Posts tagged ‘Freedom’

July 11, 2011

Quote of the Day

by Vince

“Government should not be involved in the bedrooms of consenting adults. I have always been a strong advocate of liberty and freedom from unnecessary government intervention into our lives. The freedoms that our forefathers fought for in this country are sacred and must be preserved. The Republican Party cannot be sidetracked into discussing these morally judgmental issues — such a discussion is simply wrongheaded. We need to maintain our position as the party of efficient government management and the watchdogs of the “public’s pocket book”.

“This ‘pledge’ is nothing short of a promise to discriminate against everyone who makes a personal choice that doesn’t fit into a particular definition of ‘virtue’.

Republican candidate for president Gary Johnson.

June 22, 2011

How Free Is Your State?

by Vince

Reason conducted an interview with Political scientists Jason Sorens (University at Buffalo) and William P Ruger (Texas State). How they measured which states were more or less free was through looking at everything from drug policy to civil union statutes to business regulations and tax rates. Essentially, they ranke each state across multiple dimensions (personal, social, and economic issues). A general sum of what they found:

At the top of the list are a lot of states where almost nobody lives and at the bottom are states where just about everybody lives.

September 17, 2010

Freedom, Liberty, and Fear

by Vince

All found here on the official website:

America, the Greatest Country God ever gave Man, was built on three bedrock principles: Freedom. Liberty. And Fear — that someone might take our Freedom and Liberty. But now, there are dark, optimistic forces trying to take away our Fear — forces with salt and pepper hair and way more Emmys than they need. They want to replace our Fear with reason. But never forget — “Reason” is just one letter away from “Treason.” Coincidence? Reasonable people would say it is, but America can’t afford to take that chance.

Oh Colbert…

August 27, 2010

Libertarianism and Living in a Cabin

by Vince

Timothy B. Lee delves into the irony of living in the woods to get away from the long arm of the government:

The question of whether the advantages of freedom (in the “leave me alone” sense) outweigh the benefits of living in large urban areas is not a theoretical one. If all you care about is avoiding the long arm of the law, that’s actually pretty easy to do. Buy a cabin in the woods in Wyoming and the government will pretty much leave you alone. Pick a job that allows you to deal in cash and you can probably get away without filing a tax return. In reality, hardly anyone does this. To the contrary, people have been leaving rural areas for high-tax, high-regulation cities for decades.

Almost no one’s goal in life is to maximize their liberty in this abstract sense. Rather, liberty is valuable because it enables us to achieve other goals, like raising a family, having a successful career, making friends, and so forth. To achieve those kinds of goals, you pretty much have to live near other people, conform to social norms, and make long-term investments. And people who live close together for long periods of time need a system of mechanisms for resolving disputes, which is to say they need a government.

This reminds me of Andrew Jackson and can be found in many Conservative ideologies. First off, it is important to note that it is folly to think that rural denizens are free from the long arm of Washington. I talked to a dairy farmer while on vacation in Maine and he mentioned that he may have to go out of businesses because of the milk industry is almost dead. This is obviously an effect of supply and demand economics mixed with fuel changes (see ethanol). Politics is leavened all within that quagmire.

The irony comes out in seeing this ideology come full circle. Possessing freedom and the ability to make any decision you want is not full freedom. Making choices that free you, as opposed to bind you up, marks true freedom. The “log cabin in the wood” ideology is relatively similar.

Freedom and liberty are fully enjoyed when with others. Community forms together individuals and their own traits. As Lee mentions, our goals cannot be fully achieved on our own. Few families are able to grow up in a log cabin completely cut off from the world. It is not wrong to want to ditch the world and hide out in a cabin for a few weeks. That is what vacation spots and summer getaways are for. But I feel that the inner desire underneath this is a desire to get beyond this world.

Many of us get sick with different aspects of life. Sick of paying for high car or health insurance premiums that you most likely never actually use unless in an emergency? Sick of the acquaintances, friendships, and relationships in your life being only on the surface level and not authentic? Sick of hypocritical and illogical institutions (greedy corporations, unloving churches, messy politics, et al)? The list of things we are all sick of in the world could go on forever.

Some see their desire to get away from the world as rooted in a “don’t tread on me” approach, bitter usually over ballooning bureaucracy and losing your money to the IRS. Whatever your reason, it comes down to ultimately the world’s inability to fully satisfy us. C.S. Lewis sums this up quite well, “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”

Is that ever a question that is asked? One ideological side may respond that there is much work to be done to change our world, to bring it up too speed and help humanity. The other side may say that the world too needs to change, but that will come through us reverting back to our roots (usually constitutional roots of 18th century America). It too is folly to think solely in an American exceptionalism frame of mind, that our founding fathers were perfect and the best men on earth, hence we should emulate them. I wonder if that includes riding horses, wearing wigs, and having sex with our female slaves?

The answer to all of this is that there are no easy or clear answers. That is not what the media wants to report to you because you may think after all of this that that was a waste of time. I insert the third way approach to this situation: we have work to do that can take us forward all the while looking back. We need to see our limits in what can be done on earth but letting our consciences remain a strong voice in our lives to yearn for change, for reconciliation, even if that may be called naive. That little voice inside you saying how fed up you are with life may in fact be a call for you to seek a type of redemption that should always begin with love.

August 6, 2010

George Washington Sums up thoughts on Anti-Islam

by Vince

George Washington himself delivered the rebuke to those who would urge American Muslims to “refudiate” their right to worship freely.

All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens …

Hat Tip: David Frum

July 5, 2010

Visuals: The Least Free Places on Earth

by Vince

FP has a special, above is Somalia:

The Somali state has virtually ceased to exist. Technically, the country is governed by the Ethiopian-backed Transitional Federal Government, but its actual control is minimal. There are no effective political parties, and the political process is driven largely by clan loyalty. Here, residents of Mogadishu cheer as they watch a bulldozer seized from government forces by the al-Shabaab rebels.