from crux #2 - defining liberty
That's today's quick definition of liberty, folks. It's not a right unless the other guy has it too.
Politics is always about control. It's about power. Specifically you have to give up your stuff so they can have their stuff. And yes, you have to sacrifice. That's how they prove themselves.
Of course if they could earn the power, it wouldn't cost your freedom.
Some of my fellow libertarians would tell you that initiating force is never a good idea. Me, I'll just tell you that it's a desperate tactic with a greater chance of destroying your ideals than accomplishing your goal.
Responding to someone invading my home is not initiating force.
Driving to the next town to blow his head off on the chance he might invade my home is certainly initiating force.
Driving a tank through his son's living room because his other son tried to kill me after I blew the father's head off, that is initiating force.
If I claimed that there was some greater moral cause that justified destroying him before any harm was done to me (by his neighbor's sister's cousin once removed), that would be initiating force.
And if I did any of that, it would probably destroy everything I hold dear.
Recognizing that the choice AND the consequences are mine and mine alone means I'm a rational adult.
That's one reason I'm a small 'L" libertarian. It's also why many folks misunderstand my motives and reasoning.
Rights do not emanate from a state, nor do they require state sanction or approval.
I call myself libertarian with a small "l" because when I say "classic liberal" most folks in the U.S. don't know what I am talking about. It has nothing to do with a political party and everything to do with liberty.
I believe that the freedom to choose is the mark of an adult human. Make of that what you will.
Classic liberalism predates the founding of the American republic. That is why I distinguish between "Libertarianism" and "libertarianism." Big "L" versus small "l." Party platform versus individual responsibility.
There are big reasons why I call myself libertarian and not Libertarian. I do not answer to Ron Paul and I do not answer to the Libertarian Party. In fact, I don't particularly like Ron or Rand Paul. I've not been fond of any LP candidate since Harry Browne.
Okay, here's the NeoNotes™ version. In three parts.
Part the First — Labels don't define people, labels describe people. Just because one Democrat orthodontist Mets fan beats his wife and kids does't mean that all Democrats do. Or all orthodontists do. Or all Mets fans do.
It means one person does.
Until you can show that ALL individuals within a group are equally guilty of all crimes, then you can't link group membership to the crime.
Part the Second — No matter how much you disapprove of someone's behavior and personal life, if it's not against the law it's none of your business.
Remember that last bit.
It's none of your business.
Make it a your business for whatever reason, and you open yourself up to people poking in yours.
Part the Third — There are limited times ANYTHING should be against the law.
If it doesn't threaten another's person or property, then it probably shouldn't be a law.
Just because your religion says it's not right doesn't mean it should be illegal. Unless you want to be controlled by another's religion.
I think we should compromise and at least try to protect children.
Anything else should be hands off.
Almost always when someone starts saying that people aren't "good enough" the standard becomes some holy writ.
Whether the "people" chose it or not.
I don't care what your faith is. Do what you can to honor it. Embrace it. Become a better person.
I just don't think you should use your faith to control another person.
Unless you want to live under the rules of my faith.
The state is not a moral entity. Government is not your friend, at best it is a bad servant.
Religion can not be allowed the coercive power of the state and the state can not be allowed the moral justification of faith.
You can't trust law to do the right thing. You have to watch it. You have to argue with it. And sometimes you have to fight it.
The distinction is vital in understanding what the role of government should be.
Look at it this way. The Constitution is a contract between the people and government. Government is given powers to protect rights, but no one gives rights.
Rights belong to individuals, Charlie has the same rights as Joan or Gotam. When someone has a "right" that isn't shared by others, it's a privilege.
The U.S. Constitution does an amazing job of defining (not granting) rights. But the Tenth Amendment doesn't talk about state rights, it talks about the powers of the states.
There are things I would call morally wrong, but I don't think those things are sins. Long story short, I don't believe in sin. That's also a discussion I try not to have with Christians because that's an area where we will never agree.
Are they capable of making their own choices? That raises a huge red flag. I've known some 14 year olds who I would trust to make a responsible choice, and I've known some 40 year olds who I would not. And that is without sex. "Consenting adults" is a workable compromise.
I think the Founders made a wise choice. They didn't want an official religion but they didn't want to interfere with personal religion.
It ties into individual choice and responsibility. It's bottom up. The Founders wanted individuals to draw from their faith and influence the nation, not the faith to shape national law and policy and so rule the individual.
Most importantly they wanted people of faith to watch government closely.
I started keeping my crux files because I noticed I kept getting into the same discussions in comment threads on other people’s web sites. After a while it just made sense for me to organize my thoughts by topic. These are snippets. It’s not in any particular order, it’s just discussions I have again and again.