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all the rage
simma dahn-nah'
by dan gonzalez
4.23.04
general


Everybody needs to calm down, dammit. And I am talking to you. And me.

What in the hell is going on? I am positively outraged at all the outrage that is going around. A calm, thoughtful person can no longer make a point in this country. One has to be OUTRAGED nowadays to get any press. For lack of a better term, it's flippin' outrageous.

Admittedly, my life itself has been nothing if not a bizarre lampoon of calmness. I can't even pretend to be calm right now, as I write this. The fact is I've demonstrably mocked calmness for most of my days. It's just how I am. But even a hyperactive, loudmouth punk like me is having difficulty making a point these days. It is killing democracy in this land. It's like crushing the head of a skunk because its butt stinks: you get more stink is all.

Consider the religious fanatics in Texas who recently boycotted Girl Scout cookies because said organization recognized a Planned Parenthood executive. There are many things wrong with so-called Planned Parenthood, especially under their current leadership, but outrage can bring none of them to light. They are subtle wrongs, wrapped in complexities, and can't be mitigated by refusing to purchase cookies.

Consider the outrage against the war in Iraq. There are ways to avoid war, but none of them have been illuminated by the tenebrous coalition that has opposed it in this case. They've managed not to offer a single viable idea for dealing with the worst villain on the face of the earth since Hitler. Chanting '1-2-3-4, we don't want your racist war' as they did at a sit-in in Berkeley in early 2003 was a nice ode to 60's-era rage, but not remotely constructive.

I decided to boil all this down, and read the two documents that seem to cause most of this schismatic rage. The US Constitution and the Communist Manifesto. Yep, those two. I know you're scratching your head, wondering, but consider: They are both secular documents, they are both based on logic; they both have the goal of creating a virtuous human existence. They're both also short. One can read them in an hour or two. After that initial reading, one thing is also clear. They are irrevocably, diametrically opposed. I know, that should be obvious, but I'm a little slow on the uptake as it were.

At any rate, to sum up, the US Constitution provides for a virtuous existence based on self-government. It posits that only in an economy based on capitalism will an individual possess the resources one needs to govern themselves virtuously. Private property in particular and privacy in general provide the personal capital for the individual to build on.

The Communist Manifesto, on the contrary, provides for a virtuous existence based on group-government. It suggests that only an economy based on communism will provide the group the resources it needs to govern itself virtuously. Private property in particular is abolished due to the ensuing alienation it causes, and privacy directly countermands the capital needed for the group to rely on.

Each also has a view on Socialism. In the former, socialism is acceptable in a general sense as minimized wealth redistribution to cover ambient sinkholes in capitalism, including unemployment. In the latter, socialism is recommended in a specific sense to allow non-communist governments to control commerce and begin redistributing wealth in order to migrate toward communism.

The biggest difference is in individual rights. The US Constitution holds that these are immutable and inalienable in order for individuals to have the opportunity to pursue the capital they need to self-govern. The Communist Manifesto holds that they are unnecessary, causative of vice and alienation, and offers instead equal group results, which in the Manifesto's view, obsoletes individual rights.

I distilled this new information to see how it applies to the current schism in the US. One thing is clear, communism is right out. There's no way to implement it in the US without supporting a revolution to facilitate it. Since all previous communist revolutions have been comprised of wanton theft and bloodshed, one would most likely have to support that as well.

Likewise, then, it is pointless to embrace socialism as transitive to communism since that journey can never reach its end. That's clear, but daunting. Pure capitalism could leave folks like you and me struggling to control our personal capital, burgeoning under corporations with capital several orders of magnitude greater than our own. But then, what manner of socialism must there be, and to what degree? I searched through the Constitution, but I could only find four words covering this. General Welfare [and the] Common Defense. No help. Those words have been bandied about for decades through various incarnations, in most cases widening the schism, not closing it. It seemed I'd struck upon the grand dilemma, one not fully addressed in our current bi-partisan system.

Then I took a closer look. Obviously, Defense and Welfare are often used, but the other two words are almost never mentioned. General and Common. What could they add to the interpretation of this clause?

What if all defense spending went to the common defense? There would be no tardy, token efforts like Clinton supported in Somalia and Bosnia, both disasters under U.N. control. We would have finished off Hussein in '91 after he fired scuds at civilians in Israel, and there would be no war now. If our presidents during those times adhered to the common defense of the US, they would not have capitulated to the UN (which has decidedly uncommon views in regards to our defense) and would have acted only to protect us, not the world.

What if all welfare spending were generalized? There would be no special incentives or entitlements that one qualifies for via group membership. The tax base would be spent only on economic woes general to us all. Inept social policies, like the law adopted in California and 19 other insane states that argues that it is discriminatory toward women for healthcare insurance providers to deny them birth-control pills as part of prescription drug plans, would be struck down.

The majority of Americans, theoretical governors of this land, most of which are Republicans or Democrats, will not like this interpretation. Therefore, although it may be futile, I will put it to the test on the most schismatic of issues, one of our land's greatest debacles to date, the Pro-Life/Pro-Choice war.

To begin with, both sides are standing on nothing. Neither is on the Constitution, neither is on anything reasonable. The Pro-Life movement is corrupted by reliance on dogmatic ideology on the nature and origin of the human soul. They are permitted to hold these beliefs, but no one is permitted to sponsor legislation based on them. In fact, morality ought not to be legislated at all, ethical relations with other citizens should be, and there is a clear difference.

The Pro-Choice movement also stands on dogma, equally corrupt. Choice has nothing to do with it. The coalition of NOW, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU actually consider choice to be irrelevant. According to their published mission statements, men and women cannot be equal without which women have special resources, privileges, and entitlements. If one chooses to disagree with them, one is a de facto misogynist, male or female. Many female intellectuals have been censored by them, because NOW and co. fervently believe that access to abortion is a privilege needed by all women, whether they choose it or not.

You may be wondering what this has to do with rage, but I submit that with less rage, and more appreciation of the US Constitution, the truth about the issue is revealed: the euphemisms of life and choice can be cast aside, the schism properly identified by its true nature, Pro-abortion vs. Anti-abortion. Both ignore the real problem that threatens our general welfare, which is unwanted pregnancy.

Along those lines, sponsoring true general welfare, the resolution is obvious. First, cast out the dogma. The Bible is irrelevant, women must have body ownership. However, the law that gives it to them, Roe V. Wade, is medically obsolete and bereft of reasonability. It divides pregnancy into trimesters, authorizing abortions in the first two due to lack of viability of the fetus in that period. We now know that fetuses are viable at 20 weeks. Besides the fact that 20 weeks makes a convenient point for compromise, it stands on the legal precedent. Therefore, women should have body ownership excluding the last 20 weeks of pregnancy. Roe V. Wade must be struck down and replaced with a relevant successor that states this. Furthermore, abstinence, because is not a moral choice, but rather a logical choice for avoiding pregnancy that all women should be aware of, should be encouraged along with all other options. No tax money should be spent in the execution of any elective choice, all should be spent only on education about all options available to the general public. No option should be favored, as seen in the dispersal of condoms and advocating of abortion, which is currently what the NEA espouses in support of the pro-abortionists.

There, no rage, no yelling, no rocks. Simple libertarian ethos, logically applied. The issue is solved in the manner which best augments the general welfare. Morality is decided based on the actions of the choice-makers, instead of the money the opponents throw at various legal efforts. The dogmatics are mitigated. This is the way it should be according to the Constitution. Everybody goes to sleep knowing they haven't contributed to choices they feel are invalid, and a whole bunch of money is saved.

Now, if everybody simmered down, and used that same reasoning, every other issue should be resolvable in kind. Give one a try. Who wants Gun Control? Who wants Immigration?


ABOUT DAN GONZALEZ

Maybe it's you, maybe it's Dan. Things aren't quite the way they should be. And now it seems Dan's peace of mind has come up for the bidding, and those that he respects and trusts must all have been just kidding. Dan's little world has lost control, but still it keeps on spinnin'...

more about dan gonzalez

IF YOU LIKED THIS COLUMN...

rage against the machine
why you need not vote this november
by dan gonzalez
topic: general
published: 7.7.04


new constitutional amendment
individualist rant
by dan gonzalez
topic: general
published: 1.28.04





COMMENTS

tracey kelley
4.19.04 @ 5:02p

There's more that needs to be said about this, but I don't have the brain capacity at the moment.

Your bio, however, is nicely done.

russ carr
4.19.04 @ 5:34p

Is it too late to get your name on the ballot, Comrade Gonzo?

Your column raises plenty of postulated puzzlements, but the one thing that stands out through the haze of caffeine and alcohol (It's Marathon Monday!) is in regard to your call-out on "general" and "common." Because whether intended or not, as soon as you started bringing up the Constitution, you dragged me into a scathing analysis of this country's well-intentioned but ultimately doomed three-branched government.

The folk what make the law, those duly elected representatives, are not the same ones tasked with interpreting the law, and that's problematic. Law, as created by the US Congress, is far from common or general, slaved as it is to special interests, re-election drives and the inevitable barrel-cured pork products. Legislation is spam.

The folk who are supposed to be interpreting the law, and its constitutionality, the Supreme Court, more often than not are wasting their time on a backlog of lesser court issues that have gotten bumped higher and higher still. The Supreme Court is not an intrepretive body, it is the last federal court of appeals. Even considering Roe v. Wade, since you brought it up -- it's still just an appellate case. And as you adroitly pointed out, it's a non-Constitutional issue; it was then, it is now.

Riding herd over all of this is the Executive branch, which most people seem to think is just the President of the United States. Got news for you, peeps: it ain't. The President only signs the bills into law, he doesn't make them. The President is probably the most federal of feds, because his representation is national, not state-based. Outside of Executive Actions, the President has few powers that can't be overridden by Congress.

Boiling it down, what do we have? A legislature fragmented by partisanism and constituents-first mentality; a judiciary bolloxed by too-often federally-irrelevant appeals, and an impotent executive-as-scapegoat.

Is it any wonder the political climate here (and by extension into our relationships with other countries) is so volatile? There is no clear representation of the national will at any level, no clear perspective on what constitutes "justice for all" and no defined leadership. We are a nation wandering in the wilderness, and have been so for the better part of 50 years.

That, and now I'm going to feel a twinge guilty now, when my decidedly cranky column runs in a couple of days.


tracey kelley
4.19.04 @ 5:43p

I had to revisit this, and now readily admit the blinding intelligence of you two is making me hot. It's like Brian speaking Gaelic.

But since I'm procrastinating on my client's undercover surveillance proposal, I still can't enter into decent discussion. I do, however agree with Russ' assessment of our current trident of government - no 4 out of 5 consensus on the effectiveness of that baby, that's for sure.

matt morin
4.19.04 @ 5:53p

Your "common" and "general" thoughts don't really work though. If all welfare or tax spending was generalized, and as you advocated, things like birth-control coverage struck down, would you also say that mamograms shouldn't be covered? Those certainly don't apply to us all.

Should we not spend money on schools - because all of us don't have kids? If this concept of generalized spending were in effect, why should I have to subsidize a school system if I'm never having kids?

Why should people who don't own a car have to pay for roads?


jael mchenry
4.19.04 @ 6:14p

Yeah!

russ carr
4.19.04 @ 6:49p

Because the roads a pedestrian may not drive upon are still used to bring him food, clothing, and every other sundry product required for everyday life.

We spend money on schools -- regardless of your predilection for procreation -- because the cliché is trite but true: children are our future. To weaken our education system (and that's a discussion best saved for one of Juli's columns) is to weaken our pool of future leadership in all areas -- politics, entertainment, science, the arts, etc. Providing for that leadership is certainly in keeping with the general welfare and common defense.

And in regard to the health issues, lumping birth control, which is purely elective, with mammograms (or any other cancer screening, and yes, men get breast cancer too) which is preventing a legitimate health risk, is silly. Pregnancy is the result of a conscious act; you choose whether or not to have sex, which means you choose whether or not to use birth control, which means you choose whether or not to get pregnant. Cancer is not a matter of conscious "choice"...unless you're skinny-dipping at Chernobyl, in which case you deserve everything you get. Dan's point remains valid: don't toss money at electives. The liberals' cry is, "Don't legislate morality." Catch is, they're happy enough when morality is legislated -- as long as it's their side of the issue. In truth -- no, in justice -- the government shouldn't be taking sides at all.

matt morin
4.19.04 @ 7:40p

"They're happy enough when morality is legislated -- as long as it's their side of the issue."

Funny, you could make that argument with Republicans. They harp about smaller government and less interference...until gay marriage or some other issue pops up, then they want to legislate away!

Ok then, why should someone who eats right, doesn't smoke, exercises and keeps themselves healthy pay (through high insurance premiums, Medicare or whatever) for someone who eats like crap, smokes, and sits on the couch all day waiting for a heart attack?

The problem is, there is no consensus on what's considered "elective." Food stamps may be elective to me, because I never use them. To a poor family, they may be the only way they can afford to eat. Subsidized housing may be elective because I make too much money to live in an apartment like that.

To a lot of people, spending several hundred billion on an unnecessary war is an "elective."

"...all [tax dollars] should be spent only on education about all options [avoiding pregnancy] available to the general public."

Becoming gay will prevent pregnancy. Somehow I don't think the GOP would be behind that kind of education.

Dan, what you're talking about isn't democracy, it's anarchy - everyone for themselves morally, monetarily and legally.

dan gonzalez
4.19.04 @ 11:23p

Is it too late to get your name on the ballot, Comrade Gonzo?

Alas, it is too late for me in many endeavors. And even if I got on the ballot, all of y'all would be stuck listening to Matt complain about me ad nauseum.

I agree with many of Russ's points, and some of Matt's.

Funny, you could make that argument with Republicans.

They are certainly a part of the problem as you astutely point out, Matt.

The problem is, there is no consensus on what's considered "elective."

This may be the greatest shortcoming on the parts of those who represent us in governemnt, there is no consensus on damn near anything, including the powers of the federal government despite the presence of a perfectly good document that details them thoroughly.

Becoming gay will prevent pregnancy.

I'll leave this for Robert. He'll be shocked to learn you could educate somebody that way. Plus, gay people do get pregnant, and I think you're kind of reaching to equate this with abstinance, contraception, and other choices.

what you're talking about isn't democracy, it's anarchy - everyone for themselves morally, monetarily and legally

I wouldn't call what I'm suggesting anarchy, I'd call it responsible federalism. Everyone being for themselves morally, monetarily, and legally is also called individual capitalism, which is the name of the proverbial game hereabouts. The alternative is to have government control over all these endeavors, which is also called socialism, and is definitely not what the fed was designed for.

dan gonzalez
4.19.04 @ 11:28p

In fact, I think that one reason the federal trident is broken is because it is reaching much too far to stab at very small, detailed things, against its design. One thing I only recently grasped was that the Constitution doesn't even call for federal democracy, it calls for a federal republic of democratic states. (It doesn't even mention the right to vote. It only has guidance for the states on the criteria for executing that vote, including who not to deny it to, but it never grants it to anyone, only the states do.) The vast amount of democratic power rests in the states, and for all intents and purposes, there is no such thing as federal democracy.

Education, for example, is not mentioned in that document at all. Because I was talking about federal income tax, however unclear I was about that, the school argument above is invalid. Schooling, by not being mentioned in Constitution, defaults to the states, which delegates them to local government. They are paid for via local property tax. You can choose where to live, whether to vote for levies, bonds, etc.

Healthcare is also never mentioned. Mammograms are fine, as long as equitable funds are spent on prostate cancer, which has equitable numbers of afflicted persons. Combatting ailments assists the general welfare, as long as it is apportioned to represent the afflicted correctly. Taxes on roads are mentioned in the Constitution, specifically in regards for the US Post office and interstate commerce.

All I was really trying to say is that, unless we adhere to the true vein of our system, the resources and rights it permits, and the personal responsibility it mandates, it will contintue to fail. It may anyway, as Daniel often points out, but it will certainly fail faster the more the government bloats with beaurocracies trying to control individual minutia.

juli mccarthy
4.23.04 @ 1:02a

As Russ pointed out, men can and do get breast cancer. Women, however, can NOT get prostate cancer. We're missing a little thingie required for that. That comparison would be better drawn in the cervical/uterine cancer area. I'm just saying, is all. Apples to apples, and all that.

I love that you mention that this is NOT a democracy. That's one of those little factoids I love to throw at people, especially when they're spouting on about the NRA.

I will be back tomorrow, post-caffeine, to address the education/state vs. federal thingie in some depth, but you should know that while the Constitution doesn't mention education, I feel that falls under "general welfare."


robert melos
4.23.04 @ 1:21a

Becoming gay will prevent pregnancy.

I'll leave this for Robert. He'll be shocked to learn you could educate somebody that way.


Matt, I think Dan pointed out the obvious fact that sexual orientation doesn't preclude a woman from becoming pregnant, so I skip that for the moment.

Now contrary to most conservative thinking, you cannot make someone gay through education. You, being a liberal, should know that. I could spend hours teaching you all the benefits of being a gay man, and unless you are attracted to other men you just won't end up being gay.

Being gay is not the choice, but being honest is. Choosing to be a parent has nothing to do with homosexuality. Granted, homosexuals do have a bit more control when it comes to the issue of pregnancy.

Now as for education spending, the No Child Left Behind program is not the raging success it was supposed to be. In fact, it seems children are being left behind left and right. I think Juli is more of our resident expert on that subject.

And Russ, don't count on the government to keep up those roads we drive on to ship the food, etc.. The fed has cut back on funding to the states for road improvements since the Iraq War. The moeny for work that needs to be done will come from your state taxes next year.

I'm a bit out of it. I have more to say, but not tonight. Catch y'all later.

matt morin
4.23.04 @ 1:40a

Come on, I was totally kidding about the gay-as-contraceptive remark.

dan gonzalez
4.23.04 @ 3:14a

Being gay is not the choice, but being honest is.

Truer words have not been spoken.

And though I don't know Matt aside from these threads, and have never met him, I can vouch and say that he is honest, and only wrote that in hyperbole.

I'm eager to hear Juli's thoughts on education. As a libertarian supporter of free thought, I don't wish to reduce education spending, but I'm very interested to hear how it is that the NEA forces socialist agendas on the state boards, spends 9/10 dollars electing democrats, yet pretends to be and in fact is the only voice of supposed balanced curricullum in this country.

[edited]

lisa r
4.23.04 @ 7:02a

Balanced curriculum is an oxymoron. Schools are so busy teaching things parents should be teaching that they are not doing a good job teaching things kids need to function in the real world--Reading comprehension, math, history, geography, science courses (boy, have those been dumbed down for non-gifted kids)...and everything is reduced to getting kids to pass standardized tests. Life isn't a standardized test.

I kid you not--as a grad student and a newly minted PhD, I taught a course called Feeds and Feeding (I'm an animal nutritionist). I had to re-teach percentages and simultaneous equations before I could teach ration formulation. Yet these kids not only supposedly passed algebra in high school, it was also a college course requirement to take MY course.

Teachers aren't allowed to teach necessities, everything is politicized. And don't even get me started on the theory of evolution issue.

dan gonzalez
4.23.04 @ 8:31a

newly minted PhD

Congrats on that awesomeness.

russ carr
4.23.04 @ 8:38a

I'll interrupt the education deliberations to inject a brief coda to my first post in this discussion:

Isn't it great to see the US Supreme Court spending valuable time upholding the NFL Draft's regulations? Isn't it the 25th Amendment to the Constitution which states that noncollegiate players can only be accepted into the draft after their third year out of high school? Geez. I'm glad the government's on top of stuff like that, protecting our nation from greedy, half-talent running backs.

juli mccarthy
4.23.04 @ 8:53a

"Free thought" is over rated where education is concerned, Dan. We have PLENTY of free thought. What we need in terms of education in this country is a little LESS free thought and a little more critical thinking. And we certainly do not need to reduce spending in education; what we do need is some kind of logic in how that money is spent. Lisa's absolutely right about teachers not being allowed to teach. The public schools are, first and foremost, a social services agency. Education is running a distant second in terms of priority. We've somehow bought into this weird theory that we cannot allow children's feelings to be hurt. Self-esteem psychobabble has taken the place of nitty-gritty teaching.

But back to government: while public education is primarily funded by property taxes, it is oversimplification to say that we can pick and choose where to live and whether or not to vote for levies and so on. Most people DON'T vote, and even if they did, the issues that come up are so couched in bullshit that it's a full-time job figuring out what's what. Add to that the fact that the states are forced to comply with stupid federal regulations like NCLB or risk losing what little funding they do get from the federal government. I'm at a loss to explain how an entity that controls 8% of funding gets to have 100% say-so in how things are done, but that's the way it is. The fact is, public education is not a priority for any government, local, state or federal. And as you pointed out, it doesn't even HAVE to be a priority, according to the Constitution.

But you have to remember who wrote the Constitution: a group of ruling-class slaveholders who were eager to secure their own rights. While they said "equal rights for all" they were never expecting that to mean anyone but them. (continued)

juli mccarthy
4.23.04 @ 8:56a

Every group of non-white, non-male, non-ruling-class people since the birth of this country has had to hold up the Constitution and force its makers to uphold their own statements. Like most of the crap that comes out of the federal government, the Constitution is a great idea, poorly executed.

dan gonzalez
4.23.04 @ 9:11a

What we need in terms of education in this country is a little LESS free thought and a little more critical thinking

I wholeheartedly agree with this and your other thoughts.

what we do need is some kind of logic in how that money is spent

I'm with you, but what I'm saying is that the logic has to be centered and libertarian, not dogmatically slanted to the religious/conservative, or socialistic/liberal side. Whatever good the NEA does as a national teachers union, it does harm by supporting or not opposing programs slanted to its leftist agenda, like multicultural education, which coerces young teachers into being discriminatory racists.

juli mccarthy
4.23.04 @ 9:25a

I'm with you, but what I'm saying is that the logic has to be centered and libertarian, not dogmatically slanted to the religious/conservative, or socialistic/liberal side.

Oh yeah. Facts are, in and of themselves, agendaless. And while I understand - and agree - that rote memorization of facts is not the way to teach people to think, I don't think it should be abandoned utterly. Multiculturalism is likewise not without merit - it's yet another good idea that has Gone Too Far.

Theoretically, the diversity of this nation should automatically result in a "happy medium". Funny how that's almost NEVER the case, though.

sloan bayles
4.23.04 @ 10:05a

Juli, I agree with your statement, but then we are still faced with the dilemma of who decides what a "happy medium" is. Radical liberals to ultra conservatives, and everyone in between, will opine differently on this subjective determination.

[edited]

dan gonzalez
4.23.04 @ 10:15a

will opine differently on this subjective determination

That's why I think libertarian principles are needed, to eliminate forced subjectivity. People can freely come to subjectiviy on their own, and usually do.

sloan bayles
4.23.04 @ 10:28a

Hmmm, I just started reading the Libertarian's web site. Can't intelligently respond to your statement Dan, until I do a little more reading up on their positions.

lisa r
4.23.04 @ 10:33a

Thanks Dan. I've actually had the darn thing for several years now, long enough to become disillusioned by the collegiate teaching experience and move into industry, which has it's own fair share of stupid quirks.

On the Supreme Court issue--wouldn't you think that 9 people charged with interpreting the Constitution could figure out that the NFL draft case should never have crossed their bench?


[edited]

daniel givin
4.23.04 @ 10:54a

I wish a could write as well as the people who discuss Dan's stuff. Dan, your ability to get people engaged is awesome (You write well too). I still think a lot of time is spent on details. Perhaps this is necessary. In such a complex society, with its information overload, filtering through details could be a necessary function on the road to fundamental truth. I am overwhelmed by the level of details just in this brief discussion. Perhaps after I read it all again later, I will think of some worthy input to the discussion. The only thing that pops into my mind currently is this:

What if the soul does not enter the body of an infant until it is outside of the mother's body? It is just a receptable being prepared up to that point. Is it not a greater abomination to systematically destroy a soul after is trapped in the body than to make it wait on the next receptacle?

matt morin
4.23.04 @ 11:29a

If I had the time right now, I'd love to argue that the NFL Supreme Court case is EXACTLY the kind of case they should be hearing.

I'll be back with that argument...

adam kraemer
4.23.04 @ 12:12p

At what point does Libertarianism end and invasion of other people's rights begin? Or are we just going with a "majority rules" type of concept for federal decision-making?

dan gonzalez
4.23.04 @ 12:51p

Daniel- thanks, that is big compliment since I look up to you and the folks on this sight. If I'm engaging, or writing well, it's because I'm in good company.

Matt- looking forward to your argument.

Adam- I hear ya. I interpret it as 'one's right to throw a punch ends just shy of another's nose.' There's no good answer to your question. I like to think of it as 'individuals rule via personal choice, not gov't mandate'. Does that help?

What if the soul does not enter the body of an infant until it is outside of the mother's body?

This hadn't occurred to me, I'll have to digest it.
I chose abortion because it was the most controversial issue I could think of to test out a bit of a theory. There are many details not covered. It's quixotic, but I'm attempting to unify people more than anything, people who have very, very different beliefs but have to relate to each other ethically just the same.

sloan bayles
4.23.04 @ 1:04p

This is a hard enough discussion to keep up with from a premise/positional standpoint. Hell, now I just had to look up "quixotic". Great column Dan. Mental excercises like intelligent bantering are always good to engage in.

russ carr
4.23.04 @ 1:09p

Adam -- I'd like to think we're going with a "common sense" type of concept for federal decision-making. And I'd amend Dan's definition to say 'individuals rule via personal choice and responsibility.'

Regarding the NFL and the USSC: Why do we need the federal government interfering in an internal business matter of a privately held corporation? NFL players must meet particular guidelines in order to be hired; Clarett did not meet those guidelines. Next year, he'll be qualified. Instead of wasting time consulting his lawyer, perhaps he should spend the next year getting back in shape.

Finally, Daniel's question begs another -- the existence of a "soul" to begin with, and the existence of said soul in some kind of nebulous state prior to being assigned a body to live in. Start getting all metaphysical like that, and the pro-choice argument becomes just as spiritually dependent as that of pro-life.

dan gonzalez
4.23.04 @ 1:36p

'individuals rule via personal choice and responsibility.

Absolutely. One is responsible for themselves and for being ethical toward others, that is a key part I left out, but at least Russ is on the ball.

daniel givin
4.23.04 @ 2:15p

Currently, individuals can only rule through personal finance and capital accumulation. I agree that any who rule should do so via responsibility and personal choice

Start getting all metaphysical like that, and the pro-choice argument becomes just as spiritually dependent as that of pro-life.

exactly - common ground


robert melos
4.23.04 @ 4:07p

Matt, I figured you were joking, but it was the only thing I was prepared to take issues with at that point. Although, that would be an interesting concept in a strange scifi way.

matt morin
4.23.04 @ 8:22p

"It's the year 2134, and to curb massive overpopulation of Earth, the Tribunal Council has begun mandatory homosexuality in an effort to save the planet...!"

robert melos
4.24.04 @ 1:26a

I should live so long.

dan gonzalez
4.26.04 @ 1:58p

exactly - common ground

This is what I'm trying to kick around. I'm not a card carrying Libertarian partisan, but after years of voting, occasionally for independents, often for republicans, my sense of futility is maxing out and I'm trying to explore a new approach. The libertarian ethos has a good bit of sense to it, but is not without problems. I doubt they will evolve into a viable party, but maybe the principles could help the big two parties reform. It seems that they both are in need of it.


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