A Look in on a Long Time Reader Here….

As I continue down the path of retail madness during the busy month of December (A December that has not been nearly busy enough to suit my fancy, for the record), I find yet another night where I have struggled to find the time to research and write. And because I didn’t write last night, I find it unfathomable that I would not have anything to offer two nights in a row. In continuing my reading I came across this article from an author who takes the time to visit and enter into the discourse here when he finds the time. And his insight is always well thought out and valuable. I read his blog regularly, and am ashamed to admit I don’t comment there as often as I should. So tonight, I offer the first part of an interesting series of articles that he has undertaken recently. I also take this time to wholeheartedly endorse his blog. It is a fine read, and always well thought out. I highly suggest that when you aren’t reading mine, you take some time to read the articles that he has published.

The blog I refer to is titled quite simply, “The Libertarian Blog”. And the author is none other than Jon Smith. Those of you who have had the pleasure of chatting with Jon here know him as an open minded and honest person, who looks at the issues in a way that takes the simple route of telling it like it is, and evaluating things without allowing emotion to cloud his thoughts. When I began this blog a year ago, I was contemplating a conversion to being a Libertarian. I had been a Republican, and was certainly not happy with that party any longer. And the Democratic party was simply too far outside of my beliefs. I felt lost and Confused about what exactly the Libertarian party was. So I began a multi-part series analyzing and discussing the platform of the Libertarians (which you can still find in the multi-part series page at the top of the page). After all nothing helps you learn about something like researching and writing about it. Jon was always there to offer his thoughts and steer me in the right direction in looking at the party. For that I am indebted to him (and for that matter to JAC, BF, and Kent as they were participants in those discussions as well).

I know that many of you are in that boat these days. Unsatisfied with the two big parties. Not knowing where to turn. I am not telling you that the Libertarians are the answer. But they are a viable choice, as they are far more in line with the concepts of individual liberty and personal freedom than the two big dogs on the block. I will save my personal thoughts on the party for the comments and discussion. Keep in mind that I added the cartoons below, and they are general cartoons and have no link to the article from Jon. But for now, take in a bit of the writing on Jon Smith:

Libertarian Conservatives, Part 1
by Jon Smith of The Libertarian Blog

In recent years, especially the last 2 or 3, many conservatives have been looking seriously at third parties, especially the Libertarian Party as a new home for their vote. For the most part, their former party was the Republican Party, but the actions of the Republicans have been increasingly indistinguishable from the opposing party, with some actions even more atrocious in their invasion of individual liberties and cost to the taxpayers. This trend has even lead to some comments that the LP is being taken over by Republicans, or that libertarians are just anti-war republicans, etc. While this is not the case, I do welcome the huge influx of former, or reformed, republicans. I am, in fact, one of them myself, only my transition was about 10 years ago.

There are a variety of issues in the LP platform that the average conservative balks at. Many are minor issues, and as the state of the Union gets more desperate and the mistakes and corruption of our leaders grows more massive, more and more conservatives are embracing the libertarian platform as a far better option than the status quo. The big issues, especially the basic concept of limited government and very low taxes, are the main draw for conservatives. The social and religious freedom aspects are a bit more of an area of conflict. As a former traditional conservative myself, I would like to address some of those areas of conflict in order to help others seeking a political platform they can get behind to understand the reasoning, to understand the thought process that I went through to get where I am now.

The first area I would like to address is religion, and it is, in part, an answer to one of my readers who was asking questions about libertarian stances on legislating morality. I answered briefly, but realized a full post on the subject was likely to be in order. Other points of conflicts will follow, I appreciate as always any feedback or questions my potential readers may have.

I grew up very religious. When I got older I realized a great deal of what was happening in the church I grew up in was hypocritical and corrupt, and I backed off of my dogmatic thinking a great deal. In spite of that, however, I have always made certain that my political philosophy was not in conflict with my personal belief systems. Once I began thinking through political philosophy as it applies to whole societies of people, I have had to make sure that it does not conflict with any one’s faith or personal belief system.

Several well known libertarians are atheistic or agnostic, especially outspoken ones like Christopher Hitchens and others. Many of the early libertarians were resisting the religious right and the personal freedoms that group attempted to restrict, as well as the socialistic mindsets of the liberals and the fascist/corporatist mindsets of the authoritarian conservatives. The libertarian platform firmly believes that there should be no victimless crimes. If one is only hurting oneself, one should be allowed to do whatever one wishes. These factors make the LP a little abrasive to most conservatives, particularly those with strong moral stances who have not been historically opposed to certain pieces of morally motivated legislation.

When I was looking at the LP, I realized that regardless of my own beliefs, I was able to embrace what I believed to be the core philosophy of the libertarian platform. I too do not believe in victimless crime. I do not believe in government involvement in matters of religion or faith. My reasoning is two-fold. Firstly, history has proven that government and religion have disastrous results when they mix. Some of the greatest atrocities in human history were carried out in the name of “God” or some sort of belief system that was integrated with government and used as an excuse to wield power. The Inquisition, the Crusades, and a variety of other wars and atrocities are the result of government use of religion to motivate and justify people to commit horrible acts. Even the Holocaust was an act accepted by the people because of blind faith. It was blind faith in nationalism and the propaganda of government, but it represented a belief system that was enforced by the government, rather than one that people came to on their own. Power corrupts, and adding the power of faith to the already dangerous authority that governments wield is a bad combination.

The other reason for a separation of church and state is the protection of the faith itself. True faith comes from within, not from following a set of rules. If people are being moral only to follow the law, that may still lead to moral decisions, but it does nothing for the soul of the person. Perhaps even more importantly, the tenets of faith or the base concepts of a religion must be protected from government structuring. The Catholic Church, while it has done great things in human history, was not only used by the government, it was created by one. The early Christian faith was nothing like the catholic church with all of its hierarchy and structure, that was developed when Emperor Constantine declared Christianity the State Religion in Rome. That officiating of the Christian faith lead to a complete change in its operation and structure, one that, according to Martin Luther and other early Protestants, was a severe corruption and deviation from the Christianity that Jesus intended. You can agree with their position on that or not, but you cannot deny that the face of Christianity was forever changed when the Catholic Church was formed, and it was formed because of government involvement. The best way to protect ones faith and the souls of those around you is to keep it out of law.

That being said, there is nothing wrong with a person of faith being in government. In fact, the use of the argument of “separation of church and state” to restrict the election of persons of faith, or worse, to restrict the actions of persons of faith who are in government is a corruption of the meaning, and is a violation of the first amendment rights of those citizens in government. To say that an elected official cannot pray in public lest he be seen as supporting a certain religion and therefore violating a separation of church and state is a direct violation of his rights as a citizens to act on his religious beliefs.

The best way to forge a separation is to determine the basis of what laws should be in place. Many moral positions, such as the idea that stealing is wrong, are also rights granted to a free society. The right to property is considered necessary for a free market to function properly, and is a key aspects of personal freedom and motivation. The fact that it is a moral precept does not mean that there should be no laws against stealing. There will always be some overlap. The basis for law should be the protection of the freedom of the citizenry, and the rights that go along with that. Laws that facilitate a free society, such as laws protecting contracts and transactions, laws against fraud and false advertising, laws against assault, threats, murder, etc. are all laws that, while they could be considered moral, are more importantly in place to protect the freedoms of individuals in our society.

A good example of a law that is not a legitimate part of government is the big debate over same-sex marriage. The biggest issue with this debate is the false dichotomy that is represented in the debate. On the one side is opening up marriage to any couple of age, regardless of gender, on the other is the use of law to define marriage in the more traditional sense. The real issue is that government should not be involved in marriage at all. The only reason it is involved is because many of our laws were imported from Great Britain. We declared our independence and set up our constitution, but many aspects of our legal system and legal proceedings are based on traditional British legal concepts. Marriage licenses are just one of many examples. The real debate is whether government should be involved in marriage at all. Marriage is a faith-based institution. It has been a sacred part of many different belief systems. One’s own beliefs should define marriage, not some law. Defining marriage for one group violates the beliefs of another group if it is done through law. If it is not, then no one’s definition of marriage steps on the toes of anyone else’s definition. Of course there are aspects of marriage that have legal repercussions, i.e. division of property, custody of children, etc. upon the death of a spouse or termination of the marriage. Such legal aspects could, however, be handled through a legal contract. Some such contracts could even be entered into without a marriage being involved. Joint ownership of material possessions and custody of children may be a lifelong agreement between two or more parties such as godparents and parents, or any number of other lifelong contractual arrangements. The only restrictions would be that the persons involved would have to be of age and of sound mind to enter such a contract. The idea of sex or intimate love or a commitment before God is not a necessary part of such an arrangement. Thus, government can handle the part that it should and no more.

That is just one example, but the bottom line is that government should be in place to protect the freedom and rights of the individual from other individuals or entities, no more, no less. Anything else is a corruption of what government is designed to do, and is an expansion that like all expansion of authority and consolidation of power, is highly dangerous. The libertarian position is that individuals are free to practice their faith or belief system or religion as they see fit, providing it does not violate the rights of another individual. Anything more than this is a violation of a seperation between church and state as well as the first amendment. If you want others to join you in your faith, it is up to you to convince them, not to pass laws to force them. If you want to see a change in society, be that change you want to see in the world, do not seek the easy path of power to enforce your vision. If your vision cannot stand on its own merit, then perhaps you need to look closer at the vision, not find new ways to force it on others. Trust your faith, if it is real then it will stand. If you cannot trust it, then you yourself do not truly believe it.

So there you have the first part of his multipart series on Libertarian Conservatives. He has already posted the second part of the article, and I highly encourage you to visit his site and read it. I do not intend to steal the second part and post it here 🙂 . And when you do read it there, be sure to leave some thoughts for Jon. He is always eager for feedback on the thoughts that he posts. I hope that you will all find time to regularly visit his site and give his articles a read. Believe me, you do not have to be a Libertarian to read and learn there. I have probably learned more about the Libertarian party from Jon and Kent than from any other source. And I continue to read Jon’s stuff to keep up to date. You can visit Jon’s site via the link in my blogroll over there on the right or you can click the link here and it will open up a new window for you:

The Libertarian Blog by Jon Smith

So let’s talk a little bit about what Jon has said above and about the Libertarian party in general. Feel free to go over and read part two and discuss that as well. Just for the record, I will probably not be writing Friday night as I work late. If that becomes the case, however, I will still post a thread for you all to have discussions about anything that you want to talk about!

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Comments

  1. First!

    Sorry, couldn’t resist. Besides I needed to post for comments!

    • LOL…. it’s tough to beat CyndiP !

      • I have an unfair advantage: GMT+12 😉 Although it didn’t help me this time. I opted for boyfriend face time last night. Sorry USW. I stood you up, Man…

    • Posting for comments as well. Jon, well written article! I agree that Govt. has no business in religion of any kind. I’ll post more later today, but will follow along.

      Have a Great Day! 🙂

      G!

    • me too – Thanks

  2. On a more serious note, I actually registered Libertarian once, just to give them support for getting ballot access. I’m not currently registered to vote nor have I ever actually voted.

    If a true L/libertarian government could exist I would much prefer it to the one we have now. However I think in the end, even if you start the pebble almost all the way up the slippery slope, it will eventually find its way down into the cesspool at the bottom.

    • DKII,

      Interesting comment about the pebble. I often think, however, that the problem is that we start the wrong kind of pebble at the top. If we were to start one that truly embraces individual liberty, we may actually find that it rolls down into a cavern of good futures. The problem isn’t the cesspool at the bottom, it is that the pebble we begin with starts at the top already intending to roll down into it.

      While I know BF will be glad to hear that you haven’t voted, I am interested in hearing why you have made that choice.

      Will check in again later. It is almost 6:00 am here and I need to get a few hours sleep before I go to work.

      USW

      • USW……I am sure there is a discussion on your blog concerning voting before I got here and the reasons against it…..can you point me to a date or something? I would like to know more about this “not” voting and the justification and reasons for it from the perspective of people. Thanks…sir. In my 40 years of military service, this will be only the 9th Christmas that I have spent at home. Looking forward to it.

        But, to my brothers in arms that are on duty, here and abroad…..Merry Christmas. (even tho it still is a week away).

        D13

        • From the Desk of Mrs. Weapon,
          D13, we are glad to have you home. God Bless you for all the work you have done in the name of this country. There are still those who believe in your fight and appreciate everything you have done. Thank you again!

          Happy Christmas,
          Mrs. Weapon

      • I think if we were to find such a pebble and place it high enough, it wouldn’t really be a government anymore anyway.

      • Didn’t actually answer the 2nd part – over the years there’ve been several reasons to not vote (living in a place where it felt like my vote didn’t count anyway, not liking any candidates). These days I’ve been mostly disgusted with the system in general so refuse to participate in it.

        • I haven’t voted in a long time too, and for almost all of the same reasons. I’d run down to the voting booth if I heard any local candidates taking libertarian stances (regarless of party). I just moved from the bay area of California to montgomery county in Maryland, I don’t think I’m going to be running to vote anytime soon 😦

          I looked into the libertarian party here in MD, they don’t seem to be doing much in my area (Germantown, MD). Until the movement gains more momentum this area has probably been written off as a lost cause.

    • I agree that the pebble will eventually find its way down the slope. Many of our founding fathers did too, hence the 2nd amendment. No government will last forever without slipping into corruption, be it the result of power hungry persons in leadership or a complacent and ignorant populace or both. I would certainly like to see the pebble reset to the top of the slope, however. It is high time our operating system had a good reformat and reinstall, or at least a reboot. I am not one to say we can operate as a society without government (sorry BF), but I do think we are way overdue on fixing or rebuillding the one we have.

      • Jon Smith:

        I saved your site in my favorites and will try to read it daily.

        I am beginning to think that government will not work. Maybe it’s time we try a No Government approach. If it does not work, you can always go back to limited government but must recognize that it will not be limited very long. I read somewhere that government is like a tiger cub at first. Everyone would like to hold a cute tiger cub and the cub is easy to control. Over time, the cub grows into a tiger and cannot be easily controlled.

      • Jon

        And USW, et al:

        “I agree that the pebble will eventually find its way down the slope. Many of our founding fathers did too, hence the 2nd amendment. No government will last forever without slipping into corruption, be it the result of power hungry persons in leadership or a complacent and ignorant populace or both.”

        In affect you are admitting that the “nature” of man is to control and to be controlled. If this is the case then you are making an argument either for:

        A: NO Government, or
        B: TOTAL Government (like we have now).

        Your conclusion about the nature of MAN would not support the need for freedom or liberty, thus TOTAL Government becomes the only answer consistent with the universe.

        We must be carefule when we explain why man would allow the pebble to slide back. Is it really our nature? Or, is it because we have stopped thinking?

        Hope you well today.
        JAC

        • I do not agree that an admission that man’s nature is to control advocates total government or anarchy. Man seeks power due to greed and the desire to be lazy. Others allow power over them because they are lazy. Laziness is a negative aspect of mankind, as it results in failure. Failure of society, failure of the individual, etc. The fix is to stop being lazy, but such an attitude comes from necessity or passion. Such necessity does not exist when things are good. So. When a society is reset and running well, it will slide again because the comfortable and happy become lazy and stop thinking.

          • Hi Jon,

            You’ve got me wanting to find out more about the LP.

            I think you’re right about society sliding because people have become comfortable and lazy.

      • I should also add, that if you could find a way to make all “taxes” voluntary, eliminate all victimless crimes, convert the justice system to one truly of justice instead of vengeance, and probably a host of other things I can’t think of off the top of my head, that would go a long way towards keeping the pebble at the top, so to speak.

        I’m not sure whether or not full anarchy would be a stable or unstable equilibrium, for that matter, either. It could be that once you get “close enough” then people would learn to live without some higher entity telling them what to do all the time and outgrow the need for government, allowing it to dissolve harmlessly away over time.

        • I’ve recently become aware of post anarchism, and from what I’ve found so far I find quite a bit to agree with. I’m still a libertarian politically, but just thought your comments about people outgrowing the need for a government reminded me about alot of the reading I’ve been doing lately.

          Have you read anything by Stefan Molyneux? I’ve just started reading some of his books: http://www.freedomainradio.com/About.aspx

  3. Thanks, USW, for the glowing endorsement, I hope that I am worthy of it. 🙂

    • Jon, very interesting. I have not ever read anything concerning the Libertarian Party. The only exposure that I have had towards that is from some of the Libertarians that seem to go far beyond the article I just read; however, in fairness, I will read your articles. Thank you for your posts.

      D13.

    • Jon,

      Your libertarian society has much that appeals to me (despite my statist tendancies). I am curious, however. How does you society handle the following:

      National defense. Some argue that nobody would attack us if we weren’t doing anything wrong, but I think you’d have to agree that’s ridiculous. We have resources and a nation like China would have no qualms about invading us if they thought it advantageous were it not for our military prowess. Some people argue that, because we are armed, they wouldn’t be able to take over, but they would certainly still be able to, say, seize a mine or oil field.

      Pollution controls. Some have argued that if a neighboring factory is polluting, I should arrange a boycott of its goods as a means of coercion. If, however, they are marketing to a broad constituency or provide vital goods, how am I to ensure that they do not create a toxic environment. Who sets the standards and how are they enforced?

      Non-contractual disputes between individuals. Do you still have courts? If I claim that someone stole something from me, how do I go about getting it back? If my neighbor’s tree falls in my yard and damages my house but refuses to pay, how do I enforce a judgment?

      Crime control. People have repeatedly said that you watch your neighbors’ houses and they watch yours, everyone is armed and you just kill trespassers, but I find this unrealistic. If I am at work, it is very plausible that someone can break into my house without Mrs. Kravitz noticing. Am I suppose to hire private detectives to track down the culprit? What do I do once I have found him? Likewise if I am assaulted or the victim of a hit and run auto accident?

      Fire protection. If my house catches fire, that’s my problem. However. If my house catches fire, it becomes a severe danger to my neighbors. Given this, game theory suggests that it’s to no one’s personal advantage to have “private” fire protection, but rather to rely on neighbors because they will have to protect you as well. I can clarify this point, but you strike me as intelligent and probably get where I’m going. How then, do you propose to protect society from fire (and other natural disasters)?

      Public education. Home schooling, in some cases, is sufficient education. But most people would be incapable of providing this service – due to work, single parenting, or lack of education in the provider. Given the nature of globalization, we need an educated workforce and since many parents cannot afford private education, how do you reconcile this?

  4. A Puritan Descendant says:

    I have a problem with Gay Marriage. I think my problem would go away if Gay ‘Marriage’ simply used a different name.

    I believe marriage traditionally was intended to be between a man and a woman. Not between two men, two woman, a man and his goat, dog… None of which leads to a real family.

    This leads to destruction of a long and working tradition. A tradition our Patriot Fathers surely took for granted. They could not have possibly thought of Gay ‘Marriage’ ever becoming a reality.

    How about just calling it something else? This way a tradition which this country was founded on can live on.

    And finally, I am ‘Mind Blown’ that I even have to make this argument to begin with. I am no longer in Kansas…. LOL

    Gotta run…. bbl

    • Buck The Wala says:

      First: Jon, great article – very interesting and I’ll have to read up a bit more on your site.

      Second: Gay Marriage — the problem with simply calling it something else is that government endorses marriage. Marriage traditionally may have been more of a religious term, but now it is fully intertwined with the state. A civil union is not the same thing as a marriage. By granting special status to one, and not the other, the government is discriminating against gay couples.

      My solution is probably more of a hybrid between yours and Jon’s: Government should, and must, recognize any union between two people solely in order to confer tax rights, visitation rights in hospital, survivorship rights, etc. etc. etc. Government should not be making a distinction as to marriage versus civil union versus anything else. ‘Marriage’ can then be left back to the church. In order to gain government recognition, merely have any two individuals sign a contract of sorts holding themselves out to be a single entity going forward. Send that form in to the government and wa-la, done!

      • A Puritan Descendant says:

        Buck, not bad! Sounds ok with me for now unless I am missing something.

      • I feel a little like Charlie at this moment -I’m gonna post this and then duck for cover-I keep hearing this argument that civil unions aren’t treated the same way legally as marriage but obviously they could be with a law and a stroke of a pen- but the gay community isn’t fighting to get equal treatment under the law through civil unions instead they have chosen to fight the established definition of a long held tradition of this country ,all I can draw from this is that they are fighting for societal acceptance not equality-I suspect with more time they will achieve societies acceptance but right now that doesn’t seem to be the case.

        • Buck The Wala says:

          Sure, with the stroke of a pen, marriage and civil unions could have all of the same rights. But even having the government call the two by different names (this is a ‘married’ couple; this is a ‘civil union’ couple) is a form of discrimination.

          Why not get rid of both terms and merely call everyone a ‘wedded’ couple?

          • Because we are a republic and I believe that society has a right, as long as it doesn’t take away an individual’s rights, to make a distinction between a union based on a definitive definition. I do not see this as discrimination, I have been sitting here trying to think of another situation where I would feel it was discriminatory to do so but I haven’t been able to think of one, if you can you might be able to change my mind. I will admit that my thoughts on this debate are not set in stone but somewhere in all this discussion the majority rule comes into play-so I can’t help but feel that we owe all people equal rights but not necessarily an equal definition that brings with it a form of societal acceptance that doesn’t exist.

          • Freedom of speech, as a Christian, I feel I have a claim on the name “marriage” and it being limited to describing the union of a man and woman. I have no issue with what man/man or woman/woman wish to title their union unless they try to take my name by government force.

            I suspect that as society evolves, it will be a moot point.

            • A Puritan Descendant says:

              Evolves or descends? 😉

              • Not for me to judge? Can it be both?

              • History says it will descend and that society will view that descent as an evolution . . . until tragedy, anarchy, and self-absorption force a return to morality. And the proof of it is the defense that many here will readliy contribute to prove that I am wrong.

            • Buck The Wala says:

              Freedom of speech gives you the right to declare yourself in a marriage. Shouldn’t that same freedom be granted to gay couples? Why must they be referred to as a ‘civil union’ if they desire to be called a ‘marriage’?

              • Granted by whom? I can choose to agree as an individual or not. The problem comes when the government steps in and “forces” me to agree with their changing the meaning of a sacred word. And threatens to punish me for speaking against that, can I teach my children that marriage is between a man and woman? Or must I be silent, lest I offend someone.

                Which is not the same as saying
                being gay is wrong. I have no problem saying they are partners or other, and have no intention of teaching hate or intolerance.

              • LOI – no one “forces” you to call them anything. No one “forces” you to interact with them at all, if that’s your wish. But by a similar measure you cannot force them to not call themselves what they wish as well.

              • DKII,

                If they use the government to legalize gay marriage, they are using the government to force their views
                on society as a whole. I do not think the schools should be teaching
                sexual orientation to 2nd graders.

                http://www.cultureandfamily.org/articledisplay.asp?id=448&department=CFI&categoryid=cfreport

              • LOI – Government shouldn’t be running schools in the first place, so that’s a different argument entirely. Step back and think about whether you have a problem with what other people call themselves, or a problem with the government teaching your children whatever they want, and forcing you to pay for it whether you want to or not.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                Of course you can define marriage as between a man and a woman. Teach that to your children; its your right.

                But the government should not have a say into what ‘marriage’ is. That’s why I’m for either extending ‘marriage’ as far as the government is concerned to include all, or for coming up with a new term for government to use, such as ‘wedded’.

        • vH – “separate but equal” has already been struck down, as I recall. By allowing the government to meddle in the affairs of marriage in the first place, the religious community has given up control over the practice and are no longer in any position to deny it to anyone (except by government decree, of course).

          Just be wary about using the government club to deny something to one group, for it can easily be turned around on your own group next.

          • v. Holland says:

            I am certainly wary but I’m talking within the framework of what we have now-we are a Republic which means our laws are going to be based on majority rule(or in reality more on Congress rule) unless they are proven to be discriminatory(at least that’s the way it is suppose to be). Whatever the religious “gave” to the government, they gave it too the government under a definitive definition and besides if it was given it was given by the majority, whether the majority was the religious is really irrelevant. Isn’t it a shame when we have to qualify our speech based on what is, instead of what legally should be.

            • vH – Laws based on majority rule alone are almost always immoral.

              If a majority votes to make it legal to kill left-handed people at will and take all of their possessions, does that make it right?

              And reciprocity applies here – if you use the government to take away the rights of others, someone will then be able to use the government to take away your rights. You gave the government the power to take away the rights of others – there is no “take-backs” when that power is then turned against you.

              If we take all Republicans and put them in “indoctrination centers” and then send all Democrats to “school”, is it still separate but equal? Where could this principle of yours not be applied?

              • v. Holland says:

                If the Constitution is followed -it trumps majority rule if it takes away individual rights-in the above you seem to be talking about a dictatorship not a Republic, although I will grant you that we are starting to resemble one.

              • vH – Yes but according to your Supreme Court which interpreted your Constitution, “separate but equal” is not actually equal. So you cannot argue your “separate but equal” policy by referencing the Constitution, because it’s already been struck down by that same document.

                And I’m speaking about all governments, whether they are an open dictatorship or hiding behind a republic, they all behave the same way at the core – if you give them the power to do something to someone else, that power will eventually be turned on yourself as well.

              • v. Holland says:

                Well, this is not the only time I have disagreed with the Supreme Courts interpretation of the Constitution. 🙂

              • v. Holland says:

                Hold up-I just looked this up and all I can find that the Court ruled on concerning separate but equal was segregation of our school systems based on race-has this point been argued in court based on gay marriage – just because people start saying separate but equal in relationship to gay marriage doesn’t mean it is.

              • That case would be a precedent for any other “separate but equal” issue. The Court essentially ruled that “separate but equal” it not actually equal, and thus the equal protection clause applies and strikes it down.

              • v. Holland says:

                I understand that a lawyer would use it as a precedent-not sure the court would have to agree, the situations in my opinion aren’t the same-but if what you say is true then why isn’t gay marriage legal per the Supreme Court?

              • The Court can only rule on cases that are brought before it – no such case has.

                I had thought that after California passed Prop 8 that we would see a court challenge to it, but that hasn’t happened so far. I suspect that gay marriage proponents are afraid that the Supreme Court may rule against them and make gay marriage effectively illegal everywhere – undoing all the progress they’ve made so far. Since they’re already winning the battle slowly anyway, why take that chance?

              • v. Holland says:

                Which is part of my point-why keep fighting the majority and go for equality thru civil unions-with time society will except the concept and at that point no one will care about two definitions the only difference will be descriptive. If society doesn’t except the concept-they will still have equal rights under the law-seems like a win win for the people involved.

              • v. Holland says:

                Gotta go for awhile-will check back later to see if you have a response. 🙂 Have a good night.

      • Oh no, it’s Mathius…

        My two cents:

        Separate but equal is not equal.

        You do not get to decide what I get to call my relationship. You do not get to use government to maintain your religious-based status quo.

        Now, here’s where I’m going to veer of into uncomfortable territory: Why should marriage be between only two people? Why not 3? 5? 10? 14 and a goat? Why not me and my car? (I do love my car..) Why should your puritan ideas regarding the concept of “family” govern what I am allowed to do with my concept of family? Why should it be life-long rather than for a set term (Islamic nations do this). Why not separate the parts out (sexual fidelity / cohabitation / property sharing / health care proxy / et cetera)?

        • v. Holland says:

          Please explain to me why separate but equal is not equal.

          • See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_v_board

            But I’ll give another answer. If I say that what I have is a marriage, but what you have is “something else,” it implies that there is something different about my love for my wife and your love for your partner.

            Gay people love their spouses every bit as much as heterosexuals do. The only difference is that the genders are opposite instead of the same. They acknowledge the distinction with the prefix gay-marriage. But marriage denotes only two-person union (though obviously, I think it should be broader still).

            Think about it a different way. If we acknowledge that there is no substantive difference between hetero- and homosexuals, as there is none between various races, would you be ok with the following: white people are referred to as the parents of their offspring, but Latinos can only be referred to as “legal care-givers” of their offspring. After all, the two groups are different groups. And the two titles do not draw a distinction in rights. So is this acceptable to you? Why/why not?

            • v. Holland says:

              I find most of your reasoning based on societal perceptions not lack of equality under law- and if we are a Republic where the majority has a voice and a vote to determine societal norms within the framework of the Constitution-then how is it legally wrong to define a union based on an exact definition as long as the rights are equal.

              As far as the parent example-being white or Latino or whatever doesn’t change the excepted definition of parent-where gay-marriage does change the definition of marriage- a long held tradition of this country. Where do you feel the majority rule fits into this discussion?

              • Majority rule doesn’t fit into the equation. Wrong is wrong. Segregation was wrong and it didn’t matter one bit what the majority thought. They were wrong and what was right was legislated.

              • v. Holland says:

                Majority rule does have a place unless you can prove that the other option discriminates and if the two forms of unions are equal under the law -how can it be discrimination.

              • For starters, they’re not equal. But even if they were, you argue a negative test and I argue a positive test.

                That is, I think you should only be able to treat groups as different if there is a viable reason for doing so. You seem to think that you can treat groups as different unless there is a viable reason against doing so. See the difference?

                But here’s where we run into trouble: shouldn’t the onus to treat a group differently be on the government when it chooses to do so? If they said everyone whose last name is Holland can only have civil unions, you would demand to know why you should be classified differently. Would you be satisfied if they told you that there’s no difference, it’s just a name?

              • v. Holland says:

                I agree they are not equal at this time , this whole discussion is premised on the idea that they can be thru Civil Unions- I don’t know from negative or positive but I will say just who decides what reason is viable if the unions are equal if not the majority. We keep coming back to the same argument, if the unions are equal under law who decides, I say it’s the majority, you say who?

            • v. Holland says:

              Plus-Your use of “separate but equal isn’t equal” seems to be based more on a moral basis than a legal one-somewhat like the Christian stance when they say gay unions of any type shouldn’t be allowed based on their religious beliefs.

              • Morally, I think they’re exactly the same. Practically, I think they’re exactly the same. Thus, legally, I think they should be treated exactly the same.

              • v. Holland says:

                In other words it is okay to base laws on a moral stance as long as it’s your moral stance.

              • As long as that morality is based on logic and reason rather than a 2000 year old heavily edited book, sure.

                Convince me, using logic, that there’s a good reason the government should treat marriage differently between gay and straight people and I will back off of my position.

                All I hear from the other side is: it’s tradition (so was slavery), marriage is sacred (to you, maybe, to me it’s a legal contract), homosexuality is an abomination (says leviticus – but it also says that about planting different crops side-by-side), it will destroy traditional marriage (please provide a citation), etc etc etc..

                The light of logic is king. I’m just fine legislating morality IF it is logically derived and it affects other people.*

                *for example, if we found that prostitution were immoral (a position I do not hold, by the way), I would not be ok with legislating against it because it is a consensual act between two competent actors and it doesn’t hurt anyone else. However, stealing hurts other people and thus can be legislated against. Capice?

              • v. Holland says:

                I do understand-but our system is based on majority rule unless the law takes away individual freedoms-not anyone’s moral values whether they be based on religion or logic-now DK tells me the Supreme Court has ruled against me-what can I say they have been wrong before 🙂

      • I agree with you this time Buck. I’ve mentioned a similar solution in the past.

        (I’ve agreed with Buck??? OMG!!! Where’s that disinfectant shower Matt mentioned the other day?……)

        🙂

        • Buck The Wala says:

          Wow, agreement with Cyndi! I’m on a role here! I guess it was bound to happen, but still shocking!

          How’s your day going, by the way?

          • Yes it is shock. Prove of God’s existance and his sense of humor!

            My day is good so far. I’m using one of my company mandated unpaid furlough days but that’s okay, There was a good amount of over time recently so that makes up for it. The day is still young here. We have a Christmas party at the Yacht Club this afternoon. Don’t get too jealous, the Yacht Club is little more than shack with a covered patio. Still, the beach is really nice. So, I’ll be soaking up the sun and goodies this afternoon. I just wish this headache would go away….

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      @ Puritan Descendant – I often cringe when I hear notions of ‘traditional marriage’ and ‘traditional family’. I accept and promote the idea that our Patriot Fathers most certainly did not always ‘get it right’. ‘Traditional family’ has been skewed so much over the years that it is an art to nail down exactly what that means anymore. But know that for some of those Fathers – it would not be extended to include the female slaves they impregnated. I could care less what they may have envisioned as traditional – that’s just a term used to jackpot someone you don’t agree with.

      And perhaps I do side with Jon a bit on this. Perhaps a legal contract is more apropos than the realm of ‘marriage’ such that other business transactions and legal recognitions are not suffered. I think more of it has to do with the vernacular and symbolism. Do two gay people want to be referred to as ‘legally contracted’ or ‘married’ or maybe somewhere in between such as ‘wedded’.

      Okay – need more coffee

      • 🙂 you crack me up Ray. Wonder how much Norman Rockwell played a role in the “traditional” definition? (recalling the covers of the Saturday evening Post) Fireplaces, husband/wife, two children, barking dog, laying cat, snowflakes on the window sills, Christmas stockings hung by the chimney with care, milk and cookies by the Christmas Tree, the ‘Victrola” in the background, egg nog w/o alcohol on the Victorian style end table, full moon and bright starlit sky, carolers outside the window, short hairstyles for men, shoulder length for women, cardigan sweaters, and smiles on the faces while listening to Lawrence Welk music…..

      • A Puritan Descendant says:

        Ray, I take it you are not a descendant of John Hawkins the slave trader? 😉

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          @ Puritan – Not by blood. My birth name was more French (Bartlette) than the English Hawkins – and I am more Icelandic + Ojibwa than anything else.

          • A Puritan Descendant says:

            Ray, I have an ancestor “Richard Bartlett” who died 1647. He is supposed to be from England but some of the English actually were from the French Protestant Huguenots who escaped France’s Catholic population. Ancestrial research can be fascinating.

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              @ Puritan – I have an Uncle who is the family genealogist (on Mom’s side). The Icelanders, the Germans and Ojibwa are fairly well traced. The Irish and French a lot less so. I do find it fascinating.

    • The challenge, Puritan, is when a group uses the power of government to enforce a tradition, you automatically grant the power to government on enforce other traditions upon you, too, that you probably will not like.

      If Group A calls what they do XYZ and Group B calls what they do XYZ – why do they have to go to ‘war’ (proverbial or real) over the word XYZ?

      The real issue of XYZ is that government has used the word to grant one group of people special grants and excluded others.

      This special group is jealous and doesn’t want anyone else to have these grants.

      The other group is envious of these grants of government and wants them.

      So, really its all about fighting over some government grant of stolen loot.

      Guess what I think about that.

      • A Puritan Descendant says:

        I am not to worried about American traditions being forced on myself. I do worry greatly about non – traditional laws being forced on me. I’m sure you don’t need any examples. One of my fears is today’s ‘anything goes’ attitude. I think it can be dangerous.

        • Because you agree with the traditions, with them “being forced” on you is the same as pouring beer down the throat of an alcoholic…. there would rarely be a complaint – because you already agree.

          But because you do not see the force that you agree with, you tend to see the force merely one-way; only when it works against you.

          Recognize that your traditions are being forced on other, and by your agreement to it – whether you see or not – allows others to force themselves on you.

          • See, I knew if I stuck around here long enough, I’d agree with the resident pirate on something. 🙂

            • Mathius,

              You agree with everything I say.

              You merely have 10,000 years of dogma in the way.

              Hopefully, it won’t take 10,000 years to remove it.

              • I’m a quick study. It would take much less time if you were actually correct on some issues. But then, I think we’re good for eachother. You’ll pull me right and I will try to pull you left (just a smidge will do).

  5. Common Man says:

    All;

    In the course of the last several months I have expanded my mind a great deal. In addition, I have also thrown out a great deal of “stinking thinking” which festered over the years. This blog and those that participate in it have encouraged me to re-think, and as a result re-ground.

    Thank you all!

    Years ago a former boss encouraged me to consider the Libertarian Party because the Republican Party was quickly becoming only a faction of the Democratic Party. I gave it some thought, but decided I would, at best, be waisting a vote, since no Libertarian running for office had a chance of winning. The Libertarian Party was too radical for true Conservative’s and would be shunned as a result. Their ideals on Gay Marriage, limited government, legalized drugs, etc, would turn moral people away. So, voting for Libertarian’s running for office would only serve to strengthen the Democratic candidates tally, by reducing the Republican’s.

    In the years that followed I have come to realize that in reality the Libertarian was more insightful of government, it’s ‘progressive’ nature, desire to control, and destructive habits. Interestingly as well, their core ideologies are truthfully more in line with our founding fathers, and my re-grounded ones.

    Although I may not totally agree with some of the Libertarian belief’s, I can support their overall philosophy. That does not mean I would unilaterly support all Libertarian’s running for office, because that party, like all others, is made up of individuals; all of which require individual scutiny.

    This goes along with the lessons endeared by our own BF; no vote. We, as individuals and then in a group as like minded individuals, should only support those representatives who mirror our core belief’s regardless of party lines. (Now, I will add here that I don’t believe 99% of those currently seated deserve any support, because they are so far corrupt, leaving them in office would only further our nations demise). Each of us need to take the time to research each and every individual running for any and all offices (local, state and federal), and then cast a vote for only those that meet our criteria. If there are none running that meet those criteria then we need to either write in “None of the above” (were applicable) or not cast a vote. We can no longer pick the lesser of two evils; for we are still choosing evil.

    If we take the time to investigate we realize that party lines are only a minor factor when choosing a Representative. It is their individual track record that counts.

    Listen to the tongue in the mouth, but more importantly watch the direction of the tongue in the shoes for the latter is their true directive.

    In closing I would like to wish each and every person adorning this site a wonderful Christmas, Hanukah, or whatever belief you celibrate this time of year. I wish for each of you health, joy, wonderment, peace, strength, prosperity, and enduring wisdom. May God bless you all.

    CM

  6. Question … Does Jon actually “vote” Libertarian when the time comes to make a choice? I know many on my side of the spectrum claim they will vote socialist, but then opt for the Democratic Party from fear of Republicans winning. This is not a trick question. I am hammered for voting socialist (or Nader in Presidential elections) because most on the left feel it is a wasted vote (in effect, a vote for the Republican Party). I am not doubting Jon’s sincerety but I am curious as to which way he votes when it comes time to pull a lever.

    • How do, Charlie….everything ok in your part of the universe?

      • Hey, D … I’m 400 pages from the end of Atlas Shrugged … this just 3 weeks after reading The Fountainhead … so I’ve been busy.

        All is good, except things are slow again at work (always in the back of my mind–another layoff).

        How about yourself? Getting ready for Christmas? My wife finished her nursing finals last night (one more year and we can start planning to flee the big city), so she’s prepping for a Christmas party tomorrow we’re having (big snowfall expected).

        • I am actually going to enjoy it this year from the standpoint that there is no agenda except grand kids and significant humanoid female other.

          I will be carrying no weapons (other than the permitted one), no enemy to sight on, no air strikes to contend with, no body bags to properly tag, no MRE meals, no iodine laced water, no body armor, not having to worry about snipers or IED’s….. a great holiday time coming up. Great food and some family around. I am lucky.

          • @ Bama Dad……….then I will get ready for Texas to kick your butt and for you to wear the T shirt…….bwaahahahahahahaha!!!!!

            BTW…Ingram deserved it. Great running back.

    • I do pull the lever for libertarians when the option is there, I have been doing so for nearly 10 years. In the last 5 years I have been voting third party or writing in even if there was no libertarian on the ballot. I, like you, have gotten flack for supposedly voting “for democrats” by cassting a vote that was not republican, or “wasting my vote”. I believe that the only wasted vote is the one not cast. The message sent by a vote boycott is unclear, indistinguishable from the vote not cast due to laziness or ignorance or complacency. Change requires action. My response to those saying that I am hurting the republican party is that I am glad of that, since they have slipped into corruption and authoritarianism. As for risking a “worse evil” getting into office, I say that freaking out over the outcome of a single election and voting on fear is shortsighted and without conviction. We are losing our freedoms because of fear, and fear of the greater of two evils on election day is one of the ways that is happenning.

      • Well, I’m with you, brother. Especially on avoiding the lesser of two evils nonsense. That attitude requires we stay mired in the muck we’ve created by staying mired in the muck (so to speak).

        And I have become very upset with the waste of/in government … so I don’t mind it small … but I do want it efficient. I’m not so far adrift of your choice except for a few things … but I refuse to vote for either of the two major parties ever again (I’ve voted for both–lifelong Dem until Clinton’s 2nd term–I abstained, then voted for Bush twice). Last election I voted for Nader (even though I do not agree with some of his platform).

        Next one I may run myself!

        All best to you, Jon … and Good luck!

      • Joh;

        I understand the issue with voting pure Libertarian as a voice for change, and as an indication of lost faith for the Democratic or Republican party. However if the Libertarian is worse than either of the other choices, casting a party vote only continues to further our nations demise. Replacing a habitual theif with a lesser theif only results in less initial theft.

        As a people we need to send a message to the government that their evil ways must stop, and we will no longer stand for non-representing representation. Voting for the lesser of two evils has strongly contributed to this nations current problem.

        If the choices provided by a corrupt government ensure they win regardless of how the vote is cast, then we are no longer free men and women, only slaves to a fixed ballot.

        The solution is to work within your jurisdiction to ensure the candidate you want is on the ballott, even if it is as an independent.

        We must educate ourselves and promote our ideals so that we regain the voice and regain the control we were given when our nation was formed.

        CM

        • I did not mean to imply that I pull the lever for any ‘L’ I see, candidates are indeed individuals. I do make sure that I pull the lever though, even if it is a write-in. I do think that a political party is necessary, at least in the system we currently have, simply to handle the organisational aspects of campaigns if nothing else. I agree with your assessment of having to start local and be involved in who gets on the ballot.

          • Jon;

            I wait with eager anticipation for your response to the pirate at #11. If you have not engaged with him in the past be sure to wear your armor; it will help to deflect some of the blows.

            CM

            • CM,

              Jon is an old friend and well aware of my leanings and philosophy.

              He is astute, articulate and skilled.

              I am always on guard in his presence.

              • Thank you BF, I too find myself hard pressed when facing you in debate, which is a wonderful thing. And make no mistake, your “libertarians are dangerous comments will not go unchallenged. 😉

  7. Jon,

    Point of contention, “The real issue is that government should not be involved in marriage at all. The only reason it is involved is because many of our laws were imported from Great Britain. We declared our independence and set up our constitution, but many aspects of our legal system and legal proceedings are based on traditional British legal concepts. Marriage licenses are just one of many examples. The real debate is whether government should be involved in marriage at all.”

    When Europeans first came to the new world, they were looking for quick profit, and the colonies they set up failed with very high loss of life. When England set up religious colonies there was success. These colonies were not tolerant of all or other religious beliefs, they were formed by groups that wished to practice their religion, and would allow no other. They also set up a government that was based on, and often combined with their religion. The “government” would enforce religious laws such as prohibiting “idleness”. Colonist, John Rolfe introduced a strain of tobacco which was successfully exported in 1612, and the financial outlook for the colony soon became much more favorable as colonists developed a profitable tobacco monoculture. Two years later, Rolfe married the young Indian woman Pocahontas. Rolfe was experimenting with tobacco to avoid punishment.

    The problem of government and religion is that they started out as the same body, and we are still trying to figure out how to separate the two.

    http://www.helium.com/items/365177-Colonial-Early-American
    This gives a few short examples.

    • I apologize if I have gotten the history wrong. I do know that many of our early laws on marriage mimicked existing British ones. Regardless, the questions remains whether government should have a hand in marriage in the first place.

      • Jon,

        No apology necessary. I agree with you on the need to separate government and religion, just pointing out that its not so clear cut when you go back to our founding, that government did not “get involved” in religion, chicken/egg, you can’t separate which came first. And nearly every city, town, etc. in America grew from such
        a beginning. The founding fathers did much to reduce the roll of religion and government, but we still are trying to complete that job.

        And that is a complex issue. Should government be involved in marriage in any way? In principal, no, in reality, I sadly advocate YES. Moral behavior should be encouraged.

        “Prolonged welfare dependence reduces children’s IQ levels. Out-of-wedlock childbearing and single parenthood are the principal causes of child poverty and welfare dependence in the U.S. Children raised in single parent families are more likely to: experience behavioral and emotional problems; suffer from physical abuse; engage in early sexual activity, and do poorly in school. Boys raised in single parent households are more likely to engage in crime; girls are more likely themselves to give birth outside of marriage. These effects are the result of the collapse of marriage per se rather than poverty; a poor child living with a mother and father united in marriage will do better than a similar poor child living in a single parent home.” http://www.heritage.org/Research/Welfare/Test031501b.cfm

        In a different world, where government interference had not created a dependent class, government rewarding good behavior would not be a factor. I hope to be shown my mistake in my reasoning here, as this is not a position that I enjoy.

        • I understand your point concerning the positive effects of encouraging moral behavior, however, I do not subscribe to the “one bad law requires another” manner of justification. I was in a lengthy debate last night with a couple friends of mine over the immigration issue. They were in favor of closing the border in large part to make up for problems caused by our social safety nets. They had other, more respectable reasons as well, but I believe that if there is an underlying problem caused by government action then adding more government action or power is a poor solution. The right path is to go after the real problem.

          • As I see it, many problems have been created by government entitlement programs such as welfare.
            Our society prospered with its founding beliefs of
            making your own prosperity. Now we have generations that feel they are “owed” food, housing, and health care. I feel some of these people are devolving into a primitive culture.

            As a citizen of this country, I do not feel it is morally right for me to simply ignore the damage past/present governments have done. So the question is how to correct this in a ethical manner. Simply cutting entitlements would be cruel
            and lead to riots,starvation, etc.. So please tell me how this problem created by government can be resolved except by government? To be clear, I am saying government would enact policies doing away with itself in multiple areas.

            The tax system would need to be the first to be changed, as that is the governments chief weapon for abuse. What happens to welfare, Post Office, public housing, etc. if there is no money? They evolve into a sustaining business, or they cease to exist.

    • Hey, LOI, my friend, top o’ th’ morning to ya…Or, in Texas, Hi ya’ll (plural or singular)…

      Ok…interesting concept on marriage and government intervention or laws promulgating such. Mind if I get really out on the limb here? I have learned from some on this blog how to do that.

      Let us assume that you are totally correct in the portrayal of the history of religion and government in early America.

      Let us further assume that we adopt the theory of NO government interference or definition of marriage. Ok, so, for benefits of marriage with no definitions, where would it stop? Or should it? Who makes the example. Here is the reality of something with no boundaries concerning marriage or contracts for example. If a marriage is not going to be defined as man/woman and it can be man/man, woman/woman….then does it stop there? No boundaries or rules means exactly that….no boundaries or rules. Would this apply to age? Would this apply to non humans? IF you do not define marriage between sexes, then can you define marriage between species without violating your position? (Don’t laugh to hard here) But for the purposes of arguing rules and boundaries, if a man TRULY loves…say his horse and wants to enter into a contract concerning same and there are no boundaries separating that….and this man wants a tax deduction because he cares for the horse, feeds it, shelters it, talks to it, it is a companion, emotionally attached to it, even kisses it on the nose everyday….would your rules apply to here?

      I know it sounds stupid but you know someone would come up with this to test theory or application.

      (No, I do not wish to marry my horse…..the other horses would be jealous.) But you see people all the time leaving wills for their pets and things like that.

      Ok enuff said….will sit back and wait for the explosions.

      • Buck The Wala says:

        Hey D, how’s it going today? Great question on the boundaries if you do remove government from the equation.

        To me, you can’t completely remove government from the equation. What we can do it work to remove government from defining ‘marriage’, and instead having two individuals merely sign a form/contract stating that they are to be treated as one under the law. Since this would still result in some minor government involvement, there would necessarily need to be boundaries. Animals are not individuals and do not have capacity to enter into a legal contract, so that’s not an issue. The issue I see is whether you allow more than two individuals to enter into this contract.

        On this I’m split — Assuming consenting adults, everyone is entitled to make their own choices. But by recognizing these contracts, there would be an affect on tax status and other rights inherent in a marriage. There would have to be discussion on how to extend these rights. Not quite sure how this would be done, but definitely feasible.

        • Buck:

          “But by recognizing these contracts, there would be an affect on tax status and other rights inherent in a marriage.”

          All of which are more govt. Take this out of the equation and your problem is solved.

          What RIGHTS are inherent in a marriage that are not inherent in being single?

          And by the way, my horse can talk so he could consent to a contract if he wanted. I think he has his eyes on a young lady down the road. She sure does spend alot of time leaning on the fence scratching his head.

          Back to serious: What right of ours is infringed, impeded or otherwise impaired or affected by someone else marrying who ever and how many ever they want?

          If our rights are not adversely affected then why oh why would govt have any place in the matter.

          • Buck The Wala says:

            That’s quite a horse you got there!

            We can debate back and forth over whether or not government should be completely removed from the equation. I’m of the impression that it should not be completely removed but should take a more sidelined stance.

            As it stands now, there are many rights inherent in marriage — Mrs. Wala will inherit all of my money (not that there’s much to inherit), she can visit me in the hospital and make life/death decisions concerning my care. Sure I can change all of this with a few simple documents, but there are still certain default rights that are tied to marriage.

            I personally don’t have a problem extending those same rights to more than two individuals; whatever floats your boat.

      • D13:

        Someone marrying their horse is of no conern to me.

        But I won’t be inviting the couple over for dinner in my house. BBQ maybe, as I have a yard big enough for the couple to hang out with the rest of us.

        The issue of children is handled through provisions for “minor” status. Parents permission is required for minors to marry and they must sign contracts on behalf of children. Of course this opens the discussion on the right of others (society) to create such a classification as “minor” or “child”.

        Take the ASSUMED tax deduction for “married” status from your question and then rethink whether a dilemna actually exists.

        By letting Govt leak into your pool you contaminate the entire pool.

        The best to you my Texican friend.
        Hope all is well in the lone star state.
        JAC

        • Hey JAC…of course it does not exist…that is my point. Just having fun with the western philosophy that a horse is a family member. 🙂 I prefer the ladies, however, and if I am going to kiss something, it will be my grandchildren and my significant humanoid female other.

      • The limitation comes into play with respect to a civil union contract. Persons who are not of age and of sound mind cannot enter into legally binding contracts. A civil union contract requires all parties to be within this standard, thus no children or animals could be involved. Thus, any legal status, tax benefits, etc. would not be applicable.

        From the religious standpoint, there would not be those restrictions, but without a legal sanction, a marriage that involved children would not be binding, nor would statutory rape laws be suspended if a marriage to be “consumated”. The same would apply to animal cruelty laws. This means that even if the Loving Church of Animal Rights and Reincarnation recognized and performed a marriage between person and horse, it would not be legally recognized or enforceable, nor would exceptions be made for interaction with the animal that would be considered “cruel” or even statutory rape as the horse cannot be classified as a consenting adult.

        The point is that the limits are there with respect to those who cannot choose a marriage or cannot understand it.

      • D13,

        Is it safe to step into this? Any landmines or pits I will fall into? LOL,
        I assure you I am correct on the history. Put that aside as not so relevant except addressing how to fix the problem.

        First, let me agree with Puritan, marriage is a religious tradition, and ANY laws that seek to change its being between a man and a woman should be rejected. At the same time, using that as an excuse to discriminate against others is wrong as well, so civil unions or whatever name they choose should be a no-brainer. And if someone wants to marry a horse, the day a horse can sign a contract agreeing to that, it should be accepted without comment.(I would bet on a woman marring a stallion) And why are there still laws about who/what/how you can have sex, as long as its behind closed doors. If you don’t force me or my children to watch, why should I have any say?

        The real issue is property, and how the government has established the “right” to impose whatever conditions they want on you actually “owning” any property. You must pay a tax every year, or they can seize it, different rates for tax if married, inheritance tax…

      • Why would you care if someone wanted to “marry” their horse? Are you jealous of their government loot? How else does it affect you?

        Personally I probably wouldn’t associate with someone so unbalanced but I would never force anyone else to do the same, or force the individual to not do as he pleased – it has no impact on me.

      • D13,

        You’re too funny! I take it you’ve seen those people who dress up their dogs and push them around baby strollers? I don’t know if I should laugh or cry when see them in action.

  8. Bottom Line says:

    If

    Candidate is to Representative
    as
    Voter is to Constituency

    and

    Representative is to Constituant’s will
    as
    Constituant’s will is to Representative

    Then

    Candidate is to Constituant’s will
    as
    Constituent is to Candidate’s will

    and

    Representative is to Voter’s will
    as
    Voter’s will is to Representative’s will.

    If

    Party Candidate is to Party Representative
    as
    Voter is to Constituent

    and

    Party Representative is to Party’s will
    as
    Constituant’s will is to Party Representative

    and

    Party Candidate is to Party’s will
    as
    Constituent is to Candidate’s will

    and

    Party Representative is to Party’s will
    as
    Voter’s will is to Party Representative’s will

    Then

    Party’s will must be to constituant’s will
    as
    Constituant’s will is to Party’s will

    and

    Party Representative’s will must be to Voter’s will
    as
    Voter’s will is to Party Representative’s will.

    If Party’s will is not to Constituant’s will

    and

    Party Representative’s will is to Party’s will

    then

    Party Representative’s will must not be to Constituant’s will.

    • Bottom Line says:

      You don’t have to be a Libertarian Party Candidate to be a Libertarian Candidate. You just need Libertarian voters.

      Parties are an unnecessary variable.

  9. The libertarian party has always appealed to me because their platform is based on one underlying principle, so it just makes sense to me. The stance of democrats and republicans on different issues always seemed arbitrary to me.

    My thoughts on gay marriage-
    I can’t believe that most Americans actually care what anyone does in the privacy of their own homes or if they care whether someone can leave their property to their partner when they die or get health insurance or whatever. I think most people vote against gay marriage because they fear giving it “legitimacy”. They worry that if they do this that soon their kids will be celebrating gay history month at school and reading books about homosexuality. They don’t want it crammed down their throats. If their were no public schools or at least a voucher program where you could send your kid to a school of your choice (even a religious one), I think that gay marriage would be less of an issue.

    • Jennie,

      Some very good points. I remember some gays protesting being arrested for having sex in public restrooms, and protesting that they were being persecuted. The fact that sex in public is illegal was not simple enough.
      There are extremist elements on both sides of this issue.

  10. Judy Sabatini says:

    Morning Everyone

    First of all great article Jon, enjoyed reading it.

    I know many here think that marriage should be only between a man and a woman, but I ask why. What difference does it make if two men or two women want to get married? Who are they hurting? You, me who? Okay, then don’t call it a marriage, instead, call it a civil union between the two.

    So what if they want to have to children, I see nothing wrong with it. Doesn’t mean that those children are going to grow up gay. I think gay couples can be just as good at parenting as anybody. Maybe even better than some, who knows.

    Look at the gay couples in Hollywood that have been married, or had a civil union. They also have had children by in vitro fertilization, or have adopted children. Yes, I know, those kids might be confused by having 2 mommies or 2 daddies, but I think in time, they will grow up to understand why the difference.

    Who are we to judge the life style of others? Who are we to judge whether or not they get married or have a civil union? Are they any less human than straight people? Do they not deserve to be happy like the rest of us? Okay, I know, that in the eyes of God, they are not considered married because it is not in the traditional way. But you can’t tell me they didn’t have gay people back then or that there were gay people who had to sneak around to be together. And yes, I know the Bible says it’s a sin. But, how many of us really live by the word or code of the Bible?

    I don’t judge people by the life style they chose or choose to live, because I don’t want to be judged by the way I live my life. And I don’t think God will condemn them for being gay or living the life they chose. Are we not all God’s children? And does he not accept the life style we choose to live by? Can’t imagine when our time comes, and we meet God and St. Peter at the pearly gates, they are not going to say, Ahh!, can’t come in you were gay. I would like to believe that all people are welcome in God’s world no matter what way we chose to live. God is not condemning, and neither should we.

    Those are my thoughts on this, and that is how I feel about gays in our society. It does not bother me at all. I am not a judgmental person, never have been, never will be.

    Hope all is doing well today.

    Judy

    • Judy,

      A very well thought and written post. I agree we should not be judging or forcing people to live in a certain way. I also do not think a group should be able to use the government to force us in re-defining what is a marriage, not after several thousand years of history and tradition that says it is between a man and woman(s).

      The trick is to get the government out of marriage, which thru taxes, they have made very difficult.

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Hi LOI

        Thank you for your compliment. As you know from past posts here, I have a habit of speaking what I feel in my heart, as well as my thoughts.

        I cannot agree more with what you said. I don’t think the government should have any say on who gets married whether it be gays, or straight. Are they now going to get involved in the marriage business as well? Good God, I hope not anyway. And I also feel it shouldn’t matter to the churches either on who gets married or not. Times have changed and I think it’s time the churches change with it.

        I get tired of certain groups of people who have to walk on egg shells because of their life style and how they choose to live. Leave them alone. If they want to get married, have a civil union, or whatever, so be it. No different than any man or woman who live together and then proceed to have several children out of wedlock without that license. There again look at the Hollywood sector, and how many of them either live together, or are married, but yet still have side fun. So, what difference does it make if gay people want the same thing as any other couple and want to be a happily married couple, let them.

        Tired of government getting involved in everything there is to get involved in. Let it be a state issue, let them decide. Better yet let it be just between the two who are involved with each whether they get married or not.

  11. Libertarian Party is attractive.

    However, it carries a systemic defect that, in the end, will make it the tool of destruction of civilization that eventually destroyed the Rep. and Dem. parties.

    First, you cannot change a system within a system.

    To enter a system, you must conform to its structure.

    Conforming is the antithesis of change. You cannot be a conformist and a agent of change at the same time – that is a contradiction. Attempting to be both means you are lying to one or the other.

    As an agent of change, you will be discarded by the system.

    As conformist, you will cause no change.

    Second, the fallacy of mini-anarchy or mini-government has been demonstrated by the consequences of the American experiment.

    Government power grows and never shrinks. Over time, all government evolves into tyranny.

    The belief that revolt is the only method of correction is dangerous.

    It would be easy to revolt if such change was rapid – that is, in a lifetime. One can easily imagine the resistance of the People should the government fall into the hands of, say, Chavez or Communism. We’ve seen it.

    But the change to tyranny is gradual – glacial – occurring over many generations.

    One generation is gently pushed to a small change as the new generation is born into that change.

    When you are born into a world, that is the world you have always seen and know nothing different. You tend to accept it as “is”.

    As your generation grows, it is then gently pushed to accept a small, but systemic change – not a big deal; but your children are born into that change and the process repeats.

    Generations later, tyranny is rampant and then the People awake…. far, far, far too late to effectively resist.

    By then, a significant part (if not majority) have been slowly turned into dependency on government – and by their own need of survival, will fight for government against all those who wish to change it.

    Such a revolt against tyranny – when recognized – will result in only two outcomes:

    1) total failure; the cause is lost and the nation falls into tyrannical police state for the foreseeable future until some major geopolitical event overwhelms it. Such an event would probably be of a magnitude large enough to destroy civilization as well. End of man.

    2) success; but the devastation and human cost will be overwhelming – the nation will be ripped to shreds and probably diminished to a point where even if successful in revolt of freedom, the nation will have been fatally bled and die anyway.

    So, if system is essentially immune to change and revolt is likely to kill the patient, what choice is left?

    Precisely!

    Nothing

    And that is the answer.

    Purposeful nothingness. Whole disengagement. No force. No push. No pull. The Buddha serenity of internal peace through non-action.

    The system cannot exist without energy.

    It consumes both positive and negative energy.

    It takes the energy of those that support it, and grows.
    It takes the energy of those that oppose it, and grows.

    To defeat such a beast means one cannot support nor oppose it. One must do nothing with it and it will consume itself.

    So, I’ve rambled a bit here – but the point is made; Libertarians are doomed and are dangerous.

    The danger; they appear to provide a path to salvation.

    However, by the time that path degrades to be no different then any other, the disciples will have gone too far to turn back.

    Then, instead of two sides of the same coin we have today, it will merely be a cube, two sides for each of the three colors, but matters not which side comes up.

    • Bottom Line says:

      Parties themselves are the systemic problem as they create an inherent conflict of interest in the relationship between Representative and Constituent by allowing outside influence, thus being a vulnerability rather than an assistance to the democratic process.

      Q: If there are no party agendas, corporate interests, and power hungry fools to interfere, then who is left to represent?

      A: The people.

    • OK, BF, let us start with looking at the assumptions upon which your opening arguments rest.

      1) “you cannot change a system within a system.” IF that were the case, we would not now be trying to change our system back to how it used to be. Obviously it changed, and it was changed by people in the system itself. You state later in your own post that any government or party, etc. will eventually degrade, meaning the system is able to be changed when the proper pressure is applied.

      2) You state that you must conform to a system structure to enter it. While this is true, working within the structure of some system does not imply total conformity, certainly not so much that one cannot be an agent of change. The system will not reject an agent of change, it is just a system. Those who want the status quo will resist agents of change, but that is a state of life that exists with or without a government being in the picture.

      I don’t necessarily argue with the fact that governments will not last in a minarchist state because there is a tendency of growth. I do not think revolution is the only fix for it, although gradual fixes are extremely difficult to administer. As for the danger of revolution or sudden change, look at what happened in Chile when they changed their government overnight. It has helped that country enormously with surprisingly little suffering involved in the changeover.

      As for the effectiveness of nothing, I have considered the John Galt approach, but that scenario is more difficult to administer than Rand’s novel implies. We are not a nation run by a few industrial supermen. It is not just the great men in our society that make it work, it is the good men too, maybe even a few of the average men. A total, unified mindset of “do nothing” would be about as realistic to implement as a revolt, maybe even less so. At least with a revolt people get fired up.

      The primary fallacy of your thinking that I see is that even if your “nothing” worked and you got the society you wanted, what keeps it from morphing into a government or fragmentedly governed society? With no structure, people may do fine, but the lazy and the power hungry still exist, and they will work together to create the same tyrannies, only with less controls and no structure to slow their growth. Your utopia is no better than mine, the society will still fail over time and have to be reset by a concerted effort.

      Essentially, libertarians may be dangerous to your cause, but your call for “nothing” and the appeal of “Galt’s Gulch” from Atlas Shrugged is a danger to mine. In fact, Utopian thinking is the real danger. We must approach the world with a realistic grasp on the realities of humanity and a clear path to adjust for it as best we can, and reset it when it inevitably slips into tyranny again. It is your dream of perfect freedom that is dangerous. It is appealing, but it is no more real than the dream of perfect communism where each had his needs met and each works to be best of their ability, meaning the strong help the weak and the weak are grateful and try to better themselves. Sounds great in theory, but its a pipe dream. Your scenarios are equally appealing and, in fact, a bit more realistic, but it is still a utopia that, even if it could exist for a little bit, has even less of a chance of lasting than a small, limited government.

  12. Eyes on

  13. I felt the need to share with you the story of Jason Bromby, a 28-year-old British diplomat who has gone missing in China. This is very scary. Read more about it:

    http://www.maolovesyou.com

    Spread the word, something needs to be done.

    • Brea,

      I suspect a hoax by someone who is trying to bring attention to the subject. A couple of things stand out to me, such as the name of the website. Also, why would a diplomat stike out on his own? Even if he was becoming mentally unstable, one of his co workers would have noticed and got the guy some help.

  14. Mathius

    I’ll going to engage you on some of these points – butting in, in fact.

    You raised:
    National defense.

    USA is unconquerable. There is no nation or group of nations capable of taking over the USA.

    There is a reason why since its founding, no nation has tried.

    Yamoto said it best: “A rifle behind every blade of grass”

    So it is merely a myth that the nation needs a standing army to guard its property.

    Pollution controls. Who sets the standards and how are they enforced?

    Precisely your fallacy.

    You have no interest in human rights. You believe polluting others is a right – as long as you get to chose how much. You want to control government so to prevent others choosing for you.

    But you carry no argument at all whether it is just simply wrong to poison another person.

    Non-contractual disputes between individuals.
    We already have a system of dispute resolution. Why wouldn’t that work in the future, if it works very well right now?

    how do I enforce a judgment?
    If you had no right to use violence, how would you imagine you could enforce it?

    Crime control. People have repeatedly said that you watch your neighbors’ houses and they watch yours, everyone is armed and you just kill trespassers, but I find this unrealistic.

    Yet, the is what Neighborhood Watches do! And it is the #1 method in eliminating crime.

    I find it humorous that you claim ‘unrealistic’ things that already work.

    Fire protection.
    People have had volunteer fire fighters since the beginning of civilization. What’s wrong with that now?

    Public education. how do you reconcile this?
    Already done, too. In our community of Home Schoolers, there are quite a few parents who home school other parent’s kids.

    Unfortunately, the government gets in the way – limiting such ‘freedom’ to only a maximum of six children (including their own) per educator (otherwise, they are declared a ‘school’ and need a license).

    A community is prosperous by the actions of a community. It is a natural thing for mankind to care for other members of their community.

    When fire broke out and the grocery store was burning, 100 years ago the community flocked in an undeclared unison to respond to save it.

    When a member suffered loss, either by death or financial catastrophe, a 100 years ago, the community responded with charity drives for money, and the men banded together to rebuild the burned out buildings on the farm, or whatever to help mitigate the losses – again, in an undeclared unison.

    All of this and more is of total surprise to the modern Statist, whose basis of understanding only comes from a belief of the requirement of design and force to compel an action.

    Yet, they deny what the see everyday. The neighbor helping neighbor in trouble – whether a man leaping into the freezing water to save a survivor of a plane crash – the outpouring of goods, funds and services to the Katrina victims – the endless lists of foundations and trusts created to help the survivors of disasters – all without one shred of violent force of government to create.

    The Statist trust no one to do good. Amazingly, they trust the same people to run their lives under government.

    • National defense. You conveniently ignored my assersion that, while unconquerable, an invading army would likely be unstoppable in terms of damage they wished to cause or property they wish to steal. Perhaps they wouldn’t be able to enslave us, but we wouldn’t be able to stop them from taking our booty either.

      • Buck The Wala says:

        Also, could one of the reasons we are unconquerable be (at least in part) due to our standing army and arsenal of weapons? Take away a national defense system and I am not sure sure we are unconquerable.

        • Certainly the government could be toppled without its standing army, but I think anyone trying to “conquer” the American people would find themselves in a very, very bad incarnation of Vietnam. Just a hunch.

        • Buck,

          It is impossible to conquer the USA
          Evidence: Iraq

          1/10 the population, 1/50th the land mass, directly connected on all sides by land.

          Unconquered after 10 years.

          USA:
          10x the population, 50 times the land mass, surrounded by oceans, centuries old ally guarding northern border; century old ally guarding the south….

          and you argue the probability is higher than “bizarrely unlikely”???

          PS: This is the same vs. Russia or China or Brazil or Europe or most countries on earth.

          If the US can’t heel a 3rd rate country…..do you really think its possible by anyone else?

          • Agree, but it still ignores my point. They can’t conquer us. But we could, if we so chose, certainly loot Iraq with impunity. What stops someone from doing that to us w/o our standing army?

            • What stops someone from doing that to us w/o our standing army?

              Your rifle.

              • No, they invade, we stop them at the coast. They damage some coastal cities. Midwest and opposite coast are fine.

                Alternatively: They invade, have no army. They damage some coastal cities. We fight back on the ground. They drop bombs on us. We… what? Shoot back with our rifles? They laugh and drop a few more bombs. They then plunder and pillage their way to the opposite coast.

                Seems clear to me. Maybe I’m missing something..

              • You are assuming outcomes.

                Sure, attacking at the beaches may stop them…

                ..or you lose your entire army in defeat.

                Whose to say, hypothetically??

                What I can say, though, is no people on earth – no matter the circumstance – has ever lost a war that they did not surrender… no matter the cost.

                A nation under attack is not immune to massive destruction – with or without a standing army.

                Ask Russia – 1941.

                But I also know that every standing army in history has at sometime been turned upon its own citizens.

                So the question is to you…

                …which one is the greatest risk?

                The risk within or from beyond?

      • Your assertion still applies even with an army.

        Rampaging military force is destructive, and no army can prevent it. An army can react to it, causing more rampaging destruction.

        Whether there is a standing army or militia – neither can PREVENT a willful enemy from attacking.

        • You mean to say that, if Japan attacked us, they would do less damage than if we fought back?

          If a mugger attacks you, you should just curl up into a ball?

          • No, I’m not saying curling into a ball.

            I am saying that responding with an army will wreck more destruction – that is obvious.

            What I am saying is whether or not you have an army, if a militant nation wishes to attack, they will.

        • Bottom Line says:

          BF – “Whether there is a standing army or militia – neither can PREVENT a willful enemy from attacking.”

          Wrong.

          It’s called “Preemptive strike”.

          • Fight ’em there so we don’t have to fight ’em here?

            That option’s off the table without a standing army. Now what?

            • Bottom Line says:

              Matt – “Fight ‘em there so we don’t have to fight ‘em here?”

              Preemption is about timing not geography.

              When, not where.

              Preemptive Strike means attack them before they attack you.

            • That option’s off the table without a standing army. Now what?

              The whole point is that it is off the table.

              A standing army is an army waiting to be used – if not for defense, then for offensive action.

              Let them come over here. We’ll see them coming 2000 miles away.

          • Problem with Preemptive Strike Theory is it is so hard to be in ‘the right’.

            Clear and Present Danger is rare.

            When it is there, it is terribly obvious.

            It is ‘almost’ there, that is when it is dangerously difficult to discern.

      • National defense – make funding only by voluntary donation. That’ll quickly cut out the waste.

        • How much do you think you would willingly pay for national defense annually?

          And, let me ask, if you felt squeezed one year, would you skip paying hoping that others picked up your slack? Might others do the same thing? So we pretty much abandon our military in years when the economy isn’t doing well?

          The problem where everyone willingly pays into a pot whatever they want but everyone gets the same result is that it disincentivizes paying. “If I don’t pay, everyone else will need to pay just one 1/10 of a penny to get the same result, who will that hurt? So I won’t pay.” Thus it’s someone else’s problem.

          • Mathius – The problem is, you’re stuck in a mindset where people say, “I already give so much money to the government in taxes, I don’t need to/am unable to give any more to charity”. Therefore your conclusion is that charity doesn’t work, when it’s the existence of government in the first place that is squeezing out charity.

            $1 trillion a year equates to about $3 per person for a single year. Could we not defend this country with that amount, if we stopped this needless aggressive action and pulled back from all the unnecessary foreign bases? Cut out the waste in the system by making the payments non-guaranteed?

            In addition, many will give more than that, particularly friends, relatives, and neighbors of those who serve/need help. Mandating that everyone pay just to stick it to the lazy or unscrupulous at the expense of those who truly cannot pay is not the answer – society will weed out the lazy and unscrupulous on its own.

            • You make an interesting case. And it’s hard to argue with the logic in a vacuum. However, I stand by my assessment that people will not pay if they think it’s someone else’s problem.

              $3 here, $3 there, $5 elsewhere.. pretty soon it starts adding up. I don’t know what the tipping point is, but I think it’s well before we reached the level of society which we would find comfortable (or maybe I’m just being an elitist?).

              I think the answer is probably a cross. I think we do need to cut back on waste, and do some of the things you suggest, but I do not think it possible to fund even a massively scaled back government* on voluntary donation.

              *government or private companies providing government-like services.

              • Then we have reached an impasse, for you have reached where you believe the edge of the cliff to be, yet remain blindfolded so do not see the bridge that safely crosses it.

              • Only because there is no bridge, my friend. Enjoy your plummet.

                May your landing be soft.

    • Pollution controls. I accept that it is wrong to poison another person. But I do not see what I can do about it in your libertarian society if you (the factory owner) wish to do so and I am unable through economic means or argument to coerce you to stop.

      • Matt,
        If I am poisoning you, what is your right of action?

        • Sure you, but I am poisoning you in equal measure (I assume you’re talking about CO2). But if you bought the lot next to me, built a factory and started beltching smoke, the government would stop you, or I could sue and the judgment would be binding and enforced by the government.

          What do you do in the same situation. You own a house, your neighbor sells his house to me. There are no zoning laws, so I build a factory. My factory produces widgets which are vital in another town and cannot be boycotted. I could produce less smoke, but that would be less profitable. I use a secret method to produce my widgets, so you cannot go into competition with me. You have complained about the smoke and I have, in no uncertain terms, told you what you can go do with your objections. Your health is not at critical risk, but it is causing you severe discomfort. Please explain your recourse. Or do you just move?

          • Then you’re obviously causing harm and your neighbor has a right to defend himself.

            The extent to which he does so that can be justified would be determined by an arbitration court either before or after the fact.

            And if the polluting company does not abide by arbitration decisions it will quickly find that no one will do business with it – for who could trust someone that routinely breaks its agreements?

            • Then you’re obviously causing harm and your neighbor has a right to defend himself.

              Defend yourself how? By what means? Burn down the factory?

              The extent to which he does so that can be justified would be determined by an arbitration court either before or after the fact.

              By what authority does this court bind its judgment upon this private company? What is the enforcement mechanism if the company does not agree to comply or be bound by arbitration?

              it will quickly find that no one will do business with it

              You missed the part where I said it’s goods were vital in another town. They cannot be boycotted. Perhaps they produce medication for a disease which is rampant in that area.

              • “Defend yourself how? By what means? Burn down the factory?” – If the harm caused is egregious enough and that is the only reasonable course of action, yes.

                “By what authority does this court bind its judgment upon this private company? What is the enforcement mechanism if the company does not agree to comply or be bound by arbitration?” – Individuals would typically agree to a neutral arbiter to resolve differences (keep in mind, there’s no such thing as a “company” as an entity without government). If someone refuses than the aggrieved party can use the court to determine what actions would be justified in defense (and he likely wouldn’t be the only injured party, either). The arbiter would be chosen as one whose decisions are accepted by the community, so that any actions take in self-defense against the company/polluter/factory would then be accepted as justified if the neutral arbiter said so. An arbiter who was prone to giving decisions that were incorrect, unfair, or otherwise deemed unacceptable by the community would lose business and legitimacy and would no longer have his decisions respected by the community as acceptable.

                “You missed the part where I said it’s goods were vital in another town. They cannot be boycotted. Perhaps they produce medication for a disease which is rampant in that area.” – No company exists in a vacuum, it must at some point deal with suppliers, vendors, etc. These entities will not do business with a company that refuses to be bound by arbitration, or they risk their own reputation/business as a result.

              • By the way, if the goods were “vital”, it’s unlikely that one company would be the sole supplier – a more moral business would sprout up to supply the product, and its suppliers/partners/vendors would have no qualms about dealing with this new business.

              • I am afraid, my friend, that you are living in a fantasy world. Mathius’ Third Law applies to businesses as readily as to people:

                People.Are.Greedy.
                Businesses.Are.Greedy.

                They will do whatever they can get away with. And they can get away with quite a bit.

              • Matt, You really should try living somewhere besides California and New York. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone I would call greedy. In my experience people are generous and kind.

          • Mathius

            Sure you, but I am poisoning you in equal measure (I assume you’re talking about CO2).

            Re: Co2 – I’m not talking about that at all.

            The onus is on the alleged ‘victim’ to prove harm.

            “No harm, no foul”

            But if you bought the lot next to me, built a factory and started beltching smoke, the government would stop you,

            Wholly and completely wrong, sir

            The government would give me a license to bletch smoke and pollute you.

            or I could sue and the judgment would be binding and enforced by the government.

            And if I have a government license that allows me to poison you, your law suit will fail.

            What do you do in the same situation. You own a house, your neighbor sells his house to me.

            No prob.

            There are no zoning laws, so I build a factory.

            His land, his right.
            No Prob.

            My factory produces widgets which are vital in another town and cannot be boycotted.

            Irrelevant.

            I could produce less smoke, but that would be less profitable.

            Your profit, to me, is irrelevant. It is not mine, nor my right to be mine, so I frankly couldn’t give two hoots about it.

            I use a secret method to produce my widgets, so you cannot go into competition with me.

            There are no secrets, however, I have no interest in widgets.

            You have complained about the smoke and I have, in no uncertain terms, told you what you can go do with your objections.

            If you were poking my arm with a stick pin, and I complain, and you laugh at my objection….

            …what do you believe my rightful response will be?

    • Fire protection. Volunteer fire brigades are tax funded. I do not know about back in the day, but I would wager that was the case for any society of a sufficient size where the people aren’t just defending their neighbors. Who pays for the fire engine / the hydrants / insurance / gas / protective gear / et cetera?

      • Matt,

        Your vision is clouded. Because they are now is no argument for them to be funded that way.

        Who pays? The people who think its important to have such equipment.

        With no surprise, a lot of people pony up the money for it.

        • In a small town, I would pay. But in a large town, my assumption is that others will pay. So I do not. They, following the same logic, do not. Game theory 101. Show me the Nash equilibrium in this problem?

          • If no one pays, the neighborhood burns down and everyone dies. Thus they’re removed from the system and you’re only left with neighborhoods with functioning fire services. 😉

            Perhaps you not paying would cause your neighbors to look down their noses at you and refuse to help you when some other savage is assaulting you?

            Charity’s a funny thing anyway – it’s naturally progressive, as those with more money to spend and more assets to protect will naturally donate more money to protect it.

            • You posit that peer pressure and the amorphous threat that “they won’t help you” will part me from my hard earned money. I suggest that that may work on some, but it will not work on all, or even most when it it come right down to it.

              Perhaps you’re right. But all my experience with large groups tends to argue the opposite way.

              • How much do you think is needed? Is it even necessary for everyone, or even most, to pay?

                And peer/societal pressure is a more powerful tool the larger the group. Though a larger group is also more prone to violence to enforce its group-think.

                Or perhaps as someone who pays into the fire services I decide to move near like-minded neighbors, leaving the selfish to band together themselves and burn.

                You insist that we must know every detail of how something will work before accepting that the idea has legitimacy, yet you do not require the same rigorous detail of your own proposed solutions. Never mind that it is not necessary to know every detail for a possible solution to a problem when there are many, multiple solutions to the same problem – a community will naturally find a way to fight fires, or it will burn to the ground while other, more successful communities survive.

              • I know my society works. Dysfunctional as it is, it does function. We found a way to fight fires. We tax everyone, pool the money and distribute some to fire fighters.

                My house isn’t on fire – it seems to be working.

              • What if I can fight my own fires, protect my own property? What if I gave my neighbors the right to sue for restitution if a fire on my property grew beyond my control and damaged their own? Why then would you still force me to pay to protect your property?

              • Because if your neighbor’s house burns down and you can afford to cover it, it still doesn’t stop the fire from burning down his neighbor’s house. Are you going to cover that too? What about the next house? If it takes out 300 homes, are you going to pay restitution for all of them? You can take whatever risks you want as long as they don’t affect me. Once I’m affected, I have a say in the matter. And I say you may not expose me to unnecessary fire damage.

              • Because if your neighbor’s house burns down and you can afford to cover it, it still doesn’t stop the fire from burning down his neighbor’s house. Are you going to cover that too? What about the next house? If it takes out 300 homes, are you going to pay restitution for all of them? You can take whatever risks you want as long as they don’t affect me. Once I’m affected, I have a say in the matter. And I say you may not expose me to unnecessary fire damage.

                Restitution is not limited by size. Perhaps I am wealthy enough to have my own private fire fighting service and have a personal liability insurance policy that would cover any damages to others’ property. If your argument depends solely on inflating numbers to the point where people have difficulty conceptualizing them, it is not much of an argument.

                Your argument amounts to, you want to make me a slave because you are afraid I may someday, somehow harm you otherwise. Thus if you could control the actions of everyone around you, you could somehow ensure that no one acts in a way that does you harm. Then the only way to implement your solution is to have total and perfect control, which is actually impossible, but does not stop you from giving the legalized thugs of the government more and more power in an attempt to realize that perfect control.

                Try to find a way to deal with malcontents/people you don’t like that doesn’t involve paying off a thug to kidnap them, steal their money, and/or outright kill them.

          • Nash’s Theory was predicated that the actors were suspicious of each other, untrustworthy and while rational, were insane.

            Thus, it worked well in determining actions between governments.

            But interestingly, it failed to predict or explain the interactions between individuals

            In fact, the interaction between individuals that actually occurred is well described in “The Dark Knight” – and the Joker’s experiment with the two ships holding the other’s hostage with explosives. First one to destroy the other wins.

            Neither side pushed the trigger.

            Same in community. The individuals seek their best interest – and easily conclude that interest extends to community.

            • Yea, I always thought that scene was unrealistic. There would have been a mad race to find the remote and the other boat would have been blown as fast as they could press the button.

              Them or us? I choose us. Click. Boom.

              I could have pressed the button. And I would have. And I would have lost no sleep over it.

    • You missed one point on Public Education BF, I’m shocked.

      Mathius – you said that private education is too expensive. Yet, the only reason that private education is expensive is because they are not allowed to compete on price! If someone is giving away a product at below cost (as the government does) then the only way you can compete is on other values – in the case of education, this is usually quality, at the expense of price. Thus private education is widely considered to be of superior quality, and expensive.

      Eliminate the government monopoly (even something as simple as vouchers or education credits would help here, though not ideal) and you would find a host of public school substitutes that offer a reasonable quality at a low price (the Walmart version).

      College level education, though it has already been corrupted by the “public” universities and the easy availability of loans, scholarships, and grants from the government (thus raising prices across the board), does have a similar model, with cheap community colleges offering a reasonable education level while more expensive schools offer more valuable degrees.

  15. Mathius,
    As soon as I have time I will address each of your questions. BF is answering from an anarchist rather than a libertarian stance. Most of the things you mention are not eliminated in a Libertarian society, a government body still exists. To what measure it has authority and the way it is funded, however, significantly change.

    BF, you do make some good points which I may borrow for the libertarian arguments as well as your anarchist ones. 😉

    Also, make no mistake I find BF to be the most realistic thinking anarchist I have known, I do not use the term anarchist as a slam, nor does it carry for me the stigma and assumption of a society in chaos, nor should it for any of you. I could live well in BF’s envisioned society, tho I am not sure everyone could or would wish to.

    • Jon,

      I do not know that I have the strength of will to duke it out with the two of you at once, but I eagerly look forward to your thoughts. The central problem I have with libertarianism, though I do find it attractive in general, is that it does not do enough for those who cannot* do for themselves.

      I trust people, independently, to do what is right, but collectively, I have yet to see it work on any level. Everything becomes someone else’s problem and the problem doesn’t get taken care of.

      I’d also like to add food and drug testing to my list of questions.

      Best regards,
      Mathius

      *Let me be clear, I do not care one iota for those who choose not to provide for themselves, but those who wish to work but can’t for whatever reason are entitled to the protection of society.

  16. Hi Ya’ll!

    As I’ve followed along today, only a few times, what really needed to be said, was said.

    I’ll start by saying Kudo’s to Jon for a fine, thought provoking article. Many of the Libertarian’s platform sounds good on the surface, but I worry more of the depths.

    First, I will ask a question; Is there one political party, anywhere, that is not currupt? It saddens me that we as people cannot learn from thousands of years of mistakes and fix it.

    The Dems and Repubs are currupt to the core. The Libertarians and VLDG will follow suit, as ALL poitical parties of the past have. Why, because all political parties need money. To get moneym they take donations of people who support their platform. The biggest donaters are the richest, people and companies, different groups of organizations with a cause. With this donation, they expect legislation to support their cause or business, or whatever else. This is where all political parties are inherantly corrupt, because they forget morality and work for a cause, moral or not.

    This is proven, as Mathius said earlier, by these experiments:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asch_conformity_experiments

    It is my opinion, that it doesn’t matter what any political party is called, or what they stand for, they are or will become corrupt. Doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results is insanity (Some smart gut said this, can’t remember the name).

    I’m not diggin on Jon, or anyone else, but diggin on the idea that political parties are needed, in any way. It’s just more of the same, with different names.

    🙂 PEACE 🙂

    G!

    • G!

      I agree, if here is a party that is not corrupt, its because it hasn’t been around long. Libertarian/VDLG might be the start of something, but they would have to end or would likely become part of the problem. A couple months ago it was tossed around having a group that did nothing but eliminate laws.

      • I’d agree with the elimination of 90% of laws that are on the books. It seems that over the yaers, evertime some whackball commits a crime, some new law gets proposed that just punishes all of us because of one idiot. That’s wrong. I would also make it so all new laws must be voted on by the public, this would almost guarantee that very few new, stupid laws would be brought up, to benefit a small group or business who contributed to a campaign. The need for parties would die, and donations would serve no purpose, thus putting a kill switch on the corruption.

        Just a thought!

        G!

  17. DKII,

    Anarchy is not a refutation of “rules”, it merely refutes “Rulers”.

    One series of occurrences may be:

    1) Pending collapse of the nation state, precipitated by economic failure.

    2) The emergence of Agorismindividuals creating a counter-economy, by establishing communities and relationships based on mutual aid, value creation, trust, understanding and compassion—has a chance to succeed where other revolutionary theories have failed. Agorism does not aim to reform the system, or to fix it, or even for the impossible task of toppling it from within; rather it aims to make the system obsolete, to destroy it circumvention

    3) Semi-formalization of Agorism leading to Panarchythe concept to the individual’s right to choose any form of government without being forced to move from their current locale. This is sometimes described as “extra-territorial” (or “exterritorial”) since governments often would serve non-contiguous parcels of land.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panarchy#Panarchy_as_freely_choosing_government

    • I’m not sure what this was in response to, but I clearly did not communicate something well – I wrote a guest commentary on panarchism so I’m well aware that anarchy does not mean no rules.

  18. More party plays

    Democratic districts have received nearly twice as much stimulus money as Republican districts and the cash has been awarded without regard to how badly an area was suffering from job losses, according to a new study.

    The Mercatus Center at George Mason University reviewed the distribution of $157 billion in stimulus dollars based on publicly available reports and found that there was “no statistical correlation” between the amount of money a district got and its income or unemployment rate.

    “You would think, right, that if the administration believes in its theory that government money can create jobs, they would spend a lot of money in districts that have high unemployment,” study co-author Veronique de Rugy said. “We found absolutely no relationship. It just kind of shows that the money is spent kind of randomly.”

    Rather, the study found that Democratic congressional districts received 1.89 times more money than GOP districts. The average award for Democratic districts was $439 million, while the average award for Republican ones was $232 million.

    On average, Democratic districts also got 152 awards, while Republican ones got 94.

    The data is sure to fuel skepticism about the $787 billion stimulus bill passed in February that only garnered three Republican votes. While the administration claims it has created 640,000 jobs, critics point to the still-soaring 10 percent unemployment rate in arguing that the stimulus has had a nominal effect.

    Oddly, the Mercatus study found far more stimulus money went to higher-income areas than lower-income areas.

    “We found no correlation between economic indicators and stimulus funding. Preliminary results find no effect of unemployment, median income, or mean income on stimulus funds allocation,” the report said.

    • Simply another great example of how Govt. has no business in our business, they don’t care about us, they don’t listen to us, and they damn sure don’t need to control our healthcare. ARRGGHH! 🙄

  19. Bottom Line says:

    ——– TOPIC HIJACK ——–

    Student,(A barely 18 yr old high school senior), goes to the doctor on Monday and is told that she has “Strep Throat”.

    Student lays in bed sick until Thursday morning when she wakes up feeling a bit better. She decides to be a trooper and go to school.

    An hour after arriving at school Student begins to feel faint/weak/dizzy/sick. She realizes that coming to school was a mistake, and goes to the counselor’s office to sign out and call a ride.

    She is told by the counseling staff that the rules are that she could not sign herself out without a parent’s permission and that she would have to wait till ten O’clock to call anyone or sign out. She was told to go back to class until ten.

    Student didn’t argue, but instead called MOM on the way back to class using her cell phone,(Students using a cell during school hours on school grounds is strictly prohibited).
    She explained the situation to MOM and asked her to call the office to grant permission to leave. MOM says sure, no problem, but you’ll have to call family member for ride. Student then calls family member for ride home, and returns to class.

    MOM calls counselor’s office and grants permission. Counselor’s office says now that she has MOM’s permission she is free to sign out, but will have her cell confiscated as a punishment for using cell phone at school to call MOM.

    Mom, being very busy at work, cuts conversation short and texts Student to say…”They intend to come take your cell away. When they do, refuse and tell them to call me.”

    Several minutes later, Vice Principle pulls student X from class and demands she hand over her cell. Student refuses and insists he call MOM.

    VP takes Student to office and calls MOM to say:

    “I have Student in my office. She used her cell on school property and when I tried to confiscate it, she refused and subsequently, I am going to suspend her. She Insisted I call you Ms. MOM”

    MOM replies –
    1. I’m the one who instructed her to not give up the phone and to have you call me.
    2. The only reason she used her cell is because she feels ill and was refused a call by the Counselor. What do you expect her to do?
    3. What does Ten O’clock have to do with anything?

    VP responds –
    I understand you instructed her refusal so I will lessen suspension. As for points 2 and 3, …It’s the rules, It’s not my call, you’ll have to talk to principle.

    MOM calls principle –

    MOM – Why did you refuse my daughter a phone call when she is sick and needs to call her MOM?

    Principle – She could have came to MY office.

    MOM – Don’t blame her. She did as she was told by the Counselor and went back to class. …And what would you expect her to do other than use her cell to call me?

    Principle – Ma’am, that’s just the rules. She broke them.

    MOM – Your rules obviously don’t apply here. My child is sick and it is your responsibility to allow her to contact me, not punish her for it.

    Principle – That’s the rules. I’m not gonna argue.

    MOM – And what does 10 o’clock have to do with anything anyway? Why ten?

    Principle – That’s the rules. I’m not gonna argue. Contact the board.

    MOM calls board and explains situation and asks what to do. The Board tells her to file an appeal and gives her information regarding appeals process. Also, when she asks the board about the Ten O’clock rule, they refuse to answer and beat around the bush.

    Okay, I know what I think about this. I’m curious what you guys think.

    • The inmates are running the Asylum, and some folks need a good old fashioned ass whoopin for being stupid. After I get out of jail for the above, I would personnally hound the board until they resign, because they have no business being in the position they are in, as they a F#$%k(*g stupid! 🙂

      Need more?

      G!

    • When the Hell did schools get so frinkin’ stupid? If the kid is sick and needs a parent, hs/she should not be denied use of a phone, ANY phone.

      More PC BS at work here. Everyone must be treated the same, even if it means treating everyone like a criminal/prisoner. Sheesh. I’m so glad my daughter is out of the public school system.

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Hey Guys

        When a school refuses to let any child call a parent because they are sick isn’t the school themselves breaking a rule? After all, they always say, if you’re sick stay home, but if you get sick at school, call a parent or guardian to come get you so you don’t spread anything you might have around school.

        To confiscate her cell for calling her mom because the school wouldn’t let her, I think, is going too far, and on top of that, they want to suspend her for it. PLEASE!

        As for waiting for the 10:00 rule, they probably don’t really have such rule and was just making excuses for not letting her call her mom.

        I think schools sometimes go way beyond the rule bit here.. What if she had a major problem like maybe her appendix were hurting or even worse, starting to burst, then what would they have done? Oh, you can’t all your mom yet, it’s not 10:00 yet. Or would they have called an ambulance?

        I’m so glad my son’s are not in school anymore either, because of that happened, believe me, that school would hear an earful from me. Oh yes, Been there done that with my youngest one at one time. But that’s another story.

        • Bottom Line says:

          I agree, Judy,

          They are breaking a rule, and for the sake of money is what disqusts me about it.

          Judy – “As for waiting for the 10:00 rule, they probably don’t really have such rule and was just making excuses for not letting her call her mom.”

          BL – (from below)
          Ten O’clock is the cut off point between being counted as absent or present.

          Schools are awarded money for things like good attendance records.

          Keeping her there for the sake of school funds is bullshit.

          • Judy Sabatini says:

            Hi BL

            Well, it’s been so long since my son’s were in school, I didn’t think about that, thanks for reminding me.

            And you’re right, it is BS.

            Hope you’re doing well BL.

            • Bottom Line says:

              relative giving ride = uncle BL

              As soon as I heard about the ten o’clock rule I knew what was up. I know how that federal money works.

              I explained it to her and suggested that since the money is so important to the school, she could take her legal adult self and switch schools. Finish Senior year at another school. Right now is the cut between semesters.

              Take that precious money away from them. Give it to another school.

              I’ve had her read a few things on SUFA, (including this thread)

              She gets it.

              She’ll do okay in life.

      • Bottom Line says:

        Nuts isn’t it?

        Where’s them people’s “STUPID” sign?

    • Bottom Line says:

      Ten O’clock is the cut off point between being counted as absent or present.

      Schools are awarded money for things like good attendance records.

      Keeping her there for the sake of school funds is bullshit.

      Punishing her for calling mom is bullshit.

      Keeping her there in spite of her legal adult status is bullshit.

      Egocentric greedy petty tyrants and control freaks for school administrators is bullshit.

      Federalized school system making schools jump through so many hoops for money, that it endangers students is bullshit.

      • You get 5 points for each BS flag. Now if matt and you can work a deal, you can be very wealthy in just a short time 😆

        • Bottom Line says:

          lol

          25 would indeed speed things up a bit more than three would. I might be able to accomplish BL style VDLGG (Very Damn Little Global Government) before I’m 90

          One thing I forgot to mention in regards to BL style VDLGG…

          !! FREE BEER AND HERB FOR ALL !!

          …so long as I get a Jenna Lee autoghraph and a Maria Sherapova autographed ball.

          • BL, You sound like a person who would enjoy the Powerpoint and videos I’ve received over the years (saved them on disc). Ask USW to share emails between us, I know I got stuff you’d like!! 🙂

            Just got back, needed gas before some snow tommorrow, and stocked up on beer. This lady was working and complaining about not getting off until 10 pm. I said that she should feel lucky that she isn’t in some desert in the middle east working 16+ a day, and won’t be home for the holidays. Her attitude changed quick, she thanked me for saying that and we wished each other Merry Christmas! Remind them all!

            G!

            • Judy Sabatini says:

              Hi G

              I noticed that there are a lot of people out there complaining of having to work late, hell, I wish I just had a job myself to be able to work anytime.

              Glad you set that gal in place and reminded her of our troops out there who can’t be home for Christmas or can’t call in sick like anybody can.

              • Just showin some love for my fellow vets who far away. I think about them often, and their families. I remember how I spent Christmas when I was there, not a fun time.

                I was nice, and she was as well, She offered the first greetings and I responded with the same.

                The people where I live would perish if things got really bad, they have no clue. Sad 😦

              • Judy Sabatini says:

                Hi

                I remember when Matthew spent his first Christmas in Iraq, and I was just heartsick because he couldn’t be home, it was hard for me and Jim because both boys were gone for the first time on their lives.

                I don’t mean like when they were in Boot camp, because they got to come home for that, it was when Christopher was in Ft Iriwn, and Matthew of course in Iraq, that was what I meant.

                I think every time when someone said Merry Christmas to me, I broke out in tears because I didn’t have them home. Once I explained to people like those cashiers, they were very sympathetic to me. Gues that gal really didn’t think about our boys over seas, and I think a lot of people forget.

            • Bottom Line says:

              I have no Email address.

              It is unlike me to even post on ANY site, especially as much as I do here, and especially with all the crazy shit that I post. I tend to be “non-trailish” and anonymous.

              I need to set up an email address.

              About the lady …

              Good for you G. Ya gave her some perspective and appreciation for life.

              I think I WILL do some remindin’. Good idea.

              • Amen Brother!
                :p

                G!

              • 😛

                Try that.

              • Judy Sabatini says:

                Hey Bl

                I think there are a lot of people who need reminding about our troops and what they are going through, especially this time of year. Their families need a lot of extra love this time of year as well. I will forever be grateful them and all here who are VETS. Don’t ever forget that.

                You just keep posting your crazy shit, I enjoy reading what you have to say as well as reading everybody else here.

                I try to comment whenever I can, or depending on the topic of the day Which ever comes first.

                I think I made some pretty nice friends here and for that, it makes me a pretty happy camper.

                Everybody here is a wonderful group of people, and I’m so grateful for knowing all of you.

                Uh Oh, watch out, my love for you all is about to spill out all over the place.

              • Bottom Line says:

                Yer awesome Judy.

                I feel compelled to hug you again.

                (E- HUG)

              • Judy Sabatini says:

                Thank you BL

                Big E-HUg back at you. I think you’re pretty awesome youself there.

  20. How to Pay Taxes

    There was a man who computed his taxes for 2000 and discovered that he owed $3407. He packaged up his payment and included this letter:

    Dear IRS,

    Enclosed is my 2000 tax return & payment. Please take note of the attached article from USA Today newspaper. In the article, you will see that the Pentagon is paying $171.50 for hammers and NASA has paid $600.00 for a toilet seat.

    Please find enclosed four toilet seats (value $2400) and six hammers (value $1029). This brings my total payment to $3429.00. Please note the overpayment of $22.00 and apply it to the “Presidential Election Fund,” as noted on my return. Might I suggest you the send the above mentioned fund a 1.5 inch screw.” (See attached article…HUD paid $22.00 for a 1.5 inch Phillips head screw.)

    It has been a pleasure to pay my tax bill this year, and I look forward to paying it again next year.

    Sincerely,

    A satisfied taxpayer

    • Al Gore Visits the Presidential Bathroom

      Al Gore was invited to a high level meeting at the White House. After drinking several glasses of iced tea, he asked Bill Clinton if he could use his personal bathroom.

      He was astonished to see that the President had a solid gold urinal. That afternoon, Al told his wife, Tipper about the urinal. “Just think,” he said,” when I am President, I’ll get to have a gold urinal!”

      Later, when Tipper had lunch with Hillary at a Democratic fund raiser, she told Hillary how impressed Al had been with his discovery of the fact that, in the President’s private bathroom, the President had a gold urinal.

      That evening, Bill and Hillary were getting ready for bed. Hillary turned to Bill and said, “Well, I found out who peed in your saxophone.”

    • Reagan’s Last Wish

      After many years of illness, Ronald Reagan was very ill and it appeared that he might not pull through. Obviously, Nancy and the rest of the family were at his side, as well as the family minister. Knowing that his time might be short, they asked if there was anything that he wanted.

      “Yes,” he replied, “I’d like very much to have Bill and Hillary Clinton at my side before I go.”

      They were all amazed at this request and several assumed that his memory was failing even worse than they had suspected. Regardless, they went ahead and forwarded his request to the former first family. Within hours, the former president and first lady arrived at his bedside, courtesy of the loan of Air Force One.

      For a time, no one said anything. Both Bill and Hillary were touched and flattered that Ron would ask them to be with him during his final moments. They were also puzzled – obviously they were of different political parties and had thrown barbs in one another’s direction over the years.

      Why not George Bush Sr., G.W.Bush or some of Reagan’s many Hollywood friends? He had never given the Clintons any indication that he particularly liked either of them.

      Finally, Bill spoke up and asked, “Mr. President, why did you chose the two of us to be at your bedside at this critical moment?”

      The former president mustered up some strength and said very weakly, “Jesus died between two thieves… and that’s how I want to go.”

    • Cows and Government

      Feudalism: You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.

      Pure Socialism: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else’s cows. The government gives you a glass of milk.

      Bureaucratic Socialism: Your cows are cared for by ex-chicken farmers. You have to take care of the chickens the government took from the chicken farmers. The government gives you as much milk and eggs as the regulations say you should need.

      Fascism: You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them and sells you the milk.

      Pure Communism: You share two cows with your neighbors. You and your neighbors bicker about who has the most “ability” and who has the most “need.” Meanwhile, no one works, no one gets any milk, and the cows drop dead of starvation.

      Russian Communism: You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the government takes all the milk. You steal back as much as you can and sell it on the black market.

      Perestroika: You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the Mafia takes all the milk. You steal back as much milk as you can and sell it on the “free market.”

      Cambodian Communism: You have two cows. The government takes both and shoots you.

      Pure Democracy: You have two cows. Your neighbors decide who gets the milk.

      Representative Democracy: You have two cows. Your neighbors pick someone to tell you who gets the milk.

      Bureaucratic Democracy: You have two cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. Then it takes both, shoots one, milks the other and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows.

      Capitalism: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.

      Bankers’ Capitalism: You don’t have any cows. The bank will not lend you money to buy cows, because you don’t have any cows to put up as collateral.

      Surrealism: You have two polka-dotted giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.

      Beer 30, nite all

  21. Black Flag,

    If you get a chance could you review this article on predicted food shortages starting in 2010 and give your opinion.

    http://www.marketskeptics.com/2009/12/2010-food-crisis-for-dummies.html

    Thank you

    • I’m far from the Flagster, but I did read it. If the charts are correct, this may be a bad thing. But, I’m not ready to buy it just yet. Why? Why hasn’t anyone else mentioned this? Blogs are well read, this would be one that hits some form of media. Might I suggest sending the link to Fox News. Maybe Beck can investigate it and if he reports, then things could get interesting.

      I’m ready for a food shortage, be it this kind, or an economic event, but people should know of it.

      Happy Friday Birdman! 🙂

      G!

    • OMG Birdman,

      That’s scary. I think I’m going to have desert at all my Christmas parties this year. Myfatismyfriendmyfatismyfriendmyfatismyfriend……

      • I mean dessert! not desert….still chanting……

        …myfatismyfriendmyfatismyfriend…..

        😉

      • Bottom Line says:

        Cyndi,

        I pictured an X-mas party with bowls of sand and rocks being served with cactus leaves as a side dish…and a tiny shot glass of water to wash it down.

        • That sounds like next year’s party, LOL. This year’s party had plenty for everyone. I tired to enjoy it without dwelling on what next year might look like.

    • Birdman

      A number of astute investors who accurately predicted the housing collapse and the monetary crisis have stated similar beliefs.

      Food – a function of climate as well as man-made choices seems to have peaked simultaneously. Global cooling – raising the risk of famine – plus global insanity around human caused climate change – may create a perfect storm of food shortages.

      Jim Rogers – the man who made Soros a billionaire says, quote,:

      Marry a farmer as his #1 financial advise.

      Words to seriously consider, I’m afraid.

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Sure, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll have water to grow your crops with. But, then again, it depends where you live.

    • I would want to hear from some active midwestern farmers before I would believe this. Agriculture production is quite variable from year to year and one locality to another. It depends both on local and global climates as well as the economic situations of the particular farmer (ability to borrow) and the general economic conditions. The US has never experienced a complete crop failure due to its size and diversity. Often when Iowa has a bad corn year IL has a bumper year. The cooling cycle we are in now is probably causing the abnormally wet and cold year in the midwest. If this is anticipated for next season as well, the farmers can adjust some things to compensate, shorter growing season corn, more beans instead of corn, other cereal grains, etc. We could also stop diverting food crops to fuel production.

      One thing I have not seen is how the new taxes, healthcare, cap & trade, etc. is going to impact agriculture. Farming is not necessarily the more enriching occupation. Loading onto it more taxes, expenses, and regulations may cause disruptions and changes that will take a few years to work through the system.

      In the mid ’80s I drove upstate NY and saw all the abandoned dairy farms. Barns were decaying and feed lots were overgrown with weeds. Having grown up in farm country, it was heart breaking to see knowing that each one represented a blost dream for some family. The decline was due to changes in governement regs (price supports) that were probably over due but it still was heart breaking. The land was hilly and ideal for dairy and grazing operations but only of limited use for croping with heavy machinery.

      I think farming is like every other industry in this country. The more burdens government puts on it, the more likely we are to see general failure.

  22. v. Holland says:

  23. This topic is light on the humor, so I’ll get it started.

    —————————-

    The LAPD, The FBI, and the CIA are all trying to prove that they are the best at apprehending criminals. The President decides to give them a test. He releases a rabbit into a forest and has each of them try to catch it.

    The CIA goes in. They place animal informants throughout the forest. They question all plant and mineral witnesses. After three months of extensive investigations they conclude that rabbits do not exist.

    The FBI goes in. After two weeks with no leads they burn the forest, killing everything in it, including the rabbit, and they make no apologies. The rabbit had it coming.

    The LAPD goes in. They come out two hours later with a badly beaten raccoon. The raccoon is yelling: “Okay! Okay! I’m a rabbit! I’m a rabbit!”

    • Bottom Line says:

      The CIA would first pin-point the rabbit’s location, then secretly observe from afar in order to accurately assess the rabbit’s and his forest friend’s M.O.

      They would then send an attractive female rabbit to get close and probe rabbit(and friends)to determine his primary motivators,…be it money, ideology, compulsion, or ego.

      They then tailor make a plan to covertly, subvertly, and systematically break down every aspect of rabbit’s life, and send in several animal operatives to the forest.

      Then they secretly conspire using (M.I.C.E.), lies and whatever means of subversion to motivate the rabbit’s friends, family, neighbors, and enemies to perform acts of subtle sabotage to rabbit’s life. They also play a number of subtle bad pranks on rabbit to further frustrate rabbit and push him in the direction of insanity.

      In addition to acts of logistical sabotage, The conspirators make rabbit feel increasingly hopeless, depressed, frustrated, desperate, and alienated from the other forest creatures.

      Usually the rabbit either…

      A – gets led out into a clearing by “friends”, where he is eaten by a hawk
      B – dies from starvation.
      C – goes crazy and commits suicide

      Then they play divide and conquer with the conspiring creatures. They play them against each other ’till they are all eliminated but one.

      They send a hit squad to kill the last remaining player.

      Since there are no witnesses left to dispute, they give a statement to the press claiming that there are no rabbits in the forest.

      After they’re done, the FBI comes in and burns the forest including any evidence that the CIA missed during clean up.

      The rabbit, 1438 forest creatures, 9756 trees, and whoever else got in the way, are all dead,…and no one knows a thing about the truth.

      Mission accomplished.

  24. Thought I’d share this. It’s from a TV show called Ukraine has Talent. This young lady tell the story of WWII in an amzing way, with sand on a lighted table. This is well worth a look. Note the tears from the audience.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=vOhf3OvRXKg#t=00

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      Hey G

      Your dad sent me that, and I thought it was absolutely amazing.

      So, how ya doing? Hope all is well with you.

      Judy

      • I’m good. No travels this weekend, no hunting, just R and R. Dad’s coming in for Christmas, then I’ll go his way for New Years and get a few more deer hunting days in. Taking a crossbow for that. Enjoying some rest from the highway! 🙂

        Tell Jim and your boys I wish them a Very Merry Christmas!

        G!

        • Judy Sabatini says:

          I will do that. Your dad has been keeping me posted as to what’s going on there with Christmas. So, is this the last of hunting or is there more to come?

          I showed Jim the picture here and he thought it was just incredible. Matthew said he’s seen that before, and he’s still in awe of it.

          Glad to hear you’re doing good G. Isn’t it nice to take a break from coming and going for a while?

          Got to break for a bit and feed the crew.

          Catch you in a bit.

    • Incredible, G-man.

      I was moved to tears, remembering that my grandfather lost his whole family – parents, siblings, uncles, aunts, cousins…everyone… except the two brothers he saved … to the great Stalinist famine….

  25. Thank you BF, I too find myself hard pressed when facing you in debate, which is a wonderful thing. And make no mistake, your “libertarians are dangerous comments will not go unchallenged

    You are very welcome.

    Youself, USWep, JAC and others often hold very different views and concepts to me and it always an education that I enjoy.

    Nietzsche once said, to which I wholly agree (paraphrased):
    It is a serious error to teach our children to hold in high esteem those that agree with us, and ignore or demean those who do not.

    • BF, does that mean you love me too? 🙂

      I’m 270 pages from home on Atlas Shrugged … I’m hearing much more clearly now but I’m still not convinced.

      We’re bracing for the snowstorm here in Joisey.

      Everybody have a GREAT weekend!

      • Yes, old friend, you too.

        The Buddhist say – how can one see the light if the darkness is unknown?

        How can one feel love if not they have not felt the sting of hate?

        It is those that oppose us that makes us stronger.

  26. Judy Sabatini says:

    I would like to say good night to all, and hope to see you here tomorrow, if not have a great weekend.

    E- HUGS to everybody and Love you all.

    Good night and sweet dreams to you.

    Judy

  27. I know my society works. Dysfunctional as it is, it does function. We found a way to fight fires. We tax everyone, pool the money and distribute some to fire fighters.

    My house isn’t on fire – it seems to be working

    As usual, on my poker night – the intensity of discussion goes on without me!

    Matt

    Let me say this…. this is, as short as it is, is one of your most brilliant posts.

    Of course, you know that means you’ve aided me in my point 🙂

    Of course the current paradigm has worked

    The paradigm, however, is not sustainable!!

    Stealing from others has a short term gain. Ask Jesse James or Dillinger or Billy the Kid.

    The end – well, for them, always ends badly.

    The sustainability of thievery is zero. Whether you are an individual or a nation state.

    Short term outcome gained at the loss of long term sustainability.

    The challenge for humanity – especially the modern man and less so the ancient – is the vision of existence longer than merely one life time.

    The ‘shortened time preference’ in an economic phraseology – or, the modern man wants now not later – in modern lingo – dominates.

    The consequence – long term sustainability is sacrificed.

    …which is fine if you die before the consequences.

    …is hell if you are born into it.

  28. Christmas is right around the corner-Makes me feel like a kid 🙂

  29. Judy Sabatini says:

    This is a great video, and the painting is unbelievable. Watch it and see for yourself.

  30. Judy Sabatini says:

    This was just sent to me and I thought it was interesting, and I thought I would share it with you people.

    Subject: I found this interesting..

    There is one Christmas Carol that has always baffled me. What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won’t come out of the pear tree have to do with Christmas?

    This week, I found out.

    From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.

    -The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.

    -Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.

    -Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.-

    -The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

    -The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

    -The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

    -Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit–Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

    -The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.

    -Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit–Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.

    -The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.

    -The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.

    -The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.

    So there is your history for today. This knowledge was shared with me and I found it interesting and

    enlightening and now I know how that strange song became a Christmas Carol…so pass it on if you wish.’

  31. This is an interesting thought:

    TRULY REMARKABLE

    I THINK IT IS REMARKABLE THAT THE PRESS CAN FIND EVERY WOMAN WITH WHOM TIGER HAS HAD AN AFFAIR IN THE LAST FEW YEARS, WITH PHOTOS, TEXT MESSAGES, RECORDED PHONE CALLS, ETC. THEY KNOW NOT ONLY THE CAUSE OF THE FAMILY FIGHT, BUT THEY EVEN KNOW IT WAS A WEDGE FROM HIS GOLF BAG THAT SHE USED TO BREAK OUT THE WINDOWS IN THE ESCALADE. NOT ONLY THAT, THEY KNOW WHICH WEDGE!!!

    THIS IS THE SAME PRESS (OR IS IT?) THAT CANNOT LOCATE OBAMA’S BIRTH CERTIFICATE … OR ANY OF HIS PAPERS WHILE IN COLLEGE. TRULY REMARKABLE.

    🙂

    G!

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      Hi G

      You saw that too huh? I was tempted to put it here, but it didn’t look like anybody was here, so I didn’t. So what do I do, put up other things instead.

      How’s your day going?

      • Hi Judy!

        Days a good one, nice and quiet and relaxing.

        G!

        • Judy Sabatini says:

          Same here except for doing shopping this morning, and getting some gift cards for Christmas. Glad your doing some R & R for a change.

    • That’s a good one, G-Man!

      It reminds me of an often repeated but short conversation between me and my Socialist, Englishman, now ex husband. Him: “There are no jobs available.” Me: Oh really? When did you look?”. Unemployment at the time was under 5%. You see, my ex was too busy enjoying not having to work because me and my job allowed him to get away with it. The MSM is in a similar situation. They’re too busy enjoying that thrill going up their leg to go do some work. Americans don’t hold them accountable.

      • Hi CP!

        I don’t watch any of the news organizations that ignore reporting what should be reported. They are just protecting someone, and I don’t care for that.

        G!

        • I’ve pretty well given up on ALL TV, not just TV news, though I catch Glenn Beck when I can.

          I found out that missed the original Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer the other night. DRAT!!!

          • LOL 🙂 My Dad knew this smartass kid years ago, he shot a small buck, painted his nose red and took it to show him. The kid cried for hours, and stopped being a smartass.

            G!

            • Judy Sabatini says:

              Oh, that’s a good one.

            • OMG that’s funny! It reminds of the time when my then 11 year old daughter had been pushing my bottons all day and I finally turned around and told her: “I brought you into this world, and damn it, I’ll take you out of it if you don’t knock it off!” The look on her face was priceless. She SO believed me!

              I still giggle at that one…..

              • Judy Sabatini says:

                That worked every time with my son’s as well. Reminds me of Bill Cosby when he talked about that in his stand up routine back in 82. If you haven’t seen it, I would recommend it highly, it was so funny.

  32. hehehe…

    Obama Czar Cards

    http://www.czards.biz/products/obama-czar-cards

    Full standard playing card decks of Obama Czar Cards.

    Product Pricing:
    $10.95 per deck of cards. Sales tax will be added for orders shipped within California.

    Shipping and handling:
    One deck: $3.75
    Five decks: $4.95
    Ten decks: $7.95

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      Hi Cyndi

      I really wouldn’t waste my time time or MONEY for that matter in buying something like that.

  33. Me either. I just think its funny because the military uses similar decks to educate soldiers about wanted terrorists and such. I like that the czars are getting similar treatment.

  34. Here’s a nice Christmas display. 155,000 lights controlled bt 224 computer channels. Enjoy!

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      Those just amaze me when yoy put those up G.

    • v. Holland says:

      G, I passed a house tonight when I was out that had their lights rigged up like this-don’t know if it was put to music because I was in the car. But if it was, it was a fast song because the lights were going crazy

  35. Judy Sabatini says:

    Okay here’s a stupid joke for you.

    Why did the elephant wear his tennies?

    Because elevennies were too big, and ninees wers too small.

    What is brown and sticky?

    A stick.

    What do you call a fly that lost it’s wings?

    A walk.

    See, I told you stupid. My son found these on the stupid joke list.

  36. Judy Sabatini says:

  37. Chump change, from Newsbusters

    BREAKING: Nelson To Vote For Healthcare In Exchange For Medicaid Payments To Nebraska
    Noel Sheppard.
    December 19, 2009 – 11:04 ET

    Not that this will come as any great shock, but Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), the lone Democrat holdout against the current iteration of healthcare reform, announced Saturday he will vote for the bill.

    Also unsurprising: much like Mary “Louisiana Purchase” Landrieu (D-La.) before him, Nelson sold his vote and his very soul for some financial benefits to his state.

    As Politico reported moments ago:

    Sen. Mary Landrieu got the “Louisiana Purchase.” Sen. Ben Nelson got the federal government to pick up most his state’s future Medicaid tab — forever.

    As part of the deal to win Nelson’s support, the federal government will fund Nebraska’s new Medicaid recipients. It’s a provision worth about $45 million over the first decade. […]

    Medicaid is usually paid for with a mix of federal and state funding, but Nelson’s carve out means that any Medicaid beneficiaries who join the program after the bill passes will be funded by the federal government.

    It’s a sweet deal considering that many governors are worried that the Medicaid expansion will further strain already stressed state budgets.

    Great. So states with fiscal problems of their own get their budgets squeezed as a result of this bill, but the man that history will show cast the deciding vote gets his state off the hook!

    Amazing!

    Beyond this, tax dollars went to bribe two key Democrats so that a bill will be passed that will raise our taxes further!

    Absolutely amazing!

    Is this what Hope and Change meant?

    Exit question: If we now disaffectionately refer to Louisiana’s Democrat Senator as Mary “Louisiana Purchase” Landrieu, what should we call Nelson for his historic sellout?

    I’ve already heard Ben “Cornhusker Kickback” Nelson, but think that lacks punch.

    Any other suggestions?

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      It’s getting ridiculous that they have to bribe all these damn senators to vote their way. And, I still see that the abortion issue is still on the table as well. No way, No how, should abortions be funded by taxpayers dollars.

    • Ben “addict” Nelson. He now has made my “Enemy of the People ” list.

      G!

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Oh hell G they’re all on the list. You want to hear something? I hear ole Harry’s son Rory is going to run for governor here in Nevada. If he does and wins, I’m leaving the state. Not sure where I’ll go, but I’ll find some place. Not going to stay in a stae where another Reid can F$%^ up this state

        • Judy Sabatini says:

          And here I thought Lieberman was going to vote no, and what happened, didn’t they bribe him as well. We are so,so, screwed, it’s not funny. I’m getting awfully worried at what’s going to happen when this is all done and over with.

  38. Judy Sabatini says:

    It has come to that time when I say good night
    And I hope tomorrow will be sunny and bright

    Good night, good night to all of you here
    I hope that you didn’t drink way too much beer

    I love you all and hope you don’t fall
    But if you do, grab ahold of the wall

    Sweet dreams to you , and I know you will
    I love you all, for that’s how I feel

    Judy

  39. mike andrews says:

    the painter McNaughton is delusional.
    “The Government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion,” – John Adams

    “I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition (Christianity) one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology.”
    “Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.” – Thomas Jefferson

    “Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.”
    “What influence in fact have Christian ecclesiastical establishments had on civil society? In many instances they have been upholding the thrones of political tyranny. In no instance have they been seen as the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty have found in the clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate liberty, does not need the clergy.”
    “During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.” – James Madison, American president and political theorist (1751-1836)

    • Proof of God and His sense of humor can be seen. Look at what just happened with the weather and the AGW crowd a CommieCon in Copenhagen…. 😉

    • Mike Andrews

      Why you must cast aspersions on the artist is beyond me. The artwork seems to accomplish the artists intent and provokes reflection and careful thought. It is also pleasing and interesting to the eye.

      Regardless, you have cherry picked your quotes from our founders as do most who claim atheism as their foundation.

      You will find quotes from virtually all, including Franklin and Jefferson, supporting the concept of not only God but of the values included within the Christian religion.

      So you see, like many of the period our Founders present a conundrum regarding the role of religion in our founding principles. While they are the products of the enlightenment, our nation is also the product of the Puritans that came before.

      You can not simply state that we ARE NOT a nation founded on Christian principles any more than the Christian can claim WE ARE a nation founded entirely on those principles.

      Perhaps it is best to view the basis, or the foundation, supporting the creation of our nation as the original “melting pot” of values and ideas.

      It is intellectualy dishonest for either side to claim absolutism regarding the role of the Christian religion on the foundation of our Nation. Any attempt at creating the appearance of such absolutism should be viewed by all as another attempt to pit one part of our population against another. What greater divide can exist among a people but that of their religion. Those who keep driving on that wedge do not have an interest in our Liberty nor necessarily in reason itself.

      I hope you take the time to comment here more often and that this was not some drive by attempt.
      Until then, I wish you the best.
      JAC

  40. Judy Sabatini says:

    Get doctor’s opinions on health care bills.

    http://www.onenewsnow.com/Politics/Default.aspx?id=819558

    • Bottom Line says:

      Hi Judy.

      Interesting article.

      I like his answer of giving control to the patient.

      “Moffit says the best way to fix the U.S. healthcare system is to change the location of the key decisions in the system.

      ‘This means that individuals and families, as patients and consumers of health insurance, should make all of the key decisions in the system,'”

      I’m having temporary driver compatibility issues and regret that I was unable to hear sound on the video.

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Hi BL

        Darn computers, if it’s not one thing with them, it’s another. I know every once in a while, this one will just decide to freeze up, as if to say, that’s it, I’m done.

        I agree, I think all people and all families should make their own decisions about anything, without any interference from any part of the government. But what gripes my goat, is the issue of abortion, and how they want that funded into the health care bill, and I’m sure you know how I feel about that one.

        Hope you’re doing well today.

        • Bottom Line says:

          I AM doing well, and of course, wish the same for you.

          I agree with you that abortion shouldn’t be funded by the healthcare bill.

          In spite of how I feel in regards to the abortion issue, I have to take the logical unbiased approach and say that…Abortion is an unnecessary procedure, and isn’t, IMHO, considered healthcare. If it IS indeed a necessary procedure like as in a complication to pregnancy or birth that could endanger mom, well okay…but otherwise…NO, taxes shouldn’t be used for people to duck responsibility.

          What’s next?

          Are they gonna fund BOTOX injections too?

          Breast enhancement?

          And just to put it into perspective…

          I don’t care if it’s necessary or not….It’s not my responsibility to pay for others’ healthcare anyway.

          • Judy Sabatini says:

            I’m doing good today, thanks for asking.

            I don’t know if you read what I wrote the other day about abortions being performed if the mom or baby’s life is in danger. I had asked, how do you make that decision on whose life is more important. How do you know if taking one to save the other is the right thing to do? I think that is really a hard question to answer on whether or not that should be a funded thing. And if I’m not mistaken, I think Flag also agreed with me.

            About those other medical procedures you mentioned. For what I read and posted here a while back on that, the article said that each one of those procedures will be bought and paid for by the ones seeking them, and there will be a pretty big tax put on them. Not sure when that was posted, you might have to back up on some of the ones that USW had written on.

            • Judy Sabatini says:

              Hey Bottom Line, you still out there?

            • v. Holland says:

              I realize that when you agree that any type of abortion is okay, that you open a door for abuse-you only have to look at late-term abortions to see that abuse is very likely if you can find a few corrupt doctors but the possibility for abuse doesn’t override the fact, at least in my mind-that when it comes down to the choice between two lives and someone is going to die that the mother should decide. As far as how you decide whether a woman’s life is truly in danger-the only way I see is to make the law state life only, not a woman’s mental health and then we are going to have to accept the doctors opinion backed with medical info. that supports his medical opinion. I’m sure there are other options that would help stop abuse like second and third opinions but in the end the doctor’s medical opinion would have to be the main thing the decision is based on because in emergency situations there isn’t always a lot of time. I’m gonna post some information at the bottom that shows the differences in state laws about this issue.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late-term_abortion

              • Judy Sabatini says:

                Hi V

                I still stand by my comments I made the other day on this issue. If the mother’s life is in true danger, and an abortion is the only way to save her life, then my question still remains. Why can’t they do all they can to save both> If the baby is far enough along gestation ally, then why can’t the doctor do everything in his power to save that baby’s life, why have to kill it?

              • v. Holland says:

                That’s the point Judy-an abortion shouldn’t be performed until it is established that the mother will die if the pregnancy continues-but the only absolute proof would be the mothers death, so there is no way to be 100 % sure.

              • v. Holland says:

                As far as the baby if he or she can be safely born or taken by ceasarian, then yes by all means do everything possible to save that precious life.

              • Judy Sabatini says:

                When my husband and his twin was born, 63 years ago, they were 7 month preemies, and had to stay in the hospital for 3 months or until they gaine yp to 5 lbs. They weighed in at 2lbs each, and when you see that, you think of late term abortions. Well, I do anyway.

                And yes, I think if every precaution is made to save both lives, then why not at least try. Eack life is priceless, and lways will be.

              • v. Holland says:

                Totally agree. I personally cannot think of any reason that partial birth abortions should ever be performed or that induced births should be forced to die. My point is just that if carrying this child to term will kill the mother than separating the two should be the mothers choice-not that they have the right to just kill the child-if the child can survive independent of the womb with medical help then give it the help-although I know that sometimes that just isn’t possible and when that is the case someone should comfort and hold that child until it’s last breath.

  41. Judy Sabatini says:

    Got this in my E mail box a little bit ago, and wanted to share it.

    Senate Democrats met secretly over the past several days and cooked up a scheme to get 60 votes on their plan for a government takeover of health care. We don’t yet know the full extent of the backroom deals cut to get those votes, but there are reports it will cost the taxpayers hundreds of millions – or even billions – of dollars to pay for all of the political party favors being handed out by Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid.

    It is now expected that the Senate will cast votes in the middle of the night during this holiday week when most Americans are asleep in bed or at home with loved ones. The Democrats in the Senate hope that this artificial urgency will conclude with a vote to approve their plan on Christmas Eve night while nobody is watching.

    Although this may feel like an uphill battle right now, there is still time for you to have an impact. You need to let the Senate know that they should not move forward with this bad bill that costs taxpayers trillions of dollars while sacrificing our freedoms.

    In particular, the following Senators need to hear from the American people before the first cloture vote takes place at approximately 1 AM Monday morning.

    Arkansas
    Blanche Lincoln (202) 224-4843
    Mark Pryor (202) 224-2353

    Connecticut
    Joe Lieberman (202) 224-4041

    Delaware
    Thomas Carper (202) 224-2441

    Indiana
    Evan Bayh (202) 224-5623

    Louisiana
    Mary Landrieu (202) 224-5824

    Maine
    Olympia Snowe (202) 224-5344

    Montana
    Max Baucus (202) 224-2651
    Jon Tester (202) 224-2644

    Nebraska
    Ben Nelson (202) 224-6551

    North Dakota
    Kent Conrad (202) 224-2043
    Byron Dorgan (202) 224-2551

    Virginia
    Mark Warner (202) 224-2023
    Jim Webb (202) 224-4024

    Sincerely,
    Rick Scott
    Chairman
    Conservatives for Patients’ Rights

  42. Judy Sabatini says:

    Republican Leader John Boenhner

    Sen. Reid’s Government-Run Health Plan STILL Requires a Monthly Abortion Fee
    Posted by GOP Leader Press Office on December 19th, 2009

    Follow @GOPLeader on Twitter for updates.

    Fixed it is not. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) latest health care “manager’s amendment” would STILL levy a new “abortion premium” fee on Americans under the Democrats’ health care plan. Just like the original 2,032-page, government-run health care plan from Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) and the last version of Senator Reid’s 2,074-page bill, this latest 383-page amendment levies an abortion premium and does not fix the problem of government funds being used to subsidize elective abortions.

    Under Reid’s “manager’s amendment,” there is no prohibition on abortion coverage in federally subsidized plans participating in the Exchange. Instead the amendment includes layers of accounting gimmicks that demand that plans participating in the Exchange or the new government-run plan that will be managed by the Office of Personnel Management must establish “allocation accounts” when elective abortion is a covered benefit (p. 41). Everyone enrolled in these plans must pay a monthly abortion premium (p. 41, lines 5-8), and these funds will be used to pay for the elective abortion services. The Reid amendment directs insurance companies to assess the cost of elective abortion coverage (p. 43), and charge a minimum of $1 per enrollee per month (p. 43, lines 20-22).

    In short, the Reid bill continues to defy the will of the American people and contradict longstanding federal policy by providing federal subsidies to private health plans that cover elective abortions. The new language does include a “state opt-out” provision if a state passes a law to prohibit insurance coverage of abortion, but it’s a sham because it does nothing to prevent one state’s tax dollars from paying for elective abortions in other states.

    A majority of Americans believe that health care plans should not be mandated to provide elective abortion coverage, and a majority of Americans do not believe government health care plans should include abortion coverage. Currently, federal appropriations bills include language known as the Hyde Amendment that prohibits the use of federal funds to pay for elective abortions under the Medicare and Medicaid programs, while another provision, known as the Smith Amendment, prohibits federal funding of abortion under the federal employees’ health benefits plan. Under the Reid “manager’s amendment” the new health care plan that will mirror the federal employees’ plan and be managed by the Office of Personnel Management will NOT be subject to the Smith Amendment.

    Leader Reid’s latest health care proposal is an affront to the American people and drastically moves away from current policy. In a statement released by National Right to Life Committee legislative director Douglas Johnson said, “The new abortion language solves none of the fundamental abortion-related problems with the Senate bill, and it actually creates some new abortion-related problems.” The American people deserve more from their government than being forced to pay for abortion. The pro-life Stupak/Pitts amendment passed the House by a vote of 240 to 194, enjoying the overwhelming support of 176 Republicans and 64 Democrats. The Stupak/Pitts Amendment codifies current law by prohibiting federal funding of elective abortions under any government-run plan or plans available under the Exchange. The Reid plan ignores the will of a bipartisan majority of the House, and indeed the American people, by rejecting this bipartisan amendment.

    Health care reform should not be used as an opportunity to use federal funds to pay for elective abortions. Health reform should be an opportunity to protect human life – not end it – and the American people agree. House Republicans have offered a common-sense, responsible solution that would reduce health care costs and expand access while protecting the dignity of all human life. The Republican plan, available at HealthCare.GOP.gov, would codify the Hyde Amendment and prohibit all authorized and appropriated federal funds from being used to pay for abortion. And under the Republican plan, any health plan that includes abortion coverage may not receive federal funds.

  43. v. Holland says:

  44. v. Holland says:

    I found this site to be very useful when they are voting on anything-it seems to have up to the minute information and it’s real easy to look at this site when there is a vote going on in Congress.

    http://www.politico.com/livepulse/

  45. Judy Sabatini says:
  46. Judy Sabatini says:

    Luciano Pavarotti singing Ave Maria

  47. Jon,

    1) “you cannot change a system within a system.”

    IF that were the case, we would not now be trying to change our system back to how it used to be.

    Obviously it changed, and it was changed by people in the system itself. You state later in your own post that any government or party, etc. will eventually degrade, meaning the system is able to be changed when the proper pressure is applied.

    The assumption you make here is that the system’s core changed “somewhere along the way”.

    My point is precisely this. The system’s core has never changed.

    The manifestation of the core – as evil – is designed to expose itself very slowly – small moves, every generation.

    If it moves too fast, the people would have long ago revolted. So it moves slow.

    You example is not the system changing, it is the system manifesting into displaying what it is and has been doing this for centuries.

    The modern political system has a built-in negative feedback effect that actively removes those who threaten it with change, while supporting wholly those that wish to maintain the status quo.

    This is not necessarily a bad thing. When a paradigm becomes dominate, it must behave in away to promote itself against those that wish to change it.

    Let’s acknowledge a universal fact: 99.99% of change is for the worst.

    There is a reason we stick and hold on to things “that seem to work” because nearly infinitely everything else does not.

    We cannot leap into some new fad (hence the name) every hour – or we’d be dead in two hours.

    So the system actively prevents change of the system – whose existence, by definition, must have solved some problem, or else it wouldn’t still exist.

    The problem government solved was pervasive, pre-historic violence. At a point in human history, a bit after the agricultural revolution – man had moved from hunter/gather to land owner. This shift did two, critical things:

    1) the human population exploded.
    2) humans stopped hunting and gathering as the primary method of food access and became functionally dependent on the farm for survival.

    With the sudden concentration of food (ie: wealth), and the high effort in earning it, violence to steal it created to, serious, problems:

    1) violence was easy.
    A man could steal in a minute what it took another man 6 months to plant, tend and grow.

    2) the loss of food to theft gravely threatened thousands of people – of a much larger population and much more dependent on a secure access to food.

    The answer to prevent the destruction of huge swathes of mankind was to disallow violence on an individual level as a means of acquisition of resources.

    This concept had to manifest throughout mankind’s thinking – that if any man stole from one person, it threatened the sustainability of the whole society – and as such, the whole society respond against the thief as if that thief stole from them personally. (this logic also worked for murder and physical violence, etc.)

    But the first available means (and some argue, the only available means) to stop violence was to centralize it and legitimatize it for one select class of people. “The Rulers”.

    They would no longer have to ‘earn’ their food – they would take it from whomever they wished, for whatever amount they wished, and whenever they wished – one two conditions:

    1) they cannot take it all – or they are worse then the rampant thievery.
    2) they monopolize all violence so to prevent the ‘lone ranger-thief’ from destroying civilization.

    However, the embedding of this Faustian deal was merely to legitimize violence while attempting to de-legitimized it. Obvious contradiction, which ended up being more destructive than the petty thieves.

    I agree to the argument that government came to be in response to the threat of civilization due to wide-spread violence. I argue that its method – centralizing and monopolizing violence did crush the random, decentralized violence – I argue that by embedding the philosophical rationalizing that ‘initiation of violence is evil’ to justify the use of violence to mitigate that initiation by legitimizing the initiation of violence into another entity was a horrific and terrible mistake of philosophy – I argue that the existence of ‘government’ or “Rulers” has long past being necessary (if it was ever necessary) and is currently the greatest threat to civilization.

  48. Judy Sabatini says:

    Ollie Ollie oxen free, Where is Bottom Line, you left me. Just kidding there BL, I’m sure you had things to do. Just wanted to say, I enjoyed chatting with you as short as it was, but I have to go now. Got a family Christmas party to go. Hope to see you here later, if not, have a great rest of the day, or night, wherever you are.

    Take care my friend.

    Judy

    • Bottom Line says:

      Here I am! Here I am!

      Sorry Judy, Things got kinda busy ’round here. Just got off the phone with old friend from way back when. She suggested we do lunch one day this week. -Sweet.

      So, anyway…

      I enjoyed it too, I think V made a good point when she said that the decision should be left to the mother.

      I wasn’t really trying to argue the justification for abortion, but rather what should be covered by taxes/healthcare bill.

      My first answer is that NOTHING should be covered because socialized medicine is not what we need.

      And if it had to be paid for, it should be about necessity rather than the other reasons usually associated with abortion.

      For the record, I don’t like the idea of abortion and would never want a woman to kill my baby. But I also believe in free will and don’t think that I, nor anyone else, should be able to say what another does with their body, baby, etc.

      However much I disagree, It should be legal.

      Free will trumps.

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Hi BL

        Don’t know if you’re still around or not, you and I agree with 2 things here as much as I hate abortion too, it’s none of my business what a woman does, I just don’t want to know about it, don’t tell me.

        And I also agree they cannot make it illegal, because if they do, as I stated here many times, it will become a back alley procedure or a do it yourself one.

        We have some friends who we’ve known for years. She had gotten pregnant at least 5 times, and has had aborted every one of them. Then she got pregnant again, but for some reason decided to keep that one, why I don’t know. It’s not like they couldn’t afford any of them, but my thing was, she waited too long to change her mind. I never questioned her why she got rid of the first 5, and decided to keep the 6th, I really didn’t want to know the reason why, but my guess was for inconvenience. Just thought I’d share that story again.

        • Bottom Line says:

          Yeah, I’m still here, …for now.

          Enjoy the party?

          Judy – “And I also agree they cannot make it illegal, because if they do, as I stated here many times, it will become a back alley procedure or a do it yourself one.”

          Good point. It’s also another reason why free will trumps.

          They can’t stop it from happening.

          Illegal or not…

          People WILL have unprotected sex.

          Unwanted pregnancies WILL happen.

          Abortions WILL happen.

          Curious…

          Is your friend from a troubled background? Does she have abandonment issues?…like parental abandonment?

          How old was she when she decided to keep one? Was it perhaps a bio-clock thing?

          • Judy Sabatini says:

            HI BL

            Yes, I did enjoy the party, thank you.

            About that friend, I couldn’t tell you that because I don’t know. She is married to one of my husbands best friends and that was like some 25, 30 years ago. I really don’t know her all that well to tell you the truth.

            I’m going to admit something here and I hope none of you will judge me on this. I was 13 when I had my first sexual experience, and had a few more after that, and I guess I was pretty damn lucky I didn’t get pregnant because we had unprotected sex.

            Even when I met my husband, I was 15, we had unprotected sex as well, but who thinks about those things when your young, we didn’t and there again, was lucky.

            When we got married some 40 years ago, it took us 13 years before we had kids. Turned out I had major blockage in my fallopian tubes and major scaring everywhere inside from 10 different surgeries I had too which blocked me from getting pregnant. The doctor said it looked like I had nothing but spider webs everywhere inside me. Had a laporscopy surgery to remove them all.

            Yes, there will always bee unwanted pregnancies and abortions, something that will never go away, but I feel for the unwanted baby and what it has to go through during an abortion.

            I am going to go for the night, am tired, and my eyes are killing me. Want to go take a nice hot shower and relax, besides I am having trouble typing, getting brain dead and my fingers aren’t working right.

            So, on that note I will say good night to you BL, as usual, been a pleasure, and maybe we can continue this tomorrow.

            Have a good rest of the night.

            Judy

        • v. Holland says:

          I never have understood and I suspect I never will understand why people feel that they cannot tell another human that they cannot just take a forming life and destroy it. I admit that pregnancy is a special case but we write laws that make parents responsible for their children but allow them to kill their children if they happen to still be in the womb. Doesn’t make any sense to me- and does the fact that some humans are willing to go to extreme measures, really mean we should accept what is basically killing a human being to protect them from themselves, while destroying innocent life.

          • Hi vH!

            I would suspect that, over time, too mant people have become irresponsible, especially todays youth. Despite our best efforts to teach our kids right and wrong, and that their action have repercussions, they still coninue to act in immoral ways. I have first hand experience with this with my youngest.

            I can’t pinpoint the reason, I can only see the problem. Who knows, maybe cable TV wasn’t such a good thing after all. 🙂

            G!

            • v. Holland says:

              Our children are being taught that there are no repercussions-get married it doesn’t work out just get a divorce Get pregnant no big deal just get an abortion. Unfortunately no matter what we try to teach our children there are all those other voices out there telling them by there actions not their words -that there is always an out and it is completely acceptable to use them instead of being responsible in the first place.

  49. Jon,

    2) You state that you must conform to a system structure to enter it. While this is true, working within the structure of some system does not imply total conformity, certainly not so much that one cannot be an agent of change. The system will not reject an agent of change, it is just a system. Those who want the status quo will resist agents of change, but that is a state of life that exists with or without a government being in the picture.

    When I stated that one must conform to the system to enter it, I meant that one must agree that there exists within the system something that is salvageable and that there is some inherent process that institutes change.

    The process that institutes change within the government theory is revolt and revolution.

    However, as I’ve argued in the past, such a process only creates another identical root system – the legitimization of violence on the non-violent – as its means.

    To me, it’s like burning down a slum house only to build another slum house but with fresher paint with different colors in its place.

    The core – use of violence upon the non-violent – remains embedded in the “new” system of government. Essentially, nothing has changed but the color and the names – red instead of blue.

    —–

    To the the first point; what part of government is there that you wish to salvage?

    There isn’t one single thing that it does as a ‘service’ that isn’t or couldn’t be provided by the effort of free men.

    So, to me, it is weirdly bizarre to try to ‘save’ something of government.

    It comes with so much evil baggage, even when it is small, that using it to provide ‘anything’ no matter how small, is so incredibly dangerous.


    I would argue it is best to do without that ‘something’ that free men cannot provide then ask the beast-of-evil to provide it.

    But, of course, you’ve read that I would prefer smaller government to bigger government and no government vs. smaller government.

    If there is a move to reducing government I would support it – but I make clear my aim – which is no government.

    Just like trying to stop a water pipe breach – you have to turn off the tap. The effect over time is that the water flow starts to slow, and gets slower and slower as the tap is closed – until it stops.

    I do not pretend that we can go from wide open government to no government overnight – no more than we can ‘instantly’ close a water tap.

    But because I may nod in agreement to less government does not mean I support government-that-is-less.

    To me, it is a transition, nothing more – before no government and that tap is permanently closed.

    • BF

      “To me, it is a transition, nothing more – before no government and that tap is permanently closed.”

      Or my dear friend, to a government unlike any you have been able to imagine thus far.

      But that is the challenge of our quest. To discover the possible then set the course for others to reach the goal.

      Best to you and your family this very gray and wet Sunday.
      JAC

  50. Jon,

    As for the danger of revolution or sudden change, look at what happened in Chile when they changed their government overnight. It has helped that country enormously with surprisingly little suffering involved in the changeover.

    Unless, of course, you ask the survivors of the tortured dead – the family and friends who searched for those loved ones that disappeared – and then the discovery of bones of those who were lost were then found … only to have shown that they suffered extreme torture until death…

    Indeed, if we ignore those that suffer, those that are tortured, and those survivors
    that have to live with the knowing that their children/husbands/brothers/fathers/family/friends, in their last moments of life, were embraced in harsh pain and suffering … then we can claim with our purposeful ignorance that the ‘change’ was painless.

    However, my heart cannot stop weeping for them.

    As for the effectiveness of nothing, I have considered the John Galt approach, but that scenario is more difficult to administer than Rand’s novel implies. We are not a nation run by a few industrial supermen. It is not just the great men in our society that make it work, it is the good men too, maybe even a few of the average men. A total, unified mindset of “do nothing” would be about as realistic to implement as a revolt, maybe even less so. At least with a revolt people get fired up.

    I think that was the root of the whole story, Jon.

    A few super-men, and some great men, and a whole lot of good men hold this whole system together – sacrificing everything they have for the good of society.

    But there is a limit.

    One such sociologist suggested that when the strength of those that ‘provide or create’ become diluted by greater than 100 to the others who ‘hang on’, the system will fail. That sociologist suggested that (this was back in 1995 or so) that it was at 96 to 1, and it was soon to overcome that “100” barrier.

    A revolt? I do not think so, unless the government puts troops into the streets.

    I watched an ‘old’ movie last night* “A Year Living Dangerously”. The turning point was – troops in the street. Until the government provokes the people into revolt, there will be no revolt.

    The effectiveness of “nothing” is universally powerful – which is why it is so feared.

    A small philosophical example (and to use Hollywood – but I do think Chris Nolan is a genius) is Batman “Batman Begins”.

    In one of the last scenes the hero and villain are locked into a battle to the death.

    Batman hyper-strategy overcomes the villains super-strategy and Batman stands over his foe, holding the death blow.

    Villain: “You’ve finally realized that you must do what is necessary”
    (That is kill the villain)

    Batman: “I will not kill you” (and then creates an escape for himself from the impeding destruction)

    …”but I do not have to save you”

    And that is the “nothing” I speak of. The system is mortally and evil’ly flawed. It will kill itself as it is meant to.

    To try to save it – will make it continue.

    To try to destroy it with purpose – will make it continue.

    So – “I will not act to kill it – but I do not need to save it”.

    By doing NOTHING – I will destroy it.

    • *Went to a wonderful friend’s house last night.

      She is the President of our Home School Society – she picked up the role after me (I am the “Emeritus President” and Director).

      I’ve been overwhelmed with a flurry of urgent situations from my favorite clients.

      am exhausted… and her and her husband’s offered my wife, child and I to come over to their 5200 sq.ft. “mansion” (they’ve been building and continue to build their dream home on a 100 acre plot in the middle of nowhere) and spend the night – allowing our daughter to mingle and play and “sleep over” with their nation of six kids 🙂 was overwhelmingly enticing.

      It was wonderful. I lay on their couch, and played computer games with their boys.

      Their 4 year old fell asleep in my arms – what a memory of my own little one too many years ago…

      I drank a whole lot of their beer. Then watched that old movie – again – with them but typically with a whole different perspective. And then went to bed in one of their (it seemed) 100 rooms and slept like a baby.

      Sure I traded my computer skills and fixed all of their computer problems, etc. for that hospitality.

      But it was a cheap trade for me.

      I couldn’t have asked for a better Christmas present than 36 hours of drinking, prepared food and their service, and fun and games with friends. The wife and child had fun too 😉

      • That’s it! Flag is too tenderhearted to be a computer program. He’s real.

        • Bottom Line says:

          Or ‘it’ COULD be a clever and highly advanced A.I. with simulated human emotional response characteristics.

          Probably not.

          My guess is that he’s real.

          • Judy Sabatini says:

            Oh, come now, don’t give Flag such a hard time, even though he likes to give some here one. I’ve come to the conclusion, that he’s just a real big, kind, soft hearted person, and doesn’t want to show it all the time.

            I think deep down, we all know he’s just a big lovable person and would do anything for anybody. Within reason of course.

            Flag, if you’re out there, I am giving you a big squeezy E-Hug.

            Judy

      • Bottom Line says:

        Technical assistance with computer equipment – X dollars

        36 hour supply of beer – X dollars

        Prepared food – X dollars

        A genuine good time with family and friends – Priceless

  51. Hi Ya’ll!

    After a miserable day of unexpected and avoidable events that I had no control of, I did see the man trying to get GOOOH going on Fox news this morning. It was cool to see this on TV, since I only know of it from the folks here on this site. For a short while, it was nice to have what GOOOH stands for on a major news network. It’s certainly a much needed change to replace everyone of the HOR.

    In between all the crap I had to deal with, I did realize that this, although a good short term idea, would never be a long term solution. Our system is to ripe with corruption, and that won’t change, until the system itself is dissolved. The and only then can change occur. As I read the posts from Jon and Flag a short while ago, it donned on me that, despite the best of intentions, if the system remains, tyranny, far worse than we know today, will follow.

    We face an incredible moment in our history. Do we allow this beast to remain?

    G!

    • Bottom Line says:

      Sup G,

      Youth is King.

      Order out of Chaos.

      We’ll be dead. They will rebuild.

      Ensure their survival, and teach them how and what to build.

      Of course, helping it go down should expedite the process. We might be old instead of dead.

      lol.

    • Hey There G!

      I agree that we’re headed for tyranny. The question is when? Will it be sooner or later? What will next year’s election bring? Will our Marxist masters accept that we don’t want what they’re selling, or will they put their boot on our necks? If they don’t listen to voters when voters tell them not to socialize our health care, not to pass Cap and Trade, and not continue to run up the national debt, why would they respect the will of the voters and leave office? Do the Marxists plan to have ACORN guarantee a sham election? Will some manufactured crisis require an indefinate suspension of elections? I wouldn’t put it past those people…..

  52. Judy Sabatini says:

    Squeezy E-HUGS to all. Love you people.

    Good night

    Judy

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