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Leftists hate hearing about the socialist roots of Nazism

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 11:09 am - December 9, 2014.
Filed under: Freedom,History,World History

That’s my embriefening of Daniel Hannan’s title from February: Leftists become incandescent when reminded of the socialist roots of Nazism.

Short version of this post: Hannan is awesome, so why not go read it?

Long version: I’ll tease his article for you, then add my comments. (more…)

Lesbian Mayor of Houston Backs Down

Posted by V the K at 9:51 am - October 16, 2014.
Filed under: Free Speech,Freedom

The lesbian mayor of Houston is backing down from her demand that churches in her city turn over all of their sermons, emails, and other communications so her lawyers could examine them for any criticism of her.

Mayor Parker admitted that the subpoenas were too broad, and that the pastors’ sermons should not have been included. “It’s not about what did you preach on last Sunday,” she said. “It should have been clarified, it will be clarified.”

However, she still maintains that the Government has the right to monitor the content of religious speech; because that’s who the Democrats are these days.

Europeans getting skeptical on Europe?

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 9:20 am - May 27, 2014.
Filed under: Freedom,Politics abroad

Consider these recent items:

Some of these anti-EU folks are extreme nationalists, but more of them (like the UKIP) simply love liberty, democracy and traditional national sovereignty. The EU establishment hates those things, so look for EU media to try to tar them all as extremists, regardless of truth or facts.

That Which Is Not Freedom

Posted by V the K at 8:27 am - April 29, 2014.
Filed under: Freedom,Post 9-11 America

original2

Rob Lowe Is the Man

Posted by V the K at 1:59 pm - April 9, 2014.
Filed under: Freedom

Sing it, you crazy brat-packer.

“My thing is personal freedoms, freedoms for the individual to love whom they want, do with what they want. In fact, I want the government out of almost everything.”

Amen, Brother, Amen.

Remember When Liberals Used to Believe This?

Posted by V the K at 11:19 pm - February 24, 2014.
Filed under: Free Speech,Freedom

YouTube Preview Image

Communism vs. freedom: The war is back!

And it’s happening in the middle of our own society, now.

I didn’t say nearly enough about this morning’s incredibly wrong quote from Jonathan Gruber, who is billed as the ‘architect’ of Obamacare:

We currently have a highly discriminatory system where if you’re sick, if you’ve been sick or [if] you’re going to get sick, you cannot get health insurance.

The only way to end that discriminatory system is to bring everyone into the system and pay one fair price. That means that the genetic winners, the lottery winners who’ve been paying an artificially low price because of this discrimination now will have to pay more in return.

First, Gruber doesn’t understand free markets: If we had them (and we have NOT had them in medical care for decades), then health insurance would always be available to people with pre-existing conditions, at some price. And they could choose to take it, or not – as they have the means and perceive being to their own advantage (or not).

One of the ways the Left wins is by warping language. In this case, the Left has warped the concept of “health insurance” to mean “subsidized health care”, health care paid largely by Other People’s Money.

And it’s true: the free market won’t supply that – beyond voluntary charity. Because it is by definition a win-lose transaction. Someone must be forced to pay the subsidy, and that person loses. The free market is about win-win transactions. If your basic desire is to win at someone else’s expense, forcing them to pay for you, then you naturally hate free markets; the Left is your political home. Congratulations.

Next, Gruber thinks it’s “discriminatory” that people with conditions would pay more for health care. But here’s the thing: They take more health care.

Just like young men get into more car accidents, consume more repair services and thus have to pay higher rates for car insurance, so unhealthy people properly should have larger bills for health care – or health insurance.

Finally, Gruber’s quote wrongly chalks up everything about one’s health to genetics, ignoring the role of lifestyle choices in determining health – and thus ignoring the role of personal responsibility. And that may be where he’s most wrong. We know that socializing health care will lead a society to greater disease, as people make worse lifestyle choices.

But we also know that the Left has a ready ‘solution’ for it: namely, greater government control of people’s lifestyle choices. We’ve seen the beginnings of it in the U.S., with Nanny Michelle-Bloomberg’s efforts. It’s a road that ends with everyone doing mandatory calisthenics in front of the telescreen, _1984_-style. Because, at some point, no one’s life is their own anymore; each person is an investment (property) of the State.

Which brings me to my point. There are, so to speak, “two paths you can go by”.

  • If you believe in freedom – that is, in self-ownership, responsibility and choice under the Rule of Law – the logic of your position drives you toward limited government. Not to anarchy, but to *min*archy: the idea that government is there to protect people’s rights against attack and crime and, beyond that, to do little; allowing people to reap what they sow.
  • If, instead, you believe in community ownership of people’s lives and efforts – the central tendency of communism – the logic of your position drives you toward ever-larger government. You will always need more government, to solve the social problems that you caused by your last round of increases to government. Concluding in totalitarianism.

People support Obamacare and President Obama depending on whether – deep in their souls – they truly prefer freedom or dictatorship.

Gruber’s idea is essentially communist. The idea that capable and healthy people must be forced to pay for incapable or unhealthy people, lest society be “discriminatory” or whatever, means that people’s lives are not their own. Whatever people become, whatever they produce, is ultimately the State’s property to distribute as it sees the need.

“From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” – it can’t really ever be implemented, but if it could be, then only by total government diktat over everyone and everything. That is Gruber’s road – the underlying logic of his position – whether he admits it or not. It is also Karl Marx’s.

Thoughts for the day

From Jake Meyer in Bruce’s Twitter stream:

It can’t be a human right if it requires someone else’s labor. That’s theft, not freedom.

And, from Rep. Steve Stockman:

About 110,000 people contract chlamydia each month, more than signed up for Obamacare. Obamacare is less popular than chlamydia.

UPDATE: And America’s Communist era arrives thusly:

JONATHAN GRUBER, M.I.T.: …We currently have a highly discriminatory system where if you’re sick, if you’ve been sick or [if] you’re going to get sick, you cannot get health insurance.

The only way to end that discriminatory system is to bring everyone into the system and pay one fair price. That means that the genetic winners, the lottery winners who’ve been paying an artificially low price because of this discrimination now will have to pay more in return.

Gruber’s argument can (and will) be used to re-distribute anything. Literally anything. Because it’s founded on the idea that everything is generated, owned and consumed communally.

Steve Jobs of Apple, for example, was just a “genetic lottery winner” – right? He should have been forced to “pay in return” for his gene-crime of being unusually driven and talented, right? So that others could consume whatever wealth he created?

Health, and all other forms of wealth or success, never have to do with a person’s individual choices or efforts, right?

UPDATE: As long as we’re thinking like Communists, I just noticed something odd about how Obamacare ranges its plans from worst (Bronze) to best (Platinum). Isn’t it…um…kind of racist?

the color Bronze the color Platinum
(the color of Bronze) (the color of Platinum)

Liberal Logic on Display: Two Prime Examples

I’ve seen two examples this week of jaw-droppingly appalling liberal logic which, I figure, just have to be shared in the same way that unusual specimens belong in a museum.

The first one appeared in Salon on Tuesday, and it purports to be a treatise on the necessity of “positive” rights.  It says that the original Bill of Rights doesn’t go very far, and conservatives are foolish and “short-sighted” to insist that those rights are essential and shouldn’t be tampered with.  According to the author of the piece, Michael Lind, what we really need is to endorse FDR’s “Second Bill of Rights”–which includes things like the right to a job, to a good home, and to medical care and good health.  Lind writes: “FDR’s Second Bill of Rights, and similar proposals, are not intended to replace the original bill of rights, but only to supplement it. Progressives believe that we should have both the right to free speech and the right to minimal healthcare at public expense.”

Lind’s article uses both appeals to authority (FDR and Cass Sunstein) and some sleight of hand to avoid tackling the very real contention that we can’t demand “positive rights” at other’s expense without in some sense enslaving those who are tasked with providing or paying for those “rights.”

In a brief rebuttal at PJ Media, Stephen Kruiser cites his own, contrary authority:

The negative/positive rights debate is brilliantly explored by Richard A. Epstein in his book Mortal Peril. He begins with a general discussion but his focus is on American health care. He points out that the positive rights frenzy contains “certain remnants of a discredited socialism” and that “…the protection of these newly minted positive rights invests government at all levels with vast powers to tax, to regulate, and to hire and fire the very individuals whose rights it is duty-bound to protect.”

The story, of course, is one we’ve seen over and over. The government continues to bloat itself as the social welfare state grows and in the process more rights are trampled upon than created.

The title of Epstein’s treatise can apply just as easily to the second, even more stunning example of liberal logic, which I saw linked by several folks on Facebook today.  It’s an article in Slate entitled “If You Send Your Kid to Private School, You Are a Bad Person: A Manifesto.”  The idea behind the article by Allison Benedikt is that public schools are ruined because students whose parents care enough about educational quality to devote their own resources to education aren’t forced to remain in the public school system.

Nowhere does it occur to this genius that perhaps the real problems with the public schools have to do with the teachers’ unions or with the educational bureaucracy which has arisen at public expense.  No, according to this author, the solution to all the problems with the public school system is that if everyone has to go, they will get better because parents will demand it, even if some large number of kids who would or could have had better options has to be sacrificed for the sake of liberal mediocrity.  (You really do need to read the article to believe it is not some sort of ridiculous hoax.  Even the usually liberal crowd of commenters at Slate are put off by the article.)

A much saner, contrary view appeared several days ago (before the absurd Slate article was published) at the Sippican Cottage blog (hat tip Transterrestrial Musings).  The whole piece is worth reading, but this excerpt nicely encapsulates the tone of the piece:

You see, there are no public schools in America that I know of. They’re reeducation camps for people that weren’t educated in the first place, maybe, or little prisons, or pleasure domes for creepy teachers, or places where tubby women work out their neuroses about eating on helpless children at lunchtime — but there’s not much schooling going on in school. A public school is a really expensive, but shabby and ineffectual, private school that collects their tuition with the threat of eviction from your house.

To liberal “thinkers” like Allison Benedikt and Michael Lind, unfortunately, that sort of a situation apparently sounds like a “great society.”

New Mexico gets it wrong

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 3:17 pm - August 25, 2013.
Filed under: Equality (Real or Faux?),Freedom,Gay America,Gay Marriage

Via Ace and Breitbart, NM’s Supreme Court has ruled that New Mexico law compels photographers who religiously disbelieve in gay marriage to serve gay weddings.

If the law does: Then it’s a bad law, a law that violates natural human rights to freedom of association and to freely-chosen work. It is not good for gays; picture a gay photographer being required by law to serve the wedding of some social conservative whom he or she despises.

Living in the present in challenging times

Several of my Facebook friends like to post inspirational and thought-provoking quotes on a regular basis.  Two or three of them have recently posted a quote which has been attributed to Lao Tzu which reads:

If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.

As someone who has lately been bouncing back and forth between these states of mind, I can appreciate the essential wisdom of the quote.  Most of my feelings of depression lately have been spurred on by my regrets about things I wish I had done differently in my life, and so in that regard, they are an instance of dwelling in the past.  Most of my anxiety stems from my concerns about where our country is headed under its current leadership (or lack thereof), and my feelings of uncertainty or even paralysis as to what is or should be the best path for me to take from this point forward.  The more I think about it, the more overwhelming the many different options start to become.

Partly because of the circumstances which have fueled both my recent feelings of depression and of anxiety, I also have to wonder whether or not the “living in the present” endorsed by the quote is really so desirable after all.  When things are going well, yes, that sounds ideal, but isn’t there the risk of a sort of complacency which can result in self-indulgence, lack of ambition and disengagement?
I thought of these points and more yesterday when Glenn Reynolds linked to a post by Sarah Hoyt entitled “If You Don’t Work, You Die.”  In the post, Hoyt reflects on the importance of what she refers to as envy and striving for growth and life, which, to my mind suggests a certain resistance to complacency.  She reflects on an experiment in Denver in the 1970s with a guaranteed minimum income and the finding that a certain segment of the population was content to live on it and to stop striving to better their lives, and she speculates that it is partly an inherited trait which had value in the conservation of social energy.  The part of the post that fascinated me the most was when she described herself in the following terms:
Some of us are broken.  We were given both envy and high principles.  We can’t even contemplate bringing others down to level things, but instead we work madly to increase our status.  (No, it’s not how I think about it, but it’s probably what’s going on in the back of the monkey brain.)  Most of humanity however is functional.  Give them enough to eat, and a place to live, and no matter how unvaried the diet and how small/terrible the place, most people will stay put.
It seems to me that she has hit on something crucial there because although I’m often tempted to focus on being content with things the way are, every so often something happens to jar me from that state of mind, either by making me feel depressed or anxious or by throwing me off balance completely with some new dream or hope.
I’d like to write more about the disruptive power and potential value of such dreams, but for the time being, I’d like to pose a question for our readers.   When we live in difficult and challenging times, how can one try to remain “in the present” without falling into complacency or without becoming disengaged from the sorts of issues and problems that threaten to make existence even more trying and difficult?

Today’s Appalling Facebook Meme

Wow, just wow, is about all I can say in response to this piece of leftist rationalization which I saw today on Facebook.  It goes without saying that we’d be hearing something VERY DIFFERENT from this fellow if there was a Republican president.

The message here boils down to: freedom doesn’t matter, liberty doesn’t matter, rights don’t matter, and the most important role for government is to stand for “social justice.”  Here’s the link, but I’ve quoted the whole thing in its appalling entirety below:

Things I’m more worried about than my phone being tapped:
Global warming. The richest 1% controlling more wealth than the bottom 50%. Homelessness. Gutting the food stamp program. The rich hiding several Trillion untaxed dollars. Secretaries paying more in taxes than billionaires. Politicians being bought and sold. Malaria and starvation. More people per capita in prison than any other country. The “war” on drugs. More black men in prison than in college. Rising cost of education and health care. The rise of extremism. The continued oppression of women. The general lack of compassion in the world. The degree to which we all blame our problems on others and close our eyes to our own irrationality.
That more people are outraged by a small loss of privacy than any of these other issues.

Should I add “People who write in sentence fragments” to his list of outrages more “worrisome” than a government which spends all its time monitoring its people, or is that just my pet peeve?

Not surprisingly, the best responses to this kind of thing date to the founding of the Republic.  We’ve always got the classic from Benjamin Franklin: “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

But in this context, where the message is to sacrifice liberty for “social justice,” I think Sam Adams might be better, though trying to choose just one passage that is appropriate is rather like an embarrassment of riches.  I have long admired this one:

If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.

Perhaps this one is better: “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”

And just in case the Obamalaise is getting to you, here’s one worth repeating regularly: “Nil desperandum, — Never Despair. That is a motto for you and me. All are not dead; and where there is a spark of patriotic fire, we will rekindle it.”

“A government culture that has little respect for its citizens”

Just watch this:

H/t Ace & Powerline.

Rationalizing restrictions on free speech

Can you imagine an article like this appearing when Bush was president?  No, back then it was considered “patriotic” for the press to disclose classified information,  even when the information was incorrect or false, so the idea of the press reflecting on the Bush administration’s “struggles” with issues of free expression was unthinkable.  But when Obama wants to stomp on press freedoms for any reason, the press decides to be “reflective” and “philosophical” about the issue.  Craven rationalizations for restricting press freedoms under Obama are to be expected.  I particularly like this reader’s comment which I saw when I originally read the article:  “You are surprised Obama is stepping on the 1st Amendment? He tried to stomp on the 2nd Amendment for over a year now! The only Amendment this Administration seems to think is important is the 5th Amendment so they can hide behind it.”

And don’t think for a moment that it’s just the Obama administration.  No, it’s pretty widespread throughout the Democrat party.  Consider Dick Durbin’s (D-IL) thoughts about whether or not free speech ought to apply to bloggers:

Fox News host Chris Wallace asked Senator Dick Durbin whether Barack Obama’s promise to have Eric Holder look into cases of abuse that he personally approved represents a conflict of interest, but Durbin dodges that question and talks instead about the shield law proposed repeatedly over the last few years as the appropriate Congressional response to the scandal.  However, Durbin asks what exactly “freedom of the press” means in 2013, and wonders aloud whether it would include bloggers, Twitter users, and the rest of the Internet media [Video at the link].
Of course this sort of thing has a long history on college campuses, where different species of activists–the core of the Democrats’ left wing constituency–always want to restrict free speech.  Not surprisingly, Facebook is also being pressured to restrict freedom of speech among its users.
Facebook on Tuesday acknowledged that its systems to identify and remove hate speech had not worked effectively, as it faced pressure from feminist groups that want the site to ban pages that glorify violence against women.
The activists, who sent more than 5,000 e-mails to Facebook’s advertisers and elicited more than 60,000 posts on Twitter, also prompted Nissan and more than a dozen smaller companies to say that they would withdraw advertising from the site.
In a blog post, Facebook said its “systems to identify and remove hate speech have failed to work as effectively as we would like, particularly around issues of gender-based hate.” The company said it would review how it dealt with such content, update training for its employees, increase accountability — including requiring that users use their real identities when creating content — and establish more direct lines of communication with women’s groups and other entities.
Never fear, though, misandry and hatred of conservatives will still remain in fashion.

Thoughts on the Boy Scouts & gays

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:27 pm - May 23, 2013.
Filed under: Freedom,Gay America,Random Thoughts

Those who have read my posts and considered my basic political philosophy can probably figure out my views on whether or not the Boy Scouts should admit openly gay youths — and scoutmasters.

As a private organization, they have the right to determine the qualifications for membership and leadership.  The state should stay out of it.  That said, I believe they should allow gay people to participate.

Now, to be sure, given the scandals in the Catholic Church (where most of the victims have been teenage boys), I can understand why they might be wary of having gay (male) scoutmasters.  But, there are ways to screen their leaders to make sure they don’t bring on men who would abuse boys. Most (but alas not all) gay men would never even consider taking advantage of teenagers, particularly those in their charge.

That said, I just don’t get why they would bar lesbians from being scoutmasters.  Lesbians tend not to be interested in boys and would not definitely molest them.  Thus, I was struck earlier today when HotAir linked this New York Times story, featuring a picture of a mother ousted as a “scout leader because she is a lesbian.”

The leadership of the Boy Scouts should make the decision on allowing openly gay members and scoutmasters.  And I would like to see them change their policy.

NB:   (more…)

Rhode Island recognizes gay marriages the right way

After several tries, the Ocean State will start recognizing same-sex marriages on August 1.   Both houses of the legislature voted in favor of such recognition and the elected governor signed the bill into law.

And this legislation, like that in New Hampshire, addresses the concerns of those who contend such recognition would force churches (and other religious institutions) to perform weddings at odd with their faith’s doctrine.  According to the Associated Press’s David Klepper:

The bill that passed the House stated that religious institutions may set their own rules regarding who is eligible to marry within the faith and specifies that no religious leader is obligated to officiate at any marriage ceremony. The Senate added language to ensure that groups like the Knights of Columbus aren’t legally obligated to provide facilities for same-sex weddings.

With such provisions, the Ocean State not only recognizes same-sex marriages, but also protects religious freedom.

Kudos.

FROM THE COMMENTS:  Jayne contends that “union of 2 males or 2 females is, biologically, historically and culturally so vastly different from the union between a male and female that to define it with the same term renders the definition meaningless.”

I would agree that same-sex unions are different from different-sex ones merely because of the differences between men and women, but is she right, are they “vastly different”? (Emphasis added.)

Tales of the Obama Economy: Do-it-yourself and make-your-own

Lately I’ve noticed more and more posts from people on Facebook about how to do a, b, or c yourself or to make your own x, y, or z.  It could be that my personal social network overlaps more with the “crunchy” demographic which shops at the local food co-op and Whole Foods, but it could be a larger social trend.  I think it is a little of both, but I’m curious to see if other GayPatriot readers have noticed the same thing.

In the past three years or so, I’ve started learning to make many more kinds of things for myself than I had in the past.  Most of the stuff I make for myself has been foods that I used to buy at the store, and the transition originally occurred because I wanted to have a healthier diet.    I was a tolerable cook before, but I depended on lots of store-bought staples.  But the more I’ve learned to do for myself, the more I’ve wanted to learn how to do, as well.  I’d say that while I was originally motivated by a concern for health, as time has gone on, I’ve also been motivated by the increased sense of independence in learning how to make things I used to buy, by the ability to control my own ingredients, and by the opportunity to be able to make better quality foods than I would have bought in the past and still have a cost savings.

Although I started with food, I’ve also made some of my own household cleaning products, and I’ve considered making my own personal care items, as well.   I have a friend who makes and sells her own deodorant and is thinking of making other products, as well. But there’s no need to stop there.  When television stations switched from analog to digital broadcasting, I built my own digital TV antenna using coat hangers and a 1×4 using plans I had found online.

One of my favorite websites to browse in the last few years has been Ana-White.com which contains hundreds of build-your-own plans for furniture.  The site, which is maintained by a self-described “homemaker” in Alaska, was originally called “Knock Off Wood” because it started with home-built knock-offs of items found at stores and in catalogs.  I’ve not attempted building any furniture yet, but I would like to try doing so at some point in time.

I haven’t taken the time to research this topic yet in depth, but it’s my belief that part of what we’re seeing with this trend is a reaction to the Obama economy.  As people worry more about their finances, frugality and independence become more important–at least for a certain segment of the population.  During the Great Depression, these kinds of household arts were quite common, partly out of necessity and frugality, but also partly because the population wasn’t quite as urbanized.   Store-bought items were  both a rarity and a luxury.  I don’t see it as a coincidence that make-your-own and do-it-yourself projects are proliferating these days, much as they did during the Depression years.

What do other people think?  Have you noticed this trend, as well?  Have you made such changes personally?  Are there items that you used to buy at the store that you’ve started making for yourself?

Happy Birthday, Ronald Reagan!

On the Gipper’s 102nd, we share with you one of his greatest speeches, delivered in October 1964 in support of Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign.

And note how Reagan focuses not so much on the candidate he backs, but the ideas he espouses.

It was that commitment to the American ideal of freedom which would define the Republican’s political career and help account for his success — and his greatness.

Dr. King’s Dream: “deeply rooted in the American dream”

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 10:54 am - January 21, 2013.
Filed under: Freedom,Great Americans,Great Men,Holidays

In making the case for civil rights for black Americans in the 1960s, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. often cited not just the founding (and other defining) documents of our country, but also its patriotic hymns.

In his “I Have a Dream” speech spoken almost fifty years ago on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, he referenced the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution as well as the Emancipation Proclamation.  He recited verses from “My country ‘Tis of Thee.”  He did not fault the American ideal, instead wanted to make that ideal real for all citizens of this great republic.

In that great address, he spoke the word, “free” or “freedom” twenty-five times.  He knew the word defined as aspect of the American ideal.  And he was ever the optimist:

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.  It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. (more…)

Miami Brunch Sun.,. Jan. 20th; Steak Dinner Mon. Jan., 28

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:21 pm - January 16, 2013.
Filed under: Blogging,Freedom,Travel

Just a reminder about our brunch in Miami this coming Sunday, January 20th.

And a Monday night steak dinner on the 28th in honor of the LA City Council’s declaration of Meatless Mondays.

Drop me a note to RSVP and for details.