Tag Archives: United States

Liberty or death needs to become a thing we understand and mean again.


This is what I read that made me rant like this.
All of you people out there that are ‘Yay Liberty!’, we need to talk about Trump for a second.  All of you who feel that one constitutional or civil right or another is all encompassing and important, listen up.
One of the things that I heard sold as a good reason to vote for Trump was that he would pick supreme court justices and cabinet that would be willing to protect thus or that and build up business and ‘make America great again’.  It all sounds great.
Except… he recently chose a guy for AG who is all for the reduction in liberty we have gained over the past 20ish years.  Not cool, man.
I’m as peaceful a person as they come, but I’m going to watch close, and should things back slide into the various isms being okay for any reason, I will be prepared to fight, protest, whatever.  
That said, that seems to be my attitude for every president.  Obama freaked me put with Obama care and random acts of assassination.  W. gave us the Patriot act and the surveillance nightmare with that.  So I’m not prepared to call for a revolution or something, but I am saying to be watchful.
The United States citizen is only powerful if we work together, and to do that we have to agree that if the defense of one right or equality of one group is important, then they are all important and to be defended.  Even to our deaths.
I will not live in a nation in a regression to monstrous ways of treating human beings without fighting against that change for evil.
For those that use Jesus’ name in support of this garbage, please remember that Satan was once God’s most favored, powerful, beautiful angel, and any that appear as if they fit the role of Christ in a situation are often antichrist in their ways. 
Be watchful, but be hopeful.  Be happy but prepared for hard times.  Together, we can do anything, individually, we can sow the seeds of liberty.
If you’re feeling this share it.

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The law of the land…


Imagine, for a moment, that the government sets a law in place requiring that people be happy and enjoy life. That’s not a bad thing is it? It would be good if everyone was happy and enjoyed life, wouldn’t it?

This sounds entirely reasonable, until the day comes when you are not happy and are not enjoying life, or perhaps you would prefer to let your experience of life come naturally, without a requirement attached.

This is the key, for me. Laws reduce freedom. Simple. Even the best intentioned laws reduce your freedom to live life as it comes. Some laws are necessary to prevent one being from harming another, sure. Any laws which require X or disallow Y, not on the basis that you harm another by doing them, but that you harm yourself or that those things are not in your best interests are madness that lead to more such laws that will eventually restrict those who originally supported the “good and reasonable laws” made on the same basis.

Holding a gun to someone’s head and insisting that they be healthy in their choices or “be happy” may be good intentioned, but it is not freedom.

“A person is only truly free if they have the freedom to err.”

-Gandhi

 

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People are only truly free if they have the freedom to err


other's rights

I shared this picture onto facebook today, thinking to myself, “Surely, people will agree.”

The response I got was as follows:

The reason this is bullshit is because many of these things are choices which those who disagree with are nonetheless forced to participate in. Gay marriage? Try refusing to photograph, perform the rites or cater one and get sued (already happened) Porn? There was a time when people in underwear weren’t shown in ads. Now they are nude in bed together on daytime TV for little kids to see. Alcohol? Try driving down the road while every third driver is legally intoxicated. Drugs? Try thinking you have raised your kid so he won’t be dumb enough to use illegal drugs and just sit back and enjoy the heartbreak. Cigarettes? Try dealing with the lies told your child by others who convince him it won’t hurt anything and it’s “cool”. Yep. this sign is total bullshit.

So, feeling strongly about the importance of rights and whatnot, I feel I need to respond.

First, let me take the responses points individually.

  1. Gay marriage? Try refusing to photograph, perform the rites or cater one and get sued (already happened)

The decision to refuse the benefits provided by being in a legally recognized union, known as a “marriage”, to those who choose to be in a non-standard relationship is tyranny. Whether or not homosexuality is moral or not is immaterial. The fact is that “marriage”, as we know it in the United States, means two different things.

One is to be joined in a commitment recognized by your religion. This union, by itself, does not bestow any particular benefits except to abide by one’s religious beliefs.

The other is to be legally joined to another person, and to be recognized by the government and in commerce as working together.

The first should be managed and administered by the “marrying couple’s” religion and it’s leadership. The second is managed by the government.

Now, religion and state being seperate entities, religious leaders should have the option to not participate in such ceremonies or personally recognize such unions. That is their choice, and they feel that their religion mandates such a position, and so long as they do not attempt to otherwise hinder the couple from getting married, then they should have the right to refuse to administer the ceremony or participate in it, even to the point of refusing to allow the service on their property or provide commercial services in support of the ceremony.

However, the state should recognize such a union performed within the laws of the state, and provide to the couple all of the rights and privileges it provides to anyone who enters such a union. The state is not a religion, and while it may offer lip service or a historical relationship with a religion, it should hold itself seperate from the religion. It should not, under any circumstances, show favoritism to one group or community over another group or community.

My opinion is that the state should have nothing to do with marriage at all, but that is not our situation in the United States. We have to work with the system that is in place, and that system requires that any couple who wants to be legally recognized as “married” has to pay for a license. To deny that license on any grounds to any individual, with the exception of a child, is inequality. All inequality that is supported by the state is tyranny.

If you support the idea that the legal institution of marriage should be refused to an individual or couple because they do not agree with your religious belief, then you support tyranny based on religion. If that is your belief, you have a right to it. I do not hold this belief, however, and thus, support the idea that ‘gay marriage’ should be legal.

The idea that any commercial service must be applied against the will of the proprieter of a business is also tyranny, but also madness on the part of a customer within a capitalist driven society. If you wanted a service provided for what you see as an important life event, why would you want people to do it who would be irritated and offended that they were doing it, when their work would invariably show this irritation and be ‘less’ than someone else’s who was pleased or indifferent to be there in the first place?

That there have equivalent lawsuits to try to force or coerce people into administering these ceremonies, or providing commercial services in support of the ceremonies, is tyranny as well, because it interferes with the individual’s right to practice their religion according to their own conscience. The fact that this has happened in no way takes away from the need for state recognition of homosexual and heterosexual marriage to be applied and allowed equally.

These are both situations that should be addressed properly by the courts, recognizing the rights of the individuals in each case first.

      1. Porn? There was a time when people in underwear weren’t shown in ads. Now they are nude in bed together on daytime TV for little kids to see.

What children watch on daytime TV is the responsibility of the parent. Morality is a pretty subjective thing, especially when it comes to sexuality, and it is the job of the parent to decide to what level children are exposed to it. I don’t personally think that they should be exposed to sexual ideas at a young age, but I do not feel that I have the right to decide what my neighbor thinks about their own children, to the degree which our society and culture suggests that it is appropriate. That is why we have laws which determine at what point a ‘child’ becomes an ‘adult’ and can make their own decisions.

If it was a situation where people were required to watch television, and the only things on the television were sexual in nature, then it would be tyranny for parents’ rights to be overstepped and forced into allowing their children to watch such things. This is not the case, however, and the situation is that there are other choices in programming, choices which do not include such advertisements.

For the government to decide things that are within the parents’ purview is tyranny. The government can protect a child’s physical safety, as there are parents who are incompetent when it comes to this, but it is not the job of the government to determine the child’s morality, and the further they stay from that idea the happier I am.

  1. Alcohol? Try driving down the road while every third driver is legally intoxicated.

I would have to say that this sounds like quite the challenge, but far from reality. I invite you to give evidence of the claim that every third driver is intoxicated, as you say.

Alcohol is a substance generally used for recreation. It is illegal to use it publicly, except under certain conditions. It is illegal to drive while intoxicated or to be publicly intoxicated.

Are you saying you’d like to bring back prohibition?

  1. Drugs? Try thinking you have raised your kid so he won’t be dumb enough to use illegal drugs and just sit back and enjoy the heartbreak.

While I understand that you may have had a personal experience with this, and I’m sorry that you have, I cannot sign on to the idea that it is the government’s job to protect people from making the choice to use them.

The government should, by all means, expect a person to pay a consequence if they harm someone else or damage property or become a public nuisance while under their influence, it should not be up to the government to decide whether or not a person is able to use them.

I can see some wiggle room in this issue, as some drugs have far worse effects and chance of death than others, and if a drug is generally “safe for use”, then it should be legal, and up to the individual to decide if they will use the drug or not.

Thus, marijuana, which is the drug currently under examination as a possible legal drug, based on the current research, should be legal and regulated in the same ways that other legal drugs are regulated, so that the consumer is getting a viable product that does not harm them further than is expected by any such substance.

To allow access to other, more dangerous, less helpful substances while denying access to marijuana is tyranny.

      1.  Cigarettes? Try dealing with the lies told your child by others who convince him it won’t hurt anything and it’s “cool”

Again, while I understand that you have had a personal experience with this, and I am sorry for that, it comes down to the right of the individual to choose to use the substance.

Now, on cigarettes, I would have to say that it is reasonable to expect cigarette smokers to refrain from smoking in public places, considering that the smoke can harm others. It should probably be regulated with similar laws as alcohol, with the exception of those laws which were created to combat people trying to do activities which would be dangerous while experiencing an altered state of consciousness.

The goal here, as with all the other points, is protection of the rights of the individual. For the government to deny the rights of an individual is tyranny. For the government to deny the rights of an individual based on the desires of another individual’s personal beliefs or morality is inequality.

Individual rights, applied equally and protected to the utmost by the government would allow for all of these things to one degree or another. Without government influence, in a free, capitalism driven society, these things are self-limiting. Those who want success or long life are careful with the substances they take in. Parents who want their children to hold off on sex until they are of an appropriate age will do what they need to do to arrange for that. Those who do not, will suffer from the things they will experience within the capitalist society-less luxuries, possible homelessness, even death. Those people who are unfortunate enough to wind up in these situations can thus be held up for the rest of society as reasons to probably avoid those things within the society.

I think Gandhi said it best: People are only free if they have the freedom to err.

 

(extra note:  I hold a libertarian position on abortion, for more info on that go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_perspectives_on_abortion )

 

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What are you doing 11/5/13?


I don’t care who you are, what your political or religious beliefs are, what color or gender or age you are.

divide and conquer

None of that matters.

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of watching the government do as it pleases, whether D or R, conservative or liberal.  I’m tired of looking back over the last 20 years of politics and saying,”What the…  What are they doing?”

Take the day off.  It won’t kill you.  Make a trip to your capitol or to DC.  If you come to DC, look for a tall guy with white hair.  That’s me.  Say hi.

https://www.facebook.com/events/505027169551591/

Hope to see you there.  (masks and signs optional, body and mind necessary)

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“The Rise of the Christian Left in America”-some conclusions


demopublicanchristian

The article “The Rise of the Christian Left in America” in the publication “The Atlantic” is an interesting article depicting the apparent shift in voting attitudes within the culture of “Christians in the United States”.  It gives a variety of data which would lead the reader to the conclusion that Christians, especially the young adult, are turning away from more conservative ideals of the group and focusing more and more on the “feel good” portions of the message of Christianity, that they are focusing on altruistic ideals which will lead to voting attitudes.

While this may be true for many Christians, I would suggest that this article misses one of the main points.  Christians have already shown themselves to be of varied opinions and voting attitudes, and have been for years.  There is one ideal that they hold to, which is make or break, that they will generally all vote together on, regardless of what any political group offers otherwise.

Freedom to practice their religion.

Freedom to express religion, for Christians of any variety or political leaning, is an issue that ranks right up there with the second amendment for gun owners.  It’s a “do not cross” line, which, if social and alternative media is to be believed, is being crossed on a number of fronts.

From the choice of various Islamic friendly individuals to high level appointments to recent rumblings of the potential disciplinary action of soldiers for evangelizing(a topic of major importance within any religion seeking to grow), many Christians now feel that they are “under siege” for their beliefs.

Could this data be used by politicians?  Sure.  They simply have to continue the same arguments they have been having in the “general public” realm about healthcare and social policies.  The side who supports subsidizing healthcare and other social issues will draw the Christian “left” and the side that calls for encouraging charity over legislated mandatory solutions for these things will draw the Christian “right” votes.

This focus will only be effective in terms of drawing separate portions of Christianity as a voting group, however.

To really get Christians, and possibly more importantly, their leadership, behind one side or the other, they have to turn to using religion as the age-old “opiate of the masses”.

One way to do this would be to focus on any assault on the practice of religion by the other side, and claiming that candidates from “our party” are Christians and will not allow any legislation to pass which threatens their constitutional right to practice their religion.  Even simply focusing on this desire to protect the right, without pointing to threats, will provide an undercurrent of  “We have to protect ourselves”, which will allow any group that uses this wisely to sway voters to their side, in many cases regardless of most other issues.

The politician in question, though, will have to publicly avoid certain discussions, if they have moderate leanings themselves.  Conservative Christians will want a person who will “stand strong” on social issues, while moderates and liberals will be willing to make allowances on the social issues, so long as the politician makes a public issue to “really care” about the social issues.

Unified, as a block of voters, Christians are quite a force in politics, and using these methods, easily manipulated into voting for or against a politician, usually with little in the way of valid evidence.  Seperated, divided into “left”, “right”, “moderate” and the rest, they can be basically ignored.

It is my opinion that politically, Christian leanings will be marginalized in an effort to appeal more broadly to a wider number of voters.  This may be inevitable, in the long run, but in the short run, any appeal to Christianity in areas that are heavily populated by Christians would be wise to consider this “fear/protection” element in their campaigns.

 

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Mass shootings, gun control, and equal rights-a different viewpoint


Equal Rights road sign isolated on white.

I have written before on this topic, but always trying to appeal to “everyone”, with little reference to having mental illness.  I think it’s time to try again.

********************************

I have bipolar.

I watched, with everyone else, the media coverage of the mass shootings in recent years.  I watched, and have heard, how the focus for every media covered shooting has ended in a call for “gun control”.

I don’t understand it.

Being someone with a mental illness, invariably what screams out at me is the fact that, with the exception of the Trayvon Martin debacle, every nationally covered shooting has had two common denominators.

1:  A firearm was used.

2: The person committing the mass shooting had a mental illness.

It’s really strange to me that the focus is on “gun control”.  I remember a time when there were a number of incidents that were highly publicized about senior citizens driving into stores and crowds.  There was discussion about treating them as individuals and testing them on a case by case basis, more frequently, or whether to set an “age limit” on the driving privilege.

When it has come to nationally noticed gun violence and people with mental illness, the same consideration is not taken.  Instead, to make a comparison, the discussion most brought up in the public eye is whether or not to ban guns of this type or that, as well as calls to ban them in general.  This is sort of like with the senior citizens, if there had been a public debate on whether to ban automobiles of certain types or something.

What a tragedy!  All of that money and airtime that could have been spent on mental healthcare reform and such wasted on limiting the rights of people who have done nothing wrong.

What gets to me, though, even more, is the amount of disrespect it shines on people who have a mental illness.  “They can’t be held responsible”, an attitude which carries on into everyday life constantly.

I wish people would wake up to this.  The United States is based on the importance of the rights of individuals, and great battles have been fought for the equality of individuals and the elimination of discrimination against groups of people.  Here we are, though, with the disposition that people with a mental illness are incompetent children who are unable to be responsible for themselves.

I am not a child.  I have an illness.  If I shoot someone, why on earth would you then want to limit other people?

I am expected to pay bills.  I am expected to do what I am supposed to do within society.  I am expected to take responsibility for the maintenance of my own care to battle my mental illness.  I am allowed to vote, to buy alcohol, to drive, to do any number of other things that I am afforded the right to do by my rights as a citizen.

How disrespectful for the government and society to treat me like a child, and to encourage me to sit down and be quiet because I am “suffering” and I have “no control”.

Madness.  They want people with a mental illness to take all of these responsibilities, and then pat us on the head if we do wrong.  They wink at us and say, “Oh, well, you know, they’re crazy, you can’t hold them responsible.”

It can’t be both ways.  We are either expected to do right and treated like equals, or come right out and say that we should be treated like children, and then provide us with the same care you would a child.  Either provide us with “full care”, housing, therapy, medication and everything else that would be provided to the child you think we are, or treat us as we are.

We are citizens, individuals with different capabilities fighting illnesses as best we can and in different ways.

Have the respect for us to hold us responsible for the things we do.

 

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Divided we fall…


Black vs White.

Liberal vs Conservative.

Christian vs Atheist.

Rich vs… everyone else.

These divisions are brought to the forefront of our social consciousness by our mainstream media.  These are the things highlighted by journalists in order to capture our attention to gain ratings and sell papers and magazines.

They are unnecessary, though.  The only purpose in highlighting these things is to maintain the divisions in our society.  Ask yourself-who does that serve?

My opinion-it serves the government.  It keeps the citizens focused on their problems with each other and not the systemic issues that exist throughout our government.

Have you paid attention to recent elections?  George Bush was a nice enough guy, but probably a puppet.  John McCain was about as desirable a presidential candidate as Mussolini, and ran against someone who the media refused to show anything negative.  Romney, on the other hand, seemed to be a nice guy, but who seemed to have much of the same agenda as the man he ran against.

The man who won, Barack Obama, ran on the idea of “hope” and “change” and “moving forward”.  The only idea that really came through for me from either of the times he ran for president was that he supported socialism.

I say all that to say this-we are presented with the choice, every election it seems, with bad and worse.  We vote for (and fanatically support) the “least bad” and put them at the head of our government.  Having two “parties” which are diametrically opposed simply makes us have to choose some “bad” things with some “good” things when we vote.

The divisions in our society prevent us from doing anything to fix it, either.  Nobody can get together and make a move similar to Egypt, with millions marching on DC in order to demand change in the Federal government and an end to “party” politics.

Nothing can be done because the people are divided.  People who are for abortion and gay marriage can’t march with a person who waves a bible because their views differ, even though they would both be served by bringing real change to the system.  Few black people would march with white people (and vice versa) because “they” are “different from us” and “they” don’t understand “our” problems.  The rich, well, they will get richer, no matter the situation presented.  The poor will be focused on the other divisions of our society, as well as being made consistently aware that poor is equal to powerless.

Until we can overcome these things, our ballooning, out of control federal government will continue to balloon in size and act as it chooses, no longer as a servant to the citizens of the US, but in support of their own personal goals, keeping, maintaining, and increasing power for themselves.

Even if change was made, though, how our lot as a nation would improve is pretty unclear, to me.  Would people be able to move on and act together to build up our country and improve the lives of our citizens after such an act?  Could an electoral system be put into place that brings an end to the concept of “the guy with the most money and who is loved by the media wins”?  Could people effectively eliminate political parties, and be able to vote on leaders based on individual merit?

Given human nature, I’m just not sure.  It has been said that the US would best be served by a revolution every 50 years or so.  After that time, the system will have spoiled, tyranny will be on the rise, and individual rights will be sacrificed, because people will have forgotten just how ridiculous the government had been before.

Revolution, bloodless or armed, though, is not something that can be reasonably considered as long as we remain divided by the things I mentioned before.  Can these divisions be overcome?  How?

 

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