Abortion: what’s life got to do with it?

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This is a ‘hot button’ issue, right? There are ebbs and flows in the cultural consciousness on abortion. It comes to mind and then it represses. Not long ago it came to mind because of the Center for Medical Progress and it’s expose of videos describing the procuring of fetal tissue from abortions. August 22nd , 2015 was an organized protest at Planned Parenthood grounds in 342 locations across the country with people totaling around 62,000. Remarkably, in St. Paul, MN there was one of the largest crowds with reports estimating between 4,000 and 6,000 attendees. Again in St. Paul on January 21st, 2017 there was an organized protest rallying on behalf of women. This time turnout in St. Paul was as many as 100,000 by some news reports however in this march not all females were represented. Half the unborn that are terminated are of the female sex.

Let’s discuss the emotions resonating on this subject because they always surface, they’re always deeply felt and we are after all a feeling creature as well as a thinking creature.

Being female biologically and socially is a suffering lot!

A pregnancy is a burden. That’s how many if not most women feel and they’re not wrong. Our body is going to change uncomfortably; our life is going to change uncomfortably. We are taken hostage by an organism that perhaps was unwanted. We may feel resentment towards our predicament and the baby. We may feel exhausted, depressed, deprived, defeated. We may feel unfairly saddled. We did not ask to be born with female biology and pregnancy is not all we amount to. Especially when we did not plan on becoming pregnant. We may have no maternal drive. If she is single, she is really suffering. She will probably feel alone and unprepared. How scary to foster a life with no help from the father. To go through the agonizing ordeal of childbirth, changing diapers, potty training, the all out war, sometimes, of teenage years not to mention scraping by for food, shelter and money. Scraping by for sanity.  It’s revolting how indifferent many men are to abandoning their children and I can see how it would leave a woman feeling furious. The situation of being pregnant with no father has to be one of the most alienating and devastating feelings a woman can feel.  It’s violating.

Then there are the thoughts. Why me? Millions of men have casual sex and are not left with the burden of pregnancy and often not saddled with the responsibility of raising the child. Many women have a normal sex life and don’t end up pregnant on the first time without birth control or the time birth control failed. I don’t want and shouldn’t have to. Period. These thoughts and feelings are legitimate. It’s automatic to turn a deaf ear to people who disregard these truths. That’s why it’s important to acknowledge that some pregnancies are crises. In fact, at least 890,000* pregnancies in the US are crises. That is approximately how many abortions occur in this country a year.

There is another crisis for females, the 445,000 whose lives are taken every year in this country because of abortion. This is a truth as well. Since I’m a feminist I find this truth to be pretty sobering. It’s easy to think of an embryo or a fetus as a clump of biological tissue that’s simply dividing and not living or living but not a person. It’s easy because it allows abortion. The cognitive dissonance that takes place knowing abortion is legal but that it’s a human baby being aborted is just too hard to take, it must be wrong. So we excuse it. Then you get to be 34 years old, in my case, and you think about human life and how much more life you want to live (130 years old? Yes please!). My heart feels heavy for these people that didn’t get to live. How blessed that I get to live and suffer and love. My mother chose what was going to be upsettingly hard and I got to have a life.

I have a fond client at work that revealed to me that she is the product of a rape. Her mother was raped while living with a family friend when she was just a teenager and became pregnant. That baby is my client who has since had a family of 5 who have since had their own children. She married and they’ve been married 50 years. I’m sure she has suffered in life and her mother absolutely suffered but my client got to live and I’m glad I got know her.

A little background about me: I used to be pro-choice and not the decent pro-choicer that says “I’m pro-choice but I would never personally have an abortion.” Nope, I was indignant that it’s my sovereign body and I can do with it what I please and if I became pregnant I would have one. A libertarian, maybe even anarchist, feminist. However, there was always a feeling that it would be gravely wrong if I did. It wasn’t until about 22 years old when I put intellectual thought into it that I started to see the issue clearly. Abortion is many heady things but ultimately it is the taking of another person’s life and how can I be complicit in that if I expect to keep my own sovereign life?

I’ve belonged to different debate groups on various political and religious topics and I’ve been following one on abortion recently and the vitriol I see in there is astonishing. Often I’m amazed. Mostly I’m sickened. I’ve always wanted to compile arguments on the topic but it’s so heavy I’ve never gotten around to publishing one. Actually, the topic of abortion is so polarized that it’s been too daunting and I haven’t had the courage or the perseverance. But here goes. This has taken a long time (5 years I’ve been working on this) and lots and lots of research but these are the most cogent responses to pro-choice arguments I’ve heard. I myself have learned a lot about embryology. The science is amazing!

*this is an average, see below arguments for the most recent CDC estimates of abortions performed

 

Abortion is legal and that’s why it’s ok

A parallel can be drawn here from the abolitionist movement of the 19th century. The abolitionists were opposing the rule of law underlined by the Supreme Court in its Dred Scott opinion that people of African descent, whether free or slave, are not considered part of the American people. They are property of their owners, no more than that. Now we see prolifers, who are aware that the Supreme Court has erred before, opposing the rule of law in the decision of Roe which states that the unborn have never been recognized as persons in the whole sense just as slaves were thought of as 3/5 of a person and not whole persons. So, like the slave, the fetus is property and the owner can dispose of it. Like the abolitionists of the 19th century the prolife movement is involved in a massive civil rights movement. After all, since the Roe decision, 43 years ago, in the US roughly 40 million unborn babies have been terminated. Worldwide, according to the World Health Organization, 40 million are terminated each year. Worldwide, unborn girls are terminated at higher rates than unborn boys with roughly 163 million girls that have been aborted since 1973. Thus the prolife effort is a womens movement and a civil rights movement.

As history proves the law is not always aligned with what’s right.

 

 Bodily autonomy

The basis of the Bodily autonomy argument is ‘women have the final jurisdiction over their own bodies. Nobody can claim a right to her body that goes above her own right. Nobody can use her body without consent. Women cannot be forced to donate organs or blood to someone else. A fetus must survive on a woman’s body so the woman has a right to withdraw her consent and her body at any time.’

Follow this thought all the way through. Women have ‘final jurisdiction over their bodies’. Then society would have to be accepting of women who do drugs, drink alcohol, go tanning, go skydiving at 6 months pregnant. It also follows that one must support abortion at any stage if one supports the bodily autonomy argument. How is a woman’s body any less autonomous at 8 months pregnant than 6 weeks pregnant?

Also, why would bodily autonomy only apply to pregnant women? Children have demands on the mother’s body even after birth. Whether it’s waking up in the middle of the night for the crying baby and nursing, working long hours to pay for their food and clothing, carrying them around when they cannot walk, etc. An argument for absolute bodily autonomy means that it can’t be illegal, or considered immoral, for a parent to withdraw from providing these things for the child.

If we can do what we want with our bodies then it becomes difficult to launch a moral or legal attack on a man that chooses to pleasure himself at a playground. According to the argument he has bodily autonomy.

Truth is our bodies are not absolutely autonomous. Any claim or responsibility placed on me, automatically includes a claim and responsibility on my body. Whether we are expected to pay taxes or drive the speed limit or provide a safe and sanitary home for our children, we are using our bodies to meet these expectations. We experience and participate in life with our bodies. Absolute bodily autonomy is inexorably linked with personal autonomy. If my body is absolutely autonomous, my person must be absolutely autonomous, and if my person is absolutely autonomous, then my very existence is absolutely autonomous, and if my very existence is absolutely autonomous, then it is simply unacceptable and immoral for anyone to expect me to do anything for anyone at any point for any reason.

Truth is our bodies are autonomous in some situations and not in others. We must decide where abortion falls in our classifications of protection against bodily autonomy and why it belongs there. If you contend that abortion falls within the limits on bodily autonomy, that you should be legally allowed to abort the life, you must justify that belief beyond simply reasserting our right to bodily autonomy. What is at stake in abortion is the mother’s lifestyle vs. the baby’s life.

 

The embryo/fetus is a parasite

 The basis of the parasite argument is that a parasite feeds off the host just as a zygote, embryo or fetus, depending on its stage of development, feeds off the mother.

This argument is flawed because it is not scientifically correct. A parasite is an organism of one species feeding off the body of a completely different species. A human embryo or fetus is an organism of one species (Homo sapiens) living in the uterine cavity of an organism of the same species (Homo sapiens) and deriving its nourishment from the mother (is metabolically dependent on the mother). This homospecific relationship is an obligatory dependent relationship, but not a parasitic relationship.

A parasite is an invading organism — coming to parasitize the host from an outside source. A human embryo or fetus is formed from a fertilized egg — the egg coming from an inside source, being formed in the ovary of the mother from where it moves into the oviduct where it may be fertilized to form the zygote — the first cell of the new human being. A parasite is generally harmful to some degree to the host that is harboring the parasite. A human embryo or fetus developing in the uterine cavity does not usually cause harm to the mother, although it may if proper nutrition and care is not maintained by the mother.

A parasite makes direct contact with the host’s tissues, often holding on by either mouth parts, hooks or suckers to the tissues involved (intestinal lining, lungs, connective tissue, etc.). A human embryo or fetus makes direct contact with the uterine lining of the mother for only a short period of time. It soon becomes isolated inside its own amniotic sac, and from that point on makes indirect contact with the mother only by way of the umbilical cord and placenta.

Therefore a parasite is an organism that associates with the host in a negative, unhealthy and nonessential (nonessential to the host) manner, which will often damage the host and detrimentally affect the procreative capacity of the host (and species). A human embryo or fetus is a human being that associates with the mother in a positive, healthful essential manner necessary for the procreation of the species.

 

If abortion should be illegal then miscarriage should be illegal

 The basis of this argument is that just as abortion is the termination and cleansing of the embryo or fetus from the womb so too is miscarriage.

Miscarriage is an act of nature. Abortion is the deliberate termination by a human being of another’s life. Just as it is absurd to have laws that make trees falling down in forests because of lightening strike illegal so too would it be absurd to make an act of nature, miscarriage, illegal.

 

The fertilized egg is not a human until it implants on the uterine wall

This is easily exposed as a non sequitur — a logical fallacy, the conclusion does not follow from the premise. The fact that many human embryos die at an early stage of development (pre-implantation) provides no evidence whatsoever for the proposition that they are not embryonic human beings — no more than comparable high rates of infant mortality in most places before the 20th century showed that infants were not human beings.

From the zygote- single-celled- stage onward this new organism is distinct, for it grows in its own direction. It is human — obviously, given the genetic structure found in the nuclei of its cells. And it is a whole human organism — as opposed to what is functionally a part of a larger whole, such as a cell, tissue, or organ — since this organism has all of the internal resources and active disposition needed to develop itself (himself or herself) to the mature, adult, stage of a human organism. Given its genetic constitution and epigenetic* structure, all this organism needs to develop to the mature stage is what human beings at any stage need, namely, a suitable environment, nutrition, and the absence of injury or disease. So it is a whole human organism — a new human individual — at the earliest stage of his or her development.

Clearly, implantation — the embryo attaching himself or herself (sex is determined from the very beginning) to the uterine wall of the mother’s womb — is only an important stage in the life cycle of the already living and internally self-directed growth of a human being. This stage does not create any fundamental change in the direction of growth of the embryo. From Day One, the embryo has been preparing for this interaction. The uterus provides a suitable environment, nutrition, and disposal of waste, but not a new program or instructions for a new trajectory of growth — the instructions for his or her full self-development to the mature stage of a human organism have been present within the embryo’s genetic and epigenetic constitution from the zygote stage (Day One) on.

*epigenetic means changes in a chromosome that affect gene activity and expression

 

The fertilized egg is not a life it’s just a cluster of cells

Human embryos, whether they are formed by fertilization (natural or in vitro) or by successful somatic-cell nuclear transfer (SCNT — i.e., cloning), do have the internal resources and active disposition to develop themselves to the mature stage of a human organism, requiring only a suitable environment and nutrition. In fact, scientists distinguish embryos from other cells or clusters of cells precisely by their self-directed, integral functioning — their organismal behavior. Thus, human embryos are what the embryology textbooks say they are, namely, human organisms — living individuals of the human species — at the earliest developmental stage. In other words they are alive at the moment of conception.

 

Ok, so the embryo or fetus is a life, it is a human being, but it’s not a person

Personhood is properly defined by membership in the human species, not by stage of development within that species. Personhood is not a matter of size, skill, and degree of intelligence or viability outside the womb. Viability is an arbitrary concept as its timeline is in constant change depending on technology. Even a newborn healthy baby would not be viable were it not for the assistance of the mother for nourishment, changing of the diaper, providing shelter, etc. It is dangerous when people in power are free to decide whether other, less powerful lives are meaningful.

 

The fertilized egg is alive and a human being but it should have no legal protection until it’s viable

As shown above viability is a flimsy argument at best. The definition of viability is a. capable of living, b. capable of functioning or developing, c. capable of existing successfully. Every human being cannot live in the universe without help. Man is a very unviable creature in the universe. We need shelter and clothing from the heat or cold, we need replenishment of food and water that we must seek out. Nature is constantly working to terminate us. Whether it’s the elements or bacterial infection or viruses or disease we have to fight to stay alive. Contrary to post womb life a baby in the womb has the coziest life-nourishing environment in which all necessities are adequately provided with no self conscious effort at all on the baby’s part. So I would argue that born human beings are less viable than unborn human beings because the unborn need an interruption to die and the born need an interruption to live.

 

A woman has a right to constitutional privacy

In the vein of this argument is this example: the US constitution sanctioned the denial of personhood status to slaves for the first several decades of this country’s existence. This fact served as an argument to amend the Constitution, not as an argument for the moral permissibility of slavery.

When Roe v. Wade was being decided it was assumed that the substantive due process clause protected a woman’s right to the liberty of terminating her pregnancy within the privacy of the relationship between her and her doctor. However, when deciding in this case, there was no right to privacy in the constitution whatsoever. Moreover privacy is negated when it directly affects the life of a third party (the unborn baby).

Whether or not the unborn child, too, has protection of life, liberty and pursuit of property, which is what the 14th amendment is all about, begs the central question.   This question is the personhood of the fetus (the 14th Amendment grants persons an explicit right not to be killed unless convicted of a capital crime). Even Justice Blackmun, who delivered the opinion of the Supreme Court, admitted as much. Let’s suppose for sake of argument that the Court, as it claimed, had no standard for defining the beginning of personhood. Logically, if you don’t know if something that you wish to take the life of is a person do you not err on the side of not taking its life? How about this illustration: if there were one hundred pills on a table and one of them was deadly poison but you didn’t know which one, would you take a pill because you don’t know for sure which one is poison? You would not. You would err on the side of safety for the human life-yours- and you would take none. Rather, in one fell swoop that left legal scholars from across the spectrum of jurisprudence baffled, the court overturned the popularly imposed laws in the vast majority of states because it couldn’t decide whether or not it ought to.

 

The feminist argument

 The basis of this argument is that abortion rights are fundamental to the advancement of women. They are essential to having equal rights with men.

In reality early feminists were prolife, not pro-choice.   Women’s rights are not inherently linked to the right to abortion. Actually the basic premises of the abortion rights movement are demeaning to women because they presume a pregnant woman doesn’t have the psychological, emotional, financial, physical, intellectual means to support the life they, except in the case of rape which is 1% of abortions, helped create. Feminists should celebrate a woman’s inherent biology to produce children. In fact, abortion has become the most effective means of sexism ever devised, ridding the world of multitudes of unwanted females. The statistics reported between the Guttmacher Institute and the CDC estimate between 730,000 and 1.06 million abortions occurred in the year 2011 (the most recent year the CDC has produced figures) in the US, although reporting is voluntary and not required which means it could be more. That places the taking of female lives between 365,000 to 530,000 a year just in the US. Female abortion deaths worldwide are 21.5 million.

 

Consent to sex is not consent to gestate

 A Daily Kos writer put the argument this way:

Sex and pregnancy are not a one-to-one. Sex can and does happen when reproduction is not possible, and it is not guaranteed to lead to reproduction even when it is possible. An undesired development does not mean that you’re stuck following through, letting nature take its course. If I get behind the wheel on an icy day and my car starts sliding for the ditch, I’m not honor bound to crash if I can prevent it; consenting to drive doesn’t mean that I’m consenting to crash. Why does it follow that conception through consensual intercourse necessitates gestation and motherhood? Our species has no problem correcting non-optimal outcomes when possible. We set broken legs. We perform surgeries. We treat cancers and diseases. We terminate unwanted pregnancies.

This analogy is flawed. If your car is veering towards the ditch on an icy day you are not duty bound to let it slide into the ditch (which would presumably be a negative outcome for you). But if you veer your car purposely toward another car so as to take the driver’s life you will be prosecuted because willfully taking the life of another person is morally and legally reprehensible. It is only in the early stages of life (prenatal) that the SCOTUS has deemed taking a life legal though it is still immoral. The central point to the argument is another’s life. That’s what’s missing from the icy day analogy or even the surgery, cancer, disease part of it. None of those scenarios are another life of our same species.

Reproduction is not always the outcome from sex. This is true. But reproduction is the natural development from sex when it does occur. Denying that is insane. Our Western society has become increasingly deluded when it comes to the natural process at work with sex. We’ve taken the natural end out of the means. Just as we think we can cheat death, we think we can cheat life. We truly believe sex should have nothing to do with procreation. It’s really self-loathing. Are we trying to wipe out our species? Nature does not care what you consent to. I do not consent to die but I will die. Death is the natural end to the means just as with sex a baby is the natural end to the means. However, unlike natural death, which will take your life no matter your actions, one truly does have a choice with birth. One can choose to abstain from the act that creates the action they don’t like. But if one chooses to have sex they’re taking the gamble of creating another life. Rather than ‘gamble’ I would call it responsibility. Through sex there will always be the chance of taking responsibility for another’s life. Sure, it makes sex more sober. It is only in the West that sex has been mutated into a purposeful means without an end. A willful impotency. You tell me what’s more sober.

 

Pro-life arguments are the imposition of religion on a woman’s rights

This argument is based on the misnomer that the subject of abortion is women’s rights rather than an unwanted baby being aborted. Just as there are religious people who support the right of the unborn to live so are there secular people. The United States (and many other countries) has a constitution with the most basic value set to law that protects the unalienable right to life. It is natural to protect life. It advances the species. Many say it’s God-given, some say it’s nature-given but few deny it. I have a right to live just as much as you have the right to live, this we all* agree on. Ironically, the 14th amendment is all about this right even though the SCOTUS subverted the meaning with regard to the unborn. The unalienable right to life is agreed upon by the irreligious just as much as by the religious. The question is does this right extend to the embryo/fetus? When people say ‘keep your church off my body’ it literally makes no intellectual sense. Because a) we’ve established that there are secular and religious people who support the right to life, b) the pro-life movement is not dictating what you do with your body, it is concerned with what you do to another’s body.

*except the insane and sadist

 

Abortion helps solve the problem of over-population

Overpopulation is one of the biggest fallacies in Western thought. It overlooks the nuances of civilization and just plain isn’t true. Urbanization explains one of the nuances. People naturally flock together which creates dense urban cities that can become over-populated but this leaves vast rural areas under-populated. The world currently produces enough food to feed 10 billion people, and there are only 7 billion of us. That is, with 7 billion human minds at work, we produce enough food for 10 billion human bodies. Imagine how much food we can produce with 10 billion minds! Oceans cover 70 percent of the planet’s surface to an average depth of 6,000 feet.  You cannot use up or destroy water; you can only change its state (from liquid to solid or gas) or contaminate it so that it is undrinkable. What about fresh water? Freshwater withdrawals have increased seven-fold since 1900 while the world population has increased only four-fold. This suggests our ability to access usable water increases faster than population growth. But we’re growing exponentially! No, we’re not. Our rate of growth is slowing. Between 1950 and 2000, the world population grew at a rate of 1.76%. Between 2000 and 2050, it is expected to grow by 0.77 percent. About 48% of all people live in a country with below-replacement fertility meaning there are not births replacing deaths. Every man, woman, and child on earth could each have 5 acres of land. If we wanted to squeeze close, everyone in the world could stand shoulder-to-shoulder on the island of Zanzibar.

Furthermore, who gets to decide who lives or dies for the noble cause of population control? Perhaps those who are the most concerned should take the martyrs position for their cause and take their own life rather than asserting their personal hierarchy and condemning the just-starting-out lives to death.

 

The unwanted unborn would have no quality of life.

Again, why should someone else get to decide what is considered quality life for a person and which lives are expendable and which are not? Which lives are superior and which are inferior? If you were just thinking mathematically would it be better to have a little life or no life? Would it be better to have a hard life but still a chance or no life? Think if it was you? Either way, the judgment about the quality of someone else’s life is not yours to make.

 

The Chimera argument

 A natural human chimera explains a few different anomalies. The most common kind of chimera is a blood chimera in which twins in utero share blood supplies and DNA through connecting placentas and in turn have cells from the twin sibling in each of their bodies or a mother and fetus could share cells resulting in ‘populations of DNA’: one set of DNA may appear in the lungs and another set in the kidneys of the mother. Another type of chimera is the absorption of a fraternal twin in utero. This means that one embryo absorbs the sibling embryo and ends up having DNA of another person in their body (or, in other cases, another person’s body parts or a calcified body). Legal cases have been brought forth, in which a mother did not share DNA with her children because the DNA cells that transferred to her children were that of her absorbed fraternal twin. This puts into question the irrefutability of DNA testing and also has political implications when defining when life begins. It also begs the question: is the stronger twin committing homicide when it absorbs its living fraternal twin?

Just like a miscarriage, which occurs naturally, so too does the anomaly of the Chimera.

As science already knows a new and separate human life begins at conception. A full DNA set in a human body has 46 chromosomes. A sperm has 23 and an ovum has 23 chromosomes. Upon fertilization, immediately, a cell with 46 chromosomes is created and an individual human life has begun.

Of course what’s happening here in the case of a human chimera is that an embryo absorbs the living embryo of its sibling and does so impulsively, naturally and without any deliberate intent. In other words it’s accidental, an anomaly. Regardless of the anomaly of absorption and harboring populations of another person’s DNA the embryo is still a self directed, individual human being. The organism is still human and alive and inherently worthy of protection. When a woman has an abortion she has the sentient capability of making the choice to do it or not with the deliberate intent of terminating another’s life.

Abortion: what’s life got to do with it?

Donald Trump isn’t your guy, now what?

 

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This campaign cycle has been incredibly easy for some people, those who are anti-establishment. For the anti-establishment folk, there is Bernie Sanders of the Democratic Socialist realm and Donald Trump of the Authoritarian Populist realm. However, if your vote isn’t dictated by being ‘other’ but rather by your Conservative values of limited government this campaign cycle has been a meltdown of the Presidency and America as you know it. It has created a fracture in the Republican Party so baffling that one is reminded how after the 1960’s the Democratic Party abandoned classical Liberals and became more left.

By June 7th one of the candidates will have secured the nomination for their party and let’s face it, it will be Clinton and Trump so let’s examine what we do now.

A Rock and a Hard Place

Both Clinton and Trump, to the limited-government voter, are unsavory candidates. Hillary Clinton is a woman who rose to power with the advantage of her husband Bill, “two-for-the-price-of-one” as Bill said during his Presidential campaign in 1992 and now her time has come to step out as the first in command of the Clinton machine, a machine that has dominated Democratic politics for a quarter of a Century. In her corner she has feminism, her years in the White House as First Lady, years of experience in the Senate and years of experience as Secretary of State.

Her feminism has historically been revealed as opportunistic. On November 22nd 2015 she tweeted that “Every survivor of sexual assault has a right to be heard, believed, and supported.” However, she consistently protected and stood with the oppressors, not the victims, during Bill Clinton’s sexual assault scandal. According to Carl Bernstein, an investigative journalist for such publications as The Washington Post, Time Magazine, Vanity Fair and the network ABC, in his biography of Hillary Clinton: A Woman In Charge, Hillary pushed to get sworn statements from women Bill had been rumored to have been involved with, statements in which they were supposed to say they’d had no relationship with him. She even interviewed one of these women herself, at her law firm. She also led efforts to undermine Gennifer Flowers, whom she referred to as “trailer trash.”

Her record and values as First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State has overwhelmingly been an exercise in government intervention into private life and enterprise. Of children’s rights she was quoted saying “Even among persons in the children’s rights movement, there is a concern that extending rights to children against their parents is too difficult to control, and in all but the most extreme cases such questions should be resolved by the families, not the courts. I prefer that [government] intervention into an ongoing family dispute be limited to decisions that could have long-term and possibly irreparable effects if they were not resolved. Decisions [children could make] about motherhood and abortion, schooling, cosmetic surgery, treatment of venereal disease or employment, and others where the decision or lack of one will significantly affect the child’s future should not be made unilaterally by the parents. Children should have a right to be permitted to decide their own future if they are competent.” State intervention, via the courts, into the family is a position Clinton takes which leads to my final point about the courts I’ll get to later. Such views and policies ignore the broad cultural debate over government assuming the roles of parents. This ideology also has creepy connections to other Leftist regimes in which, written in the protocol, there was the deliberate intent of driving a wedge between parents and children, breaking up the family and cultivating ‘regime youth’ for ‘their own good.’

In business and the economy Hillary Clinton has proposed “raising the median income.” Never mind that government does not produce income but rather redistributes wealth. She called for new “public investments,” and establishing an “infrastructure bank” to “ channel public and private funds.” Those were her words; government to channel funds. The government steers and the market only rows, in her view. Does government have a better record handling finances? Current US debt is $19 Trillion.

As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton embraced intervention as her foreign policy, pressing for intervention in Libya against Barack Obama’s initial wariness of intervention, leaving Libya a failed State and a terrorist haven, not to mention the tragic September 11th, 2012 Benghazi attack that left 4 US diplomats dead including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens who was the first Ambassador killed in the line of duty since 1979. In Iraq, the United States had intervened and occupied — and things had gone to hell. In Libya, the United States had intervened but not occupied — and things had gone to hell. And in Syria, the United States had neither intervened nor occupied — and things had still gone to hell. Obviously there is a broad debate about whether intervention is appropriate and how to strategize intervention in a tribal region that has trouble maintaining democracy. However, now in the embarrassing aftermath she has taken a position of categorical unaccountability stating “At the end of the day, this was the President’s decision.”

So if Hillary Clinton is a champion of government intervention and you believe in limited government what about Donald Trump?

Donald Trump passionately defends eminent domain, which is the right of the government to confiscate private property for government use. In an interview with Bret Baier on October 6th, 2015 he insisted that the compensated, involuntary transfer of private property by the government was in the public’s best interests. He first used the example of a government seizing land for a road or highway — generally the least controversial and most broadly supported use of eminent domain. But he quickly broadened his argument, insisting that government should always be allowed to take private land for development projects if the promised public benefits are big enough. “If you have a factory, where you have thousands of jobs, you need eminent domain, it’s called economic development,” Trump said. “Now you’re employing thousands of people and you’re able to build a factory, you’re able to build an Apple computer center, where thousands of people can work. You can do that, or you can say, ‘Let the man have his house.’”

Donald Trump has an affinity for using the courts. Donald Trump is named in at least 169 Federal lawsuits.  In the bulk of them he is a defendant but in more than 50 lawsuits he is a plaintiff and these lawsuits were waged because things haven’t gone his way, he didn’t get what he wanted, or brand and image were compromised. Trump threatened to sue Ted Cruz over a TV ad. He also promises, “One of the things I’m going to do if I win… I’m going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money.” No Federal law currently exists that handles libel suits because they’re handled at the state level. Donald Trump has a deep-seated problem with free speech and his policies could seriously undermine our first constitutional right. Most limited-government supporters want to reform our legal system to cut down on frivolous lawsuits but Donald Trump wants to expand them and put in place Federal controls on free speech.

In regard to healthcare Donald Trump is quoted saying in an interview on 60 Minutes “I am going to take care of everybody. I don’t care if it costs me votes. Everybody is going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now.” A mantra that perpetuates the paternalism and expansiveness of the government. He goes on to say, “…the government’s gonna pay for it. But we’re going to save so much money on the other side. But for the most it’s going to be a private plan and people are going to be able to go out and negotiate great plans with lots of different competition with lots of competitors with great companies and they can have their doctors, they can have plans, they can have everything.” We can have everything with the governments help. That is Donald Trump’s message. He is also quoted in the 2016 CNN GOP debate saying, “I like the mandate,” meaning the government mandate to purchase a product (health insurance). Another quote from 2000 in The America We Deserve by Donald Trump he is quoted saying, “I’m a conservative on most issues but a liberal on this one. We should not hear so many stories of families ruined by health care expenses. We must not allow citizens with medical problems to go untreated because of financial problems or red tape. The Canadian plan also helps Canadians live longer and healthier than America. We need, as a nation, to reexamine the single-payer plan, as many individual states are doing.”

It is increasingly clear that Donald Trump is paternalistic in his view of the role of government. Much like his opponent he has the view that because we cannot help ourselves we need help from the government.

These are just a few examples of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s paternalistic philosophies and their big government approach. So, limited-government voter where does that leave you?

You will have four options for the General Election in November. A) vote for Donald Trump, B) vote for Hillary Clinton, C) write in a candidate, or D) don’t vote.

I am personally as disappointed as any voter who values limited government and individual liberty. I am forced to vote for a rock or a hard place and it’s unfortunate, it’s maddening. The culture of this country is changing and therefore the politics of this country are changing and let’s be honest it’s going more Left. Rather than pursuing a life for themselves more and more people want their living validated and provided for them. I fear that now, just as after the 60’s the Democratic Party left Liberalism and went to Leftism, the Republican Party is leaving Conservatism and embracing Populism. Sure, Donald Trump is a loyalist. He wants to secure the borders and protect the country, he supports your 2nd amendment right, he has business experience but our country isn’t only capitalist with a CEO dictating the dealings, it is also a Republic that is confined to its constitution. A constitution that has been revolutionary in its fundamental re-scripting of assumptions about government. Chief among them was the invention of popular sovereignty, a conception of the people as both rulers and ruled, who had none to govern but themselves. This concept was necessary to accommodate another innovation, federalism- the separation of the powers of government into national, state, county, city. Over two centuries, these solutions, radical for their time (and for ours), have been instrumental in the development of a more democratic and egalitarian nation. The Constitution also established a new but untested and controversial theory about the relationship between power and liberty.

So, this is my final argument to give credence and perhaps comfort to your vote this fall. The outcome of this election will be critical in determining the court’s future composition and the Supreme Court is paramount to interpreting our hallowed constitution.  The current Supreme Court consists of these members with the ones in bold nearing old age:

Liberal Appointees

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 83, a Bill Clinton appointee

Stephen Breyer, 78, a Bill Clinton appointee

Sonja Sotomeyer, 61, Barack Obama appointee

Elena Kagan, 56, Barack Obama appointee

 

Swing vote

Anthony Kennedy, 80, a Ronald Reagan appointee (he has been a notable swing vote, conceding to the left on several cases)

 

Conservative Appointees

Clarence Thomas, 67, George H.W. Bush appointee

Samuel Alito, 66, George W Bush appointee

John Roberts, 61, George W Bush appointee.

 

As you can see, 3 seats on the Supreme Court will be vacated in the next few years and one is currently available because Conservative Justice Scalia died this year. Four of the current SC Justices have a liberal voting record and three have a conservative voting record with one swing vote that tends to go more liberal. In essence, the court is currently 5-3 a liberal court.

With the addition of 4 Justices under a Clinton Presidency (with either she or Obama appointing the Scalia replacement) it would be 6-3 in favor of a national power view of the Constitution. Under a Trump Presidency it would either be 6-3 (if Obama appoints the Scalia successor) or 7-2 in favor of a local power view of the Constitution. Now, this assumes that Trump would appoint true Conservatives to the bench and not faux Conservatives like himself but he would feel the pressure from Republicans in Congress. Supreme Court Justices, depending on their age, can serve for 30 or 40 years on the bench. Think of how a one term President can influence the decades to come (hello FDR). How much more a 30-year Justice with a nationalist bent will undermine the revolutionary aspects of our constitution? It sounds relaxing to have a Leftist culture, country and court but at what cost? $19 Trillion plus and your sovereign life.

 

 

 

Donald Trump isn’t your guy, now what?

What are the ‘Left’ and the ‘Right’ in 21st Century America?

 

rightwingleftwing

Left <—Fascism—Communism—Socialism—Progressivism—Liberalism

—Moderate—

Neo-Conservatism—Conservatism—Libertarianism—Anarchism—> Right

           

   Left 

  • More government
  • ‘the people’
  • egalitarian
  • every realm of life is political
  • faith in the perfectibility of society
  • special interest in youth
  • public
  • permanent crisis
  • proletarian ascendance
  • living constitution
  • fondness of French Revolution

 

Right

  • Less government
  • ‘the person’
  • liberty
  • self-governing
  • understanding that nature is flawed
  • wisdom with age
  • private
  • self-sustaining
  • capitalism
  • originalist constitution
  • fondness of American Revolution

 

 

This figure is what I’m going to explore and keep in mind that I’m talking about the American political spectrum in the terms I list above with Left being most State control and Right being most individual freedom, which is much different than the European political spectrum. For example American Conservatism is Classical Liberalism in Europe. Though the American system has influence from the European system, as we shall see.

But first let me address your natural and historically groomed recoil by seeing Fascism on the Left.  Before World War II Fascism was seen as a Progressive social movement with many sympathizers in Europe and America and the word dictator was not dirty. It wasn’t until after the war that Fascism started to stink in the nostrils of the Left, which caused American Progressives to switch teams, going from ‘the blackshirts’ (Italian Fascism under Mussolini) to The Reds (Communism under Stalin). Stalin had a clever way of labeling inconvenient ideas and movements as fascist just as we see today, thus the birth of fascism as being ‘right-wing’ and anti-progressive, mainly because ‘right-wing’ and anti-progressive was ‘other than’ Stalin’s Communism. It was a propaganda technique.

Mussolini, the Father of Fascism, coined the word Totalitarian and it wasn’t a bad word until after the war. His definition was a society where everyone belonged, where everyone was taken care of, where everything was inside the State, nothing was outside the State. The Italian word ‘fascio’ meaning bundle is a synonym for union. In the 1920’s American youth and Academia fully embraced Italian Fascism calling it “the World’s first successful youth movement”. In the 20’s Hollywood was an admiring fan of Mussolini. He eventually appeared in 1923’s The Eternal City starring Lionel Barrymore. Unlike Classical Liberalism, which believed in checks and balances of powers, Progressives and intellectuals believed that the increase in state power was akin to the natural evolutionary process (Darwinism was in vogue and influential in shaping this ideology) in which collectivism of the body politic was the new freedom. They found it to be a natural Marxist process that was inevitable and any opposition was a block.

Let’s go back a little further. When the prospect of World War I was manifesting Mussolini’s Socialism, which originally found war to be imperialistic for the sake of capitalism, adapted. Mussolini steadily became pro-war because it was what the masses wanted. War is not antithesis to the Progressive movement so long as it’s a war of good cause, of Progressive cause, such as bringing those on the margins into the fold and transcending class distinctions for the sake of a social equality and a unified collective. We see evidence of this in modern rhetoric such as ‘the War On Poverty’ or the ‘the War On Women.’

Thus World War I gave birth to Fascism, a militant humanitarianism. In essence Fascism is Socialism that uses military force. War advances the Socialist cause of a Proletarian Nation. An ideological distinction between Marxist (Materialist) Socialism and Italian Fascism, which was non-Marxist Socialism, is that Marxist Socialism regards a person’s status only in terms of its class. Race, nationality, culture, and religion were only illusions. However, Fascism regards nationality to be more important than class. Mussolini ended up serving in the First World War and this furthered his new ideology. He had fought as an Italian, not as a worker.

Some of the goals of Mussolini’s new found Fascism were establishing a minimum wage, ending the draft, giving voting rights to all women, establishing a legal workday of 8 actual hours, farmers cooperatives, a large progressive tax on capital that would amount to a one-time expropriation of riches, the seizure of all goods obtained from religious institutions, the creation of government bodies run by workers’ representatives. These were Proletarian goals that cannot be seen as ‘right-wing’. However, the international Socialist movement still didn’t like Mussolini’s new Socialism since it was Nationalist in scope, so they labeled him ‘right-wing’ but really he was a Populist-Socialist. Populist means mobilizing the people by appealing to their sentiments and anger. At the end of his life he died a Socialist through and through just like he said he’d remain.

As we can see Socialism and Fascism are born out of the same ideological soil: ‘power to the people’. Communism too runs in this vein. American Progressives and Liberals are too woven out of the same cloth. The difference is not ideology but mechanism. I place Fascism on the far left because it is militant Socialism, everything within the State, nothing outside the State. Although, Communism has a broader scope in that it doesn’t believe in centralized power in nation states but rather a global, international system. This could be seen as the more powerful system since it has goals for global reach but Communism as it has been manifested has been slightly less authoritarian. Let’s explore Communism.

Karl Marx who wrote The Communist Manifesto envisions a society where Communism is the final evolution of the socio-economic condition from feudal (laborers who are dispossessed of their land by Lords and must sell their produce to survive) to Capitalist (laborers who choose to sell their goods and services for a wage, commoditization and surplus is born, a gap between worker and employer emerges) to Socialist (the workers start to rise up against the capitalists, depending on a government composed of workers representatives to mediate production) to Communist (a final Proletarian dictatorship in which the workers in a body politic hold absolute power) where there is no need for political or class distinction because all the produce, power and wealth will be in the hands of the Proletariat, the worker. It will be a dictatorship of the worker.

Vladimir Lenin and his Russian Bolsheviks had the theory that the intellectual leaders of the movement would direct the economy and the society through a government that deliberately excluded the exploiters or Capitalists, since the proletariat was too sedated to start a revolution himself. The movement would overthrow the Bourgeoisie, the Capitalists, and the intellectual leaders who are representatives of the workers, would then govern the cooperative goods and wealth. Soviet democracy nationalized industry and established a foreign-trade monopoly to allow the productive coordination of the national economy, and so prevent Russian national industries from competing against each other.  It started out as a cooperative in which several worker parties were represented in political affairs, save for the Capitalists who were excluded, but eventually developed into a one-party dictatorship of the Proletariat managed by the Vanguard Party. Lenin was against Nationalism, which he found oppressive toward the Proletariat in other nations. In all forms of Communism, though they vary slightly, exclusion of the Capitalists is central and class-consciousness and Proletariat Dictatorship are paramount. They vary on issues such as Nationalism or allowance of private land ownership in agriculture. Ultimately Lenin died and Stalin took over. Lenin was the more Democratic of the two leaders while Stalin took agriculture into the State’s hands Lenin allowed private agriculture ownership. While Lenin was more popular with the masses, Stalin was more ruthless. So while Marxism had a revolutionary thought of working class transcending the middle class and Capitalists in a borderless, completely egalitarian, government free society it has never come to fruition. There has always been a government of intellectuals that decide and direct on behalf of the Proletariat. And ultimately when there are a few in charge on behalf of the many, even an intelligentsia with the most hospitable intentions, corruption breeds.

Socialism has included many different manifestations. Again, it is defined as social ownership and democratic control of the means for production. How much state control varies. Some Socialist governments allow for private property. Unlike Marx who believed that the state would whither away into a Proletariat dictatorship some Socialists considered the state to be an entity independent of class allegiances and an instrument of justice that would therefore be essential for achieving socialism.

American Progressives around the First World War were more Nationalist and authoritarian than Progressives today but that was on trend at that time. In fact one could conclude it was a watered down Fascism. Woodrow Wilson is an example of this.   Wilson found the antiquated checks and balances of the American system to be outdated and pushed for more Congressional power. He believed the constitution to also be outdated and felt it should be a living, organic, evolving constitution. He believed that the entire society was one organic whole and that there was no room for dissidents. Your home, your thoughts, everything was part of the body politic that the state was charged with redeeming. From the 1890’s to World War I American Progressives and European Socialists were fighting the same fight. Wilson, being a social scientist, had faith that society could bend to the will of social planners ‘for its own good.’ The Progressive ideal of marrying individualism and socialism was an attempt at adapting antiquity to modernity. Modernity, they thought, is organic, scientific, enlightened, evolving while antiquity (and we’re talking the American system which is not old) is beholden, decadent, capitalist, industrialist. In other words, the Progressives were going to divinize man while under the Classical Liberals the people were asleep.

Wilson put into use unprecedented sweeping Progressive legislative policies and Progressive mobilization philosophies including reinstitution of the Federal Income Tax and developing the Progressive tax structure, he oversaw propaganda techniques to coerce Americans to ration food and buy Liberty Bonds to fund the war, he set up a war industries board, put the Secretary of Treasury in charge of the railroads, promoted labor union cooperation, passed the Espionage Act and conducted the Palmer Raids which sniffed out and suppressed all dissidents against the war and the Sedition Act under which 75 literary magazines were banned for not being more enthusiastic about the movement. Under Wilson the Justice Department created the American Protective League in which members were mobilized to spy on their neighbors in order to weed out dissident opinion against Wilson’s Progressive movement. This included reading their mail and listening in on their phone calls with government approval. Under its full operation the APL had a quarter of a million members. Tens of thousands of people were jailed for failing to display their patriotism in one way or another. All this effort was for the minds of men, to elevate past their barbaric individualism into the collective order, to establish a Progressive Third Way in which class distinction is transcended into a National collective consciousness for the good of mankind.

With FDR Liberalism replaced Progressivism but are they really that different? Let’s explore. FDR took the office of Presidency in the depth of the Great Depression and in the first 100 days of his Presidency, much like Wilson, he passed unprecedented sweeping Progressive legislation that would have lasting effects for decades upon decades after. This was an expansion of the federal government never before seen. Whether it was to our advantage or to our detriment is up to you and your values. Here is what he’s done. He hired a group of young Ivy League intellectuals and New York social workers known together as the ‘Brain Trust’ to engineer reforms that he would put into use with carte blanche from Congress since they were so desperate. He set out to “wage a war against the emergency.” Through the Brain Trust he was charting our collective future. The New Deal emerges. He passed the Wagner Act that promoted labor unions and the Works Progress Administration that made the Federal government by far the largest employer in the US. He established the National Recovery Administration and passed the Agricultural Adjustment Act which reduced agricultural production by paying farmers subsidies to kill off their crops and slaughter their livestock in order to reduce surplus and artificially raise and set prices. The government bought 6 million pigs from farmers only to slaughter them for price fixing. Bowing to union pressure FDR ‘repatriated’ (deported) 400,000 Mexican Americans who were American citizens in order to take them off jobs that union workers wanted which was a gross violation of their civil liberties. Two years later the National Recovery Administration and the AAA were decided unconstitutional by the Supreme Court although the AAA was amended and is still on the books today.

Last but not least the Social Security Act, which was upheld by the Supreme Court as Constitutional because of the clever way it was packaged. How can mandatory purchase of insurance be constitutional? Here’s how it was done: One title of the Act was a “true tax”, an income tax that is collected as revenue without earmarks for any specific purpose. Another title spoke of old-age benefits being valid expenditures for the general welfare of the nation that Congress has the authority to determine. The Supreme Court analyzed the titles separately and adhered to the view that the social security program consists of separate taxing and spending provisions and are not, constitutionally speaking, social insurance programs. Therefore, it is constitutional. The Court’s decision in the social security cases represented a significant constitutional development in establishing the breadth of Congress’ powers to tax and spend for the general welfare. The decision not only cleared the way for other general welfare programs, but more fundamentally provided the Federal Government with the substantive power and institutional flexibility to respond to the changing needs and wants of the Nation.  FDR was the only President to serve an unprecedented 4 terms and, frustrated with the Conservatives on the Supreme Court who were striking down parts of his New Deal, also attempted to ‘pack the courts’ with Liberals to constitutionally pass his legislation by proposing a bill to Congress that would give the President authority to place extra younger justices on the Supreme court when the sitting justices are over the age of 70 (and considered by him too senile to discern the constitution). This would have allowed him to expand the court by 15 justices as well as up to 44 judges of the lower federal courts. The bill was voted down 70-22 but it left a lasting impression on the Supreme Court who began to relent and uphold his New Deal package. FDR and the New Deal were popular. In crisis the masses choose big government but at what cost? Oh, how fleeting our memory of history is when a mere 150 years earlier we were sacrificing comforts and security to throw off the crown. In the 1930’s we were sacrificing our enterprise for the paternal protection of the state.

The current differences between Modern Progressivism and Liberalism are debatable because of their intersecting philosophical history. As we can try to decipher, modern Progressives are the more Left leaning Liberals that hearken back to the early American Progressives such as Wilson. Liberals and Progressives believe in more government intervention in socio-economics. They believe that the problems society faces (poverty, violence, greed, racism, class warfare) are best addressed by providing government solutions. Progressives and Liberals believe that government should be a tool for societal change. Progressives and Liberals believe in the power of the state but still embrace the democratic voting process and the constitution, however they find the constitution to be malleable and evolving and prefer the popular vote to the Electoral College. Progressivism is more indignant about channeling Capitalism’s profits into societal priorities.

Liberalism is the slightly more conservative socio-economic system of the Left. Liberals may support moralist foreign policy and American intervention in the world. Liberalism is more about negotiating government intervention in a slightly more bi-partisan way. Modern Liberals supported bank bailouts and the market based Affordable Care Act while Progressives want more regulation of private enterprise and universal healthcare.

Moderates in the American political spectrum are those that find the Left and the Right as overly ideological. Roughly 1/3 of Americans call themselves Moderate. Moderates tend to find sympathy for arguments on both sides of the aisle. They tend to find government solutions to be failures yet wish there were a way for more equality in society.

Neo-Conservatives believe in “responsibility and results,” coupled with an obligation to help “citizens in need.” Neo-Conservatism is also known as Compassionate Conservatism. This philosophy believes in using Conservative techniques to improve the general welfare of society. George W Bush is an example. Examples of his Neo-Conservative policies are the Medicare Prescription Drug program, the No Child Left Behind Act and assistance to struggling countries around the world such as his $15 Million PEPFAR Plan (HIV/AIDS relief in Africa). Neo-Conservatism is a slightly left leaning ‘bleeding heart’ Conservative position.

American Conservatism believes in small government, individual states rights, American moralist foreign policy, traditional Judeo-Christian values, checks and balance of government branches, pursuit of private property, Capitalism, a fixed, originalist constitution as opposed to the ‘living constitution’ that Progressives support, and multi-cultural assimilation. Conservatives believe in addressing social and economic problems locally through private church and charities, family, community, and their local government. Federal government should only provide relief in emergencies and only in ways that produce tried and true results. Conservatives believe in opportunity and personal success. What Americans call Conservatism the rest of the world calls classical Liberalism. There is also the newly formed Tea Party, which focuses on de-centralization of government and strict constitutionalism. Conservatives vary on whether to have a completely unfettered Capitalism or minor government regulations. The more Right one goes the more toward total individual liberty.

Libertarianism seeks to maximize autonomy and freedom of choice. They have skepticism of authority. Various schools of libertarian thought offer a range of views regarding the legitimate functions of state and private power, often calling to restrict or even to wholly dissolve coercive social institutions such as the IRS, the Department of Education, the EPA and replacing it with the free market, individual freedom and responsibility.   They are against governmental social engineering. They are isolationist on foreign policy.

Obviously Anarchism is complete individual freedom and the dissolution of government. Interestingly throughout European history there has been Anarchist-Communism, Libertarian-Socialism, etc.

Why hasn’t America ever fully incorporated Socialism? Historians will submit that it’s because we don’t have Feudalism in our history. This is true. We are exceptional. America, since its inception, has always been a Right leaning country. This is inherent in its foundation. It was designed with checks and balances to the powers of the branches of government and an electoral college to give fair representation to lesser-populated rural areas rather than the popular vote, which would be heavy-handed in favor to the metropolises. Under this system it’s hard to effect radical change which, to many, is a relief since radical change has historically gone the way of corruption. The American Revolution was not an experiment, a fond word on the Left, or a government with the purpose of socially engineering Man. It was a movement toward the individual in which the individual engineers his own life. America believes in inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of property and the government was designed only as an institution to protect these rights with the consent of the people. America was specifically designed to avoid the rule of a single authority, whether that be a supreme leader or an organized collective which is exactly why we have a separation of powers and the diversity of the United States. A bloated federal government is antithesis to the local government design of the states. However, throughout American history a movement of intellectuals and a Progressive body politic borrowing from European ideology have always sought a unified collective in which Mankind would emerge equal, provided for and at peace, at the price of liberty but to the Left liberty is a small price to pay for utopia.

What are the ‘Left’ and the ‘Right’ in 21st Century America?

Something needs to happen

-homicide, gun control and the American, or more directly, human experience

image

In 2012 Chicago had 450 deaths by shooting, Detroit 350, LA over 500, New York City 400, Philly 300, D.C., where our legislators meet on capitol hill, 100.

Chicago’s murder rate matches all of Japan and is higher than Spain, Poland and pre-war Syria. But Chicago isn’t even the worst. New Orleans and Detroit are in competition year to year for the number 1 spot of most murders by firearm per 100,000 people.

Of course where there is a higher population there will be more murders. Let’s break it down by gun murders per 100,000 people. Chicago had 18 murders per 100,000, New Orleans 54, LA 7, Philly 21, NYC 5, D.C. 13, Detroit 57.

Interestingly, New York, California, Illinois and Pennsylvania have the strictest gun control laws yet house these cities with high murder rates by firearm.

Firearm related deaths in the US are 3 per 100,000. This paints a better picture but cannot be considered a relief.

65% of the time males are murdering other males. 22% of the time males are murdering females. 90% of black men kill other black men. 84% of white men kill other white men. Which busts the myth that racial tensions are leading to murder. An FBI statistic says while black Americans constitute less than 14 percent of the population, in more than one out of two homicides, the fatality is a black person.

Murder rates are falling but it could be due to the skill of medical professionals or the lack of proficiency of gunmen than decreased violence. Or could it be more?

Does being an NRA member predispose one to homicide? The NRA has 3 million members, which is a large number but is relatively small compared to the 70 million Americans who own a firearm. Lets say all firearm-related homicides were done with legally licensed firearms. Out of at least 70 million guns owned legally in the US 11,000 would be used to murder someone. This means most people who own a firearm don’t murder and even less people who own a firearm belong to the NRA. About half the NRA members have their firearm for protection and the other half for sport (hunting and target shooting). 74% of those that do belong to the NRA support expanded background checks at stores and gun shows.

What about gang-related homicides? Classification of a crime as gang-related is somewhat elusive much like a hate crime. The LAPD classifies a homicide as gang-related if the victim or the assailant is known to be a gang member but in some cases, a crime can be classified as gang-related if it occurs in a neighborhood where there’s an ongoing rivalry. In LA and Chicago 60% of homicides are gang related. NYC is much lower with 9% gang related homicides, which many accredit to the expansion of the ‘stop and frisk’ program under Rudy Guilliani.

Many homicides by firearm are committed by people with a criminal history. This speaks to recidivism. Recidivism is one of the most fundamental concepts in criminal justice. It refers to a person’s relapse into criminal behavior, often after the person receives sanctions or undergoes intervention for a previous crime. Recidivism is measured by criminal acts that resulted in rearrest, reconviction or return to prison with or without a new sentence during a three-year period following the prisoner’s release. Within 3 years of release 2/3 were rearrested. Within 5 years of release 3/4 were rearrested.   71% of those that relapse are violent offenders. Why do offenders recidivate? Many offenders had an extensive criminal history before prison which means they were quite used to a lifestyle of crime. They had developed bad habits, criminal habits, and probably collaborated in these bad habits within their community making it quite easy to reacclimatize to their criminal lifestyle once immersed in their familiar environment again. Also, while in prison they’re exposed to inmates that have a higher propensity to crime and may increase criminal behavior and reinforce anti-social attitudes. In short, prison hardens many of them emotionally and gives them connections to even more criminal conditioning.

There is also the ‘broken windows theory’. Here are some examples of the theory:

Consider a building with a few broken windows. If the windows are not repaired, the tendency is for vandals to break a few more windows. Eventually, they may even break into the building, and if it’s unoccupied, perhaps become squatters or light fires inside. Or consider a pavement. Some litter accumulates. Soon, more litter accumulates. Eventually, people even start leaving bags of refuse from take-out restaurants there or even break into cars because they’re inconspicuous from litter accumulation.

This describes the deterioration of neighborhoods into the downward spiral of crime.   Serious crime such as rape and murder are the final result of a lengthier chain of events. Mild disorder turns into major chaos if left unaddressed. The disorder also strikes fear into the minds of citizens who are convinced the area is unsafe. So the citizens withdraw from the community and it further falls into disrepair. There is physical disorder and social disorder. Physical disorder is run down buildings, abandoned vehicles, vacant lots filled with trash. Social disorder is panhandlers, noisy neighbors, groups of youth congregating on corners. While the broken windows theory may describe that a normally ‘good’ person may be persuaded into bad behavior and then act on it, it doesn’t explain what would tempt a person to see a broken window in an abandoned building and thus smash another one. Why one person would and another person wouldn’t smash the window is a crucial question.

A University of Texas study found that 84% of women and 91% of men have had at least one clear fantasy about committing murder. The idea of murder is not a monstrous deviation that only crazy killers think of. As the stats show many people fantasize about killing and nearly all people express a willingness to kill in some circumstances—to prevent being killed or to defend their children from killers. Interestingly, men indicated an increased willingness to kill when their status or reputation was threatened which are important qualities in attracting a mate. They also expressed a willingness to kill when their mating prospects become dire. Husbands that kill their wives often do so when they’ve discovered their spouse was cheating or after the couple has separated. 85% of these murders happen in the first year of the separation when it becomes clear that she won’t go back to him.

If a desire for a mate is not the impetus, it could be a desire for a drug or a desire for a piece of property or desire for a status.

The leading manifestations of homicide are ‘competition killing’ and ‘revenge killing’. Of course, there’s also random killing and disturbed mental health killings. But most homicides have motive. Most people don’t act on it but why not?

The why has to do with human nature and its conflict between right and wrong or good and evil. This manifests mentally as values and physically as the skill of restraint people have over their actions. This, in my opinion, is the most foundational point that needs to be addressed when confronting gun violence.

Something indeed needs to happen and that something is cultural. Change the values of the culture, equip people with better conflict managing skills, and everything else will fall in place the most it can. Of course, in this life because of our fallen nature there will never be utopia but reduction can happen.

Let’s start with the history of American culture, it sure has been rich hasn’t it? In the frontier days you had order but few laws, now you have laws but little order in many metropolises. We had the first pious Puritans, then the survival of the fittest vagabonds of the wild west, then the tragic era of enslavement, the turbulent toughness of new life experienced by the early tide of immigrants (mine were fleeing the potato famine in Ireland), the early gangs of New York, later the mafias, the depression of the 1920’s, women’s suffrage, the civil rights era, a revolution of ideas from the 1960’s, the rise of recreational drug use, several major wars, the ‘death of God’, the rise of popular culture and technology making our experiences and exposure ever so instant and global. America became a unique mosaic of different cultures and attitudes. Where does this leave us? Now. How does it leave us? Right where we started. With the problem of good, evil, brain chemistry, and social skills. It is a problem inherent in our nature.

As John Locke stated, self-defense is the first law of nature. Each human being owns his or her own life and no other person has a right to take that life. Those who would attempt to stop you from defending yourself, are attacking the very right from which all other rights are derived, protection of one’s own life.

Life is our only inalienable right and all other rights emanate from this. It’s no surprise then that our 2nd constitutional right is a right to bear arms. Defense of one’s life from death and tyranny is the substance of this right. It’s not mandatory for anyone else to save your life, though one does have a moral obligation to act on behalf of life, you are responsible for your life. A society that doesn’t value, or undervalues human life is one that breeds corruption.

Of course, you value your own life. A will to live is inherent to our nature. But what would compel us to value another’s life? If it’s your own opinion of right and wrong then what if you change your mind? Your opinion would be subject to the waxing and waning of your own heart or mind, right? Why would your definition have any more legitimacy or authority than another person’s definition? In other words, where does the all encompassing, inalienable right to life for human beings come from? It is no surprise that the value of life has deteriorated since the deterioration of an objective authority. Luckily, the value of the inalienable right to life still impresses on our laws and society even though many of us have discredited the authority from which this value comes. Most of us just accept that my neighbor’s life is valuable and that he has a right to live regardless of where this right comes from. Most, but not all. To many this right to live means little or worse yet, nothing.

Just like the broken window example. You start with their property and end up taking their life. If you don’t value the ownership someone has of their property then why would you value their person?

It could start very subtly. On the micro scale: eliminate the influence of the father, the absence of the father creates a poverty and dependency on the state, it creates a pressure on the mother to solely provide morals and care of basic needs and often the state shapes the child’s idea of right and wrong. On the macro scale: eliminate an objective authority, beef up state authority to take its place, undermine inalienable rights on behalf of popular opinion, undermine objective ideas of right and wrong. Over time, this perpetual cycle creates a hostile culture that is missing the influence of good morals and restraint on acts of evil. If accountability to fixed truths outside yourself are missing, then a domino effect takes place in which the citizen isn’t accountable to the family, to the community, to the human race. People that fantasize about murder but don’t become criminals have a respect for the value of life or at least a fear of the embarrassment or consequences if they were to commit crime. Interestingly, in the study I mentioned above most people who had a fantasy about murder but never acted on it said the reason was that they were afraid they would get caught. But I have an optimism that many also don’t act on it because they know it’s wrong.

If the values are missing then any object will do to get what one wants. A fist, a knife, a gun. These are all just instruments. While there is evil, an apathy for authority, a breakdown of family and community, there is crime. Take away the guns. They’ll be replaced by some other instrument. Instill values, instill (dare I say) a fear of authority, cultivate social skills and you will see a reduction in the use of a gun, or any instrument, to take another’s life. How is this done? Familially, locally, spiritually, culturally. Capitol Hill is an abstraction. Capitol Hill won’t change one’s mind and it won’t prevent the act. It will only define the consequences.

*I believe there’s room for revelation too and I thank God for that

Something needs to happen

Civil Asset Forfeiture: The encroachment of the State

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A question that’s always in the back of my mind is will there be a day in America’s future that private property no longer exists? Ultimately, will the state so encroach on our freedoms that we forfeit our inalienable right to free will and become property of the State?

Civil forfeiture has been on my mind since a few cases of it happened in my acquaintance circle and I’ve been doing some research into the matter. Recently there was a case in the news in which a Pennsylvania family lost their $350,000 home to civil forfeiture when the police caught their teenage son selling $40 worth of heroin at a separate location, not on their property. For months they fought it, back and forth. They had no knowledge of their son’s activities let alone any participation in illegal activity and yet the police had the authority to come and take their private property. Not until they contacted the Institute for Justice did they finally get their property back. If you find yourself involved with civil forfeiture keep the Institute for Justice in mind!

There was also a neighbor of ours that was forced to evacuate his home while police went in and destroyed his property making it uninhabitable even though they never found any evidence of illegal activity. They had no evidence, they had no charges, they had no conviction and before the passage of SF 874 in Minnesota they didn’t have to. There was also an acquaintance that was followed by the Metro Gang Strike Force of Minnesota that has since been disbanded in 2009 for corruption including counting on seized drug dealer money to fund the force after legislators slimmed down state funding, sloppy record keeping and lax financial controls pointing towards fraud and embezzlement. Ultimately a settlement awarded 96 victims $840,000 and returned some of their property. The outrage spurred lawmakers to pass a law requiring forfeiture reporting. The resulting data was later used by IJ in its “Stacked Deck” report. In turn, that research helped catalyze the passage of SF 874. The acquaintance I know had half a million dollars seized and ended up only getting back $5,000.

asset-forfeiture

Here’s how civil forfeiture works. Civil asset forfeiture is a legal tool that allows law enforcement officials to seize property that they assert has been involved in certain criminal activity. In fact, the owner of the property doesn’t even need to be guilty of a crime: Civil asset forfeiture proceedings charge the property itself with involvement in a crime. This means that police can seize your car, home, money, or valuables without ever having to charge you with a crime. There are many stories of innocent people being stripped of their money and property by law enforcement. Also, if an owner wants to get their property back, they have to prove their property was not the instrument or proceeds of the charged drug crime.  In other words owners have to prove a negative in civil court. Being acquitted of the drug charge in criminal court does not matter to the forfeiture case in civil court. In other words, your property is guilty until proven innocent even if you’ve been proven innocent in criminal court. It is disconcerting that a person has more legal right in a criminal case than a civil case after all in a criminal case you are innocent until proven guilty and you’re provided with an attorney if you cannot afford one.

In Minnesota, not only was there an appalling lack of due process for civil forfeiture proceedings, law enforcement can keep up to 90 percent of the proceeds from forfeited property. That clearly creates a perverse incentive to police for profit. A report by the Institute for Justice found that forfeiture revenue grew by 75 percent from 2003 to 2010, earning police almost $30 million. In 2012 alone, there were 6,851 property seizures that amounted to $6.7 million according to the state auditor’s office. This growth occurred despite the fact that the crime rate was actually dropping in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Last fall, 2014, Governor Dayton of Minnesota signed into law bill SF 874 that rewrites civil forfeiture law so that now the government can only take property if it obtains a criminal conviction or its equivalent, like if a property owner pleads guilty to a crime or becomes an informant. The bill also shifts the burden of proof onto the government, where it rightfully belongs.

This is good news right? Partially. Federal law can do an end run around good state law. A process called equitable sharing allows local law enforcement officials to team up with federal law enforcement agents to seize property under federal forfeiture law that could not be seized under applicable state forfeiture law. Through equitable sharing, local law enforcement agencies pocket a portion of the proceeds from the seizure and the feds keep the rest. This is a way for local law enforcement to circumvent state law and continue to profit from civil asset forfeitures.

You may think this only happens to guilty people who deserve it, right? After all, this is America and if the police are seizing property it must be for good reason, right? While, for any good society to work we must depend on the police force to maintain justice the police force is not immune to corruption and checks and balances must be in place to monitor their activities. Anywhere there are people there is a temptation for corruption. I am personally thankful for the passage of this bill, for the Institute for Justice, and for the whistle blowers that chose not to abet further corruption. I thoroughly stand by the concept of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ as the tenet of our justice system especially if the person in question is cooperative with the investigation.

What does this say about encroachment of the State? If you’re a person that believes in freedom, the pursuit of private property, due process, innocence until proof of guilt you should have a HUGE problem with this. Loss of freedom always happens slowly and often under the good intention of social justice and security. Your material property is only the beginning, soon it’s your ability to make choices; your free will.  I’m not suggesting anarchy but I am suggesting checks and balances and a strengthening of our foundational principles. If we forget our inception we’re bound to regress.

The government was once an institute that protected your freedom against the trespassing of other people. More and more it seems that the government is taking your freedoms for ‘your own good’. This is defined as Hard Paternalism (there is also Soft Paternalism which is the passive-aggressive little sister of Hard Paternalism, be wary of both). For example, seat belt and helmet laws negotiated by insurance companies, seizing your earned income for redistribution programs such as welfare, mandatory retirement savings, swim restriction in public waters because there is no life guard on duty, mandatory curfews, etc. Paternalism is objectionable because it violates what the philosopher Immanuel Kant called the equal “dignity” of all human beings. Respect for human dignity implies respect for people’s ability to think and choose for themselves. Paternalism, however, imposes choices based on what someone else thinks is good for a person.

People who are interfered with are not treated as equals capable of making their own choices, Kant claims, but are treated as means to someone else’s view of what their choices should be, “like immature children unable to distinguish between what is truly useful or harmful to them.”

John Stuart Mill’s warns in his essay “On Liberty”: “He who lets the world . . . choose his plan of life for him, has no need of any other faculty than the ape-like one of imitation.” By contrast, the free individual must possess reason and judgment to make his own decisions, “and when he has decided, firmness and self-control to hold to his deliberate decision.”

When we forfeit our individual freedoms for ‘our own good’, it soon follows that the State and all it’s agencies will spread their authority further seizing your property and your freedoms under an ever expanding definition of what’s for our good. The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen. Will the citizen, someday, be so small they vanish?

Civil Asset Forfeiture: The encroachment of the State

Arguments Opposed To The Redefinition Of Marriage

*I want to preface this with a disclaimer that these are the most rational arguments I’ve heard in defense of the traditional definition of marriage. I realize people make their own judgments and I am in no way making them for you or trying to bully anyone and their point of view nor alienate anyone emotionally this is simply a cognitive assessment on the topic of redefining marriage.   I was asked a while ago what the best arguments I’ve heard in support of traditional marriage are so I did my research and I’ve compiled lengthy material into this fairly concise essay. If certain arguments are off limits then we don’t live in a free society let alone one that thinks.

Arguments Opposed To The Redefinition Of Marriage

The Organic Bodily Union Argument:

Regarding marriage there is the conjugal view and the revisionist view.

In the conjugal view marriage is the union of a man and a woman who make a permanent and exclusive commitment to each other of the type that is naturally (inherently) fulfilled by bearing and rearing children together. The spouses seal (consummate) and renew their union by conjugal acts—acts that constitute the behavioral part of the process of reproduction, thus uniting them as a reproductive unit. Marriage is valuable in itself, but its inherent orientation to the bearing and rearing of children contributes to its distinctive structure, including norms of monogamy and fidelity. This link to the welfare of children also helps explain why marriage is important to the common good and why the state should recognize and regulate it.

In the revisionist view marriage is the union of two people (whether of the same sex or of opposite sexes) who commit to romantically loving and caring for each other and to sharing the burdens and benefits of domestic life. It is essentially a union of hearts and minds, enhanced by whatever forms of sexual intimacy both partners find agreeable. The state should recognize and regulate marriage because it has an interest in stable romantic partnerships and in the concrete needs of spouses and any children they may choose to rear.

First of all what is marriage?  Most will agree that marriage involves three elements: (1) a comprehensive union; (2) a unique link to children; (3) norms of permanence and exclusivity.  While most revisionists wish to dispense with the second element, few would dispute the remaining two.

Comprehensive Union

Regarding (1), while there are many important and/or intimate human relationships (filial, familial, business, etc.), a marital relationship is unique among human relationships because it is comprehensive in scope, involving every aspect of a couple’s being.  A marital relationship not only involves the sharing of one’s life, emotions, will, and resources with another individual, but also a sharing of one’s body (sexual relationship, or “organic bodily union”).  A relationship that lacks organic bodily union is not comprehensive, and thus not of the marital sort.

That organic bodily union is integral to a marital relationship is evident.  Imagine if two people committed to marriage on the basis of their shared love for tennis rather than on a sexually exclusive relationship.  Would that make it a marriage?  No.  It would be indistinguishable from a friendship between roommates.  Sexual intercourse is necessary for a bodily union – and hence marriage – because our reproductive organs are the only organs we possess that naturally require the aid of another human being to fulfill their intended purpose.  All other bodily systems such as digestion and circulation can fulfill their natural function on their own.  Only in sexual intercourse are two bodies “coordinated for some biological purpose of the whole,” and thus sexual intercourse is required for a bodily, organic union of persons:

It follows that for two individuals to unite organically, and thus bodily, their bodies must be coordinated for some biological purpose of the whole. That sort of union is impossible in relation to functions such as digestion and circulation, for which the human individual is by nature sufficient. But individual adults are naturally incomplete with respect to one biological function: sexual reproduction. In coitus, but not in other forms of sexual contact, a man and a woman’s bodies coordinate by way of their sexual organs for the common biological purpose of reproduction. They perform the first step of the complex reproductive process. Thus, their bodies become, in a strong sense, one—they are biologically united, and do not merely rub together—in coitus (and only in coitus), similarly to the way in which one’s heart, lungs, and other organs form a unity: by coordinating for the biological good of the whole. In this case, the whole is made up of the man and woman as a couple, and the biological good of that whole is their reproduction.

Two people of the same sex cannot achieve organic bodily union because they do not share any bodily functions that require a coordination of their bodies.  If they cannot achieve organic bodily union, and yet organic bodily union is required of a comprehensive union which, in turn, is an essential element of a marital relationship, then it follows that the same-sex relationships are not, and can never be a marital relationship.

A revisionist could deny that organic bodily union is required for a relationship to be of the marital sort.  If so, then why not provide two same-sex roommates with marriage benefits if they desire to get married?  What about best friends?  Wouldn’t it be discriminatory to prevent them from exercising their right to marriage on the grounds that their relationship is neither romantic nor sexual?  If so, then the fact that two people of the same sex are having a sexual relationship should not privilege their relationship above anyone else’s.

We might even ask why three romantically involved individuals cannot marry.  Why should they be prohibited from exercising their marital rights just because there are three individuals who are romantically and sexually involved rather than two?  On the revisionist definition of marriage there is no principled reason to forbid this, but on the conjugal view there is: two—and only two—people of the opposite sex can create an organic, bodily union.  Furthermore, children can only have two biological parents, which makes sense of why marriage has always been understood to be between two individuals of the opposite sex (no more persons are needed to create a child).

Unique Link to Children

Regarding (2), a marital relationship is naturally oriented toward children.  This naturally follows from the organic bodily union between spouses since children are the ultimate goal of the human reproductive system.  There is a connection between children and the way marriages are created and renewed: sexual union.

What about same-sex couples who are raising children together?  Does this justify opening up the institution of marriage to same-sex couples?  No.  A commitment to raise children together, by itself, does not make a relationship of the marital kind.  Two brothers who commit to raising their deceased sister’s child together do not thereby acquire a marital relationship.  Furthermore, our social and legal traditions have always recognized a couple as married prior to the birth of their first child.  A childless couple is still married in virtue of their comprehensive union and mutual commitment to permanence and exclusivity.  The kind of relationship and union they enjoy is naturally oriented toward procreation, and thus is a genuine marriage even if they cannot, or choose not to have children.  This is analogous to a sports team.  The structure of the team is such that it is naturally oriented toward winning.  It may fail to win any games.  While it would fail to reach its ultimate goal, it does not cease to be a team.

Permanence and Exclusivity

Regarding (3), the conjugal view of marriage makes sense of our intuition that the marriage ideal entails permanence and sexual fidelity.  Organic bodily union makes sense of the permanence of marriage since it involves a coordination of our reproductive system into a single whole.  Just as we remain joined to the rest of our bodily systems for the duration of our life, we are to remain with our marital partner (our other sexual half) for the duration of our life as well.  Relationships that lack such bodily union have no rational basis for such permanence.

Indeed, apart from children, there would be no reason for governments to involve themselves with the regulation of marriage:

A thought experiment might crystallize our central argument. Almost every culture in every time and place has had some institution that resembles what we know as marriage. But imagine that human beings reproduced asexually and that human offspring were self-sufficient. In that case, would any culture have developed an institution anything like what we know as marriage? It seems clear that the answer is no. And our view explains why not. If human beings reproduced asexually, then organic bodily union—and thus comprehensive interpersonal union—would be impossible, no kind of union would have any special relationship to bearing and rearing children, and the norms that these two realities require would be at best optional features of any relationship. Thus, the essential features of marriage would be missing; there would be no human need that only marriage could fill.

‘The Historical Thus Traditional Definition Of Marriage’ Argument:

Historically marriage has always been defined as a legally binding covenant or wedding between the different sexes, male and female. The word wed even means to take a spouse of the opposite sex. Even the word marriage in cooking language has always denoted the combining of ingredients that are not alike in order to obtain a rich and robust complimentary flavor in one dish. Indeed, it would be a redefinition of the word to apply it to male-male and female-female relationships. Words have meaning. I can’t start calling camels pumpkins just because I feel that camels have the right to be defined as pumpkins. When we all close our eyes and think of a camel, guaranteed we’re all imagining a tall brown hairy spitting animal with humps standing in a desert or something of the sort not a round seamed orange colored fruit. The earth in this universe has definition and our society is framed around it. Another example of definition is people born with female biology are female. People born with male biology are male. Society has made the designation that females go into the women’s bathroom, men go into the men’s. Some will point out that there used to be designation between the ‘coloreds’ and the whites with usage of facilities. Why is there still segregation of men and women? In 2015? Why are there mens and womens bathrooms? If bathrooms become undesignated what follows? Predatory men lurking next to urinating women? Or perhaps not that criminal. What if it’s a 14 year old girl sharing a bathroom with a well intentioned 40 year old man?   I’m confident declaring that the majority of people want separate bathrooms for the sexes. So why is it that we still observe this? If the definition of marriage is useless and worth redefining where do we stop? Should a person’s sex have no definition?

 ‘Redefinition Of Marriage Is A Thinly Veiled Attempt To Nullify The Sexes’ argument:

The redefinition of marriage is an attempt to nullify the significant differences between the sexes. Marriage is the building block of society. Changing its nature will therefore change society. Among other things, same-sex marriage means that because sex (now called “gender”) no longer matters for society’s most important institution, marriage, it no longer matters in general. Most Americans who support same-sex marriage feel (and “feel” is the crucial verb here, as the change to same-sex marriage is much more felt than thought through) that gays should have the right to marry a member of their own sex. It is perceived as unfair to gays that they cannot do so. And that is true. It is unfair to gays. But it is not only gays who experience unfairness. Plenty of people cannot marry the one they love. A man cannot marry a married woman whom he loves, a woman cannot marry her brother whom she loves, a man cannot marry his refrigerator whom he loves, for example. Ridiculous examples, maybe, but they make a point. Where is the advocacy for human-inanimate object marriage? There is no general right to marry someone you love.

But the price paid for eliminating this unfairness is enormous: It is the end of marriage as every society has known it. And it is more than that. It is the end of any significance to the sexes. Men and women are now declared interchangeable.

‘The Nullification Of Male Female Leads To The Nullification Of Mother Father’ Argument:

Since men and women are interchangeable; there is no use for a father and mother in a child’s life let alone the biological mother and father. The words mother and father are now irrelevant. I wonder if many same sex couples when deciding to have or adopt children would be worried about providing an influence of the opposite sex as them for their children? I’m willing to bet most of them would not. As the saying goes back in the 1970’s feminist age: A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. I wonder if to same sex couples a child needs the influence of the opposite sex like a fish needs a bicycle? If not, then where is the concern? How could society so flippantly change the definition of marriage without considering the implications, the floodgates it would open in regard to all other definitions?

‘Why The State Is Interested In The Traditional View Of Marriage’ Argument:

The state recognizes marriage as it is traditionally defined, aside from the fact that it has been historically defined and accepted by the mainstream as male-female from the beginning of time, because of these reasons…

If you’re a gambling man, which relationship has higher odds of producing offspring? Male-female relationships have the highest odds of producing offspring. In fact they are the only organic union that produces offspring. Offspring are good for society for two reasons: they grow the population to defend against encroachment and tyranny and they grow the economy to prosper and achieve success. And really they are two sides of the same coin because the country with the largest economy will always be the country with the largest defense. Our geopolitical future depends on population, though the left would have you think we’re overpopulated. If it keeps at the same rate, the US will not be a super power and Europe has already collapsed. The only advantage we still have while our population numbers are falling is that our GDP is still more than double that of the 2nd place country (China). If our GDP dips below China we will be creamed because they have a population of 1 Billion to our 300 Million.

The state has an interest in supporting the nuclear family because it has the highest odds of producing functioning adults and functioning adults breed innovation, entrepreneurship, lower crime rates, etc.

The Empowered Courts Argument:

If it is not amended into the state constitution by the voters that marriage is a union between a man and a woman it gives license to activist judges to decide what marriage is in regard to any union. It opens the floodgates for judicial misuse. Fortunately we live in a country in which the government works for us, not for its own suspect agenda.

*Update: June 26th 2015, the SCOTUS made the unprecedented ruling that same sex marriage is granted to the nation through the feeble support of the 14th amendment.

John Roberts said it best when he said, “If you are among the many Americans — of whatever sexual orientation — who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision. Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.”

He goes on to say, “Five lawyers (now judges) have closed the debate and enacted their own vision of marriage as a matter of constitutional law.”

It turns out judicial misuse is upon us with fervor.

Arguments Opposed To The Redefinition Of Marriage

Death Penalty Response Part II

How man, in the image of God, meets appropriate justice in the abhorrent case of murder

I gathered this interpretation from the wise John Piper:

The covenant with Noah in Genesis chapter 9: Whoever sheds mans blood, by man his blood should be shed. For in the image of God he made man. The principle of capital punishment is the only fitting response to anybody who murders a human being. Human beings are so incredibly unique and significant that when there is a high handed crime to take another human beings life, the only way to settle accounts and uphold the dignity of life is to take that persons life. The image of God is the key in this covenant. The principle of capital punishment is biblical and right. What about Mercy? To want mercy is good. But that mercy would take form in a social setting where you don’t release criminals on the world. It would take the form of wanting him to be forgiven, praying for him, perhaps even visiting him in prison and offering to forgive him. But that forgiveness does not say, “I think it would be a good idea if he got let go or let up,” if he got a miscarriage of justice in the form of a lesser sentence of life in prison or pardoned. He will be let go in heaven, but here society won’t work. Romans 13 sets it up so that the government carries the sword to reward the good and to punish the evil, because society won’t work if governments don’t carry swords, prisons, fines, death penalties. So yes, it’s right to want mercy for criminals—to forgive them, not to hold grudges against them—and to want them to be punished.

Death Penalty Response Part II