End of the Republic

The American Republic is in decline. The decline is self-inflicted, a sort of suicide by choice. Why are people deciding to follow the "Road to Serfdom" over the "Road to Freedom"?

Location: Chesapeake Beach, MARYLAND, United States

Saturday, November 13, 2004

On the electoral college

Americans paid a lot of attention to the electoral process after the 2000 election and during the build up to Mr. Bush's victory two weeks ago. The general ignorace about the system should offer us a wake up call. People have been duped into believing that this country is a democracy. I think that many were shocked to hear that the results of the popular vote did not matter in 2000 - it was only the electoral college vote that counted.

While there was great outrage (especially on behalf of the statists-collectivists), there was little discussion about the electoral college process itself. I was surprised to find last week that few Americans knew about the origins of the electoral college system, why such a system was favored over direct elections, or even how the members of the electoral college are picked and who they are.

When people went to the polls on November 2 they were not actually voting for Kerry or Bush. They were actually choosing which elector will be sent to their state capitals the Monday following the second Wednesday in December (leaving time enough for a Gore-Bush recount). Their votes are sealed and sent to the Vice-President who opens them before Congress on January 6.

Each state has the same number of electors as it does representatives in both houses of Congress. As a result, each state will have 3 electors at a minimum (two based on its constitutional allotment of senators and at least one based on population). Presently, the electoral college (like both houses of Congress) has 538 members (535 for the states and 3 awarded to Washington DC).

Why would our founding fathers choose this system over a that of a direct democracy? To be fair, some of their reasons are out-dated. For instance, they were worried that citizens around the country would not have access to sufficient information about all the candidates. Travel and communication were slow in the late 1700's and there was concern that people would only vote for their "regional" or "local" candidates. If that occured, no Presidential candidate would have had a majority sufficient enough to have run the country. They feared that frequent challanges would destroy the system. The founding fathers thought it best to have a few people with access to all the information required represent the interests of their state. At the time, the Electoral College was insurance that the President would have a wider geographic appeal.

Technology has brought this country together. We now travel all over and communicate with people on opposite coasts. The parties put their best candidates forward to discuss the issues and we can all watch the "debates". The Electoral College is no longer needed to deal with "geographic isolationism".

However, the Presidential election should not be turned into a "winner-takes-all" election just yet. The Electoral College still serves an essential function - its primary purpose. Our founding fathers were able to grasp the concept that a numerical majority can just as easily create tyrrany as a single dictator. For instance, a majority could vote to enslave a minority group. The majority in Athens put Socrates to death (so much for the right to life!). The majority of the German Parliament gave power to Hitler. The majority of the voting citizens in Washington Grove decided that they did not want to respect the 1st Amendment.

What were the battle-ground states in the 2004 election? Florida, Ohio, Iowa, New Mexico, New Hampshire... Some of them were populous and some were not. Why did the politicians spend little time fighting for the votes in the most populous states like California, New York, or Texas? Under a direct, winner-takes-all election - the candidates would only focus their attention on states like California, New York, and Texas. Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio would get some attention as well - but Iowa, New Mexico, Hawaii, New Hampshire, and Missouri would be ignored - as would any other small state. The issues concerning the citizens of Manhattan, Malibu, and West Palm Beach would become paramount. The issues of the people in Des Moines, Concord, or Kansas City would become overlooked.

Of course, the majority cannot be ignored (a candidate required the majority to win - in most cases). Their issues are heard and discussed and debated in the national events. The Electoral College acts to ensure that other voices are heard as well.

J. Thyme Matz

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

On Socialized health care

Socialism is defined as "Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy. " The economic systems that were based on socialism are and have been dismal failures. The Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, North Korea, and to a certain extent even today's Western Europe apparently have not provided would-be American central planners with enough evidence. Apparently, these planners just think "my gang can do it better".

Why would anyone propose that health care should be "produced and distributed collectively" or that our health decisions should be made by a "centralized government"? Health care should be produced by a doctor who makes decisions based on each individual situation after consulting with the patient. Why would anyone argue that a bureaucrat should stand between them and tell the doctor what he can/cannot do and tell the patient that he may have to wait years before he can get treatment?

Take the recent example of former President Clinton's emergency bypass surgery. President Clinton was able to get his heart surgery done practically immediately (3 days) in the United States. Under Canada's vaunted system, he would have had to wait 24 days to see a cardiac specialist. He then would have had to have waited another 2 weeks for the surgery. I guess the Canadian bureaucrats do not consider emergency bypass surgery to be a life-and-death matter. Mr. Clinton is even more fortunate he is not a Swede. A recent survey there showed that it can take 11 months for a diagnostic heart x-ray and then another 8 months for surgery. An estimated 1,000 Swedes a year die of heart disease because they cannot get the care they need on time. No wonder so many people come to the United States for surgery. Even though he owed his life to the American system, Clinton was not on TV later thanking the private system that gave him the attention he needed when he needed it. Of course, I am sure that government officials (an ex-Presidents) would never have to worry about this. Someone will push the red-tape aside for our public "servants". I hope that kind of system never comes to the US - a system in which those with "pull" are treated quickly while the rest of us have to resort to prayer. I do not want to see a world in which everyone has to depend on politicians for their health care. I prefer the world in which people rely on their own judgment and that of their chosen health professional.

Why, in the words of Mr. Clinton, has this country started to believe that "health care should be a right, not a privilege"? Many of the "big issues" (high costs, drug shortages) that people complain about have been caused by government involvement.

Here is a common sense question: Do you think health care will be less expensive when we add a new government bureaucracy on top of the current system? We have to consider that a government managed health system will require thousands of administrators and cost reviewers, rationing controllers, payment processors, equipment purchasing approvers, medical record collectors, price controllers, and physician inspectors - all of whom will have to draw two paychecks a month and have to have offices, computers, and all the other tools they will demand to do their job.

The evidence to demonstrate this already exists. The nation used to spend (pre-Medicare), on average, about 5% of its GNP on health care. Now it spends about 15%. In addition, the price of health care used to rise just about the same as other price increases. Prices for health care only started to rise faster than other prices in 1967. One site shows us the annual rates of inflation in the USA. We then just can look at the increase in health care costs (posted by the "Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Office of the Actuary: Data from the National Health Statistics Group." Each large increase in health care prices compared to the rest of inflation occurs 2 years after the government's expansion of coverage and "reform" to the system.

There is a clear reason for this: Let us take the hypothetical example of the government subsidizing food (after all, we die if we do not eat - certainly if health care is a "right", food should be as well). Not many people would choose to go to McDonalds when the government is picking up the tab. Demand for Chateau-Briand, caviar, lobster and truffles would increase. Of course, restaurants and supermarkets would be happy. They would be able to serve the most expensive products to everyone. Restaurants and groceries would be able to give everyone the service that was once considered luxurious. Chefs would be able to create any delicacy they desired. Supermarkets would cease to make "generics". The media would not longer have reports of people starving around the holidays. After all, the government is picking up the tab.
We eat what we want. We get fat. The government sees an increase in the number of obesity related health issues.

But what happens once the bill arrives? We will discover that we are spending so much of our GNP on food that there was little room for other economic activity. (Remember the numbers on health care since the 60's?). The cost of this program would dominate our federal and local budgets. In order to cut costs, the government would have to start to regulate who could eat what and when and where. Instead of getting the chateau-briand immediately, we would now be "wait-listed" and someone would go over our file to make sure that we actually needed to eat it. In addition, to reduce the cost of obesity related health care, the government also created a "national nutrition czar". He dictates what we are allowed to eat. The system has turned from one in which we were free to do as we pleased without regard to cost to one controlled by government command. We end up with the production and distribution of health care and food being planned and controlled by a centralized governmental authority. Just what the socialists wanted!

Of course, those egalitarian proponents of a national health care system are right in one respect. A national health care system will create more equality in this country - an equality of suffering.

J. Thyme Matz

Monday, November 08, 2004

He is part dog and part Ewok. Reagan tucks himself in for a good night's rest.

On the flu shot shortage.

What do we really know about the flu shot shortage? Do we know that the flu shot is successful in preventing the spread of the disease?

The answer is no, at least according to the Centers for Disease Control.
The chief of the CDC's influenza branch states that: "There is no systematic follow-up to see, to document whether the general population who receives a flu vaccine is infected by a flu virus, because it's an impossible task. I mean, we have 80 million doses or 70 million doses given and it would be impossible to follow up."

How well does the flu shot protect the "at risk" groups then? Last year there were 152 deaths among children caused by the flu. Is this a historical low? Has increased immunization led to a decrease in the number of children killed by the flu? The CDC answers: "Because the number of influenza deaths in children has not been tracked before, it's not possible to compare the number of deaths in children this year with previous years."

If you think these admissions by the CDC are shocking take a look at these numbers. In 2002, the CDC claimed that 20,000 people nationwide could be killed by the flu. Even though it does not track the effectiveness of the vaccine, the CDC was still inspired to make a prediction for 2003: 36,000 people would die of the flu. What caused this huge leap in their estimates remains a mystery. Even Ms. Cox states that "most cases of flu-like illnesses – about 80% – in fact are caused by 'many other pathogens.'" So, the CDC has no evidence that the flu shots prevent anything. The CDC follows their amazing lack of research by admitting that many of the deaths they attribute to the flu may, in fact, be caused by something else. Still, some CDC advisors boldly predict this year that up to 70,000 could be killed.

The CDC is intent on hyping the flu epidemic. Apparently, the goal is to just vaccinate everyone, even if they have no proof of the vaccine's effectiveness. The CDC is obsessed with marketing the flu shots. In order to "inspire" everyone to get a flu shot, they hype un-researched numbers. A presentation by Dr. Nowak, the Associate Director for Communications of the National Immunization Program describes "recipes" (his word, not mine) for generating interest in the flu vaccine program. In the recipe, Dr. Nowak notes that the "perception or sense that many people are falling ill" or the "perception or sense that many people are experiencing bad illness" is an important part of generating demand for the vaccine.

The CDC admits that it does not have the science to back its claims that the flu vaccines are essential (especially beyond "at risk" groups). Yet the CDC, along with the national and local media, seem intent on spreading fear about the flu and spreading a false sense of confidence in the efficacy of the vaccine.

If the "needle pushers" were to let science dictate reality and restrain themselves from scaring the public needlessly, we would not have an "artificial crisis". I guess the CDC does not trust people to make their own, educated choices.

The fear mongering about the flu vaccine is a wonderful example about the mentality of the bureaucrat. Even though they have little to no information to back up their claims, they still think they know better than the average person and they are not afraid to use the coercive power of the government to enforce their "ideals". My prediction: soon children will be prevented from attending classes unless they have proof of a flu vaccine.

J. Thyme Matz

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Democracy - a tyranny of the motivated minority

Some would argue that a supporter of pure-capitalism should, by nature, support pure democracy. After all, is not democracy a "perfectly competitive political system"? The arguement follows that capitalism is perfect competition between individuals economically. Under capitalism, each individual works in his own interest and uses his labor or invested capital in such a way as to increase his own wealth. If this is the economic system I advocate, why do I not support a political system that mirrors this economic activity? Is this a contradiction?

Well, for starters for a pure democracy to work, we must all be very interested in public affairs. Reality is that we spend much of our time on our own private activities: our jobs, our homes, and our family. We do not spend a large portion of our time concentrating on who is running the government and thinking about the long-term implications of their decisions. In addition, the size of government makes it impossible to track. The larger the government becomes, the more difficult it is to follow effectively. That leaves less time for family, jobs, and friends. Even a small government like Washington Grove requires many volunteers and a handful of elected officials (each with their particular area of expertise). Even a professional political expert could understand only a small fraction of what the government does.

What encourages people to vote in a situation such as this? We can only understand so little of our government even if we devote a lot of our time and resources to tracking it. Is it not best to "leave it up to the experts in their field"? To put it another way, government, by its very nature, does not encourage full political participation. We can ask ourselves a simple question: if voting does not cost us anything, how come so few people do it? The answer is that there is a cost to voting, especially if one is an "educated" voter.

How does the government then encourage participation? It uses its lack of transparancy to its own advantage. The people who vote are often motivated by the temptation of using the coercive power of the state for their own benefit. They can vote themselves "concentrated benefits". The costs are diffused among the rest of the population. In other words, a motivated few can vote themselves money and power and hardly anyone in the general population will notice a decrease in their own money and power becuase the losses are spread accross the entire population. In reality, instead of getting the will of the majority in these issues, we get the will of a "motivated minority".

The town of Washington Grove is a great example of this. The town is a pure democracy: one voting age citizen=one vote. Does this work in practice? Do the majority show up to vote? Or does a motivated minority take over the agenda? Last March (before the war in Iraq began), the town held a referendum. A few statists wanted the town to pass an offical (town government) statement against the war. According to the 2000 Census the town's population was 515. 115 of them are under the voting age. That left around 400 voting age adults. The final vote approving the resolution was 59-12 (a total of 71 voters). In other words, about 18% of the population voted (and only about 15% voted for the resolution).

Why I voted against the resolution has nothing to do with my position on the war. My vote had everything to do with my position on individual rights. I do not believe that any government has the right to make opinion statements on behalf of its citizens. What is next? Will they make proclamations on abortion, on gay marriage, etc.? 11 states recently did make statements like that and sacrificed individual liberties in the process. I also do not think that 15% of my neighbors should have the power to make a statement on my behalf without my authorization. Let us be clear: this was not an official town policy. The vote was about some neighbors enforcing their political opinions on others. In my presentation, I requested that they make the resolution a petition: "The following citizens of Washington Grove think..." vs. "The town of Washington Grove declares..."

About 80% of the population was not motivated by the potential loss of their freedom of speach. Many of those were probably did not have the resources to follow our small town government. Or, perhaps they did not want to stand against their neighbors and create rocky relations. The point is that they have a choice to vote or not in a pure democracy. They chose not to vote (and they have to live with the consequences of that choice). But take a look at the situation from a different perspective. We have a super-majority of the population who does not feel "worse off" as a result of the town proclamation. They do not really think to deeply about the principle established by allowing the government to make decisions for them, especially when the town has no input into the final decision to go to war or not. However, the motivated minority is able to push their agenda through the government. The minority is able to satisfy their whims (I still am not sure what their true goal was - they could have more easily conveyed their message by using a privately organized petition than public resources.) They must have had some other purpose beyond their desire to communicate their anti-war sentiment.

OK, my town is only a small community. How does this play out on the national scale? Well - 59,459,765 people voted for Bush. The USA has a population of 294,695,623 as of tonight. In other words, Bush got the support of just a little more than 20% of the total US population. (Of course the percentage will slightly increase when we substitue the percentage of eligible voters for the total population.) The fact remains that Bush won only the support of a motivated minority in this country (not the 51% he claims gives him political capital).

What motivated this minority to vote Bush? What costs will it impose upon us over the next 4 years? How much more freedom will we lose?

J. Thyme Matz

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Here is "Indiana Matz" in the Siq in front of the Treasury in Petra, Jordan.

Helen Keller's sight was much better than you think

"Our democracy is but a name. We vote? What does that mean? It means that we choose between two bodies of real, though not avowed, autocrats. We choose between Tweedledum and Tweedledee."

Helen Keller

Does that not seem a fitting quote for today?

An introduction to positive vs. negative rights

"How can we live in freedom and maintain that we are entitled to *anything* that we can't get without the labor of others? Remember, if we are entitled to the labor of others, that makes slaves of those others." [Marilyn vos Savant, Parade Magazine, 12/31/95 ([Marilyn vos Savant is listed in "The Guiness Book of World Records" Hall of Fame for the "Highest IQ".)]"

The logic of the above quote is clear. If humans are "entitled" to any produced good, then the workers who produce that good are required to do so. They have no choice in the matter. Illustrations of this are the so-called "rights" to an education, housing, a minimum standard of living, and health care. Of course, the teachers, construction workers, and doctors would be paid, they would not be "slaves" in the tradition sense. On the other hand, they would have little freedom in their jobs. Their jobs would be controlled by a regulatory bureaucracy established to ensure that the public's rights are not being violated. For instance, those workers would find that they are limited with respect to pay, mobility, and the ability to make individual decisions along with their clients. The workers in those fields may not be allowed to strike. In Belgium, many doctors quit or left the country to practice elsewhere to protest the strict conditions imposed upon them by the bureaucrats. Instead of asking the doctors and patients what could be done to improve things, the Belgian goverment simply drafted all doctors into military service. Essentially, the lives of the doctors in Belgium became property of the state.

The "new rights" are called "Positive Rights". The name refers to the fact that these "rights" require a positive action on behalf of another agent in order not to have them violated. A doctor must be present and he must exercise his ability for us to receive our "right to health care". A teacher must exist and must use his skills for us to receive a "right to an education". They must do their job, and do it correctly, or someone's "right" will be violated.

The "old rights", freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, and property rights are called "Negative Rights". These rights are "negative" because they only require that others do nothing. I can speak freely on this blog, but no-one has to read it. I can worship freely as long as no one takes an action to prevent me from doing so. Essentially, negative rights impose no obligations. If you agree with the concept that everyone has the right to freedom of speach, what do you have to do? You do not have to listen to them, but you cannot stop them from talking.

"Positive rights" create a society of slaves and masters.

How can we apply this to our country's policies today? Anything that people think of as a "entitlement" could be considered a "positive right". What have people done to EARN these things they are "entitled" to. Merely existing does not guaruntee a person a healthy life. Being born does not provide one with a claim check on the efforts of others. Any policy in this country that non-voluntarily brings people together and imposes an obligation on one to be paid to the other brings us one step closer to slavery.

Our Republic cannot last with slavery as one of its key philosophies.


Monday, November 01, 2004

Reagan is taking some time to contemplate the meaning of "Treat"

Liberal, Conservative, or just plain confused???

I recently sent this as an e-mail to the Washington Grove town e-mail list. What is Washington Grove? I live in the town of Washington Grove, Maryland: http://www.washgrov.sailorsite.net/

This little town seemed like the ideal community to settle into and raise a family. It appeared peaceful and full of wonderful eccentrics. My wife and I were to discover that the town is run by "mob rule". It is a pure democracy, the kind this nation's founders warned us about. There is also a great undercurrent of "white guilt" which guides the town policies. The ruling clique are horrified that they were born white Americans with some ability and they want to serve the sentence for their crimes. Unfortunately, it is not enough for them to just punish themselves. They have to punish everyone else who may have the misfortune to come accross their path. More on Washington Grove later. For now, it is enough to know that they would classify themselves as "liberal".... even though they have no idea what that word really means. Off to the e-mail I sent:


Evidently some of you are confused. You are not sure what to call yourselves. I just witnessed it on an e-mail with the following signature:

Liberals and damn proud of it!
It is evident to me that there are quite a few people who do not know what a liberal is. Let's go to the dictionary and find out!

A: Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.
B: Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.
C: Of, relating to, or characteristic of liberalism.

I have noticed that there are quite a few in the Grove who are limited to traditional and orthodox ways. In my encounters, I have found the town to be ruled by authoritarian attitudes and views. Many of the "hot button" issues raised in this forum seek to protect the Grove from reform, progress, or radical change. Nor is the town free from bigotry, it may be tolerant of racial issues, but there are many who are against any new ideas. I bet there are quite a few people out there wishing that I would move out of town. Broad minded? That does not seem to fit either. There is a clique in town and either you agree with all of its ideas, or you are not welcomed in the community. As a matter of fact, I remember that the silencing of opposition was the FIRST thing proposed at a certain town meeting. Broad minded people like to engage in educated discussion - not just "cheerleading" on the sides like practically all of the recent "political posts".
So, what is this "characteristic of liberalism"?
A: The state or quality of being liberal.
B: A political theory founded on the natural goodness of humans and the autonomy of the individual and favoring civil and political liberties, government by law with the consent of the governed, and protection from arbitrary authority.
C: An economic theory in favor of laissez-faire, the free market, and the gold standard.

This definition is more of the "political liberal" variety. Is it what you thought it was going to be? I do not think the people who claimed to be a liberal in their e-mail are actually proud to be "in favor of laissez-faire, the free market, and the gold standard". I do not think they believe in "the natural goodness of humans" (do we not destroy the environment, greedily cheat each other, etc.?) nor do they favor the "autonomy of the individual" (if they did, they would not be for such things as a national health care system, the social security system, or any other governmental redistribution program). Of course, "government by law with the consent of the governed" must be a foreign concept to many in the Grove. My political liberty was stolen from me as the town decided to speak on my behalf without my authorization. If the Grove can take that sort of action, then there is little protection from arbitrary authority. In fact, was there not a debate a few months back about people who violate town code and are not punished? Why are some allowed to get away with violations and others pursued? I detect a certain arbitrariness in the manner the town governs itself. The Grove may have laws, but it does not have rule of law - nor does it have the complete consent of the governed.
So, Liberalism is IN FAVOR OF LAISSEZ-FAIRE, THE FREE MARKET, and THE GOLD STANDARD. It favors INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS (and their corresponding responsibilities). It is a "live, and let live" attitude. Certainly not the attitude of a people who want a national health care system. Not the attitude of a people who want an Amendment against gay marriage. Not the attitude of a people who would force an official government anti-war resolution upon all of its citizens. It is not the attitude of Democrats, Republicans, nor is it a characteristic of the town government. It is DEFINITELY not a characteristic of quite a few people on this list who think themselves as "proud liberals".
How about Conservative?
A: Favoring traditional views and values; tending to oppose change.
B: Traditional or restrained in style: a conservative dark suit.
C: Moderate; cautious: a conservative estimate.
Of or relating to the political philosophy of conservatism.
Traditional views and values.... Opposing change. These seem to be KEY features of the Grove. Opposition to the changes on nearby land. Closing down the bridge or part of Washington Grove lane. Preserving the appearance of the Grove and its buildings. Holding old-fashioned values and not having a strong desire to reconsider them. The Grove is traditional and restrained in style. I think this description is more applicable to many Grove residents.
conservativism : a political or theological orientation advocating the preservation of the best in society and opposing radical changes
Seems that the people in the Grove have decided that their lifestyle is the "best in society" and should be preserved. I think that there are quite a few residents who are opposed to radical changes.
It seems to me, if the shoe fits, wear it. And wear it proudly. But do not call yourself something that you are not. If the Grove wishes to conserve its nature and resist change (even ideological change) - then admit it. Be proud of what you are: Conservatives.
I hope I made it obvious that the meaning of "liberal" and "conservative" has gotten lost over time. Historically, the conservatives were those who wished to maintain the aristocracy and government by a select few. They wished to "conserve" the old ways of doing things. The liberals wanted freedom. They desired freedom in politics and economics. They fought (and died for) individual rights and for freedom of action. You may think to yourself "but the definitions in the dictionary do not describe either political party today". You are correct. There is a word to describe the political attitudes/philosophy of all the major political parties today: (https://mail.imf.org/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=totalitarian)
I am only going to set the record straight.
Justin Matz
A LIBERAL (according to the real definition of the word) and proud of it.

(Other resource)Mirriam-Websterhttps://mail.imf.org/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary%26va=liberal%26x=15%26y=13https://mail.imf.org/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary%26va=liberalismhttps://mail.imf.org/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary%26va=conservative (Also includes this as definition: a : tending or disposed to maintain existing views, conditions, or institutions)
https://mail.imf.org/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?va=conservatism (Also includes: a : disposition in politics to preserve what is established b : a political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions, and preferring gradual development to abrupt change)
Hyperdictionaryhttps://mail.imf.org/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.hyperdictionary.com/search.aspx?define=liberalhttps://mail.imf.org/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.hyperdictionary.com/search.aspx?define=liberalismhttps://mail.imf.org/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.hyperdictionary.com/search.aspx?define=conservative (Includes: Opposed to liberal reforms).http://www.hyperdictionary.com/search.aspx?define=conservativism


Words have meanings. I would prefer if people used those terms correctly.


It appears Americans have adopted statism

Everyday I am stunned. I am shocked at how quickly people just take to statism. Our elections tomorrow yield only horrible outcomes. Perhaps, at one time, elections presented us with clear choices. We could choose between liberty, a democratic process, and economic freedom and the darker forces of oppression, central-planning, and dictatorial control. I wish we could have such an election now - it would be nice to hear the sound of liberty. Instead, the side for liberty has been silenced. The only choices presented to us for tomorrow (on the Maryland ballot) are George "Patriot Act" Bush, John "National, socialized health" Kerry, David "make the earth such a pristine place by making it impossible for man to live there" Cobb, Michael "we should just pick up all of our toys and shut ourselves inside our borders" Badnarik, Michael "I love God more than Bush does" Peroutka, and Ralph "I can ruin anything with pseudo-science, or even just by showing up" Nader. There are a few write-in candidates. It is really difficult to tell that they are even running for the highest public office in the land. There are not even any web-sites dedicated to their causes.

So, which of those candidates stands for freedom? Which one will defend this Republic, this whole Republic (i.e. not just the one's who are their supporters)? What happened to principles? All out the window. What we are left with is, as South Park crudely put it, is a choice between a giant douche and a turd sandwich. I will stand up for my principles. I could never bring myself not to vote. And I can never bring myself to abandon my values so easily. I will write in "No Confidence" tomorrow for many of the major positions up for grabs. I recognize that there will never be such a thing as the "perfect candidate". However, is a "good candidate" too much to ask for?

The nation has accepted the idea that the government has a role in regulating our lives. The nation's creators disagreed and attempted to create a system of checks and balances based on a constitution that treated the people as sovereign. The Constitution limits the power of the government, not the people. The Constitution also applies only within the public sphere. Its application to private relationships (marriage, abortion, employment, and trade) in recent decades is something to lament. Notice that each of the Amendments included in the Bill of Rights restricts only PUBLIC action - not private action. (http://www.archives.gov/national_archives_experience/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html)

Judicial activism and the "make-it-so" attitude have broken the meaning of those words and twisted them around so much that we can even believe that they are "open to interpretation".
What part of "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances" is confusing?
Does this "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people" mean anything anymore?

A presidential debate on principles would have been interesting:
One one side - freedom, on the other side statism.
Instead of asking how to defeat terror and protect this nation without restricting the rights and freedom of the people, the candidates differed on what rights to restrict and how much to restrict them.
Instead of asking if a national, socialized plan for health care should even be undertaken, the candidates resorted to a scuffle on what types of things to fund and how much.
Instead of making a decision on social security and discussing the fact that it is a Ponzi Scheme, the candidates instead bickered on "how to save it". What about ENDING it?
Americans no longer choose between living free or dying. They bicker amongst themselves about the best method of suicide.