David Carr of the infamous samizdata blog always has a great post. Today he blogged about a bunch of left wing nuts in Britan demonstrating that gun control laws aren't ending gun violence. Duh. Wouldn't life be so simple if all we had to do to solve a problem was to write a law? The reality that has been proven time and time again is that laws that attempt to control the behavior of others rarely serve the purpose. Go figure. The link to David's post is here. It is funny if you look at it from the correct perspective.
Another great blogger from the samizdata is Antoine Clarke. And he has a great post today. He, like me, agrees that the state is more of the problem than the solution and this is why the conservative movement is doomed to failure. "If the cream of the Conservative movement believe that regulation of human behaviour is only possible by State intervention, then it is no wonder the Conservative Parliamentary Party is an unelectable shambles comprised largely of cretins, petty crooks, pompous buffoons and in-bred yahoos. I will take no lessons in morality or "coherent political philosophy" from a Tory." A link to Clarke's post is here.
posted by Randall 11:05 AM
Since I asked for comments I thought I would add a "comment" capability.
posted by Randall 12:26 PM
It is Thanksgiving, again. Another holiday where few people are thankful for anything. I hope you had a great day! Enough already. On with the blogging!
There is a great blog here that points out just how stupid the socialist state can be. Enjoy. And what do you think? Comments are appreciated.
posted by Randall 11:43 AM
It is good to see that Kevin, at last, has shared his ideas. Now I get the fun of responding.
Let’s agree, at least for the purpose of this blog, to define “religion” as any specific system of belief about a deity.
A little background on blogging and debate and reasoning. Most blogs exist for the purpose of the free exchange of reasoned thought. I have been taught not to mix religion with logic. The is because religion, by definition, is based on "faith" and not on “reason.” “God” can tell a religious person to go forth and kill the world and all the logic on the planet may not be able to stop him if he honestly believes “God” told him. This also certainly would make for a dull blog.
Given the fact that the U.S. Constitution was adopted and amended (note amendment 1), there appears to be evidence sufficient that our "founding fathers" understood the concept that there must always be a separation of reason and religion in government if a democratic republic is to survive. Accordingly, I refuse to enter into a debate that focuses on religion. This is not meant in any way to diminish the convictions of my many good friends that hold religious views. I know people who practice most of the major religions of the world. Great link on religious tolerance here.
Now to Kevin's post ... Kevin’s “big picture” is that our country is headed for downfall because we rebel against the Christian god. Kevin indicates: 1) we take the teaching of the Bible out of the schools in 1963, 2) we kill millions of the unborn out of convenience, 3) we teach and accept evolution as fact, 4) our history textbooks withhold the facts of our Christian roots, and, 5) the list goes on.
1) My personal view is that I am glad we don’t mandate teaching of the Bible or the Koran in schools. When we do, our democratic republic will likely be doomed. After all, the principle purpose of the Constitution is to protect the minority from the majority. We are a pluralistic society.
2) As to our abortion practices, abortion has been available for more years than most fundamentalist care to admit. I know. My mother was an RN in rural Appalachia. Is the solution to write a law? If it were, the problems of drug addiction would certainly be solved long ago because we have plenty of laws, e.g., the “War on Drugs.”
3) With respect to evolution, I always thought the theory of evolution was taught along side the many other theories, including the theory of creationism. Isn’t it better to touch on these different theories in the classrooms (K – 12) and allow the family to declare the Law of Creationism in the home if they see fit? Or to declare each of these theories simply that - theories?
4) Our textbooks withhold our Christian roots? I have not notices this. I have yet to see a history text that didn’t teach about the Salem Witch Trials and the other effects (not all negative) of religion throughout our history.
5) The list could go on. The common thread is “the role of government.” I see government as the problem. Joy may see government as the solution? Kevin may see government as the solution if government were to teach his religious views?
Joy asked the question, "How can one define themselves as both a Christian and a Conservative?" The answer to this question is simple. One is a faith-based decision while the other is a political decision. Since these decisions are not mutually exclusive, it is as easy to be a conservative Christian as it is to be a Liberal Christian or an atheist conservative. It is a simple matter of choice.
I definitely agree with Kevin that most of the Liberal-Conservative debate is masked in ignorance. It is my view that most liberals are liberal because they think being liberal is more compassionate than being conservative. It is also my view that most conservatives are conservative because of a perception that the conservative party is more "red-white-and-blue" than the liberal party. This is a shame because many southern democrats are much more conservative than many republicans.
I think many Christians are angry because, as our population becomes more diverse, they lose more and more votes that support their social agenda. Kevin sees it as a privilege to live in a country where freedom of speech is exercised. I see it as a fundamental human right worthy of fighting to the death to protect.
A couple of my forecaset ... The Democrat Party of today will continue to move to the center in order to survive. The "religious-right" will ultimately destroy the Republican Party. The Libertarian Party (or another third party) will consolidate and unify. The GOP will be but a footnote in our history.
posted by Randall 11:37 AM
Hello all! What a privilege to be a part of a country that allows such freedom of speech. This freedom is, I fear, in jeopardy as we stray further and further away from our constitution, what ever the political party may be at the helm. On the surface, the Liberal-Conservative debate rages on, much masked in ignorance. I do not pretend to understand all the arguments of both sides or all that is in the hearts and minds of the people who hold these views. I only will state what I perceive to be the big picture.
In regards to Joy's question, "How can one define themselves as both a Christian and a Conservative?" Jesus said,
25 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" 26 He said to him, "What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?" 27 So he answered and said, " 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,' and 'your neighbor as yourself.' " 28 And He said to him, "You have answered rightly; do this and you will live." 29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" 30 Then Jesus answered and said: "A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.' 36 So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?" 37 And he said, "He who showed mercy on him." Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."
Clearly, loving your neighbor as yourself is a key aspect of Christianity and Jesus gave us a fairly clear definition of this love. So, lets look at this act of love in regards to our political debate. Should the government have the power to play Robin Hood by taking from the rich and giving to the poor in order to fulfill Jesus’ mandate as demonstrated by the current Democrat platform?
The first details that I notice from Jesus’ parable are that the Samaritan is an individual and he acts out of his own compassion and conviction, he also uses his own money freely to help the needy man. He does not hold-up passers by and use their money against their will in his quest. This is a key point; Jesus is concerned about the heart and action of the individual.
In what way does he help the needy man? He takes care of his immediate need, the need for shelter and care until he is well again and able to care for himself. The Samaritan does not continue to give him money after this point.
I believe many Democrat’s have good intentions and believe they are fulfilling the act of loving your neighbor by having the government care for the needy through it’s many programs. They believe its part of the governments purpose to distribute wealth throughout the state.
But this misguided good intention has created millions of dependent enabled people (as evidenced by Linden Johnson’s entitlements) and have led to our founding fathers most feared reality, even above foreign invasion, the growth in scope and power of the government and the removal of the individual from it’s responsibility.
The reality of this Robin Hood effect does more than create dependent people. It results in the opposite effect the good hearted Democrat had in mind. It creates more poverty and suffering. This is basically what takes place:
Small Constitutional Government
The wealthy person invests his money and know-how into businesses and creates jobs resulting in revenue for the government through taxes. Efficient invention and discovery takes place resulting in national economic security and a better way of life for the world. The individual has money to give to the needy, through churches or charity organizations or individually. The key is allowing capitalism to work. It will create jobs and keep the wealthy in check. This is the founding fathers design.
Big Unconstitutional Government
It is the same scenario as above but take much of the investment money away and the incentive to invest by increasing taxes and regulations. The government takes the tax money and absorbs a large percentage into itself through government inefficiency as it creates programs to distribute the money. The efficient invention and discovery is held in check as businesses and workers are punished if they try to work harder and longer. The incentive to get ahead is diminished.
Being a Conservative used to mean resistant to change, I took that to mean not to change from the constitution and traditional values. Conservatism also used to be a Republican trait, this continues to be challenged. I believe this is why the Libertarian party is on the rise.
All these political workings and debate I believe are on the surface. They magnify our inability to see the big picture. Like ants trying to understand why the wind blows and the rain falls or the sun comes up, we in our pride try to contrive reasons for the occurrences that affect our lives.
If you take a Christian perspective, the Old Testament in the Bible shows a cycle many times over. Israel, God’s chosen people, is blessed immensely by God economically, individually and by the protection of their borders, until they decide to follow their own desires and wants instead of God’s. This rebellion eventually leads to God removing his blessings and the downfall of the nation. I believe this is what is happening today with our country. As a nation we have told God we do not want him in our lives, we would rather to do as we please. So we take the teaching of the Bible out of the schools in 1963, we kill millions of the unborn out of convenience, we teach and accept evolution as fact, our history textbooks withhold the facts of our Christian roots, and the list goes on, demonstrating our resolve to rid ourselves from Christianity.
The Bible says that God is long suffering but He will not strive with man forever when we rebel against him and blatantly reject him. It also says in the end times men will be lovers of themselves rather than lovers of God, this seems much like our current times.
But God in his mercy has also said:
2 Chron 7:14-15
14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
This I believe is the big picture.
posted by Kevin 12:05 PM
Our good friend William F. Buckley, Jr., has an excellent editorial here that should keep the liberal democrats squirming for a few. Enjoy!
posted by Randall 1:25 PM
I thought it appropriate to post a little more on Adam Smith since his views on political economics have so influenced my thinking. The following article is from MSN Encarta Online. [Cite: "Smith, Adam (economist)," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2002, http://encarta.msn.com © 1997-2002 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.]
This article provides a pretty good introduction on Adam Smith and his work.
Smith, Adam (economist) (1723-1790), British philosopher and economist, whose celebrated treatise An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations was the first serious attempt to study the nature of capital and the historical development of industry and commerce among European nations.
Smith was born in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, and educated at the universities of Glasgow and Oxford . From 1748 to 1751, he gave lectures on rhetoric and belles-lettres in Edinburgh. During this period, a close association developed between Smith and the Scottish philosopher David Hume that lasted until the latter's death in 1776 and contributed much to the development of Smith's ethical and economic theories.
Smith was appointed professor of logic in 1751 and then professor of moral philosophy in 1752 at the University of Glasgow. He later systematized the ethical teachings he had propounded in his lectures and published them in his first major work, Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759). In 1763 he resigned from the university to accept the position of tutor to Henry Scott, 3rd duke of Buccleuch, whom he accompanied on an 18-month tour of France and Switzerland. Smith met and associated with many of the leading Continental philosophers of the physiocratic school, which based its political and economic doctrines on the supremacy of natural law, wealth, and order. He was particularly influenced by the French philosophers François Quesnay and Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, whose theories Smith later adapted in part to form a basis for his own. From 1766 to 1776, he lived in Kirkcaldy preparing The Wealth of Nations (1776). Smith was appointed commissioner of customs in Edinburgh in 1778, serving in this capacity until his death. In 1787 he was also named lord rector of the University of Glasgow.
Smith's Wealth of Nations represents the first serious attempt in the history of economic thought to divorce the study of political economy from the related fields of political science, ethics, and jurisprudence. It embodies a penetrating analysis of the processes whereby economic wealth is produced and distributed and demonstrates that the fundamental sources of all income, that is, the basic forms in which wealth is distributed, are rent, wages, and profits.
The central thesis of The Wealth of Nations is that capital is best employed for the production and distribution of wealth under conditions of governmental noninterference, or laissez-faire, and free trade. In Smith's view, the production and exchange of goods can be stimulated, and a consequent rise in the general standard of living attained, only through the efficient operations of private industrial and commercial entrepreneurs acting with a minimum of regulation and control by governments. To explain this concept of government maintaining a laissez-faire attitude toward commercial endeavors, Smith proclaimed the principle of the “invisible hand”: Every individual in pursuing his or her own good is led, as if by an invisible hand, to achieve the best good for all. Therefore any interference with free competition by government is almost certain to be injurious.
Although this view has undergone considerable modification by economists in the light of historical developments since Smith's time, many sections of The Wealth of Nations, notably those relating to the sources of income and the nature of capital, have continued to form the basis for theoretical study in the field of political economy. The Wealth of Nations has also served, perhaps more than any other single work in its field, as a guide to the formulation of governmental economic policies.
posted by Randall 9:43 AM
I will start with the classic definition of libertarian: 1). in philosophy - advocate of individual responsibility: somebody who believes in the doctrine of free will; 2). in politics - advocate of individual freedom: somebody who believes that people should have complete freedom of thought and action and should not be subject to the authority of the state. [Late 18th century. Formed from liberty, modeled on words such as unitarian.]
I am a libertarian. I am not a conservative. I am not a liberal as liberal is used in current politics.
I am always more than willing to help those who are less fortunate due to no fault of their own. I am not very willing to help those who are less fortunate because they chose to be.
Current thinking in the United States between the Democratic (demo) and Republican (GOP) Parties is that one party is the party of the "tax and spend" while the other party is the party of the "borrow and spend." The reality is that both of these parties are merging closer to the same concepts with few exceptions. Abortion is an example of one of the exceptions.
Life involves consequences. The idea that taking from the successful to reward failure, e.g., the tax and spend demos, hasn’t motivated change. If it had, President Johnson’s war on poverty would have been a success. The reality is that the war on poverty has not been anywhere near a success. Bill Clinton and the GOP Senate enacted legislation that virtually eliminated Johnson’s war on poverty by establishing a lifetime limit on funds that able-bodied people can sap from the public trough.
The idea that borrowing money, e.g., the GOP's desire to increase the federal debt to reward the largest of American business, doesn't seem to forces change either.
The libertarian view holds that success is rarely achieved without first tasting of failure. From my perspective, corporate welfare is equally as counterproductive as paying mothers to give birth. Individual responsibility is the key. Adam Smith, in his famous treatise, The Wealth of Nations, argued that private competition free from regulation produces and distributes wealth better than government-regulated markets. Since 1776, when Smith produced his work, his argument has been used to justify capitalism and discourage government intervention in trade and exchange. Smith believed that private businesses seeking their own interests organize the economy most efficiently, “as if by an invisible hand.”
posted by Randall 9:28 AM
I did err in not including the definition for conservatalism....so here it is: a): a disposition in politics to preserve what is established, b): a political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions, and preferring gradual development to abrupt change, and , c): the tendency to prefer an existing or traditional situation to change.
And yes basically it is my feeling that convservatives are caring only if it is convenient and not too finacially challenging. It would be they (the conservatives) who labeled us (the liberals) as being in favor of a tax and spend phylosphy when referring to the numerous social programs we advocate.
Actually if you think about Randy its kind of funny that you are the one who usually is saying to me that "change is a good thing" and me who has "issues" with change and usually would rather let things remain status quo. Maybe your the liberal and I am the conservative.....lol.
posted by Joy 7:22 PM
Why don't I see a definition for "conservative?" Are conservatives not caring? As I posted on 10/27, good people everywhere, for the most part, have the objective of doing well. If the objective is to help those who are less fortunate than others, then the question becomes, “Which is the better path?”
posted by Randall 6:43 PM
The Meriiam-Webster dictionary descibes socialism as: a): a system of society or group living in which there is no private property, b): a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state. This is not what I as a "classical liberal" believe.
What I do advocate is the need for government to facilitate social programs which aid those in need and those less fortuante than ourselves. Again referring to the Merriam-Webster dictionmary whose defintion of liberalism is as folloiws: a): a movement in modern Protestantism emphasizing intellectual liberty and the spiritual and ethical content of Christianity. b): a theory in economics emphasizing individual freedom from restraint and usually based on free competition, the self-regulating market, and the gold standard, c): a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties.
Basically my "liberal" beliefs are the product of my beliefs as a Christian....We are our brothers keepers.
I can not understand how one can seperate ones spiritual beliefs from ones policital beleifs whitout being being hypocritical. My question would be "How can one define themselves as both a Christian and a Conservative?"
Perhaps this will inspire the so far absent Kevin to coment.
posted by Joy 6:10 PM
Samizdata slogan of the day
When words lose their meaning, people will lose their liberty
For example the term 'liberal'... once meant (& to some, prefaced by 'classical', it still does) a supporter of individual liberties against both force backed custom (paleo-conservativism) and force backed allegedly rational planning (socialism). It is now generally used as a euphemism for 'democratic socialism'.
posted by Randall 11:20 AM
Here's a good topic that might stimulate interest. What is the Source of Intelligence: Nature or Nuture? A transcript of a conference given at a seminar organized by the Libertarian Alliance and Libertarian International held at the National-Liberal Club recently in London presents a view. Any comments?
posted by Randall 11:00 PM
The creek, filled with cool water, is a wonderful place. As we traveled past Cooks Corner on the asphalt-covered road toward Joy's opportunity to burn some calories, she was seeking to avoid her healthy adventure. Then we got to the turnoff on the dirt road and she was ecstatic: the road was closed. We proceeded down the dirt road into the Cleveland National Forest and Joy was complaining each nanometer of the journey. We parked. Joy charged up the first little incline, crossed Holy Jim Creek at the first crossing, and proceeded up a small second bank. She stopped, sit on a rock, and was done. She didn't want to go further. She knew that I wanted her to achieve the objective of traveling to the waterfalls so she again proceeded like a bull in a china shop. When we got to the second crossing, I suggested that she might want to wait to cross until I plotted a path for her to cross. No. She would not listen. She charged ahead. Splash. Profanity. Tears. Uncontrollable laughing on my part. It was funny. You are right Alan; I will make a record on the next trip. We will likely go again this upcoming weekend. Great humor. On another note, here is a link to a post on the Samizdata Blog that I read regularly. Pretty good stuff.
posted by Randall 9:40 AM
Well I hate to say it but I agree. We are now at war. As for the creek, Randy, next time you need to take a camera.
posted by Albert 10:57 PM
I am never in favour of war... but the fact is we are now in a war, so the question is, do we win it?
- David Carr
posted by Randall 8:51 PM
Yes, Jim would have been proud. I think I probably said more four letter words when I fell in the creek than Randy has ever heard me say since the day we met. What he left out was the part about the road into the hiking area being closed. I thought we should probably not venture back there since the police obviously thought it wasn't a good idea. But no, we went anyway.
He also left out the part where moments before I took my ice cold, freezing bath, I sat down on a rock and said "Its really muddy and I'm going to fall in the creek, maybe we should turn back". But no, I didn't listen to my own intuition, we foreged ahead and in less than five minutes I was sitting in 45 degree water with a big bruise on my butt, and another big bruise on my shin, while Randy stood at the top of the hill cracking up.
In retrospect it was pretty funny.
posted by Joy 8:27 PM
Not counting this post, this blog has seen a total of 19 posts. Junior posted once. Junior's brother posted once. Is there no interest?
posted by Randall 9:33 PM
There are few things funnier than listening to the socialist-tax-and-spend-democrats bellyaching about the recent GOP thrashing. Great link here. Joy and I had a somewhat humorous day today. We went to hike the Holy Jim Historic Trail in the Cleveland National Forest. She fell in Holy Jim Creek! This trail was named for James T. Smith who was known as "old cussin Jim" because of his colorful language. "Jim Smith was a talker -no ordinary talker ... a man given to blasphemous eloquence. When he started cussing ... he could peel paint off a stove pipe." When Joy fell in the creek, Holy Jim would have been proud.
posted by Randall 9:13 PM
Its a frightening thing that happened on Tuesday. I, as a loyal democrat, could not be more disappointed or fearful for the future of my country. There is not anybody who hopes that I am wrong more than I do. I predict that we will be involved in a war before January.
posted by Joy 7:47 PM
Wow. The Grand ole Party thrashed. I am at awe. I would have never thought that George W could have led such a charge. Now that the repubs control the house, senate and the white house - there should be no excuse why we don't get this enonomy thing improved. Time will tell. If the economic condition isn't improved, I bet George W doesn't see a 2nd term. Unless the dems nominate Al Gore again!!
posted by Randall 2:09 AM
YEA!! I am happy to hear we are going to Vegas.
I will check back later today to see what Kevin has to say.
posted by Joy 7:53 PM
Blog on. In order to stimulate debate, I have asked my most loyal friend and trusted advisor to post to this site. His name is Kevin. Blog on!
posted by Randall 12:13 AM
I created this blog because I thought the free exchange of ideas was good. I thought that someone could post an idea and others would anxiously respond. I seriously thought this process would be healthy and fun. I had no idea it would lead to a discussion as to whether the female sex wants a penis. But it has. So be it. If I had only listened to Junior's brother (see previous posting by Alan), I guess I should have expected this reality.
Never fear. I don't quit so easy. I remain certain that a pig cannot be taught to sing. And I am damn certain that the attempt is a total waste of time.
On an unreleated note …
Joy is happy that she will be spending the weekend of 11/22 - 11/24 in a Casino Suite at the Stratosphere in Las Vegas. Joy likes the Casino Suite. [There is plenty of room if others want to join in the fun. Junior may want to come along and bring Bret? Perhaps Junior's brother may want to come? The rooms are pretty nice.]
I will be checking in on 11/22 at about 3pm and checking out at 11am on 11/24. If I drive I will depart Orange County by 11am on Friday.
posted by Randall 12:07 AM
I am happy and pleased that Jeannie Junior found her way to the place where the logical minds meet. Perhaps this page has life? Time will tell. Welcome Jeannie Junior.
posted by Randall 11:56 PM
I would like to have a penis.....though I would like to keep it in a test tube (yes a very small test tube) for it may for once be valuable in the year 2050 when men are finally erradicated. Hmmm Mom do you think Randy really believes in the stuff he preaches? I bet if he came back down to minion earth he could be saved :) Ok ok ok I came and checked it out.....Happy?
posted by Jeannie 9:44 PM
It appears as if the singing pigs web page will be dying. It may be dying because of lack of interest or perhaps it is dying because of fundamental fact of life: "You can't teach a pig to sing and if you try you not only waste your time but you annoy the pig."
Is there an interest in maintaining this site? I doubt it.
posted by Randall 10:02 PM