The public institution of private property

If you go to a friend’s party, and decide to take something from his home without permission, that’s called stealing.

Let’s say you saw a laptop computer tucked away in a corner at the party, and decided to take it without saying anything to anybody.

You stole it.

Let’s break this down to understand the dynamics a little better. Why was it stealing?

One reason is that we have something that I call “the public institution of private property.”

We all understand what private property is. In that sense, our collective understanding of private property is a public institution–we all agree to the rules that establish what constitutes private property. That agreement, to live by those rules, is a public action.

We don’t get to decide for ourselves what constitutes private property. There is no “privatizing private property.” If we all got to decide for ourselves what constitutes private property, then it should be obvious that chaos would be the result. Anybody could take anything they wanted at any time.

It would be hard to accumulate goods and wealth. It would be hard to even take care of your own family. Trust would decline dramatically, being replaced by suspicion and fear.

The strong would prey upon the weak. It would become a might-makes-right culture.

Privatizing the rules for private property would not strengthen private property rights. It would eliminate them.

 

Democrats don’t care about women or gays or blacks or Muslims or…

I figured this out a few years ago: Democrats do not care about women or gays or blacks or Muslims or whatever other group they try to cater to. The Democratic Party is not about them at all, the party is only about Democratic/liberal ideology. How do I know this? Because Democrats don’t listen to women or gays or blacks or Muslims who don’t agree with them. Those people are not welcome in the Democratic party. It is really that simple. It’s a strategy called “identity politics.” They label people according to certain characteristics, then say that they care about that group of people. But it is verifiably false.

Even though it probably first happened with women or blacks, I first noticed it with gays. There ARE conservative gays, and gays who are against gay marriage. But do they get a hearing within the Democratic party? Nope. Why? Because it’s not about gays, it’s only about the Democratic/liberal ideology. As long as women or gays or blacks or Muslims are talking the liberal talking points, they’re golden. If not, they’re anathema.

Democratic talk about inclusiveness is a smokescreen to cover the promotion of their ideology. Here are a few examples of people who are not welcome in the Democratic party:

Here is a study from 2014 showing that…

Liberals are more likely than conservatives to dump a friend over politics

But don’t take my word for it–make your own observations and let me know what you find.

The Electoral College fulcrum

With Hillary Clinton almost certainly winning the popular vote, you are going to encounter people advocating for the abolition of the Electoral College. So I thought of a graphical way to represent it. Hopefully this will help you make the case to your friends.

The Electoral College is sort of like a fulcrum.

electoral-college-fulcrum
The Electoral College acts as a fulcrum to balance the power between heavily populated areas/states with rural areas/states.

How a fulcrum works: the object on the left is larger and heavier than the one on the right. The black line on which they rest is called the lever. If the fulcrum was in the center, the object on the left would exert more pressure and the lever would not be level. Since the fulcrum is positioned closer to the larger object, this makes the lever level.

I used blue and red deliberately, to show how the Electoral College shifts the power dynamic between the Democratic party and the Republican party. If it had gone the other way, I would have reversed the colors. This same exact dynamic played out in the year 2000 between Democratic candidate Al Gore and Republican candidate George W. Bush.

I think this tells us something important about how our Founders set up the country. Here is a great article about the Electoral College by David Barton. It was written in 2001 after the 2000 election. It’s quite long so I suggest scrolling down to the section called, What Led to the Formation of the Electoral College? Begin reading there. Notably, he says this:

… if the popular vote is extremely close, then the candidate with the best distribution of popular votes will be elected.

Compare that with this Size of Lead map available at the New York Times:

size-of-lead-presidental-election-2016
Notice that blue is centralized in certain areas but red is far more distributed. The founders did not want consolidated power to get too influential. The fulcrum performed as designed by shifting power from the consolidated areas to the more distributed areas.

Also, anybody advocating for the abolition of the Electoral College after this election is almost certainly doing it because they’re upset; they’re not doing it out of a truly principled objection. I say this because it is highly, dramatically unlikely that these same people would be making the same argument if the situation were exactly reversed. Similarly, if Republicans are not objecting to the Electoral College after this election, then their moral authority for making this objection is diminished if or when it doesn’t go our way in the future. For me, the system makes sense and I like the principle behind it, so I doubt I will ever object to it.

Did Bill Whittle predict President Trump back in 2012?

After the 2012 election when Romney lost, Bill Whittle had a speech that was making the rounds on places like Facebook. It is really good and I watched it several times back then. It brought me a lot of comfort after that painful loss.

He made a prediction that stuck with me and I want to share it with you to get your thoughts. He predicted that the next president would be a Republican from the pop culture. I made a mental note of that prediction, since the way he framed it made a lot of sense.

I think Trump fulfills the prediction. He’s never held public office, he had a TV show, and was a household name because of his business career, not because of any political activism.

The speech is only 15 minutes long so check it out. I think you’ll like it.

I am praying for both presidential candidates

I have a strange feeling about both presidential candidates, I feeling I don’t think I’ve ever had about presidential candidates. It is this: that God is setting them up. For example, Mr. Trump once said that he never asked God’s forgiveness:

That’s not what we Christians wanted to hear, but at least it was honest. It is also a point about which we can pray, and if he loses tomorrow it will be the biggest public loss of his life (I don’t know what he thinks is his biggest loss in his private life). Losses of this magnitude are often opportunities for the Holy Spirit to work in people’s lives in a big way to bring them closer to God. They are opportunities for self-reflection and introspection.

Similarly for Mrs. Clinton. When I hear her speak about abortion, for example, I have the impression that she doesn’t really believe in it, that she is going along with it for votes and power. So I see this also as an opportunity for prayer, that God will give her the courage to proclaim what she actually believes, that the unborn are human and that marriage is between one man and one woman. The following statement is quite possibly the most eloquent statement on marriage ever made by a politician. She nails it. This is what she really believes about marriage. I think:

So in addition to praying for the country and for the election, I am praying for both candidates, that he will use whatever happens to bring both of them closer to himself.

Is the pro-choice position so weak that it needs to be propped by force?

I think this legislation and the decision upholding it provides evidence for the weakness of the pro-choice position:

Appeals Court Upholds California Law Forcing Pregnancy Centers to Promote Abortions

The federal appeals court that is considered the most liberal in the country has upheld an onerous California law that forces pregnancy centers to promote abortions…

… the California law infringes upon the freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment by forcing pro-life pregnancy help organizations to disseminate a state-sponsored message effectively referring for abortions…

The law will force 150 local pregnancy help non-profits, including the 74 state-licensed free ultrasound facilities, to give each of its clients the following disclaimer, which includes the phone number of a county social services office where a client could obtain an abortion covered by Medi-Cal.

The notice, which the law specifies must either be posted as a public notice in “22-point type,” “distributed to all clients in no less than 14-point font” or distributed digitally “at the time of check-in or arrival,” applies to all of the entities—even those licensed by the state.

“California has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services (including all FDA-approved methods of contraception), prenatal care, and abortion for eligible women. To determine whether you qualify, contact the county social services office at [insert the telephone number].”

Why not just leave crisis pregnancy centers alone? It is as if leaving them alone is a great risk that needs to be attenuated by government action. They even specified the size of the font. Micromanagement is a sign of insecurity. I think the people who believe in this crap are scared.

Pro-choice puritans absolutely rely on the coercive power of the state to advance their unjust and grossly inaccurate view of the human body. Those views don’t stand up on their own; hence, their need to use the state to advance them. Men and women really ARE different, and sex actually DOES make babies. We are not simply a spirit or a mind lodged inside a human body. Every human being is significant starting from the moment of conception, including YOU. If even one human life is insignificant because of its location and size, then that diminishes the significance of everybody, since we all started out that way.

The prolife position upholds equality, but in a different way than the prochoice position. Every human life has equal dignity and an equal right to life, starting at conception.

There are at least two pro-life contradictions

Even among those in the pro-life camp, there is controversy over using the sorts of images that appear in this video. I am in favor of it, but even so, I am not sure how much these images do for the cause, or how many people convert to the cause because of the images. Unfortunately, the “right to choose” is propped up by at least two more fundamental “rights,” “rights” many in the pro-life movement have embraced.

What this means is that, logically, the pro-life movement as a whole has embraced a contradiction. Many in it have embraced the more fundamental “rights” while arguing against the “right to choose.” If the more fundamental “rights” are true, then the “right to choose” is much more difficult to argue against. But if the more fundamental “rights” are false, then the “right to choose” is much easier to argue against. I wonder what would happen if everybody in the pro-life movement rejected the more fundamental “rights.”

Even so, slaughtering the unborn is barbaric no matter what contradictions those who oppose it hold. Innocent human life is inviolable.

See also:

How the State frees us

As a conservative and former libertarian, I can understand why people don’t see how the state frees us. It does, but it also depends on how you define certain other ideas such as freedom, justice, and oppression. Let me start by using an example with which we can all agree.

Let’s say a person enters your home with the intent to kill you. You manage to hide in a closet somewhere. You call 911, the police arrive, and capture the person. He goes to jail, is convicted, and spends a long time in prison.

The state has freed you, right? How did that work? One of the obligations of the state is to protect the innocent and to render justice. But the potential murderer almost certainly thinks that the state has acted in an oppressive manner to convict him of a crime and throw him into prison.

So it is a matter of perspective. It is a matter of deciding where your ethics originate.

Now, let’s take that concept and apply it in another area: marriage, family, and religion. Marxists, communists, and feminists have argued for decades (if not longer) that these institutions are oppressive and unjust. They’ve made excellent headway using the legal system to suppress those institutions thereby reducing those “injustices.” Even a lot of conservatives and many libertarians are on board with these changes. However, we have seen a corresponding rise in the power of the state. How do we explain this? The state doesn’t give freedom, does it? Well, as we saw with the example above, it sort of does in the sense that it is supposed to render justice. So by suppressing all of the pre-existing social institutions, a lot of people believe that the state is rendering justice and freeing the oppressed. By suppressing those institutions, the state liberates the individual from his familial and religious obligations. It is a very seductive idea, with superficial appeal. I went along with it myself for quite a while.

From a conservative and libertarian perspective, the problem is that the state’s power has gone up rather than down. It is the opposite of what we anticipated when we got on board with “sexual liberation,” which is just another way of saying that the state should free us from familial and religious obligations. The dilemma for conservatives and libertarians who believe in “sexual liberation” is this: those social institutions were founded on the concept of rights coming from “nature and nature’s God.” Those rights have their own obligations, and those institutions served as a buffer between us and the state. But many among us are are endorsing the state suppressing them in order to free us from those obligations. This leaves nothing except the individual and the state, and our rights from “nature and nature’s God” go into the trash can, along with those responsibilities.

That’s how the state frees us.

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Other posts in this series:

What will conservatives be able to conserve if HRC wins?

#NeverTrumpers are in a panic over Trump’s highly inappropriate remarks that he made 11 years ago. Some who previously supported him are backing away from him.
I don’t understand what these conservatives think they will be conserving if HRC wins. Can someone enlighten me? I can’t accept criticism of Trump from social liberals like Jonah Goldberg. Anybody who supports the redefinition of marriage has zero moral ground to criticize Trump’s sexual statements. Regardless of Goldberg’s views on abortion, the redefinition of marriage entrenches abortion and fractured families. Somehow this fact escaped him, which indicates a lack of careful thought on his part. This is not acceptable given his position and education. I wouldn’t try to talk him out of being personally prolife, but he is not qualified to speak on behalf of the prolife cause. This is because he has not understood how sexual “liberation” connects abortion and same-sex marriage (and a lot of other social issues). 
 
Maybe there’s somebody else who can convince me that there is an excellent chance HRC won’t do irreparable damage to conservatism. She’s going to install justices at the federal level that will govern policy for at least 30 years. We’re all too old to be much impacted by that (probably), but I have children and a grandchild (and more grandchildren coming, someday, God willing) and they are all going to be greatly impacted by it.
 
I didn’t ask for Trump, I didn’t want Trump, I didn’t vote for Trump. But he’s not HRC. Unlike HRC, there is no guarantee that he will entrench every single social policy we hate, plus enact more. In fact, he appears to be moving in a direction we can support. What gives? Dear God, 4-8 more years of Dem control of the executive branch? #NeverTrump people are OK with that? I’d rather tarnish my reputation among liberals and some conservatives by voting for Trump than look at my grand daughter and **know** I contributed to liberal social policies and immigration issues being entrenched by not voting for him.
 
#NeverTrumpers: the policies I care about stand a better chance under Trump than under HRC, don’t they? What is it you are hoping to conserve under an HRC administration? 

Why abortion and capital punishment are not equal

A friend on Facebook posted a link to this homily that was given by a priest in the Diocese of Phoenix, at the Saints Simon and Jude Cathedral last Sunday. It is so good. I’ve talked before about the importance of making proper distinctions. That’s what he does.

If you haven’t already, you will come across liberal Catholics who maintain that abortion isn’t any more important than other “life” issues such as capital punishment, helping the poor, education, etc. This priest demolishes that notion with an interesting and revealing thought experiment. He makes it very clear which political party we need to support in November without mentioning any names. Well worth the 20 minutes.