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Philosophy

Labor Fires Union

Government is not the only democracy in the USA. Labor unions, for example, are structured around the concept of majority rule.

All democracies are at risk of becoming tyrannies. Either by force of majority ignoring minority interests, or by insiders and operatives who work the system to their advantage over the interests of those they’re supposed to represent.

Workers at a Boeing factory in South Carolina decided that their union was no longer working for them. By secret ballot, laborers fired the union:

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9/12

I read many excellent commentaries regarding September 11th, eight years after. Over at Daily Excuse, the chief procrastinator set aside excuses and called us to action:

Time flies and life goes on but we must always remember what happened that day. No longer did America remain safe from terrorism. Freedom is wonderful and precious but can be very expensive. So while we are out there wondering how we can retain our "natural beauty" or chose what church or movie theater or restaurant we want to go to remember that we here are very lucky and we need to protect and cherish that freedom. And we need to honor all those people who have died for the cause of freedom here and elsewhere.

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Equally Exclusive

Equality before the law and material equality are therefore not only different but are in conflict with each other; and we can achieve either one or the other, but not both at the same time.

Quoted from: Friedrich Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty

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Ominous Choice

If you are not saved by Grace, you will be judged by Law.

Quoted from: Dr. Walter Martin

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Some Slopes Are, In Fact, Slippery

The slippery slope argument is common. We are warned against (A) because it will lead through (B) and (C) to something really crappy at (K) or (L).

“Don’t go near cannabis, because after one whiff, you’ll eventually end up dead in some toilet stall from a heroin overdose”

“If you listen to heavy metal music, you’ll end up a murderer and burn in hell for eternity.”

By more strict logic, each point in the progression must be weighed on its own merits. (A) stands alone. (B) stands alone. It’s not reasonable to reject (A) or (B) because of (K) or (L).

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Delegating Forgiveness

Compassion is: sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it

Justice is: the maintenance or administration of what is just especially by…the assignment of merited rewards or punishments

Neoneocon on the Scottish judge who authorized compassionate release of the Lockerbie terrorist:

Why Cobb and I Study War

Cobb’s post about achievement, from which I just quoted, offers many points of resonance.

It is a popular idea, which may or may not be owned by the Left, that war is essentially stupidity writ large. That the act of war represents a failure of intellect - an inability to think through problems.

Survival of the Richest

The ability to wage war is the greatest fortune a people possess, for it is the manner in which they preserve their very lives, when their lives themselves are threatened.

Quoted from: Cobb

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Tattooed Absolution

An apt description of today’s urban culture is “post-modern”. All meaning is derived from context, without anchor to history and tradition. Tradition is merely fuel for irony, where the past is never faced honestly.

We knit and bake and work on motorcycles just like people did last century, but now the tone is different. The past has been deconstructed and rebuilt in terms of exploitation and degradation. The only acceptable way to embrace tradition is by mocking it. An implicit conflict between the experienced value and the learned negative regard remains unresolved.

Hungry Hungry Hopers

Stepping out of today’s thoughtstream, I looked up the definition of “hope”. Wielded by so many candidates and agitators, I wondered if its meaning had changed. Here’s m-w.com:

intransitive verb
1: to cherish a desire with anticipation
2 archaic : trust

transitive verb
1: to desire with expectation of obtainment
2: to expect with confidence : trust

synonyms see expect

The Most Common Denominator

Observing Independence Day, Cobb calls out the practitioners of identity politics:

I find it difficult to presume to lead some fraction of the people or to defend some fraction of humanity as a worthy political aim. I am greatly convinced that the human animal does not vary so much that he can be served well by a wide variety of principles. There are a simple few and the paths towards attaining and defending them are few. But having found those paths, we must find our human center of gravity, each individual conforming at their core, and place that center on those paths.

Rules that apply only to some qualified group are counter to our common humanity. There are too many ways to rearrange ourselves into sets of suffering, and this devolves into a struggle to find the most powerful victimhood rather than a persistent effort to do the basic things all humans have moral duty to pursue. Either we embrace that all men are created equal, or we are doomed to live within the limits of tribalism.

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Unseen Dangers

When misguided public opinion honors what is despicable and despises what is honorable, punishes virtue and rewards vice, encourages what is harmful and discourages what is useful, applauds falsehood and smothers truth under indifference or insult, a nation turns its back on progress and can be restored only by the terrible lessons of catastrophe.

Quoted from: Frédéric Bastiat

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Reception Defines Signal

The thing is, if intelligent people continually fail to understand what you are saying, then the onus is on you to learn to communicate more clearly.

Quoted from: Vox Day

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Freedom’s Frontier

I have lamented that none of the popular advocates for limited government make a moral argument. Libertarians, Limbaugh, or even Ron Paul, focus on efficiency and effectiveness, or how the state causes waste or violence. These are all, I think, sufficient justifications for minimizing state power. But they’re not the most important.

By settling into a debate over the most efficient or effective form and balance of government, they concede a necessity of government. This is pragmatic. To fetishize un-governed anarchy removes one from participation in our political society. Anarchists are self-disenfranchised. So, I accept the efficiency arguments must be made, to move us to greater liberty. Or at least to resist encroaching tyranny.

Atrophy, Not Catastrophe

Dr. Sanity admonishes those who try not to think too hard:

For those of you who think all this philosophy business is too abstract and irrelevant to your life; you are very very wrong. Catastrophically wrong.

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The Cure for Government

Yes. Yes. Oh. My. God. YES!

In The Case for a Federalism Amendment, in today's Wall Street Journal, I suggest that that states petition for a convention to propose an amendment repealing the 16th Amendment authorizing an income tax. Such a repeal would result in the Congress imposing a national uniform "excise" or sales tax as authorized by Article I, Sec. 8.

Alternatively, states could include the repeal of the 16th Amendment in a more comprehensive "Federalism Amendment" such as this:

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No Easy Virtues

…Morality is ambiguous, difficult, and requires thought.

Quoted from: Commenter Gloria at ShrinkWrapped.

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Misprized Trust

In a fully capitalist system, there would be no guarantees.

Quoted from: Peter Gordon

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Original Sin

To say that something is corrupt is redundant.

Quoted from: Danny Mac

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Blowback

Last Tuesday I listened to the current President fog his way through a non-State-of-the-Union speech. At this weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference, an opposing blowhard orator had the podium. In the interest of fairness and balance, I would like to hear how these words were delivered:

I want everyone in this room and every one of you around the country to succeed. I want anyone who believes in life, liberty, pursuit of happiness to succeed. And I want any force, any person, any element of an overarching Big Government that would stop your success, I want that organization, that element or that person to fail. I want you to succeed.

Sounds like change I can believe in.

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