People are wising up to their governments ripping them off with massive taxes and minimal protections. The economically illiterate tend to see things from a leftist viewpoint, because they lack a fundamental understanding of supply and demand and how that concept transcends every facet of every market. Further, people on the left tend to rely on emotions as the substantive portion of their mental energy when making decisions. This is okay a lot of the time, but when a decision will have a tremendous effect on the lives of everyone around them it becomes dangerous.
Thus, we hear leftists ignoring the damning economic impacts of welfare states and open borders on tax payers and locally raised people looking to compete in their labor markets; also, resulting from this disposition, we hear leftists shouting down dissenters of the Brexit movement in a deluge of epithets (racists, xenophobes, bigots, etc.), which is par for the course and so was expected.
In truth, the majority of UK citizens want to have sovereignty over their island, so they can regulate their businesses, afford welfare benefits, control their borders, and police themselves – themselves. Brexit is a really big deal, and I think voters made the right choice yesterday. That said, conservatives in the UK will need to step up to the plate in the aftermath, and they’ll need to stick to their guns. The transition to a free society in the UK will be temporarily painful, but in the long run it will be a far better deal in terms of economics and security for the people who live there.
I do expect, though, to see terror plots carried out, violence from leftist sympathizers, and volatile markets over the next 6-18 months. Islamic terror groups, and individual cells will want to dissuade the masses of truly taking control of their own country by making it seem as though the population is unprepared to fight domestic terrorism. The left, likewise, will throw fits. We’ve seen this in America lately quite a bit. When the right doesn’t like something, they tend to protest peacefully, while the left tends to light fires, beat people to the ground, harass and assault women (perhaps pelting them in the face with eggs), and wholly behaving like a bunch of psychopaths. The markets will jolt this way and that for a time simply due to the unknown. After all, when today WASN’T like yesterday, and tomorrow WON’T be like today…
So, I think we’re in for some interesting news stories out of the UK in the coming days and months. And, ultimately, we can look forward to the start of a global economic recovery.
The following are my thoughts on some of the things President Obama said in his Address to the Nation on 06 Dec, 2015 regarding the latest terrorist activity in the Western world. It isn’t an aggregate of all of my thoughts on the matter, but I hope this really makes people think.
“Good evening. On Wednesday, 14 Americans were killed as they came together to celebrate the holidays. They were taken from family and friends who loved them deeply. They were white and black; Latino and Asian; immigrants and American-born; moms and dads; daughters and sons.”
Obama got only three sentences into his speech before plucking the heartstrings of race-in-America. One of the quickest ways to get people thinking defensively and manipulate them into treading softly in their thoughts and speech is to bring up racial differences. In truth, at least one of the people at the party was of Middle Eastern heritage. Unfortunately, he left early to pick up his Pakistani wife so they could murder the other races Obama referenced.
“…it is clear that the two of them had gone down the dark path of radicalization, embracing a perverted interpretation of Islam that calls for war against America and the West.”
You’ll note he didn’t explain that statement in detail. In fact, the murderous mujahideen in San Bernadino didn’t pervert anything. The Quran and the Hadith each quite clearly state a collection of actions and behaviors that God finds most desirable. Dying a martyr’s death, or Istishhad, is a tremendous honor. While this practice does go against the strict Islamic instructions against murder and suicide, it’s no more contradictory than a Christian who fights back against an attacker in accordance with “an eye for an eye” rather than following the contradictory “turn the other cheek” suggestion found in the same religious text. Obama isn’t a bumpkin; he knows this. His statement is a dishonest mischaracterization of the true nature of Islamic teaching.
“Intelligence and law enforcement agencies have disrupted countless plots here and overseas, and worked around the clock to keep us safe.”
Countless? So are we safe, or are there constant, around-the-clock attempts to murder us coming from all directions in all places? Countless?! That’s a lot.
“Our military and counterterrorism professionals have relentlessly pursued terrorist networks overseas…decimating al Qaeda’s leadership.”
It is true that primarily American forces have decimated personnel and structures of Al Queda leadership in the past, but he is being a bit sophistic. Equally brutal Islamic leaders and groups have cropped up to replace any void left by the erosion done unto them by Western forces. This is why the oh-so-efficient War On Terror hasn’t ended yet.
“Our success [in defeating terrorism] won’t depend on…abandoning our values…”
That’s great news! I bet he won’t go on to suggest that we begin redacting the universality of Constitutional rights, which affords everyone in America a higher degree of equality than anywhere else in the world, without due process in this same speech. Or else, he will.
“…we will continue to provide training and equipment to tens of thousands of Iraqi and Syrian forces fighting ISIL on the ground so that we take away their safe havens. In both countries, we’re deploying Special Operations Forces who can accelerate that offensive.”
There you go, folks. It’s official – boots on the ground! Did you catch it? Obama is deploying an untold number of “Special Operations Forces” back into Iraq (as if they aren’t already there) and into Syria. Nobel Peace Prize much?
“Since the attacks in Paris, we’ve surged intelligence-sharing with our European allies.”
Is it possible that this is a new idea? It’s not like terror plots being carried out or attempted by Muslim fundamentalists in the U.S.A and Paris are a new phenomena. Let’s not forget Obama’s previous statement that these types of plots are countless! Countless terror plots have been stopped, and I believe several have been carried out throughout Europe and the U.S.A. Why wasn’t our greatest-in-the-world, protective, daddy-like government surging communication with his government neighbors for years in order to avoid attacks like the one in Paris? This statement is absolute nonsense. Unfortunately, that means Obama thinks his constituents are naive enough to fall for this obfuscation.
“We’re working with Turkey to seal its border with Syria.”
Wow, it must be real important to make sure that nobody exits miserable, Islamofacist Syria and gets into Turkey. Of course, Obama has been encouraging and signing off on the importation of thousands upon thousands of unchecked Syrians into the U.S.A. So which is it? Should we be wary of Syrian migrants, or welcoming? Are they a threat, or an opportunity to share love throughout the world?
“That’s why I’ve ordered the Departments of State and Homeland Security to review the visa *Waiver program under which the female terrorist in San Bernardino originally came to this country.”
If I’m not mistaken, Obama recently mocked conservatives who voiced concerns about importing potentially dangerous Muslim Sryians by the tens of thousands when he mentioned that they are “…scared of widows and orphans coming into the United States of America as part of our tradition of compassion. First they were worried the press was too tough on them in the debates; now they’re worried about 3-year-old orphans. That doesn’t sound very tough to me.” Indeed, Obama was implying that women are nothing to worry about! How could anyone suspect a woman of being a terrorist? Yet, just a couple weeks later, a woman makes up 50% of a terrorist force that has left 14 dead and 17 wounded in San Bernadino, CA. I guess, yeah, let’s check out that waiver program, Mr. President.
“Congress should act to make sure no one on a no-fly list is able to buy a gun. What could possibly be the argument for allowing a terrorist suspect to buy a semi-automatic weapon? This is a matter of national security.”
Ah-ha! I had a feeling he’d do it. You see what he’s not telling us is that the American government is taking our taxes by force and using them to prop itself up while it maintains its status as the largest arms dealer in the world. Yes, our government arms terrorist groups in the Middle East, and then tries to disarm the law-abiding Westerners who live within their borders. Obama is saying that guns are so dangerous, that we should disarm ourselves and arm dangerous groups waging Jihad throughout the world. If this isn’t making sense to you, that’s to be expected. You aren’t seeing the big picture. Only Obama and his democratic teammates can see the big picture. I mean, can you even begin to come up with an argument as to why our government doesn’t have the authority to create obscure lists, like no-fly-lists, members of whom lose their Constitutional rights? Nope, you can’t. You can’t because Obama is implying that it would be silly if you tried to. Look, it’s a matter of National Security! We have to arm the Mujahideen and disarm you. You are the threat; jihadists are over there…except when they’re here. Let’s move on.
“I know there are some who reject any gun safety measures.”
This is sneaky. Here Obama is implying that people are either with him or opposed to ALL gun safety measures. This is truly scary. The leader of our country is misguiding the masses with a hideously lowdown false dichotomy. Is “Don’t point guns at people” a gun safety measure? Are background checks a gun safety measure? Are hearing and eye protection gun safety measures? Are ten day waiting periods a gun safety measure? Is “don’t drive with a loaded gun in the cab” a gun safety measure? I could go on and on. I really could. My point is, there are degrees of gun safety, and there are different areas of gun safety. To present the opposition to his platform as people who reject ALL gun safety measures is absolutely wrong. Most people fall somewhere in between the two extremes. Obama knows this, too. He’s a lawyer by education, not a buffoon. He is well aware of the falsehood of his statements.
“We also need to make it harder for people to buy powerful assault weapons like the ones that were used in San Bernardino… But the fact is that our intelligence and law enforcement agencies — no matter how effective they are — cannot identify every would-be mass shooter, whether that individual is motivated by ISIL or some other hateful ideology.”
Wait, so law enforcement cannot keep us safe no matter how efficient they are? And Obama’s solution to this is to make it more difficult for the vast masses of ordinary people to arm and defend themselves. Is that a question? This doesn’t make sense.
“Finally, if Congress believes, as I do, that we are at war with ISIL, it should go ahead and vote to authorize the continued use of military force against these terrorists. For over a year, I have ordered our military to take thousands of airstrikes against ISIL targets. I think it’s time for Congress to vote to demonstrate that the American people are united, and committed, to this fight.”
Obama is a Constitutional lawyer. Yet, here he is admitting that he has broken the law by waging war without the consent of congress. And, he so casually mentions that congress “should go ahead and vote” us into war. He even claims that Congress should do this, because it would demonstrate that you, and me, and your neighbors, and your kids’ teachers, and the mailman, and duck-call makers in the South, and fishermen in Puget Sound are all united in our longing to wage war in the Middle East! Who is this clown kidding? Who does he think is longing to wage war? Who does he think is united in this initiative? Would a couple hundred Congressmen geographically separated from their constituents by thousands of miles voting to wage war be representative of hundreds of millions of people? No, it wouldn’t.
“But just as it is the responsibility of Muslims around the world to root out misguided ideas that lead to radicalization, it is the responsibility of all Americans — of every faith — to reject discrimination.”
Discrimination? Is that the issue here? Oh, I didn’t realize much of the terrorism plaguing our world is the result of Americans of all faiths discriminating against each other or Muslims or whatever he’s talking about. What a wise man this Obama is.
“We were founded upon a belief in human dignity — that no matter who you are, or where you come from, or what you look like, or what religion you practice, you are equal in the eyes of God and equal in the eyes of the law.”
It’s a good thing he didn’t mention the inalienable rights of all men that our country was founded on, or it would have been difficult to confuse us into thinking his idea to put people on an obscure list and steal away those rights without due process was a good one.
I could have written many more pages about this boneheaded mumbo jumbo, but I’ve made my point. Our president is knowingly muddying the water, as usual, surrounding the recently publicized Muslim terror acts in the Western world. He’s dividing the populace and manipulating the people into thinking it’s a good idea to be disarmed. He’s politicizing tragic events in order to push a socialist agenda. He’s not on our side.
Below is a recent exchange I had with an unnamed person about a statement they had made on social media regarding the President’s latest endeavor – “free college”. The debate was flawed from the start. So many poorly developed skills and highly developed fallacies were apparent that I felt compelled to save the conversation as a lesson to review.
I was able to openly, respectfully debate some people in the thread, and I even had quite a bit of support in my favor. Still, I’ve redacted all but the comments back and forth between “Instigator” and myself. And while that naming convention certainly denotes bias, you’ll see fairly quickly that it fits like a fogged over, cracked glass slipper.
On a call today, I heard someone I respect call our President “weak,” “ineffectual,” and a “closeted Muslim.” This was in response to what is currently going down in Paris. So, entirely unrelated things. Thankfully, mine is not a shy or retiring personality, so I told him I disagreed. This is one of the many things our President has done/said recently that make me proud to be an American. I hope it’s not just a pipe dream. (And by that I mean: I hope the Republican-saturated Congress doesn’t scuttle the thing, either out of “fiscal conservatism” or out of spite.)
I tried not to say anything, but it seems almost irresponsible of me not to. Here’s a different perspective:
What if they scuttle it out of common sense? After all, it isn’t actually “free” college. It is, in fact, a hijacking of middle class Americans’ freedom since they will be FORCED to pay billions of dollars annually for the program. And wouldn’t corralling youths into welfare-schools inflate demand and cause a reduction in the supply? And wouldn’t that result in skyrocketing costs? This means that tax-robbed people will end up paying even more money for a lesser education that they, themselves, aren’t even getting! Not to mention, the opportunity cost people will pay who won’t actually benefit from this “furthered” education while they could have been gaining workplace experience and increasing their wages through time in their industry. And, won’t this tremendous influx in college-goers completely devalue the college degree for all the people who actually would otherwise benefit from obtaining one? Also, being that every American is already $58,000 in debt to the government’s creditors, I’d say that stacking this unfunded liability on the shoulders of the working class is a pretty terrible idea. Further, people can’t afford to pay for other people’s educations (in the same way that they can’t afford to pay for other people’s healthcare); the average American household is over $15,000 in credit card debt alone. People already come out of government schools worshiping government, financially illiterate and with an inability to think critically. A government takeover of community college-funding is the first few inches on the slippery slope to government stipulations, regulations, and government-approved curriculum. And the last thing Americans need is for young adults to be manipulated into staying in government-institutions becoming further indoctrinated, and causing true adulthood to be pushed off until years later than it already is. I think it would have been far more impressive if Obama had decided to improve the government-controlled education system which currently exists; the one that lands American children 26th in Reading, 28th in Science, and 37th in Math compared to the rest of the world. Government really ought to focus on doing less, and performing really well at what it already insists on doing.
Pcoast, we’re not going to do this here. Sorry you couldn’t help but say something. Your blanket bias against our government is just as ignorant as any kind of blanket bias in its favor. Anything else I say in response to you at this point will make me sound arrogant. After all, my vantage point on this issue comes from a level of education you neither admire nor aspire to. So, you can vote vehemently against this prospective program at this nascent stage on principle if you want to. I will reserve my final opinion for when a true plan shakes itself out (and answers many of the valid questions asked on this thread), and will cast my vote at that time.
It sounds as though I’ve offended you, and I certainly didn’t mean to. I tried to stick to the issue, and I think I did a pretty good job. I didn’t attack you whatsoever. Your level of education is astounding! I love that you’ve spent years studying your passions. I hadn’t thought to praise you for it while discussing President Obama’s initiative, though. And I didn’t realize that your education and experience in writing made you an unquestionable expert on all things political. You are right, though; I do not aspire to your level of college-education. I am a fairly well educated person in my own right though – I swear! As for my “bias” against government, you’re only partially correct. I have what you call a “bias” toward the INITIATION of force. And, yes, that includes government. Lastly, as you well know, I don’t vote (see my article https://pcoastcompelled.wordpress.com/…/i-dont-vote…/ ) I don’t think you have to worry about coming across as arrogant, as you’ve already set sail. LOL
Acquaintance, I’d say that my brother is trolling you, but he actually believes this stuff. And true believers will not be dissuaded from their limited world views regardless of how reasonable or right you are. Save your energy and your time, my friend. And don’t worry, because he doesn’t vote! 🙂 And Pcoast, don’t worry about insulting me. We may be on opposite sides of this issue (of most issues!), but I respect your willingness to articulate your viewpoint. Allow me to boil it down a bit: I think taxes are necessary and civilized and ought to be used to benefit the people who pay them; you don’t accept my premise, and therefore, we’re not actually arguing.
Trolling? How passive aggressive of you.
“Actually believes this stuff”? So you’re saying that I’m unique in my thoughts? That this isn’t real?
“True believers”? As if it’s organized? Like a cult or something?
“Limited worldview”? As though we don’t live in the age of information, and I haven’t traveled enough to hold credibility?
“He doesn’t vote” As if I don’t try to affect positive change in my own way?
“Don’t worry about insulting me”? As if I did? I never did insult you. I made no personal attacks.
“I respect your willingness to articulate your viewpoint”? So you don’t respect the honesty, integrity, well-articulated arguments to the point? You just respect my “willingness”? As though I’m amusing you with my haphazardly placed words?
“You don’t agree with my premise…we’re not arguing”?
You seem to be unable to keep from filling your paragraphs with atrocious amounts of ad hominem, and dozens of other obvious fallacies, assumptions and allusions. You’re correct when you say “we’re not arguing”. I am making arguments. You are making noise
It’s unfortunate. Someone with your academic clout should have the ability to discern arguments from name calling and distraction within their own written word; then again, now I’m making an assumption.
BTW, this is all in good humor. I know you “actually believe” your viewpoint too.
Pcoast, let it go, man. I’ve tried to keep it light, but your own passive aggression is drowning any possible good point you’re attempting to make. Acquaintance2 did make some good points, and I’d love to engage her… but she’s being measured and respectful. You’re being a pain in the ass. Read the room. And then re-read your comments, because they’re full of intended insults and sarcasm and every other unworthwhile waste of hot air. We, you and I, are not arguing. You’re slinging crap and I’m hoping you’ll relax and allow others a chance to share their opinions. Or not. Because this is Facebook, and minds aren’t changed here.
Instigator, I really don’t understand where you felt attacked. I reread my comments, and I felt they were clear and well-stated. I saw no personal attacks (outside of agreeing with you that you sounded arrogant). I’ve noticed over the years that you tend to only allow people to question you if they aren’t related to you, and even then, only if they don’t disagree. Calling my views, “Crap,” and suggesting that my articulation is carelessly slung about are very obvious misconceptions (at best). Implying that my comments aren’t measured or respectful is also a mischaracterization. I suggest you reread YOUR and my comments and see exactly where you misstepped. And, please don’t let me stand in the way of your response to Acquaintance2. Indeed, she made excellent points.
And, in case I didn’t make it clear, your credentials are worth nothing to the vast majority of people. You began attacking me when you touted your credentials saying that “After all, my vantage point on this issue comes from a level of education you neither admire nor aspire to,” implying that those without your particular educational path are mere simpletons. Actually, when it comes to people in general, if dey ain’t employing’ ya, dey don wanna hur boutchya digreeez, ya heard!? LOL.
You mischaracterized my comments from the get-go. So, YOU, please, “relax” and allow other opinions to be stated. And, YOU, stop “being a pain in the ass” and “slinging crap”.
And, btw, I’m still smiling on my end.
Moral to the story…. Don’t post things and not expect people to express their differing opinions. With that said this was extremely entertaining.
So glad to see that, as I slept, Pcoast, Acquaintance, and Acquaintance2 had such a fruitful conversation. Brother, I’d say the moral of this story is that no matter what I post, if Pcoast has his panties in a bunch about some tangential issue, he’s going to hijack the thread and be himself. And I shouldn’t waste my time trying to stop him. I welcome debate when I assert my opinion… But here, I wasn’t arguing anything.
Well, reading back, I can see how my attempts not to engage my brother(s) on this thread could sound dismissive and arrogant. That wasn’t my intent. If I post something on Facebook, whether I like it or not, that’s construed as a public endorsement of something. Probably more/different than I what I actually intended to support. I do expect and appreciate debate, and once something is public, it’s not up to me to decide who gets to comment or how many times or where he will take his argument. While I maintain my right not to engage, it is wrong to state that while also jabbing and insulting others in the process. Pcoast, I apologize for being passive aggressive and openly dismissive of your point of view.
You don’t seriously expect me to accept that backhanded grenade of a faux-apology, do you?
“Whether you like it or not” is irrelevant; your initial post reads, “This is one of the many things our President has done/said recently that make me proud to be an American. I hope it’s not just a pipe dream.” While I guess you COULD have meant that you’re proud he can speak at all…and that you hope it’s a pipe-nightmare… those possibilities were dashed when you went on to say, “I hope the Republican-saturated Congress doesn’t scuttle the thing, either out of “fiscal conservatism” or out of spite.”
To say that I am “considering” your post an endorsement, because you said it publicly on FB is, yet again, a mischaracterization of reality on your part. YOU ENDORSED IT, loud and clear (see quotes above).
Also, when you say, “…once something is public, it’s not up to me to decide who gets to comment or how many times or where he will take his argument,” you are implying that I went somewhere inappropriate with the debate, spoke too much, pushed an unheard of agenda, and even that this was “his” argument. In fact, my views are, more or less, shared by many, and YOU made a controversial post – not me; this is your argument as much as it is mine. You’re attempting to paint yourself in a victim’s light here as though I’ve bullied you. In truth, I’ve done no such thing, you are not a victim of anything, and I find your effort at painting ME as a bully, well, bully-like. And, I respond to criticisms of myself and my views regularly and respectfully in debates; it doesn’t bother me that people (in this case you) are unable to create a valid argument resorting to name-calling and false implications – that means you’ve given up. I do point it out, though, because I don’t like making people read between the lines.
Lastly, your most recent comment, apologetic as it may seem, begins, “I can see how my attempts not to engage my brother(s) on this thread could sound dismissive and arrogant. That wasn’t my intent.” If you think me a fool once, shame on me for my presentation; however, the second time… BOOOOO to you!!
You didn’t MEAN to come across as dismissive and arrogant? Really? In your first response to my views you accused me of having “blanket bias”, you called me “ignorant”, you admitted that you were already bordering arrogance, you held your college-education over my head as an attack on my credibility (as if your studies in writing have something MORE to do with an understanding of political sciences, economics, philosophy, etc. than my own education), you accused me of having no appreciation for your credentials (which, to be fair, I appreciated more before this stream’s genesis), and you pulled back your initial endorsement stating that, “I will reserve my final opinion for…” in an obvious back-pedaling stab at sounding more neutral to the matter than you did in your initial post.
You mischaracterized my views, abused your formal educational authority, and implied absolute falsehoods, both about me (personally) and about the information and views I was putting forth, throughout the entire exchange. You even ended with a revolting attack on my morality, organization, comprehension, etc., and you had the nerve to disguise that attack as an apology. I’m not easily hurt, so no damage was done to my feelings. No apology is necessary.
I’d rather you truly read back over this conversation and learn about yourself, and become a better version of you. Your passion and your writing abilities could be a tremendous force if honed properly, whether for good or bad is, I suppose, up for debate?
This will be my last post in this thread. I enjoy a good debate. This thread did provide some good ideas. It’s wonderful to know that folks are staying atop the issues at hand, and thinking.
P.S. This has been an excellent opportunity for people involved to see how many different ways a person can juke, dodge, distract, and tap-dance around issues when they’re losing a debate. My initial comment was concise and raised entirely valid points without any hint of attack. However, Instigator ‘s initial post was firm in her approval of Obama’s proposal, so she felt attacked by my points. This is understandable. But, rather than research, or otherwise find answers to the points I raised, she switched immediately to personal attack. And, she kept on swinging throughout the conversation. This thread is truly a magnificent read when going through it in its entirety for the purpose of learning the what-to-do’s and what-NOT-to-do’s when discussing important, controversial topics. This conversation has been at least vaguely funny, also, because the topic of “further subsidized tuition” isn’t a particularly inflammatory one.
Every year I tell myself I’m going to do something really productive that’ll add substance to my life or bring me some sort of comfort. Last year I resolved to quit smoking. The year before I promised myself I’d lose twenty pounds. Actually, I had decided to do both of these things every year for the last five years, but January just keeps on rearing its head and taunting me to remake these promises and others.
New Year Resolutions, in my experience, tend to be mildly ridiculous in nature. They seem to always require some skill I don’t have, some will-power I’m unwilling to derive, a tool I’ll certainly not acquire, or means which will foreseeably remain out of my reach. Why do I do this to myself? It’s such a silly ritual – on the verge of superstition even. But so many people make them.
“Well I have to buy a new calendar on Wednesday, guess I better start workin’ out, or run a marathon or something.”
“I suppose I’ll eat more vegetables, and watch less TV.”
“I reckon I’ll be more attentive in my relationships this Wednesday.”
“Yep, On Wednesday I’ll start saving, stop eating fast food, learn to love myself, become bi-lingual, take a trip, meditate, take in some live-theater, become less self-conscious, pay off my credit cards, quit biting my toenails and begin an organization to piggy-back cripples all over town!”
People are nuts! Honestly, the concept of bettering oneself for the sake of being better is a pretty decent idea. And, good on the guy or gal who thought it up. But, what the hell, man? At what point do we draw the line between betterment and self-hate.
Do we really possess so few amiable qualities that we are in need of consciously acquiring new ones? Are we so unimpressive that we must accomplish enormous feats to prove our worth? And, who are we attempting to justify our existence to? Ourselves, our spouses, our families, our acquaintances, our Gods?
Surviving the first year of human life is remarkable. Keeping up with our peers in the monotonous confines of public school for 13 years is astounding. Think of all the challenging social horrors everyone overcame in those years: trying to listen to the right music, trying not to sound stupid, trying to sound cool, trying to wear the right clothes – the right way, trying to look athletic, trying to cover up pimples, trying to talk to the opposite sex, trying to learn enough to pass 35+ classes, juggling friends, emotionally charged relationships, parents’ demands, first jobs, learning to handle money, etc. It might be that the only reason anyone survives modern adolescence at all is due to distraction from the option not to.
And after most of that nonsense finally subsides as we reach our early twenties life begins to move so rapidly that most of the memories spiral past us and stretch over years and become nothing more than vague outlines in the margins of our minds. Yet we press on.
So don’t be so hard on yourself this year. You’re doing just fine. Regardless of where you are in life, you’re probably, at least, okay. And rather than become resolute in achieving some whacky pipe-dream I have a suggestion: try to write down five or ten things that you already do fairly well, or are decent at, and resolve to accentuate those qualities, instead.
So if you find yourself good-looking, be even better looking! No…not really. But, for example, if you feel you’re fairly generous, empathetic, an honest employee, a social-bug, and you eat two baby-carrots on the first Tuesday of every other month…. Try to find ways to emphasize your generosity. This doesn’t always entail money; many organizations will gladly accept your time, and you can use the experience to broaden your social network. You might read about a culture or subculture in society that you’d otherwise written off in an effort to learn about them and heighten your ability to empathize. Try to go out of your way to save money at work, or think of a way to improve something in the workplace that would otherwise be overlooked. And eat your damn vegetables, people! They’re. Good. For. You.
In other words, focus on your better qualities and put them to use more often. Recognizing your positive attributes builds confidence, and being this vague with your resolutions will allow for more opportunities to accomplish them. If you exploit those opportunities, I think you’ll find it a more rewarding and positive experience overall. Of course, if you can’t think of five things… there’s always a marathon.
Recently, I was asked why I don’t vote. On the spot, I found it relatively difficult to communicate my particular outlook on voting without my mind running wildly this way and that. When the haphazard conversation had adjourned I thought about the question quite a bit. I haven’t voted since I was 18; although, I’m sometimes tempted to vote. I wanted to make certain that my principles still reflect the feelings I once held toward voting, feelings which went beyond justification of my political absense, but even persuaded me to actively speak out about the evils of political goings on in general. The following is my best shot at quickly summing up the slice of my philosophy which shapes my position regarding voting:
Circles are not squares. They are never squares. Among other reasons, this is because a square has four corners, and a circle has no corners. This single discrepancy explains the existence of the principle, “Circles are not squares”.
As a principle, the statement “circles are not squares” holds true throughout the ages, amongst all realms, and in light of new information. Principles do just that; they hold true regardless of variable circumstances. This is important. Understanding the basic concept of a principle allows people to create ethics and morals. Without understanding the concept of principles, ethics and morals are not only subject to change, but are even excepted from entire facets of life altogether.
Here is an exercise in the extension of the principle described above:
Are circles square in California? Are they square in Mumbai? Are they square when your friend’s dad comes around? Are circles square when a donkey steps over a four-leaf clover on the second Tuesday in March during a leap-year? No; circles are never square, regardless of circumstances.
Let’s try this with another principle – the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP). Simply put, the NAP suggests that it is immoral to initiate force against another person. This means it is “wrong” to initiate an interaction with another person or people in which you remove their ability to make a fair decision whether through violence, the threat of violence or any form of coercion. Before I get into why this is immoral, let’s try to think of an instance in which initiating force against a person is moral, or even neutral.
Would it be moral, or neutral, if a man were to walk down to the nearest donut shop and start strangling the person in line? Or, what if a woman decides she wants a raise at work, so she puts a knife to her boss’ throat and forces him to sign a new contract? Perhaps force is acceptable if a child wants to acquire his playmate’s toy, so he bonks the other kid on the head and snatches it away. Would any these instances be considered tolerable?
Keep in mind that all of the situations I’m putting forth are examples of the initiation of force. Now I’ll apply the NAP to what should be a familiar institution.
Is it moral, or neutral, if a small group of people think that they can spend money very wisely, and much better than the average layperson, so they hire costumed thugs to pillage the countryside holding people at gunpoint and robbing them of a portion of their wealth? What if all the while the robbers explain that they are stealing the money in the interest of public good? Obviously, this is absurd behavior.
Afterwards, what if the small assembly of frugal folks were to put forth several options regarding how the stolen earnings might be spent once they’ve paid themselves a handsome salary? And, what if they were to give the laypeople an option to vote on the matters? I would argue that this is still an absurd situation to comprehend and a model of hideously immoral behavior.
What if the small group intends to use a large portion of the stolen funds to hold the laypeople at gunpoint, regulating their behaviors, and controlling the people’s options regarding how to earn their livings, and with whom they become romantically involved? Ludicrous, I know. Only the most sociopathic brutes would demonstrate these sorts of unscrupulous attitudes and wiles?
What if the small group of people pitted the large body of laypeople against one another by forcing rhetoric down their throats from the age of 5 to 18 in indoctrination camps wherein children are brainwashed into thinking that voting is not only a fair way to affect change, but that it’s a civic duty? What if those children grew up to think that they had the right to tell other people what to do as long as people they agree with hold fire-power over the entire population? It’s hard to believe I may have to explain the reasons why these situations are immoral, but for the sake of conversation I’ll briefly attempt to do so.
Property is anything belonging to a person. Property begins with a person’s mind and body and extends outward to all things created by a person with their mind and body. I own my brain, I own my mouth, I own the words I speak, and I own the results of those words. I own my actions and the results of those actions. And, as this defines property, it is immoral to initiate force against people, because it violates their right to property. Force robs a person of their ability to fairly make a decision regarding their property. Whether a child bonks his playmate on the head and takes her toy, or a very bright adult steals someone’s living wages in order to provide wonderful benefits for the many, property rights are being violated, and that is absolutely immoral. Respecting property rights is a principle; therefore it extends to all areas of the universe regardless of contexts and conditions.
Any person, people, or institution whose foundation embodies a violation of property rights is inherently immoral. Also, the initiation of force is the most egregious crime committable; it is a violent crime even when the gun isn’t “in the room”- so to speak. Even when the gun is disguised as justice, and all the laypeople have been fooled into pointing the gun at each other through the “power” of voting, each person begging their masters to point the guns at someone else via policy, regulation, and legislation, it is violent and immoral. This is a truly monstrous system, because it forces people, it lies and manipulates people to act out against each other. It is an atrocious system, because it is immoral from the ground up. And, the majority of people are indoctrinated throughout childhood, in schools they cannot avoid attending, to love their country’s governments – the very governments which will steal their earnings and threaten to punish them throughout their entire lives. They’re taught that government is good, and just, and necessary. This sort of relationship, in which victims must love masters whom they inevitably fear, is the definition of sadomasochism.
The institution of government is a system in which I choose not to participate. I was born under the thumb of government, and I understand this culture; therefore, I continue to live here under the rule of government. However, I reject the state in all its terror. I pay off the costumed thugs, so I will not be kidnapped and abandoned in a rape-room. I follow the rules, so that I will not be robbed of my wages. But, I do not legitimize my involuntary masters by begging them to use their force to impose my will and my preferences on my neighbors. Thus, I do not vote. As so often seems appropriate, I’ll close with a quote by R. W. Emerson: “Insist on yourself, never imitate.”
Cory Remsburg was manipulated and indoctrinated in the public education system, brainwashed in the Army, used and exploited throughout the wars in the Middle East, and even after “his comrades found him in a canal, face down, under water with shrapnel in his brain,” after enduring an explosion from a roadside-IED on his tenth deployment… President Obama (as quoted) exploited yet another opportunity to use Mr. Remsburg. The President decided to finish up his State of the Union speech last night with an egregious appeal to emotion by trumpeting Cory Remsburg’s story of sacrifice in a last-minute attempt to unite his audience in a feeling of gratitude and awe. He used this soldier’s story not as an ode to liberty, nor as a harrowing tale representative of his own passion for military folks and their mission – rather, he used it anecdotally as a distraction from his ridiculous government-expanding agenda which he expressed in the hour prior. I’m fairly certain that Cory Remsburg did believe he was doing the right thing when accomplishing his mission overseas. And, he absolutely deserves the attention and gratitude implied by the President in his speech last night. But I think he deserves better than to be used as the closing act of a failing socialist’s annual theatrical event. He, and others in similar situations, ought not to be used as political fodder. As the President said at the beginning of that same speech, “Tonight this chamber speaks with one voice to the people we represent. It is you. OUR citizens.” Understand how telling this statement is; it shows exactly where the people stand in the gaze of bureaucrats. We belong to them.