I forgot that Internet Explorer cannot handle certain standard features of a stylesheet design. So, in the past 12 hours if you visited and the site looked really stupid in IE, it’s because I didn’t test a stylesheet change in all browswers. It’s fixed now.
Category Archives: General
Sometime soon I’ll get a random quote generator on here. In the meantime, here’s a few quotes to ponder for the day.
“Freedom includes the right to say what others may object to and resent… The essence of citizenship is to be tolerant of strong and provocative words.”
— John G. Diefenbaker (1895-1979) Prime Minister of Canada
“Who are a free people? Not those over whom government is exercised, but those who live under a government so constitutionally checked and controlled that proper provision is made against its being otherwise exercised.”
— John Dickenson (1732-1808) Source: Farmer’s Letters, 1767
“Men in authority will always think that criticism of their policies is dangerous. They will always equate their policies with patriotism, and find criticism subversive.”
— Henry Steele Commager (1902-1998) Historian and author Source: Freedom and Order, 1966
Think about them, talk about them.
A comment on a previous entry led me to think a bit about how we let what we read, hear, and see affect our opinions and thoughts. Freedom of thought (not freedom from it) is vitally important to our survival in the future as people who love Life, Liberty & Property. As the old saying goes, those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it, and there are many things going on in the world today that bear some careful thought and consideration.
In our day to day world, there are many occasions when we make judgement calls about things in which we have valid, useful, first-hand information. These are situations where we can be relatively certain that our judgement is accurate. We’ve looked at all the angles, and using the knowledge we’ve gained, we’ve determined the correct way to proceed.
How many times, though, do we see, hear, or read about situations in which we make a snap judgement based only on what we’ve watched on TV, heard on the radio, or read in the newspapers or online? Have you ever changed your mind after that snap judgement? Do you ever go seeking to find out if what you saw/heard/read was accurate? You see, it a world filled with so much media, we must really be sure that we’re exercising our freedom OF thought – not our freedom FROM thought. Freedom of thought allows us to step back and say, “Wow, that really sounds interesting – I wonder if it’s accurate?” Freedom from thought says “well, it must be so or they couldn’t produce/publish it.”
Freedom of thought will lead us to search every avenue available on a subject of interest rather than jumping on the nearest bandwagon. And, if you exercise your freedom of thought, you might just come to some really interesting conclusions – conclusions that may turn your original thoughts or established beliefs completely upside down. This kind of thinking, be forewarned, is not popular – and may cause you a great deal of grief, because bucking the establishment in any form will cause you to be ridiculed or held up as an imbecile to others. Yet it can be richly rewarding to self – if you can get past the need for accolades from others – to know, within your own heart and mind, that you’re not just blindly following the crowd.
My dad, whom I mentioned in a previous post, is a Minister. Dad taught us well – by example – that we should never pass anything along to others without doing our homework to try to insure that we were not passing along gossip or garbage. Incidentally, LOL, friends can tell you that I have never passed along chain emails and spam – and that more than one of them has received a link back to one of the urban legend debunking sites!
Recently, dad and I were talking about the word “Knowledge”. Dad laid it out to me in a way that I’d never thought about. Breaking the word into its separate syllables, it becomes “Know Ledge”. When we think about acquiring knowledge, we think of it as a climb up a ladder. When we’ve learned something concrete, we’ve reached a “know ledge”. We can stand on it. It’s firm. It’s a ledge on which we can place our trust, and from it we can rest and “chew the fat” about what we’ve learned until we’re ready to climb to the next level of “know ledge”.
Now, getting back to the ideas of freedom of thought and freedom from thought, whenever we gain knowledge from our research, we must sometimes use all our senses to discern truth. As the saying goes “the truth is out there”. While there are things that we can’t ever know for certain, if we at least take the time to search, using the knowledge that we can stand on (be it understanding of human nature, concrete science, or first hand information) we can at least be sure of using our freedom of thought to do the best humanly possible to grasp the realities of any situation. And wouldn’t that be better, always, than letting our brains atrophy in the mire of freedom FROM thought?
Edited from original post at Left Brain Female
Over the past few days I’ve been teasing folks with very brief posts about “The Liberty Papers”. Well, the teasing is over. We are here and live.
So, now it seems that it’s time to introduce the Liberty Papers.
We are a group of people who hold some very specific beliefs. We believe that the theories of individual, inherent rights and government of what is now known as classic liberal theory are the correct political theory. We believe that failing to understand the reality of market economics, individual motivation, and politics leads to tragedy as the world has seen so many times over in Russia, China, Cambodia, Vietnam, Iraq, Zimbabwe, Yugoslavia, Cuba, France and many other places around the world. The Declaration of Independence is not just the document that told the British Crown that its American colonies were an independent nation. It is a Declaration that henceforth men would no longer be subject to oppressive government that traded their individual liberties and rights for the paternalism of government. It is the best single expression and declaration of the rights and responsibilities of the individual, including the source of the powers of government. We believe that the United States Constitution is the best attempt by man to take these ideas and turn them into practical, political reality.
All of us are experienced bloggers, we’ve written, in the aggregate, literally hundreds of thousands of words on a wide variety of topics. Always, though, there has been a steady theme of classic liberal belief running through those words. Some people, today, might call that set of beliefs “libertarian”, but there are differences between libertarians and classic liberalism. We are not pacifists, we are not libertines who merely want our vices to be legal. Most, if not all, of us believe that the use of drugs, for example, is a very bad idea, and one that creates issues for the individual, the family, the society. But, we believe the oppression that comes with dictating morals and personal behavior, through collective action and the law, is far worse, and far more destructive to society, than the use of narcotics. We are not anarchists. There is a legitimate purpose for government. Government derives its just powers from the consent of those who will be governed by it. In order to promote the ability of individuals to consent, we must provide a means for them to consent. That can be by the act of participating, by voting, by becoming part of the government. It can also be by the ability to move from one location to another in order to select a government that better fits the desires of the individual. And thus a system such as our Founding Fathers proposed, where the Federal government has extremely limited powers, just those needed at the national level, such as money and coin, national defense, treaty making and the like, while the states and the individuals retain all other power. Then, if you don’t like the government of California, you can move to Nevada, if it is more to your liking. Voting with your feet is a powerful mechanism for consent. Unfortunately, with the states emasculated and most power vested in our Federal government, this is no longer possible today.
So, why this blog? Our goal is a place where we can write on Liberty. We aim to be the place you come to when you want to read political thought from a classic liberal perspective. There’s many other places on the web you can go for freedom and liberty writing. You can visit Catallarchy for anarcho-capitalist writing, or Q And O for neo-libertarian writing (a blend, really, of neo-conservative and libertarian perspectives). So, we aim to be the place you go for liberal thought from a classic perspective. Expect to see a wide variety of writing, as we have a wide variety of contributors. If you look to the left side bar, you’ll see a list of our contributors. Each of them is introducing themselves and the list gives you a link to their introduction. Stop by and visit them, and you’ll find some interesting folks, all of whom are great writers.
We expect to have a lot of good content every day. With this many contributors, if each of us writes 2 to 3 good pieces a week, you are going to see a lot of content coming out. Some of it long, some of it short. One thing you can expect to see, I hope, is some longer liberty writing. Our goal is for the Liberty Papers to be the pre-eminent location on the web for writing on life, liberty and property. And that means that sometimes we need to write more than 800 to 1000 words, which is about the extent of what a blog entry can contain and be effective. We’ll publish those longer pieces as “Liberty Papers”, possibly in a PDF format as well as an HTML format.
So, come one, come all and visit The Liberty Papers. Tell your friends, while you’re at it. Link us, vist us, write about us, disagree with us, engage us in comments and dialogue.
The goal is to create a repository of writing and thinking on classic liberal thoughts, theories and ideas on government, politics, individual rights and freedoms and more.
We are not Libertarians, or Anarchists, or any other -ism. We are the heirs of Patrick Henry, Thomas Paine, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson and the many other men who dedicated their Lives, their Fortunes and their Sacred Honor to the idea that the rule of law should supercede the rule of man.