Tag Archives: Government

Theory of Personal Responsibility

8-year-old boy with Down Syndrome
8-year-old boy with Down Syndrome (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am responsible for me.

This means first that I must act in a way that is responsible for myself. Live out the consequences of my choices without needlessly burdening others.  Other have their own troubles and their own responsibilities. When we each who are capable live in this way we both free others to do the same and free ourselves to be more able to help those who truly are needy.

It is a paradox that those who are most self-sufficient are those most capable of helping those who are not.

Existing social structures are each responsible in turn: Family follows the self, then friends, then community and civic/social groups, then local government, then state government, then federal government. This does not mean the federal government is the ultimate authority. It means that the federal government is only authority when and in circumstances where all other levels have either failed, abdicated, or are incapable on sufficient scale to bear any given responsibility. This is the same for each succeeding layer of responsibility: Family is only responsible for that which the individual is not capable of being responsible for. An infant is capable of very little in themselves, so the family is responsible for them, but the family is also responsible for raising that infant to take responsibility to the utmost of it’s capability. When the family fails, or a situation gets beyond, or is beyond, the family’s capability, greater numbers of involved and invested and capable people, friends that is, then share in the responsibility. This does not have to be only in serious situations, it could be when children go off to play together at each others houses, friends share in responsibilities to the benefit of all. Then communities such as churches, clubs, social circles and the like, to which we have voluntarily joined ourselves, bear a certain level of responsibility.

You can see the graduating layers as each successive level bears some responsibility innately and then gains certain responsibility based on specific situations and circumstances. The way to visualize this is as a pyramid: The individual has ultimate responsibility, that is, first and last. While others may become responsible at different times and in different situations, the individual has first responsibility and will answer at the end for all that pertains to them whether others were involved or not. Each successive and broadening layer then goes down, not up, in authority over the individual and over each successive layer. This leaves federal government not as the ultimate responsible party but as the last responsible party. In some ways this last position equates with “least”. It is last in priority, and therefore has least priority in the layers that stand above it. It is not a foundational position either. The foundational responsibility can only belong to something outside, something not us. God does not form a layer below the federal government, God forms the all-encompassing framework inside which the entire pyramid exists.

The second outcome of self-responsibility is that each successive layer of responsibility ought to generally, as a matter of course, act in a way that is not-responsible towards those layers that are above it in priority. Family only takes responsibility for the individual when and where that individual is incapable of being self-responsible. Friends, only when and where the family is beyond it’s capability. And so on. The various layers of government ought only bear that responsibility for which all other layers are incapable or not suited. This does not mean that each successive layer out to act antagonistically to those layers above it in responsibility, but ought instead to build up each layer in order that those other layers are MORE capable, and so that responsibility only falls upon the lower layers when all else has failed. In other words, the family ought to build up the individual so that the family is less necessary, and less likely to be called upon to support that individual as it matures and takes on more responsibility for itself. The friends ought to build up the family and the individual in the same way, and the community ought to do the same for the friends and the family and the individual, and so on. This structure of reinforced and supported and encouraged responsibility results in the strongest communities, the strongest families, the strongest nations, because each individual and each successive layer of responsibility is invest in those that take priority above it, and as each successive layer is made as strong as it can, the entire structure can bear much weight and stress in times where responsibility increases or situations change for any given layer.

The federal government, then, ought to be primarily invested not in centralizing responsibility, authority, and power to itself, but instead in divesting authority. Not delegating, for that implies that it retains ultimate responsibility and is superior to those layers which are in fact superior to it. But divesting authority, actually giving it away (or, more realistically, having it taken away) to those layers which it ought to instead be supporting and reinforcing so that they are able and capable of bearing more and more responsibility and authority.

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The Nationalizer

BenHoweBlog: November or Never

Synopsis: Every age seeks visionaries to leave, in the wake of their genius, a changed world – but rarely are they found without a few strikeout also-rans getting a crack first. In 2008, millions of Americans thought they had found the real thing.

Over the subsequent two years the nation moved inexorably – though rarely without battle – toward European-style socialism. Through the warring perspectives of a few powerful, deluded men and women who claim to know what’s best for you resulted a national drama rife with both bureaucracy creation and wealth destruction.

The Socialist moved from the halls of academia to the offices of ACORN to a pew in Chicago, and eventually all the way to the oval office, all the while spurred on by the heady early days of a culture-changing phenomenon in the making. In the midst of the chaos and mounting disasters, average American citizens began to object, eventually adding up to more than the sum of their parts in what has become a multifront, 21st century clash of worldviews.

This film has not yet been rated, but the story received a solid B+ from the White House. Catch the beginning of the end in theaters November 2010, with the ultimate conclusion to be seen worldwide in November of 2012.

UPDATE 10/7: HT to IronicSurrealism.

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Repost: Adult Stem Cells FTW

A colony of embryonic stem cells, from the H9 ...
Image via Wikipedia

This is a repost in light of the recent news that the news media finally picked up on the fact that adult stem cells are cutting the butter and embryonic stem cells are still only a load of hype… er, tripe.

Anyway, here’s what we knew 3 years ago:

In case you didn’t know: adult stem cells have been used for years to successfully treat a wide range of conditions successfully. Private companies have seen the success and have poured large amounts of money into programs exploring the benefits of stem cells derived from adult adipose (fat) tissue, marrow, and other sources.

So what’s all the hubbub over skin cells? And why are embryonic stem cells such a hot topic?

In a chokingly self-important article which seems to further support Dennis Prager‘s assertion that liberals can go their whole lives without meeting a conservative, Time Magazine claims the recent discoveries about the ability of skin-derived stem cells to differentiate (grow into different organs, technically called pluripotency) will not benefit the GOP. Come again? What does good science have to do with politics? And do you even know the history of the issue? I thought not, the MSM conveniently does not read any medical journals unless their tipped off by some juicy tidbit they may use to further their own radical agenda.

The article’s author, Michael Kinsley, says he has Parkinsons, a disease for which stem cells hold great potential in curing. Current Parkinsons treatments using embryonic stem cells turns the patients into shaking, slobbering babes incapable of the most basic self-care. Embryonic stem cells have a more direct and immediate potential for pluripotency as that is what they do: they turn into cells for each organ and tissue in the body. Unfortunately their growth is uncontrollable right now and they end up turning effectively into tumors in the brains of those who are injected with them.

On top of this, the ethical and moral issues involving the harvesting of human embryos are staggering and I fall in with those myriad souls who fight to stop the harvesting and destruction of human life with the goal of bettering human life. How far removed are we from Nazi Germany, when diabolical doctors of death practiced upon innocents by the millions to further the happiness of the rest of humanity? Is that a worthwhile trade?

In fact, to date there has not been a single successful treatment of any condition or disease using stem cells harvested from embryos.

Private sector investment has shunned embryonic stem cell lines, which means the only group which can be coerced into paying for these death-dealers research projects is… us. The government largess is available to any who crow loud and long enough, and it comes from yours and my pocket books and paychecks.

Private sector research has all gone towards adult stem cell research which offers very potent benefits over embryonic stem cells.

  • Adult stem cells suffer no chance of rejection from their host. Adult stem cells are collected from the person they will be used on, meaning the organs grown from them carry the exact biological and genetic “fingerprint” of the rest of the body, there is zero chance of rejection of these treatments.
  • Adult stem cells are given voluntarily as part of treatment. There is no moral or ethical morass involved in the collection of the these cells.
  • Adult stem cells can differentiate under controlled conditions. Unlike embryonic stem cells, which differentiate wildly and which we are currently unable to control, adult stem cells pluripotency can be controlled in application with greater reliability.

So we have an issue where the successful treatment and therefore all the private money has gone in one direction, but a few stubborn souls insist on using disinformation and outright lies to promote a morally reprehensible treatment system which would have been likely looked upon with distaste by most of the Nazi death doctors in hopes of getting us to pay for a treatment process with no current success and little promise.

“If human embryonic stem cell research does not make you at least a little bit uncomfortable, you have not thought about it enough.” ~James A. Thomson

UPDATE:

Hugh Hewitt references Charles Krauthammer’s article on the issue. Bush was right, technology vindicates morality:

Even a scientist who cares not a whit about the morality of embryo destruction will adopt this technique because it is so simple and powerful. The embryonic stem cell debate is over.

Which allows a bit of reflection on the storm that has raged ever since the August 2001 announcement of President Bush’s stem cell policy. The verdict is clear: Rarely has a president — so vilified for a moral stance — been so thoroughly vindicated.

Why? Precisely because he took a moral stance. Precisely because, as Thomson puts it, Bush was made “a little bit uncomfortable” by the implications of embryonic experimentation. Precisely because he therefore decided that some moral line had to be drawn.

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Fear Not: Manufacturing Dependence

The government of New York City decided it had the right and the responsibility to control the nutritional content of prepared foods sold in that city.

Michelle Obama has chosen to tackle childhood obesity (laudable, though seemingly less lofty than Nancy Reagan’s war on drugs), and joining her are voice shrilling for diet soda on school campuses and low sodium and low sugar meals in school cafeterias.

While the economy is slowing coming back in some ways it isn’t creating any more jobs right now, and with steep tax increases looming, there is little chance of it coming back with any great strength.

People are told by more and more “experts” that they aren’t capable of understanding or grasping the complexities of financial systems or education systems, loan programs or even the job market.

And the great caped crusader stands by ready (and very willing) to do it all for you.

Just sit back and relax, we’ll digest all this horribly complex stuff and feed it to you in small, easily digestible bites. Don’t worry about a thing.

How far must one go before those doing the feeding stop trying to pretend they want your input and just feed you what they decide is best for you, or them?

The problem I see with America right now is that all to many people appear willing to let that happen. Too many have accepted that they aren’t smart enough. Too many have given up trying. Too many are failing and think that is just the way it will be.

There is a fatalism feeding into a general apathy which will quickly create a society not far removed from the mentally and physically sedentary lifestyle portrayed aboard the space ships in Wall-E. Except it won’t be clean and sparkling. It’ll be dank and dirty and filthy and decrepit because there won’t be money for the cleaning lady. She’ll be just a stupid and poor as the rest of us.

President Obama said in a speech stumping for his latest power grab, the financial regulation legislation, that his goal is that the government provide clear and concise information for people making financial decisions.

My response: It’s not your job, it’s not your responsibility, and frankly, it’s none of your business.

There are plenty of sources of information, and it isn’t that hard to determine the veracity of information. And the government will get jealous when they find nobody trusts them to provide information, and so they’ll enforce an effective monopoly on their providing of financial information in the same way they legislated a monopoly for the United States Postal Service.

I don’t think much of what President Obama has championed since his election will last. There is too much energy arrayed against it. However, it is a law of the universe that energy decays and all things tend towards disorder. People are no different, if given an opportunity to bear less responsibility while still appearing to receive the same benefit, many people will shirk their responsibility. And after innumerable such trade-offs, they are left with neither benefit nor responsibility. Babies being fed by and at the will of their masters.

Fear is another powerful force we have to contend with. Fear reinforces inability and drains strength. Fear breeds dependency as few other forces can. If we fear what the salt and sugar in our diets will do to us, we can be controlled by those who claim to have the nutritional answer. If we fear the complexity of a financial situation, we are vulnerable to those who would counsel without conscience.

It seems to me that Christians, of all people, are least likely to be controlled by a grasping government. Due to God’s mantra¬† “Fear not!” and the recognition that the only thing we have to fear is that which can destroy souls, there is really very little a Christian ought to fear. And a fearless person is one is not prone to leveraging, or fear-mongering, or bullying, or any other tactic employed by unscrupulous power-seekers to enslave others and empower themselves.

Perhaps this is why historic bullies have sought to separate Christians from their fundamental beliefs, to destroy them bodily, or to expunge them from their turf. Fearlessness is strength.

Necessary Tension

Myth, Power, and Deception in American History

There is supposed to be a tension between the government and the people.

I worded it that way on purpose, there is no “it’s people” with the government of the United States. There is supposed to be a tension between the government of the United States of America and the citizens of the United States of America.

The United States of America is unique in that respect among nations. While all governments are responsible and accountable for their actions for and on behalf of their citizens, the United States of America is unique among nations in that, at least in the founding documents and according to common belief, it affirms that accountability and responsibility.

The government of the United States of America has traveled far from it’s original constitutional moorings, and it is important that We the people not forget the correct alignment of the spheres of responsibility in a worthwhile culture.

I don’t follow some of Judge Andrew Napolitano’s ideas and philosophies, but my disagreements are more in details than in nature and essence, and in principle there is truly little I can disagree with.

It is a sad thing when even people who firmly believe in the original intent and the founding essence of the United States of America feel sick when they recognize the truth of where we are versus where we believed, hoped, and honestly thought we were.

And it is a good thing when someone stands up and courageously tells the truth without pulling punches.

Lies the Government Told You should be required reading before election day, before tax day, anytime we hear “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

The tension between We the People of the United States of America and the government of the United States of America is necessary and the superior strength and push should always come from We the People because the government attracts to itself people with the lust to dominate.

And it’s the power and pressure of the people who are the first, the last, and the only bulwark against the tyrants, petty and powerful, soft tongued and flagrant.

So purchase Judge Andrew Napolitano’s book Lies the Government Told You, and let’s put the government of the United States of America back in it’s place, back on it’s heels, back on it’s butt, back on it’s back, until its submission to We the People is total and complete.