fat and ugly, and you don’t like sleeping with fat and ugly, then it’s up to you to make your wife skinny and beautiful. Compare this to today, when if your wife gets fat and ugly, you can just walk away and find a skinny and beautiful wife to replace her with, throwing her away like yesterday’s newspaper.
  • A strong network, enforced by violent law, would develop. No longer would a marriage be a temporary union of two people and two families, but an unseverable, eternal binding. When two houses marry, they cannot ever be divided.
  • I believe men would become much more loyal to their family and their wife and children. They don’t get to walk away anymore, and if they want a better life, it would have to be through making his wife and children better. The same for the wife: She cannot improve her station in life without improving her husband and her children. But the children as well would be invested in their parents. If they are to have any inheritance, it is through helping to build the family business. This is the sort of loyalty we sorely lack today.

How would we go about changing the law?

First, we need to call out the horrible situation people who don’t live by such a law find themselves in. I think we already have plenty of scientific evidence that stable marriages are the source of mental stability, financial security, and more. Being born in a stable married couple means you get all the advantages in life, while being born to a single parent means you are doomed. Compare the two at every chance you get, and let people see what an important difference there is.

Second, we need to teach people to live by the higher law of marriage. Don’t marry out of love — marry out of commitment, to yourself, your spouse, your children. We need to help people who find themselves wondering whether they should move on find a better way to fix their marriage. The internet should be flooded with messages telling people how to find sexual satisfaction with their married spouse, how to build a long-term relationship, how to handle all the ins and outs and daily struggles of marriage and make it work.

As people begin to devote their lives to their marriages, we can change the laws to make marriage contracts binding. Change divorce laws, eliminating “no-fault” divorce. Make divorces require a special dispensation from the legislature or the governor. You’re going to hear sad stories about how women feel trapped in their dead marriage. Turn those stories on their heads: “Isn’t it your fault the marriage died?” If the husband is abusive, then punish abuse — but don’t sever the marriage. Hold him accountable in rendering his duty to his wife and children, even if he has to live behind bars because he is violent. Make women realize their “golden ticket” is in staying married, not alimony. Make men realize they have a lot to lose if they leave the marriage.

Once we have eliminated divorce, we can turn our attention to the deviants who engage in sexual activity outside of marriage. If the are able to do it without anyone knowing — how can we catch them and punish them? That’s not the purpose of such a law, and there’s no need for hiring an army of secret police to spy on people’s bedrooms. No, we should be focused on those who openly mock their marriage covenant, and hold them accountable, not just for breaking that covenant, but infringing on the rights of the spouse and children, and assaulting the moral sense of the community. Had they kept it secret enough that neither spouse nor children nor society could discover it — what harm have they really done?

The purpose of the death penalty is not to create mountains of corpses. No, it is to impress upon the minds of the marriage partners the depth of their covenant. It is to allow the other spouse the freedom to seek the death of their partner should they violate that covenant (and imagine how bad a spouse must be to have death wished upon them!) or the general institution of marriage (for when society feels like an individual has gone too far.) There is no lighter penalty because people should not seek it except for the most exceptional cases with the most obvious of evidences. We do not want to consume the court’s time with allegations that so-and-so spent too long looking at someone, or they speak to each other too intimately, or they seem to have had a few moments alone in a secluded space. I do not expect that many people will be killed for the crime of adultery, just like we hardly solve all the murders nor do we punish the murderers very often. It is only for when the crime is so horrible that either the spouse cannot tolerate it or society feels it is being insulted that we would even consider it.

A few years ago, I wondered to myself if we would ever reach a point where even talking about having strongly enforced marriage laws would be a possibility. It seems we are at that point. The whole homosexual marriage issue has compelled conservatives to question marriage as an institution, to understand what it is really about. It has caused men to question what it means to be a man, and women to question what it means to be a woman. Rather than moved us away from our past, our traditions, our heritage, and our religion, it has brought us closer.

I don’t see it as a crazy probability that in the future men and women alike will demand real marriage. I don’t see it as strange that we would punish sexual behavior outside of marriage. I don’t see it as far-fetched that we wold return to our traditional values anymore. We were told that we did these things in the past because we were ill-informed and naive, or just bigoted and full of hate. But as we examine the truth, we find our ancestors knew more than they told us, or rather, knew more than we were willing to believe.