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Monthly Archives: January 2011

I read an article ages ago that was complaining about American Exceptionalism and how, along with the religious right and the Christianess of the new GOP, it was turning to major Political Nationalism. Is turning to Nationalism.

And you know this gets to the whole Manifest Destiny Versus Divine providence blog that I abandoned, but it is the same idea.

I disagree. I do not think that American Exceptionalism or thinking yourself is good, or that America is great because America is good, is an evil idea.

And it does not mean we are going to take over the world, or kill all the Muslims or the Jews, and it does not mean that we are going to kick butt. People are confusing exceptionalism with, racial, religious, or nationalistic, arrogance.

The idea to have merit and to be good and to strive for perfection and to be exceptional is not bad.

Sure, if it was twisted, molded, bent spindled and mutilated and recombined into something else it could be used for great evil. We have the potential for being a nightmare.

But it does not have to be that way. Our pride and our appreciation for our nation and our principles does not have to be evil.

Why?

Well the answer is to be found in the above.

It is about the ideals and the principles at the foundation and at the formation of the Republic.

It is about our ideals and our thoughts. It is about merit and that we can individually strive to pursue our own happiness and that we have our own individual rights.

That Nationalists are only special because they belong to a group based on racial or religious or blood type. Or intellectual elite or the millions of reasons that you have a set versus set group.

No, we are not great because we are a white nation, or a Christian Nation, or that we were founded by white people. Or women, blacks, Jews, and people from all walks of life.

That is not why we are great.

We are exceptional because the Christians, and the white people, and the founders, and the people from all walks of life came together and gave us ideals and principles to follow.

We are not great because of matters of flesh, or because of what group we chose to associate with. No that is not why we are great.

We are great because it is not about what we are, but who we are, the content of our character.

And sadly,a tragic number of people in our history has not done this.

Which is hardly exceptional.

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I do not really want to go into that much more detail in this, but I will. Because I think there are important and valuable lessons that can be learned here, and it has been fascinating watching all of the aftermath play out.

And in fact, this is the only proper way to do this. Over a week since the shootings, with all the facts and a lot of information out there that can be used to form an opinion.

Lots that can be learned about here, and not rushing to judgment.

Lessons based on liberty, libertarian solutions, and based on the individual.

In fact I can think of precisely three lessons that we can learn here.

One, it is about the individual, and not the collective.

Most of the people who read this blog have read about and heard about and seen the plain vicious campaign against Conservatives and the entire right-wing of the American Body politic. Most people have seen the smears, the generalizations, and the lies.

But certain Conservatives or members of the ‘right’ have done likewise. Not exactly accusing any liberal of causing this violence or leading to the shootings and the death of six people, but still dealing in collectivist terms and not exactly helping our case.

Or helping the conservative movement.

Comments like ‘libturd’ ‘libtard’ and others that I have heard bandied about recently, the many many many others, that I have heard recently…are not helpful. And will only seek to inflame the situation more. Someone has to be the voice of reason, and there are those that have been.

It has occurred to me that no matter the personal weaknesses of ‘liberal’ ideology we still need to deal with them as the individual. Individual on individual, and on the individual issues.

Because, otherwise, all we have is a game and a shouting match of people pointing fingers at people and whole groups of people will be getting caught in the rhetorical crossfire.

The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Secondly, many people and politicians have been using this for their own means, and for their own agenda and as an excuse for cracking down on freedom and liberty.

Everything from outlawing ‘violent political symbols’ to a renewed call for Fairness Doctrine 2.0, to gun control legislation.

It seems to me that many of these proposals are counter intuitive. There will still be criminals and those who will break these laws, and there will still be those that can do harm to people.

Because the law that will limit guns in the region of a political official of 1000- 3000 yards, well someone who is a really good shot can still do that.

And there is also those who would hide weapons to meet their own means.

All this will do is limit the freedoms of those who will choose to follow the laws. All this will do is limit the freedoms of the law-abiding. All this will do is limit all of our freedom. Especially in the vein of speech, and the first amendment to the Constitution.

And they will probably be ineffective in the long run.

And it has also occurred to me that there were probably laws on the books that could have checked the shooter in the first place and deal with him in the first place, if they were followed.

We do not need new laws, we need to enforce the ones we have.

Three, that politicians and certain liberal and Big Government advocates and Progressives will use this as an excuse to bridle freedom of speech through a ‘Fairness Doctrine’ ‘Net Neutrality’ or other schemes.

No matter the facts of the matter their perception is that the language (of the right) is creating a dangerous climate and more events such as these are only seconds away from becoming regular.

People will be judged by their political opinions and forced to ‘balance’ out the opinions with opposing views. And if you do not do this and you have the wrong opinion, you will be shut down.

Thus removing a vital safety valve, perhaps the most vital in our Republic, the First Amendment.

It has occurred to me that is exactly what the first amendment is to people. It lets them vent their frustrations and use their words to express their opinion and displeasure at the current situation.

Without that you are playing with fire.

That the Fairness Doctrine, passed into law in 1949, and repealed in 1987, removed that relief valve.

And several assassinations and attempted assinations blotted out the map. JFK, RFK, MLK, and Ronald Regan.

And I, myself, was very angry when Obama was elected. I was bitter, angry, and depressed.

But then I started to hear opinions and get informed by certain people. Then I started this blog. And I then had a relief valve that could turn my anger into positive action.

A relief valve that let me come to the conclusion that love, the individual, and libertarian values, is the way out of the political nightmare that we have built for ourselves.

I am not saying that the fairness doctrine or the lack of the fairness doctrine is as responsible for causing political assassinations and their attempts as Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, or Glenn Beck.

But what I am saying is that words will not here anyone, no matter how high flung, ‘violent’ and rhetorical they are. No matter how passionate or inflamed words cannot hurt or harm a single person and we can learn a lot about people by their rhetoric, who we should listen to, and who we should scorn.

But bullets do.

I want to take a chance to leap off the safety tree for a second. And to talk about violent revolutions within the United States of America. *gasp*

First of all I would like to make something very very very clear. I am in no way condoning a violent revolution, a violent overthrow of the US or any Government or Government agency, and nor do I think it is a good idea. No matter what happens in this blog I do not think that revolutions are good things, especially the violent ones.

They are very dangerous things and there is only one result from the initiation of such a Revolution, like what we had in 1776, or 1917, or the French Revolution.

The Republic will fail and our way of life will be over.

But yet despite this very obvious fact and despite all the pain and the misery such a revolution would bring…a lot of people seem to be wanting to do one.

A lot of people seem to be advocating it and wanting it and considering the possibility in more than theoretical terms.

I think its simple.

A long time ago, a couple of weeks…well time is relative. :P…I was watching the Patriot.

And the thought occurred to me towards the end, I think as someones head was being blown apart by a cannon ball or a leg…do we want this to happen?

It was a very sobering feeling watching that movie.

War coming to these shores.

A war of American on American.

Do we really want this to happen?

With modern weapons?

The blood, the horror, the pain, the sacrifice, and the destruction?

Do we really want that?

Especially considering the enemies that this country has made won’t just sit on the sidelines for this theoretical war.

The carrion eaters will just be lying in wait to pick us and our allies dry.

I suppose though the Republic could theoretically survive after the fact.

We could rebuild and reform this nation based on the ideals of the founding or some facsimile.

But if a violent revolution happens it is game over.

It will mean the end of the Republic, and the end of the American experiment. It will mean we have failed as a people.

And when that happens our fate is up in the air. What will happen to the lands of this country and its people is any bodies guess.

One of a million things could happen.

And it is unlikely we will ever get the Republic back again once we go down that path, and many of us will not live to see the outcome.

Leave no stone left unturned, that seems to be the message so far for the One Hundredth and twelfth Congress.

It seems really absurd to be talking about this now, given that the new Congress has had less than a month to get settled but, I have been amazed at some of the speed that I have seen yet, and some of the things that we have heard come down the wires, and been discussed.

I would give them a B-, considering most of this remains rhetorical, or in progress, and we will just have to wait and see.

And keeping in mind of course that a lot of this might not happen for one reason in our Democratic Republic or the other. We have things to consider.

But yet, it has been amazing the speed, and the quickness that this Congress is moving.

The last one took nearly a year and half to consider its major policy initiative when they should not have had that much resistance (except in party, and they had to bribe and trick, and promise until they got what they wanted)

Whether it is in the military, (Story), Michelle Bachman saying that they are beginning to cut their spending within their own staffs, totaling 450 billion dollars, or that the Congress is planning on cutting 2.5 trillion dollars. (story).

Or that Ron Paul and Darrel Issa will begin to look into the Government and the corruption and the Federal Reserve thanks to the power of their new offices.

Its going to be a busy year for Congress, and a busy Congress, and now is just the bold beginning.

I know that this may not go well, and I know this probably is not enough to solve our nations woes, but it is a start, it is a beginning.

We just have to keep the pressure on, prepare in our own lives, and make sure that we can do all we can do.

For our bold problems require bold solutions.

With conversations on our debt and fiscal responsibility and economic policies I think it is a good time to reflect on exactly what our wealth is.

What is it? What is our wealth? Is it simply the sum of our dollars and the number of money and stuff that we have?

I…really do not think so. I mean sure it is in some way, but I think there is something more, something more philosophical.

I believe our wealth, our true wealth, is what we make and what we do and how we spend our money. It is what we build and what we create and what we want.

It is how we balance out our needs and our wants and help to create something for another person. So that we can get something in return.

Our money, our dollar, is merely a pale reflection a pale shadow of what our true wealth is. What we can do and what we can build and the materials we have.

Long past, I believe, that the days are long past that we must measure our wealth by our dollars and by our ability to go out and get stuff.

It is not about the minimum wages and the amount of money that you get and the amount of stuff you have it is what you do with it. What are you going to do it to satisfy your needs and help build the future?

Because we, and our politicians, are in an ever gathering race to spend more money and we believe that the more money that we have is an inherent good. It is not. That just because we can spend more money or receive more money, through minimum wage, that we are doing something.

But this is a self fulfilling cycle, this is a self feeding cycle that can get so easily get out of control.

We have seen it over and over again with increasing prices and increasing need for the next thing.

Well if that is what you want…

But long past are the days when we must be giving more and more wealth to people.

I have heard it said that the dollar has lost 95% of its value since the Federal Reserve went into effect.

Well instead of doing things in our own lives, and with our politicians, that weaken the dollar we need it to be strengthened.

Instead of 100 dollars can’t something be worth 20 or 30?

If we can do more things with fewer dollars isn’t it worth it?

Will it not be worth it to shift our wealth into what we create instead of the number of these pretty green things we get?

I don’t know, each of us has to make this decision on our own as the individual. But it makes sense to me the more create with the fewer things and the better ideas we have, the better we are as a people.

It is one of the fundamental issues of our time, trying to define and understand what our debt is. To understand our financial woes and exactly what they are and where we are as a people.

Because the debt is one of the things that can kill our country, and it has killed many nations in the past. Trade deficits and then spending money you do not have.

But… the only way I can come to understand the debt, is that it is not the disease itself. Nope, it is not what is wrong with the society, it is not what is wrong with the people, it is a symptom of it.

It is a symptom like a temperature or a fever.

It is a pointer to everything that is wrong with our society, but it is not actually what is wrong with our society.

And like any temperature or a fever the higher the temperature, the more money that we spend and the higher the debt goes, the worse off the patient is.

And frankly the weaker we are to further threats and other diseases and outside threats.

We are in such a weakened state because of what is wrong with our country and how it is coming out in our debt.

Large swaths of this country with an entitlement mentality, all of us spending loads and loads of money, us getting used to our life styles, us getting too comfortable.

We are in a very weakened state, and we are not ready to take the hard medicine, as a people, which is why our temperature is so dang high. Which is why we are in such a weakened state right now.

But the good news is that, well because some people are pointing at the debt and saying ‘hey its getting hot in here!’, that the patient is healing and that the patient is fighting for our lives and trying to rid ourselves of the disease and get better, by getting to more fiscal sanity. In one form or another.

The good news is that the cells are talking to each other and trying to rebound, but that is causing the temperature to go up, the debt to go up, and societal angst is also starting to get more acute.

Because there is little that we can do about this pressure, other than to pop some pills and get our politicians to behave and begin the healing process. 😛

The debt ceiling, it is a very important topic that is going to effect the very core of our nation. And who and what we are. I could talk about the GOP efforts to repeal Obama Care, but this is more important.

I could talk about the tragedy in Arizona, this is more important and I am sick of talking about the shooting.

So that leaves the debt ceiling to discuss, and oh I will.

You know my opinion…I hate myself for having it. I hate myself for saying it…and am half tempted to chuck myself off a bridge for saying it. It goes against every fiber of my moral and political being, well almost, and at the least I want to vomit.

But I support raising it.

The idea behind it is, potentially, pain now or pain later? Do we collapse the country and default on our debts or do we give ourselves one more last chance to save ourselves?

Keeping in mind that this might be fear mongering, in which case, well you should not raise the debt ceiling because that is not likely true.

But assuming it is true and we could collapse the system and come to an end and go through great pain if we do not raise the debt ceiling. We should raise it.

As long as we start fixing things and begin to turn the tide, we should raise it. And the new Congress is already taking the first small steps to restore fiscal solvency.

And there are two very good reasons for it too.

First of all, I do not think we can quite stop this gravy and this debt train in the first place. Not now, depending on exactly what the debt limit is and depending on what they raise it to we could hit it no matter what and we are going to go shooting past it.

We are still spending money and are on the hook for massive funding. I mean just look at Social Security sometime and the obligations there. Or Health Care.

We are still spending money and despite the massive gains in liberty leaning candidates or candidates that will want to increase liberty, freedom, and responsibility in our Government and in our Congress we still do not have enough.

The Republicans only have control of the house. The Senate is divided, and Obama is in the White House.

And there are still many old guard Republicans that we cannot completely trust to advance our liberty or bring the Country into fiscal order.

It’s just not going to happen folks.

Yes, with certain Republicans and the Liberty candidates…and the American people…where they are now, we can help begin the process.

But this is a train and its out of control. The best we can do is slow it down and hopefully start to really turn it down and get it back. We can hopefully make the problem no worse and slow down the increase of the debt.

The second reason is that it could very easily lead to a massive collapse of the US Government.

We could default on our debts, the Dollar could crash, our economy could freeze, and the Government will shut down.

As appealing as the last option is it really may not be smart. We do need the Government to do something…but the least, the better.

But I still do not think we as people are ready for a collapse. I know I am not, I do not want a collapse…to go through pain and grow and learn and get out of this mess as painful as it will be…yes…die and lose my country. Nope.

This country is not ready to face such a radical change, many of us are close in one way or another, but I do not think we truly are ready for things to just stop working and implode.

This is just my opinion.

And especially with the Republicans which have been elected to a position of much greater power and responsibility.

And while many people perceive them as having across the board rhetoric to shrink the Government…it is going to be told by the state-ists that ideology has failed, has caused this and our problems. And a lot of people in their panic is going to believe it.

The Republicans and the Tea Parties, for right and wrong, will get blamed for all the problems of the country if this comes to pass and the nightmare scenario results from not raising the debt ceiling.

And thus the Statists will win the day and will gain the power that they want in future years.

I almost wonder if this was all planned by some to be this way.

I wanted to do the first actual real life non BOW blog with this idea…before getting back to the grind of politics and philosophy.

I want to create a list of Libertarian ‘pop culture.’ Shows, movies, TV, Books, songs, that can have potential Libertarian themes in them…or that Libertarians can learn a great deal from.

Now this is by far not a complete list, and in fact the plan is to update it with a new blog each and every year that this blog can be up and running and posting to update it with new suggestions. Suggestions from friends and commentators on all the places that this blog is.

I will try to get to them, can’t make any promises, but I will recommend and pass along the thought.

So without further delay, the list:

Movies: Harry Potter Series, Lord of the Rings Series, Robin Hood (Crowe Version).

TV: Babylon 5,

Books 1632 Series, Lord of the Rings Series, Harry Potter Series, Tom Clancy Series,

Songs None at this time.

Though you know…this blog has never just been a ‘political’ blog.

It has been a blog about everything that I can comment on. Politics, Philosophy, Religion, Pop culture…and there is going to be more of that in the new year.

As I have said…I think this year is going to be rough for us. But it is a year not just for politics.

It will be for that to, and I will be talking about that too. But in the upcoming days and months will be more discussion on philosophy, and in a place that I have rarely ventured…religion.

That is what the immediate future holds.

That and… more politics of course.

Next year is 2011, it is the year between 2010, and 2012…an off-year if you will.

Well it is and it isn’t. It is still a year that, we…all of us, have a lot to do in the new year and other the course of 2011.

But just because it is an off year from the main scene of politics does not mean that we should not be any less vigilant. We should be very vigilant when it comes to our politicians and what they are doing. But it is not a year just for politics, that can again come in 2012.

It is a year that I think we are going to have to prepare. It is going to be a very busy year I think for all of us.

It’s a year, that I think we should take a break from politics and start setting off on fundamental principles.

To make ourselves stronger and more secure in our work, our lives, our finances, our money, out morality, and our communities and families, before 2012 hits.

Yes we need to pay very close attention to politics and keep the politicians honest, and keep score so we know who to vote out when their time comes, but it is not all about that.

There will be plenty of time for 2012 to go back down into politics and pure issues of policy and how that affects our morality and the fabric of our society.

But we need to be ready for that wild roller coaster of a ride I believe 2012 is going to be.

We need to lick our wounds and heal and rest, when we can, from what happened in 2010.

After all this country has suffered greatly, from Health Care to everything the Congress did in their ‘lame duck’ session of congress.

We need to take some political breather and take a step back from it all.

And look at what is going on around the world. Just look at it all.

We need to be ready for all of this that is going to happen in 2012, and now is the only time we can take for it.

2011 may very well be the year that we save the Republic and begin to make ourselves strong. That we build on our strengths, reflect on our weaknesses, and that ultimately we learn and get ready.

Things are transitioning, things are building, and we have to be ready for them and start building our own destiny.

Because our good friend Frances Fox Piven is doing likewise, in her own merry way…or at least advocating it.