Saturday, November 19, 2011

Tired of Being Told You "Blame America" ?

In a foreign policy discussion with some supposed Tea Party members where I engaged with lots of historical facts, information and philosophy I got one of those Hannity told them to say this responses like, "you just hate and want to blame America" and your only purpose is to "...tear down America."

I've written before on America's interventionist foreign policy missteps and ensuing blowback with "A Message For Pro-Interventionist Conservatives and Liberals" and at the beginning of "Ron Paul, CPAC and Loathing by the Ideologically Unprincipled and Intellectually Dishonest"

But, that "blame America" retort is just smarmy and usually thrown out by someone working their hardest to either be willfully ignorant of the facts or to ignore them in favor of endorsing the idea of being the world's bully. Of course, the people who argue these points will always be the first to tell you that government ruins nearly everything it touches (it does), can't do anything right, can't do anything cost effectively, etc. But, they somehow always exclude foreign policy or military activity from their laundry list. It is somehow, magically immune?

So, the next time this comes up with a so-called Conservative ... ask some simple questions. Maybe like this.

You suggest I blame (the) America(n government) for a lot of our trouble with overseas nations and people. So, let me ask you ...

Do you "blame America" for ... 
for high taxes?
for high regulation?
for ignoring its own Constitution?
for our sour economy?
for our jobs going overseas?
for stealing form taxpayers to bail out corporations like banks and auto companies?
for its $15 trillion debt? [January, 2013 update: Now $16.5 trillion]
for threatening your right to self-defense?
for crony capitalism?
for screwing up the healthcare system?
for dishonesty in government?
for electing idiots, socialists or worse?
for insecure borders?
for not drilling for oil?
for the welfare state?
for Fannie and Freddie?
for ignoring state's rights?
Do you "blame America" for any or lots of other things?

So, let me get this right ... you are upset with me and call me anti-American because I "blame America", and really just its politicians and misguided policy makers, for just one more thing than you do?

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Conservative Intellectual Dilemma Over Who Has Rights

In an all too frequent political discussion on Facebook, this time with Brian Gaddie, one of my unashamed far left liberal friends, he kindly pointed out that he appreciated Congressman Ron Paul's opposition to torture. This prompted a quick thought I've had about rights. And, really, a lot of this discussion must ultimately rest on the nature of our rights as sentient, self-aware beings who value life with each of us being the legitimate owners of our own selves who take positive action to support or enhance that life.

There is an excellent write up at The Objective Standard regarding the nature of rights that I highly recommend reading, especially since it offers up a theory that does not depend on the existence of God. This is important, because if God cannot be proven than your rights cannot be proven if you solely rest the existence of them on its existence.

But, back to the point. Certainly, nobody in the United States would support kidnapping someone off the street, failing to give them due process, failing to find them guilty in any kind of trial but instead just sticking them in a secret room and torturing them just in case they might know something useful. This would be such a vast violation of rights and the character of who are SUPPOSED to be as a nation.

But, it did prompt me to post my comment from Brian's thread on a broader topic of the nature of our rights and why I think the typical Conservative has an intellectual dilemma that they either must resolve by becoming more authoritarian and deciding that we only have the rights our respective governments grant to us OR that all human beings have rights that come about by way of our existence as sentient, self-aware beings.

Brian - regarding torture. Conservatives have an intellectual dilemma that they must resolve.

Most Conservatives would argue that our rights come from our creator (God, the creative force of the universe or whatever mechanism by which we are sentient, self-aware beings). This is clearly stated in the Declaration of Independence as a founding principle of our country. That we have rights (life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness) that nobody, not even government - except as compensation for a harm done to another - can take away.

BUT THEN, in the same breath, they would suggest that immigrants, accused terrorists or other people not born here don't have the same rights.

This is intellectually inconsistent. Either our rights come from the creator OR they come from government by nature of which borders we are unlucky enough to be born between.

They must decide. And I appreciate Ron Paul consistently showing intellectual honesty in all matters, including torture as I very much appreciate you pointing out.