30 July 2009

Thoughts on Allegations of Selfishness

Image credit: Microsoft
One of the most effective tactics for making someone feel guilty (presuming they have an active conscience) is to accuse them of being selfish.

This works particularly well as a progressive closing salvo against free markets and low taxes... at least, it tends to hurt my feelings and shut me up, because "I'm not selfish" isn't much of an argument.

So I've been thinking about that accusation and honestly evaluating my motives for advocating lower taxation and less government restriction and regulation, and my thoughts have solidified into these grounds:

A healthy respect for each individual's natural rights: Life, Liberty, and Property (the fruits of our pursuit of happiness).

This respect leads me to the following conclusion:

21 July 2009

Rights, Sociability, and Hate

An article linked from Trying to Grok has opened up a whole (long) line of thinking for me. The statement that particularly caught my attention appeared in the author's original op-ed:
I want Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Marxists, Independents and anyone with a halfway decent idea that doesn't incorporate hate.
"That doesn't incorporate hate."

Here's part of my comment at TTG, as a springboard to further thought:
People can have hate, regardless of their political leanings.

But when it comes to ideology, which seems more "hateful":

a) Regardless of your feelings, you may not violate Person X's rights, nor may you join with others to do so in a collective fashion; or

b) Regardless of your feelings or actions, if you have a material or immaterial advantage over Person X, then Person X may individually or collectively violate your rights to eliminate that inequality ?

In this world, there are a number of things we can't force other people to do - eating, sleeping, and potty training among them.

We can't forcibly change someone's opinion, and we can't force others to feel love - or not to feel hate.

We have to figure those things out inside ourselves.

But as a species, that's been hard for us to accept.

13 July 2009

While We're Squabbling over BIG Issues...

We're being disarmed.

Anything fishy about that?

I was listening to a local radio host today, and he just said the same things - using almost exactly the same words - as I did a few minutes ago.

Specifically, "With all of our other issues, govt focus on further disarming citizens ('switchblade' legislation) is AWFULLY fishy..."

I just thought that was interesting... and worth pointing out publicly. Your thoughts?

11 July 2009

NEA on Education - MUST SEE VIDEO

Astounding. You MUST see this.
(I'm even more amazed that it survived on tape!)

via this tweet from @cboyack - highly recommend following him; he really does find some of the coolest stuff!

09 July 2009

What the US *Should* be Saying about the Environment

Currently, our President is working with other leaders of nations around the world, discussing what we can commit ourselves to, to help the environment.

Here's some of what "we" are saying to the world, and what the world is saying to us:
  1. "The United States has sometimes fallen short of meeting our responsibilities," Obama said. "Let me be clear, those days are over." [Calling us irresponsible and apologizing to the rest of the world for our citizens' exceptional horrible-ness. Maybe we should all have government-issued flails for when someone, somewhere, is upset with us. Oops, strike that - I'm afraid they'll get a new spending bill authorized...]
  2. "We have agreed for the first time that average global temperatures must rise by no more than 2C." -Gordon Brown [Did you hear that, sun? No more than TWO DEGREES!!!]
  3. "[T]he G8 needed to sound a second wake-up call on the world economy." [No comment necessary.]
  4. "Neither the wealthy nor the countries in search of their own footing think the other side is doing enough. And only when the pollution emitters work together on a binding plan will a climate strategy work, experts say." [Sounds like a winning strategy to me - just don't do anything until we ALL agree! *wink*]
Here's what we SHOULD be saying, as a nation:
  1. We love people.
  2. We love the planet.
  3. We should try to be responsible human beings.
  4. NOW,

06 July 2009

What "The Science" Says

Sarah over at Trying to Grok has a great post up about UN climate projections.

Specifically, how they're not ... er ... CORRECT.

As I've said before, good thing we're not actually basing policy on this, right? *wink* Maybe I should make that an acronym... GTWNABPOTR?

Anyway, please check it out here - and put another arrow in your quiver of what I'd call, "Reasons the UN Shouldn't Be Making Our Decisions."