Posts Tagged ‘freedom’

How much of my money doesn’t belong to me? How much of the money I earn with my own two hands should be used to fund someone else’s retirement? Or their health care? Or anything for anyone, without my approval?

Has anyone who advocates for any government welfare program ever considered that maybe, just maybe, people would be more charitable if they got to keep more of their money? I bring home $490 out of my check every week. I send $110 every week to the government under the agreement that that money will help pay for the defense of this country, my health care when I’m old, and my retirement.

Instead, that money is used for unconstitutional nation building, other people’s health care, and other people’s retirement. Social Security trust fund? Doesn’t exist. A doctor that accepts Medicare or Medicaid? Fewer every day. Defending the country? Sure, if you count wars against countries which have done nothing to us and assassinating American citizens without a trial defending our country.

The plain truth is that anyone, including the government, that claims a stake on my money without my having voluntarily given it, is claiming a stake on a piece of your life. That equates to slavery. 

Every man is free to pursue his own selfish ends so long as he doesn’t infringe on or impede the right of someone else to do the same.

I’m reading Leonard Peikoff’s (executor of Ayn Rand’s estate) introduction to We The Living, & I have to disagree with him on one point: he says America was the result of, among other things, the West’s ridicule of Christianity. To my knowledge, the colonies were a pretty religious lot, as were the founders. 

To treat religion as the enemy is the wrong approach. I am a Christian. I believe in helping others. I believe in being charitable. I don’t believe, however, that it should be up to the government to direct our dollars to charities at their discretion.

Randians & religious peoples of all flavors can find a common ground: my money is mine to do with as I see fit, not for you to forcibly take from me and do with as you see fit.

Government should go back to it’s beginnings and do what it was meant to do: keep us safe, while the courts do what they were meant to do & protect the law from government.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

The very first words of the very first amendment to the US Constitution. These words are very important. The founders understood over 200 years ago that the freedom to practice your religion, whatever it may be, or no religion, is essential to securing all other freedoms.

This is just as true today as it was then. That’s why it bothers me when people from all sides of the political spectrum are calling for the community center (which is mistakenly referred to as a mosque) to not be allowed to be built two blocks away from the former WTC site. These supposed lovers of freedom are calling for two of the most basic freedoms, freedom of religion & the right to private property, to be denied to a select group of people based on what happened nine years ago (yes, it was a tragedy) perpetrated by a small group of terrorists from a country not even remotely like ours.

And it’s not just happening in NYC. Just an hour or so from my house, a community center (also referred to as a mosque) is finding opposition to a planned expansion in Murfreesboro. The kicker? The group has had a community center in the county since 1997. The reason for the epansion is because they’ve outgrown their current facility. Luckily, despite the opposition, the expansion will be allowed.

This battle is being fought all over the country. Newt Gingrich says that we shouldn’t allow mosques in this country until Christian churches are allowed in Saudi Arabia (or something along those lines). Howard Dean says it’s an affront. He also says those doing the project in NYC are doing it in good faith (that’s a little contradictory).

The fact is that none of these projects are in violation of any zoning laws, they’re being built on private property, and are run by those who have proven to be good citizens. Why should we deny them their constitutional right to practice their religion, especially on private property?

Do you disagree with Islam as a religion? If so, why? Are you aware that Islam, Judaism, & Christianity share many of the same tenets? Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, & the angel Gabriel all appear in the 3 religions, among other figures.

But Muslims stone people to death, right? Well, it’s allowed under their laws, but the majority of Islamic nations have ceased this practice. And don’t forget, stoning was an acceptable punishment in early Christianity & Judaism. 

Look, we all have our differences. But the fact is they have the right to practice their religion, especially on their own property. We have no right to take that away. And when you insult their religion, you most likely insult your own (unless you’re an atheist).

Isn’t funny how people can figure out what kind of person you are, how you grew up, etc just from one political comment? It’s uncanny how accurate they are!

For example: during the 2008 presidential campaign I made a comment on a blog on Myspace that I didn’t support Obama because I don’t agree with his stance on several issues (for the record I supported Ron Paul. When he didn’t get the nomination, I voted McCain *ugh*). Well this one reader of the blog took it upon herself to call me out. And rightfully so. I never would have seen the light if not for her.

Turns out it wasn’t because I believed in a different political/economic ideology because of all the research I had done up to that point. No, it was because I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth, I’m rich, have had everything handed to me on a silver platter, and I don’t care about the little people or those that are suffering.

How very accurate! At that point, I dropped to my knees & prayed for the Lord to forgive me for my sins!

Ok, if you’re not getting the sarcasm by now, seek help. Also, read on to learn about my childhood.

I was born in 1979. If I remember the story correctly, I was 2 or 3 weeks premature (got my picture taken with Miss Tennessee, though, so it was worth it). I spent a couple weeks in an incubator because my lungs were underdeveloped & I would forget to breathe.

My dad, albeit jokingly (I hope), has credited my hospital stay as part of the reason my parents filed bankruptcy (also, the economy sucked back then, too). I vaguely remember living in a trailer in the middle of town, briefly. When I was 4, we (me, Mom, Dad, & my brother) moved in with my grandparents, who lived in a very, very small house. 

There was a living room, kitchen, (I think) 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom…for 6 people (was used for several more when Dad was raised there. Big family). I didn’t care how big it was or the condition it was in (the uneven floor made roller skating, in one room, easy). 

I didn’t realize it at the time, but Mom & Dad took out loans for a Christmas or two, just so me & my brother would enjoy it (I miss my little yellow 4-wheeler). We never wanted for anything. We had clothes, a roof, loving parents, food…but we were far from well-off.

I made friends at school & little league. I fought with my brother. Got in trouble. Blah blah blah.

Am I leaving some stuff out? Yeah. But you won’t get my life story here.

My point is: don’t think you know someone from one comment they make about anything. I have friends who make racist jokes. Are they racist? No. Insensitive, maybe, but not racist. I have friends/family who are Democrats. Are they facist, socialist, commie pigs? Of course not. Though we disagree politically (which makes for great conversations), we know we are both good people. We’ve just had different life experiences that led to different conclusions.

So obviously I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Things aren’t handed to me on a silver platter. I’m most definitely not rich (I’ve been unemployed for 11 months now). I do care about the poor, which I am, and those that are suffering. I just believe a truly free market is the way to promote income mobility & alleviate suffering. Will there be assholes who take advantage of the disadvantaged in a free economy? Of course. But the market, IMO, would deal with them. 

Yes, Ayn Rand is the source of my main belief that “Man—every man—is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others. He must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself. The pursuit of his own rational self-interest and of his own happiness is the highest moral purpose of his life.” (from The Ayn Rand Institute). This belief fuels my other beliefs.

In conclusion: I am not a Godless heathen who cares only about himself. I am a God-fearing man who believes rational selfishness and adherance to the truth benefits everyone, not just the one. For future personal attacks on me, please refer to this post before being an anonymous hit-and-run commenter.Haters

Prop 8

Posted: June 16, 2010 in freedom, rants, religion
Tags: , , ,

“You don’t have to have evidence to prove that the purpose of marriage is to bear and raise children.”

The above is from Charles Cooper, the lawyer defending the gay marriage ban in California.

So does that mean, in his eyes, that not only should gay couples be kept from getting married, but also couples where one or both are infertile shouldn’t be allowed to wed?

But on the flip side, couples who can’t conceive children naturally (whether infertile or homosexual) have other options to having children. From artificial insemination to adoption, couples of all kinds can “bear & raise children”.

Also, you don’t have to be married to conceive or raise a child. Not sure if his parents had that talk with him.

For the record, I am against anything that limits personal freedoms. Gay marriage doesn’t hurt anyone and doesn’t force anyone to do something against their will.

What do you think is the true purpose of government? If you said anything other than “to secure our freedom” or something similar, I’m going to have to respectfully disagree.

Is it the job of the government to provide us with electricity? What about water? No, it’s not. Our public works sector could easily be privatized. As a matter of fact, when TVA brought electricity to the Tennessee valley, a private company, Commonwealth & Southern, was planning on doing the same thing. But TVA was FDR’s baby and the rest is history. (for more info, check out Amity Shlaes)

Is it government’s job to provide us with an education? No. Private schools, those affiliated with a religious organization and those that aren’t, often out-perform public schools in many areas. And when vouchers are offered by the government to underprivileged children who would otherwise have to attend a sub-par public school, the children excel, and at a smaller burden to the taxpayers. One only has to look at the DC voucher program (which Education Secretary Arne Duncan decided wasn’t worth it and was subsequently canceled) to see how successful they can be.

Is it government’s responsibility to plan our retirement? Negative. This one really concerns me. Since when is it right, in a free country, for the government to take a chunk out of my paycheck without my consent and use it to pay for the retirements of the previous generation? Since FDR. Social Security was another of FDR’s progressive (what I call socialist) programs. It’s also a pyramid scheme on a scale Bernie Madoff would envy.

Up until a few years ago almost no one questioned the viability of the program. And why should they have? With more people entering the workforce than there were leaving it, SS was in no danger of running out of funds. But with the baby boomers set to retire over the next few years, and with fewer people entering the workforce than there will be leaving it, the pyramid will flip.

Let me explain: SS is a pyramid. Start with one person in the workforce. By the time he retires, two people take his place. SS wasn’t in effect when worker 1 was working. He saved for his own retirement. Workers 2 & 3 weren’t so lucky. The president signed SS into law, raising their taxes and forcing them to pay for #1’s retirement. But with two workers paying for one worker’s retirement, the burden wasn’t that bad.

But eventually we get to a point when the current generation of workers is outnumbered by the previous generation, causing the pyramid to flip. With a smaller workforce, the tax burden will have to be increased on the current generation to pay for the previous generation’s retirement, making it possible for 20M workers to pay for the retirements of 40M retirees (numbers are hypothetical). So instead of letting individuals take responsibility for their own retirement, government thought they could protect us from individual responsibility and increase our prosperity by increasing taxes.

Can you explain to me why we should let these same people get involved in reforming a healthcare system that’s not broken? Sure there are problems, but those problems are in the insurance industry and tort system, not healthcare. And even though they say they’ll only raise taxes on the “rich”, we’ll all feel the hurt eventually.

Think about it: with less capital to invest in business expansion, job creation, R&D, etc., there will be fewer jobs available each year. Sound appealing to you? Not to me.

Is it the government’s job to protect our freedoms? Yes! I am more than happy to send my tax dollars to pay for the defense of our country. I’m not happy sending my tax dollars to give a first time home buyer a tax credit, when that money could go toward my first house. I’m not happy sending my tax dollars to pay for someone else’s healthcare, especially when that money could go towards MY healthcare. I’m not happy sending my tax dollars to pay for someone else’s retirement when that money could go towards MY retirement, or whatever the hell I want to use it for because IT’S MY MONEY!

I will gladly send my money to pay for a soldier’s healthcare, education, job training, housing, etc because that’s the least I can do for someone willing to die to protect my freedom. I will gladly send my money to pay for NASA, because the time may come when we need to deflect an asteroid or even find another habitable planet. I will gladly pay for military R&D because our soldiers deserve the best weapons to defend us with.

Anything that protects our freedoms while not violating any, I will gladly pay for. Otherwise, I’ll fight government control of any industry and programs that promote dependence on government. The private sector is where viable and sustainable economic development occurs. The sooner more of us realize that, the better this country will be.

Whose fault is it that we’ve been gradually losing our freedoms since the founding of our country? Do we blame the politician, who speaks out of both sides of his mouth? Do we blame the lobbyist, who bribes governments for special favors? Do we blame the corporate CEO, who wants to make money at all cost?

Or do we blame “We the people”? Is it not our job to ensure our liberties are protected at home while our military protects us abroad? For too long we have sat idly by while the politician, lobbyist, and the occasional CEO have nibbled away at our liberties. We became complacent, thinking we could never lose freedom. But that complacency is the very reason we have lost, and continue to lose, bits of our freedoms.

The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. We sat idly by while the Progressive elements in this country struck blows against freedom in the guise of protecting or taking care of us. We let them pass social security, thinking the government could plan our retirements better than we could. We let them pass Medicare and Medicaid, thinking they could manage our healthcare better in our golden years than we could. We let them pass the Patriot Act, thinking warrantless wiretaps would protect us from terrorists.

Liberty is the freedom to choose. But the examples I’ve given, among others, take choices away. Social Security hinders our choice to plan our own retirements. Medicare takes away our choice of what doctor we see (private insurers do the same, which needs to be addressed). The Patriot Act takes away our very privacy. Yet we the people sat idly by and let it happen.

Will we continue to stand by while Congress tries to expand a failing healthcare program (Medicare) to tens of millions of Americans? Will we stand idly by while they enact stricter environmental laws (cap and trade) when scientists are still at odds over man’s effect on global warming? Will we stand idly by while the largest Ponzi scheme in history (Social Security) is allowed to grow even more out of control? When will we stand up and let the government know that “We the people” are taking our country back?

I’ve asked a lot of questions. I hope everyone who reads this seriously thinks about each and every one. Do your research. Talk to friends and family. Talk to those who will challenge your opinions. Again, I’ve asked many questions, but I’ll leave you with one more: I’m willing to do my share of fighting for my freedoms, are you?