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The Political Litmus test: Determining one’s place on the political spectrum.

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“The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.” Robert A. Heinlein

It’s to the advantage of some groups to deliberately confuse the issue as to where one fits in the scheme of politics. Baffling political spectrum models or false labels are used to make this a daunting task. It’s the political version of the old saying that those who believe in nothing will fall for anything. Muddy the political waters to the point of absolute chaos and people will accept whatever they are told is their political ideology.

This is seen with various nonsensical political spectrum models that result in ridiculous political combinations such as an Anarchist-Communist. This incongruous juxtaposition of the complete absence of government control with complete government control is akin to the physical impossibility of Antimatter-Matter. Or there are the more commonplace attempts to make the slavery of socialism the natural extension of ‘Liberalism’. One being of the collectivist or left side of the political spectrum while the other is of the individualist or right side. In both cases, these phenomenon cannot logically exist due to the incongruity of the two concepts.

Simplifying the process to let people determine their ideology for themselves.

The point of this discussion is to end the confusion using fundamental principles in combination with the practical application of the ideological definitions. This will let everyone determine their place in the political universe for themselves instead of having it done for them with some biased questions or confusing graphics.

The engineering fields provide us with the best analytical model for making this determination. This begins with looking to basic principles to develop a ‘rough calculation’ of the answer. Then one proceeds to a more sophisticated analysis of the issue to develop more refined solutions. The first step in grounding the analysis in the fundamentals insures that the results of each stage will be in overall agreement.

The basic principle determining who is on which side of the Political Spectrum.

Author and Engineer Robert A. Heinlein set forth this fundamental principle of the political realm as the first step in this analysis:

Political tags – such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth – are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.

Robert A. Heinlein

This provides the underlying precept for the rest of this analysis. It is a ‘rough calculation’ giving a very good approximation on where one might fall on the political spectrum. This is most likely objected to by those who would prefer a confused electorate, but its a superb way of making this determination. We will label this the ‘Heinlein line’ in honour of the man articulated this rule.

It should be readily apparent that those who clamour for wealth redistribution, Liberty control and tight regulation of business would fall on the ‘want people to be controlled’ side of the equation. One cannot have these ‘benefits’ without the strict control of the people as well as their property. It should also be obvious that those who want limited government would fall on the ‘no such desire’ side of the line.

We can also refine the determination with a few additional questions along the same lines:
What is the purpose of the government? Is it to impose fairness and equality or is it to let everyone live in peace with minimal interference?

Should government have virtually unlimited power for ‘the common good’ or should it be constrained?

Those on the political Left tend towards the control side of the line. Although they prefer to dress up their control fetish in terms of ‘equality’ and ‘fairness’, their ruling over the population is always seems to be the final result. This is contrasted with those on the political Right who want to be left alone, with strict limitations on governmental power.

Developing the metrics of a True Political Spectrum.

Now that we’ve done the ‘rough calculation’ indicating which side someone is situated on the Right-Left divide. We can refine where someone might be on the scale based on the definitions of the various common ideologies.

A political spectrum model is only is good as it’s underlying metric. Utilising nonsensical measurements such as ‘reaction to change’ are only useful to those with a certain political agenda that presumes an inexorable movement of history towards the Left. These only serve to reinforce these agendas without having any logical usefulness.

First principles would indicate that political power translates to governmental power, therefore that should be the generalised metric for any political spectrum model. While there are those who prefer to confuse the issue with 2 or even 3 dimensional constructs, the point here is to array the various ideologies in a logical manner instead of trying to foster a particular agenda. A quick search on the topic will yield a dizzying array of Lines, Squares, Diamonds, Cubes and other indescribable constructs that only serve to bewilder those trying understand the subject. Most often, these are set-up to convince the reader they are of a certain ideological bent when this is nothing of the kind.

Constructing the True Political Spectrum.

A basic two-dimensional graphic is the best illustration of the political spectrum. The y-axis indicates the percentage of government control while the x-axis is the Left-Right specrum line. The Right endpoint indicates 0% Government, while the Left endpoint indicates 100% Government. Definitionally speaking, the Right end will represent Anarchy – or no government control. While the Left end will represent Totalitarianism – Total government control. Please note that this corresponds directly with the ‘rough calculation’ of the Heinlein rule.

As one moves from the Right to the Left, government control increases. Libertarians are a short distance in from the Right end desirous of minimal government. Conservatives are a little further along in wanting a little more, followed by the Liberals desirous of ‘moderate political and social reform’ but still ‘favouring individual liberty’ and ‘free trade’.

Keep in mind that we are still on the Right side of the political spectrum, the side that favours the individual and individualism.

Over on the Left side of the political spectrum past the ‘Heinlein line’ the ideological terms are often used interchangeably. Moving Leftward there are the ever vaguely defined progressives who believe in ‘moderate political change and especially social improvement by governmental action’. Then there are the Socialists, Fascists, Communists or one of the myriad of synonyms for these ideologies. These ideologies are all of the collectivist mindset that necessitates expansive government control in order to operate.

The Takeaway.

It should be clear that instead of a complicated graphical models or a set of biased questions, one can easily determine their place on the political spectrum with some basic logical reasoning. Along with a check on the actual meaning of certain ideological terms.

One can easily surmise that most people would be of the ‘no such desire’ in controlling others on the Right side of the political spectrum. Which most likely would explain why things are not taught this way, there would be far fewer Leftists as a result.

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Culture and Religion

Why abortion must be fought politically AND culturally

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Why abortion must be fought politically AND culturally

Last week, I jumped in on a heated Twitter debate between a conservative writer and a pro-life policy wonk. Though they both wanted to reduce or eliminate abortions in America, they were fighting over whether it was practical or even fair to charge women who get abortions with a felony. Obviously this debate was set within a hypothetical world in which abortions were already illegal, but it’s worthwhile to plan steps that need to be taken if Roe v Wade were overturned, or if some other laws at the state or national level made abortion-on-demand illegal.

Both sides made pretty epic arguments supporting their side, but both missed the bigger picture. Abortion is, at the very least, a two-front war. There are a few smaller fronts where the war can be waged, but the two primary battlefields are political/legal and cultural. Most pro-lifers fight the political battle. They may invoke faith-based arguments or post videos from the womb to pull at the heartstrings, but when they do so within the framework of the law, they’re still making a political argument.

The pro-abortion side is focusing on the cultural side of the debate… and they’re winning. It’s not because they have the better argument. It’s because the pro-lifers are neglecting this front, and the few that are actually addressing it are doing so with a generally poor strategy. Most are relying on judges and legislation as the way to stop abortions. Meanwhile, they’re losing ground on the cultural front.

How is the left so adept at fighting the culture war? Because they’re framing their arguments within a bigger picture. Their focus on the collective rights of people groups has made their willing sheep abandon what they once knew in their hearts, that killing preborn babies is fundamentally wrong.

The left’s message is that if you believe in equal rights, then you MUST believe in women’s rights. Not too long ago they called it “reproductive rights” but they abandoned that when they realized they could position abortion within the greater women’s rights narrative and get away with it. We’ve seen some pushback by prominent pro-life women, but it’s not enough. To win the cultural war against the womb will require utilizing a variation of the same tactics used by the left.

There are three fundamental truths that pro-lifers must understand if we’re going to win the culture war as it pertains to abortion.

  1. Statistics are counterproductive. I cringe every time I see or hear someone spouting out statistics like there are 125,000 abortions worldwide every day or that over 50,000,000 Americans have been murdered through abortion since it was made legal. It’s not that the statistics are wrong. It’s that they only have an impact on those who already oppose abortion. Those who support abortion do so knowing that many abortions happen and they don’t really care because to them, these weren’t people. Whether they think of them as fetuses or potential humans or parasites or whatever, they’re not going to be swayed by arguments that abortions are rampant.
  2. Science is on our side. Every week, there are new stories highlighting certain attributes of preborn babies that need to be communicated to the masses. They feel pain. They dream. They’re often viable at a much earlier stage of development than previously believed. There’s still a large portion of the population that believes a baby’s heart starts beating when they leave the womb. So much effort is made to use the science on the political side, we often forget that it works from a cultural perspective as well, perhaps more so. We need to educate the people so they understand that preborn babies aren’t just potential humans. They’re humans.
  3. Framing is everything. Just as the left has framed abortion as part of women’s rights, so too must pro-lifers frame the right to exist as a human right. This may seem like a political argument instead of a cultural one, and it is, but when we do so from the perspective of right versus wrong, we can allow the argument to transcend into the part of consciousness that touches on cultural ethics. But framing doesn’t just end with making it a human right to live. We have to frame abortion itself with other topics that people may find despicable. Here are three examples of talking points that frame the abortion debate in a culturally favorable way for pro-lifers that have the potential to reach those who are either pro-abortion or indifferent.
    1. Planned Parenthood was born from the tenets of racism and population control and continues those missions today.
    2. Pushing for gun control to save lives while endorsing abortion-on-demand is a contradiction.
    3. The elite promote abortion knowing it is far more rampant among the poor and minorities. This is no accident. It’s by design.

The war on the womb cannot be won through political means. It cannot be won through cultural shifts. It can only be won when both fronts are addressed simultaneously. Pro-abortionists are doing it. It’s time pro-lifers learn a lesson from the enemy.

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Culture and Religion

Doctors baffled as inoperable brain tumor in 11-year-old Roxli Doss miraculously disappears

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Doctors baffled as inoperable brain tumor in 11-year-old Roxli Doss miraculously disappears

It was the worst news Scott and Gena Doss could have received. Their 11-year-old daughter, Roxli, was suffering from diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, or DIPG, a very aggressive brain tumor. To be sure, her parents sought multiple opinions to see if the worst-case scenario perhaps wasn’t what they thought it was.

Everyone agreed. It was bad.

“At Dell Children’s, Texas Children’s, at Dana-Farber, at John Hopkins, and MD Anderson, all agreed it was DIPG,” said Scott.

The prognosis was grim, but then something miraculous happened.

Texas girl’s inoperable brain tumor miraculously vanishes

https://nypost.com/2018/12/18/11-year-old-girls-inoperable-brain-tumor-miraculously-vanishes/Roxli underwent weeks of radiation as her Buda community rallied by holding a benefit for her in August, when all her parents could do was pray for a miracle.

“And we got it,” an overjoyed Gena said.

“Praise God, we did,” Scott added.

“When I first saw Roxli’s MRI scan, it was actually unbelievable,” Harrod said. “The tumor is undetectable on the MRI scan, which is really unusual.”

Doctors have no idea why the tumor vanished.

My Take

Those of us who share faith in God and His plan are rarely surprised to hear stories like this one. Medical science can only go so far before a higher power must be called on to intervene. We hope and pray the Doss family’s story can inspire others.

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Culture and Religion

Harvard students figured out why women are paid less than men

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Harvard students figured out why women are paid less than men

It genuinely disgusts me that, despite how much we’ve progressed as a society, especially in regards to our treatment of minorities and women, men still earn more than women do. It makes me ashamed of my country. How can we still refer to the United States as the “Land of Opportunity” when women are only paid $0.80 for every $1.00 that men are paid despite working just as hard in the same positions? Hell, even that depressing number doesn’t accurately express how large the gender pay gap is, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

In the report, titled Still a Man’s Labor Market: The Slowly Narrowing Gender Wage Gap, published in November 2018, the organization revealed that women earn a mere 49% of what men do. What’s worse is that it won’t be until 2059 that men and women have 100% equal pay, assuming the gap continues to narrow as slowly as it currently is. This is absolutely unacceptable, and it’s well past time Congress made it illegal for employers to pay women less than men for the same work.

At least, that’s what I would say if I was a leftist moron who still pays attention to the easily debunked “women earn less than men because of sexism” argument that’s been regurgitated countless times over the years.

The reality is that Congress made it illegal for employers to pay people differently based on their sex decades ago. It was called the “Equal Pay Act” and it was signed into law by President John F. Kennedy all the way back in June 1963. Ever since then, employers have been able to pay employees differently based on their merit, their seniority, their work output, or really whatever factors the employer desires… except sex.

A man and a woman in identical positions with identical output are legally required to be paid the same amount, and employers that fail to do so run the risk of some hefty legal ramifications. But if that’s the case, then why do the numbers presented by the IWPR show that there’s such a massive gender pay gap? Is the Equal Pay Act ineffective? Did the IWPR mess up its numbers? Is there some patriarchal plot to keep women from making money?

No, no, and no. The real answer is incredibly simple, and it’s one I’m sure most of us were able to figure out on our own the first time we heard the “women earn ($0.75, $0.79, $0.80) for every $1.00 that men earn” statistic that’s been getting thrown around for years. Basically, men are paid more than women on average because they seek out more lucrative jobs on average and work longer hours on average. If you take the combined earnings of all the women in the United States in a given year, divide that number by how many women worked at any point in that year, and then do the same for men, you’ll see that the earnings-per-working-woman are quite a bit lower than the earnings-per-working-man, so clearly there is a gender pay gap. However, despite what leftists like the people at the IWPR want you to believe, this gap has nothing to do with sexism.

This was demonstrated in a report, also published in November 2018, by two PhD Candidates in Economics at Harvard University. In the report, titled Why Do Women Earn Less Than Men? Evidence from Bus and Train Operators, the two students examined the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority in order to figure out why such a heavily unionized agency in such a notoriously progressive city (Boston) still paid its female employees $0.89 for every $1.00 it paid its male employees. The answer was, once again, incredibly simple. Women were less likely than men to work overtime hours while also being more likely to take unpaid time off. That’s it. That’s all there is to it.

Men tended to prefer making more money to having more free time, while women tended to prefer having more free time to making more money. While an argument could be made that more employers should account for the different preferences of men and women, something the report actually advises on how to do, there’s no basis for the argument that the gender pay gap is a result of sexism.

It should be noted that the Harvard report examined just one industry in one metropolitan area, which means the findings aren’t applicable everywhere, but the gist of them is. Yes, there is a gender pay gap. That’s an objective fact. However, it has nothing to do with sexism. The causes of the gap vary from industry to industry and place to place, but they almost always have to do with the inherent differences between men and women. I think there’s a conversation to be had about whether or not this is an issue, and if it is, whether it’s up to employers, society, or women themselves to solve it, but to even have that conversation requires us to abandon the idea that sexism is the cause. There are certainly some instances where it is the cause, but the vast majority of the time, it’s not.

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