Monday, November 26, 2012

Quote of the Week - Karl Popper on Political Freedom

"...we do not choose political freedom because it promises us this or that. We choose it because it makes possible the only dignified form of human coexistence, the only form in which we can be fully responsible for ourselves. Whether we realize its possibilities depends on all kinds of things — and above all on ourselves."

Karl Popper, "On Freedom" (1958; 1967) essay republished in Alles Leben ist Problemlösen (1994); translated as All Life is Problem Solving by Patrick Camiller (1994)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Quote of the Week - Jefferson on Power Over Others

"I have never been able to conceive how any rational being could propose happiness to himself from the exercise of power over others."

- Thomas Jefferson, learn more about Jefferson here

Friday, November 16, 2012

Liberty Just Isn't Cool I Guess

* Welcome new readers! Just a note. This is mostly a rant. Check out the links below the post for more serious writing.

I've been hearing the crap flooding out of Republican politicians and talking heads about tax increases for "the rich" are okay, being against abortion in cases of rape and incest means you're a purist and how Romney's comments are stupid (just 10 days after the election they hate the guy now). I have some problems with establishment Republicans. By establishment, I mean the guys and gals who have been in there for years, have no regard for the constitution, and who know nothing of political philosophy. They're in "there" without a clue as to what they're supposed to be doing for the citizens of the U.S.

Problem numero uno. Tax Increases are cool now. For the rich that is.

Questions: who are the rich and how will raising taxes on the rich help our country? Who are the rich? Are small business owners now considered to have the wealth of Bill Gates or Vince McMahon? When did that happen? Oh right, 10 days after the election. So the guy down the road from me running a printing card business who makes around 250 to 300 thousand dollars a year (before paying his employees, taxes, etc.) is now economically recognized as a Vince McMahon?


So let's tax the heck out of him so he can fire the employees he has and put more folks out of work. That's the right thing to do. That's the way to reward business owners. That's just good old economics, right? How will this help our economic situation? How will taking more money from "the wealthy" get us off the volcano? I'm confused.

Problem numero dos. You're a purist if you're against abortion in cases of rape and incest.

Or maybe I just understand that human beings are objectively valuable and have inherent worth regardless of how that life came to be. I don't think ending a life because it reminds you of a traumatic experience is just or moral. Maybe I'm crazy. If everyone in the world thought that killing a human being because that human being came into existence due to rape or incest is just or moral that still wouldn't make the action just or moral. Things are not right or wrong because someone thinks it right or wrong.

I agree that Murdock and Akin need to take pro-life classes from Scott Klusendorf and/or Greg Koukl, boy do I agree with that, but just because the message they gave sucked doesn't mean they're stupid or their view is antiquated and needs to be aborted. It just means they're not very good at defending and proclaiming their view. They need lessons. They're not the only ones who need lessons by the way. Coulter (who called me, Akin, Murdock and others purists - we're purists now, which is fine by me, I'll wear that mantle) and others need to take lessons in critical thinking and philosophy so they can follow their arguments to their logical conclusions and, I don't know, actually think critically about what they're saying.

Problem number three (I'm done with the spanish thing). Liberty isn't cool anymore. 

Stop being a purist. It's not cool to be a purist. Saying no to tax increases and being against abortion in cases of rape and incest makes you a purist and purists just aren't cool man, they're just not cool, so get over yourself and be for tax increases and abortion for rape and incest situations. Who says that? The R party says that now. Popular talking heads on R blogs and television are saying that now. Ten days after the election conservative principles (which they don't know about really) are out and moderate anti-purist principles (can we call them principles? they don't know what they stand for) are in. Remember desktop computers? They went out. Remember the iPad 1? It's old news already. That's how some people treat their political philosophy. Liberty? Yeah, that's out. I like tyranny now. I like being told what kind of light bulb to use, what kind of toilet to use, and what kind of food to eat. That's cool/hip/rad/whatever.

It's sad when liberty isn't cool. When it's not "in." It's sad. It's sad that people take their liberty for granted and that some people treat elections like a game show or talent show. I heard people talking about candidates as if they were participating in "Dancing with the Stars" or "American Idol." These people don't realize that their votes affect our society. They don't recognize it because the affects have been slow. So slow it can be compared to the sloth. Even these changes have been slow, you have to realize they've been happening since the Wilson presidency.

Don't forget our natural rights. Don't forget what it means to have economic and civic freedom. Study the stuff. Read Locke. Read our founding documents. Listen to the Constitution 101 course from Hillsdale college. Learn our history.

Speaking of liberty, Rand Paul wrote an excellent piece on his father's legacy. Check it out here.

More stuff
The Consequences of Freedom
The Anchor of our Freedom
The Collectivist Monster

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Quote of the Week - Alexis de Tocqueville on Revolution

We are sleeping on a volcano... A wind of revolution blows, the storm is on the horizon.

- Alexis de Tocqueville, Speaking in the Chamber of Deputies just prior to to outbreak of revolution in Europe (1848)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Quote of the Week - C.S. Lewis on Tyranny

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be "cured" against one's will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals."

From God in the Dock (1948)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The True Cost of Abortion

DISCLAIMER: The following viewpoints are not those of the blogger, but a friend of his. If this point of view upsets you, you may vent, but don’t yell at the person who posted them. Start a discussion, express and opinion, but don’t yell at the person who didn’t write it, that is just senseless… These writings are the intellectual property of me, the Author, with permission granted to the blogger who is positing them. They may not be reposted or used in any form without express written consent by either myself or the blogger of Reformed Seth.
The True Cost, and Sin, of Abortion:

As I sit here writing this article, I am drawn to how to present this in a manner that isn’t preaching, but showing fact, not about abortion being murder, or any of the Republican or Democrat talking points, but as to the real cost of abortion that has, and is, crippling this country.
Most will take this to be of a faith based nature, and as far as that goes, abortions are between those who have them, those who perform them, and God. I do not judge either way, but let’s look at what abortions have cost our country.

FDR had a great experiment with our country, and part of that was Social Security[1], a great ponzi scheme if you think about it. Each generation would pay for the generation before it. Sounds good, because abortion was not in the mainstream, and wasn’t something that good old ‘Progressive’ President worried about. We had a robust country, and with the growth potential, we could do anything, achieve greatness.
Then we run into Roe vs Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that gave women the right to ‘control their reproductive systems’ and get abortions when they wanted. Abortion on demand if you will accept the use of that term will always be a bad form of birth control.

So we now see that abortion has had dramatic financial effects on the United States. With all the ‘baby boomers’ set to retire, those who should have been paying into the system to keep it afloat, no longer exist. So, exactly how many abortions have been committed, legally, since Roe v Wade was passed? I have seen estimates ranging from 39 million to 54 million[2] which breaks out to 1,350,000 a year or 3699 a day. (Almost 1,600,000 dollars a day) THERE is one of the main reasons that abortion providers fight so hard to keep them legal. Planned Parenthood may be screaming that they aren’t making money providing the services for low wage income females who can’t afford the services, thus they get federal money. There is money in genocide, and it seems to pay well.[3](And contrary to the hype from the liberal left, Planned Parenthood DOES NOT do mammograms, they are not licensed to do so.)
Now let’s look at the societal effect of abortion, and to me, this is where it really hurts us a country. I used the term Genocide, and let me back that up. [Martin Luther King, Jr.] once said, “The Negro cannot win as long as he is willing to sacrifice the lives of his children for comfort and safety.” How can the “Dream” survive if we murder the children? Every aborted baby is like a slave in the womb of his or her mother. The mother decides his or her fate. [4]

Even though we see where abortion rates have dropped for White and Black, markedly so, ‘Others’ as the next graph shows have dropped, but they were nowhere close to where Whites and Blacks were.[5]

So, some will say that all we have lost are some gangbangers, prostitutes, drug abusers, sellers, and the ‘dregs’ of society, but we have lost a human toll. Think about how many people who would have made a change in this country, undoubtedly abortion has cost us a couple of Presidents, members of Congress, Judges, Police Officers, Military Personnel, Firefighters, civil servants of all branches of local, state and federal government. We have also lost scientist, teachers, those who could really make a difference in our world. Some woman who decided that a child would screw up her life and had an abortion, she may have killed a child who would have found a way to make fuel out of algae or salt water. We may have lost an engineer who could have discovered ways to build bridges with a slower rate of decay, thus not needing to replace our infrastructure as fast as it should be done and maybe stronger for less.
Let’s talk for a second about the mental toll on women who have had the procedure for rape, or incest. This is a travesty of justice that also needs to be addressed. Yes, people are guaranteed the right to face their accusers in court, but why do we victimize those who are attacked whether by date rape, or molestation, or just a crime of opportunity? The damage done to their psychology is almost beyond repair, and then they face the trauma of going after the person who perpetrated this crime, as if they asked for it! Unless they are into S&M, or along that ilk, I doubt if it was asked for, yet these women who are brave enough to stand for their rights get shunned, and I cannot imagine the horror that runs through their minds for the rest of their lives. We need to change our laws to go after those who commit rape or incest, and bring it upon them, not their victims, as a very close friend of mine had been molested from 6 months to 12, when she found out it was wrong. All her father got was a warning to stay away from children, but no jail time. If congress can pass a flawed Lilly Ledbetter law, for a woman who sued a company that fired her for cause – 28 years AFTER she was fired, why congress can’t take care of this horror of our society is beyond me.

So, unlike a number of my Republican brethren and Christians on the right, I do feel that abortions are something that we need to stay out of. Yes, it seems we are waging a war on the productive rights of Sandra Fluke, who can afford her own birth control, and the press blew up something that didn’t exist to make a mockery out of health care. Should we fight for the rights of the unborn? Yes, but we need to do so offering condoms, counseling, care, friendship; not scorn or judgment. Only by changing the hearts and minds of those who see abortion as the only answer can we change our country, and put it back on a track of greatness, or, if you will, exceptionalism. We deserve it; we owe it to those who came before us, and those who will come after us.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Locke Was Right

"...Locke was simply right in one decisive aspect. Everybody, not just the rich, gets richer in a system of liberal economy. Gross inequalities of wealth persist or are encouraged by it, but the absolute material well-being of each is greatly enhanced. Rousseau, followed by Marx, taught that the inner logic of acquisition would concentrate wealth in fewer and fewer hands, completely dispossessing the poor and alienating them from the means of becoming prosperous. Locke's great selling point has proved to be true. Joining civil society for the sake of protection and comfort is a good investment.

One may continue to believe, as somber critics will do, that the way of life of such a society is repulsive and the motives for association are inadequate and corrupt. But that is not quite the same as the progressive impoverishment and enslavement of mankind at large. Most of all, the poor, the many, the masses - however they are now qualified - become supporters of "the system," out of crass self-interest, and that destroys the revolutionary movements. The humanness of life may be lessened, but that is not accompanied by starvation."

- Allan Bloom, Giants and Dwarfs (1990), pg. 221