Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Immigration Policy, As a Principle of Humaness

The current crisis in our immigration policy has been exasperated by Arizona's "new law". Or is Arizona creating "new law"? Isn't Arizona just upholding our national boundaries that protect and define its citizenry? And what of the immigrants that have come to her for "refuge"? What about America, as a 'humane culture and society? Where do boundaries begin and end and where should they?

Arizona has argued that their law on protecting Americans from infilteration of illegals is one that is based on Constitutionality and compliments the federal standards. If the judge determines that Arizona is correct, many States will probably follow Arizona's lead.

The other side argues that immigration policy is solely the responsibility of the federal government, as the federal government is the "United States", therefore, a State does not have the right to supercede federal right.

Many such arguments have been made in the past, such as with the Civil War and the slavery issue. Do States have rights of protecting their economic viability over and above a "universalized and standardized" way of being in the world? Should the Southern States have been allowed to give the right of choice to their slaves with the possibility that the slaves would continue in their service to their masters? Or is slavery wrong in a universal sense and shouldn't be allowed, because of the universiality of the human? I think there is a distinction between slavery as forbidden and the treatment of slaves as humane or inhumane. The issue is whether the slave is voluntarily cooperative and willing and whether the "master" is humane in his treatment of his slave. Everyone cannot be the 'master"....but the slave should have a right to liberty, if he chooses. (Master= leader and slave=employee).

The immigration problem is a situation that is similar. Illegal immigrants means that there is a standard whereby we maintain public order, by establishing these laws to protect from those that would not benefit our society. In fact, illegals may be allowing the dissolution of our national security with terrorists. Such tolerance would be suicide, nationally.

I do believe that America is a humane nation, when it comes to our ideals. The suggestion that illegals could be given a chance to go "back home" without prosecution is a good one. Perhaps, these illegals would be given a certain amount of time for "grace'. Then, prosecution should be swift and strong.

We cannot ignore how politicians in the past have used the amnesty of illegals to pack the votes in at our polls and distort our "real voice" as a nation!

We cannot continue to tolerate the undermining of our borders. Otherwise, there is no reason to continue our identity as a nation-state. Our borders should define who is "in" and who is "out". And we should not feel guilty for such definition, because such definition demands respect. The humane choice is to continue our immigration standards, with naturalization. And it is obvious that because there are so many that want to be a part of our nation, that we must be doing something right!

Princple CAN be Humane!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

When Principle Meets the Humane

Life is filled with complex problems, not just within one's own frame of reference, but the world at large. There is definately no easy solution in the political realm. We all will approach problems with different ways of viewing the problem and the way we think best to solve the problem. The challenge is to those that have such conviction of thinking and being in the world, that there is little room for considering or viewing another's way of thinking, understanding or seeing how the problems can be solved. For these, the principled conscience is the ultimate determinor of their values. And these people believe that without such a principle, then "life" is doomed, and solutions will not be forthcoming.

Such a principled conscience is what causes conflict in the world, because of differences of principle and how that is understood within one's conscience or value system.

How is one to be humane to those whose principle leaves little room for diversity of conscience, or value? The only option it to agree to disagree and go one's way. But, when those with such opinions hold the reigns of power, these become dangerous to peace, because they become ideologically driven, whether by a material or spiritual motivation.

Our country is divided these days by such a division of "principle". The political realm is filled till it sickens the average citizen away from participating or caring about their country and protecting and promoting liberty and justice. Such "principled conscience" becomes a war that is not open to dialogue, but demands surrender of the other side. The Founders would have been aghast.

Although our Founders understood that orthodoxy was not the absolute in terms of expressing reality, neither did they think that scientific explaination would do, either, when it came to liberty and justice for all. The Founders were open to formulate a government that deemed equality before the law for its citizens. The law was "KING", no longer a "Divine Ruler, King".

The law protects its citizens by representing their interests, not in spite of their interests. "Self interest" and "Self government" was an investment in this experiential form of government. As citizens sought to better their life through their various pursuits, the world was "wide open". These pursuits only furthered the prosperity of the country in a free market and a free society. The only inhibition was in protection of another's same right to their interests.

Today, the public square is filled with various voices and opinions about how our government should run, what it should promote, and how it should all be accomplished. Our culture wars are intense debates about these principles of conscience.

How do we describe the world, and its reality? What is to be the focus of government, or should government have a focus, apart from a passive submission to "the people"? What interests should our government have abroad? And on what basis are those interests based and should it matter? Some may even believe that our government should have no interests abroad, but this seems improbable since the world has already stepped into that domain. American must play some part if she wants to continue to be a player in the game of trade, commerce, finance, and investments.

So, what is the value of a principled conscience? The value of a principled conscience is a value of identity, a value of commitment, purpose and life orientation. If we want to remain free and open to uphold justice for all, then we cannot let our principled consciences run the whole show. We must remain humane and civil in our differences.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Addendum to the Nation State

Nation States do not have any rights that their citizens don't give it voluntarily. The difference in a free society is the voluntary nature of it citizens participation. But, for a society to remain free, and continue to represent its people, " the citizen" must involve themselves!

Does the Nation State Have Rights?

Much has been written about "colonialism',"empire", imperialism, Statism, and the nation-state's status in general. Most of these labels have a certain view of universiality about "humanity" and rights. But, what is good about the nation-state?

The nation-state has defined boundaries, where people can create their societies within their governmental form/frame. The nation-state protects its citizens, in our free and open society by its laws. Citizens have a right to appeal, as the individual is respected in his own right.

Globalist and globalism is an agenda that pushes negative labels on America, as a nation-state. And these labels are really to impugn America's reputation so that globalists agenda can broaden their impact and appeal. And the globalists use religion just as the Statist do.

Globalism is really about commerce and trade. Trade and commerce have happened for eons of time, because people always want to promote economic progress in their own country. But, those nations that colonized other countries are viewed as arrogantly asserting their power and right over another country. And this is the height of arrogance to those that are committed to the human rights cause, or environmental causes.

These global "causes" are not the only "causes" in the world, but to those that are so committed, it seems so. Otherwise, they would not be doing what they are doing. And more power to them!

The nation-state does have interests, and these interests are not wrong, because interests help the nation to survive, as long as corporate power do not grab the reigns of power to subvert Congress' right/duty to representation.

I think the ideals of our nation-state from the Founding are ideals worth fighting for. And these ideals are individual rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Some have tried to "sell" the centralized beauracracy as an evil in and of itself. While I will never think that beauracracy is the best way of government's functioning, I do believe that our nation has a right to exist in the midst of other nations.

Federalists argue that without the distribution of power at the State level, then we have erred according to Constitutional standards. And these think that the State should not have a standing Army or have any investment in foreign policy. These believe that the Army's ideal of liberty is used to subvert other governments, for political/economic purposes. As stated before, political and economic purposes are the life blood of the nation/state.

A similar usefulness for religion is to get people "on board" voluntarily and to agree, so agendas by leadership can be carried out with little resistance. One must wonder what principle leaders such as these adhere to. Is it the principle of power?

Myth Brings Meaning

Myth is known by anthropologists to bring meaning to a certain culture. And meaning is "made" or created by mythologizing history.

This morning started my thinking on myth-making. As my husband and I were discussing my grandfather and his present physical needs, I recognized that human beings love to "romanticize" their history. This is why many times we like to reminisce over the "younger years". I have been told that many mothers would not choose to have any more children, if they really remembered the reality of labor. Somehow our brains release a relaxing chemical that promotes "memory loss". And sometimes there is actual medication to further that memory loss!

Myths make for stories that we tell our children and hold meaning of ideals that help further our goals. This is what I think has happened in our culture wars.

The real history we may never really know, but scholars do have some knowledge about that "real history", as they struggle to piece it together. But, those that have agendas that must be won, mythologize history to suit their purposes. The Church has always done this, as this is what theology is about.

Our culture wars are about where science and tradition intersect, disconnect, or compliment. One political philosopher has a two culture system or way of understanding the real and the ideal. The ideal is for the common person, who must have myth to soothe their situations in life. But, the real history is for "men' who have cut their teeth on the hard discipline of discovery.

Thus, the disciplines are about the disciplined mind, which is strengthened by reality, not subsumed, or defensive toward reality. Which culture do you fit? The idealized version, or the real reality of existence in a real world?

Intellectual Questions Breed Uncomfortable Challenges

One of the plays we saw this past week-end, "Spinoza on Trial", challenged the social norm of Judiasm and the Church. One had to question which was of greater value or significance, reason or revelation.

Christianity has its roots in Judiasm but has developed whole theological systems to "explain God". Judiasm is more of a "wisdom tradition". The Christian faith in certain circles is an exclusive faith. And it is the theological tradition that underwrites the exclusivity.

Judiasm is a tradition that is handed down through the generations and is an ethnic identity, whereas Christianity is not in some segments of Christiandom. Christianity is a "gentile religion" and was underwritten by "Paul", using Jesus as a means to that end.

Judiasm is a tradition that is grounded in the real world of everyday life, not in the "ideal" world of an after-life. Judiasm is a humanistic understanding of life, not a de-valuation of human life.

Spinoza had the liberty to "think outside the box" of his Judiasm in what was called a tolerant Amsterdam. Spinoza's parents had fled the Spanish Inquisition and the Jews were told by the Dutch to remain silent concerning their religion. (The Dutch are Reformed and Catholic in thier religious background. ) Although Spinoza was Jewish, Spinoza had made a Reformed friend and had fallen in love with a Catholic girl. How was he to "be himself" apart from sharing his thoughts about God?

Spinoza's "God" was a god based on mathmatical precision that underwrote his logic. Because his intellect was a strong force in his life, he couldn't help but "think out loud" concerning his faith. But, his faith was a challenge to the ruling authorities to his Jewish community and the Dutch civic authority.

Spinoza found himself betrayed by the Reformed friend, and eventually shunned by his Catholic girlfriend. His thinking and questioning of theism was at issue in his trial. His mentor was torn over whether to stand with his student and his brillant challenge to "tradition", or to stand with his traditional community. What was he to do? Was he to loose his place in his own society to defend Spinoza, and what then? What about his own life?

His mentor chose to stick by his own community, even though he had to agree that Spinoza's logic was equal to none, and one could not question the thoroughness of his "solution" about God.
Spinoza's view of "god" was monistic. God was nature, or Nature was God. People's essence is "who they are". God was no longer seen as an outside source of value, but "what is" was and is God.

The fatalistic mentality has it problems and its benefits. Those that adhere to such a view can relax, and refresh themselves on the knowledge that all that is, should be embraced. But, is this fatalism wise? Is there no moral judgment or value? And what of evil? Is evil seen as part of God, too? Certainly, this is what scriptures teach, as there is no dualistic universe. God is one, in nature. His was as monistic view of God. And monism falls in line with a scientific view of man. But, is man only his physicality?

The real world does not function on such a view. The reality is, there are "weeds" and these weeds need to be seen in our own garden, as well as the world. And the judgment on the weeds are what we are responsible for. Terrorists are alive and well. Crime exists, social evils prevail and one doesn't have to be a "rocket scientist" to know that our society is being destroyed from within. How do we "see" the world and its problems? What do we think is important to do about it? These are practical questions that impinge on what one chooses to do with one's life.

Judiasm would see the need of rectifying societies "ills" and to do so, begins with the family. The Catholic tradition also would concur with this evaluation. The family is the environment of formation for the child and unhealthy families breed unhealthy children and disturbed young adults.

All the intellectual questions in the world will not answer the child's need for his family. So, Spinoza's mentor was impressed with his mind, but he chose to stick with his community for the overall importance and value of "heritage". The mentor was challenged to challenge his tradition's social conventions. In this case, social conventions were a more important value to uphold. Spinoza was banned from his community and his mentor oversaw the judgment.

How was the mentor to encourage the young Spinoza to 'think" and continue to do so? Was Spinoza's work important and of value? Why, of why not? Did Spinoza's challenge to his community bring about their own struggle to understand or was there a prejuidice that was born our of 'self-defense'? One must think about these things.....

A Fat Wife Equals a Bad Life

"Fat Pig" was one of the plays we saw this past week-end, that challenged the social value of a sleek and lean body. But, it also revealed another value that was disturbing. What one would sacrifice for success.

Our country values success, as defined by rising up the corporate ladder. Social climbing is one way of doing this and unfortunately, since we are animals that make judgment based on our first impressions, one's appearance can "make" or break further interaction.

The cultural norm of appearing "in control " works out to be a judgement regarding a person's weight and their ability to manage that weight. Over-weight people are viewed as careless, lazy, and undisciplined. In reality, this judgement may or may not be the case.

I have read where research has been done that reveals society's value of the appearance of a wife. A wife who is considered attractive is an assest to her husband. People judge him as more intelligent, if he has chosen an attractive wife. I'm sure there is a reason in evolutionary science that would reveal the reasons behind such a value.

What would be the better alternative for society? Society should value healthy choices because it is in the better interests of one's future health, as well as present well-being. But, the question is not whether a fat person should be healthy or unhealthy, but what should be our attitude toward the obese? Is obesity a social taboo such that one would "shun" and obese person.

Helen's boyfriend understood the "costs" to such of crossing such a taboo. HE would be judged as careless, and undisciplined if he chose to marry Hellen by those he might need to impress to rise up the corporate ladder to success. He had a choice to make, and he chose what would be the best for himself.

Aren't we all prone to choose the easier path when it comes to social convention? Don't we ignore the possibility that the social convention needs changing? Do we question our motives or are we aware of the reasons why we choose what we do?

Helen "got the message", a fat wife equalled a bad life for her boyfriend. And he was unwilling to take the leap to change her, himself or his social environment.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Theology of Self Acceptance

In the last post, I suggested that self-reflection is needed so we do not mistake our reasons for the things we do or believe. Reasons should support our actions, because reason guards from carelessness. Carelessness is not living soberly, and that will inevitably lead to mistakes, and mis-steps. Tonight, I was thinking of what reason (theology) I had to think that Christian faith was important or of value.

The main emphasis to me was the personal aspect of God's love. God could love "even me", and that was especially good news. I was not a mistake, a product of a failed marriage, but was "planned in the councils of God's intent, purpose and plan". This was indeed inspiring and led me to give, sacrifice and serve the Church in various ways over the years, not to mention things done in secret.

God's love was not the only "good news", but that others were commanded to love me, too. And love was an expectation of mine. Love meant acceptance, which was a deep need in my human heart. I belonged and I believed. It was a reality to my psyche.

These hopes and human needs were part of my humanity, a small child's need for reassurance that she was "okay". What is true is true, as there is no special revelation, only the revelation of what really is, and that is; although my grandfather was my 'father' in all sense that I could know, my need for family, and acceptance was not met in early childhood. What to do? Continue to be victimized by such a background? No, one must move on and grow beyond their childish needs and deal with their griefs in a real world, and in a real way, not a religious way. When one suppliments anything for reality in a real world, it is a kind of denial. And denial is not getting to the root of any problem.

What does this mean? It means that there is work to be done in my psyche, and there is work to be done in my family of origin, if they are willing. And I am sure as I journey down the road to 'truth and reality, I will learn other things that need addressing and change or re-orientation.

It also means that the Church is looked at as a social institution that is not a nursery school. One must evaluate whether the Church is a place where one chooses to associate. What kind of Church does one "fit"? And how does one reconcile faith with such a view?

Faith is not about the trimmings that so many people argue over. Faith is about how one lives their life and why. The reasons are important because one must be wise, and discerning in prioritizing their values. Life is short and loved ones are important, more important than anything else.

Personal Reflections Lead to Self-Understanding on 'God".

I believe it is horrendously dangerous for people to go about their daily life without self-reflection. Why? Because without self-reflection one cannot ascertain the reasons why they do or believe as they do. And without a rationale, there really is no reason to choose one way above another in deciding a course of action, except for human social convention.

My personal reflections have come about over my responses, or should I say reactions to certain situations, I find myself in. If one cannot respond reasonably, then one's reaction is a give-away to "stakes" in the fight. And those stakes are stakes of identity, or wounds that must be healed.

One of the biggest challenges to me, is the issue of choice. Choice is necessary for indviduality, personal value and affirmation of one's ideals.

Children have need of safety and security because they are developing their identities. Without safe and secure environments, then, the child is left with anxiety about the dire neccessities in life and without hope to fulfill his personal identity.

Children grow, explore and develop their interests when adults support them, and even further their "discoveries". And interests that develop in childhood are interests that become passions in young adulthood. Passions lead to pursuits of life goals and education that end in a life given to that passion.

For the child, divorced families are challenged to meet the needs of safe and security, so he can explore and develop interests. These safety and security issues can be strongholds that deter the young adult from developing passions and pursuing goals later in life. And inevitably, an overly cautious, or overly reactive child can be the result of such an environment.

I have found that my own reactions and fear of being controlled has its roots grounded in my early childhood. When divorced children do not have any choice about the events that "control their lives", they feel helpless, insecure and unsafe. Thus, "God" enters in to "help" the child to defend themselves in an unsafe and insecure world. "God will work all things together", etc. etc. God's Providence is viewed as safety, security and assurance of "goodwill". But, these coping skills are not healthy past the point of childhood. "Self" is not developed when one has an unhealthy need for dependence.

"God" is used in place of seeking, pursuing, developing, and taking responsibility for oneself. And this taking responsibility is also a challenge for me, as I fear responsibility, because of the "perfectionism' of the adults in my life, as a child. Great anxiety transpires when I fear failure, so why tramp over that territory if there are so many pits one can "fall into"? Besides, no one 'needs" what I have to offer anyway? Who am I?

These messages are messages of self-hatred, and self-rejection. These messages were tempered by a religious coping skill. I believed that God loved me, personally. This brought me a sense of being valued, individually and specifically. But, my realization that no one is particularly special was not a new one, it was just put into a new frame. The new frame was one of a 'vast void' of human insignificance.

If humans have no innate significance, then the only way to significance is what one does. And what one does, breeds an atmosphere of competitive drive for success to be valued. It is the 'survival of the fittest" that define who gets on top. And the rest of humanity dries up under the sun of pointless absurdities that intrude upon their life with regular 'humiliations'.

The "survival of the fittest" leaves me with anxiety, because I have been "taught" that I was not "the fittest". This "view" has nothing to do with evolution, but it has a lot to do with my own self-concept.

So, what is the point? The point is that religion can de-value, as well as value "the human". And when religion intrudes upon the individual, determining and confining choice, then religion has ceased its value, because of its devaluation of the individual, as significance.

At the same time, when religion limits 'self-development' because of its zeal for absolute certainty about "God" who cannot be confined to our safe and rational 'solutions', then religion has stepped over and ignored the very purpose of its existence; Man.

Challenging Social Conventions

Social conventions are considered to be the "norm". And norms are the values a certain society holds. This week-end, my husband and I saw two plays that challenged two values in our society; appearance, and conventional ideas.

"Fat Pig" was a humorous jab at our society's value of "being fit". Being overweight, Helen had had numerous encounters of being the brunt of society's "convention". She coped with the ostericism by learning to "make fun of herself", and to be bluntly forthright about another's thoughts about her "fatness".

Helen had not had a chance at love, as she had been rejected before anyone took the time to know the person behind the "facade", until she met "Ben". The play ended with the sacrifice of Helen, on the altars of society's conventional wisdom; one cannot succeed with a fat wife!

The other play, "The Trial of Barach Spinoza" was a true rendition of a Jewish philosopher, who challenged the conventional wisdom of Judiasm, as well as the status quo in a Dutch Reformed Amersterdam in the 1600's.

Spinoza was painted as a radically committed person who was willing to "die" for his faith. But, his faith was not one of conventional wisdom, and his death would not be a physical, but social one.

Society, as an entity itself, maintains its conventions with rules that guard and guide the "faithful". Society has much to loose if it conventions do not maintain their power, as society would end in chaos and be destroyed. The "gatekeepers" of tradition are those that help to maintain these conventions.

The individual, as a person, is lost within these systems, if these systems are too constrictive.

Helen's "rebuke" was not a trial, like Spinoza's, but it was nevertherless, a painful realization that she was to be an outcast to a life of being loved and valued, in her own right.

Spinoza's freethought threatened the status quo. And the choice for Spinoza was inevitably a painful realization that he would not be the "choir boy" within his "Jewish tradition". But, being the "choir boy" was never Spinoza's goal in the first place. Spinoza's friend, who betrayed him to the "authorities", was seeking to be a "choir boy", at least at first. Spinoza's intellectual honesty and commitment to be "true to himself" was the threat to society's traditional view.

One has to ask whether the values that society affirms are values that are truly "righteous"? Or are these conventional values "self affirming rights" to discriminate against another? And if one discriminates, then is there a conscious choice about the reasons why one discriminates?

People, for the most part, are not self-reflective enough to consider whether the value of a human being is to be put above social convention. Social convention is "an easy way out" of an uncomfortable challenge to one's social values.

I haven't come to my conclusions about all the why's or why not's, but I will be thinking about it this week.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Revolution Should Not Be Our Stance

Our government is the highest form of government, I believe, because it leaves room for "the human". Other governments have agendas or ideologies that are placed before "the human". This is why I believe that revolution should not be the stance toward our government. We have laws and representatives that we can appeal to. And we have laws that protect our right to express our opinion, voice our concerns, and assemble with others to represent our "voice".

Revolutionaries revolutionize whenever "the human" is disregarded, disrespected, or dismissed. "The human" is when liberty rules over the people and the "rule of law' protects such liberty. Today, we have many problems because we don't appreciate why our Founding Fathers formed the government like they did. The balance of power was to protect against abuses of power. And the judiary branch was to remain independent from influence, while the legislature was to represent the various "powers" that represent "the people"; the individual, the State and the Federal. Diversity in unity was an important value for our nation.

Today, our government is being challenged by minorities that think their rights come before "the people". The "rights" movement represent such groups as the Black Panthers, who want "justice" for past injustices. But, how are we or can we pay for what we didn't see at the time? Slavery was an accepted norm. And norms form society and maintain society's order. Women have not sought reparation for past discrimination or injustice!

Immigrants were always welcome on our shores and the "Statute of Liberty" stands at Ellis Island to represent those that found the United States as their land of freedom. But, today, those that infilterate our borders are disrespecting our country and its "rule of law". Those that work may be little more slaves, themselves. But, what of those that infillterate our country bringing in disease, drugs, fire-arms and wrong motivations? Don't those in leadership have a duty to protect the citizens from those that would bring our country harm? Illegal immigrants are little more than revolutionaries when they disrespect our Constitution.

The "Tea Parties" have been labelled as revolutionary, because of their identification with the Boston Tea Party. But, are these truly revolutionaries? Are citizens that ask their government to be accountable to its people revolutionary? Doesn't our "Bill of Rights" grant us the freedom of assembly? The problem, I believe, is in limiting freedom of speech.

Freedom of speech should not be limited unless it can be proven that it is "hate speech", which means that violent actions are intended. Such speech calls others to action in such a way that would bring about social chaos. Martin Luther King never used his "civil rights revolution" in such a way. He was a peaceful revolutionary. He called for dissent, but not violence. He called for resistance, but not revolution.

Our country is going through some serious difficulties presently and we, "the people" should be supportive of respecting our Constituional government. We should do everything we can to petition, dissent, speak out, and participate in our government, so that we, "the people" will not become, we, "the government"!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What is the Rationale?

This morning I watched an Ethics panel that consisted of many Supreme Court Judges. It got me thinking about minority rights, common sense, and public interest.

One of the questions was about "Originalist" interpretation of the Constitution and whether this would be the value to be upheld. The discussion went back and forth over what did it mean to interpret according to "original intent" versus what society's needs, or problems were at a given time. The conservative, versus the progressive use of the law always leaves one to question, "what is the rationale behind these views"?

Then, one of the justices said something that perked my interest and made me question, "what is the rationale", today?

She said, that she was older and had seen many changes come about over the years she has served on the Supreme Court. But, today's attitude that dismisses the judge's decision and may even take the judge to jail was "disturbing" to her. I would concur with her assessment!

How is justice to be maintained or a free society upheld, when the ones who hold the key to our laws are in "fear and trembling' that they may be targets of "mob rule"? This was not the original intent of our Founding Fathers. They wanted the court free to judge, so that power could be balanced and society could function under the social norms that "ruled" under their interpretive hand.

If such a situation is ever allowed, where judges are accountable to the people, then we have anarchy, indeed! Judges make the judgments about our laws, in how they are applied. The legislature make the laws of our land. And maybe this is where the cupability lies.

If the legislature is making the laws that guard or guide our country, then they are the ones that are accountably to the people throught the voting booth. These legislatures need accountability through term limits, I believe, so that none can make "empires' for themselves, using the law to do so.

We found our country upon the principle that we would not be taxed without being represented. Our property was to be protected from government's grab by our vote and our Constitutonal right to representation in Congress.

At the same time the peasantry were to be represented, the States were also to have their interests represented.

Arizona has made laws that further the Constitutional obligation of protecting our nation. But, the federal government doesn't see any "power grab" in subverting the Constitution's obligation to protect our nation's interests. What is more important, it seems, is to protect illegal immigrants. But, at what costs? Only the American taxpayer. We, the people has become "We, the Government". Individual citizens are loosing their right to privacy, protection, and the right to their nation under the auspices of "greater good" language. But, at what costs? What is the rationale? Is it about politics, and the next election?

The executive branch is asserting more and more power from other branches and this was not the balance of power the Founders intended, either. What is the rationale? Is it about ruling at the costs of governing? Is it about power, rather than about liberty?

I think our country and all its inhabitants need to ask their government, "What is the rationale"?

Monday, July 12, 2010

When Rights Make Wrongs

Rights are the American "birth-right", as Americans believe that the individual matters. But, when do rights make for wrongs? Rights have limitations, don't they? Or do they?

Last night, I watched Geraldo, who had asked a Black Panther onto his show. Geraldo, Fox News, and many other America institutions were villified in the name of "civil rights". Film clip snippetts were shown where Black Panthers were calling for violence to establish justice. Geraldo was visibly upset and disturbed over the "racist rhetoric" and tried unsuccessful (IMO) to get this Black Panther lawyer to see or listen to his viewpoint. What would have been the response if a white person had said similar racist statements, calling for "equality" and "justice"?

It was obvious after a few minutes that the conversation was not going to be a dialogue, or even a question and answer format, but a controlled and determined rant on how the African American has been treated. The "old, old" story of discrimination, a lack of equal opportunity, etc. etc.

When Geraldo tried to point out how it was the white majority that fought in the Civil War, elected Abraham Lincoln, etc., the Black Panther repeated that Glenn Beck was being pointedly disrespectful to host a 'tea party' on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Martin Luther King's birthday. Do whites not have any rights on Martin Luther King's birthday? Do we not have a right to the Lincoln Memorial, or is it only a "Black" sanctuary, holy ground for sacred rights?

I don't know where this will end, but it must. Groups that demand rights, divide our nation and bring disharmony to society.

Is there a difference when African Americans "speak hotly" and angrily about "civil rights" and when the "tea parties" do?

I think so. But, why?

The tea parties seek to bring accountability to government where there has been unaccountability. America is a representative Republic, where the representatives have not heard or do not care to represent their contiuencies. We are going to be taxed for a healthcare plan that the majority did not want. And the administrator of Medicare seems to have oppositional views from the American populace.

Accountability and equality were the themes in the beginning of Martin Luther King's civil rights movement. Today, though, after equal rights have been passed, and anti-discrimanatory laws have been "established", people have come to accept diversity and expect it. No one can help individual cases where prejuidiced people do evil things in the name of their prejuidice. We shouldn't be surprised by such behavior, as humans do divide and understand their "world" by categorization.

These Black Panthers are seeking justice by angry dissent, without considering any other point of view than their own.

Groups that seek to divide America by strife and bitterness should have their rights stripped from them. America is a free nation and one can find some place to belong, without demanding uniformity when it comes to the diverse population that makes America what it is. We are not to be united by creed, race, or social standing. We are Americans, and we are united by our liberty. The very liberty that is being challenged by those that seek to suggest that America is an imperialistic, and bigotted nation.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Why Individual Conscience Is Important to Democratic Ideals

Whether one is a Republican or Democrat, leadership is necessary for maintaining order, forming policy solutions to the problems a nation faces. Why is American individualism important for the democratic ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?And what is the importance of society and the value of societal conscience?

Life is the most important aspect to any policy decision-making. What does life mean and what quality of life is necessary for "good governing"? Some believe that quality is necessary for life to really exist and this quality is met in a free and democratic society.

Life has to have its physical needs met. And these physical needs are what many liberals deem important for good governing, as it is compassionate leadership and demands social justice. But, can we gurantee such rights, without limiting liberty? And is liberty of secondary importance to social security? Is life as defined with limited liberty by government officials really what life is about? And how do the government officials decide where to draw their lines for the individuals within their society? Can the government garuntee anything, really? Isn't our government about self-governance and limite governemnt?

Liberty is another important democratic value, in fact, it defines democracy. Democracy allows the individual his right to "own his own life", and requires responsible behavior toward that end. But, those that deem that liberty makes life unfair because of advantages beyond an individual's control, think that liberty must be defined by social justice. Otherwise, society, itself, falters and is frustrated in flourishing. Leadership thinks it should determine what is just and equitable. Government grows and expands in furthering "social security".

The pursuit of happiness is identified by the indvidual's right to pursue his own ends. And the pursuit of happiness is variable in a democracy because of the variability of individual and his chosen values. Laws are created to define boundaries to protect against injustice to another. But, if govenment officials define "happiness" too stringently and choose the values too definitively for their society, the society ceases to be "free". Some believe that it is the right, in fact, the duty of leaders to limit another's right to choice, because society must be protected from those that would undermine society's "collective" benefit.

Collectivism is the bane and demise of the individual because it limits choice, defines values, and takes away the motivation to "better oneself". While collectivism is necessary for the child in forming his/her development, the "collective" ceases to be necessary for self-motivated individuals, who puruse their own purpsose and purpose their own plans. Self determination is an important value in free societies.

Today's news brings concern to many about how "collective groups" propose to bring about "social justice". The Black Panthers were being investigated in court for intimidating voters at the voting booth in the last Presidental election. One Black Panther went so far as to voice his hatred for "crackers", and call for the killing of "crackers" . This attitude is "social justice" gone wild. The Justice Department has withdrawn its investigation, because of so called discrimination. Stipulation of "just desserts" because of past sins, will never result in furthering democratic ideals.

This morning a caller called in to ask whether she was justified is asking for recompense for her lost income due to the BP oil accident. She is a realtor and has made $16,000 in the past for the months of May and June, but she has suffered loss because people are waiting to see if they want to buy in this real estate market, when property values probably will decrease.

Will BP honor every single litigant, and what will be their judgment on whether someone is "justified for retribution"? How will they determine monetary value? And will monetary value settle all of the "losses" those in the Gulf have suffered?

So, why is collectivism being "pushed" in today's political climate? Won't the ones who have the most power be the ones to "call the shots" for all of us? And what will be the foundation of their power? Their money? Their position? or What? And what will life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness look like when "collective" policies "take over" and we are all paying for it?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Why Religious Liberty Is Important to Individual Conscience

Our Founding Fathers understood that religion was an important dimension to liberty. Liberty values diversity, while tradition defines to unify. The Founders did not have one interpretation as to their religious understanding, when they founded our country. But, they did understand that an appeal to natural rights was necessary for the right to dissent. Natural rights were granted by "universal order", because God was the ordainer of such rights, not the government. Their "new experiment" was a "moral government" that protected and provided for liberty against power, position and might.

"Universal order" today, underwrites social Darwinism, the power and right of the "fittest". Today, Science defines to unify, as Tradition once did. But, the basis of such unity, structures society after power and not liberty, just as it did in pre-modernity.

Liberty of conscience in regards to religion was to protect against abuse of power in the Founder's eyes. And the structuring of "moral government" was a balance of power, not power itself. The law was the "ruler" and balancer of power.

Today, those that adhere to a politicized religious conscience can do so and should, but should not enforce their position upon those that "see" things differently. The sects are alive and well, which will continue to further bring alienation of such sects from the "Mother" Church Tradition or its Jewish root. But, each and every sect is an attempt at defining religious conviction, and defining commitment. Problems arise when these convictions and commitments impinge on another's right to liberty of conscience, opinion and commitment.

We must remember that whenever one defines, one also limits and judges. And yet, definitions are necessary for understanding and maintaining "order". Our Founders defined liberty according to the Constitution. The Constitution was to protect citizens from abuses of power. And our courts are the ones that will settle disputes of definitions.