Debate Challenge

With the world in panic mode due to COVID-19, my personal life hasn’t been largely affected. I mean besides not having youth groups once a week and perhaps going out to dinner, my life hasn’t experienced many changes.

However, one of the things that has changed is the amount and type of information input to my life. While the news is helpful to stay informed on current events, it also harms mentally and emotionally. So I guess I mean that it is healthy in small amounts, but harmful if played constantly.

Also, with many people being out of school or at least the brick and mortar buildings, there has not been a large amount of new learning materials. I know that for me, I learn best when in small groups, researching and debating, and just having conversations with people of differing opinions.

I offer you the challenge of a written debate as a way to both entertain and continue learning during the isolation that so many of us are involved in.

I generally prefer debate/conversation topics of

  1.  Government (both ideals and practices)
  2.  Theology ( primarily Judeo-Christian, but I’m interested in learning more of others)
  3.  History ( primarily Western Civilization)

 

If you would like to debate, please comment which topic you are interested in. We can post our essays to our own sites, and link them in the other’s comment section.

Thank you,

Sebastian M

My Reason Why

     My WHY is to give more people more liberty and more choices through helping them achieve financial independence.

     Liberty from lack of peace, self-doubt, depression, fear of failure, grief of missed opportunities, complacency in hand with mediocrity, and tyrannical oppression against future dreams that come from stressed financials.

     Also, I will help people to take back with the Devil stole from them, marching into the Enemy’s camp and claiming “Victory! Let us sing the Praise of the Almighty Creator of the Universe, Great Deliver, Blessed Redeemer; Oh! How Great is our GOD!” 

Signed Good and Faithful Servant,

Sebastian Morton, age 18,

March 2, 2020

 

 


What is YOUR reason Why?

USA Defense Budget After Collapse of USSR

In January 1992, would I have predicted a smaller or larger pentagon budget in 1993? Why?

     Yes, I would have predicted the budget would increase for defense/military spending in 1993 because the USA would want to militarily deter and ensure against future enemies’ usurpation of the Western World, regardless of the fall of the USSR. 

     Since the Japanese attack of Pearl Harbor, the United States has always held and produced the strongest and most effective weapons of the last half-century. It also has not used them for world domination but rather as the last stand of policing* and law of other nations*. For all of world history, the strongest nation has taken over and subjugated the weaker. Think of the Egyptians, Aztecs, Greeks, Romans, Persians, Vikings, Britons, Spanish, Germans, and any other country that has held the most advanced weapons of their era; they used the weapons for government expansion and invasion. In this regard, America is quite exceptional. Even though it (USA) has the most advanced and strongest military force of many modern countries combined, it remains relatively untouched by the disease that is world domination. 


 

*”Other nations, if you receive military benefits, prescription medications, or economic backing from the United States, what would happen if the US withdrew it’s support and let you fend for yourselves? 

Bastiat’s Broken Window Fallacy

Describe the Broken Window Fallacy from Bastiat’s work, That Which is Seen and That Which is Unseen.

     In the 19th Century, a French economist named Frederic Bastiat wrote an article called That Which is Seen and That Which is Unseen. As a defender of the Free Market economy, Bastiat took a closer look at claims like “As bad as this [war] is, some good can come out of it.” or “There is a good thing that can come from this destruction; more jobs to stimulate the economy”.

     He opens with a thought experiment.

(Scenario 1):

     Image a town with shops and businesses. Now image that a group of kids decide one day to throw a brick through the baker’s window. The kids run off but the shattering of the glass window alerts the neighboring shops and soon a large crowd forms. At the front of the gawking crowd, stands the Baker, staring in disbelief at the crushed shards of glass scattered on the ground. The Baker’s frustrated because he obviously has to replace the broken window. Somebody in the crowd says “Maybe this situation isn’t so bad, I mean think of all the jobs it can create. Those destructive kids actually did a good thing.” 

     “Yeah”, says a lady from the crowd, “I guess it will spur on the economy.” Murmurs of agreement spread through the crowd as everybody returns to their previous activities, leaving the Baker standing alone with his broken window. 

     The Baker now has to contact the Glazier (glass maker) and order a replacement window. The Glazier comes to deliver and install the window, and when its all said and done, the Baker pays the Glazier 30 dollars. The Glazier then decides that he needs more window making supplies and contacts the local Building Supplier and orders more sand and coal. The Glazier pays the Building Supplier 25 dollars and on and on it goes. 

     (If you think like most of the crowd in the sense that it will be a good thing for the economy, you’re right….unless of course there is a better way.)

(Scenario 2);

     Imagine a similar town with shops and businesses all along the streets. Now imagine a group of kids riding their bikes down the street. Instead of brick-throwing, they just keep on riding. The baker’s glass window remains intact. No crowds are drawn to the shattering sound of broken glass. Everybody carries on minding their own business and errands. 

     The Baker now has an intact window and the money ($30) to buy more eggs and flour from the Farmer. The Farmer now has money to buy a new hose and plow or buy a new pair of shoes. 

Summary

     In the first scenario the Baker starts with an unbroken window and 30 dollars. After the brick gets thrown through the window, he now had a loss of a window and his 30 dollars. (The replacement window comes at the expense of $30). Now the Baker again has an unbroken window but does not have 30 dollars to buy more production supplies. The net loss is 30 dollars.   

*Two steps backwards, one step forwards still leaves you one step behind*

     In the second scenario the Baker starts with an unbroken window and thirty dollars. The window remains undamaged and the Baker still has $30. Now the Baker has an unbroken window and buys eggs and flour to keep producing food. The Farmer now has $30 dollars and can buy better equipment to irrigate his crops. The net loss is nothing but the net gain is an unbroken window, more baking supplies, and more farm equipment.

*In the absence of destruction, you can keep what you have and produce more.*

 

 

This video by LearnLiberty illustrates The Broken Window Fallacy, if you learn better visually.

 

Regional Policy Extends Personal Freedoms

Can a smaller political unit contribute to liberty? Why or why not?

     I believe, yes, political units that are smaller and have less power are beneficial to the liberty of those living within its boundaries. I also believe in the republic model of government and that the power and the rights of the individual take precedence before all other matters. 

     The very first organization one sees in life, is that of the individual. That is how babies know by crying that they will receive attention, whether from the family or the wet nurse. It is also why the child claims different toys and belongings as his. With his newly claimed toys, he entertains himself or cooperates with another kid to get better (in his mind) toys. One on one. 

     The next level of organization is the family. This child has parents that instruct him on the rights and wrongs of behavior and show him more effective ways to function around other people. The family also feeds him and provides him with clothes and shelter. One on one operating collectively. 

     The level of organization that follows the family is the community. Through conversations and expressions can the young man, who was once the boy,  now cooperate with other families and work alongside them to build new materials and create more desirable conditions and inventions. An collective of individuals collaborating to each benefit themselves. 

     Only when the boy and his community have disputes with themselves or other communities does there really need to be a clear chain of government appeal. Then, in each family’s own house, do they discuss how to organize themselves to handle the disputes. Next, the heads of the household (often one of the parents) meet as a collective body and chooses people who they think will best represent their beliefs and claims. Government disputing with government

     Both parties are at fault when it comes to the over-reaching representatives limiting the rights and kinds of peaceable agreements that the individual can make throughout the community. It is the error of the representatives to believe that they can make better decisions about the way an individual lives than the decisions of the individual makes about their own life (most commonly seen as the Police/Nanny State). It is the fault of the individual for growing lax and letting their guard down in relation to not holding the representatives directly responsible for their actions made while in office (most commonly seen as the Lack of Participation State).

     On the contrary, if you believe that the State can make better decisions regarding the personal lives of the individual than the individual can (Socialistic and Communistic governments), I encourage you to describe how lifestyles are more free and what liberties the individual has living under those forms of governance. I also suggest that you compare the Socialist and the Free Markets’ lifestyles. I think you will find more liberties and freedoms are recognized in the Free Market’s limited, small governments than in Socialism’s large government ones.

The Origin of Money and Price Control Problems

What is the origin of money?

First a definition of what “money” is. It is the agreed-upon value of goods based upon transaction between two parties.  It can also be described as the most marketable commodity in that it is something that most everybody wants a large amount of.

Secondly, an explanation of where these agreements originated. During the development of the Western World, and really many places where local villages were the building blocks of a society, money took on the form of barter. For example, a baker bakes different types of breads. This baker’s goal is to exchange the bread for a egg laying chicken. Now let’s say one of the local farmers has very little food but he owns several chickens. As the farmer goes into town to try and buy food, he finds the bakery. Looking at the breads on the shelf, he says to the baker “How much to buy a dozen loaves?”

The baker replies, “Two chickens.”

The farmer then considers if two of his chickens are worth the dozen loafs of bread. After giving it consideration, he believes that having the bread is more beneficial to him than his ownership of the chickens and the lack of food. He agrees to hand over two chickens (and the ownership thereof) to the baker. The baker agrees to give up possession of the bread loaves in exchange for the gain of having two chickens. Both the baker and the farmer are satisfied with the exchange and go on about their days.

As you might quickly realize, this process of immediate transaction has several flaws. One such flaw could be, how does the owner know what is an agreeable price? Another could be, what if a trader has this random assortment of property, livestock, tools, and clothing? Still another could be, if a village grows to have all of these random assortments, the how does each individual store them? Prices and interactions might increase in frequency, leading to a person constantly traveling and transporting the correct amount of possessions between the borders of the village, town, or city.

It was exactly at this time of tiresome transportation of goods, that somebody had the idea to create a currency based upon a small, easily transportable, coin. The coin, as it would come to be known, was accepted in the stead of the direct transfer of goods. Instead of needing to own two chickens to purchase a dozen loaves of bread, now the farmer could use coins as an item of value. The baker would also accept the coins in place of the chickens, for with the coins he could purchase a pair of shoes from village shoemaker. And on and on does the cycle go. From direct exchange to coins, from coins, to paper, from paper to electronic accounts.

What are some of the problems associated with price controls?

     (I have previously written an essay about Price Controls, if you wish to read it, click here)

Monument Syndrome and the Failure of Anti-Poverty programs

What is Washington Monument Syndrome?

     The current government of the United States operates and maintains several different and various Departments and programs. During times of war, funds and resources are in high demand but the amount of revenue flowing into the government is less than the amount being spent, thus leading to debt and deficits. Let me give you an example.

     Imagine that the US military is fighting in a foreign war, often defending positions more than leading offensives. These forces gradually run low on supplies and munitions. Then they send for reinforcements. Back in the US, parades, statuary, and monuments are being performed and built. The Federal Government now has a decision to make; reduce the military budget and supplies OR reduce the budget of the parades and monuments.

     If the choice is reduction of military, then the public does not see the loss in the war for some time. They only see that the entertainment of parades remains unchanged or greater. If the choice is to reduce and redirect the parades’ budget towards reinforcing the military, then the public is upset at the loss of their entertainment. The public’s frustration gets taken to Congress in the form of bills asking for increased (parade) funds. These bills get passed into law (as appropriations) with overwhelming support from the public. In the final version of the appropriations, it often allows more money to be taken in the form of taxes and in turn increases the amount of domestic power of the Federal Government and politicians holding office. 

     In summary, the increasing frequency of parades and monument buildings comes at the expense of military strength and secure defenses. But hey, at least the people are happy. 

 

What are some of the outcomes ( intended or unintended ) of anti-poverty programs?

     Depending on your view of the proper function of government, I suspect your answers to vary greatly. If you view the government as an institution to protect your freedoms and property, then you probably see anti-poverty programs as a gross overreach of its power. If you see the government as an institution similar to daycare services, thereby being protected from the consequences of your choices, then perhaps you recognize anti-poverty programs as beneficial and even necessary. 

     I am of the first opinion. Government is only supposed to act in defense and protection of its citizens, not bottle-feed you and hold your hand like that of a child not capable of crossing a busy intersection on their own. But seeing as how there are certain anti-poverty programs already in place, let’s look at their results. 

  1. Social Security
  2. Medicare
  3. Medicaid
  4. Unemployment Insurance
  5. EBT and food stamps
  6. Government-run low-income housing
  7. Mandatory minimum wages  

     are all Anti-poverty programs. Social Security will become bankrupt in the next wave of generational retirement (although truthfully, it is already bankrupt, simply biding its time through monetary inflation and borrowed time). In 1994, government spending on welfare had quadrupled since it was enacted in the late 1960’s. Yet despite this increase, the poverty rate remained relatively unchanged.

     Today, government spending on Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security alone is $2,500,000,000,000. This is more than 22 times the original amount spent in 1967. While the overall standard of living has increased, the amount of finance needed to maintain an above-poverty rate has also increased, leaving the poor better off materially, but still poor financially. You will find that government housing and minimum wage laws are also just as detrimental to the health and financial life of the individual and family as nearly every other form of government relief programs.      

     Often times the only real effect of Anti-poverty programs is a cycle of perpetual and continuous impoverishment. This tale rings true anytime the government intervenes into the affairs and consensual agreements of the free market.

 

Private Property to Solve Environmental Issues? War on Drugs- Is it Ineffective?

How can private property rights help solve environmental issues?

     In the realm of laws and courts, there is a phrase for holding an individual or group responsible for any damages they have done. The phrase is “strict liability”, it means “you do the damage, you must pay and clean it up”. For most of the 18th and 19th centuries, in America, strict liability was applied to business as well as private land owners. If a company was polluting and somebody filed a law suit, the company was ordered by the court to clean up their mess and keep from repeating it in the future.

     In the late 1860’s this changed. Instead of following the strict liability argument, the (government) courts came up with the “common good/need for industrialization” argument and let factories pollute up to a certain amount. 100 years later, in the 1960’s and 1970’s, the government looked around and said, “Whoa! There’s a lot of pollution going on, we (the government) need to fix this,” and immediately formed the Environmental Protection Agency and passed the Clean Air Act into law.  

     There are several ways in which having strong and clearly defined property rights would fix pollution. One of which is dissolving the EPA and repealing the Clean Air Act, while also returning to the Strict Liability argument in cases of pollution.

  • A:  It would reduce the Federal Government’s unconstitutional authority and bind it closer to the original function of government
  • B: By having the courts hold polluters accountable with strict liability, a large portion of pollution would be cleaned up immediately. 
  • C: With the Federal Gov back in its proper boundaries and the courts supporting private property,  the individual has incentives to freely make agreements that reduce and limit pollution on their own accord. 

     An example of private enterprise solving pollution issues could be as follows:  Imagine that landfills and dump sites were all privately owned and managed. Now, plastic is known to be harmful and takes a lot of time to decompose fully. So, companies that use plastic in their products would have to pay fines or fees for use of dumping at a particular landfill. In turn, this would lead to a potentially large increase in consumer prices for plastic goods. Customers not wanting to pay these high prices then turn to a different product that doesn’t use plastic, placing further incentives on plastic-using companies to find better alternatives. Within a few years, the amount of plastic and other harmful materials being disposed of would shrink drastically, maybe even all together. 

     Once again the free market finds a properly effective and efficient solution. 

 

What are some problems with the Federal War on Drugs?

     Under President Richard Nixon, the War on Drugs was started in 1971. It was and continues to be a prohibition on certain types of drugs, both pharmaceutical and recreational. And just as so many other government programs and prohibitions, the War on Drugs remains inefficient and continues to harm law abiding citizens. 

     Living in a finite world such as ours, there are limited resources. One of these resources being police officers. With such a large portion of police officers trying to catch drug offenders, it often leaves a smaller and sometimes less capable force of police to solve private property crimes like burglaries, assaults, vandalism, etc. The frequencies of property crimes increased in intensity and amount, while drug use steadily rose regardless of the police forces’ best efforts.   

     Other limited resources are jail facilities. With a stronger focus on drug users, prison cells started to fill up with addicts rather than thieves and abusers. With more prison cells filling with people who needed medical treatment, more taxes would go towards housing and treating them than rebuilding infrastructure or any other more beneficial action of the government. 

     It was and continues to be a war after-all; and wars are rarely beneficial or helpful to the overall economies of those that partake in the war.

Healthcare Cost and Wartime Prosperity

What is causing the high healthcare prices in the United States?

     There are several factors as to why healthcare has high prices. The largest being (as usual) the Government’s interference into private matters and markets. It does this through its illegal and unconstitutional manner of laws, regulations, and tax-funded programs. 

     These programs include Medicare and Medicaid, founded under former president Lyndon B Johnson in the 1960’s. Medicare being for the elderly and senior citizens; Medicaid for low-income family children. Anti-trust laws and their respective regulations also contribute to the high costs of Healthcare. The Anti-trust Laws, while marketed as being protections from big businesses, like pharmaceutical companies in this case, actually benefit big businesses through lack of competition and exclusion of small local businesses. 

     Another factor of high healthcare costs are insurance companies and their special legal protections. Some of the protections are seen, such as every person (by law) is supposed to have an insurance policy. The US population is something like 330,000,000 people. If nearly everybody has an insurance policy, that’s 330 million payments PER MONTH to insurance companies. Of course this number fluctuates depending on the frequency of hospital visits, personal health conditions, medications, etc.

     Other smaller factors include that compared to other countries, the Unites States overwhelming develops the largest amount of new medications, medical supplies, and medical equipment.  Once developed, these new products are then shipped and distributed globally. Also, the clean and pleasantly comfortable conditions of hospital rooms with all their furniture, artwork, decorations, and television, comes at the cost of the person recovering from an operation.

     I will always remember the phrase, “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.”  Everything has it’s price, and eventually that price will be paid.  

 

True or False: “WWII was a prosperous time for the US?”

     If you are Keynesian and Mercantile in your thought of economics, then this claim is true. The US did possess a certain prosperity during WWII. A booming wartime economy (that caused food prices to skyrocket and rations to be implemented), that cranked out ammunition, guns, planes, tanks, and most importantly, soldiers was a good thing.

     Alternatively, if you are Austrian and inclined to the Free Market in your thoughts of economics, then the claim is false. The only beneficial things that can come from war are the protections, liberties, and freedoms of an individual being secured. Every other aspect of war is harmful to a properly functioning body of Society.  As the French economist and free market advocate Frederic Bastiat pointed out in his essay, What is Seen and What is Unseen, there is always a cost of rebuilding and it comes swiftly at the expense of having both the unbroken window and the money to buy new items. 

     In summary, war itself cannot be an agent of prosperity because all of the destruction and havoc effectively redirects funds that, without war, would have gone to furthered development and innovation, but with war, are directed into rebuilding and repairing the damaged landscape and countries. 

 

(I have discussed What is Seen and What is Unseen  in greater detail in some of my previous essays, feel free to read them if you’d like)

Child Labor and Labor Unions

What has been the most effective contribution to the abolition of child labor?

     First off, the reason there was a spike of child labor during the Industrial Revolution is because prior to the Industrial Revolution, the living standards were very poor; both in finances and in quality of life. The children would stay at the house, most often with the mother to watch them, and play games or assist her with house chores. There was limited access to schools, so many children did not go. Also food was in short supply and their clothing was not always in the best of shape. 

 Secondly, with conditions like those, would you rather work around the house for no money and starve, or would you rather find a (sometimes harsh-conditioned) job in a factory or shop that paid you? My choice would be to find a job that paid, so that I could better my quality of living.

     There were no alternative options: stay at home and starve, or work for money to buy food.

 

Is the claim, “All workers have benefited from the existence of labor unions” accurate?

No, this claim is not accurate. The only workers that have benefited from labor unions are the ones who are in labor unions. Let me explain.

You may hear many people say that a labor union is a good thing for workers as it provides a sense of security and protection against the evil/ corrupt corporation while also ensuring benefits like paid leave and a large wage. What they might fail to mention is how the union provides these services.

If a union promises to pay a large hourly wage, they can only fulfill that in two ways. One is by raising the prices of their product for sale. The other way is to limit the amount or type of employees the employer can hire. Similarly, if the union promises protection from the “evil/corrupt” corporation, they fulfill this one by appealing to government officials and state legislators. The State then passes laws and regulations as a negative sanction against the corporation.

What the fail to say is how it also affects the private individual. The individual now has to pay double or triple the price to purchase what previously might have only cost “X”. He also has to see the regulations and red tape of the State Bureaucracy in the form of increased taxes, or if he tries to apply to a particular corp. and fails to jump through all the hoops of requirements.

But hey, the Union offers good wages that protects….

…..only themselves.

Income Inequality Is Not An Issue

Is income inequality a problem, in my opinion?

     No, no it is not a problem.

     Income inequality is the notion that the wealthy people earn more than what the low income or middle-class person earns. The rich make larger amounts of money than the poor for nearly the same time. I claim that income inequality is not an issue for the simple reason of the free market economy. 

     In an absolute free market, anybody can sell any good or service. While America is not an absolute free market economy, due to government regulations, it is still one of the most free economies in the world. Given that the Constitution and Bill of Rights’ protections apply equally to all American citizens, no matter whether you are born into one of the richest or the poorest families in the country, you start life with the same beginning.

     If your family is one of the poorer ones in your community, I understand that you may not have the same toys or the nicest bed compared to the richer families. Of course, I understand that not everybody’s early childhood is the same.  However, as you are becoming a young adult and begin entering the work force, you might begin to notice how similar and nearly equal you are to other people your age. By looking at the standing of someone who is new to the work force compared to someone who has been working for 30 years, right of the bat they will appear unequal. But if the people being compared to each other have had the same or nearly the same amount of time and experience, the results will show their income is nearly equal. 

     Where I live, Fareway and Papa-Murphy’s Pizza pays $8 per hour and they hire at ages 14+. Wendy’s, McDonald’s, B-Bops, and other fast food restaurants pay $10 per hour at ages 16+. Hy-Vee, Walmart, and Target pay $11 to $12 per hour and hire ages 16+. Equal Opportunity Employment laws make it illegal for an employer to refuse you based on race, color, religion, sex or pregnancy status, national origin, and disability or genetic information. This means that if you are old enough for the minimum requirement (job specific), are polite, respectful, show up on time, and do your work, you’ll probably get the job. Once you have the job it is up to you to keep it. The choices you make and the effort you put forth will determine whether you will keep the job long enough to benefit from it. 

     Perhaps the most simplistic way to define the Free Market is “If you do the work, then you get the reward.” The work being your job, and the reward being money. If you don’t work, you don’t get the reward.

“Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10 NIV)

     If you do the work, you’ll get paid. With the money, you can buy food or clothes or toys or cars or a house, etc. But if you don’t work, then you won’t have as many or as nice of  things that the people who do the work will have. 

     How you live your life is your choice. 

Entrepreneurship

Do I have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

     Solution finding. Creation. New  and faster ways of accomplishing tasks. That is what entrepreneurship really means. When I read this question, this is how I see it.

     I see it as asking if I can find the solutions to the problem. Almost everybody else only sees the problem and focuses on that. I focus on the solution. If you are able to solve more problems, all that time and energy people previously spent on it, can now be used to be more productive at whatever they were originally working on. 

     Firstly, you have to have an attitude of thankfulness and being willing to help. I saw a billboard the other day, I think it was promoting a local school, anyway, it read “Attendance is the first step to success”. I thought to myself, “That’s not true; you can have perfect attendance and never miss a day of class or work in your life, but if your attitude is ugh, why am I here, this is so stupid, all of you people are irritating the heck out of me, then your perfect attendance is diminished greatly in value”. The actual first step to success is having a helpful attitude. 

     Another helpful skill is that of communication and being willing to introduce yourself and talk to people. If, in your head, you know all of Sir Issac Newton, Einstein, Aristotle, DaVinci, Picasso, Bach and Beethoven’s greatest works, but can’t share them aloud with other people (speech is one of the most used interactions with people), then you haven’t gotten your message across in a way that the other person can understand. However, if you can talk to people and have them understand you, then you can begin to connect and form relationships.

     Being able to problem solve and find solutions to a puzzle is also very helpful. After all, the solution is what you are trying to find if you’re an entrepreneur. The problem could be as simple as “This door doesn’t close properly” or it could be as heavily involved as “How do I get my product to sell in these different communities?”. In the first case with the door, the solution might be checking for and removing any obstacles behind it. The second scenario with the sales of the product could be fixed by advertising with flyers in the local stores or by going door to door in the community.  

     Most likely, you will have to talk with people in life. Sometimes you might need to fix an issue or expand into different areas. I can’t do these things for you, but I can help you. Have a good attitude, learn how to talk effectively with people, and most importantly, rather than focusing on all the problems, try to find the solutions.

Public Goods: Are They Really Public?

What are some problems of public goods?

     Firstly, a public good is something, that once produced, can be used by a consumer at no additional cost and nobody can be excluded from it.

     An example of this could be a highway road, or national defense. In the case of the highway, the State produces it and anybody with a car and a drivers license (very small regulation) or walking can use it. In the case of national defense, the State forms the military/defense and uses it to protect the land and its people. Simply by being in the country that is protected by this national defense, do you consent to its protection, because the military cannot decide that it wants to only protect some people and not others. No, it protects everybody within its borders.

     Somebody who supports Big Government, could claim that highways and the military are either underdeveloped or under-produced, so the government is the only organization capable to produce these things.

     This claim can be countered by a person who supports Little Government simply by stating that if the free market fails to produce these things efficiently, so would the Government. An additional claim could be that the “free rider” situation can apply to anything, not just these examples.

     In his book,  “A Theory of the Theory of Public Goods”, Randall Holcomb says that people tend to focus and work towards their own personal interest, not the greater good’s. Therefore, with the government officials being individual people too, the officials will operate the government so that it benefits themselves. Think about it. Before this, the thought was “the government operates a military to defend it’s land and people”. Now the thought becomes “the government owns and pays for a military to ensure it’s own authority.” The side effect of this military is the citizens benefit from this protection also. Therefore, national defense becomes produced by the private sector, not the “public” government. Because the government has no money on its own, it must take the money from it’s citizenry through taxes. So its actually the private individuals pay for the military through taxes and benefit from it’s protection, not the government.

     The same principle is true for roads and highways. The free market (voluntary interactions and agreements) can build roads more efficiently and better quality than the government’s department of transportation (funded through taxes, forcibly taken from individuals) that doesn’t. If you think they build long lasting, high quality roads in a timely manner, go drive around your cities and towns, paying attention to all the pot-holes and cracks, rivets and buckling. I dare you to come back and say that the roads are the best they can be and without blemish. Good luck. 

     If you want the government to produce anything, there must first be violence, either the threat of or handcuffs and the court of law. Don’t believe me, try not paying any taxes. If you don’t pay taxes, police (government) will arrest you and charge you with tax evasion. 

     There are far better ways to get everything you want than having government coddle to your whim and give it to you.  One of the best ways to accomplish something is having people willingly work together. This is only achieved in the free market.

Governement Coercion

Value: Time or Money?

Is it worth my time as a teenager to get a part time job at minimum wage?

     Many part time jobs pay more than the current minimum of $7.25. But if even if you work in the evening for a week for a couple hours a week there are still many skills that you would be able to learn.

     One of the skills would be learning how to communicate with people effectively whether you’re at the register or helping them to their car. People tend to appreciate when other people smile and thank them or give them compliments. According to Dale Carnegie, author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, one of the keys to talking with people is learning/using their name. To them it is the most important word in the language. If you are polite and smile, more people around you may catch on and do the same. Work or shopping is always easier when the people involved are pleasant and enjoy what they do.

     Another skill you could learn is the value of hard work and being able to move, lift, sort, clean, cook, and organize depending on the job you get hired for. If you work at a retail store, you could learn how to fold clothes and organize the shelves. If you work in fast food, you could learn time management, how to cook a particular food, and how to use a cash register.

     Of course there is also the option of lawn mowing, babysitting, or tutoring. With lawn mowing, you could work hard and be paid for it, but you would only have it as long as the grass needs cut and sometimes when it’s really hot outside. In winter, you’d have to find something else.

     Babysitting is a bit more difficult because you have to have the parents’ approval for you to watch their child/children while they go out for a couple hours. You would also have to entertain, feed, or play with the kids, often times in the late evenings and into the night.

     Tutoring could also prove a challenge. You would have to focus on teaching somebody a specific subject and showing them ways that could improve their ability to learn in class. While this is available year-round, you may find that if you tutor a lot of other people, you have less free time.

     Of course, if you get a job you’ll have less free time. But if you can get paid for your time (which is all a paycheck really is), your time now becomes more valuable.

     Or you may value your time over the option of having money. You might choose to hang out with friends, play games, or participate in sports and activities rather than spending a couple of hours working.

     It is your time. Or it could be your money. You might have to make the decision of what you want to spend it on.

     Do I have time in my schedule to spend a couple hours a night at a job? Do I have enough money to spend on this or that item? What is it worth, to me?

Governor Bradford: Plymouth Morality

Was Bradford’s account a tale of morality to future generations?

   In 1620, Plymouth Colony was founded by 103 Pilgrims from England. Due to the poor timing of their arrival in present day Massachusetts, the Pilgrim’s had an extremely unpleasant first winter.

     In the Spring of 1621, 55 of 103 Pilgrims were still alive.  In 1622, Captain William Bradford became the Governor of Plymouth Colony. He kept a journal entry of the next 10 yearsIn this journal, he records an account of how the colony slowly grew despite the harsh conditions that the Pilgrims faced in the new unknown world. 

     Their first problem was not being under the authority of the Virginia Company, and in turn, the English Crown. The journey from England to the New World required funding but the Pilgrims were often beggars or low income families, so they didn’t have the necessary funding. The Pilgrims then found a company, Virginia Co.,  willing to fund their voyage in exchange for indentured servitude (gives the company virtually free labor). The Virginia Company then made a charter for a settlement more to the South than the Pilgrims landed. So when they landed in Plymouth, they were outside of the geographical boundaries in the legal contract.   

Another problem was the lack of food or at least fresh food. The Pilgrims had to ration their already limited supply of dried bread and salted pork while still spending the first winter basically still aboard the ships. Once Winter started to wane into Spring, they began to leave the boats behind and begin building a community, for indeed it was a community because their was common ownership of the land and tools. Under this common ownership, the houses went up slowly and there was barely enough food for everybody. 

 They also had to negotiate and interact with several of the Indian tribes located nearby the Colony. Some tribes were content to just sit and watch the Pilgrims’ struggle’s. Others raided the community, sometimes for supplies like furs, trinkets, and food while other times it was to attack and disrupt the settler’s progress. 

     In all of these problems, the Pilgrims found solutions. By not being directly under the King or the Virginia Company, the Pilgrims formed their own government with the Mayflower Compact, even though they were ultimately still under the English Crown. With the problems of common ownership of the land and the corresponding near-famine, they solved it almost within the year. The answer was private ownership of plots of land. With nearly everybody assured that they got to keep whatever they planted, the harvest soon became exceedingly more than enough. With the Indians, they soon made peace and collaborated together. The Indians wanted things like razors, mirrors, and other such trinkets so in exchange for those, they helped show the Pilgrims how to farm and fish efficiently. 

     

     Is it moral to obey the rules? Is it moral to defy them, for if you had followed them, you would most certainly be dead? Is it moral to exchange famine for bountiful?

     If the rules are based on corruption and deceit, then yes, it most certainly moral to deny them your support. If you would have famine and lack by following the rules, then yes, find a better way. Only if morality is based on the Ten Commandments and the Love God, Love your neighbor, scriptures will you benefit. 

     “Therefore, the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: ’I did indeed say that your house and the house of your father would walk before Me forever. But now the LORD declares: Far be it from Me! For I will honor those who honor Me, but those who despise Me will be disdained.” (1 Samuel 2:30) (Also read Deuteronomy 28)

Garage Sale: Regulations?

Would the Poor of the U.S be better off if garage sales were regulated by the state?

     Dear people who claim that with Government’s intervention poor people would be lifted out of poverty,

     I say that no, the poor would not be better off if the State regulated garage sales but rather, they would be even worse off.

     Do not continue claiming that poor people “pay high prices for broken/decrepit/ratty and torn” items. They don’t. If something is broken or too torn then people won’t pay for it. The buyer’s goal is to find good, decent items at a convenient price. They do not go looking for items that would make them worse off or crummier-feeling. If people have the chance too, they want to better themselves and their surroundings. Be it through new clothes or through new material possessions.

     If Person A places their private possessions for sale (on their own land), then their goal is to trade (private) ownership of the items for the (private) ownership of the money that Person B has. Person B’s goal is to have possession of whatever the item(s) are and they are (voluntarily) willing to exchange ownership of their money in return for (private) possession of the item(s).

     At which place does State regulation seem effective in helping the poor (Person B) become not poor? By taxing* the private property of Person A where they are hosting the sale? By having (dependent on which State Person A lives in) a sale’s tax* on all sales made between Person A and Person B? By regulating which items in which condition can and cannot be sold? Where? Where does State intervention benefit the Poor?

     If garage sales were to become regulated by the State, then the owner could be forced to sell only a few of the many items they want to get rid of “due to quality reasons”. This leaves less variety for more people, cutting down on the amount of items low income families could otherwise have had great deals on. If the tax* is on Person A’s land housing the sale, then A would lose profits that could otherwise have been payed towards that month’s rent or payed towards a future meal or future clothes. If the tax* is on all items sold, the cost of the goods would increase so Person A could keep more money from the sale, but with these higher costs due to Sale’s Tax* the poor Person B can no longer afford as many items as they had intended on buying before the Sale’s Tax* was introduced.

     Other taxes* could increase because the State would need to establish and operate  another Agency/Department (who’s purpose is garage sale regulation) and this new Agency would need Agents (employee’s with salaries) to travel to all the different garage sales  to make sure that the rules were being maintained and followed. A majority, if not all, of the taxes collected from the sales would go towards funding this new Agency and its agents’ salaries and operating costs. The poor would not receive cash every month from the State. They would, however, be forced to either pay the higher garage sale prices or continue living their current conditioned life. 

     When a person hosts a garage sale, it’s their decision as to what items that they place on sale are and for what price they sell the items. A pair of used jeans that no longer fit the owner, but are still in decent condition, are maybe $5. New jeans at the store can be anywhere from $30 all the way up to $100. Likewise, kid’s toys could be .50¢ at a garage sale but at the store they can vary from $5 to $20. 

     Good deals like these can help low income or even middle class families afford decent quality items while still having some money to put towards other expenses. Thus, bettering their living conditions and helping them be better well off. 

 

Cheers,                    

Sebastian  

Airline Tickets: First Class or Economy?

If flying from San Francisco to New York City, would you rather fly first class, or be paid the difference of first class and economy (coach)? Why?

     On the day that I posted this article (10-10-2019), a First class flight from San Fran to NYC costs $1500. The same flight in Economy class costs $650.

    OPTION A: You could pay $1500 for First class and enjoy a spacious seat with drinks and nice meal included for a quiet flight. 

Or

     OPTION B: You could be paid $850 to enjoy the same flight but in Economy class with a simple seat and a couple simple snacks (like peanuts or pretzels).

     Both options take the same amount of time to get from San Fran to NYC. Which do you choose?

     I, personally, would choose Option B. Spend $1500, out of my pocket, for a cushier seat that travels just as quickly as the $650 Economy class’s less well cushioned seat? I don’t think so. I’ll pay Economy fare out of my pocket, automatically saving me the extra $850 that it would cost to upgrade, and on top of that I get paid an additional $850. Option B would double my money while somebody who chose Option A would be out $1500. But hey, at least they got a dinner out of it.

 

 

Rights of Liberty

Is there a “Right to free speech” in abstract or is the matter one of property rights?

     I believe that the matter of Right to Free Speech lies in the property owner’s hands. If you own a piece of land/road/building, you are the one who makes the rules. Rules regulating what the property can be used for, rules on when the property is available for use, and Yes, the owner (you) can even regulate what can be said by someone when they are on your property. 

     This solves many of the Free Speech disputes quickly, effectively, and without the interference of Government Courts. For instance, the well known case of yelling “FIRE” in a crowded theater, can be solved within minutes of the shout. Start with, Who owns the theater? What rules do they have for people participating in the audience? Is any form of shouting prohibited? 

     Let’s say Mike is the owner of the Big Screen Theater. His rules are thus: No jumping up and down, no hooting and hollering, no obnoxious/loud/disruptive talking, and once you are finished with the movie, do clean up your immediate area if you made any messes. Especially NO forms of shouting are allowed, regardless of content.  Somebody who bought a ticket to watch a movie at this theater now had to comply with Mike’s rules or else leave.  

     Now let’s say Ralph, a movie watcher, stands up in front of the screen during a showing of the latest action movie (blocking the view to those in the back) and yells, rattling off 2012 Major League Baseball scores.                       OR                                       George, another movie watcher, looks over the room during a showing of the newest comedy movie and yells “FIRE!!!” causing the rest of the audience to panic and freak out  and rush out of the theater even though there was no fire. 

      Both Ralph and George would be violating Mike’s (the theater owner) rules against no shouting. Now Mike, being a strong upholder of his rules, would have both of the men leave, probably with the punishment of not being served/ able to buy a ticket if they come back.  In both cases the property owner upheld his rights as owner/ regulator and the ones who didn’t obey the rules got to go back to their respective houses and exercise their Freedom of Speech in their own domains.  

 

Explaining Negative and Positive Rights

     A Negative Right is one that does not require any effort from anybody except to not interfere with you. 

     An example of this would be the Right to Life, which properly, is the Right to not be killed.  To exercise this Right the only thing anybody has to do is to NOT kill you. 

     A Positive Right is one that requires an obligation from others to benefit you with certain things. Often times you can only get people to do what you want by coercion or violence. 

     An example of a Positive Right is “Healthcare is a Right”. To exercise this Right of Healthcare, people would be forced, under threat of violence, to study medicine (8 years of med school (give or take years to match specialty)), own a practice (brick and mortar office-building), treat all of the patients repeatedly 24/7 nonstop (meaning no time for a personal life), and on top of all that, they have to provide all of the care for FREE. 

     (I know that you’d have to force me to live that way, it’s utterly absurd.)

     Right off the bat you see that Positive Rights interfere with Negative Rights. Positive can only be enforced by coercion/threat of violence but Negative Rights can be enforced simply by leaving other people alone. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caveza de Vaca or Las Casas?

Which book was more memorable; Caveza de Vaca’s or Las Casa’s? Why?

     Las Casa’s talked about how the Spanish War-Tyrants burned down villages, beat and enslaved the Native Latin American’s, stole land and riches from them, and generally obliterated the entire region.

     Cabeza de Vaca’s book talked about how the Spanish explored the Southern half of North America, worked though the difficult weather conditions and poor terrain, encountering a handful of relatively hospitable tribes, helped the tribes if they could, traded with them, and left with new knowledge of the land. 

     To me, de Vaca’s book was the more memorable out of the two because Las Casa’s is the same Story; different day. The Story goes for most every Nation-state when it was trying to expand. Invade the neighbors, fight them into submission, rape them, beat them, then sell them off as slaves and laborer’s. But de Vaca’s is different because it shows what good can come out of country’s expansion, not just wrath, blood, guts, and gore.  

Cabeza de Vaca: Adventures American

What is the most memorable story or description in Adventures in the Unknown Interior of America (1542)? Why?

     In 1527 de Vaca sailed from Spain to the New World with 300 soldiers. His crew’s goal was to map and learn about the inland portions of America. They traveled from Cuba, to near Tampa,FL, to New Orleans, LA, to near Galveston, TX, to the Rio Grande river, to Western Mexico, to Mexico City, to port of Veracruz, and then back to Spain. They encountered many Native American tribes, severe storms, fatigue, hunger, and even cannibalism. When the ship returned to Spain in 1536, only 4 men were still alive. 

     Once de Vaca’s men had reached Texas they had already lost men from disease, storms, hurricanes, and cannibalism (due to extreme lack of food). For the men that survived, several of them had serious wounds that needed to be attended to so that they could keep moving.  The Spaniards made medicine out of different plants, performed surgeries, and stitched up the various maladies and infirmities that they had.  The Native tribes saw how well the Spaniards had healed themselves with this “magic” and wanted to welcome the Spaniards into their tribes so that they could have deVaca’s men heal their own sick. Word of a “great magic” quickly spread to the other Western tribes and soon the Spaniards could help heal the Native Americans, and in a show of gratitude, the tribes offered food from their fields (for the Western Tribes were farmers, not nomads like the Northern Tribes) to these starving soldiers. 

     This is the most memorable story for me because it shows that even though there are vast cultural differences and barriers, people will help other people when they need it, even if the first is worse off than the latter.

     It reminds me of the Scripture’s story of Elijah and the Widow at Zarephath in 1 Kings 17: 7-24. 

 

 

 

 

 

Age of Discovery: Rights

How did the Age of Discovery influence Spanish philosophers to reflect on the ideas of rights?

      After Christopher Columbus landed on North America and had, albeit brief, interactions with the Natives, he then returned to Spain. For the next several decades multiple crews of Spanish sailors and soldiers began exploring, mapping, and claiming this “New World” for Spain. In spreading out and claiming the land for Spain, the soldiers found different tribes of Native Americans. Some of the tribes were hospitable and open to trading trinkets, clothing, and food with the soldiers. Other tribes offered only hostility and actively fought against the disruption and theft of their land.

     When the ships returned to Spain, the reports of the “New World” and the “savages” spread like fire. Upon reaching the ears of many of the scholars, philosophers, and theologians, they quickly began to ask questions. Probably the most important question was “Why do the Natives fight so fiercely  against our soldiers?” and “What did the soldiers do to offend the Natives?”.  Their learning of soldiers taking crop, food, and valuables without payment or trade raised questions about the Rights people have.

     In 1140 AD, Gratian’s Decretum was published. It compiled all of the Catholic law up to that point into one cohesive whole, instead of spread throughout Europe in fragments. The author used the phrase “ius naturales” when speaking about the certain rights that could be applied to any man, lay or christian. When commentators read this phrase, they cited all of the historic definition the phrase had had and then added a new one; “a subjective power enjoyed by individuals”. This was not an entirely radical thought by it self but if followed to it’s conclusion it was certainly very dangerous to the system of society in feudal Europe. 

     Some of these “ius naturales” were the rights of: appearance and defense of one’s self in a court of law, personal property, self defense, and marriage. In the mid 1200’s Pope Innocent IV said “Ownership, possession, and jurisdiction can belong to nonbelievers licitly, for these things were made not only for the faithful but for every rational creature”. 

     Almost three hundred years after Innocent IV’s statements, with the Discovery of the New World and its inhabitants, the Spanish attempted to find a single standard of justice that applied to all people. The philosophers reasoned that since the Natives are rational (as building a tribal community requires), so they must possess the same characteristics as human beings. And since they are rational, they need to be recognized as having the same rights to property, self defense, etc., as all of the Spaniards in Spain do.

John Locke’s Self Ownership

What does John Locke mean by self ownership? How does he think goods in the Natural state come under individual ownership?

     Locke offered that you own yourself like a lord or king owns himself and therefore have rights similar to how they have rights. He says that you also have rights as an individual person, not only possessing rights while under a lord as fief/serf/peasant. 

     He states that these rights include private property, self defense, and appearance in courts of law to defend yourself. One special point that he raises is how something from the Natural State, like timber from trees to build a house or dirt in a field to plow, comes under somebody’s possession or authority. Locke calls it “mixing your labor” with the Natural State and having whatever you placed your labor into come under your authority.

     Let’s say somebody goes out into the forest and chops down a line of trees and builds the wood into a house. The next week, the man decides he wants furniture for his new house. So he goes out back out to the woods and cuts down three more trees, this time turning them into a wardrobe and a table with two chairs. The man now has a house to live in, a wardrobe to store his clothes, and a place to sit and eat his meals. These items are his property because he “mixed his labor” (by cutting down) with something from the Natural State (the unclaimed trees), Locke would say. 

     Summer turns to Autumn and the man needs a new coat but doesn’t know how to make one. So he goes to his neighbor, who owns several coats, and asks him if he could buy one. The neighbor says yes, the price is one chair. Our log-cabin man thinks it over “Well it’s just me in the house so I only need one chair” and decides that the price is acceptable. He runs back home quickly to get a chair, runs back to his neighbor’s, and trades the neighbor his chair for the new coat. The neighbor now has ownership of the chair, while the Log-cabin man owns a new coat. 

     Neither of these men mixed their labor with the chair or coat, respectively, so how can the new coat belong to the Log-cabin man or visa versa? The answer is that the ownership over the object transfers to the new owner when the current owners agree that they would rather enjoy the item they receive from the trade than enjoy the current item. 

Graded Exams & Income Inequality

Would it be moral to grade exams so that every student scored a C ? If not, is it moral for the state to redistribute incomes? Does the State have a right to redistribute income from rich to poor?

  After testing a class of 30 students, their results were 5 D’s, 20 C’s & B’s, and 5 A’s. They obviously did not receive equal grades, but did they receive the moral one? What if I tell you that 5 did not do any of the homework, 20 briefly reviewed the material, and 5 spent a couple hours on homework and studying? 

It is not moral to grade all the exams equally because not all of the students put forth equal amounts of effort. Some students didn’t do anything, others did some work, and some did a lot of work. The same test result is analogous to the State’s idea of income redistribution. 

  Income redistribution is just a renewal of the Robin Hood chant, “Take from the Rich to give to the Poor.” Thus letting the State interfere with the contractual agreement between you and your employer by taking more in taxes and giving it to the poor in forms of food stamps and low income housing.

 The Poor (the students who don’t work or use effort) whine and complain to the State (the teacher) that they were slighted on their income statement (report card). The Rich (the students that studied and did the required work) claim they did not steal or hurt the Poor and refuse to let their hard work be taken from them to stand-in for the lack of effort the Poor used.  

A free market job, in the most simplistic fashion I can think of, relies on this principle:

“If you do the work, you get the reward.”

 

Personal Responsibility: Welfare State or Free Market?

Which system promotes greater personal responsibility: the free market or the welfare state?

  (I have covered many principles of both the free market and the welfare state in my previous essays. Feel free to review them in addition to this one.) 

 

  In the Free Market, people like you and me have the freedom to swap, purchase, trade, or create anything that we choose to. In the Welfare State, you get limited to no freedom on the opportunities you can select. The Welfare State is basically a thieving babysitter in the form of government. 

  See, a thief steals valuables from one group for the benefit of another group. A babysitter is someone who takes care of your baby (or child), generally while you are out running errands. They may raid your jewelry cabinet or steal electronic consoles, but hey, they did take good care of your child. (In a welfare state, this is your government.) 

  “The Decalogue says, in effect: Reach into your own pocket – not into your neighbor’s pocket – to finance your acts of compassion; good cannot be done with the loot that comes from theft. The pickpocket, in other words, is a thief even though he puts the proceeds in the collection box on Sunday, or use it to buy bread for the poor. Being an involuntarily Good Samaritan is a contradiction in terms.” (Freedom Philosophy, ch.9)

  The free market requires that you personally agree, cooperate, and work with other people so that you can achieve your specific goals. The welfare state only requires you to claim A) you are a victim of some horrible happenstance and B) the only possible way to correct your situation is the government. 

  Stealing from one group with to give to another group without is theft. Theft is illegal. 

Restitution or Persecution?

Should restitution to the victims take precedence before three hots and a cot for criminals?

 

  All the way from theft and vandalism to murder, I believe this to be a valuable and crucial shift of restoring principals back in the world.

   The current justice system holds that it, not the victim, should be repaid for the losses. The cost of hiring a lawyer alone often leave a person or family with little ability to pay for anything else, not to mention court fees and missing work so they can attend the criminal’s trial. If you add all that up plus the loss or destruction the criminal caused, you would be astounded at the numbers. 

  Of all the reasons to favor restitution, the most important reason is that compensation gets paid directly back to the victims, not the court.  Many people who have been victims to criminal activity would rather be repaid in sweat and coin than by not having any compensation at all. Couple that with the knowledge that the criminal could just get back out of prison in a couple years and keep going right back to where they started and you’ll find some very unhappy people. 

  Option A).If a criminal can get a job to work off his debt to the victim, then both parties would benefit. The victim would have some form of repayment, money, and the criminal would gain a certain skills necessary for a particular job once he paid off his debt.

  Option B). The alternative would be no repayment for the victim and the criminal could learn more harmful things by hanging out with even worse criminal while in prison. 


 

I ask you now:  Which is the better deal? 

 

 

 

 

 

Legislators on Parole?

Should legislators be subject to public monitoring throughout their term in office? 

  In America, the government is based upon a constitutional republic. This means that the public masses vote into office a handful of people to represent them in Congress. The representatives then work to create and pass laws in accordance to the constitution.

  People often cast their vote based upon the policies and promises of the representatives. Sometimes this can lead to large divisions within the society. One set of people may vote on this official, yet others may place their votes with that official. Whichever official is elected then has a large task to perform. Juggling between family, policy-making, hearings, and meetings can be a difficult task. 

  Oftentimes during an official’s election campaign they make several promises to keep or create new legislation. They say that if they get elected, then they will work to see that their fulfill their promises. Common policy categories include taxes, healthcare, border security, economic benefits, and wages. Let’s say that if you voted for a particular politician that ran a campaign that would deal with tax breaks and they got elected, then you would expect to see laws and regulations that decreased “Tax ___”.

  However if laws start getting passed that increase the amount of taxes that you pay, then would you be very pleased with the official you helped to elect? Of course you wouldn’t. You would be frustrated and irritated because you didn’t get what you voted for. This is where monitoring comes into play.

  Monitoring is where you would simply act, either with a group or by yourself, to see that the politician is upholding what they said they would do. Much like a person on parole/probation, check in with them to see how they are doing.  With all the technology in today’s world, it is easier than ever to communicate with people near or far. Send an e-mail, write a letter, set up a video conference, call them, etc.

  Open the conversation by thanking them for taking time out of their schedule to meet with you. Next, state the concerns you have in regards to their recent policies. Whether you approved or disapproved of it. Have them walk you through their reasoning behind it. Ask questions or offer suggestions and see how they respond to those ideas. 

  If they seemed to be open to your ideas, then you could continue to discuss future options with them. If they were totally shut down to anything different or any improvements at all, then I would suggest taking that into account when they come back up for re-election.

  When the next election time comes around, make sure you research and study all of the candidates and vote for the one who’s policies and principles most match your own. It could make a world of difference in your life.  

Ptolemaic-Aristotelian Universe? Or Kepler-Copernican Universe?

What is the Ptolemaic-Aristotelian view of the universe?

  The ancients Greeks were fascinated by the cosmos and celestial bodies. In those times there was no artificial light to obstruct the naked eye’s witness of the stars. Without the obstructions of today’s world, the people could track and map their paths in the heavens.

Two of the greatest astrologers of Ancient Greece were Ptolemy and Aristotle. In their observations of the cosmos, they both placed the Earth as the center of the universe. This model is known as geocentrism. With Earth fixed, motionless in the center, all the other planets and celestial bodies traveled in similar patterns of concentric circles, orbiting the Earth.

 

What is the Kepler-Copernican view of the universe?

  During the Scientific Revolution, there were a few people tired of relying solely on the ancient knowledge of the Greeks and Romans. These people set it in their minds to make their own observations and discoveries. One of the first new works was written by Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543 AD), titled On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres.  Copernicus’s studies placed the moving sun in the center of the universe, with the spherical bodies orbiting it. This new model was called heliocentrism. 

  He hesitated in publishing it because he thought it would be rejected by his fellow astronomers. Copernicus was sought out by catholic figures to publish it for that reason. Which he obviously did. Some early opponents of this new system were Martin Luther and John Calvin, leaders of the Protestant reformation. They opposed this new idea because it contradicts verses in the Holy Scriptures. 

  For time to follow, this heliocentric model was freely taught in Jesuit universities with the pre-notion that this heliocentric model was only a theory to better account for the motion we might see. 

  Johannes Kepler (1571-1630 AD) was another astrologer, but he made several adjustments to the heliocentric model. One adjustment was by stating that the orbits of the planets were elliptical, not circular. Another was saying that the our solar system was just one among many, not at the center of it all. To top it all off, he finished by saying the speeds at which the heavenly spheres orbit varies depending on relation to the sun. If they are close to the sun, then they are quickly moving. If far away, then they move slowly.

 

  In short, the Ptolemaic-Aristotelian model favors scriptural passages in the Bible and geocentrism. Whereas the Kepler-Copernican model favors Jesuit/atheistic theories of heliocentrism.


Possible scripture verses that Luther and Calvin based their objection on: Joshua 10: 12-13 NIV, 1 Samuel 2:8 NIV, Isaiah 40:22 NIV, Job 28: 24 NIV, Psalms 93:1 NIV, Psalms 104:5 NIV Revelations 7:1NIV

Peter the Great & Frederick William’s Accomplishments

What was Peter the Great’s plan for Russia? 

  Peter the Great was tsar of Russia from 1689-1725 AD. What he is most remembered for is his programs of Westernization and modernization of Russia.  He believed that the Russian people were too closed off and superstitious in regards to the rest of the world. He wanted to bring Western culture into Russia, not because it was Western, but because it was effective and efficient in multiple areas in life. Peter saw how it made the West stronger, more productive, and more willing to trade. 

   He issued several laws that were Western in nature; men had to shave regularly and keep short haircuts, everybody had to copy western styles of dress, women were to be given more opportunities to participate in society, and to be more respected. After an embarrassing military defeat to Sweden in 1700 AD, he started bulking up his armies through better training and better weaponry. (The battle was an embarrassment to Peter because it was 40,000 Russians v.s 8,000 Swedes.) He drafted serfs and countrymen into his armies and factories to meet the new demand of a bigger and stronger army. 

  Due to these new changes and improvements in economy and army, taxes were being created right and left. Hefty new taxes, old taxes, everything was aimed at making Russia a great country. One tax was based on if a man wore too long of a beard. 

His improved economy and strengthened army, when mingled with his tax plan created mixed views of his reign of Russia. 

What did Frederick William accomplish?

    Frederick William ruled Prussia from 1640-1688 AD.  Under his predecessor, George William, Prussia was severely demolished from the Swedish troops during the 30 Years’ War. So when Frederick took control, he had to deal with a devastated country.

  To start, there was no central government to speak of because the country was mostly divided into powers of local lords. These local and lesser lords controlled small populations of peasants and commoners who served as more of a militia than an army. The economy was also in simple condition due to the need of recovery from war. Frederick intended to change this. And he succeeded. 

  He maneuvered himself into a place of great central authority, first by dominating the local assemblies and then securing the ability to tax on his own without needing to seek the courts approval.  Once he was voted taxation power, he never convened the local assemblies again. 

  Around the time of his coming to leadership of Prussia, Frederick was witnessing several great opportunities for a Prussian comeback. Long-time enemy, Sweden, was over-extended, Austrian attempts to control the whole Holy Roman Empire were failing, and Frederick was just awarded the ability to tax the common people. 

  As he rebuilds his army with these newfound taxes, it grows to a very substantial amount of men.  3 percent of the population of Prussia was now a standing army. This standing Prussian army was used by Frederick William to defend his lands from further invasions and extend his control over other regions of the HRE. 

  (While it seems small, use a comparison of modern terms. The current population of the United States is approx. 330 million. 3% of that is 9.9 million. That would be almost 10 million fighting men.)

  Frederick William accomplished a great feat during his reign. It was one of taking a broken and tattered country and turning it into one of the most formidable states in all of 17th century Europe.

 

 

Apprenticeship? Or Ownership?

Image result for mentorship quotes

Would I rather start my own small business or become a minimum wage apprentice to a mentor?

(For numerous reasons, I would personally choose to start my own small business rather than study under someone else.)

First off, I know many of you will assume that I chose my own business so I could, “be my own boss” right? Wrong. Many people think that way, but in reality there are many factors as to why that is not the case. 

  People tend to think only of the immediate, rather than the long run. Besides choosing what your business does and who you will help service, there are not many things else that you get to decide. If somebody hires your service, then you have to work out the details and times that you can be allowed to work on that particular project. Keeping records of sales and transactions, combined with the payment of any workers and other companies you might hire out could possibly lead to large amounts of stress and a sharp reduction of “free” time you have.

  Comparatively, being an apprentice is rather simple. Clock in, follow your supervisor’s instructions, assist customers, clock out, and go home to bed. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. All for a minimum wage or small salary. Being paid to give up your dreams, your time, and your life, just to build someone else’s dream.

  I’m sure that an apprentice (employee) can gain some knowledge and insight while working for somebody else. They need money after-all and the appeal of easy work grabs many people’s attention.

  However, I would prefer to start as an apprentice under somebody who has the lifestyle I wish to have: that way I could eventually take all the knowledge I learned from them and apply it to my own life.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Police Interference: Is It Legitimate?

Should the police be allowed to enforce a politician’s verbal restrictions on filming him during an opening meeting?

 

  Three things immediately stand out to me when I read this question. The first is that police officers would attend a politician’s meeting, due to many courthouses and legislative halls having metal detectors and their own security procedures. The second is that the politician would not want to be filmed during a meeting, due to his election into office by the people. The final thing that stands apart is that the police would enforce only one politicians verbal during a meeting with multiple other politicians.

A. Why does the public politician wish to not be filmed at a public meeting?

B. Why would the police be called if the legislative/court has its own staff who could enforce it? 

and

C. A civil agreement could be made with the audience by the politician before he starts his speech, so why would the police be needed at all?

  I say that, no, the police should not be allowed to enforce a politician’s request for the audience to not film him during a meeting. 

 

 

A Cliche Of Socialism

“Individuals are too weak to bargain with large corporations.”

  Be it a formal debate between two candidates, or an argument among friends, it is always a good idea to have well-informed answers to anything the other person states. If somebody confronts you with the statement listed above, it may seem like they are right. However, that assumption should be short-lived.

  There are three mains claims you could make to show that this (above) statement is flawed. The first claim is that corporations, especially the large ones, are made up of individual people. The second is that many millions of people are very intellectually sound. The third counter-claim you could make is that the person has falsely identified the “one vs. all” thought rather than the “one on one” approach. 

  1.  Given that corporations are just a large amount of individual people gathered under one name/brand/logo, why would one more individual be too weak to bargain with a person from the corporation?

  2.  If singular people were intelligent enough to form and work for a corporation in the beginning, why would another intelligent person be too weak to go through the same process of applying, being interviewed, and perhaps employment?

  3.1  The “one vs. all” idea is invalid due to its inherit properties. Just think about it. Think of all of your prior jobs and workings. During the application process, did absolutely no one from the office/company instruct you on what forms to fill out? During an interview, did you meet and talk with every manager and supervisor of the company? If you got hired, did you not first have to agree to terms or sign a contract stating what you would receive in return for your work?

  3.2  You probably only dealt with people from HR, or maybe a manager of the company. In the duration of the interview you possibly had one or two staff members present. You most likely had to sign a contract or legal document that stated your wage and what job you would be performing within the company. Throughout all of these processes and bargains, you as an individual, only spoke with other individuals from the corporation. Not the entire corporation, just a few local people who already work for that corporation. 

 

“Individuals are too weak to bargain with large corporations” will start to slowly transform into “Individuals are strong enough to form their own arrangements with their employer.”

 

 

To Control People: Control The Dollar

Price controls are people controls. 

By putting limits on the prices companies and businesses can charge, you are making the situation into one that cannot be manipulated by the agreement of producer and consumer. While taking “no manipulation” at face value may seem like a good concept, in reality it harms both parties.

  The producer cannot accept anything other than the set standard, even though the customer might be willing to spend more/less. A set price could equate to the producer not selling anything and the customer not purchasing what he wanted. This would leave both parties either worse off than they already were or result in no change to their situations.

  If limits and boundaries are set by an outsider who is not knowledgeable of the way things work (Government), the consequences could be and are harmful. 

Price Setters: Free Market or State?

Who should have the authority to set product price; the customers or the government?

  Many people believe in the Welfare-State. A lifestyle that suggests that government is your personal babysitter, there to clean up your messes and make your meals for you. Many other people believe in the lifestyle of the Get-Off-Your-Butt and Earn It state. These people know the value of hard work, taking responsibility for their actions, and control over their lives.

  The same people who support the welfare-state, often times want government to control every aspect of their lives. The control is spider-webbed through government agencies, bureaus, laws, regulations, and their wounds are attended to by Nurse. Main Stream Media. 

  The FBI, CIA, DEA, EPA, IRS, Medicare/caid, SBA, and all of their alphabet soup corporations, have the same collective flaw; the federal government should only protect the country from outside invasion and preside over CONSTITUTIONAL matters of court and law.

  If the government is allowed to set prices (and taxes), will it not raise or lower the prices according to its own agenda and benefit? If anybody needed to purchase any item, it might be something as simple as bread, or as complex as a construction worker’s services. The price of life would grow to immeasurable heights just to satiate the hunger of the Beast (taxes and revenue for its employees). The Beast would and does enforce its wishes through coercive and abusive means. 

  Alternatively, the Free Market is or at least should be a self-explanatory agent of the people. “Free” market means open, available, and unrestrained (within reason). A market in which anybody can sell ‘x’ amount of ‘y’ for whatever price the seller wants to set. Then a buyer comes and willingly deals with the seller. The customer wants the item and the seller wants the customer’s money. An agreement is made, or not. If so, both parties get what they want. If no, then the customer looks someplace else and the seller waits for someone else. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christian Freedoms and Christian Institutes

What were Martin Luther’s key points in his document On the Freedom of a Christian?

  One of Luther’s strongest beliefs was “…that faith alone without works justifies, sets free, and saves…” (Freedom of a Christian). He goes on to describe and explain this point in much more detail. The following is a passage from his work, On the Freedoms of a Christian:

  Thus the soul, in firmly believing the promises of God, holds Him to be true and righteous; and it can attribute to God no higher glory than the credit of being so. The highest worship of God is to ascribe to Him truth, righteousness, and whatever qualities we must ascribe to one in whom we believe.

  In doing this the soul shows itself prepared to do His whole will; in doing this it hallows His, name, and gives itself up to be dealt with as it may please God. For it cleaves to His promises, and never doubts that He is true, just, and wise, and will do, dispose, and provide for all things in the best way.

  Is not such a soul, in this its faith, most obedient to God in all things? What commandment does there remain which has not been amply fulfilled by such an obedience? What fulfilment can be more full than universal obedience? Now this is not accomplished by works, but by faith alone.

  On the other hand, what greater rebellion, impiety, or insult to God can there be, than not to believe His promises? What else is this, than either to make God a liar, or to doubt His truth–that is, to attribute truth to ourselves, but to God falsehood and levity? In doing this, is not a man denying God and setting himself up as an idol in his own heart? What then can works, done in such a state of impiety, profit us, were they even angelic or apostolic works?

  Rightly hath God shut up all–not in wrath nor in lust–but in unbelief; in order that those who pretend that they are fulfilling the law by works of purity and benevolence (which are social and human virtues), may not presume that they will therefore be saved; but, being included in the sin of unbelief, may either seek mercy, or be justly condemned.

  But when God sees that truth is ascribed to Him, and that in the faith of our hearts He is honoured with all the honour of which He is worthy; then in return He honours us on account of that faith; attributing to us truth and righteousness. For faith produces truth and righteousness, in rendering to God what is His; and therefore in return God gives glory to our righteousness. It is a true and righteous thing, that God is true and righteous; and to confess this, and ascribe these attributes to Him, is to be ourselves true and righteous.

  Thus He says: “Them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.” (1 Sam. ii. 30.) And so Paul, says that Abraham’s faith was imputed to him for righteousness, because by it he gave glory to God; and that to us also, for the same reason, it shall be reputed for righteousness, if we believe. (Rom. iv.)

  Another belief that Luther holds is the union of the believer to the Soul of Christ. If the Spirit is drawn into the believer’s body through confession and faith, then the believer has Christ’s gifts of the Spirit as his own and Christ owns whatever is belonging to the soul of the believer.  (The same article is used for the excerpt below).

  The third incomparable grace of faith is this, that it unites the soul to Christ, as the wife to the husband; by which mystery, as the Apostle teaches, Christ and the soul are made one flesh. Now if they are one flesh, and if a true marriage–nay, by far the most perfect of all marriages–is accomplished between them (for human marriages are but feeble types of this one great marriage), then it follows that all they have becomes theirs in common, as well good things as evil things; so that whatsoever Christ possesses, that the believing soul may take to itself and boast of as its own, and whatever belongs to the soul, that Christ claims as his.

  If we compare these possessions, we shall see how inestimable is the gain. Christ is full of grace, life, and salvation; the soul is full of sin, death, and condemnation. Let faith step in, and then sin, death, and Hell will belong to Christ, and grace, life, and salvation to the soul. For, if he is a husband, he must needs take to himself that which is his wife’s, and, at the same time, impart to his wife that which is his. For, in giving her his own body and himself, how can he but give her all that is his? And, in taking to himself the body of his wife, how can he but take to himself all that is hers?

 

What were John Calvin’s views in his article Institutes of the Christian Religion?

  John Calvin’s main and most notable view is one of the predestination of souls; either to Heaven or to Hell. He focused primarily on this point throughout his life. The following excerpt comes from Calvin’s work, Institutes of the Christian Religion

  If to make it appear that our salvation flows entirely from the good mercy of God, we must be carried back to the origin of election, then those who would extinguish it, wickedly do as much as in them lies to obscure what they ought most loudly to extol, and pluck up humility by the very roots. Paul clearly declares that it is only when the salvation of a remnant is ascribed to gratuitous election, we arrive at the knowledge that God saves whom he wills of his mere good pleasure…

  From Calvin’s view, everybody has either been assigned to Heaven, through God’s favor, or thrown into Hell with God’s anger. He is saying that if we are saved from eternal damnation, it is purely out of God’s good mercy and “pleasure”. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Politics of Plunder

What are the concepts of Bastiat’s politics of plunder?

  Frederic Bastiat lived from 1801-1850 AD. He was a French journalist and an incredible economist.  He wrote several articles on topics ranging from government to economy and law. 

On his essay of Government and The Law, Bastiat discusses what he names “the politics of plunder”. Bastiat says that the source of evil is the want of one man to live at the other man’s expense. He (Bastiat) believes there are two main ways of achieving this evil. One way is through enslavement of peoples. The other way is through plunder.  Bastiat’s primary focus is on plunder, or theft.

Bastiat recognizes that people who oppress use political means. The oppressors use the state as a tool with which they oppress different people groups. There is no way for the state to give one party what they want without the state’s theft causing harm to others.

Another claim Bastiat made was that government was deified to have the likeness of an agency that could provide everybody anything they wanted. He described this government as a creature with two hands. One hand is made rough by receiving, the other is made smooth by giving. In his essay on Government, Bastiat wrote, “The activity of the second is necessarily subordinate to the activity of the first”.

He says that for the government to be able to give to any person (the smooth hand), it shall first have to receive it from another person (the rough hand).

The Politics of Plunder

The government is used as a tool of oppression by special interest groups. If government is allowed, it will gladly take great amounts of wealth and freedoms from the people it was designed to protect. If it does confiscate the wealth and freedoms of the people and redistributes those freedoms to others, the only difference between government and a thief is that government is just a legal thief.

Plunder is theft; and theft is illegal. Even if the government says what they do isn’t illegal, in regards to taxes and regulations, it is still plunder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Online Education: Good or Bad for Society?

  Debate: Online education is bad for society because it puts teachers out of work.

  The person who makes this claim has assumed three things. The first assumption is that online education is bad for society. The second assumption is that teachers are not able to teach online classes. The third assumption made is unique because it leads us to believe that teachers are inherently good for society while employed.

  The truth is that online education is actually a benefit to society. Teachers can teach online classes. And although there are teachers that have good values and morals, it is the institution of school as a whole that is bad for society.   

Benefit #1: Teachers are still needed to record or host the online classes.

  A teacher that makes an video-based class and gets paid for the use of it, by definition, still has a job.  Some teachers may even keep the brick and mortar school job while having online classes on the side. The teacher has a job, the student is learning, and all is well.

Benefit #2: Video lessons or online classes free up time for both the student and the teacher.

  As a student, I spent 8 hours per day on school. 2 hours per day were spent on getting to school and getting to class. 1/2 hour was spent on lunch. That left 5 and a 1/2 hours on learning materials. So it took 8 hours a day to do 5 hours worth of work. (To me that seems silly, but to each his own preferences). 

 When I made the switch to home/online schooling, I now spend a total of approx. 4 and a half hours per day on all 8 periods’ worth of classes. I now have 4 more “free time” hours to use than if I had stayed in public school. But make no mistake, those “free time” hours are used for progress. They are used to read, do household chores, and exercise. 

  As for my online teachers, I am sure that they are gladly using the time they have freed up as a result of their recording of video lessons. 

Crucial Counter-Argument to the Third Assumption 

  The one who assumes that occupational teachers are inherently good for society does not know that prior to the 19th century, most education was taught to children within the institutions of the family and the church.

  During and after the 19th century, America gradually adopted the Prussian system of education. The system’s creation is credited to Otto von Bismark, the Minister President of Prussia from 1873-1890 AD. You may not have heard of it, but you were probably raised in it.  It was a system to create a society of mindless drones, soldiers, and general populations willingly obedient to the king/ state.

  Take a moment to just think about it. Just think. 

  • 1 teacher per 30 kids.
  • The teacher has the last say.
  • A strict schedule to keep.
  • Possibility of having a school uniform.
  • Certain rank-like grades to organize the population of the school.
  • Certain disciplinary actions to remind the troublemakers that they need to listen to the adults/ leaders.
  • Any creativity or uniqueness is stripped from the kids.
  • Uniform textbook information and indoctrination.
  • High level of compliance is rewarded, while the low-level is punished and humiliated.
  • Held back a grade due to non compliance, not moderate level work. 

  Now compare this to the military. 

  • 1 leader of a certain troop.
  • The commanding officer has the last (immediate) say.
  • A strict set of times and places to be.
  • Military uniforms are enforced.
  • Military rankings and honors.
  • Disciplinary action and depending on the severity of the offense, court-martial and military prison.
  • A set rule-book and series of regulations to ensure group compliance to the leader’s orders.
  • Uniform briefings and need to know classifications.
  • High level of compliance is rewarded with higher rankings.
  • Low level compliance is likely to get kicked out or dishonored. 

  Your public school education was and is good for you. I am all for education, don’t get me wrong, but I am against government controlled education. So it was good for you but it is better for your government. Out of your education, they received yet another soldier willing to comply with and believe the lies, deceptions, and hypocrisies of society, if only government would issue the order. 

  The corrected statement should be, “Online education and parental education are good for society because it allows kids to pursue their own interests and expressions while also receiving accurate and truthful information. Teachers may also be asked to assist with the online education of the student, thus the teachers benefit through payment. The only way in which online schooling is bad, is for the State (government, ruling faction).

  With education back within the bounds of family, government takes a huge loss on what they get to control and limit within your life. Government also loses the power of establishing the knowledge of future generations. 

 

If you need more information regarding the Prussian school system visit: http://www.returnofkings.com/64892/why-is-the-united-states-still-using-the-prussian-education-system

The 17th Century: Issues

What were the Utopian ideas composed of? Why did this become popular in the 16th century?

   The word Utopia literally means “no place”. Neither could it be achieved nor could it occur in a civilization. Utopia is oft presented as a region of society that is not faced with the same issues as the rest of society. For example, in a Utopian society there would be no private property, as this is viewed to create rivalries. All property would be held in common, that way there would be no rivalries.

   Thomas Moore, Thomas Campanella, and Francis Bacon are all credited with the writing of Utopian societies. All three authors drew from different aspects of Plato’s writing.

   A Utopian society grew in popularity during the 16th century for two reasons. One such reason is that it let people have peace from the long war-ridden countries in Europe. Another reason was the New World posed many societies that faced similar problems to Europe, but solved them differently. This different solution opened the Europeans’ imagination to the ability to solve problems different from the traditional ways.

What were the key issues of the 30 Years’ War (1618-1648 AD)? What settled the issue?

   The 30 Years’ War was primarily a war of different Christian views. Towards the beginning it was focused on Protestantism vs Catholicism in the Holy Roman Empire (roughly modern-day Germany and Central Europe). The Protestants’ (mostly Denmark, Netherlands, and N. Germany) rights were discontinued under the archduke Ferdinand of Bohemia.

   In May of 1618, Ferdinand revoked some of the privileges of the Protestants and as an immediate result two officials and a secretary were defenestration. Defenestration occurs when somebody or some object is thrown out of a window. (Don’t believe me, look up Defenestration of Prague).

   Once it became clear that Ferdinand II (Catholic) would become Holy Roman Emperor, his view of religion was to resend the previously enjoyed policies of religious toleration. This sent the HREmpire into a tailspin. Ferdinand II is deposed of kingship in Bohemia, Frederick V (Protestant) is elected the new Bohemian King, the (Catholic) Habsburg family is worried of the double vote Frederick V now has as both an elector of the HRE and King of Bohemia, and to top it all, Frederick immediately starts an anti-catholic campaign in Bohemia.

   So now Frederick, a Protestant, has overturned Bohemia and ticked off all of the Catholic Church-run HRE. The 30 yrs War breaks out and it’s primarily Catholic victories one after another but in the end the Protestants are secured their religious toleration through the Peace of Westphalia.

   The Peace of Westphalia was a series of treaties that gave Protestants the ability to perform religious ceremonies in public during designated times, but could freely practice in private. It also ended the religious aspects of war for a long time in Europe, now that the Catholics could practice their faith and the Protestants could practice their faith without fear of intolerance.

What caused the English Civil War? (1625-1649 AD)

   The English Civil war started due to some concern over King Charles I of England and Scotland’s religious beliefs. One concern was that Charles could possibly try to revert England back to Catholicism through his marriage. Another concern was his lack of want to intervene in the 30 Years’ War. The most major concern however, was the Archduke of Canterbury, William Laud, and his enforcement of Communion as most important part of a church service.

   Laud’s view of Communion as the most important part of a church service was directly counter to the Puritan and Scottish-Presbyterian view of the sermon as the most important part of a church service.

  King Charles sought Parliament’s help in tax collecting for an army. Laud was also removed from Scotland as an attempt to quell the rebellion in Scotland before it blew up, but to no success. This Scottish rebellion lead to the English Civil War. It was fought by two opposing parties: the Royalists and the Parliamentarians. The Royalists supported the king and William Laud, whereas the Parliamentarians supported the parliament and Scotland. In the end, the Parliamentarians under Oliver Cromwell’s leadership, had defeated, captured, and executed King Charles I. 

   “I would know by what power I am called hither. I would know by what authority, I mean lawful, as there are many unlawful authorities in the world. Thieves and robbers by the highway. Remember, I am your King, your lawful King“, King Charles I at his trial.

   Judge John Bradshaw responded “There is a contract and a bargain made between the king and his people. Your oath is taken….the bond is reciprocal…” This really emphasized the power of the people over the kings and rulers that will eventually give way to the American Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States.

Who were the Levellers and what did they believe?

   The Levellers were a group of people who followed the school of political thought that today we would recognize as Libertarians. For example;  you own yourself and it is not lawful for any man to impose his will on you.  The thought behind this is you know what is best for yourself.

   The Levellers main positions consisted of self-right, property rights, freedom of contract, free trade, religious toleration, and natural law. They basically believed that if you didn’t harm anybody else, you could do as you so were inclined. Natural law was view by the Levelers to mean a God-defined system of right vs wrong. This natural law was present before kings and will outlive all rulers. 

   The language of the Levellers’ can be seen in the Founding Era and throughout America’s history. 

 

 

Robbing Hood: The Government

“A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take away everything you have.”- Thomas Jefferson

  The truthfulness of this statement has carried on for 200 years, and continues to be used in modern politics and government today. It is very possible that the utterance of this quotation was based on knowledge gained from reading the famous tale of Robin Hood. 

Robin of Loxley, Robin Hood, U.S Government: One In The Same

  The tale of Robin Hood is one that has been told and retold as it got passed down through the ages. Despite its growing and shrinking with each retelling, the main concepts of the story has been well-kept. Take from the rich and give to the poor. 

  Credited as being a skilled archer and swordsman who served in one of the Crusades, Robin Hood returns to England only to find that his estate was stolen by the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham. He was outraged by this theft and others that had occurred to other nobleman. Quickly he sought to reclaim his rightful property and subsequently helped the poor gain some wealth in the process. One version of the story depicts that he was a great hero who robbed the rich and corrupt of their finances and livestock. Another rendering says that Robin Hood was the leader of a bandit group called the Merry-men who stole food and coin from the nobles who were harsh to their fiefs and serfs.

  Regardless of exactly which version you are familiar with, the theme is the same. It can even be applied to Big Government (in the United States anyway). Robin Hood steals from the rich and powerful to give to the poor and needy. The State/Gov. takes from those with money and gives it to those without money. This “taking” occurs through regulations, taxes, and licensing. This taking is theft. 

  If the government gives to you something, then it has taken it from someone else. Some day, you may find that government is taking something from you and giving it to someone else. The position you find yourself in is subject to change, but only if your government’s taken on the role of Robin Hood.

Image result for the constitution of the united states assert that all rights are inherent in the people

  “…all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves…” Thomas Jefferson. 

Did you hear that? Read it again, just to be sure.

  The people may exercise their rights themselves. They do not need government intervention.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dream/Future Reality

Three short questions. Three long sought after answers.

  •   What do I want to have accomplished 1 one year from now?

  In one year’s time, I anticipate many things happening. While relatively small in the grand design, they are my starting steps. I will have a job with decent pay, for me. While on the side of that job I will have four or more total lots to mow and maintain. Also, I will have a license and will have bought my first car. Shortly after I start my job I will start to save up as much money as I can.

  • What do I want to accomplish around the time I turn 18?

  In 2019 I will hope to grow by reading the books on my Book list and to start the business. I also plan on having close to enough money to afford a trailer house of moderate quality. Within a few months or years of my turning 18 I plan to leave my parents house and move into living quarters with a roommate. I will perhaps pursue learning a trade from a trade school in hopes of a more steady job.  

  • What do I want to accomplish by age 25?

  When I turn 25 I would like to have a job in the trade skills or sales professions. A mechanic is most likely. Possibly I’d be married by age 25, although I haven’t given a supremely large amount of thought towards it. I’d like to have paid off any education debt I may acquire. I’d like to travel frequently as well as doing missions trips without the worry of finances as an issue. 

  Uplifting and encouraging people with compliments, smiles, and positive speech is how other people and myself will benefit through my going of the extra mile.  

  2-7 years of work part-time to earn my freedom sounds a lot better than 40 hours a week for 40 years, retiring on what little amount I managed to save, and then dying. Often times 40 hours a week isn’t even cutting it for many people anyway, so its more like 50 or 60 hours per week. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Self Employment for 2030

Why could running my own business after 2030 help secure my employment?

  With the ever-increasing amount of technology and the use of robotics, many people view as though jobs will decrease. They are partially correct and partially incorrect. I believe that there will always be jobs for people to do.

  See, many people only focus on the country they’re in or familiar with. The United States, Russia, UK, China, and Japan are thoughts of as some of the most well-developed countries. However 1/3 of the world has no electricity, and 1/2 don’t have clean reliable drinking water. If people were to focus on helping people the amount of jobs would increase drastically.

  In a factory or mass production setting, assembly machines have been steadily replacing manufacturing jobs. In grocery stores, electronic do-it-yourself scanners are becoming the norm instead of cashiers. Huge combines and harvesters instead of a dozen or more farm hands.

  All of these machines and robots need mechanics if the break. Managers and supervisors to help with accuracy. Trade jobs like construction, plumbing, welding, and car mechanics will always be around. Not a whole lot of people will want to fix a toilet or build apartment complexes. In medical fields, there will always be a need for nurses, doctors, and receptionists.

  On a particularly stormy day or during an earthquake, or any number of other natural disasters, the power could go out. No electricity, no machines that don’t have a battery. People will be needed to work and rebuild or clean up.

  If I choose to run my own business, I could fashion it into one that could “See a need, fill a need” (Mr. Bigweld, Robots). The more people I service and help, the more needs I could grow to provide. I would have to hire some amount of people to help make all of the products I would sell. 

Harry Browne’s Principle of Service

How does Browne’s approach to selling rely on the principle of service?

  The late economist and author, Harry Browne (1933-2006), wrote a book titled The Secret of Selling Anything. In his book, Browne describes a series of principles that, if followed, would greatly increase a salesman or woman’s ability to secure purchases of whatever item they are attempting to sell. 

  The first few principles are actually quite simple to follow. The first is listening to what the buyer wants to buy and figure out how you could best solve his problem. Secondly, you have to answer the buyer’s questions. If your answer will not sell your product, answer it anyway. You have to resist the temptation to substitute your answer, and just answer the buyer’s question. It’s that simple. Just answer the buyer’s question.

  It is important to remember that a pushy salesman pushes to sell whatever he wants to sell. However, a successful salesman sells what the customer can use to solve his most pressing problem. His problem could range from something simple like which food item to order on a menu, or something major like which car model he wants to buy. The successful salesman’s job is to help the buyer get what will best suit his needs.

  Another factor is to not rush the buyer into making a decision but inquire so as to narrow down what the buyer wants from you. The questions you (as a salesman or woman) ask should narrow down and direct the buyer to your products that could best help them. When inquiring, make the tone of your voice reflect a genuine interest in the buyers needs. At the end of his book, Browne simplifies all of his principles to three words. 

  1. Listen 
  2. Agree
  3. Suggest

  Listen to what the buyer wants. Agree with him so that he will be less stonewalled, rather than arguing. Suggest your products that best fit the description of the problem he wants solved.  

Thomas More’s Catholic Utopia

Was More risking persecution by the Catholic church because of this book?

  Thomas More was a student and page under a Catholic Cardinal by the name of John Morton in his early life and persecuted and reprimanded protestants later in life. In particular he criticized the works of Martin Luther.

  I believe that More ultimately wrote the work of Utopia because he wanted to bring people back to Roman Catholic faith. This is shown in the book Utopia by the commonwealth of property and a state or church organized life with no gambling or earthly pleasures, no beggars, and living in a land where everybody had what the needed.

The Utopian Traveller

   Written in Latin in 1516 by Thomas More, the book Utopia tells of a world traveler returning from the country of Utopia. Raphael Hythloday ( the name means Raphael Speaker-of-nonsense in Greek) recounts his 5 years in Utopia to a Cardinal and a friend by the name of Giles. Thomas More wrote this book as a fictitious and satirical work not to be taken seriously.  

Why does More portray the traveler as a sensible reformer early in book 1, but a fool later?

   In the 1st book, More identifies one of the characters as a world traveler by the name of Raphael Hythloday. As such, in his travels Raphael has been around the block. Seeing what does and what does not work within a society, but claiming his impartiality to any one way, sets himself in a position to tell the group what he thinks they should do.

   The traveler states that he, being of peace, has a strong refusal to standing armies. His reasoning is, ” This being a maxim of those pretended statesmen that it is necessary for the public safety to have a good body of veteran soldiers ever in readiness. They think raw men are not to be depended on, and they sometimes seek occasions for making war, that they may train up their soldiers in the art of cutting throats; or as Sallust observed, for keeping their hands in use that they may not grow dull by too long an intermission. But France has learned to its cost how dangerous it is to feed such beasts. And the fate of the Romans, Carthaginians, and many other nations and cities, which were both over turned, and quite ruined by those standing armies should make others wiser”. ( More, Utopia, book 1)

   More, as the traveler Raphael, is saying that the payment of a standing army comes from increased taxes which lead to a revolution. France and Rome both experienced this folly. Today however, we do not see having a standing army in this way. We (at least in America) see a standing army as a beneficial occurrence to protects civilians wherever they are if attacked. In the late 1500’s, the time of this book’s origins, the sensibility of this could be seen by scholars.

   So sensible is Raphael early in the book, but later the extremity of More’s satirical Utopia can be seen clearly.

   In the later parts of the book, the traveler says that all evils come from private property and men storing up their riches. To counter the greed and theft as Raphael calls it, he tells of the Utopian way. All property is owned by the state, goods and food are evenly distributed that none shall go without food, slaves do the dirty work, the Utopians live in peace and plenty, and all gambling is outlawed. All things are held in common law under magistrates under a prince.

   As More was a lawyer and scholar in the late 1500’s and early 1600’s he expected that anybody capable of reading Latin would understand that Utopia means no-place and this is a work of satire, not an instruction book for Utopian and socialistic reform.

   Obviously today, we do not think like this (in America). We hold strongly to the belief of private property, personal rights, gambling, free market economy, division of labor, no slavery, no redistribution of provisions, and a limited people controlled government. Not a government controlled people.

Family Government

Is the family a legitimate form of government?

 

  I believe that the family unit is a legitimate form of government. Given that most people are growing up/ grew up within the bounds of having a mother and/or a father and some amount of siblings, order has to be established some way.

  Having a mom and dad or parent figure helps to give the child/ children certain boundaries  and rules. Some rules may be similar to: don’t touch the hot stove, don’t be out past a certain hour, do all of your chores, eat all your vegetables before you can go play outside, and the list goes on and on. 

  The parents also supply different responsibilities and duties when the child is older. Wash the car, mow the yard, watch after your younger siblings. Proper education and manners are and should be taught by the parents, not the State government.  

  Working and developing relationships are first, or at least should be, represented to the child by the parents and siblings. If the child has any siblings or friends, but limited toys, then left to their own devices, the kids will either establish a hierarchy 

  If left with a certain amount of toys, a small group of kids will establish their own rules. One person gets this toy for a certain amount of time, and the other person has that toy. Then, after a while they might lose interest or decide to switch toys. All without being regulated, supervised, and told what to do. 

  My answer to the afore-mentioned question is yes; that when left to control themselves, families are a legitimate form of government. They govern themselves.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questioning the Catholic Condition

How could the Catholic Church’s condition be described on the eve of the Reformation inspired by Martin Luther?

  In  late 15th – 16th century Europe, Catholic leadership roles consisted of many monks, priests, bishops, and archbishops. Among claims of absenteeism, there also was corruption and ignorance within these positions. If there were actually holdings of Mass and the Sacraments regularly, which many priests needed reminded to do, one of the focuses during the service would be on preaching the Indulgences.  

  To understand why the Indulgences were so popular, first an understanding of Catholic doctrine is needed. The Catholics have a view that if you commit a sin there are two forms of punishment; eternal and temporal. If you do not confess (to a Priest acting in persona Christi) you will face punishment eternal, in Hell. If you do confess, your eternal sin and punishment is absolved, but you still have temporal punishment in the form of Penance. The Indulgences are a way to remove temporal punishment.  So Confession removed eternal punishment, Penance was temporal punishment, and the Indulgences got rid of temporal punishment. 

  One of the most taught ways to receive an indulgence was to make a “donation” to the rebuilding of St. Peter’s Basilica. Another way was outright payment to the local priest in exchange for an Indulgence. 

  With the exception of Spain, the Catholic Church in Europe and Italy during the 16th century was in a morally and religiously deteriorating  position. It was a condition that could not have expected what Martin Luther was about to start teaching. 

 

What were the 95 Theses of Martin Luther about? What was his chief complaint?

Read the  95 Theses 

  In October 1517 AD,  Professor Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the door of the church at the University of Wittenberg. It was common at the time to post any letters/topics of importance on the door of the local church. The Theses were one sentence long statements that were intended to shed light and be provocative against the Catholic Church’s abuses of practice. Written in Latin, the scholarly language at the time, it was soon translated into German for the common man and with the help of the printing press, quickly circulated throughout Europe.

  Luther also mailed a copy to the Archbishop so as to notify him of the abuses occurring within his jurisdiction. He [Luther] stated in the Theses that he was willing to debate any of the Theses, whether by letter or by oration.  No one debated him for two years until the Leipzig Disputation in 1519 AD.  

  Luther’s main point of the 95 Theses was not that the Indulgences were in need of reforming, but rather that the Indulgences were the issue. The doctrine of telling people that they could be saved from suffering (either temporal or eternal) if they prayed a certain prayer or did a certain action needed thrown out entirely, according to Luther. Later he stated that the papacy or even an ecumenical council could error, further showing that he didn’t believe that the Catholic Church was necessary to be a Christian.

  In Luther’s time, this was a radical thought and he was charged with heresy and promptly excommunicated. From Martin Luther’s work, the Protestant church began.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boccaccio’s Novel of God

Why did Boccaccio have the first story be told about GOD?

    Written within the time of the Black Death, Boccaccio’s Decameron is vastly accepted to be one of the most informative firsthand historical accounts of the plague. He describes what life was like and how people lived during one of the most fatal plagues on record. 

    Titled “Make Belief Ladies”, the story opens on a group of young women ages 18 – 28 inside church walls. Boccaccio has the women discuss what the next step in survival is going to be.

    The main woman, Pampinea, invokes natural law within the discussion. She states that through man’s use of reason comes the only personal standards of decision-making. “For every man was free to do what he saw was right in his own eyes” (Decameron, Make Belief Ladies). Boccaccio uses this in reference of Judges 21:25, “In those days there was no king of Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes”.  Pampinea also states to the women that self-defense to defend your life is a right.  This especially applied during times of a crumbling city due to unbound-less amounts of loss and corrosion. 

   “The whole place was a sepulcher” (Decameron, The Plague of Florence).

    This shows how serious and devastating the Black Death had been in the city. It left a group of seven women in contemplation of how to move on and survive. They then suggest forsaking the death-ridden city for the countryside. One of the members of the group states that a man should give a woman guidance. Then three men appear. The women invite the men to join them in their travels. The men agree. 

    Once in the county side they find a property to live on that is well stocked with food. The question then was raised, “Well, who’s in charge now?” So the 10 people put it to a vote: everybody that gets elected is only in charge for a day. Once the person is voted into authority and the rules were agreed upon, they delegated any work to their servants. To pass the time, one woman suggests storytelling: 10 stories a day, one story per person. The only rule is no mention of the plague, lest they contract it.

    One of the men begins his story by opening the tale with a blessing of God. “I intend to begin with one of His wondrous works, that, by hearing thereof, our hopes in Him, in whom is no change, may be established, and His name be by us forever lauded” (Decameron, Novel One). 

    Then he proceeds in recounting a story of a lying and deceitful man who falsely confesses his sins to a friar, dies, and in death he is venerated a Saint. He was staying with people on his way to Burgundy. Once there he falls ill and the people he’s staying with reason that they cannot force a sick man to leave. On the other hand however, they fear criticism from the public because he was a sewer of dissent and deception. 

    “I have committed so many offences against God in the course of my life, that one more in the hour of my death will make no difference whatever to the account. So seek out and bring hither the worthiest and most holy friar you can find, and leave me to settle your affairs and mine upon a sound and solid basis, with which you may rest satisfied” (Decameron, Novel One).

    The man offers to lie during Confession to a friar in order for the people to be free of public criticism. This lets the public think his confession was genuine, the people avoid humiliation from the public, and the man follows his nature of deception even upon death. 

    The storyteller ends his account by saying, “Wherefore, that we of this gay company may by His grace be preserved safe and sound throughout this time of adversity, commend we ourselves our need to Him, whose name we began by invoking, with lauds and reverent devotion and good confidence that we shall be heard” (Decameron, Novel One). 

    I believe that this account mentions God as a way to make the following stories seem like accurate and credible accounts. Also, I think that the storyteller had another message within the deceptive man’s account.  It is one of mistaking an enemy for a friend whilst being unable to discern the difference. 

Adoption and Inheritance

How are adoption and inheritance related in Paul’s letters?

    Paul, one of the disciples of Jesus Christ, wrote many letters to early churches. A few of them are titled: Colossians, Romans, Ephesians, I Timothy, and Galatians. In his letters, he often wrote about the different ways that Jesus embodied or spoke about the salvation of souls and the Kingdom of God. 

    Paul says that a sinner, reconciled with God through faith in Jesus Christ, is no longer a slave to sin, but rather a child of God. Living in accordance to His Law, as a son (or daughter) of God, the person has received or will receive the inheritance of Heaven and Spirit promised by God.  

     “That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Galatians 3:14).  The blessing of Abraham is a reference to an earlier scripture made in Genesis 22: 17 – 18, after God tested Abraham’s faith in Him, “I will surely bless you and make your descendents as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendents will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations of the world will be blessed, because you have been faithful to me”.

       In his letter to the Galatians, Paul writes, “Even as Abraham believed in God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham”. Those that have faith and believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, who came to take away our sin and conquered death, is who Paul is writing about having the blessing of God in their life. This is possible through adoption into Jesus’ family, by faith. “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Jesus Christ” (Galatians 3:26 ).  

      Speaking of the Gentile, or non-Jewish person, “That at the time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:12-13).     

    Both Jews and Gentiles are to be regarded as heirs of the promise of the Inheritance according to this. Jews by their faith in Jesus Christ: Gentiles by the blood of Jesus Christ. 

    When we are adopted to God through Christ’s grace and blood, we become receivers of the Inheritance of the Kingdom of Heaven. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Counter Current Exchange: Successful for 8 Billion People

Why is the Counter Current Exchange method so effective?

    There are many systems that make up the human body. The circulatory, nervous, respiratory, digestive, and immune system are most of them. While they are all important, the respiratory system is one of the most high functioning. 

    Respiration (breathing) is defined as: the process of ventilating the lungs through an alternation of in/exhaling air. A partner of this respiration is the counter current exchange of oxygen/carbon-dioxide through capillaries. 

    In your lungs, you have little air sacs filled with thin capillaries. The capillaries are so thin that they can allow oxygen or carbon-dioxide molecules to diffuse between the lungs and bloodstream.

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600px-Exchangerflow

 

 

    In the diagram above, focus on the direction of high oxygen concentration (red) and low oxygen concentration (blue). The top bar is the oxygen coming from the lungs flowing to the body. The bottom bar is the oxygen from the body and heart to the lungs. So as oxygen-rich blood goes throughout the body, it constantly diffuses with the surrounding tissues and muscles. As the now low oxygen concentrated blood flows from the heart to the lungs, it diffuses and replenishes, thus it restarts the cycle.

    The counter current exchange is so effective because it allows for constant or near constant uninterrupted blood oxygen flow. It also is being constantly refreshed with new oxygen, while simultaneously removing the carbon-dioxide (CO2).

 

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1. source: https://allyouneedisbiology.wordpress.com/tag/gas-exchange/