Before anything is said, there’s this:
Now that we have that out of the way…
What the Crap has evolved a great deal from it’s first creation. You can see this best yourself if you stroll through the archives. Originally, I planned on posting a balance of serious items and humorous items. The scales have shifted a little bit in the serious direction – mainly because I feel like there is a wealth of interesting topics to discuss that just don’t really get enough clarity. In fact – one of the principals I have come to adopt (props to Dennis Prager) is the concept that clarity is of much higher value than agreement.
I don’t at all mind someone holding a different opinion than mine over some issue. Instead, it is much more helpful to try to understand why someone holds a different viewpoint. (Here’s a silly example: it’s like those lower back tattoos on girls – I don’t so much care that someone has one, but I would like to know – why the crap did they get a tattoo there?) If you leave a comment on this blog, please keep that in mind.
Another thing – in the past, I realize that I have come down on certain groups or persons with somewhat over-the-top harshness. For this, I apologize, as I know it works counter to a somewhat light-hearted and friendly environment which I would hope to encourage on WTC. I don’t take any joy in offending people.
Finally, I believe it is important to know a little about the author of a book you are reading – and I believe that can also be true for blogs. Therefore – the following is a little bit of information about myself so that you can get an idea of what has, at least in some ways, shaped my viewpoint.
Let’s start with some of the least important items and work down to things that are more meaningful.
“Yo Hooch, Why you Trippen?” -Josh Hanson
—“Uh…had a slight weapons malfunction. But, uh,everything’s perfectly all right now. We’re fine. We’re all fine here, now, thank you. How are you?” -Han Solo
—-“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.”Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.”-C.S. Lewis
—All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the ring. In which case, you also were meant to have it…and that is an encouraging thought…-Gandalf the Grey
—Taste that food! Dong! – Taco Bell
—[A Series of Quotes]—
Smokey, this is not ‘Nam. This is bowling. There are rules.
The chinaman is not the issue here, dude. I’m talking about drawing a line in the sand, dude. Across this line, you DO NOT… Also, dude, chinaman is not the preferred nomenclature. Asian-American, please.
Hey, careful, man, there’s a beverage here!
Yeah, well. The Dude abides.
Ulli doesn’t care about anything. He’s a Nihilist. The Dude: Ah. Must be exhausting.
The Dude: And, you know, he’s got emotional problems, man. Walter Sobchak: You mean… beyond pacifism?
[I] do mind. The Dude minds. This will not stand. This aggression will not stand, man.
—Budapest. -Dan Sinclair
“…confidense, you know what I’m saying. So -Yeah, we gonna do it big, (yeeah) all day, all night – do it huge. You guys have no idea what I’m talkin’ about when I’m sayin’ dat, but you, but, but, but my boyz know. The Gata’ boyz know what I’m talkin’ bout. Gatasgonna know what I’m talkin’ ’bout…”-Joakim Noah
—“If you look at the range of Hollywood movies playing in most cities in the developing world, you’d hate the America they portray, too.”-Mark Steyn
—“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician equally with the pious man ought to respect and to cherish them.” -George Washington
“You have sat too long for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!”
-Oliver Cromwell to the Long Parliament
I am a tradition Christian. There are many things that could be said here, but I think this quote best sums things up:
“When I was young, I was sure of many things; now there are only two things of which I am sure: one is, that I am a miserable sinner; and the other, that Christ is an all-sufficient Saviour. He is well-taught who learns these two lessons.”
This may seem surprising – but I am not really all that enthralled with politics. I am primarily interested in Liberty, thus – understanding politics’ effect on Liberty becomes interesting. I don’t vote party, and I am not interested in towing lines. I form my opinion over (what are considered) ‘political issues’ one item at a time – always in regards to how that particular issue relates to Liberty.
I guess you might say that I am philosophically a (conservative) federalist which means: I would prefer power to remain as local as possible, preferably in the hands of individuals as opposed to The State.
Issues and Thoughts:
- I believe that personal faith, values, and convictions influence my political decisions and not the other way around. Also – I DO NOT make political decisions based on what my pastor tells me or simply based on the ‘stance of the church’. Rather – I evaluate decisions in a situation by situation manner. In other words – I don’t vote ‘party’ or ‘ticket’, or because all my friends are – and never will.
- I believe in smaller government. What does that mean? Like I said above – the more decisions are made locally (individually) the better. For instance, I would rather a local school board decide what they are going to do with their funds, rather than the Federal Government. I would rather parents decide what’s right for their children than The State. I think giving more choice to individuals is a crucial aspect of Liberty. I believe that it encourages a person to be responsible for their own actions and choices. Likewise, I think it weakens citizens when they get used to relying on the government to solve their problems. What this doesn’t mean is that I think we should just slash and burn all government programs. For instance – I have absolutely no problem paying taxes for things like police, firefighters, roads etc. However – I think a government’s primary function is to uphold laws, protecting its people, and deal with things like infrastructure and safety. That’s pretty much it.
- I believe that a free market is the best economic trading solution yet developed. People are free to vote daily with their dollars on what companies, products, and services they prefer.
- I believe that guns (in the hands of citizens – not talking military here) are tools for saving and protecting life. Period. They are not for killing bad guys; they are for protecting good people from death. I think that as soon as your perspective shifts to one of fear of guns – then, sadly – evil people have prevailed. So what about gun control? I don’t think that gun control will limit the number of guns (and violence) in the hands of criminals. Not that I think everyone should be handed guns willy nilly – but I think it is important for individuals to have freedom to protect their own lives. Plus, when you think about it, there are hundreds of ways to commit violent acts with anything – not just guns. If criminals actually had to worry that good people might defend their own lives, rather than respectable gun owners worrying about losing lawsuits for shooting someone who broke into their home – I think crime would go down.
- I believe that we as humans are called to be good stewards of the earth.
- Environmental concerns (the long answer): I am always a bit skeptical about any movement that predicts doom and gloom scenarios to get people riled up and then enact public policy. I feel like environmental causes are often portrayed this way (think Ozone hole, Rainforest destruction, Acid Rain…). Sadly, it seems that many good intentioned environmental causes have been hijacked by end-of-the-world, turn-or-burn radicals. Often, environmental issues are being used to push public policy, though many are based on undecided and wobbly science. For instance, for the last couple years – the idea that man is causing catastrophic global warming has dominated the news. Newscasters already talk about it like it’s some sort of concrete fact despite many credible scientists who think otherwise. But most people have hardly heard that this isn’t a concrete issue. Unfortunately, climate change is such a complex topic – that you need huge amounts of time to discuss it, which I don’t have here. I would suggest that any fair minded person take a look around, as there is a wealth of information about man caused climate change on the internet. You could start here for a clearly explained a viewpoint that runs counter to the “sky is falling” sort of stuff you hear all the time. I think it is very important to take some time to read around on this topic and make your mind up yourself.What’s the big deal, you might ask? Because Two quick points:
- Congress is already writing legislation that will tax the crap out of businesses (look up: carbon tax) because of the possibility that man caused carbon emissions have led to global warming – yet scientists are still hotly debating if it even exists…
- The Polar Bear was just added to the endangered species list DESPITE the fact that their population has been greatly increasing over the last several years – yet, they were added because of the possibility of their habitat being destroyed due to man caused global warming. Lawsuits are already popping up against companies because they are supposedly contributing to global warming.You can see that public policy is already being made that will directly effect you because of man caused global warming – yet the topic is far from settled science. I find that very disturbing.
- I believe that a fetus is a living human being, therefore should be protected by our laws. I also don’t think we should be throwing women in jail who have had abortions. This is a very complex issue – but, as with most things, I think the policy on abortion should be made at a local level, rather than Federal. Most of all – even if the question of whether or not a fetus should be given human rights is impossible to answer, doesn’t it seem like we should err on the side of life?
- I believe that private property is an absolute necessity to reward (and encourage) hard work in a free society yet I do not think gaining property to be the ultimate end, goal in life, or necessary at all for general happiness/success. Also, this is really the core of the conservatives desire for lower taxes. Essentially, I think that the individual should be more entitled to the fruits of their own labour than the community or The State. Otherwise, why work?!? How free are you if you aren’t allowed access to the majority of your own earnings? I enjoy the freedom to choose what I wish to do with the money that I earn.
Anyway, I hope that’s a good start. I am sure I will be adding/ratifying this in the future.