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Big government at the cost of freedom

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Freedom is the underlying principle that our nation was founded upon. It is what defines us as citizens of the United States of America, and is clearly spelled out in our country’s founding documents – the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Under those documents we are free from tyranny, free to choose a religion, free to not choose a religion, free to pursue life and happiness, free to openly disagree with and protest our government officials, and we are even free to defend ourselves from a corrupt government with violence if necessary. Sadly these freedoms are slowly disappearing from our nation, and they aren’t being taken – they are being surrendered – by us, the People. Consider the following.

You are at the mall, and you find some guy with his hand in your pocket in an attempt to pull out your wallet. This is how the conversation goes.

You: “Whoa! What are you doing?”

Guy: “I am just going to safeguard your wallet for you. There are a lot of pick-pockets in this mall, and I don’t want you to become a victim. Don’t worry. I will go wherever you go, keeping your wallet safe with me.”

You: “Oh, Ok. Thank God someone is looking out for me – wait! Why are you taking out that $1 bill?”

Guy: “I’m thirsty. If I am going to walk with you all day I need something to drink.”

You: “Yeah, I suppose that’s fair. While we are headed to the food court I could use something to eat – wait! What is that $20 bill for?”

Guy: “I gotta eat too. Did you forget that I am looking after the money? I can leave.”

You: “No, no. Don’t do that.”

*You walk to the food counter*

You: “I would like the Reuben sandw-“

Guy: “You will have the salad.”

You: “What!? Why?”

Guy: “A Reuben? Seriously?”

You: “Fine. Can I at least get a cookie?”

You’re an adult. It’s your own money and you just asked permission to buy a cookie with it.

The reality is the Guy represents our government, and the wallet is healthcare, retirement, education, parenting, marriage, etc. Our government can’t seem to keep its hands out of our own pockets in an attempt to gain more and more control, and the confused electorate in our nation keeps handing over our God-given rights to a corrupt, power-hungry political system all in the name of security.

Consider Social Security. We pay into the system our entire working lives. It is our money, we work for it, and we let the government take it only to tell us when we can use it. Control of our own retirement was surrendered. It was birthed out of complex issues, which makes unraveling it even more complex, therefore the alternative option requires much greater sacrifice now than it would have without Social Security. That alternative option being you invest your own money, however and with whoever you choose, at the rate you choose, and use it as you choose – you decide, not the government. Currently, our government allows us to receive Social Security benefits between ages 62 and 67. Any earlier age would require seeking permission through our Federal legislature. Furthermore, there is a growing deficit within this program which significantly threatens its continuity, ironically putting our social security in danger.

In spite of this glaring case-study we are now actively engaged in political battle over government control of healthcare. Several years ago, we surrendered our right to choose health insurance coverage, and the government gave us everything we should have expected – higher premiums and lower levels of care. However, I do find comfort in knowing that if I become pregnant (I’m a guy) I am covered because it is built into my insurance premium as mandated by the Affordable Care Act. Fortunately, things could be much worse, for now. At least we aren’t the UK.

Not only does the United Kingdom have a single-payer healthcare system, effectively stripping its citizens of even more decision making power (a.k.a. – freedom) than here in the US, it also regularly intrudes on parents’ sovereignty as decision makers for their children. Combine those two issues and you get the Charlie Gard debacle – a truly despicable case involving a terminally ill infant with experimental treatment as his only chance at life. At least experimental treatment is an option though, right? Sorry, but that is not correct. UK courts decided not to allow the parents to transport the child to the US for such treatment, and ordered that he remain in the UK where no treatment is available. He was effectively sentenced to death, supposedly sparing him from further discomfort. His parents asked for permission, and were denied.

And for all of you social justice warriors out there (look away fellow evangelicals), we shouldn’t have to obtain the government’s permission to get married either. Heterosexual or not, why do we need a license to commit to a person we love for the rest of our lives? But if a certificate of marriage is important to you, and it should be, churches and other private organizations would be just as capable of issuing such certificates, sans government permission.

These are all clear examples of overreach by over-sized governments, and the correlation should be obvious – the bigger and more powerful the government the less freedom its citizens enjoy. The founding fathers of our nation did not determine that our freedoms were elective. Rather they knew our freedoms are God-given and endowed by our creator – and if creation isn’t your thing then they are endowed by your own human existence – which is why they went to such great lengths to preserve those freedoms in writing when our country was formed.

Don’t get me wrong. We need the government as an entity. We need it to maintain law and order by protecting the freedoms of its people, and punishing those who subvert them. We also need government to provide national security. But every time you advocate for the government to intervene or control social and personal issues you voluntarily surrender your own freedom for it to do so. Furthermore, private organizations and the free-market are far more powerful tools, and are far better suited to tackle those issues.

We are intelligent, full-grown adults capable of making decisions for ourselves. We don’t need big-brother government telling us how to live our lives any more than we need a chaperone at the mall. Our government is out of control, but it is not too late. We are the People. We elect our officials. We engage in political discussion. We can all be activists working to shrink our government to the size it was originally intended to be. The simple fact is government has no business meddling with certain issues, and you shouldn’t want it to.

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Judiciary

Why Neil Gorsuch stood alone as the only conservative perspective on the Yakama Tribe Supreme Court case

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Why Neil Gorsuch stood alone as the only conservative perspective on the Yakama Tribe Supreme Court

The judiciary is supposed to have one guide when forming fresh perspectives: the Constitution. As they examine the constitutionality of laws and other government actions, they often refer to previous rulings as precedent while looking for similar rulings as justification for leaning one way or another, but at the end of the day it’s the Constitution alone that is supposed to guide their judgments. That’s why we should look for judges who have originalist perspectives, not necessarily conservative ones (though, let’s be honest, the vast majority of originalist perspectives will align with a conservative perspective).

Part of conservatism is conserving the original intent of a law, or in the case in question, a treaty. The Yakama Tribe signed a treaty with the United States government that gave them control of a huge amount of tribal land in Washington state. Part of the exchange included the ability for Yakama traders to use U.S. highways for free.

Washington charges per gallon for fuel trucked in from out of state. One Yakama company claimed the 1855 treaty meant they were not to be charged this tax. The decision in the Supreme Court went mostly along expected political leanings with the “conservative” Justices wanting to charge the tax and the “leftist” Justices siding with the Takama Tribe. The tiebreaker turned out to be Neil Gorsuch, who went to the “leftist” side but with the only conservative reasoning to drive a vote.

The dissent claimed the treaty allowed for free passage on highways just as any American citizen can travel, but that the taxes set by Washington must still be paid. Only Gorsuch recognized that the original intent of the treaty was to grant the tribe free passage, as in free of charge regardless of what the U.S., state, or local governments wanted to charge. This is the right perspective. It’s the conservative perspective.

Should the other Justices who voted like Gorsuch get kudos as well? Probably not. I haven’t read their statements, but it’s safe to assume they ruled based on the party politics of supporting Native American rights whether they’re justifiable or not. Gorsuch ruled based on a proper interpretation of the treaty.

Conservatism and originalism go hand-in-hand when judges take the politics out of what they do. It’s hard. I’m not a judge so I shouldn’t… judge. But this seems to be a case where party politics played too much of a role. Gorsuch was right.

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Democrats

Snopes downgrades truth about Beto’s arrests to ‘mostly true’ because a meme got his band’s name wrong

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Snopes downgrades truth about Betos arrests to mostly true because a meme got his bands name wrong

Fact checkers are all the rage in the age of fake news. Unfortunately, all of the major fact checkers are left leaning at best, downright progressive at worst. That’s why I make it part of my daily routine to check the checkers to see what they spun today. This latest installment is minor in the whole scheme of things, but it highlights the intense need to protect Democrats whenever possible.

Snopes took on the task of fact checking the following statement:

Beto O’Rourke was in a band called the El Paso Pussycats and was arrested at least twice in the 1990s.

This is true. Beto was arrested twice, which makes him an ideal candidate for the party of lawlessness and disorder. But Snopes, in their certified fact checking wisdom, decided to pick the statement about the arrests that included the name of his band. The statement they chose had the wrong name for the band, using their album name instead. This was enough for them to downgrade the statement from “True” to “Mostly True.”

Not a big deal, right? Actually, it’s bigger than one might think. When people search for Beto and look only for things that are true about him, they will not be shown information about his arrests. The site could have picked literally any other claim about the arrests to fact-check, but had to dig deep to find an internet meme from his failed Senatorial bid last year in order to find one with a statement that included something incorrect in it.

Beto ORourke Arrest

You’ll notice they made sure to mention that both charges were dismissed. The circumstances behind the dismissals seemed to do nothing to negate the crimes he actually committed.

This is just another example of the “fact-checker” running cover for a Democrat they like. The meat of the fact, Beto’s arrests, won’t be found on this site as “True” because they were selective in how they wanted to frame this narrative.

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Education

‘Academic’ journal editor Roberto Refinetti tries to explain why they published absurd hoax papers, fails miserably

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Academic journal editor Roberto Refinetti tries to explain why they published absurd hoax papers fai

An under-reported story last year revealed multiple “academic” journals, where only the highest levels of academic thought leadership is allowed to publish, put nonsense hoax articles in their publications simply because they perpetuated radical progressive thought. These peer-reviewed journals were willing to publish utter garbage as long as the garbage smelled like the hyper-leftist garbage they normally publish anyway.

Libertarian pundit John Stossel tried to interview the editors of these prestigious journals which were hoaxed, and was only able to find one willing to go on camera. Roberto Refinetti from the academic journal Sexuality and Culture came on air to discuss the hoax and the problems with academic journals. But even he was unable to come up with a valid response about why these journals were so easy to fool.

Stossel read some of the reviews from “experts” in the field that were used to determine whether or not the papers should be published. When Stossel noted that one of the reviewers was an idiot, Refinetti rushed to the defense by blaming the hoaxers and said, “They made up data that he or she [the reviewer] wished he had but he didn’t, so when he sees, ‘Wow, these people did this study that I wanted to do and they got the results that I thought should be there, this is great!'”

In other words, Refinetti came to the same conclusion as the hoaxers and Stossel: Some if not most of those who review these papers make their decision based on whether or not the conclusions fit their worldview, not whether or not the papers were actually correct.

This is just one of many examples of why leftist academia, which is the vast majority of all academia, operates with the sole goal of reinforcing their biases rather than informing students or giving the education system proper facts about the world.

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