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message 1: by Ilyn (last edited Oct 01, 2008 04:31AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
My blog at FOX: http://community.myfoxdetroit.com/blo...

The US Presidential Candidates’ Declaration of Dependence and Sacrifice

In the “Service Nation Presidential Candidates Forum” hosted by Columbia University on September 11, 2008, the US presidential candidates glorified service, sacrifice, and a cause greater than oneself.

Senator John McCain said that after 9-11, he would have called upon Americans to serve. He said, “What has been missing is a president in the White House that taps into that yearning (for service) in a serious way.” The senator extolled service: “Finding new ways to serve - that’s what these next few years should be all about.” “It’s not about the individual, it’s about the cause we serve.” “It makes us exceptional in the kind of citizenry we have and the kind of service and sacrifice that we are capable of.”

Had Senator Barack Obama been president at the time of 9-11, rather than tell the American people to shop, he would have done this, among others: “I would have asked very explicitly for young people to engage in community service and military service.” The senator also extolled service: “The next president is going to have to actively pursue these issues of service.” “… a president who is willing to inspire people to get involved and get outside of themselves.” “What it means to be an American (is) to serve and to sacrifice.”

The US presidential candidates spoke not only of service to the nation, but to the world.

Senator Barack Obama’s national service plan has a price tag of around $3.5 billion, while Senator John McCain would sign the bipartisan bill on national service tripling the size of AmeriCorps.

The Declaration of Independence does not include the words “serve”, “service”, or “sacrifice”. It mentions “Happiness” twice and “Rights” thrice. It does not speak of a cause greater than oneself, but of the “Right of the People”:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

The Gettysburg Address does not include the words “serve”, “service”, or “sacrifice” either:

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

President Abraham Lincoln also said this: "We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men's labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name - liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names - liberty and tyranny."

Founding Father Thomas Jefferson said: "Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual."

Americans who, like President Lincoln and President Jefferson, think of liberty as: “each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor”, find that the legacy of the Founding Fathers and the brave men President Lincoln honored in his Gettysburg Address, is not represented by any presidential candidate.

President Lincoln said that he had an oath registered in heaven, the most solemn one: to preserve, protect, and defend the government of the people, by the people, for the people -- to preserve, protect, and defend the nation conceived in Liberty -- liberty, which means: “each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor.”

On January 20th, 2009, the United States of America will have a president who will take the same solemn oath that President George Washington, President Thomas Jefferson, and President Abraham Lincoln took. But this president will preserve, protect, and defend “liberty” which means the opposite of “each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor”.

On January 20th, 2009, the President of the United States of America will extol service and sacrifice, not individual rights and happiness. He will glorify a cause greater than oneself, instead of “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”, Liberty, being the “unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.”

The next President of the United States thinks sacrifice is noble. He speaks not only of service to the nation, but to the world. The next President of the US will do what he thinks is noble. Will he sacrifice his countrymen and his country for a cause greater than an American, greater than the Declaration of Independence?

The person who serves and the one being served are both dependents, just like the sacrificer and the sacrifice-profiteer. The presidential candidates glorify dependence and sacrifice, and thus dishonor the Declaration of Independence.

* continued in the next post


message 2: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
After 9-11, Senator John McCain and Senator Barack Obama would have called upon Americans to serve. The senators fault President George W. Bush for not tapping into the Americans’ “yearning for service”, and for asking them to shop.

After 9-11, President George W. Bush assured Americans that their government would protect them, that they could travel and go about their normal lives. He did not ask them to sacrifice nor do their government’s responsibility -- he urged Americans to honor what they are: brave and strong. He threw a ceremonial baseball pitch at the Yankee stadium -- he glorified what is mentioned twice in the Declaration of Independence: Happiness!

I thank President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and nameless courageous heroes, for successfully thwarting another 9-11 for seven years.

Fellow Americans, let us demand that the government of the people, by the people, for the people, honor George Washington, the Founding Fathers, Abraham Lincoln, and the principles enshrined in the Declaration of Independence -- that Individual Rights, that the pursuit of happiness and of one’s own personal interests, shall not perish from the earth!


message 3: by Ilyn (last edited Oct 01, 2008 04:27AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Part 2: The US Presidential Candidates’ Declaration of Dependence and Sacrifice

The US presidential candidates exhort Americans to serve and sacrifice, but they clearly differ for whom or what. The following dialogue is fiction but based on reality:

American: Senators McCain and Obama, are you men of integrity?

Senator McCain: Yes, I sure am.

Senator Obama: Certainly; I am.

A: You both hold the conviction that the ideal of service and sacrifice is a cause greater than the individual.

SJM: On my honor, I do.

SBO: I solemnly do.

A: Senator Obama, since Senator McCain sacrificed in a war while you have not, would you now honor your ideal by halting your campaign, thereby sacrificing your wish to serve as President of the USA?

Senator McCain, since you have already sacrificed and served for many years, would you now honor your ideal by sacrificing your wish to serve as President of the USA, that Senator Obama may experience what you both hold dear?

SBO: But there is a cause greater than my wish to serve and sacrifice as president: this country and the world need me and my vision for change!

SJM: I have a duty greater than my wish to further serve and sacrifice, which is to restore traditional values!

A: A man of integrity acts in accordance with his values, and translates his convictions into practical reality. President George Washington, who thought it abhorrent to be king of the USA, set a precedent in the interest of Liberty by refusing to run for a third term.

SBO: I admire President George Washington, but my favorite is President John Kennedy who said, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”

A: I ask not what the government can do, because the Declaration of Independence is clear: the only purpose of law and of government is the protection of each man’s Life, Liberty, and his pursuit of Happiness.

I ask not what I can do, because it has been immortalized by Presidents Lincoln and Jefferson: I can do as I please with myself, and the product of my labor, within limits drawn around me by the equal rights of others.

I ask not what I can do for my fellowmen, because we are independent, sovereign entities endowed with equal rights.

I do assert every man’s unalienable rights! My government:

Ask not that I volunteer to be a slave; do solemnly swear to defend my freedom.

Ask not that I accept masochism and sadism as noble; do highly resolve to protect my right to pursue happiness.

Ask not that I condemn selfishness; do take increased devotion to honor and preserve its advocate: the Declaration of Independence.

Ask not how to limit the individual; ask how to get out of his way!


message 4: by Ilyn (last edited Oct 01, 2008 04:21AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Part 3: The US Presidential Candidates’ Declaration of Dependence and Sacrifice

One who declares for a cause higher than the individual cannot claim to be a defender of individual liberty.

Individualism regards every man as an independent, sovereign entity who possesses unalienable rights. An individualist respects individual liberty — his own and that of others. Independent equals must choose: self-reliance or dependence. Self-reliance requires selfishness. Dependence breeds moochers, looters, and rulers.

Men who glorify servility need serfs to provide their sustenance. They are not satisfied with benevolence; they demand sacrifice – the renunciation or destruction of the precious. They damn selfishness as evil, and preach masochism and sadism in the name of service and sacrifice.

One who is not self-reliant, a moocher or a looter, is selfless. He does not use his own mind. Having no self-respect, he needs others – for approval, guidance, and/or sustenance. One who baby-sits adults dishonors independence, and derives self-esteem from others. A criminal is selfless - he recklessly risks his life and freedom for his need of victims. A power luster tramples on individual liberty and derives satisfaction from enslaving others – he is not an individualist; he is not selfish.

Those who fear self-reliance, i.e. selfishness, demonize individualism - they advocate service and sacrifice. Since President Abraham Lincoln and his heroes had eradicated serfdom, citizens are conned into thinking that voluntary self-immolation is noble. Men conned into regarding selfishness as evil evade that it is enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. They unwittingly facilitate power lusters who recognize that man’s love of self must be destroyed so rulers could thrive.

To value is a function of the self – it is selfish to care for loved ones; their well-being or happiness is not divorced from the valuer’s. That good people live and prosper is in one’s own self-interest – one benefits from the advantages of social existence: exchange of knowledge, trade, division of labor, and defense from force – one wants to live in freedom and in peace – therefore, to cherish a society that respects individual rights is selfish.

Individualists do not need sacrificial lambs. Men with self-esteem, i.e. selfish men, take pride in independence. One cannot achieve happiness without self-esteem. Without self-respect, life is not worth living. This explains why men of integrity do the right thing no matter the cost. No matter how difficult, they cannot do otherwise - they cannot sacrifice their self-respect. Doing the right thing is not sacrifice – it is upholding the precious, not renouncing or destroying it – this explains why President Lincoln did not utter service or sacrifice in his Gettysburg Address.

Patrick Henry immortalized selfishness when he said, “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"

President George Washington protected and preserved individual liberty when he rejected a movement to make him King of the United States, calling it "abhorrent", and when he refused to run for a third term. He evinced an enormous respect for himself and his fellowmen. He personified integrity.

President Thomas Jefferson said, "The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government."

Those who damn selfishness denounce the desire to live happily. Those who need slaves damn selfishness because people who value themselves cannot be ruled. Men who love themselves but facilitate these damners are cowards.

You who defend selfishness honor its advocates: President George Washington, the Founding Fathers, President Abraham Lincoln, and brave individuals who struggled or are struggling that the nation conceived in Liberty might live.

Those who declare for self-renunciation or self-destruction are unfit protectors of individual liberty. They should be voted out from the government of the people, by the people, for the people –

That the Land of the Free shall not perish from the earth!


message 5: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
President George Washington quotes:

Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.

Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.

It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it.

The administration of justice is the firmest pillar of government.

The Constitution is the guide which I never will abandon.

The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.

The time is near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves.

The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good.

Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light.

We ought not to look back, unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors and for the purpose of profiting by dear bought experience.


message 6: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Posted in: To the Glory of Man

I advocate capitalism because it is rooted in the Declaration of Independence (DOI), which, in turn, is rooted in reality.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

These few words convey the following:

1) The only purpose of law and of government is to secure the equal rights of its citizens.

2) Independent equals delegate to the government their right to self-defense. This puts the power to use force in the hands of their protector while they pledge not to use force when dealing with their fellowmen, except in emergency self-defense.

Citizens cannot delegate a right they do not possess. It is very important to remember that what is delegated is the right to self-defense because this means that the government has no right to interfere in the intellectual and moral life of its law-abiding (see item 1) citizens. It is not the government's function to protect a citizen from himself or from nature. But the DOI has been subverted.

The realm of production and trade is an aspect of man’s intellectual life.

The DOI mandates absolute freedom in all realms not involving the use of force delegated to prevent, counteract, and punish fraud and the initiation of force.

Government functions other than the following subvert the DOI because it would involve using force against innocent citizens:

a) Police Force and Criminal Courts – to prevent criminals from
defrauding, robbing, or physically harming its citizens, and to apprehend
and prosecute criminals

b) Civil Courts – to resolve civil disputes

c) Military – to prevent, repel, and defeat foreign aggression

3) Men are independent equals and they have unalienable rights to pursue happiness. Having no slaves, each man is responsible for sustaining his own life.

The government has no right to infringe the unalienable rights of citizens who are not defrauding, robbing, physically harming other people, nor attempting to.

If a man does not work, neither he nor the government has the right to rob other citizens for his sustenance. Since a man has no right to rob, injure, or force other men, he cannot delegate such right – thus the government has no such right.

If a man does not work, the government has no right to force him to work. If a man wants to have his cake and eat it, too, the government has no right to coerce others to provide the cake. If millions of men do not sustain their own lives, neither they nor the government has the right to coerce responsible citizens to sustain their lives for them.

The government has no right to extort in order to provide goods or services for its citizens’ sustenance. It is not its task to prevent nature from harming its citizens.

4) The DOI regards man as efficacious, virtuous, and, by his nature, deserving of individual liberty. It proclaims that each man is an end in himself – that he is not the means to the ends of others.

Whereas, those who need slaves declare that there is a cause greater than the individual – they name this cause: sacrifice, patriotism, country, society, or greater good.

My response to this is: The end does not justify the means. No cause can be good if it requires the sacrifice, enslavement, or injury of one law-abiding citizen.

Some regard man as inefficacious, depraved, and undeserving of rights, yet they believe that a collection of such incompetents, when in government or supported by it, should coerce law-abiding citizens.

5) If man has no property rights, he has no right to his own life. A man is a slave if he has no rights to the fruits of his labors.

*
Preventing criminals or terrorists from contaminating or destroying sources and distribution channels of food and water is a protector function; setting standards like prices or quality is not.

If a man desires to eat in a restaurant but can’t afford its food prices, he has no right to force the owner to lower the prices – neither has the government – but such man is free to compete with such restaurant and put its owner out of business.

If a restaurant owner defrauds or attempts to defraud its patrons, or commits acts that could result in physical harm (e.g. disregarding employees’ report of contaminated food) – the police and courts step in. If a news report harming the reputation of a restaurant is libelous – its owner has recourse in the courts.

Say, a company building a railroad offers to buy the restaurant for a project that many think would benefit the entire country. The company does its best in persuading the restaurant owner to sell, but if he refuses, the company has no right to force him, not because such right has been delegated to the government – there is no such right to delegate. What has been delegated to the government is every citizen’s right to self-defense, including the restaurant owner’s, when someone tries to take his property by force.

In eminent domain, the protector has turned aggressor - government has become a tyrant.

*
a) From Jim: “… the responsibilities of government to insure the greatest good for the greatest number …”

Response: Please reconcile this with unalienable individual rights.

b) From Jim: “I don't recall saying the many should 'enslave' anyone. Limiting some actions & abilities is what I said. I pointed out that some government interference is unavoidable when systems get so large …”

Response: Please reconcile - “Limiting some actions & abilities … when systems get so large” - with unalienable individual rights.

A limit is a leash – Jim thinks that man deserves to be limited by the government, to be leashed. I presented evidence that the present financial meltdown is caused by government intervention; I posted the James Hill story. But if a person thinks freedom is not a value and a leash is, then no evidence to the contrary would spur him to check his premises.

Congress is corrupt and very powerful. In April 2001, the Bush Administration warned Congress that GSEs (government-sponsored enterprises) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are potential problems. Allan Greenspan and then Treasury Secretary John Snow repeatedly warned Congress – to no avail. The Executive branch could not persuade the Legislative branch because voters cheer universal homeownership – they do not care that the means is corrupt. Reality has caught up with the non-free housing and financial systems. Politicians blame everyone but themselves. They want more intrusions in the economy.

It boggles my mind how one could want a master, a leash. I cannot understand how one could want a corrupt master. But all masters and power-lusters are abhorrent. This is why President George Washington took affront when asked to become king.


message 7: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Ilyn, I think these were originally posted in another topic, but I'll answer them here.
You asked, "Please reconcile this with unalienable individual rights." my statement “… the responsibilities of government to insure the greatest good for the greatest number …”

That's the trick, isn't it? when a group accept or create a government, they're living under a social contract that limits some of their freedoms so that the group may live together. Exactly which freedoms we have to give up or should give up are the question. There is no doubt they impact our personal freedom - they restrict what we're allowed to do as a seller, but free us to eat where we want, without the need to do an extensive background check or inspection before eating at a place we're not familiar with - in the case of a restaurant.

You & I disagree about government oversight on restaurants. Personally, I'm glad they're limited in what food they can serve. I think expiration dates, health inspections & such are a good thing. Even in a world where everyone was rational, ignorance can kill. Proper food preparation, handling & such can make the difference between happy customers & dead ones. Government oversight isn't perfect & it is invasive, but I think it is needed in this case. It's an attempt to prevent health problems before they become a big issue. (An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.)

You asked, "Please reconcile - “Limiting some actions & abilities … when systems get so large” - with unalienable individual rights." in response to my statement “I don't recall saying the many should 'enslave' anyone. Limiting some actions & abilities is what I said. I pointed out that some government interference is unavoidable when systems get so large …”

I've done this several times with the example of the water system for L.A.. What's not clear?

The crux of our disagreement, as I see it, is "unalienable individual rights". What exactly does that phrase mean?

I don't think it means that an individual has the right to harm his customers through ignorance, greed or sloth & that means there needs to be some oversight by some entity. That entity happens to be the government because most businesses won't police themselves well enough. If they would have done so, there wouldn't have been a toe hold for government. Unfortunately, people went blind from bad liquor, sickened or died from poor canning techniques & tainted/spoiled food, so the government stepped in & laid out standards that they all have to follow. (Not quite that simple, but close enough.)

Supposedly, the majority of the people wanted these regulations & restrictions to be enforced. Their elected officials made these laws. Yes, it abridged some freedoms & 'rights' but it was felt to be in the best interest of the public. That's part of the democratic process - we can vote away our rights or hand over power to officials who can legislate them out of existence.

As for your assertion that "In eminent domain, the protector has turned aggressor - government has become a tyrant." I agree with you to some extent, but as the Founding Fathers realized, there are instances where the needs of the many outweigh the rights of the few. There's an interesting article on Wikipedia about it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emminent.... Without it, the infrastructure of our country would have been in real trouble. The highway system would never have been built or at least not to the current standards. Utilities would be spotty, at best.

No one ever asks for a law to make them stop doing something - it's always to stop the other guy. That can & has led to laws that are restrictive & silly. It has also led to some that have done a lot of good. Whether these laws are all needed or not, how much they've impacted our freedoms & what we can do about them is open to discussion.

Ilyn said, "It boggles my mind how one could want a master, a leash." That's exactly what people are asking for when they ask the government for favors, such as the recent bailout. FDR may have gotten us out of the Great Depression, but look at the cost - the Feds got their fingers into everything. So, I agree with you to some extent, but I disagree that it is an all or nothing proposition. Politics is compromise. We give some to get some.

Often, people don't realize what they're giving up or how much. For instance, income taxes are one of the most invasive forms of coercion our government has ever imposed. If people were rational & disciplined enough to hand over a large enough portion of their money to the government on a regular basis (the way they do to their church) we might not have a need for them. Not only are people neither, but also the government bureaucracy is a living entity. It grows & demands more fuel & power. Limiting its growth & power is something we should all be concerned with. Instead, most people seem to want to give it more of both by asking it for favors. This recent bail out is a perfect example. It's something I urged my congress critters to avoid. Unfortunately, my elected officials &, supposedly, a majority of my fellow citizens disagreed with me.


message 8: by Ilyn (last edited Oct 16, 2008 03:33AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Hello Jim. How was your vacation?

Hi everyone. I will comment tomorrow. Have a wonderful day.


message 9: by Jim (last edited Oct 16, 2008 04:14AM) (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Not precisely on topic, but the vacation was wonderful. Thanks for asking, Ilyn. Apparently (according to one source) most of the Kentucky parkland is donated by people. This turned out to be the case with the Shaker Village that we visited. Trail loops were often named for the old farm they traversed.

We spent over 4 hours riding & still only looped around less than half of the place. Due to the drought, the wildlife & vegetation wasn't all it could be, but it was worth the $7 per horse fee they charged. We looped most of the northwest quarter, came back to the trailer for lunch & then looped the southwest quarter, including a new area on the other side of the highway. It is accessible during low water times by riding through a culvert under the road. Our horses were not thrilled about that.

On the carriage path, we stopped to take pictures of an 8 or 10 point buck that was only 25 feet away, watching from above us on an embankment near the old quarry. My horse wanted to keep going, so the pictures didn't turn out well. I couldn't manually focus & was shooting one handed.

An old friend of my wife's is coming for a visit & we're planning on going back to see more this weekend. We never had a chance to visit the actual village or take a carriage ride. We may do both on Saturday.

The rest of the mini-vacation was taken up with farm work & woodwork. The 75 mph winds we had a month ago gave me lots of wood to turn, but less time than usual (& there usually isn't enough as it is) to turn it.


message 10: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Thank you, Jim. It's nice to read about wonderful vacations.

Hello everyone.


message 11: by Ilyn (last edited Oct 17, 2008 04:43AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Regarding:

“when a group accept or create a government, they're living under a social contract that limits some of their freedoms so that the group may live together.”

“there are instances where the needs of the many outweigh the rights of the few.”

Response: These are examples of rewriting the Declaration of Independence (DOI). “All men are created equal” means that by virtue of being a human being, each man has INHERENT rights equal to the rights of every other man. Hence, man’s rights are not conferred by society, and that each individual comprising a majority has the same equal rights as each individual in a minority.

Majority rule, i.e. democracy, is mob rule. The USA was founded based on man’s rights – the Founding Fathers subordinated might to right.

*
Regarding: “Exactly which freedoms we have to give up or should give up is the question.”

Response: Based on what the DOI explicitly says – “That to secure these rights” - the only right delegated to the government is the right to self-defense (I extensively discussed this in my earlier post - message 6).

The Libertarian Party opposes the delegation of the right to self-defense. It advocates that there should be no government at all. I disagree. In such a society, peaceful coexistence and peace of mind are not possible.

The Founding Fathers were wise to put the power to use force in only one entity, the government, whose only mandate is to impartially protect the equal unalienable rights of its citizens.

*
“Regarding: “The crux of our disagreement, as I see it, is "unalienable individual rights". What exactly does that phrase mean?”

This question shows that Jim evades what the DOI makes crystal clear, because it shines light on his contradiction that the Founding Fathers are his heroes, and that infringing individual rights is a practical necessity.

*
Regarding: “government oversight on restaurants”

Jim thinks that his values concerning restaurants can be achieved only if man’s unalienable rights are violated.

Whereas, I think that no end can be good if it requires the infringement of such rights, that rational goals can be achieved, without injuring anyone, when men choose logical actions to pursue them.

The power to use force is delegated to the government for the purpose of “removing force” from social interactions so that citizens deal with each other only by persuasion. Injecting the government into realms outside of the delegated “self-defense” function is allowing force into those realms – this not only defeats the purpose of delegating the right to self-defense but perverts it because government has the legal power to use force against citizens with no such legal power.


message 12: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Ilyn, I don't agree with full, unregulated freedom. You wrote, "It is the proper function of government to thwart threats to its citizens..." in another topic, so I take that to mean we both realize that there are practical reasons to abridge people's rights when their actions could & do infringe on others. It's where we draw the line that is under discussion.

The book I'm reading right now, Defending the Undefendable: The pimp, prostitute, scab, slumlord, libeler, moneylender and other scapegoats in the rogue's gallery of American society by Walter Block shows a lot of laws that we shouldn't have made & why. If you get a chance, check it out. My 'Big Three' of stupid laws are all covered; prostitution, gambling & drugs. I think that legalizing those activities, rather than prohibiting them, would lead to a lot of revenue & better conditions for all concerned. Block, a Libertarian, agrees. Note that I said 'legalizing' not unrestricted nor unregulated.

Ilyn, "These are examples of rewriting the Declaration of Independence (DOI)."

In the example of Eminent Domain, no - the Founders set that up with the 5th amendment. However, I will not disagree that our rights have been severely diminished by voting away our rights - the mob rule you mention later. In some cases, I think it was a necessity, in others, a travesty.

The DOI is a general guideline, at best. It lacks a lot of detail which can be used to twist it around to serve the purposes of the moment or are open to broad interpretation. Even backed by the Constitution & Amendments, there is a lot more ground to cover in setting up rules for society, thus each state have their own guidelines or laws. Interpreting where that line was drawn led us into a Civil War. The world has also changed a lot. The amount of people, technology & problems have changed since it was written & we have a different perspective than the Founding Fathers. This doesn't mean I think we should trash it or that I think it has been upheld correctly in all cases, but it isn't an exact or perfect map in every case. By diminishing the restaurant owners rights, we enhanced & protected the rights of a greater number, the consumers.

Ilyn, "The USA was founded based on man’s rights – the Founding Fathers subordinated might to right." And, "This question means that Jim evades..."

They did so within reason & varying interpretations. Eminent Domain is one limiting factor, the rights of Blacks, Natives & women were others. You see my problem with "unalienable individual rights"? I'm not trying to evade anything, I'm pointing out that they weren't applied equally or defined to start with. 'Life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness' sounds good, but we don't really know what it means because it was unequally applied, abridged & interpreted differently right from the very start. Since then, we've complicated our life immensely.

Ilyn, "Jim thinks that his values concerning restaurants can be achieved only if man’s unalienable rights are violated."

Please don't twist my words out of shape or credit me with ones I didn't say. I said that's why the laws were made & I agreed with them. I didn't say it was the only way. In fact, I pointed out that we wouldn't need them if the businesses had policed themselves properly. Unfortunately, they didn't & I'm not sure they could. Greed &/or ignorance led to laws to protect the public from dangers they couldn't detect.

Ilyn, "Whereas, I think that no end can be good if it requires the infringement of such rights, that rational goals can be achieved, without injuring anyone, when men choose logical actions to pursue them. "

In general, I agree with you, however you assume that men are 'logical' which I don't agree is a valid premise. Even if I agreed to that premise, everyone is not fully informed or capable of understanding the information. For instance, there are chemicals today that seem harmless, but can have severe & delayed side effects. The FDA tries hard to be informed & make understandable laws out of the information they force out of chemical companies. They still screw up, but more often get it right. Other departments make regulations to protect against disease & poisoning.

I don't know a lot about food service, but MSG & its severe reactions spring to mind as one 'seasoning' that was controversial in its use. Severe reactions by some led to anything containing it to be labeled, with some places banning it. The undisclosed use of peanut oil almost killed a girl in this office - mostly she doesn't have to use the epi-pen she carries due to the laws protecting her, though. The rights of the restaurant are abridged due to regulation of what they're allowed to use & must disclose.

The use of malathion, a systemic pesticide, is one of many that has been linked to birth defects. The chemical company has to share its patented formula with a government agency so they can evaluate it. A farmer isn't free to use some pesticides depending on when he uses them or what the end product will be sold for. If he's selling soybeans for human consumption directly, there are different laws than if he sells it for animal consumption or some other purpose such as making fuel.

My aunt believed in drinking unprocessed milk. She bought it from the same farmer for years who sold all his milk off the books - unregulated. I drank it numerous times & was fine. Al, my cousin, was 4 when he developed TB, along with a few others in the area. The CDC (I think) traced it back to the farmer's milk. Al's case went to his spine, so he spent the next several years in a full body cast, rolling around on the floor, eating about 50 pills a day, to start. He's undergone numerous surgeries on his back & has problems to this day. The farmer ran a clean milk parlor & acted with the best of intentions, except that he didn't follow the restrictive laws like getting his milk & cows tested regularly or getting it pasteurized. Pure, unrestricted capitalism didn't work out so well for Al or his family.

No, I don't see many of the laws regulating our food quality as bad laws. They abridge some rights, but protect others. I & most others think this is a good thing. I do not know of any other means to make sure of the quality of food served to the public, but I am open to practical suggestions. If you want to gamble with your health, you are free to do so & can even lobby for less restrictive laws.



message 13: by Ilyn (last edited Oct 18, 2008 11:01AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
President George Washington quotes:

Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair; the rest is in the hands of God.

I hope I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an Honest Man.

Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.

Experience teaches us that it is much easier to prevent an enemy from posting themselves than it is to dislodge them after they have got possession.

Bad seed is a robbery of the worst kind: for your pocket-book not only suffers by it, but your preparations are lost and a season passes away unimproved.

Friendship is a plant of slow growth and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.


message 14: by Ilyn (last edited Oct 19, 2008 05:54AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
President Abraham Lincoln interpreted the Declaration of Independence literally and endeavored to honor it.

Regulated freedom is a contradiction. Contradiction cannot exist in reality/logic. A regulated economy is not a free economy. A man with a leash, or who can be leashed anytime, is not free. One who sees value in infringing unalienable rights does not value freedom.

Independent equals must choose: self-reliance or dependence. Self-reliant individuals choose freedom. Dependence breeds moochers, looters, and rulers. Some want to have their cake and eat it, too, while blanking out that contradictions do not exist.


message 15: by Ilyn (last edited Oct 18, 2008 04:10PM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
The following involves massive evasion and context dropping based on my posts here and my statements before and after the one Jim quoted (contained in the same paragraph!): “You wrote, "It is the proper function of government to thwart threats to its citizens..." in another topic, so I take that to mean we both realize that there are practical reasons to abridge people's rights when their actions could & do infringe on others. It's where we draw the line that is under discussion.”

I posted this eleven days ago (repeated below for the context): “… I asked Jim’s understanding of the Declaration of Independence because he disregards that the Founding Fathers used the words “unalienable Rights” together with “- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men…” Clearly, the Founding Fathers were of the conviction that any government action for the purpose of securing “unalienable Rights” is not an infringement of such rights. Jim equates such action with government intervention in the economy – paving the way to his thinking that regulating restaurants so one would be assured of a pork loin is a proper government function….”

*
I say again (from message 6): Citizens cannot delegate a right they do not possess. It is very important to remember that what is delegated is the right to self-defense because this means that the government has no right to interfere in the intellectual and moral life of its law-abiding (see item 1 - The only purpose of law and of government is to secure the equal rights of its citizens.) citizens. It is not the government's function to protect a citizen from himself or from nature.

These are my posts under the topic “Heroes” (message 48) in the To the Glory of Man group - see the "thwart threats" context:

“I think that a proper social system recognizes that the principle of unalienable individual rights is inviolate. I agree with the Declaration of Independence that the only purpose of law and of government is the protection of the equal unalienable rights of man. It is the proper function of government to thwart threats to its citizens – it could pass laws 1) to limit the handling of biological hazards to authorized industries, 2) to prohibit the sharing of fully defined national-security-related data to foreign countries --- the judicial branch should ensure that laws are in accordance with the Constitution, that they are for the protection of the individual liberty of its citizens. An example of an unconstitutional act of government is its intrusion in the housing and financial markets which caused the current debacle.”

Posted under the same topic (message 54):

I have answered Jim’s specifics many times and have stated my fundamentals. I say again: Whatever the concretes, I am for capitalism – zero government intervention in the economy – because it respects individual rights and is in consonance with the Declaration of Independence which mandates that the government’s sole justification for being is “to secure” the equal rights of its citizens – their lives, liberty, and their pursuits of happiness.

I asked Jim’s understanding of the Declaration of Independence because he disregards that the Founding Fathers used the words “unalienable Rights” together with “- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men…” Clearly, the Founding Fathers were of the conviction that any government action for the purpose of securing “unalienable Rights” is not an infringement of such rights. Jim equates such action with government intervention in the economy – paving the way to his thinking that regulating restaurants so one would be assured of a pork loin is a proper government function.

Posted under the same topic (message 65):

d) Jim: “How exactly is a law to protect citizens supposed to work if the government doesn't make sure they're following the law, which I think we both see as an abuse of the citizens' rights?”

Response: I do not consider laws and government actions that protect individual rights as infringement on such rights. Laws and government actions for purposes other than securing individual liberty are tyrannical.


message 16: by Ilyn (last edited Oct 19, 2008 06:16AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Jim implies that I think men are innately logical when I say “… rational goals can be achieved, without injuring anyone, when men choose logical actions to pursue them…”

My statement is consistent with my many posts: Man - who, by nature, is fallible and not omniscient, who has volition and thus may choose not to think and be irrational – can choose to use his rational faculty to pursue goals that are in consonance with the facts of reality, using rational means.

Free men, government men, and slaves are all fallible (metaphysically given fact). The government cannot legislate infallibility or omniscience. If a private citizen is elected to a government position, or if he is supported/subsidized/deputized by the government, he does not become infallible but he joins the entity legally entitled to use force.

Thus, the government-men-infallibility justification for violating man’s rights is a fallacy.

Independent-minded individuals take responsibility for their own lives (e.g. Benjamin Franklin’s Junto). Others want to be taken cared of – since private citizens cannot legally force themselves on others, they want government to subvert its honorable function and do it for them.


message 17: by Ilyn (last edited Oct 19, 2008 06:17AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
One’s Hierarchy of Values

Patrick Henry valued liberty more than his life and a peaceful existence. George Washington and his men risked their lives and endured extreme privations to fight for liberty. The Founding Fathers and their constituents risked their lives, families, and fortunes when they signed the Declaration of Independence. The brave men honored by Abraham Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address struggled that the nation conceived in Liberty might live. Jose Rizal, a polymath and polyglot, bravely spoke against tyrants when independent thinkers would surely die; before he was executed at age 35, he said: “I go where no slave before the oppressor bends…”

I cannot understand a state of mind that would compromise liberty in exchange for a promise of safe food, or for anything that a man of self-esteem would proudly procure for himself.


message 18: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves." (Speech to Parliament 1783)

- William Pitt, British Prime Minister in 1783, age 24



message 19: by Donna (new)

Donna (skeets) | 30 comments Hi Ilyn & Jim,
Ilyn, I find your book engrossing, a page turner, and the plot is excellent. On page 250-almost done. I don't think I am going to want it to end! Without reading the end, yet hope there will be a sequel.

Jim, your vacation sounded like something from a book. Do you really turn your own wood on a lathe? I use to watch a PBS channel that had wood turning every week end. I really did enjoy it.

Best wishes to you both, Donna


message 20: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Thanks a million, Donna (I'm all smiles). I'm so glad you are enjoying Reason Reigns. The next 123 pages are much much more thrill-packed.

Enjoy your vacation-part-2, Jim. Have a wonderful weekend, Donna, Jim, and everyone.


message 21: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Ilyn, I think we'll never agree on this issue & I don't see any sense in discussing it further.

I did not mean to take your statement out of context - seems to me that "It is the proper function of government to thwart threats to its citizens..." doesn't mention internal or external threats, so I considered it in context.

The DOI is open to far more than your particular interpretation of it & it is also NOT the final word. It is just one of many documents that was put into action at that time.


message 22: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Donna, yes I turn wood on a lathe all the time. If you'd like to see more, visit my web page, Jim's Home Page

I like reading about early America, especially with a woodworking angle to it. Eric Sloane wrote quite a few books on early America & painted a lot of great landscapes.

This weekend, my wife had an old friend over & we went back to the Shaker Village & got to tour it. It was very neat. We took the carriage ride, which wasn't very long or good, except that the guy who drove us has been there since 1994 & is very knowledgeable. He has a Master's degree in History & worked at Colonial Williamsburg with Roy Underhill & others in the early 80's.

They've done a great job preserving & showing how the Shaker's lived. They've bought back 3000 of the original 6000 acres the site had & have 34 of the 200 odd buildings in good shape. The rest are gone to time, fire & tornadoes, so some buildings are pressed into service for multiple duties.

I found it interesting how many people equate the Shakers with the Amish, but the Shakers embraced technology & believed in complete celibacy, unlike the Amish. No wonder they died out. The Shaker Village here was only around for 90 years & never had 500 people in it. Still, they did some cool stuff. Well worth a tour if you get the chance.


message 23: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Jim, thanks for sharing the family pictures. They are beautiful.


message 24: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Oh, I hadn't even thought about the family pictures. They're old. I really need to update the site more often. I made that site in the early 90's & don't keep it updated very well.

I was thinking of the woodworking stuff I've done - those are old, too. Not as old, although not one of the bowls for sale are still available. Time & persistence. Lately I have been working on the farm. More to do than time to do it.


message 25: by Ilyn (last edited Oct 28, 2008 01:00AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
As of now, the views on my articles at myfoxdetroit is 351 (average blog-views for the site is 32).

http://community.myfoxdetroit.com/blo...

Update on 10/26/2008 3:29 p.m.

BLOG STATS.............. MINE..... AVERAGE

Views per day.............. 009.90....... 00.03
Posts per day............... 000.13....... 00.00
Comments per day....... 000.08...... 00.00
Total views.................. 396.00....... 31.90
Total posts................... 005.00...... 00.46
Total comments........... 003.00...... 03.87
Comments per post...... 000.60....... 08.32

Update on 10/28/2008 4:00 a.m.

Total views.................. 424.00....... 34.64
Total comments........... 006.00...... 04.28


message 26: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Hello Carla. Thank you for joining us.


message 27: by Ilyn (last edited Oct 26, 2008 02:23AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Regarding: "democracy that is afraid of its own government"

Democracy is "majority rule". The US was founded based on individual rights.

"A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine."

"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

- Thomas Jefferson

*
The government has the sole legal power to use force (except for emergency self-defense against criminal-citizens). The purpose of a Constitution is to protect citizens from its government. President George Washington said, "Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."

A government that is supposed to be a protector could turn aggressor. A free country could become statist. That a country was founded on individual rights is not a guarantee that its government would not violate those rights. Whenever it does, it says: its actions are for the good of the people.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." - Thomas Jefferson

These are words from great men:

"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves." (Speech to Parliament 1783)

- William Pitt, British Prime Minister in 1783, age 24

*
"Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism."

"It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it."

- President George Washington

*
Thomas Jefferson quotes:

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.

A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government.

The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.

Nothing is unchangeable but the inherent and unalienable rights of man.

I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.


message 28: by Ilyn (last edited Oct 26, 2008 04:15AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Regarding: “I'm not sure why you say that the government only has the authority to protect the first right, that of self defense (ie. the right to life).”

I wrote in message 6: “… Independent equals delegate to the government their right to self-defense. This puts the power to use force in the hands of their protector while they pledge not to use force when dealing with their fellowmen, except in emergency self-defense….”

All rights are derived from the right to life. One utters a contradiction if one says: “Every man has an inherent unalienable right to his own life, but he has no property rights.” Contradictions do not exist in reality/logic – “You cannot have your cake and eat it, too.”

The PURPOSE of the “delegation of the right to self-defense” is to take the use of force away from citizen interactions, so that individuals may deal with each other only by persuasion. If one is a catholic, one may persuade a protestant or an atheist to convert into Catholicism, but one may not use force to impose it. One may advocate reason in a book, blogs, or Goodreads posts, but one may not compel anyone to read them. One could put up a business, but one could not force anyone to patronize it.

In message 6, I included the resolution of civil disputes by the Civil Courts as a proper government function. Individuals are free to enter or not enter into a contract, but when they do, they must honor their contractual obligations. Two honest men could enter into a contract, and then honestly interpret the contract differently. If they cannot agree (i.e. persuade each other), they may not use force to compel each other to honor the contract – a Civil Court’s function is to impartially settle the disputes of honest men or law-abiding citizens.

The PURPOSE is very important: the “taking away of the right to use force so that individuals may deal with each other only by persuasion” is the reason why citizens must delegate their right to self-defense. This is the sole moral justification for the existence of governments.

This is, I believe, what the Libertarian Party and anarchists fail to grasp when they do not want to delegate their right to self-defense, and advocate that there should be no government at all.

*
That to secure individual rights, Governments are instituted among Men – such that the right to use force would be banned from citizen interactions, so that individuals may deal with each other only by persuasion.


message 29: by Ilyn (last edited Oct 26, 2008 07:42AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Regarding: “… where does it further state that they are forbidden from taking on any other tasks? In fact it specifically says that "it is the Right of the People...to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness" Meaning that the government can take on any role that the people deem beneficial.”

*
Response: Included in message 1 -

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Carla, you left out: “That whenever any Form of Government becomes DESTRUCTIVE of THESE ENDS”. And your “…” is: “to alter or to abolish it”.

What you did is massive context dropping. Why did you leave out the beginning of the part that you quoted? Why drop the PREMISE for the quote? Why include “institute new Government” yet leave out “to alter or to abolish it”?

*
Governments have no justification for being, other than what is explicitly stated: “
- That to secure these rights…”


message 30: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
I will comment on B & C later.


message 31: by Ilyn (last edited Oct 26, 2008 08:02AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Regarding: “B) I guess my biggest confusion stems from the fact that your arguments are based on the Declaration of Independence, rather than the Constitution.”

*
I am for Individual Liberty which is rooted in reality and reason. Since Individual Liberty is enshrined in the Declaration of Independence (DOI), I am for the DOI. This is very different from being for Individual Liberty because it is in the DOI.

From Founding Father Thomas Jefferson (also in msg-1): "Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual."

Concretes should not contradict the fundamentals. The DOI is the root of constitutional principles. There had been and there are laws that contradict the DOI. The Civil War righted a huge contradiction.

When the American Revolution was won after eight years of war, amid the threats of disintegration and failure of the fragile nation (those in Congress could not agree on many things), George Washington was asked to become king. He took affront and called the movement to make him king: “abhorrent”. A monarchy is a contradiction to Individual Liberty, to the DOI – President Washington was a man of integrity – i.e. he recognized that contradictions do not exist in reality/logic. His values were integrated – he valued liberty, thus, he held it abhorrent to hold power over a single human being.
Man is fallible and not omniscient. Good men make mistakes. The DOI is a great standard, so I use it to evaluate principles.


message 32: by Peggy (new)

Peggy (peggyullmanbell) OK, I have to weigh in on this discussion.

#1 "All men are created equal" if this had been true in practice there would have been no0 need for the 14th Ammendment to the Constitution.

#2 When they said "All men" they must have sortof meant exactly that or there would have been no need for the 19th Ammendment to the Constitution.

#3 It is important to remember that the phrase at issue is "the PURSUIT of happiness" the documents contain neither definition nor guarantee of "happiness"

#4 Lincoln did not initiate the Draft because he believed in Service to the Country. The Draft was instituted because the citizenry DIDN'T believe any Service or Sacrifice was owed.

#5 If Washington "held it abhorrent to hold power over a single human being." did he consider his slaves non-human?



message 33: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Hello Peggy. Hi everyone.


message 34: by Ilyn (last edited Oct 26, 2008 02:40PM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Thomas Jefferson included the abolition of slavery in his DOI draft. President Washington emancipated his slaves.

There were and are contradictions to the DOI. But if it does not say what it says, President Lincoln would have had a more difficult time abolishing slavery. If President Washington accepted the request to become king, we would be a monarchy.

George Washington, the Founding Fathers, and their constituents risked their lives, families, and fortunes - George Washington and his men endured overwhelming privations for years - to found a nation conceived in Liberty. George Washington said: “Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair; the rest is in the hands of God.”

These great men created a great document, the Declaration of Independence, and won the American Revolution. I cannot fathom a state of mind that denigrates these achievements, that dishonors heroes by finding fault for their hierarchy of values at a particular time - George Washington did not emancipate his slaves at the time that he was immensely occupied winning the Revolution for Liberty, but he did emancipate them.

Without these great men – there would be no government of the people, by the people, for the people.


message 35: by Ilyn (last edited Oct 26, 2008 10:25AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Peggy, please state what you think of Individual Liberty and the Declaration of Independence.


message 36: by Ilyn (last edited Oct 26, 2008 02:56PM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Regarding: “#3 It is important to remember that the phrase at issue is "the PURSUIT of happiness" the documents contain neither definition nor guarantee of "happiness"”

*
Context-dropping is a fallacy.

The principle of “equal inherent unalienable Rights” is: as long as man does not infringe the equal rights of others, anything goes - man is free to determine and pursue what makes him happy.

There is no determination of what makes man happy in the DOI because that is personal to every man, and each man is FREE to choose what makes him happy - when he pursues whatever makes him happy, he may NOT violate the equal rights of others.

The DOI does not decide what makes man happy because that would be a contradiction to man's “inherent unalienable Rights”. A document that purports to advocate rights and says - "What makes man happy is service and sacrifice" or "What makes man happy is to be a catholic/protestant/muslim/atheist" - is irrational.

*
"No one's happiness but my own is in my power to achieve or to destroy."

- John Galt, Atlas Shrugged


message 37: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Dictionary definitions of man:

2. a member of the species Homo sapiens or all the members of this species collectively, without regard to sex

3. the human individual as representing the species, without reference to sex; the human race; humankind

4. a human being; person


message 38: by Ilyn (last edited Oct 26, 2008 02:51PM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
President Abraham Lincoln saw "a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal" --- at a time when they were "engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure."

He did not denigrate the efforts of the Founders, but used their unprecedented achievement - "a nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal" - to have a new birth of freedom for that nation.

One who undercuts the Declaration of Independence is not a respecter of man's rights.


message 39: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
New article: Socialism or Theocracy

http://community.myfoxdetroit.com/blo...


message 40: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Ilyn, I'll agree that context dropping is a fallacy. The men who wrote the DOI were declaring the birth of a new nation. The Constitution was their implementation of that nation - the beginning of the workable rules by which it would be governed. They go hand in hand & I don't think you can believe in one without believing in the other, yet you seem to be taking only the parts you want, not the sum of their work.




message 41: by Peggy (new)

Peggy (peggyullmanbell) Borrowing scattered bits of documents and books to prove a point is an ancient tradition. Using dictionaries penned and edited exclusively by the male of the species to claim the word "man" to be universally inclusive in all instances is ludicrous.

One has to but read the beginning passages of the US Constitution to know the equality of all humans under that document to be untrue. Look at the original rules for counting the census as regards number of representatives in our initial government. Man = 1 vote, women 3/4, slaves 1/2 if I recall correctly. And only white male land owners were deemedintelligent to vote at all. It was stuff like that which made the first ten ammendments essential.

Like The Bible & The Quran, The Constitution, including all of its ammendments must be read and understood IN ITS ENTIRITY in order to comprehend its/their complete message. They're all open to interpretation especially when quoted in bits and pieces.


message 42: by Ilyn (last edited Oct 28, 2008 02:49AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
1. I am for Individual Liberty. Since the Declaration of Independence champions individual rights, I think it is noble and glorious.

I am not for any principle, law, or practice that is not for Individual Liberty.

I am not for any contradiction.

2. I am included in “all men are created equal”.


message 43: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Ilyn, are you saying you don't believe in or support the Constitution?


message 44: by Ilyn (last edited Oct 28, 2008 06:57AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Prior to July 4, 1776, there was no society that recognized Rights. One’s life belonged to God (theocracy), the tribe (collectivism), a monarch, or others but oneself. The Founding Fathers were not free men; they were slaves to the whims of a king.

The Declaration of Independence (DOI) is the first that recognized equal inherent unalienable Rights.

As soon as the Founding Fathers signed the DOI, in the eyes of the king and his men, the Founders had committed treason. The Founders’ lives and families were at great risk; some greatly suffered. George Washington and his men suffered overwhelming privations for eight years while fighting a mighty army.

I worship what the Founding Fathers, their constituents, George Washington, and his men achieved: the recognition of equal inherent unalienable Rights, and winning the American Revolution.

I feel revulsion when the founding of a nation conceived in Liberty is denigrated.

Were it not for these noble, glorious men, we would have no Rights. Our lives would belong to God (theocracy), the tribe (collectivism), a monarch, or others but ourselves. Principles and laws that are not in consonance with the DOI should be corrected to uphold self-evident truths.


message 45: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Jim, are you saying the Constitution is not for Individual Liberty?


message 46: by Henrik (new)

Henrik Hi,

I am reading this thread with interest. Jim & Peggy, I think you've made some very good, thoughtful points. Ilyn, I look forward to see your replies.

Honestly interested,
Henrik-back-from-Bali


message 47: by Ilyn (last edited Oct 28, 2008 04:16AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Hello Henrik. Welcome back.

The DOI contains fundamentals while the Constitution contains concretes. Some concretes could contradict the fundamentals.


message 48: by Ilyn (last edited Oct 28, 2008 04:44AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Please correct me if this is a misinterpretation of some posts:

Are the contradictions to "equal inherent unalienable Rights" being used as arguments that the principle of "equal inherent unalienable Rights" is bad and not rooted in reality & reason?

If so, please state your fundamentals.


message 49: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Ilyn, I asked you whether you believed in the Constitution since you continually quote the DOI & seem to ignore the Constitution. You can't pick & choose among the founding documents, saying that the DOI was all these men said, which is what you've been doing.

Amendments to the Constitution change some of our 'liberties'. As I've mentioned, the 5th Amendment addresses Eminent Domain, among others, which gives the government the right to take individual property away. I've asked you several times how you felt about that in the 'Heroes' topic, but I don't recall you answering.

From the get-go, we were not guaranteed the full liberty you keep referring to (but not defining) from your excerpt of the DOI. The government could decide when infringing on the rights of the individual or few would benefit the many. Thus restaurants & important utilities can't be entirely unregulated.

This enhances individual liberty by allowing the majority of us to eat where we will, without fear, & count on water/electric flowing, no matter what happens to an individual - for the most part. It decreases the liberty of the individual who owns the restaurant or utility.

Since you've stated that you don't think restaurants should have any oversight, the government shouldn't be in business, I'll guess that you disagree with this portion of the Constitution. Do you generally agree or disagree with the Constitution? How come you never refer to it?


message 50: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Ilyn, while the DOI was another great step forward, don't forget about the Magna Carta. It too represented a giant leap in rights. Because of King George ignoring the rights of his subjects, the Colonies had a legal pretext to secede from England's control.


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