Archive for March, 2012

PostHeaderIcon What Will It Take?

Today, I repeat a question I have asked several times in past articles… what will it take to get the American people upset enough to demand action?

To this, I add a second question… why is our Congress, especially the GOP-controlled House of Representatives, so reluctant to investigate or challenge any of the clear violations of the constitution on the part of the Obama Administration?

Let us consider just two of the recent events that should have caused uproars:

Item 1

An article on ( titled OBAMA AUTHORIZES HIMSELF TO DECLARE MARTIAL LAW. Quoting directly from the article:

“On March 16, the White House released an executive order, “National Defense Resources Preparedness.” The document is stunning in its audacity and a flagrant violation of the Constitution. It states that, in case of a war or national emergency, the federal government has the authority to take over almost every aspect of American society. Food, livestock, farming equipment, manufacturing, industry, energy, transportation, hospitals, health care facilities, water resources, defense and construction — all of it could fall under the full control of Mr. Obama. The order empowers the president to dispense these vast resources as he sees fit during a national crisis…”
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PostHeaderIcon The Moral Hazard of Social Conservatism

Before getting to the point of this article, please allow me to set up a bit of background:

First, Moral Hazard is a term I have borrowed from economics and whose definition I have modified slightly to mean “an unfortunate, unintended side effect of a well-meant action”.

Second, I need to pontificate about a truly dangerous trend in modern American life. That is that all of the games that currently seem to dominate our national attitude are based on the “win/lose” paradigm.

The games in question include politics, religion, sports and war.

What, you may well ask, is wrong with the “win/lose” paradigm? When it is used only in fun, there is nothing basically wrong with it. However, when we allow it to dominate our attitudes, it becomes ruinously divisive. And, as I write this, we are a nation more divided than at any time since our so-called “Civil War” (as if any war can be considered “civil”).
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PostHeaderIcon Who Decides?

Our Declaration of Independence reaffirms our universal right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Yet, there is more to it than that because these rights imply even more fundamental rights if they are to be real. Primary among these implied rights is the right to decide for ourselves how we will conduct our lives, assuming we do not harm others in the process.

At first thought, this seems simple enough. But, as we think more deeply, we must realize that, given the fact of human imperfection, the right to decide for ourselves must include the right to make poor or incorrect decisions. Stated differently, we have the right to be wrong.

This leads us into yet another line of thought, this concerning the proper role of government in our personal and private lives. I think we all agree that one proper role of government is to protect its citizens. But, does this include protecting them from themselves or is it limited to protecting them from malicious and intentional harm by others?

I contend that, if we truly do have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, supported by a fundamental right to decide for ourselves how we will conduct our lives, then government cannot possibly have any role in protecting us from ourselves – that is, from the effects of our own poor or incorrect decisions. Further, when government does attempt to protect us from ourselves, it can only do so by taking away fundamental rights and limiting personal liberty.
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