Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Christian Right

I have a lot of friends, and family, who could be considered as a part of the Christian right. I think faith and a belief system are wonderful. That being said, religion has no place in government. The founders knew this, and the detractors have been playing this little game since time began. Freedom of religion is perhaps the greatest of our rights as laid out (not bestowed) by the constitution.

The problem is in having our religious beliefs legislated. The more we allow the lawmakers to legislate the more freedom we lose. Legislation doesn't enhance faith, it weakens it. For instance; Prayer in school. There isn't one law restricting prayer in school.

There are laws preventing your Catholic teacher from leading my Baptist children in prayer, and there are laws preventing the Methodist principle from leading prayers for the Muslim children, and this is well and good. Parents and ministers should be leading prayers in church and at home, and children may still enjoy the right to pray silently in school, a right that has never been and can't be removed.

However, if you allow a religious zealot to introduce and pass one item of legislation based on his religious beliefs then you deny the rights of people of different faiths, and those with no faith. Never forget that Washington, and the states capitals are full of zealots whose only faith is in money and power.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

It's been a while

I haven't posted anything lately, no matter, no one has read what I've already written let alone what I haven't written. Water still passed under the bridges, and live goes on. After the three ring circus of the primary elections, I have grown as a person and have forged new alliances and found new meaning. I really liked Ron Paul, but whenever he was hit with a hard question his eyes glazed over like a deer in the headlights. I set my sights on Mike Huckabee, he had some good ideas and rightfully stayed in until he knew he was out. As a registered independent I had no primary in which to vote. I derived a great amount of pleasure as the Democrats tore themselves asunder, and actually felt some sympathy as the former media darling Hillary Clinton fell prey to the elite media as they chose a new messiah. The wonder of it all is if Barack Hussein Obama is elected the media will have proof positive that they can and do chose our electorate.

At the outset of the presidential scuttle, I actually liked Obama better than McCain. Senator McCain left a bad taste in my mouth while he was fighting President Bush for the nomination in 2000. This was largely forgotten in the replay when Al Gore fought George W. for the Presidency in the same election year. I never saw the president steal any elections, what I did see was the media trying to make the news. It was transparent, it was blatant.

I now find myself in the camp of John McCain, a place I never would have believed I would be. I am still a Libertarian, I pay dues and contribute as I can. I am also now registered as a Republican, and a member of the Republican Liberty Caucus. I do not support Bob Barr, although I respect the man, I think his third party bid is an unintentional campaign for Obama. In 1992 I watched first hand a motivated third party bid of Ross Perot gave us the gift of Bill Clinton.

A protest vote is of little value unless you know that the correct two party candidate is heading for an obvious landslide win. Just as a vote for Ross Perot became a vote for Bill Clinton, a vote for Bob Barr is essentially a vote for Barack Obama.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Happy Tax Day

I almost forgot to mention it.

Libertarian intent

I have always registered to vote as an independent, although unlike the vast majority of independents, I never voted a democratic ticket. During the Reagan years I started leaning to the republican camp, but I never sold my soul to the right either. I have long been an admirer of the libertarians. However, some of the purist philosophies are just pie in the sky. The premise is sound, but you would have to rely on everyone, with no exceptions, to do the right thing at the right time, every time. In a completely free society, with no controls, those with ill intent, greed for money or power, will not rise to the top, they will march to the head of the line and take what they want.

My first rule of behavioral self defense is; Never underestimate the willingness of bad people to do the wrong thing, any chance they get.

While I believe in Liberty, I don't believe in anarchy. We need government. It should be limited by the people. The purpose of the government is to protect the citizens from force, and fraud, to ensure that our rights to life, liberty, and property go unhindered as long as we don't violate the rights of others, and to provide a national defense. I think the government, with a mixture of good and evil intent, has involved itself into the lives of the citizens far more than it has the right to do. I doubt that many of our elected officials have read the constitution, and they certainly don't understand it. If the congress were doing their sworn duty they would be in and out of session in about a month without raising taxes or their salaries. They wouldn't have time to investigate drug use in baseball or a myriad of other things that are not their business.

Yes, freedom is a wonderful thing, but the cost of freedom is eternal vigilance. This is another way of saying that voting for officials is good, but watching the officials is better. I didn't personally witness when congress was told that certain legislation was to important for them to read and debate. If we were truly a nation of patriots, then even the highest officials would know better than to think such a thing, let alone say it.

That being said, vigilance is also necessary to protect freedom on a national level. I don't think that war is a good thing, I do think however that it is a necessary evil. If not now, then at some point. If we do not represent a strong nation, we will become a target. I support the current action in Iraq quite simply because we are facing a people who can only respect power, if we should back out now, those that we are fighting would declare victory of the battle and plan the next phase of the war, those we are fighting for, would denounce us a back biters, or worse, as cowards, and as soon as they finish fighting each other they will join forces to finish us. We will fight the Islamic extremist on their turf, or ours.

I'm all for open borders, and open trade, but only with similar economic and political entities. I don't believe it is fair that we have to compete with countries that have no labor standards or that we should support a welfare state that came across the border because we weren't looking.

One point of departure I have with the libertarian philosophy. On one hand workers should negotiate whatever salary or working conditions they are willing to work for with their employer, without minimum wages or labor standards. The conventional libertarian wisdom is that the employers will pay more to get the best employees. Then the other hand wants to open the borders to an unlimited supply of workers who can expect less than our going hourly wage for a days labor. There was a time when it was common to hire Scottish and Irish immigrants for ten cents a day rather than pay a native born citizen a dollar. After the American Civil War, the newly free black citizens were commonly paid in script which was only good at the company store where it was worth about ten cents or less on the dollar in goods, forget services. This economic slavery worked so well (for the employers) that it was used to economically enslave thousands of
white workers as well in the coal mines of Appalachia, and thousands of Chinese immigrants on the railroad.

This is a land of opportunity, but contrary to popular opinion, everyone can't grow up to be president. In fact, there are a large number of people who will never be accountants, lawyers, doctors, or corporate chiefs. Some lack ability, some lack stamina, some make poor choices early in life, some simply won't play the corporate politics. there is no reason, or excuse, that a regular guy can't do an honest days work, and take home a decent check. Remove the labor laws and open the borders, and there will be family's living in cardboard boxes; remove the housing laws and they will be paying an exorbitant rent on those boxes.

I'm not against the free market, I'm more for it than against it, but there have to be controls. There are those, and in mass, that will abuse the market in their favor. There are also those that would abuse the controls. Eternal vigilance comes into play when making sure that the controls don't get out of hand, or worse, twisted to the opposite effect.

The libertarian intent is much like the Golden Rule, "Treat others as you would be treated." However, there is another golden rule as defined by reality, "He who has the gold, makes the rules". This is how the citizens of Ayn Rand's objectivism will wake up one day as subjects of Stalinism, Nazism, or Fascism. There are those who will stop at nothing to gain power over others, even if it means letting you think you are free until... check mate.