Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Marriage Equality

With two gay marriage cases recently arriving at the Supreme Court, there is a lot of talk about "marriage equality" throughout the United States (and especially in my home state of Minnesota where the state government is also arguing the issue).
The term "marriage equality" is constantly thrown about within the national discussion over gay marriage. Unfortunately "marriage equality" tends to mean equal government supervision over the love of two human beings. 
On the one hand, "marriage" tends to mean nothing more in legal terms than a tax status these days. Tax reform would go a long way towards taking marriage out of the legal equation in the first place (though other problems might arise with so-called "tax reform" - but that's a different story altogether). Since the income tax is immoral, allowing gay people to take advantage of the same tax loopholes that straight married couples have is definitely preferred. On the other hand, watching people demand a government rubber stamp for their marriage is, well.... kind of sad.

The term "marriage equality" sums up exactly what I believe in; however, it is a different meaning than what is usually defined in the media. I want the government out of marriage altogether.
Marriage would be equal for everyone in every sense by solely being about the promise between individuals and not including the government at all. Does this mean that two people of the same sex would be able to move in together and pledge their love and lives to one another without the threat of government sanctions? Yes. It also means that the government would stay out of the marriages between straight couples as well; no government approval necessary and no licensing fees. That makes for extra time and extra funds to be spent on the honeymoon, I would think.
Whose idea was it to fork over personal sovereignty and property for a government-issued license allowing you to marry the person you love anyway? Gay marriage may one day be legal in the eyes of the law but, with the government in charge of marriage, a lifetime of love will never be free.

Monday, March 25, 2013

And You Thought She Was "Progressive"....

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren became an overnight darling of the progressive Left for her statement insinuating that "there is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody."

She explained:
"You built a factory out there? Good for you," she says. "But I want to be clear: you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn't have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did."

She continues: "Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea? God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along."
Never mind that the money used to build and fund roads, schools, police, etc. was taken from the productive, wealthy part of society in the first place - or that the public has no choice in the matter at all - Warren became a major voice for the Democratic Party and American progressive movement (even President Obama jumped on her bandwagon).

But oh, how things can change! Now Warren is in the news again for some seemingly very non-progressive positions.

First, Warren attacked her Republican Senate rival Dan Winslow last week for being soft on pot, saying "he's for the legalization of marijuana." Oh no! He supports not throwing people in jail for getting high? How dangerous!

This week Warren startled many Lefties with a hawkish view on Iran:
"Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons" and "Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons is unacceptable because a nuclear Iran would be a threat to the United States, our allies, the region, and the world."
The statement continues, "The United States must take the necessary steps to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. I support strong sanctions against Iran and believe that the United States must also continue to take a leadership role in pushing other countries to implement strong sanctions as well. Iran must not have an escape hatch."

But wait! Defense Secretary Leon Panetta already let it slip that "The intelligence does not show that [Iran officials] have made the decision to proceed with developing a nuclear weapon." The United States and its allies do not even know if Tehran is pursuing a weapon at all these days.

I am sure there are a lot of confused people out there: the socialists and progressives do not regulate personal habits or advocate international conflict; they are supposed to be the pro-choice, peace-loving, flower-waving hippies, right? Think again. Interventions in a socialist society are limitless. No rock is left unturned: your business, your food, your currency, your education and, yes, even your personal habits are all regulated by the government with an ever-disappearing list of exceptions (unless you work for the State of course). Socialism destroys indirectly but also directly: history's most famous progressive socialists - from Stalin to Mao to Che Guevara - were mass murderers.

When politicians are allowed to intervene in one place, they intervene everywhere. Democrat voters: Politicians are not your friends. Some Democrats will talk about legalizing pot but, as Elizabeth Warren proves, others demand continued control over your personal lives. Some Democrats likewise will also speak to the idea of engaging in friendly discourse with other nations but, as Elizabeth Warren proves, others think the rest of the world is under the jurisdiction of the United States and must be policed. Do not think you can trust politicians either, Republicans: remember that six year period where Republicans had control of the Senate, House and Presidency in which government grew by leaps and bounds?

The Left is more often associated with what people think of "progressive" policies. However, perhaps this old way of thinking that people's personal habits need to be regulated and nations need to be on the brink of war with each other for world-wide political posturing is not so "progressive" after all. Perhaps nowadays "progressive" should be associated with getting government out of people's lives, allowing individuals to make decisions for themselves and taking responsibility for their own actions, and with making peace with other nations.

Naturally, Warren showed her true socialist colors when she gave credit to the thieving State for allowing people to become successful - she continued by attempting to strip away dissent in the Senate chamber. Now Warren continues to show her great disregard for liberty and the individual by slamming those who advocate the legalization of some people's victimless recreational drug and by banging the war drum against a nation that has not threatened the United States.

A Property Rights Victory

Six months ago, I voiced concern and lamented the very existence of a Supreme Court case that threatened the most basic idea of property rights. Due to business people who shiver at the thought of even limited competition, the outcome of Kirtsaeng v. Wiley could have prohibited the public from reselling their own things that happened to be assembled outside the country without the copyright holder's permission. How many books, cars, CDs and other products are made outside of the US? If you guessed anything less than "a lot" - you would be wrong.

Luckily, the Supreme Court decided last week that if you buy something, you own it - end of story. The fact that the Supreme Court even entertained the case is frustrating enough but the fact that we are all forced to put our faith in nine individuals to uphold the most basic rights is flat-out terrifying. At least the Court upheld the rights of the consumer to do what they want with their own property.... this time.