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Archive for August, 2009

More Trust

UPDATE: This is not a post saying that we don’t need laws.  We need some law for the good of the whole.  It is more a post about laws hemming people in and laws being used to direct people because people in government don’t trust what citizens might do in certain situations.  I’m certainly not anti-speed limit, for example and find nothing wrong with imposing speed limits.  It’s not necessary for personal freedom to be able to drive 90 mph.  That is just a simple example.

This post was kind of me riffing very quickly, which probably isn’t wise.  But it’s more about government using law to control those in society who don’t need to be controlled.  It’s the only form of control in a democratic government.  It’s how democracy resembles monarchy, in essence.  For example: elites don’t want you to own a gun even though you are perfectly capable and responsible to own a gun for whatever reason.  So they use laws based on the actions of a few to hem you in and point you in the direction they want you to go.

It’s also about how laws stagnate and don’t let people flourish.  Obviously we need laws.  But most government action we don’t need.  Do we need a law against murder?  Yes.  Do we need a law that says you have to register your yoga studio with the state government?  No.

The American Experiment was such a monumental shift because it said that power should flow upwards, from the people to the government.  “You are in Congress because I, a citizen, give my say-so.”  This was monumental because it freed the human spirit and said that nobody knew better than anyone else how to live their lives.

That power is now shifting through centuries of law.  We need some law, but remember that each law is like a brick.  That brick blocks movement in one direction and encourages movement in another.  With too many bricks there will be no movement and there will be stagnation.  Welcome to that point.  Welcome to stagnation.  It all has to do with power and trust.

When you trust someone and someone trusts you, that relationship flourishes.  It says, “I believe you know the right thing to do and while you will make occasional mistakes, I want you to be the person you should be.”  Parents who don’t trust, don’t allow their children to grow into themselves.  Currently, the United States government does not trust its citizenry.  As a consequence we are not growing.

Why are there gun laws?  Because the government does not trust you to be a responsible gun owner.  Why are there speed limits?  Because the government does not trust you to be a responsible driver.  The list can go on and on.  There are other issues involved like money and power and elitism.  But to boil it down, it’s trust.  They know better how to live your life.  They know better what to do with your money.  Why are people in government afraid of homeschooling?  Because they don’t trust you to educate your children and they think they know better.  Got it?

Back in the 1700’s people knew better because they were born into it.  Born into monarchy or aristocracy.  Today people know better because they went to an Ivy League law school and managed to raise money for an election.  Back in the 1700’s the monarchs and aristocrats got benefits and were above the fray of the common man.  Today, the government gets benefits and are above the fray of the common man.  Don’t believe it?  Why doesn’t Congress have Social Security like the common man?  Why does Congress get to fly around in jets?  Why don’t they fly commercial like the common man?  I thought the idea was that power flowed upwards.  “Of the people, by the people, for the people”… right?

America does not trust its government anymore.  We don’t trust it because it doesn’t trust us.  We don’t trust it because it’s broken the trust bank too often.  How do we fix it?  Get informed.  Read the history.  Start voting for people of character over people of politics.

Did you hear Congressman Barney Frank ask a questioner at a town hall about what planet she spent her time on?  Did you read Speaker Pelosi’s rebuke of “unAmerican” protest?  Excuse me, but do you in Congress understand for whom you work for?  Send them tea as a reminder.

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Freedom and Trust

Now that there appears to be no “bipartisanship” for a health care overhaul that includes a “public option”, some Democrats are saying they will push it through without help from Republicans.  The message here is clear.  After a majority of Americans have stated through polls, town halls, emails, phone calls, letters, and leaving AARP, that they don’t want the government to muck-up healthcare, the politicians are responding.  Their response: “We don’t trust you and America has nothing to do with freedom.”  You might want to ask them why they don’t trust you next time you talk with them.  Freedom and trust are forever intertwined.

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The Real Power

Voice has power.  Voice focused like a laser on the correct target has tremendous power.  It looks like that voice is wielding it’s power right now, with the Administration talking about dropping the “public option” on health care.  Why the balk by the Administration?  Voice focused like a laser.  The one thing politicians fear is loss of power.  It became clear through the town halls and other means that pushing through this health care reform would result in a lot of loss of power.  To focus even more, we citizens can put our voice on those in Congress who are in the middle.  The middle always tips the scales.  You have the left that will always go left and you have the right that will always go right.  Then you have the middle who will choose one side and tip the scales.  That middle is the Blue Dogs in Congress.  Send them tea.  One of our commentors is doing it and writing “Obamacare” on the tea label.  Focus your voice and get results.

Blue Dogs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Dog_Coalition#Members

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Most people resist abrupt changes.  Think of your relationships.  You’d balk if your partner demanded you stop doing something that you’d become accustom to over the years.  The way people overcome this is by gradually changing it.  That’s called getting “a foot in the door.”  The remedy for this is to know our history and our founding documents, then we can’t get used to the gradual change.  People who want to radically change the American form of government and life, rely heavily on getting their “foot in the door.”  They’ve done it too.  With Social Security, Medicare, taxation, and other freedoms.  Going from A to Z is harsh, but going from A to B to C to D is not, and becomes acceptable to people.

Here’s President Reagan talking about the “foot in the door” with health care:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRdLpem-AAs

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Sometimes it’s said that people get the government they deserve.  I don’t exactly take this at face value because there are a lot of factors, but American government certainly reflects its populace, to a degree.  Let’s run down the problems.

Politics is Bloodsport – To me, this may be the number one reason our government is substandard.  Witness what has happened to Governor Palin during the last year plus.  I’m not naive enough to think that politics in 1776 was roses and chocolates, but today politics is a slime pit.  If you dare speak your mind about something, there is some group out there who disagrees with you.  If your voice gets attention and that counter group is well-funded, hold on to your hat.  Witness Joe “The Plumber” who had people checking into his tax records because then candidate Obama answered a question.  Governor Romney had to give a speech defending his religion.  Just think about that for a minute.  Let it sink in.  We live in the United States of America in 2008 and a major candidate with a pretty spotless personal life has to give a speech defending his religion.  All this in the country where there is “no religious test.”  Let’s all get a big belly laugh from that one.  Is it any wonder that high quality individuals stay in the private sector?

It’s Politics Stupid- President Washington didn’t want political parties.  He thought they would be bad for the country.  Guess what?  Well, he got them right away with Jefferson and Hamilton.  Guess what again?  He was right, they are bad for the country.  It’s natural for people to identify with a political party.  It’s a group.  Groups have more power in politics than individuals.  That’s natural.  The problem with politics is that it makes people stupid.  That’s how you get the unbelievable hypocrisy of people who elected a “community organizer” now yelling about the community getting organized.  Community organizing is only good if you do it for their cause, see?  Politics is how you have cities and states keep electing the same people after term upon term of failure.  Will Michigan ever get a clue?  No, because voting for politics is more important than having an economy better than, say, Peru.  And we’ve all been there.  We’ve all defended an idiotic position because of politics.  It’s like rooting for a sports team for some people.  How else can you explain people getting excited about political scandal?  How is any political scandal good for the country?  It isn’t.  It’s good for the other political party.  This is America’s sickness right now.

The Solution- The solution is two-fold.  First, learn your history.  I will hammer that and hammer that and hammer that theme on this blog.  You can’t go anywhere in life without a plan or anchor.  You can’t drive across country without a map.  How can you govern without knowing the “map”?  Our map is our history.  The Constitution.  The Declaration of Independence.  Those are the basics.  But you can go deeper.  Always argue from the facts of history.  That is what can put the United States back on the path.

Second, live with character.  Do what is right in life.  Figure out your values or standards.  List them.  Actually get a pen and paper and list them.  Take a few days.  Think about it.  What is important to you?  Family.  Integrity.  Put them down and put that list where you will see it every single day.  Make your decisions based on that list.  You know that pain you feel sometimes in life?  You know how you feel out of sorts or depressed?  Some of that is based on other issues, but I would bet a large sum of money that a lot of problems today are based on the fact that people compromise who they are on a daily basis.  They compromise because they don’t know who they are and they are looking for the easy way.  It’s easy to compromise values for money or sex.  But that will kill you in the long run.  Live your life from a solid foundation of values.  It doesn’t have to be religious.  But it can be.  Live that way and people will take notice.  You will take notice.  The more Americans who live this way, the quicker the country will get back on the path.  Hold others to that standard too.  Vote for the candidate with more character.  I don’t mind disagreement as long as it’s honest.  I’d rather have a politician represent me with character, even in disagreement, than some slime ball who agrees with me on every issue.

Life is not easy.  But all good lives have the same things in common: hard work and integrity.  Let’s get it done.

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The Tipping Point

The United States is a Republic, not a Democracy.  That is being blasted loud and clear around the country these days.  Guess what?  Most elected officials don’t like it one bit.

The Founding Fathers didn’t have a lot of nice things to say about Democracies.  In a Democracy the majority rules and can push the minority around.  That’s the point of having a Republic with checks and balances.  That’s why we have the right to assemble and to petition our government on issues.

Citizens are making it known that they aren’t all together happy with how the United States is being governed.  Money is being spent with little or no regard to debt or inflation.  Those in charge are acting more like Kings with perks and little regard for their subjects.  Townhall meetings are being canceled or not held at all by certain members of Congress who don’t want to face constituents on issues like health care.  Major legislation is not even being read by members of Congress or the President of the United States.  This is a breach of trust.  Your job, in government, is to represent your constituents.  You do this by knowing what you are voting on.  If you don’t have time to read the bill, vote “no.”

How are members of Congress responding to your right of assembly?  Your right of petition?  By calling it “manufactured.”  By telling you that your view is wrong because it is not their view.  They are disrespecting you because they don’t see the United States the same way you see the United States.  How much respect can someone have for personal freedom when they call your questioning “manufactured”?

This is about health care, but it’s not about health care.  This is about debt, but it’s not about debt.  Something is underlying all these issues.  It is something so powerful that men cross oceans to get it.  Men voluntarily put their lives on the line to get or defend it.  It’s freedom.  Freedom is bigger than all of us.  That’s why people of all political stripes are banding together.  Freedom.

Freedom is the ultimate moral position.  It trumps all comers because freedom allows us to become the person we were meant to be.  Only with freedom can we fulfill our absolute potential.  Even people who excel under strict control, excel because they buck the oppressor.  They live a personal freedom that is embedded in their make-up.  It’s so embedded that oppression, no matter how fierce, can’t control it.  Freedom created men like Viktor Frankl.  That is the power of freedom.  Just think how powerful it is when there is no oppressor.  Don’t kid yourself, any government control is a form of oppression.  Even if it’s mild non-violent oppression.  Government is a necessary evil at times, but it should only be used when necessary.

A government that wants more control does not trust its people.  That government doesn’t trust you to save money for retirement.  That’s why we now have a Social Security system that is going bankrupt.  A government that doesn’t trust you to care for your fellow man, imposes taxes to transfer wealth.  A government that doesn’t trust you to care for yourself keeps you dependent, and then lets you down when disaster strikes… only to come back and ask for more control. 

A free people are able to reach greatness.  A free people create quality of life, get rid of poverty, create friendships, and love.  A free people take responsibility and understand consequences.

Freedom has downsides.  People will abuse it.  Others will fail and need help.  But freedom is the only way to reach full potential.  The downsides are part of life and no reason to call in the government to legislate a solution.

As a government who tries to grow doesn’t trust its people, its people shouldn’t trust a government that tries to grow.  Send your tea.  Learn our history from the founding documents and use that knowledge to teach others.  Use your voice.  Use it with respect, but use it.  Send the tea.  Go to our About section.  Send the tea.

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