Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Level Set - Part 2

Where'd I leave off... government. It's much more complicated than that small blurb, but as time goes on, you'll get a clearer picture.

Now for some "societal" positions.

Drugs - With the exception of caffeine, alcohol, a little nicotine from the occasional cigar, and the pharmaceuticals used to control a couple health problems here and there, I don't use them. Now obviously, I'm talking about what are currently positioned as "illicit drug"; pot, cocaine, heroin, meth, etc... But because I don't use them, that doesn't mean I don't want you to. If they thrill you, have at it. Just don't let your usage of them cross into my life. Theft to feed a habit, DUI, firearm possession under the influence, etc... that happens, sorry, your ass should be in jail because you took your life and placed others into it without their consent. So yes, legalize IT, whatever "it" you have. Just know that if you cross into my life with your shit, I will deal with you appropriately.

Sex - Yes, please. Next topic.
Anyways... Similar to drugs, whatever you do in your life is your business. As long as you don't pull me into it, then as George Carlin said, I don't care if you're "...consenting adults who like to dress up in leather boy scout uniforms and smash each other in the head with ballpeen hammers while they take turns blowing their cat" It doesn't pick my pocket or break my leg, so whatever. This applies to both homosexuality as well as prostitution.
I grew up around gays; it didn't bother me because it wasn't "who they were". They didn't define themselves by their sexuality. So what did I care? Now the bigger discussion here, at least right now, is homosexual marriage, but I'll handle that below.
Prostitution - And again quoting Carlin "Selling's legal, fucking's legal, why isn't selling fucking legal?!" The retort to that is often "It degrades women. It reduces them to nothing more than a product." We're all products, in a way. We all sell our services to others to provide for our lives. Some people's only skill is they have a hole. If they choose to rent it out, who are you to tell them they can't? Sexual slavery is a completely different topic and people know it, but they try to blend the two to establish a level of moral high ground. She chooses to sell it - stay out of her life. Someone forces her to sell it - find the fucker who's forcing her and put a hollow point through his head. Severe, I know, but you get the idea.

On the topic of marriage - A couple years back, on my old blog, I referred to marriage as having some level of government involvement, mainly because if you break it down based on modern positions, a marriage is simply a contract between two parties, establishing a baseline for what shape their relationship will take, how goods will be divided, and that both will be responsible for the other. Let me back track that a little.
I still think that contract is in place, but "marriage" itself isn't that. Marriage is a religious institution; formed there, prescribed there, rules for action there. As such, if the government were truly adherent to the Constitution, they would be forced to stay out of it, based on the First Amendment. If your religion allows for homosexual marriage, then so be it. If it doesn't, then you're not married. You simply have a contract with your partner defining the terms of your relationship. This also applies to the non-religious among us or those who don't practice a faith. There should be no government penalties or bonuses for marriage or other forms of co-habitation.

Rights & privileges - There's a lot of talk about this is a right, that's a right, etc... The main problem is that no one really has a clear understanding of what a right truly is. "Right to healthcare", "Right to food", "Right to decency", and so on. Our Declaration Of Independence says "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed" Rights are something natural/G-d given (depending on how you swing). They are yours because you exist; nothing else is needed. This is important, because if you were to say "Right to healthcare", you're automatically involved other parties and their goods and services. I'll get into the healthcare fight at some point, but I hope your seeing what I'm saying.
Take it this way - Remove yourself from everything. No society, no government, nothing. Now, yes, other people will be involved, but if you've read this far, you're at least a semi-rational person and can figure this out. So there you are: What can you do? Can you speak your mind? Can you worship your G-d or chose not to? Can you defend yourself from the threat of those who mean to do you harm? Can you stop those who want to enter your "home"? Get the point? Now, can you have "healthcare"? No. Why? Because someone else in the collection needs to provide it to you. If they chose not to, because they think you're a dick, then you can't force them, can you? Can you offer them something of worth to treat you? Ah... yes you could. Hence, you have a right to enter the market if you can provide for it, but they could still tell you to go fry ice because you're a dick.
"Then you don't have a right to guns!" I hear someone shouting. No, by the definition laid out, I would have a right to enter the market to purchase a firearm and, because I have a natural right to defend myself from those who wish to do me harm, I could use it if needed. I plan on doing a whole post, or a dozen or so, about guns, so I'll leave that one for now.

I could go on for a while here, laying out every topic possible, but that's a taste and here's the simplified version. I believe in freedom and liberty. But with these come great responsibility. Because you have the right to speak freely doesn't mean it's advisable to go into the center of Harlem with a van that says "Nigger's must die!" across the side. For a less harsh example: You have the right to eat a triple bacon cheeseburger with mayonnaise, but when you need a triple bypass to save your fat ass, that's your problem, don't come knocking on my door.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Level Set - Part 1

On the off chance that people find me who have no idea who the hell I am, let's level set some things.

On the opening post on this new site, I defined myself through a range of political ideas, primarily because there's no label that fits. Which is true of most of us, but... Plus, when you use those terms independently, it brings to mind many things. Example, the term Libertarian often brings to mind angry Ron Paul supporters who want no war, all drugs legal, and almost no government. Of course they forget that Ron Paul is a vehement opponent of abortion. I could simply call myself a Libertarian and allow it to fall into the wide spectrum of that ideology, which tends to range from near Conservative thoughts to Anarcho-capitalists.

I am generally opposed to the idea of war, mainly because we don't have the balls to fight it in the way it needs to be done. War, combat in general, is abhorrent and should be reserved for only the most extreme of cases. If you don't engage in war with the intention of winning at all costs, you've started off at a severe disadvantage and will more than likely lose in the long run.
In WWII, one of the factors that allowed us to win is that we didn't hold back because of civilian casualties. Sure, our troops generally made sure to avoid it, but if it happened, they didn't pull back to the start, hold press conferences apologizing to the world, and let the enemy fortify their positions. They shrugged, said they were sorry, and pressed on. Now, when Hezbollah shells Israel from Lebanon and the Israelis role a tank brigade halfway through the country, we cry out about "proportional response". Fuck that noise.
My position: Be peaceful, a friend to everyone. But when someone throws a rock at you, shoot them in the head. With a rocket-propelled grenade. You can be pretty sure someone will think twice before throwing a rock.

Taxes - A low as is heavenly possible, based on how that level of government was defined. Yes children, we have multiple levels of government. Not just one national one, as we are not a nation. (More later on that)
Starting from the fed income tax: Flat. Period. One percentage rate from the guy making $1 to those making $1,000,000,000. Starting point; 18%. There are zero deductions, zero exceptions. Your income tax form is a post card. All the money wasted on lawyers and accountants goes to more fruitful endeavors. While the idea of a Fair Tax is nice (for those who have no idea or don't want to follow the link - think national sales tax, no income tax), I think it still leaves too much of a governmental structure in place to administer it. I would like to see the tax go DOWN from 18%, but I'd also like to see $1,000,000 in my checking account. A little boy can dream. But a Flat Tax treats everyone the same; no one can use their clout or their position in life as an excuse to get out of it. Yes, those who work "under the table" would be skating around it, but maybe that would push something like the Fair Tax to the surface and force that in place to catch everyone. Next.
Corporate/business tax: Eliminate. Yes, eliminate it. Look, anyone who thinks that these corporate taxes are truly taking from the profits of companies and forcing them to be "fair" is stupid. All these companies do is roll that tax burden into the cost of doing business and adjust their staff or prices accordingly. If they can't cut people or increase their prices, they go out of business. It's pretty simple, folks. So if you cut the corporate taxes, the prices would fall. "They'd just keep the money, those greedy pigs!" Please... No business can truly get away with being that scummy. Not anymore. Unless they have friends in government. More of that later.
From there going down, the taxes should be just enough to keep that level functioning based on the constitution (for states) or other articles of incorporation (counties, cities/towns, etc...).

Government - Grover Norquist had a great line "I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub" Cold symbolism, but that about sets it for me. Contrary to progressive belief, the Constitution of The United States of America doesn't give the federal government the power to do whatever it wants by "ruling through clauses". There are specific things, detailed in the Articles and the Amendments that define what the federal government can do. If it's not detailed, it's a power reserved to the states and the people. If the state constitution doesn't specify it, it's a power reserved to the county, then the town. And guess what? Amendment 10 is pretty clear; "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." It's only because we've allowed the federal government to overreach their powers that we're in the state we're in. Government is to be subservient to the people. When the people are subservient to the government, you have a tyranny and we're pretty much dangling on the edge of that one.

More level setting later.