Musing #1343: “If the only prayer you say is ‘Thank you,’ that will suffice.” —Meister Eckhart
Thanks to the many of you who provided me feedback. I think that the point of my comments about what society does or does not permit a woman to do with her body was not clear to everyone.
First, I love men and I love women. I love them differently and I treat them differently. I discriminate. Discrimination is a very good thing. It is the highest function of intellect to discriminate. Those unfortunate souls who are unable to discriminate between right and wrong or between what the majority of us perceive to be real and the unreal are locked away by society in institutions to treat the insane or criminally insane.
I chose to point out what I perceive to be anomalies in the way our laws and society treat women and their bodies not to make a point about women but to make a point about our society, its laws, and its customs. The point I was trying to make, using the woman's body as a vehicle, is that there is no consistent or logical connection among the legal or moral treatment of a woman and her “ownership” of her body.
I am totally confident that the only consistently logical political philosophy is Libertarianism. The sole function of government is to provide liberty for the individual. In order to provide liberty the government must have an army, a police force, a criminal and civil justice system, along with a number of ancillary services required in a complex modern society.
Modern Conservatives have a ludicrous belief that based on their concept of God and morality that they have every right to tell other people how to lead their lives. Most say homosexuality is an abomination, that abortion is a crime, etc. etc. It is not worth the time and effort to argue with them because they believe they are in possession of “revealed” knowledge. Maybe they are right and maybe they are wrong. That is not what is relevant in the USA because our Constitution mandates a separation of church and state. I tell my Conservative friends that they have no more right to impose their beliefs and values than does the Taliban. Nothing else needs to be said. There is not point in arguing with them. The Taliban believes that their moral interpretation of the Koran is the correct one and the only one upon which the rules of society should be constructed. This is no different than a US right wing conservative saying their interpretation about homosexuality or abortion is the only possible moral position. Maybe the Taliban is correct. May the religious right is correct. That is between them and their God.
As far as politics and legality goes in our Constitutionally based government revealed knowledge concerning morality is not an issue. The Constitution was based on Natural Law, focused on certain inalienable rights. Those rights have nothing to do with telling other people how to pray or what is moral or immoral.
Using the coercive force of a duly constituted government to tell people what they can do behind closed doors or with their own body has been deemed wrong and unconstitutional. These are good and just rulings. (Of course that is only partially true. We still have laws against prostitution, drug use, and gambling which cannot be deemed just and constitutional by any unbiased person.)
It is not the proper function of our Constitutionally established government to dictate morality to our citizens, except in so far as the behavior in question infringes upon the liberty of others. On the other hand, we do need to be practical and the difficulties always boil down to where do we draw the lines. Such questions as public nudity, profanity, and other controversial acts are perfect examples of where practicalities and principles may come into conflict and practicality must be given its due. Other the years our Supreme Court, imperfect as it may be, has not done a bad job of keeping the government out of the moral coercion business.
Modern Liberals claim to be rational humanists or humanitarians. They seem to claim their political philosophy is based on reason and intellect. That is total bull. It is based on emotion and, often guilt. The points I made about a woman and her body and what she can or cannot do with it were designed to demonstrate the fact that the liberal philosophy is not intellectually consistent and instead is based on emotion and fallacies. That is my point and now I am finished.
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Notwithstanding my abhorrence of a government which legislates morality, Values do Matter!!!
When I noted that I felt that I was not bringing much “value added” I don't think I communicated at all what drove that statement. What motivated me was my growing despair over the direction that our society has taken. America has been blessed with great natural resources. Certainly this was an enabling factor in our rise to world prominence. However, the reason for the success of America and why it was called “The Land of Opportunity” and why people flocked here from all over the planet was that we had freedom and allowed pioneers and entrepreneurs to create great wealth and technological advances which, in turn, resulted in a very high standard of living. People valued hard work and independence. Bad behavior was allowed to be punished. Now, unfortunately that is not often the case. We have substituted an “everyone is a victim” philosophy over a philosophy that valued hard work and personal responsibility. This is a disastrous shift in values and I believe modern liberals are to blame for this.
The Tarp program, actions by the Fed, and the “too big to fail” doctrine have removed the importance of traditional values from our economic culture.
The culture and values that enabled and fostered that growth and success is dying. It is being killed by both the rich and the poor who in their own way favor “entitlements”. Whether it is the nefarious scumbags at Goldman Sachs, JPM, Citicorp, etc. who's greed and avarice knew no bounds, who felt entitled to be bailed out by the government or the lazy worthless people who want welfare and the government to bail them out, I see no difference. In both cases people want to privatize the gains and foist the losses on the citizens at large via well-intentioned by inherently evil government programs.
Democracy doesn't work. Voting should be a privilege not a right. The Founding Fathers knew that and that is why they established a Representative Republic, not a Democracy. Political fops like Bush and Obama keep trying to foist democracy on countries where it has no chance to succeed. Plato had it right, only a country governed by enlightened despots (philosopher kings) really makes sense.
The handwriting was on the wall over 150 years ago and the case was made perfectly clear by Alexis de Toqueville. He explained why democracy contains within it the seeds of its own destruction.
Watching Bernanke testify before Congress over two days was one of the most depressing experiences I have ever endured.
I am very depressed by the prospects for the future of this once great country. And I am pretty sure that no matter what I say or do it will not “bring any value added” to the process.
The following is a typical example of why I think America is finished. It you are not appalled and depressed by the following, then I don't know what to say. (By the way I did not fact check the following story, and assume it is true.)
Teacher rattles table in class, student calls 911. Wed Mar 2, 8:24 am ET
ATHERTON, Calif. – A California school teacher was placed on paid administrative leave after he rattled a table to get the attention of his math students, startling an eighth-grade girl who used her cell phone to call police.
Atherton police Sgt. Tim Lynch tells the Palo Alto Daily News that officers went to Selby Lane School Tuesday afternoon because of reports a teacher was causing a disturbance.
Officers found a calm teacher with class in session.
The sergeant says the teacher's table-rattling startled a student and she used her cell phone to call 911. He says other students in the class weren't bothered by the teacher's actions.
Redwood City School District deputy superintendent John Baker says the teacher was placed on leave because there was a police response.
I’m sure that you’ve noticed that NO ACTION was taken against the student for either a)not paying attention in class, or b)for using her cell phone to call the police, or c)for filing a false police report.
In China, the kid would be thrown out of school.
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We live in a society in which the politically correct Gestapo has turned almost all the best values of society upside-down.
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Mission Accomplished: Now that I have alienated and insulted both my liberal and conservative friends I can consider my job done.
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The stock market had a huge rally today. This is just what the doctor ordered for the bulls. The only scenario which could support the bearish case would be good jobs data tomorrow morning followed by a rally and a reversal closing down and near the lows of the day.