Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Federalist No. 10: Unalianable rights -The Pursuit of Happiness

We all want to be happy. With the exception of maybe angst-ridden emo teenagers, no one goes thru life wishing they were sadder or more depressed. The question is, what does it take to be happy?

The answer is simple, tho many people have a difficult time understanding its significance or how to apply it. The answer is: you have to find happiness for yourself. We all have different wants and desires. We all have different values and priorities. We all have different ideas about what will make us happy.

Nowadays, the right to pursue happiness is confused with a right to happiness. The problem with this is a few things. First and foremost, while the former exists, the latter does not. Second, for something that is supposedly unalienable (cannot be bought, transferred, sold, or given away), this so-called "right to happiness" is not much of a guarantee. Remember that the right to life boils down to the right to experience life -the good and the bad. As a natural part of our existence, we will go thru moments of pain, suffering, depression, sadness, sorrow, and discouragement. We will not always be happy, either as a result of our own bad choices, or the bad choices of others. A third problem is that too often those who confuse the real right to pursue happiness with the imagined right to be happy take such a right to mean "their right to force you and me to make sure they are happy and content in life". Which really is just a justification for slavery. These individuals confuse the means with the ends, or use the philosophy that because happiness is supposedly an "unalienable right", then the ends justify the means.

So what is the pursuit of happiness, if not a guarantee that we will be happy? Benjamin Franklin said "The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself." There a various understandings by conservatives of the term happiness and how it relates to property, and what the Founding Fathers meant by it, and while those are undeniable facts of history, for the sake of argument I will use the term as most people, liberal and conservative, do: the opportunity to make ones dreams come true, or ambitions realized; the ability to pursue a course or occupation that is conducive to one's individual's happiness.

"Among these unalienable rights, as proclaimed in that great document [The Declaration of Independence], is the right of men to pursue their happiness, by which is meant the right to pursue any lawful business or vocation, in any manner not inconsistent with the equal rights of others, which may increase their prosperity or develop their faculties, so as to give to them their highest enjoyment. The common business and callings of life, the ordinary trades and pursuits, which are innocuous in themselves, and have been followed in all communities from time immemorial, must therefore be free in this country to all alike upon the same conditions. The right to pursue them, without let or hindrance, except that which is applied to all persons of the same age, sex, and condition, is a distinguishing privilege of citizens of the United States, and an essential element of that freedom which they claim as their birthright. It has been well said that 'THE PROPERTY WHICH EVERY MAN HAS IN HIS OWN LABOR, AS IT IS THE ORIGINAL FOUNDATION OF ALL OTHER PROPERTY, SO IT IS THE MOST SACRED AND INVIOLABLE." Butchers' Union Co. v.Crescent City CO., 111 U.S. 746 (1884)

This seems simple enough: what a man can do, without encroaching on the unalienable rights of others, to further his own enjoyment of and happiness in life, a man has an unalienable right TO DO.

What does that say about arguments for welfare, minimum wage, or even gay marriage, that make the case that the recipients of such benefits have a "right to pursue happiness?" While it is true (as the poor man, the working man, and the gay man ALL have the same God-given rights as you or I), it does not mean that such, in their pursuit to make themselves happy, can then force us to accommodate their whims and fancies because of their inherent desire to be happy. "That property which a man has honestly acquired he retains full control of, subject to these limitations...that he shall not use it to his neighbor's injury, and that does not mean that he must use it for his neighbor's benefit". Budd v. People of State of New York, 143 U.S. 517 (1892) We all have the unalienable right to pursue a path we believe conducive to our individual happiness: not force others to run down that path for us and make us happy. This means that when we elect to follow a course that we perceive will lead us to happiness, and discover on the way that it is, in fact, unconducive to that happiness, we change course, or find a different path. Never can the pursuit of happiness be used as a bludgeon to force people to do what will make us happy.

How does the government secure such rights? By giving us rights to property, and by allowing us to do what manner of work that a man can profit from (provided it isnt illegal or infringes on the rights of others). In short, sustaining the free market system. What a man works for with his own two hands is his and his alone, and cannot be taken by force except as the public need AND use will dictate, or as punishment for a crime. If you are unhappy with your lot in life, CHANGE IT! You are free to experience life; you are free to choose. These freedoms, combined with the freedom to pursue happiness, give you all the tools you need to find that place in the universe where you are content. But true happiness will only occur when YOU work for it in your own life.

This is not a guarantee. Some of us will find the happiness we are searching for right off the bat. For others it will take some trial and error. Sadly, there are quite a few who may never obtain the happiness they seek, but in their pursuit they may find a better happiness than what they had before. But if we are to be happy, we must first pursue happiness. We may not, from time to time, be able to find the object of our pursuit, but we will never find happiness if we are not allowed to pursue it in the first place. It is only by the pursuit of happiness that we can hope to ever find it. Our government exists to ensure that we can pursue it.

We just have to catch it for ourselves.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Federalist No. 9 Unalienable Rights: Liberty

Second on the list of unalienable rights is liberty. Liberty ties closely to the first; the right to life, or the right to experience life, the good with the bad. Liberty is understood as being free from arbitrary or despotic control. It is the power of choice, of agency. In order to fully benefit from the experiences of life, we must be free to experience them as is our wont.

For liberty to exist, there must be three conditions met first:

1. The ability to choose
2. A choice between two or more opposing options
3. A consequence as a result of the choice made

The ability to choose- We are all born with the capacity to make informed decisions. That God which gives us life also gives us the ability to weigh, to consider, and to act accordingly, every man according to his circumstances and his knowledge. We are free to choose what path we will take, and to choose whether we will continue down that path or abandon it for another. While all men are subject to various pulls and impulses that his nature imposes upon him, no man is an automaton. We are free to make the choice to heed the call of nature, or or resist it, overcome it, and master it.

A choice- We live in a world of opposition. There is an opposition in all things. Good and bad, better or worse. Every day we are confronted with choices: some minor, some major, some critical, some trivial. This is not to say that all such opposing choices are always diametrically opposed (for example, a choice between a good option and a better one). The concept of choice merely stems from the reality of scarcity, specifically of our time. We are all mortal, and so our time here on earth is limited. The choice to do one thing means an opportunity forgone elsewhere. Time spent working is time not spent with our family. There will always be choices, some more difficult to make than others. Even the decision to not make a choice, is still a choice (between decisiveness, an indecisiveness).

A consequence- Inherent in any choice is a natural consequence induced by the choice. This may be something as simple as the inability to pursue B when we have chosen A (such as when we choose a profession or a mate), or it may be something much more dramatic (such as getting cancer form choosing to smoke six packs a day). While we are free to choose what course of action we will pursue, we are never free to choose the consequences of our actions. This fact seems to be the most troublesome to most people, especially in light of the fact that too often we make bad decisions as the result of imperfect information, or in spite of the best of intentions. The wonderful fact of life, however, is that which does not kill us, truly makes us stronger. While we may suffer for our mistakes (and some us suffer more horribly for the mistakes of others), we learn and we grow from those mistakes. We become more adept at making wise decisions, and reaping the positive consequences therein.

Albeit cliche, the saying "freedom isn't free" is nonetheless true. The natural instincts of man runs between two violent extremes: that of having all his decisions made for him (tyranny), or one where everyone decides for themselves, and only the strong achieve their goals while the weak are left to suffer (anarchy). For liberty to exist, there must be a strict, but fair, legal framework that establishes a set code of acceptable behaviors, and declares certain unalienable rights of man. Civilization cannot exist, until man can reign in his natural instincts, and learn to acquiesce to certain learned morals and traditions that society imposes on him. The cost of liberty then, is the submission of man to certain moral intuitions. It is only when man is virtuous, that he can truly be free.

Another price of liberty is the unending pursuit of truth and wisdom. We all have experienced the harsh lessons of decisions made on imperfect or incomplete information. We must covet truth, no matter its earthly source, or be forever doomed to blindly swat at the choices in front of us in ignorance. ''Truth is the oldest of all the virtues; it antedated man, it lived before there was man to perceive it or to accept it. It is the unchangeable, the constant. Law is the eternal truth of Nature—the unity that always produces identical results under identical conditions. When a man discovers a great truth in Nature he has the key to the understanding of a million phenomena; when he grasps a great truth in morals he has in it the key to his spiritual re-creation......Truth is first, intellectual honesty; the craving to know the right; second, it is moral honesty, the hunger to live the right." (William G. Jordan -The Power of Truth)

A smart man may learn from his own choices, but a wise man can learn from the choices of others.

As all the other rights mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, Liberty is unalienable -it cannot be bought, transferred, sold, taken, or given away. No man can take away my ability to choose, to make a choice, or to reap the consequences. To attempt to do so is to execute a mighty injustice, and incur the wrath of Almighty God. We must be ever vigilant to secure the right to liberty, that we may fully reap the benefits of the right to life.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Federalist No. 8: Unalienable Rights: Life

The more I learn about the human body, the more I am amazed at the ingenuity of our Creator. The engineering principles behind our musculoskeletal system, the chemistry involved in the digestive and endocrine systems, the physics behind our optic, nervous, circulatory, and respiratory systems; they all give witness to the beauty and complexity of life. I don't think I could ever become bored with learning and studying about the human body and all the various facets of human biology.We eat, we breathe, we run, we play, we sleep, all without giving a second thought to the complex processes that occur within our bodies at any given second.

Life. For something so precious, we take it for granted all too often. It seems that only in times of war, disease, or physical ailment do we ever stop and consider the value of life, especially when it's our own life on the line. Death in particular is a harsh reminder of how frail we mortals are, and how precious life is. "The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away," is a common eulogizing phrase. We are born into this world, and whatever gift or opportunity we are given in life is based on the fact that we live. "The dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward" (Ecclesiastes 9:5). Only the living do.

For this reason our Founding Father's were correct in declaring life as the first among many unalienable rights given to us by our Creator. The definition of unalienable is that which cannot be transferred or sold. So precious is this gift that they felt it appropriate to label this right as something that could not be stripped away by anyone, not even our own selves, without risking incurring the wrath of Almighty God. Our life is something we are given by God, and only by God can it be given away.

What does this say about contemporary issues like euthanasia? suicide? abortion? human trafficking?

How about issues like government-provided health care? food? shelter?

The right to life must not be confused with the right to live. The right to life is the right to experience life, with all the good and bad that entails, with all the choices and their consequences that accompany it. It is the right of conscience, of the soul, and is as unalienable and inviolable as either. We cannot give up that experience, nor deprive others of it.

The right to live is not inviolable. In war, or as punishment for a crime, or as the natural consequence of bad decisions made, the right to live is violated every day. It is neither unalienable or inviolate. No one may arbitrarily deprive a man his right to live, but man can relinquish his right to live thru his actions. He can never relinquish his right to experience life.

Whatever your views on these and other life-related issues, does it not seem contradictory to deem the government responsible for providing things essential to life (like food and medicine), but then say the government cannot step in to prevent the giving away of life (such as in abortion or euthanasia)?

"Men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,-'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness;' and to 'secure,' not grant or create, these rights, governments are instituted."
BUDD v. PEOPLE OF STATE OF NEW YORK, 143 U.S. 517 (1892)

Our government secures the right to life by ensuring that no man may take the life another without the harshest of punishments. It ensures that there are ample opportunities for us to provide for our own needs, and that we are free to pursue the wants and needs of the body at our leisure, without any direct hindrance from our neighbors (tho we are not free to choose the consequences). We may pursue whatever occupation that is common in life, in our attempts to put a roof over our head and food on our table. "That... which a man has honestly acquired he retains full control of, subject to [this limitation]:... he shall not use it to his neighbor's injury...[T]hat does not mean that he must use it for his neighbor's benefit [at his own expense]"
BUDD v. PEOPLE OF STATE OF NEW YORK, 143 U.S. 517 (1892)

Life is a gift from God, one that is often accompanied by the pangs and sorrows of mortality. Some of us will have harder lives than others. Some will have a comparatively easy life. Most of us will experience a motley combination of euphoric joy and unbearable heartache.And how often do we hear from others the phrase, "That's life!" The right to life, with all its associated joys and sorrows, it being the right upon which all other rights are predicated, must be of utmost importance. We are all in this world together, alive, for better or for worse. And we must learn to cope with the ups and downs of life without infringing upon those same unalienable rights of others.

We must treasure life, particularly human life, it being created in the image of God. We must see it as the single most important reason why we exist: to be exposed to good and evil, and to choose between the two. We must experience life, learn from it, overcome it, and master it, and then bring new life into the world and teach that new life what we have learned, so that the cycle of life may continue. We must never come up with vain excuses to diminish the value that individuals have, or the potential that each life brings. "Sickness and healing are in every heart. Death and deliverance are in every hand." (Orson Scott Card, Speaker for the Dead)

We are are born into this world, created equal by God. Each of us has the right to experience the blessings and sorrows this world has to offer, and to learn to choose between the good and the bad, and to endure the consequences thereof. And we must endure, until such time that God which gave us life demands it back.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Federalist No. 7: A Firm Foundation

By now we can all agree that, as in the period right before the American Revolution, "these are the times that try men's souls". As elitists in Washington use "divide and conquer" as a standard MO, as both political parties continue try insist on leading us by the nose, and as our economy continues to flush itself down the toilet, many fined themselves despairing, or at the very least, getting really really frustrated with what seems like an endless cycle of corruption and fear.

Of course there are no shortages of answers from the right and the left as to what to do, politically. And all manner of political solutions have been proposed, defended, criticized, discarded, and recycled. I watch the news and listen to talk radio (It's no secret I enjoy watching and listening to Glenn Beck), and one of the most agonizing things about both is, at the end of the day I'm left thinking, sometimes even yelling at the TV, ''SO NOW WHAT?!". No doubt many of you find yourselves in the same situation. You watch the news, you read the papers, you hear the radio, and you think "Ok, so Congressman so-and-so is a schlub. Congresswoman so-and-so is crooked. The attitude and actions of the entire Administration is an affront to the America People, SO NOW WHAT? What do I do? What CAN I do?" No doubt that many of us who are frustrated or despair feel that way because of our own perceived impotence. We WANT to make a difference. We WANT the problems to go away. We WANT things to go back to more peaceful times.

It has been said that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. But vigilant in what? Civic duty? The political system? Who has time to spend protesting or playing activist? How many of us would love to attend a TEA party convention, or participate in some form of activism, but cannot because of school, work, or family obligations? It's not fair that the squeaky wheel gets the oil, especially when so many of us are too damn busy to waste time playing the squeaky wheel.

So where do we start? I've always been, and will continue to be, supportive of a nation-wide movement to vote out every incumbent from Washington in order to effectively break the back of the two-party charade, and to send a simple but powerful message to all current and future leaders: "We are not as as stupid as you would like us to believe, and we are in control, not you!" But such a movement would take much time, organization, and resources, and as a nation, we are too divided to accomplish such a feat...for now.

So what can we do in the meantime?

"And [Jesus] seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying...
...Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon fa rock:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a crock.
And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it."

If we are to weather the coming storm, then there needs to be a solid foundation up which our houses, our lives, are built. The foundation of any society is a strong, healthy, loving family; and the foundation of any strong, happy, loving family is truth and righteousness. We have to gather up truth -all the good and true principles in the world- and treasure them and abide by them, or we shall not come out true Americans.

Our Founding Fathers believed in truths that were self-evident: truths that did not need to be explained our expounded upon. One of these truths was that we are endowed by our Creator (that we are Created seems to be a given -another self-evident truth) with certain inalienable rights. That statement alone is a profound one. We are created, by a Being who saw fit to put us here on the earth, and to gift us with rights that no man can take away. Among these rights, our Founding Fathers continued, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (property). No man can take my life.The Lord giveth life, and the Lord taketh it away. No man can strip me of my liberty, and compel me to act in his interest at the expense of my own. And every man has the right to work, and by the sweat of his brow, raise up to himself wealth and riches such as will make him content in his station in life. And those who will not work shall not eat.

We used to call such principles common sense. We used to accept them as a given. They, were, as our Founding Fathers said, self-evident. If such truths are no longer self-evident, than it is because we as a people have fallen from the lofty stage of enlightenment that our Founding Father's had obtained. Our minds have become darkened, and we have become blind to the truth. If we are to obtain the same level of enlightenment, the same level of divine grace, so that once again such truths become self-evident, we must once again obtain that same level of noble civilization. As individuals we must become humble, compassionate, meek, virtuous, merciful, pure in heart, and peaceful. We must refrain from violence in speech and action. We must seek to do good, and be anxiously engaged in a good cause. This can be something as simple as spending a little more time with one's family. Teach your children by example that all men are created equal. Teach them by example, by your words and your deeds, that God loves them, as well as all men. Teach them that truth exists, and that happiness is only obtained by those who actively seek it, and apply it. Teach them to hunger and thirst after truth and righteousness as if they were the very food and water needed to survive.

This is how we will fight back. This will be our defiance against the elitists in Washington. We will live on, we will survive, and we will stand for truth and righteousness. Our civil disobedience will be to believe what we know to be true, even when our leaders tell us otherwise. The greatest blessings or acts of charity we can call upon against those who would seek to govern us and exercise unrighteous dominion over our lives, are our little acts of defiance and personal integrity.

It is time for us to find those truths once again. Our lives and our families will never experience happiness until we become a people to whom these truths are self-evident: that all men are created equal, and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, and that they will be held accountable to the Almighty Judge for the righteous exercise of those rights. It is time for us to become a people upon whom Almighty God can pour out the richness of his blessings. Lets us thirst for knowledge and wisdom. God is more liberal in His views, and boundless in His mercies and blessings, than we are ready to believe or receive. Our Founding Fathers knew this. It is time we came to know it as well.

Sic Semper Tyrannis,


Monday, August 2, 2010

Federalist No. 6 "The Race Game"

Racism. Without a doubt one of the most pernicious and persistent evils to devastate mankind. A disgusting blight in a society that prides itself on the belief that all men are created equal. One of the most disturbing things to witness in life is an act of racism. Be it a foul word, a demonstration of disgust, or act of violence, the scars left on the witness are as almost as deep as the ones left on the victim. Racism has damaged the spirit of our country via evil language, lynchings, segregation, miscegenation laws, the Rosewood massacre, and slavery.

And yet if there is any country in the world that can truly overcome racism, I believe it to be the United States of America. From its inception our country has tried to defeat the idea of race-based superiority or inferiority. We fought two wars intended to end slavery (the American Revolution and the Civil War), and in the 50-60 years since the civil rights movement Americans have seen great strides in race relations, until recently.

It seems everywhere you go, every time you turn on the news you hear accusations of racism and hate-mongering. If you oppose Obama, or his policies, or you support secure borders or the TEA party movement, and you are white, you are a bona fide, good-ol boy, Jim Crow racist. Never mind if you have never used a racial slur in your entire adult life. Never mind if you have friends of different races. Never mind if you are married to someone of a different skin color. The fact of the matter is the civil rights movement didnt fix racism in America, it just buried it, and if you are in any way opposed to the man who has shouldered the responsibility to "heal the nation", it is because you hate black people. We have a black president now, and to oppose him is tantamount to opposing the entire black community....

...Or so the left would have you believe.

Now I am not so naive and idealistic as to believe that racism doesn't exist in this country. I've seen it plenty of times in my lifetime. There are an unfortunate number of ignorant, hateful people in the world, and racism is a social ill that continues to plague us despite the progress we have worked so hard for. The myth of post-racial America isn't that racism was conquered. We can look to our history to prove that. In a little over a century racism has gone from a socially acceptable paradigm to a taboo. In the same span of time the liberal notion that men are created equal, irrespective of skin color, has gone from being a radical ideology to a given. Racism may still be somewhat omnipresent in America, but it has become largely impotent as well.The first shot against racism was fired with the Declaration of Independence, and since then many battles against it have been won by blacks AND whites. Racism may not be conquered completely, but the war against racism has seen some decisive victories despite the odds, and I believe that same trend will continue.

The real myth of post racial America is the idea that the only racists left are remnants of an archaic society, -advocates of an outdated government- and all we need to do to eliminate racism is to get rid of such people, or at the very lest marginalize them to the extent that nobody listens to them (i.e your stereotypical white TEA partier, or what Obama calls "a typical white person").

The question is not whether or not racism is still an issue in America,but rather will it continue to be an issue, and WHY? To answer that we must look at WHY racism is still an issue today. This requires a frank discussion on race, one that will no doubt alienate a few people, and possibly earn the brand of racist (or race traitor as the case may be). If that is the price we pay to make the world a better place, then so be it.

Martin Luther King, Jr was without a doubt one of the greatest men to live in the history of mankind. He lived and died for his ideals. He has perhaps done more than any man in this world, save Christ Himself, to abolish racial hatred and sow the seeds of brotherly love. He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and men; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, he sealed his mission and his works with his own blood.

Two things stand out about Dr. King's ministry. First, he taught the power of unconditional Christian love. He appealed to the Christian sense of justice, love, compassion. He did not rail against his opponents, or accuse or demean them. He invited them to let God into their hearts, and to feel a love that transcends race, and that humbly confronts evil and injustice with the truth. Second, he did not shy away from speaking the truth to power. He spoke on matters of principle.And he held blacks and whites to the same standards of morality, decency, and integrity. He called for a confrontation of the human and the divine, and an integration of the human spirit with the love of God towards all men.

Sadly, we see little of either teaching today when it comes to race. Self-sufficiency and equality of opportunity have been replaced with government dependency and restitution of victims. Love has been substituted with tolerance. As Charles Gilmer points out, "tolerance is championed as the appropriate response to the varying perspectives that have emerged. Yet tolerance has no cohesive nor healing power in society. It means little more than leaving one another alone. It leads to indifference, not understanding. Tolerance allows the gulfs between us to remain in place. In fact, there is little in the concept of tolerance to pull us away from racial isolation." Rather than have a frank (and possibly awkward or uncomfortable) discussion on race and how to overcome racism, we have become complacent in pursuing a narrative of victimization and blame.

So often in discussions on race there is a lot of talk about the wants and needs of "the black community" (without any mention of a "white community" for obvious reasons). Why must there be " the black community"? Why can't there just be "the community?" Does a black person value family any more or less than a white person? Do black mothers and fathers wish to see their children succeed and be happy in life any more or less than white mothers and fathers? When and where, in discussing the needs and wants of any community, does race enter into the equation? "If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?"

Of course the idea that blacks and whites have separate wants and needs because of their race is absurd. At the end of the day we are all human, with the same human wants and needs and desires. So why is it so hard to fathom that the manner in obtaining and satisfying those wants and needs would be the same for BOTH races? This isn't to say that there is an easy solution to fix racism and all its associated damages. Racism is a complex issue, one that has persisted for millennia, and that has left scars that run deep, and I would not dare try to come up with a solution. But absolutely nothing can be done if all we do is sit around and refuse to talk about it, frankly, honestly, with a spirit of sincere love and civility, rather than hurl the term "racist" as a political epithet towards anyone who disagrees. The worst thing that black men and women can do to themselves is decide to sit around and wait for a white liberal government to give them what centuries of institutionalized racism has denied them (for reasons that should be obvious), rather than take it for themselves thru industry, education, and a strengthening of the family.

If blacks are to see an improvement in their communities, in their homes, in their families, and their own lives, it will not happen as the result of protests or rallies. It will not be thanks to corrupt media whores like Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson. Can anyone provide a rational explanation why they are seemingly viewed as more representative of the modern civil rights movement than men like Bill Cosby? Neither will lasting change occur because of a benevolent dictatorship that treats racial divides and issues like a political game. The Left has no incentive to fix the issue of racism. Why would they when racial animosity is such a useful tool in elections? All the left has to do is absolutely nothing (or in some cases, something that makes things worse) to help black communities, and then blame the opposition for the sorry state that these same communities find themselves in because of Leftist leadership. It is the classic example of the government demanding support and power to fix a problem it caused! Nor does the Left have any incentive to open honest dialogue concerning race in an attempt to weed it out at the root. After all, that just might reveal some of their own biases and prejudices towards blacks, which would ultimately shatter their self-righteous world-view in which only white conservatives are racist (and only black conservatives can be Uncle Toms).

Thomas Paine wrote " What we obtain too cheaply, we esteem too lightly". The Left has deliberately denied the community the integrity and self-esteem that comes with triumph over seemingly insurmountable odds, by perpetuating the myth of the oppressed victim.The only victims are the people who let themselves stay victims. When a victim ceases to view himself as such, and rises above his circumstance, then he is no longer a victim of any sort. We must refuse to be victims, even when there is any kind of truth to the victim narrative. Blacks have suffered at the hands of whites throughout history. By why continue to suffer, if there is another option?

I'm not saying it will be easy, only that it will be worth it. Blacks and whites, Hispanics and Asians, rich and poor, we must all come together to bring to pass a better world. We do that by showing genuine love, even towards those who would hate us, and by becoming self-reliant, and by turning to God. If God is no respecter of persons, why should we be?

Contrary to what we have been taught in high school and the media, it doesnt matter if you are black or white when it comes to success. The Left would have us believe the racist idea that, unlike whites, blacks can do nothing for themselves unless the government is there to take care of them. In other words, the slave-owners of old have just changed the shackles they bind you in. We break those bonds by freeing ourselves from the chains of fear and ignorance. We cannot do that without honest open dialogue that doesnt involve accusing the other side of hate every time they say something we dont agree with. A trademark of racism is the unwillingness to listen to what someone has to say on the matter.

Racism is still a problem. And I think it will be a problem for years to come. Like Dr. King, I long for the day when my children "will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character". It all comes down to wanting something bad enough and being willing to pay the price. Its time to break the chains we have ensnared ourselves with. It is time to discuss, openly, honestly, and humbly, the issues of race, and come up with real solutions. It is time to stop playing the race game.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Federalist No. 5: Operation Clean House

I was never very politically active as a child. I understood very little about the importance of civic duty, the political process, or what made this country so unique. I have yet to even participate in the voting process. In fact, my views when I was much much younger were so skewed I used to want the government to take of everyone. My mother used to jokingly call me her "little communist". Chalk it up to the naivete of a 10-year-old. I didn't understand where the money to pay for those things came from, or the measures needed to enforce those programs. Now that I understand a little better I see the world in a whole new light.

Fast forward to 2008. I guess it all started for me this past election with Obama vs. McCain. The funny thing was, the one time I was looking forward to actually being able to vote (I was too young for the 2000 elections, and out of the country for 2004), I couldn't bring myself to do it. As far as I was concerned, my choices were between someone who would destroy this country, and someone who would destroy this country a lot faster. I did not, for one second like or trust McCain. I had no confidence in Palin or Ron Paul (I still don't). I despised Huckabee for using anti-Mormon sentiment to oust Romney, and now that I know a little more about Romney's political history, I'm not so sure I would like him as President. (Secretary of Treasury definitely, but I digress). Hillary Clinton scared me, but Obama scared me even more.

Fast forward to today: with no help from me, Barack Hussein Obama is President of the United States. And look where that has got us today: corruption, oppression, and fear, as our Constitution hangs by a thread. He promised us hope, he promised us change, and all he demanded in return was our silent, obedient consent. I seek to end that silence. The Constitution may hang by a thread, but at the end of that thread is Damocles' sword. The question remains as to over whom does the sword hang? We the People? Or our political leaders?

America finds itself in a dire situation. While today modern military technology and tactics have made literal sieges obsolete, America finds itself under siege even today. While we may not see the trebuchets and battering rams of ancient warfare, or the gunships and heavy artillery of modern, America finds itself threatened on two fronts. The more obvious front is that of radical religious extremism and despotic governments from foreign countries that wish to not only strip their own people of liberty and sovereignty, but put an end to us as well by any means necessary. Understand: such powers do not feel threatened merely by the possibility or reality of our economic dominance or military might. It is our existence as a free and prosperous country that is an affront to tyranny, and a constant reminder to the peoples under such governments that they can and should be free! The difference between the old European model and the new American model is that the American model does NOT function on the principle that there are essentially two classes of people: those who govern and those who should be governed. Tyrants and despots around the globe are slowly but surely realizing the benefits of putting aside their differences and conspiring against what they see as a common threat to the status quo.

The second front is far more subtle and insidious, and thus in many ways far more dangerous. Over 200 years ago our nation was founded on the Principle that ALL men are created free and equal. Our Government was designed to ensure that men maintain that most hallowed condition by protecting them from the whims of those who overindulge the basic human drive to power and dominion. Our Founding Fathers knew that to trust individuals to always do the right thing was folly, and designed a system of government that relied, not on man’s ability to always do good, but on his desires to do that which is good for himself. They understood that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, and that the best measure against one faction obtaining dominion over another was to simply give them all enough power and independence to resist each others' will.

And so it is -while calamity and crisis wear on the American spirit, and while enemies both foreign and domestic howl at the gates of American sovereignty- that groups of ambitious and self important individuals see an opportunity to make their bid for power and control a permanent one by undermining any attempts by the People to exercise their independence. These individuals hide like cowardly hypocrites behind ideals like justice, equality, and unity, all while executing more heinous injustices, promoting even greater inequality, and causing the country to be divided into unproductive and contentious factions. As many Americans make a stand against the immoral, the unethical, the unfair, and the unjust, these self-proclaimed “champions” of justice and equality cry afoul against such brave individuals with accusations of racism, homophobia, intolerance, ignorance, and hate-mongering. Rather then take advantage of their right to free speech in this country to try and persuade their opponents on the merit and truthfulness of their argument, (which should tell you something) they prefer instead to shame the People into silence via public humiliation, guilt, and ad hominem attacks. These so-called “defenders” of self-styled “victims” are in reality the greatest and vilest of hypocrites and tyrants, and will not stop until they have subjugated the American People to their will.

So what do we do? Violence is not the answer. Neither is revolution or secession. Our Founding Father's gave their lives fighting a revolution against the world's mightiest empire, so that we wouldn't have to. They fought to establish a system of government that would secure man's liberty. They paid a price so dear, that liberty and freedom to us should be as the air we breathe. So what do we do?

|[A]ll experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government." I do not believe for one second that we need a Second American Revolution. We have all the tools we need to right the despotic wrongs of a self-righteous and indifferent leadership. So what do we do?

The answer is simple, but not an easy one. It requires Americans to put aside their political and religious differences. It requires them to look past old grievances and work together towards a common cause. It requires We the People to send our leaders a straightforward and simple message. One man cannot do it alone, other than to cry out and rally the People together. What do we do?

I call the solution to our problem "Operation Clean House" and it is a very simple plan. Simply put: every incumbent in Congress and the White House MUST be voted out until every last one of them has been replaced with someone who has never served in before. We must impose our own term limits.

At this juncture I almost don't care who we vote for to replace them, though I offer the following recommendations as to who to look for. Seek good individuals with no history of corruption. Look for individuals who have shown thru their action the attributes of honesty, integrity, and thrift. Look for people whose political (and maybe even personal) lives are an open book. Let us replace our current leadership with better leadership. Let Americans take back their independence and sovereignty, and overthrow their oppressors, NOT by bloodshed nor violence, nor vain arguments and false accusations, but rather by the principles of democracy, truth and freedom that we must hold dearer than our very lives. Let us remind ourselves that we choose our destinies because we are FREE, and owe allegiance to no man! We are not Republicans, or Democrats, or Independents, or Libertarians, or Liberals or Conservative or TEA partiers. We are FREE AMERICANS, and as is our right let us vote out EVERY incumbent for their failure to adequately represent the interests of the American People.

The price of our freedom is eternal vigilance. It is the sacrifice of an easier, more secure lifestyle. I call upon Free Americans of every race, religion, tongue and creed to lay aside their differences and unite! Remember that what make us One People, "E pluribus unum", is our humanity, with all its foibles and virtues, our love of freedom and liberty, our understanding that despite our differences, we are all free and equal in the eyes of that Creator which made us free, and our capacity to succeed or fail according to our individual merit and our willingness to rise above our circumstance and accept responsibility for our choices. Let us raise the Standard of Liberty in our homes and in our communities in sacred memory of our Creator, our beliefs, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children.

It is time to take back what is rightfully ours: our independence, our honor, our dignity, our integrity and our liberty. It is time for us to hang the Sword of Damocles over the heads of our leaders, starting with Congress. It is time for Operation Clean House.

Sic semper tyrannis


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Federalist No. 4: The times that try Men's Souls

These are the times that try men's souls. Those words, immortalized by the author of Common Sense, are as true today as they were some 230 years ago. In these troubled times, men and women find themselves turning to Him for whom the worth of souls is great. It should not be surprising to see an increased turnout in religious communities and places of worship. Whether you are Christian or Muslim or Jew, there is a peace and security that comes from turning to God and submitting one's will to Him. Unfortunately, that may turn out to be more of a problem than it is a solution.

If my experience in religious debate has taught me anything, it is that ultimately, people will believe what they wish to be true more than they will believe what is actually true. All too often, religion is used as a veil or justification to believe the things we want to, rather than the things we should; people believe what they want, irrespective of the Truth. This is true even amongst members of my own faith. One can believe the right things for the wrong reasons.

On both sides of the aisle are individuals willing to capitalize on this fact, in attempts to turn the People towards this political cause or that, simply by appealing to the spiritual wants and desires of individuals. We see various religions and their leaders propping themselves up as the solution to these times, while promising their congregants the low, low price of doing little more than singing contemporary-style music, clapping their hands, and making a meager contribution to the collection plate, in return for a placating sense of "feeling good" about one's beliefs and resulting lifestyle.

Never-mind that many of the adherents of these religions utilize logical fallacy and scripture-mining to support various untrue claims.Never-mind many of these contemporary religions and their members base themselves simply on the idea of "We are right because everyone else is wrong," or appeal to sentiments of anti-denominationalism and self-righteous hubris, denouncing traditional religious practices, norms, and values, while proclaiming themselves to be representative of "true" religion. Never-mind that many of these religions spend more time attacking and tearing down other faiths' practices and beliefs, than they do building up the kingdom of God.

Please bear in mind: I have nothing against organized religion. In fact, I am a staunch defender of organized religion, and readily defend the idea that man needs religion in his life to grow closer to his Creator. However, there can and should be room for healthy religious debate amongst the various sects, and even WITHIN the same denomination. Nor should this be construed in any way as a "my-religion-is-right-and-yours-is-wrong" argument. We all should worship Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, while allowing, and even encouraging, others the same privilege. And while I may disagree on key theological issues with Catholics, Jews, and Protestants, and other religions, I recognize and benefit from the merit of their arguments.

So how can religion do more harm than good? Traditionally, religion is a means of drawing closer to God; of learning His heart and mind and will, and learning how to better adhere to them. It is a community of fellow believers with the same goals and desires in mind. We attend the church we do because of our similar belief systems and anticipated outcomes as a result of our faithfulness to those beliefs.

In this lies the key in discerning "true religion". Not "THE true religion", but "true religion". The distinction here is important. The latter can never be satisfactorily answered except by individual experience. Catholics, Mormons, Muslims, Protestants, etc, all feel the same way about their brand of religion: that is is THE true religion, while others are heretical or apostate in some way, shape, or form. The answer to that debate will never come to us except by God, and it is up to the individual to seek that answer for oneself.

The former, on the other hand, refers to the nature of religion, and its purpose to bringing us closer to our Maker, the Almighty Judge. "True religion" is defined by the types of behaviors it demands of its adherents, not the doctrines it expects them to believe. Indeed, doctrine is merely a tool of advancing changes in behavior. (This is where the original meaning of the term "indoctrinated" comes from -we are indoctrinated, i.e. instructed and trained to act a certain way according to certain beliefs.) Its value is derived from its efficacy in instilling life-changing behaviors. A doctrine or teaching that fails to do this is useless. True religion defines God in such a manner as to be in some manner approachable, whether it be by prayer, personal revelation, confession, saintly veneration, or sacramental ritual, so as to be better able to emulate Him. It encourages Godly attributes: humility, patience, faith, love, hope, obedience, meekness, and knowledge of the truth, and good works, to name a few. A sincere and devout Catholic who seeks these things is as much a part of "true religion" as a sincere and devout Mormon, Evangelical, Baptist, Jew, Buddhist, etc who sincerely seeks the same.

Where "true religion" become defiled or tarnished, is when it becomes a vehicle of political and ideological indoctrination. We are seeing this via a number of means: liberation theology, anti-denominational rhetoric, and the "mega-church" to name a few. Such churches focus less (if at all) on the things you do or the kind of person you are, and more on the things you believe. Theirs is a salvation by catechism, not a salvation by grace justified by faith and works. They promise much and ask little. All you need "to be saved" is clap your hands together, profess a certain belief (whether it be scriptural or not be damned), and you will have eternal life. These same religions will often attack more traditional religions for the good works they do, accusing them of faithlessness, Pharisaism, or self-righteousness. "All you need to do is believe", and by believe, they mean simply wishing it were so.

But wishing it were so does not make it true. As Gandhi said: "An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it". What is the truth? Well, that I leave to you the reader to discover for yourself. But beware of the group or community that demands blind adherence to politics and ideology. Beware the religion that teaches you to hear the word only, and not to BE both a hearer and a doer. And most importantly, beware of the religion that takes you away from God as an individual, and filters Him thru a collective relationship. It is the responsibility of the individual to draw towards His Maker, and develop a healthy relationship with his Creator. The collective cannot save you. The collective cannot bring you closer to God.

The pursuit of truth is a life-long discovery, one that is culminated in a lifetime of experiences, analysis, and good old fashioned trial-and-error. It is also a painful discovery, one that forces us to learn from our mistakes, to admit that we were wrong, and become better than who we were before. We do not have all the truth, nor do I expect we will have it all in this lifetime. But that should never discourage us from seeking as much truth as we possibly can. We must, "Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear". We must hold to the Truth and all its eternal principles, and we must speak those truths with civility and love and without fear.

God did not stop teaching us with the lives of the Jews and early Christians over 2000 years ago. We must believe all the truth that God revealed to us, all the truth He now reveals to us, and all the truth He WILL reveal to us. He teaches us yesterday, today, and tomorrow, so long as we are willing to learn.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Federalist No. 3 "The Divine Beauty of Trade"

More and more every day, American find themselves being lead by those who hide behind the banner of “the greater good” and “charity”, all while demanding more govt control, more political power, and more of your hard-earned tax dollars. War, or the moral equivalent of war, is used to unite mankind under a common cause, to make it easier to push for greater authority and control. Fear is used as a tool by the left and the right to sway the opinions of men, and to blind them to reality. The way to combat that fear, is to expose it to truth, and to support one another with love and compassion, in that truth.

The truth of the matter is this: in a society that does not value individual freedom and private property, “…the reach of the herald is the sound of his voice” (Aristotle). Simply put, governments based on the concepts of common good or concrete communal aims, can only serve to govern small bodies of individuals without the use of fear. Reliance on commonly perceived aims and dangers fails to govern larger bodies, as the greater number of individuals you have in a group, the more diverse their varied interests are, and with greater difficulty does it become to effectively govern them. This is common sense, or at least should be. How then, do you sustain a government that rules over a large body of diverse individuals with varying wants and needs in a manner that is both fair and just?

First: a crash course in economics. We live on a world of scarcity. It dominates our lives, determines our opportunities, and shapes our experiences. If I have an apple, you cannot eat it by the simple fact of reality that I already have. The laws of Nature and physics simply dictate: you cannot consume a resource for one purpose, and then hope to consume it again later. In short: you cannot eat your cake and have it to. And yet, despite this pervasive aspect of reality, there seems to be those who would say, like the French Queen, “Let them eat cake!” Economics is merely the consideration of two consequences that are derived from the reality of scarcity: the problem of allocation, and that of coordination.

Scarcity forces us to make choices. There are only so many hours in a day, and that forces people like you to choose how, when, and in what manner you will spend your time. Time spent sleeping is time not spent working and earning a living. Time spent working is time not spent in preferable leisure and recreation. Scarcity forces everyday people like us to make choices about how we will allocate our time, what we will consume, and when, and whether you will save now so you can enjoy later.

Implied in all theses choices are of course the costs of such choices. Opportunities taken now naturally mean opportunities forgone at the same moment. The cost of work is the 8 hours you could spend doing something else. The cost of a choice is that which we give up when the choice is made.

In a world of scarcity, and the choices imposed by it, the question of allocation is a real and serious one. Who decides what goods and services go to whom, and why? Do we allocate on the basis of first come-first-serve? By random choice? Lottery? Tribal or political affiliations? Executive fiat? Perceived relative need? We can quickly reason out that no matter our choice of allocation, scarcity will STILL exist, and choices will still need to be made at a cost.

And thus we return to our original question: How, do you govern over a large body of diverse individuals with varying wants and needs in a manner that is both fair and just, especially now in light of the very harsh reality of scarcity?

All of human history will prove that where the idea of private, or several, property exists and is protected, along with individual freedom to use his property as he sees fit, civilization has prospered; and where such ideas have been stamped out by central economic planning (i.e govt control), such civilizations have withered away. Civilization is not merely a product of evolution –it is a process of establishing a sound and reliable framework of rules and laws that protect individual freedom and private property.

In this regard trade is almost supernatural in its ability to generate wealth and prosperity. Suppose for example you and I both wanted the apple I had in my possession. Among the various methods of obtaining my apple (guilting me into giving it to you at my expense, stealing it, or killing me to obtain it) by far the most civilized manner is to merely offer me something I value more than the apple itself that is yours to give (perhaps an orange or banana that you have in your possession that you value less than the apple). Thru engaging in such transactions, each of has taken something of value from someone else, something that has been given freely, and yet the net result is that we are BOTH BETTER OFF in terms of personal gratification and happiness. When both of us acted in self-interest, we both mutually benefited, despite the claims of self-proclaimed champions of altruism (i.e. your Marxists, socialists, communists, etc).

In the real world, a safe assumption is that everyone acts out of genuine self-interest. Altruism, while a nice ideal, is not a reliable means of predicting human behavior, and is not a dependable means of governance (you cannot govern a large body of individuals with nothing more than the hope that they will "do the right thing" simply because). Self-interest, however is both these things. People will always act in their own self-interest, unless adequate (and often tyrannical) incentives are provided to encourage otherwise.

Govt control, or central planning, does not work for this very reason: either it will ignore self-interest, and pretend that everyone (or at least, the ruling elite), acts out of selfless altruism, which then results in corrupt and self-interested politicians rising to power and receiving a blind eye to their selfish and destructive behavior; or self-interest is viewed as a threat and in diametric opposition to Utopian altruism, and thus ever-increasingly Draconian measures are exercised in order to provide the aforementioned incentives towards altruism.

Opponents to what Friedrich Hayek called the extended order of economics (capitalism) will argue that such exchanges lack charity, as you are giving something only in exchange for something you value in return. However, such arguments overlook the very obvious fact that even philanthropists are engaged in a willful exchange, for clearly they value the warm-fuzzy feeling that comes with the charitable act of giving more than they value what they have given away. Thus, an exchange has occurred, albeit a less tangible or visible one. In many ways, this is no different than paying money for services rendered to please us such as having our food prepared for us, or our car washed. ALL individuals, even the humble and sincere philanthropist, act in self-interest, for if he did not benefit from such an act of charity, why do so at all? That as outsiders we cannot perceive the benefit obtained by the act, does not diminish that he still benefits from the act in some way, whether it be obtaining the fame and notoriety that comes with philanthropy, or a "feel-good" sensation taught to him by the traditions and morals of his upbringing.

In making such arguments, one should not suppose that I lack certain altruistic tendencies or desires, shared by proponents of social planning (socialism). If anything, my support of the extended order only demonstrates my own altruism and compassion, for without the civilization that would clearly cease to exist without the extended order of free markets, millions of human beings would find themselves subject to poverty and death. There is a distinction to be made between unenlightened self-interest (selfishness or greed), and enlightened self-interest. The former is a character failing that inevitably leads to human suffering if left unchecked. The latter is simply the humble recognition that our our needs and wants should be met first in order that we might be more suited to satisfy the needs and wants of our neighbors. Even Christ found himself needing time away from the masses, begging him for healing and food, so that he could draw closer to His Father in Heaven and recharge His capacities to do good unto them.

The free market system is able to govern large bodies of diverse individuals with varying wants and needs, and to do so without "breaking my leg, nor picking my pocket". The divine beauty of trade allows one to seek his own wants and needs, as he satisfies the wants and needs of others.


Federalist No. 2 "Our Indpendence"

Growing up, my parents -my father especially- tried to instill in me a sense of self-sufficiency and the skills necessary to care for myself. My father would always say "I'm not always going to be there to help take care of you". This ominous warning of the inevitable served to teach me a valuable lesson about the importance of independence.

Today we live in a world that more and more sees dependence as a virtue, rather then a vice. The value of teaching a man to fish has been replaced with the ease of simply giving him the day’s fish. This is to be expected in a world where instant gratification is no longer viewed as impetuous or immature, but instead prudent and sensible. Why bother taking all that time to teach the poor man to fish? After all, he is starving now, and I can afford it. And besides, he probably can’t even learn how to fish. It is so much simpler to just give him the fish. And if he becomes dependent upon me to keep giving him fish, well, than that is just the sacrifice we have to make. Too often is this a common trend seen in well-intentioned, albeit misguided, individuals who advocate dependency as an unintentional, but necessary, byproduct of charity. Such advocates focus too much on what such dependency means for the depended and very little (if at all) on what it means on the dependent. Dependency is a spiritual ill. It weakens the faculties of the mind and soul. Dependency will corrupt a man and make him incapable of providing himself the simplest of needs. It is a debaser of humanity that puts him on the road to serfdom and slavery. Teach a man to fish, and you will feed him for a life time. Feed a man a fish, and not only will you merely forestay his starvation for another day, but you will enable him to become dependent on your subsistence. Which of the two outcomes seems more charitable?

Our Founding Fathers created a system of government designed to preserve our independence by declaring their own independence from a system of government that viewed them as subjects, not citizens, and that demanded their submission and obedience in exchange for the protections of the crown. Freedom cannot exist without accountability, and accountability does not exist without independence. This may explain our natural tendency towards dependency, given our natural aversion to accountability. But to give in to such tendencies results in the ultimate loss of freedom. Dependence on any body of government is the true opiate of the masses. It deprives us of our God-given liberty and agency, and like real opium, addicts us to its promises of security. To become dependent is to become a slave.

This does not mean that we cannot or should not help each other. We all at some point find ourselves depending on a helping hand to lift us up. Be it as children under the loving guidance of our parents, or as students receiving mentor-ship from the more learned and experience professor, or even the simple dependency of friends and loved ones in times of need, we ALL depend on someone at some point in our life. However, if anything, this should encourage independence so as to be able to become that hand that lifts the heavy heart, and strengthens the feeble knees. That dependence is as natural a state for man to be in from time to time as are death and illness make it no more desirable than either. In our quest for charity, we should diligently seek to banish dependence from our own lives and from those we would benefit. We should teach the man to fish.

A system of government that taxes one group to pay for the benefits and needs of another is not charity, but rather legalized looting. “Justice denies that the loss of freedom by some is made right by the greater good of others.” (John Rawls). Such systems appeal to our baser natures, by giving us cause to blame the wealthy and the prosperous for their wealth and possessions, and thus lay claim upon them. They allow us to hold someone else accountable, all for the simple price of submitting to their rule. And they are doomed to fail at some point for the same reason my father insisted I work towards complete and total independence –because someday, our benefactors will no longer be there.

All dependent, or dole, states will one day eventually find themselves deprived of their patrons. Even the wealthy grow old and die, or far more likely, tired of working for fruits they can never reap. Long before they die, those who provide to those who consume will eventually grow tired of their labors, and then demand that they be given the same recompense they doled out in life. With dependency comes the temptation to become more dependent, and with it, the incentive to give up one’s independence for the security of dependence. Why work when someone will provide for you, guaranteed, as they have for others? The number of taxable providers dwindles, and the government that so early promised the fruits of someone else’s labors finds itself with three choices: 1) Taxing the poor, (counter-productive to the dole society; 2) Forcing people to work so they can be taxed (slavery), or 3) diminishing or denying benefits (look at Greece and see how well THAT one takes…) None of these choices is desirable to a society dependent on the government to care for it.

In a society that adopts the doctrine of independence, will there be those who abuse it to justify their own selfish tendencies? Will there be men of such a callous nature as to deny someone in sincere and dire need, and hide behind the pretense of encouraging independence and self-sufficiency? Of course. But we can no more punish society with slavery for the selfishness of a few than we can punish a child for the sins of the father. To do so is a greater injustice than the one performed by the heartless miser who turns the beggar out at doors.

Charity is not the role of the government, but rather the role of its citizenry. If we truly wish to be charitable, let us, as individuals, donate our time and our resources to teaching the man to fish.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Federalist No. 1 "Call to Arms"

My fellow Americans,

Here is my first attempt at starting up an actual blog. Some of you may be familiar with my debates on Facebook (under the pseudonym Damocles Aurelius), or may have even seen my awkward attempts into video blogging on Youtube. (If not feel free to follow me on either) While educational experiences, they proved to be ineffective at actually achieving what I initially set out to do over 1 year ago.

For those of you who are new, and have no idea what I am talking about, welcome. I call myself Damocles. My desire to remain anonymous has less to do with security then it does to ensure that individuals are forced to deal with my ideas, and not my identity. You would be surprised at how different an experience political or philosophical debate is when those who disagree with you cannot resort to name-calling or racial slurs, because they do not know who or what you are. (Plus the obvious advantage of the people who WOULD want to send you hate mail or death threats can't because they don't know who to send it to...)

That being said it probably helps to know WHY I do what I do, to give perspective to future writings and put them into the context of character. We live in a chaotic world and in trying times. It seems that no matter where you go there are voices clamoring for your attention and demanding you get involved in whatever pet conflict of theirs they have interest in, and that you pick a side, NOW! before you have time to really think.

If you are like me, most likely you were just interested in finishing school and starting your career, maybe a family if you were so inclined (Or maybe you have already done all these things and are looking to enjoy the fruits of your labors, or even retire.)While by no means an expert, you consider yourself well-educated and fairly aware of current events, were probably raised right (although your parents were far from perfect) and are in short, a good and decent human being just trying to make a living like the next person and do it right. But lately all this commotion in the news on the TV, radio, and internet has left you a little worried about future possibilities. What about your goals and dreams? What about the goals and dreams of your loved ones? Maybe you have had cause to question why it is you do what you do. Is there something more out of life? "Should I be making a difference?" "Can I make a difference?"

Believe it or not you CAN make a difference. Forget the Obama mantra of yes "we" can. Yes YOU can. You as an individual have power to overcome the pitfalls of and trials of life. YOU as an individual have the power to make a difference, not only in your life, but in the lives of others. And I believe that all it takes is one person speaking out -to say what you have to say- that makes the difference. All it takes is the right combination of words,and the courage to enunciate them.

Words have power. “Words offer the means to meaning, the enunciation of truth.” And the sad truth of the matter is: that there is something terribly wrong happening in this country. Fear and hatred, intolerance and oppression; and where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now face the possibility of censorship and violent coercion by those who claim to be for “justice” and “equality” –the “greater good”, as it were- compelling your surrender and demanding your submission, your conformity, and your silence.

Let us seek to end that silence. A dictatorship, no matter how benevolent, is STILL a dictatorship. A tyrant is nothing more then one whose lust for wealth or power is combined with such an intensity of intolerance toward those who oppose him as to make him ruthless in his use of deceit or violence to attain his ends. And those who subject themselves to tyrants, who relinquish their freedom without so much as a peep in opposition, are nothing more than slaves. It is time for Americans to embolden themselves, to arm themselves with the sword of truth, and the shield of virtue and to break the chains of bondage.

Do not be blinded by the altruistic promises of self-serving politicians. Theirs is the rankest hypocrisy. While pretending to b champions of goodness and justice, they institute greater injustices. While promising you freedom, they bind you as slaves. In these situations there are always two groups: "...the well meaning do-gooders, and the special interests that use the do-gooders as front men." (Rep. John Linder). The pretense of social justice masks the unenlightened self-interests of men and women who do not wish to eat at the table as equals, but merely want a bigger piece of the pie. They are not slaves who wish to be free of their masters, but rather who wish to become masters themselves.

There is hope, and there is still a chance for change that we can all believe in. But if there are to be any changes in your life for the better, they will not occur at the steps of an indifferent and corrupt Congress, or at the foreign councils of nations overseas, or as a result of failed polices of an ambitious and self-important President. Such changes must first occur in our own hearts and minds, in our own homes and families. They occur when we stand up as a SOVEREIGN People, united in our belief that we are free, and that no one controls our destiny but WE THE PEOPLE. No man is more capable at securing your freedom than you. In this Nation each and every one of us is free. Each of us is capable of making our own choices, our own path, wherever it may lead us. Each of us is capable of rising above our circumstance and advancing our station in life, no matter the obstacle. If there is anything to be learned from the Founding of our country, it is that ALL men have within in them the divine right to freedom, and that if we will but fight to secure it, we can maintain our freedom from the hands of tyrants.

Each person possesses an inviolability founded on justice that even the welfare of society as a whole cannot override. Justice denies that the loss of freedom for some is made right by a greater good shared by others. If there is to be justice, let it be said that every man is rewarded according to his deeds, be they good or evil. If there is equality, let it be an equality that arises from every man holding his neighbor to the same high standard of freedom, lawfulness, truth, and virtue regardless of religious belief, political affiliation, personal wealth and background, gender, or skin color.

If you believe this and if you feel as I feel, if you would seek as I seek, then let us unite under a common cause –the cause of Liberty. If you believe in justice, liberty, and personal freedom; if you would have your country back, then you must be prepared to take it back! Not by gunpowder or sword, or any other means of violence, but by staunch and proclaimed defense of our principles and our sacred liberty. I invite you to take a stand. We shall no longer fall back or give ground to the enemies of America; the line must be drawn here! –Here and no farther! Let the principles of truth, freedom, and justice be unabashedly proclaimed. Let us remind our leaders that people should not fear their governments, governments should be afraid of their people. Let us remind them of how precariously Damocles’ Sword hangs over them, and why the corrupt should fear a people unjustly opposed and oppressed. And I swear to you with God as my witness, we WILL remind them.

The time is near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves. Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.

Sic semper tyrannis