Friday, October 25, 2013

Backlog of Topics

People have asked why this blog isn't more active — after all, there isn't a lack of important fiscal and cultural topics to address. I do have a dozen or so posts started, but not finished, and even more ideas on my "to-do" list. The challenge has been time, as it often is.

A quick rundown of topics I still hope to address:

The Republican Party and Democratic Party repulse me. They each want to control my life, just in different ways. Neither represents freedom. They vilify each other, without understanding the value of compromise and leaving us alone.

The government shutdown was stupid. I've written before that we shouldn't have a "debt ceiling." It was an idiotic idea to solve a real problem: Congress can't seem to control itself. The debt ceiling is a "Stop me before I spend again!" plea for help… from one Congressional cohort to the next. The real solution? Pass annual appropriations on schedule, via regular order.

Democratic politicians associate any call for state and local control with the Confederacy's invocation of "States' Rights" to defend slavery. The absurdity seems to escape most commentators in the media and a fair number of academics. One or two racists in any "Tea Party" gathering suffice to support this tenuous linkage. (The anti-semites I saw at "Occupy" events don't seem to garner the same type of attention, but plenty of anti-business rhetoric is thinly veiled racism.)

Most people are economically ill-informed. Even if they were better informed, I fear emotional choices would always trump logic.

I can't stand religion in politics, which is one reason I spend a fair amount of time studying religion. That's not a contradiction: if you can cite vile, disgusting portions of scripture supporting slavery, infanticide, sexism, and other antiquated ideas, then that should invalidate using scriptures for anything more than selective private inspiration. If you want to "live like Jesus" or some other great prophet, monk, wise man, or whatever, good for you. Many great people have been religious. Just don't mix "faith" with good governance. We are shaped by our beliefs, but don't preach to me.

Why the heck does government license marriages? I understand that marriages are contracts, but that should be the extent of any government involvement. When I want a contract, I go to a lawyer and file papers with a county clerk. That should be it. Spineless "libertarians" and "social progressives" quickly argue that they don't endorse polygamy or other alternative lifestyles: only marriages between two adults. Me? I don't care. As long as all involved are adults, marry whomever you want. If there were no benefits to being married, versus being single, problem solved. Treating "couples" differently is a form of bias.

Marijuana legalization? Suddenly the progressives are all for states' rights. I'm simple: legalize whatever people want to do to themselves as adults. Institute draconian punishments for harming others while impaired. Punish dangerous behavior, like driving impaired. If you destroy your health, though, don't ask the rest of us to pay for it.

Campaign donations are in front of the Supreme Court, yet again. Free speech includes buying newspapers or broadcast media. Therefore, why shouldn't someone be allowed to buy any number of ads? Full disclosure is fine by me; I don't buy the argument that you have the right to say anything anonymously. If you can't stand up and speak, sit down and shut up. If I want to spend every penny I have on ads supporting a politician, let me be that stupid, as long as I'm willing to take responsibility for my donations. I'd love shorter political campaigns and less spending. But, I'm not willing to curtail free speech.

Yes, I need to blog more. I need to vent.

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