Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Consensus Building Judge

The accusations that Supreme Court Nominee doctored memos from doctors to frame the partial birth abortion debate in ways favorable to Bill Clinton's position are important, and should be investigated in the Supreme Court hearings.

The thing I disliked most about my education was the professoriat was teaching students how to frame arguments to fit leftist ideology instead of teaching us ways to challenge all ideas in the pursuit of truth.

If it is true that Kagan changed wording on an opinion of a group of doctors to support a political opinion then, in my opinion, she disqualified herself for a position on the Supreme Court.

While this process of framing issues for political ends is the style for common discourse, the Supreme Court needs people striving to engage in a higher form of discourse.

I suspect that what we see on the Internet on this topic is largely partisan hot air. So, I wish to use the accusation to lead into a different plaint.

So far, in his two Supreme Court nominations, President Obama led into the nomination by listing attributes that really were not conducive for a Supreme Court nonimation. The Sotomayor nomination praised Sotomayor for her empathy. This is a wonderful attribute for a local judge or lawmaker ... but not for the Supreme Court which is the one court that deals with laws at an abstract level.

For the Kagan nomination, Obama praised the candidate for consensus building. The ability to build consensus is an admirable attribute and useful for many political posts from legislation to administration. However, the attribute is not as valuable to Supreme Court where people are looking for clarity in both the minority and majority opinions of the court.

Having a great consensus on the court could even harm the court as opinions might be written as a compromise or with an eye toward framing a political debate rather than as an attempt to clarify to the legal community a legal opinion.

The stuff coming out of the Supreme Court is supposed to be dry, boring legal analysis and not political copy or campaign material.

Having empathy or being able to build consensus are wonderful things, but they are not attributes that are most important for the job at hand.

Why does Obama praise nominees for attributes that are not central for the job?

A good administration is someone who understands the attributes needed for different positions and appoints people with those attributes to the position. So I am dumbfounded each time I listen to Obama nominations.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Contrast v. Dichotomy

The last post might appear hypocritical to some. I say that, to counter the Marxian dictomy between the worker and owner, one should contrast the difference between a union and a professional society.

It appears that I am trying to replace one dichotomy with another.

The post is a good example of difference between contrasting and dichotomizing.

Drawing up a contrast between two ideas is not a bad thing. We humans perceive things through contrasts. We build our understanding by drawing contrasts between things.

The goal of my last post was to draw up a contrast between professional societies and unions. Both structures are member organizations designed for the benefit of workers. The two organizations share many things in common. For example, both structures provide educational opportunaty and career services for members.

The similarities between the two structures are well and good. In my article, I wished to bring up the differences between the structures.

The primary focus of the professional society is advancing the career of the individual professional. The focus of the union is the creation of a political force for collective bargaining in a perceived conflict between workers and management.

The contrast between professional societies and unions leads immediately into a conversation about the focus of the two groups and how the focus plays out. One has a focus on the career of the individual professional and tends toward decentralization. The other has a focus on creating a political force for collective bargaining and tends to industry centralization.

The contrast between these two structures allows us to talk about how different political structures play out in society at large.

The process of dichotomizing happens when one seeks to build a conflict into the structure of the system. I've been using the term "Foundational Dialectics to describe the process.

Unions were built around the idea that there is a fundamental conflict between workers and management. This perceived conflict is the central organizing force of the union.

The fact that professional societies and unions have a different focus is not fundamental to either the professional society or the union. The contrast simply allows us to talk about the difference between the two structures.

The perceived conflict between workers and management is central to unions.

People join professional societies as the see the membership organization as a way to advance their career. People join unions to create a political force in a struggle against management.

In our contrast of unions and professional societies, we find that unions were built on the perception of a central conflict, while professional societies were not.

Paradoxically, unions were constructed with the purpose of uniting one class (the worker) against another class (management). The effect of unionized unification is a deeper division.

Notably, the contrast between unions and professional societies provides a way to talk about the different ways of organizing society. Professional societies fall within the classical liberal view. Unions are a products of the paradox ridden modern world view.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Workers of the World, UNTIE!

The extremes gains power by magnifying conflicts and division.

One of the best ways to create deep divisions is to unify segments of society against each other.

Modern thinkers love the paradox that they can create division by projecting an image of unity. Uniting "us" against "them" is an act of division, despite the fact that speaker uses the term "unity."

The master of the left, Karl Marx, ended his manifesto with the immortal words: "Workers of the world unite." Marx's goal was to gain power by uniting the working class against the middle class in a peoples struggle. Marx's unity built totalitarian dictatorships that led to hundreds of millions dead and untold suffering.

Despite the widespread devastation of Marx's dialectics, the modern left is still drunk with the power gained through the promotion of class division.

Nowhere is that seen clearer than in the union movement which seeks to pit workers in a class struggle against management.

The shrill debate about unions generally centers on the conflict between workers and owners.

The claim of the union is that workers must unite into a centralized political force to counter the evil owners. The interesting effect of this centralized collective bargaining is that business must consolidate to counter the influence of the powerful centralized union. This effectively shuts down the mobility between worker and owners.

There are, of course, evil business owners who love the process of unionization. Business tycoons use the centralizing force of unionization to consolidate industries and to shut out competition. Business tycoons also benefit from the shutting down of social mobility as this process establishes the tycoon as the upper class.

There are big elite business owners who feed on the division created by the unionization process.

The long term result of unionization is a system with big powerful union bosses, big powerful tycoons, and a diminished worker.

The unions, of course, are working on a false dichotomy. There is generally a mutually beneficial symbiotic relation between the different parts of a business.

The conflict between worker and owner is really a chimera.

Workers own their labor and should be looking for ways to build equity in their careers. The owners usually work really hard, often alongside the other workers. Usually owners work for the mutual benefit of themselves and others with a stake in the business.

Combating Unions

As with all of the false dichotomies presented by Marx's Material Dialectics, one cannot combat the thesis by arguing the anti-thesis.

For the people who love freedom to counter the divisiveness and political centralization that results from unions, they must take a different path.

The different path realizes that good business develops healthy symbiotic relations between all of the players in the business. Workers, business owners are customers are all engaged in a mutually beneficial process.

Rather than rallying against the abuses of big unions and big business, the defenders of freedom must approach the problem from the side and develop working alternatives to unions.

The Professional Society

A professional society is a member owned organization that works to advance the careers of its members. A professional society provides educational resources, counseling, coaching and employment resources.

A professional society sees its members as a vibrant whole beings who own their own labor and talents and who reinvest their labor and talents for to benefit of the profession and society at large. As such, professional societies should actively work to help members become the next generation of owners.

Unlike unions that magnify class division, professional societies actively promote social mobility.

Professional Societies v. Unions

Rather than arguing for business against unions, the defenders of freedom should argue for professional societies against unions.

Unions were built on the Marxian notion that society advances through class struggles and that workers must have a big centralized political entity in the peoples struggle against business owners.

The centralization of big labor leads to a reactionary centralization of big business.

Professional societies realize that everyone is an owner and that there is a symbiotic relation between businesses and the professionals within the business.

As professional societies coach members through their careers, they help encourage the process of social mobility, which has been a hallmark of the American free society.

The centralization created by the collective bargaining process effectively alienates the individual worker and magnifies divisions within society. This effectively reduces social mobility.

Unions as Professional Societies

I should emphasize that there is not an absolute dichotomy between professional societies and unions. Unions ofter work as professional societies providing training and resources to its members. Professional societies often work in setting professional standards and often end up involved in wage negotiation.

Professional societies can end up being every bit as oppressive and top heavy as the unions.

Rather than promoting the idea that there is a dichotomy between professional societies and unions, it really is better to imagine there being a scale that runs from the idea of promoting individual careers on the right to the establishment of a centralized power base on the left.

The ideal professional society dedicated to providing career enhancing resources to its members sits on the right. The ideal of a powerful union engaged in collective bargaining sits on the left.


Unions were built to magnify the division between labor and business. Unfortunately, one cannot counter this centralization process by taking the side of business. Effort to argue the anti-thesis simply amplifies the thesis/anti-thesis conflict.

To counter the ill effects of unions, one needs to promote an alternatives to unions. The most effective alternative is the professional society. To save our free society, we must create institutions and small businesses that help individuals achieve their career goals as individuals.

We need to reject the false dichotomies of the left. One does not advance the cause of social justice through the creation of intellectually dishonest centralized political groups. One advances social justice by building a strong free society.

One does not create unity by uniting people against each other. One creates unity by creating structures that advance all people in society. To truly achieve social justice, we should reject the slogan: "Workers of the world, unite!" and adopt the slogan "Workers of the world, untie!"

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Breaking the Cycle

The last post spoke about the symbiotic relation between big law, big insurance and big politics.

There are many different ways one can proceed from that post.

The radical left is interested in engineering fundamental change. As such, they are dedicated to perpetuating the cycle. They attack insurance companies but oddly end up creating political structures which feed even more wealth and power into insurance.

The reactionary right, of course, argues on behalf of big insurance against big law ... getting all sorts of contributions in payment for the effort.

The people on the outside of the system get squished.

The people who wish to maintain their freedom must find a different path from the radical left and reactionary right.

My solution to the problem of Big Insurance is the Medical Savings and Loan.

I am completely distraught. The left/right dichotomy, which dominates politics, has completely shut out the discussion of real solutions.

The Republicans that are ascending in reaction to Obama seem poised to argue for big insurance and not for a solution.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Big Law and Big Insurance

Big law often sues big insurance for big bucks.

Apparently, these big lawsuits have many convinced that big law is there to protect the little people from the abuses of big insurance.

Such thoughts are a big mistake.

A better way to understand this system is to follow the big money.

When there is a big lawsuit with a big claim, a big money moves from big insurance to big law. Big insurance then runs back to the small business and exclaims: "Did you see that big lawsuit? We have to raise your premiums."

In this system, big law gets bigger. Big insurance gets bigger, and small business gets smaller.

There is a symbiotic relation between big insurance and big law.

From the perspective of big law, insurance is manna from heaven. It turns out that, since people are silly emotional creatures, it is really easy to win a big lawsuit.

The difficulties lie in collecting money. It is difficult to collect money from people who don't want to pay up.

Let's say a baby dies during a difficult birth. An empathetic judge and jury will want to award the grieving parents something. No parent should lose a child!

An expensive haired lawyer putting on a good show will jerk tears from the jury and win big bucks in the settlement.

The lawsuit is easy. The problem is that obstetricians don't like paying up. Even worse, people really like baby doctors and will side with the doctor when it comes time to pay.

Big insurance changes this equation. They have big pockets and are happy to pay the settlement as they are able to charge the settlement back through to all doctors.

So, by playing the submissive whipping boy, big insurance creates a mechanism that allows big law to collect the big money (keeping a percent for their efforts).

The final character in the big money show is big politics. Big politics takes money from big insurance and big law. In return, big law passes regulations designed to keep the pot stirring.

And so the symbiotic relation between big law, big insurance and big politics creates a mechanism that brings immense wealth to the few, while impoverishing the many.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Conservatives Undermining Conservatism

Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan wrote a fun little thesis in college titled "To the Final Conflict: Socialism in New York City, 1900-1933" which examined how the socialist movement in the United States undermined its own interests. The article ends with a fun little twist on "Workers of the World Unite":

"Yet if the history of Local New York shows anything, it is that American radicals cannot afford to become their own worst enemies. In unity lies their only hope."

I was in school just a few years after Kagan. The professoriat asked me to write up essays on how to revive the socialist movement and on ways to undermining the free market and American Republic. The standard conclusion was that the best path to restoring socialism was to infiltrate and undermine.

The first goal was to infiltrate the schools with gatekeepers and ideological enforcers stationed throughout the university and public schools. The second step was to encourage the development of financial tools SUCH AS EMPLOYER BASED INSURANCE that centralized the market and created systemic risks.

If the progressives could just avoid undermining their own cause, the United States would be theirs for the taking in a few decades.

These last few decades have been a horrible thing to watch as conservatives blindly sat by as the traps were set.

It is great that the excesses of Obama, Pelosi and Reid have ignited a fire under the feet of conservatives, but unless conservatives realize the nature of the traps set for them, they are apt to become their own worse enemies.

We have reached a point in this country where defending freedom requires more than just hot air from Conservatives. We need people to sit down (in the same fashion as Elena Kagan and the professoriat) and ask the tough questions about the things we do that undermine our freedoms and how to rebuild our social institutions in ways that prevent them from being infilitated and turned against us.

We cannot regain our freedoms with the same underhanded techniques used by the left to oppress freedom. But, with strong attentiveness to the foundations of discourse and logic, those wishing to preserve a free society could reignite the discourse of liberty.

The Classical View of Liberalism

I've spoken several times about how our current partisan split works like a screw that systematically clamps down on our liberties as power swings from left to right.

To break out of this contraption, we need leaders who understand the mechanism ... and should avoid the "true conservatives who are dedicated to the partisan divide.

We need leaders who are dedicated to liberty (liberals in the sense that Adams, Jefferson and Washington were liberals), but who understand the modern mindset to avoid all of the pitfalls for liberalism.

The US Founders had a solid training in classical logic, and were part of a tradition that began to realize that creating a climate of freedom is largely a matter of removing those things that oppressed the people.

The founders studied history and realized that governments are the primary oppressor of people. So, the founders created a limited government charged specifically with a small number of powers to keep the government from undermining people and becoming the oppressor.

To get back on this track we need more than partisan conservatives. We need intellectual leaders who actually understand the dynamics of this system.

I really don't see many of these people appearing in the Republican party. Any that realize that the whole point of American conservativism is to preserve a liberal order get shouted down by loud mouthed wanks who have a knee jerk partisan reaction to the word "liberal."

To preserve freedom, we have to break this cycle where freedom is diminished from both the left and right. It will take a complete different dialog than the dialog on Fox and in mainstream conservatism.

Such a dialog does not begin with criticism of one's partisans opponents but reflection on one's own intentions and how one's actions can undermine one's intentions.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Is "True Conservativism" What We Really Need?

By the nature of politicians, the terms used in politics have no meaning. Politicians are constantly in a mode of action and reaction as the parties swap position on issues to gain political advantage.

The fact that politicians favoring big government and reduced individual freedom call themselves "liberal" shows that political words have no meaning.

The left, which is intoxicated with foolish notions of change, is generally worse with definitions than the right. I do applaud William Buckley's conservative movement for trying to preserve meanings.

Despite the fact that many conservatives value the preservation of meaning, the term "conservative" has taken on so many contradictory meanings through the years to become as problematic as "liberal."

At heart a "conservative" is someone reluctant to make changes to the existing political order. One can place the label on a tory, an US Conservative or any old guard communist of the former soviet union.

In the United States, Conservatives were desparately trying to preserve the institutions of liberty against the onslaught of modern progressive idiocy.

With the back to back progressives (the "compassionate conservative" Bush and "change agent" Obama) our nation is mired in a deep rut, and it is very unlikely that the old style political left/right political divide being a paradoxical-liberalism and paradoxical-conservatism will save us.

As such, I am dismayed when I see our new leaders popping up with slogan like "Vote me, I am the 'true conservative'."

It is the whole political system built around a "left/right" split which caused our slide into socialism. What we need is thinking that transcends the false dichotomy.

Don't you see? Declaring oneself the "true conservative" implies an allegiance to the false dichotomy.

What we need are leaders who can show us that the system of American liberty can lead to prosperity and progress.

One interesting way to restore liberty would be for the Republicans to make a concerted effort to steal the term "liberal" from the Democrats. With the election of Obama and the Pelosi/Reid Congress, Democrats have tossed aside even a token pretense to "liberalism" in favor of European style socialism (progressivism).

Instead of spitting at "liberals" while claiming Conservatives are the true champions of freedom, I wish Conservatives would take a serious stab at capturing the term.

Getting our nation back on track will take more than an allegiance to a partisan split, it will take a much more fundamental approach to the ideas surrounding liberty.

Unfortunately, we cannot do this with the current political lexicon. The defenders of liberty must proactively engage in political discourse in ways that restore the language so that we can effectively defend liberty.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

White Man's Fire

I made myself a white man's fire in my fancy new rocket stove.

I started by creating a lot of smoke, then I got a raging inferno with flames reaching a foot or two out of the stove. I then proceded to burn my plate of beans.

Cooking on the stove brought up the question of heating with wood.

The rocket stove is optimized for outdoor cooking. A more traditional Franklin Stove is what one wants for heating.

As I live in a valley with a pollution problem, I would want to go the route of wood pellets stoves for heating.

IMHO, the path to cleaner energy will have us using equipment optimized to the task at hand.

Rocket Stove

I got my rocket stove in the mail.

Ironically, when the stove showed up, the county had a crew out on the street chipping up wood from the creek bed. The county was paying to chip and haul away the same style scrap wood I intend to burn to heat my plate of beans.

It is really silly that we spend so much hauling scrap wood away from our houses.

If people were using efficient wood stoves, we could reduce the cost of hauling away scrap, the cost of fossil fuels and not really add that much to the valley's pollution problem.

So, I am feeling super smug with myself today.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Old News - Ten Euros Well Spent

I stumbled on a piece of old news, I wanted to keep for reference.

June 23, 2005, US News and World Reports claims that "eurolefty" groups such as Campo Antiimperialista were running a campaign called "Ten Euros for the Resistance" to fund the anti-insurgency in Iraq ... some of the aid being "humanitarian" aid for insurgents ... other portions of the aid being questionable.

It is amazing how adept the left was at using the war and Katrina to engineer a super majority.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Glenn Beck Misses the Obvious

Karl Marx is the single most influential economist in western history.

But, like Lord Voltemort of Harry Potter, we are not allowed to mention his name.

Marx's influence has been primarily negative. For the world to prosper, we need to root out the idiocies of this failed thought system.

For this reason, I am thrilled that Glenn Beck is engaged in an exploration of the influence of Marx in the Obama Administration.

However, Beck's show is extremely frustrating because Beck is simply reacting to the image of Marx and ignoring the substance.

If Beck understood the substance of Marx, he would understand that people reacting the way Beck is reacting magnify the problem.

Marx was first and foremost a dialectician. He believes that intellectuals could control change by the creation and resolution of conflicts.

Marxism is not simply the idea that big government leads to social justice. Marx's main focus was on manufacturing conflicts that could then be used to engineer change.

Marx's greatest accomplishment was the dichtomy between the capitalist and worker that continues to dominate politics today.

If you read Marx, you will find precious little about the workings of Communism. Marx's thoughts on communism go little beyond vague slogans.

Marx's goal was to create a conflict that intellectuals could then manipulate. He was seeking to establish a thesis/anti-thesis conflict.

Like many thinkers of his day, Marx was an avid follower of Sun Tsu and Machiavelli. He knew that, in the art of war, the best way to win the war was to define the position of his opponent.

The goal of the Sun Tzu intellectual isn't to argue a good point, but to structure the debate so that one has the high ground and one's opponent the low ground.

One reading Marx, one finds that he spends most of his time defining the position of his opponents ... the anti-thesis to his thesis.

The trick behind this tactic is that the people, like Glenn Beck, who argue the anti-thesis end up deepening the conflict.

For anti-Marxists to be effective, they must to reject the false dichotomy.

Arguing the anti-thesis preserves the thesis.

For anti-Marxists like Beck to be effective, they must stop reacting to the images of Marx and dissect the substance of his work.

Reactionaries preserve an image of the action they re-act against.

As long as Glenn Beck and those wishing to defend freedom continue the course of arguing the anti-thesis and reacting to the image of Marx, the conflicts created by Marx will continue to grow and eventually consume our society.

To stop the process one needs to reject the false dichotomy created by Marx.

One can start this simply by looking at the books Marx wrote. The two primary works of Marx are "Das Kapital" and "The Communist Manifesto."

Das Kapital is a massive work in which Marx enumerates ways in which a corrupt ruling class can pervert a market. This perversion centralizes the market and leads to an instable society of haves and have nots.

The Manifesto is a simple pamphlet which uses the ideas from Das Kapital to raise those harmed by the perverted market in revolution against the haves.

To understand modern history one must understand the Material Dialectics. A primary idea of the material dialectics is that the intellectual class can engineer change by creating conflicts and using the energy of the conflict (the call for change) to rise to power.

This next part of history is not rocket science.

Marx wrote a book called Das Kapital. Shortly after this book, the modern definition of capitalism appeared.

The modern definition of capitalism is more in line with Marx's perverted view of the free market, than the free market that was emerging in the wake of Adam Smith and the US Founders.

Even Glenn Beck could figure this puzzle out if he just put is muzzle to it.

The pieces of the puzzle are as follows: Marx was a dialectician who believed intellectuals could engineer change by creating conflicts. Marx never defined communism beyond a few broad slogans. Marx wrote a horrendously long book called "Das Kapital" which created a perverted version of the market.

The people who translated Das Kapital from German to English used the term capitalism for this perverted view of the market.

Don't you see?

It's obvious if one just looks at history.

The perversion of the free market that keeps collapsing on us came from Marx's "Das Kapital" through the schools and into society at large.

Modern "capitalism" is dramatically different from the free markets discussed by the likes of Adam Smith, Ben Franklin and the US Founders.

The perversion of the markets that Conservatives cling to did not come from the American tradition, the perversion of the markets called capitalism came from the enemies of freedom.

Don't you get it?

Marx is the father of capitalism.

Marx is the father of capitalism.

Marx is the father of capitalism.

Marx is the father of capitalism.

Marx is the father of capitalism.

Marx is the father of capitalism.

Marx is the father of capitalism.

Marx is the father of capitalism.

Marx is the father of capitalism.

Marx's goal was to create a thesis/anti-thesis conflict that the ruling class could use to manipulate change. To create the conflict he created a perversion of the free market that we now call capitalism (the anti-thesis to his thesis).

And every time idiots like Beck argue the anti-thesis they deepen the conflict.

I wish I could reach into the television set. Grab Beck by the collar. Slam his head against the desk once or twice and ask in my loudest voice:

"Why do you keep defending Marx's anti-thesis when arguing the anti-thesis simply deepens the conflict?"

If you want to stop Marx, then reject the false dichotomy.

We need to reject all of the traps that the left has injected into our systems of thought and take affirmative steps to re-establish the system of freedom created by the founders of the United States.

The path that Glenn Beck offers leads us nowhere.

We need a better path.

That path could start by recognizing that Marx did not simply influence his followers. Marx influenced the entire discussion of economics and society, including a large number of the ideas that the reactionary right holds dear to its heart.

Our society is still suffering from the conflicts engineered by the Marxists. To move beyond Marxism, we need to understand that his creation was not Marxism, but a conflict designed to destroy the free society of the west.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rocket Stove

I am suffering wealth envy. I was checking out the Grover Rocket Stove on Stock Storage, and now I want one.

The primary reason I want a rocket stove is for the garden. Each year, the garden produces a large amount of twigs and fibers that I can't efficiently mulch; So, I toss it in the garbage. With a rocket stove, I could burn that waste to boil water for my morning cup of tea.

The oven attachment would be a cool addition. I could bake bread.

The rocket stove is $125, and oven attachment $110. The site RocketStove.org has the scoop on building one's own stove. (more)

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Cypriots and Illegal Immigration

In the aftermath of the 1974 invasion by Turkey (wikipedia), Turkey induced 150,000 settlers to move to Cyprus in an attempt to tilt the demographics of the island in favor of Islam and Turkish control. The illegal settlers pushed the population of Cyprus over 1 million. The illegal settlers continue to be a focal point of contention today.

This game of countries using emigration to extend poltical control has existed since antiquity. Machiavelli wrote reams about colonialization.

When discussing large patterns of illegal immigration, one has to consider the reasons for the immigration.

Human history is full of rogues pushing people from one place to another to gain political advantage.

Unfortunately, an open borders policy doesn't work on a planet where the political leaders have taken to using migrations as a form of extending power.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Property Rights and Slavery

Sadly, there's a large number of people who've dedicated themselves to reading hidden motivations behind words. For example, when I foolishly used the term State's Rights, I was accused by progressives of being a racist using a secret code word for segregation.

I realized later that "State's Rights" is a silly term. States don't have rights, they have powers. Conservatives would be wise to strike this word from their vocabulary.

Apparently, the some folks in history have associated the term "property rights" with slavery.

It is likely that some slave holders made pathetic appeals to property rights to defend the slave ownership.

Any such appeal is paradoxical and pathetic because slave ownership denies property rights to the slave.

Intellectuals of the 1800s reveled in paradox.

Intellectuals defending slavery used the term "state's rights" in a bad argument that state's had a right to deny a fundamental human right to the slaves.

Fundamental rights should not be in conflict. So clearly the flawed term state's rights is the source of the conflict.

The intellectuals of the modern era (ie, the 19th and early 20th century) held a strange belief that one could find hidden meanings in paradox. They went hog-wild with the term rights ... and messed up a great deal of terminology and logic.

People trying to defend liberty need to be aware of all the little traps in our modern language and need to weed out misused reference to rights (like "State's Rights" in order to defend fundamental rights like property rights.)

The claim that states have rights creates conflicts between individual rights and state's rights. Therefore, the concept is corrupt.

At the heart of the property rights debate is the assumption that one cannot deny property rights to another. Therefore, the concept of property rights is diametrically opposed to the ideas of slavery and segregation.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Local Control v. State's Rights

Oops, a few weeks ago, I made a serious blunder.

The primary accomplishment of the Obama administration's health care bill was that the bill wrested the regulation from the states to the federal government.

The media seemed to gloss over the fact that health care was currently regulated by the states.

Free marketeers, such as myself, tended to frame the bill as a case of a free market v. government control. The progressive media was happy to gloss over the fact that most of our discontentment with health care stems directly from the burdens of state regulation. It appears that progressives have many duped into thinking that state regulated health care was in fact a free market.

Anyway, I was so frustrated with the lack of discussion of state regulations that my withering old brain latched to the first term that came to mind in discussion state control v. federal control. I very stupidly used the term "State's Rights"

The term is stupid as states do not have rights. Only people have rights.

The tenth amendment used the term "power."

"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."

Neither the Federal Government nor the State Government has rights over the health care or property of the people. They simply have limited powers in these areas.

The issue I wished to bring up was local control v. Federal control. Health is an attribute of an individual. For the good of the people, the control of health care should be as close to the individual as possible.

The health care bill does mischief by yanking the control of our health care resources from local control to an increasingly corrupt Federal authority.

I blundered badly when I used the term "State's Rights." Anyone who is campaigning for the repeal of Obamacare is wise to strike that term from their vocabulary and to speak of local control v. federal control.

The 2010 Health Care bill wrested control of health care from local authorities (state, county and town) and placed it in the hands of the Federal Government. This was a negative turn of events.

I sincerely apologize for using an idiotic term in describing this aspect of the health care bill.

Suffering the Result of Democracy

It is the unfortunate lot of the people to suffer the consequences of the acts of the leaders. History provides a long list of people suffering from the choices of people in power.

Democracy does not change this unfortunate relation. All Democracy does is give the people a token amount of input in choosing the power brokers.

I have heard several progressive pundits repeating the theme that the innocent Palestinians should not have to suffer the effects of Hamas's campaign against Israel.

Unfortunately, this is not the way Democracy works. Democracy is not a shield against the bad decisions of the leadership. It simply gives the people some input into the decision making process.

Sadly, the Palestinians voted in leaders with extremely outrageous ideas that included shooting thousands of rockets into a neighboring country. The ideas led to a blockade. The Palestinians, like thousands of people before them, suffer the result of their leaders.

Elections do not automatically result in good, peaceful governance. All Democracy does is allow some input from the people. It is up to the people to think through the consequences of their vote.

When Palestinians went to the polls for Hamas, they knew they were voting for increased hostility with Israel. The world is left to looking with horror at the result of yet another episode of bad leadership.

Sadly, there is little the world can do but continue a push for Democracy hoping that others see that voting a really bad government has really bad results.