Category: Paul Pauker

The Decline of the Liberal Mind


There was a time (as hard as it may be to believe today) when liberals actually had the mental capacity to reason.  During the Enlightenment, liberals (specifically, people with principles that were then described as liberal) understood the difference between facts and ideology.  They understood that life is not an ideology, liberty is not an ideology, and property is not an ideology.  Moreover, they understood that life, liberty, and property exist naturally, even if a nation does not exist and even if a government does not exist.  And they understood that if people create a nation, a just government exercises its powers not for the purpose of pursuing an ideology, but instead, for the purpose of securing the life, liberty, and property (i.e., the unalienable rights) of each of the nation’s citizens.  This monumental discovery, a process of human thought stretching from (at the latest) ancient Rome all the way to 17th and 18th century England, achieved its realization in America, with the founding of a great nation.  (Note to liberal readers: the great nation in question is the United States, and these fundamental truths are enshrined in the nation’s founding document, the Declaration of Independence.)

Now, in contrast, a recent legal case in Europe perfectly illustrates the state of “modern” liberal thinking.  A baby, Charlie, was born with a rare genetic condition that causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage.  Charlie’s parents received donations (equivalent to more than a million U.S. dollars) for an experimental treatment in the United States, but the hospital treating Charlie in England wanted his life support to be turned off, and the English courts as well as the European Court of Human Rights sided with the hospital.

In short, the government of the United Kingdom along with a “human rights” court of Europe not only refused to protect the child’s right to life, but also violated it by preventing the child from getting privately-funded treatment, and they not only refused to protect the child’s right to liberty, but also violated it by preventing the child from leaving the hospital and traveling to the United States.  And the reason for this extreme violation of a human being’s most basic human rights: ideology.

The doctors at the hospital argued that the treatment would not improve Charlie’s “quality of life.”  And in court, the lawyers for the hospital claimed that “[t]here is significant harm if what the parents want for Charlie comes into effect.  The significant harm is a condition of existence which is offering the child no benefit.  It is inhuman to permit that condition to continue.”  (Italics added.)  The judges agreed, concluding that Charlie should “die with dignity.”

However, to repeat, life is a fact; what constitutes “quality of life” is an opinion.  Likewise, death is a fact; what constitutes “dying with dignity” is an opinion.  In such a dire situation, some parents might want their child’s life support discontinued, while other parents might want their child’s life support continued until every available option had been exhausted.  (Just as some adults might want their own life support discontinued; others, continued.)  The important point is not which opinion is considered to be the best, or which opinion is considered to be serving a child’s best interests; the important point is who makes the decision.  And the decision properly belongs not to a doctor, a hospital, or a government, but to a child’s parents.  With medical decisions, as with nonmedical decisions, a government has the legitimate power to intervene only in very limited circumstances, such as negligence or abuse by the parents.  (Clearly, this does not mean that hospitals or governments have a duty to provide treatment, experimental or standard, unless already purchased or covered by applicable insurance; this simply means that hospitals and governments do not have a right or a legitimate power to prevent the parents, or adult patients, at their own expense, from taking advantage of other options.)

Along with the “quality of life” argument, the legal case relied on three key claims: That “existence” is a condition (implying a disease or disorder).  That a “condition of existence” is a form of harm, unless the condition is considered by a doctor, hospital, or government to be offering a “benefit.”  That “permitting” such a condition to continue is “inhuman.”

Permitting?  Really?  Permitting innocent people to continue living their lives!  How generous!

Ultimately, this argument provides doctors, hospitals, and governments with the power to end a person’s life, without any guilt of any crime.  Well, except the most serious crime of all: not qualifying as worthy of life according to liberal ideology.

Today, the liberal mind is unsound; liberalism is a constant threat to the rights of individuals.

While this particular case happened in Europe, the arguments used in the case, and similar arguments, have support in the United States among liberals, and the political left in general, who are pushing for government control over innumerable aspects of the individual’s life, not just health care.

Paul Pauker is the author of Morality and Law in America. He also runs a site dedicated to advancing the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and property.

There was a time (as hard as it may be to believe today) when liberals actually had the mental capacity to reason.  During the Enlightenment, liberals (specifically, people with principles that were then described as liberal) understood the difference between facts and ideology.  They understood that life is not an ideology, liberty is not an ideology, and property is not an ideology.  Moreover, they understood that life, liberty, and property exist naturally, even if a nation does not exist and even if a government does not exist.  And they understood that if people create a nation, a just government exercises its powers not for the purpose of pursuing an ideology, but instead, for the purpose of securing the life, liberty, and property (i.e., the unalienable rights) of each of the nation’s citizens.  This monumental discovery, a process of human thought stretching from (at the latest) ancient Rome all the way to 17th and 18th century England, achieved its realization in America, with the founding of a great nation.  (Note to liberal readers: the great nation in question is the United States, and these fundamental truths are enshrined in the nation’s founding document, the Declaration of Independence.)

Now, in contrast, a recent legal case in Europe perfectly illustrates the state of “modern” liberal thinking.  A baby, Charlie, was born with a rare genetic condition that causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage.  Charlie’s parents received donations (equivalent to more than a million U.S. dollars) for an experimental treatment in the United States, but the hospital treating Charlie in England wanted his life support to be turned off, and the English courts as well as the European Court of Human Rights sided with the hospital.

In short, the government of the United Kingdom along with a “human rights” court of Europe not only refused to protect the child’s right to life, but also violated it by preventing the child from getting privately-funded treatment, and they not only refused to protect the child’s right to liberty, but also violated it by preventing the child from leaving the hospital and traveling to the United States.  And the reason for this extreme violation of a human being’s most basic human rights: ideology.

The doctors at the hospital argued that the treatment would not improve Charlie’s “quality of life.”  And in court, the lawyers for the hospital claimed that “[t]here is significant harm if what the parents want for Charlie comes into effect.  The significant harm is a condition of existence which is offering the child no benefit.  It is inhuman to permit that condition to continue.”  (Italics added.)  The judges agreed, concluding that Charlie should “die with dignity.”

However, to repeat, life is a fact; what constitutes “quality of life” is an opinion.  Likewise, death is a fact; what constitutes “dying with dignity” is an opinion.  In such a dire situation, some parents might want their child’s life support discontinued, while other parents might want their child’s life support continued until every available option had been exhausted.  (Just as some adults might want their own life support discontinued; others, continued.)  The important point is not which opinion is considered to be the best, or which opinion is considered to be serving a child’s best interests; the important point is who makes the decision.  And the decision properly belongs not to a doctor, a hospital, or a government, but to a child’s parents.  With medical decisions, as with nonmedical decisions, a government has the legitimate power to intervene only in very limited circumstances, such as negligence or abuse by the parents.  (Clearly, this does not mean that hospitals or governments have a duty to provide treatment, experimental or standard, unless already purchased or covered by applicable insurance; this simply means that hospitals and governments do not have a right or a legitimate power to prevent the parents, or adult patients, at their own expense, from taking advantage of other options.)

Along with the “quality of life” argument, the legal case relied on three key claims: That “existence” is a condition (implying a disease or disorder).  That a “condition of existence” is a form of harm, unless the condition is considered by a doctor, hospital, or government to be offering a “benefit.”  That “permitting” such a condition to continue is “inhuman.”

Permitting?  Really?  Permitting innocent people to continue living their lives!  How generous!

Ultimately, this argument provides doctors, hospitals, and governments with the power to end a person’s life, without any guilt of any crime.  Well, except the most serious crime of all: not qualifying as worthy of life according to liberal ideology.

Today, the liberal mind is unsound; liberalism is a constant threat to the rights of individuals.

While this particular case happened in Europe, the arguments used in the case, and similar arguments, have support in the United States among liberals, and the political left in general, who are pushing for government control over innumerable aspects of the individual’s life, not just health care.

Paul Pauker is the author of Morality and Law in America. He also runs a site dedicated to advancing the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and property.



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First: Blocked Travel Bans. Next: Open Borders?


While blocking the temporary travel bans issued by President Trump on foreigners entering the United States from a small number of Muslim nations, the lower federal courts have used arguments that could be adopted by the current (or a future) Supreme Court to reinterpret the Constitution in a way that, effectively, would open the nation’s borders to immigration beyond the control of either Congress or the president.

The Supreme Court (following the lead of lower federal courts in some instances; taking the lead in other instances) has a long record of gradually reinterpreting the Constitution in a series of cases over the course of several years.  In general, the Court introduces seemingly minor (but in fact, highly significant) changes to constitutional law in a few cases, and the Court then cites those earlier cases (and not the Constitution) as the authority for imposing major changes in a later case.  In other words, the Court cites itself as the authority for its decisions.  The death penalty, abortion, and gay marriage are three of the more prominent examples where the Court has used this technique to radically transform American law and impose Progressive-liberal ideology on the entire nation, without a shred of support for the change to be found in the Constitution’s text or history.

 

Now, with regard to President Trump’s second travel ban (which replaced the first one), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has claimed that it likely violates the Constitution; specifically, the First Amendment’s establishment clause, which prohibits the government from establishing a religion.

However, three of the Fourth Circuit’s own judges acknowledged that “the Supreme Court has never applied the Establishment Clause to matters of national security and foreign affairs.”  Moreover, the judges noted that nonresident foreigners, including relatives of U.S. citizens, “do not have rights of entry [into the United States] or any Establishment Clause rights.”

Nevertheless, the Fourth Circuit, among other things, accepted the argument that by delaying or denying Muslims (in foreign nations) entry into the United States, the travel ban would injure Muslims in the United States.  Decades ago, communists in the United States attempted to use a similar argument, claiming that by denying communists (in foreign nations) entry into the United States, the federal government was depriving American communists of what they alleged was their First Amendment “right” to hear and meet foreign communists in person.  The Supreme Court, though, did not accept the argument.

Today, even if the government banned every single foreign Muslim in the world from entering the United States, the ban would do nothing to establish a religion in the United States, and the ban would do nothing to prevent any American from the free exercise of religion in the United States.  Which religion would an entry ban establish?  Christianity?  Judaism?  Zoroastrianism?  How?

Of course, in reality, any claim that a ban of foreigners would establish a religion in the United States has to rely entirely on a modern reinterpretation of the establishment clause and redefinition of what constitutes an establishment of religion.

In short, under the Constitution, the federal government (specifically, Congress) has the power to deny any individual alien or any class of aliens entry into the United States on any grounds.  The Supreme Court itself has upheld the exclusion of aliens based on race, national origin, political association, belief system, and other such factors.  Indeed, the Court has said that “Congress regularly makes rules [for aliens] that would be unacceptable [under the Constitution] if applied to citizens.”  And under federal law (namely, the Immigration and Nationality Act), Congress has delegated some of its power over aliens to each president.

While the purpose of President Trump’s travel ban is to protect the nation from terrorists, the federal government has always had (at least until now) the power to ban foreigners based on their belief system.  To repeat, the Supreme Court itself has upheld the exclusion of foreign communists.

Like communism and fascism, Islam is a belief system with principles that violate the rights of individuals.  And if the government, in the national interest, banned foreigners who are followers of Islam, the government would not be acting for the purpose of advancing religion any more than if the government banned followers of communism or fascism; the purpose of such a ban would be secular.  The government would be treating a “religious” belief system (Islam) the same as it treated a nonreligious belief system (communism).

Yet with regard to the travel ban, the Fourth Circuit argued that it was “steeped in animus.”  This is utter nonsense.  Is opposition to communism and fascism based on animus?  Opposition to Islam is based on knowledge, not animus.

Additionally, the Fourth Circuit argued that the travel ban hurts the “feelings” of Muslims.  This is beyond irresponsible.  It is indefensible to argue that the government cannot criticize or disapprove of a belief system, its principles, and its practices.  The founding document of the United States, the Declaration of Independence, proclaims that governments are instituted to secure the rights of the people.  When a belief system threatens or undermines the securing of these rights, it is not only legitimate for the government to criticize and disapprove of the belief system, but it is the duty of the government to do so.

Notably, in a separate decision by a different federal court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit claimed that the travel ban violates a federal law, the Immigration and Nationality Act, because the executive order that implements the ban exceeds the president’s authority.  However, since the Ninth Circuit’s decision is based on federal law, not the Constitution, it does not have the same (potential) consequences as the Fourth Circuit’s decision, because it does not prevent Congress from passing, or the president from signing, a new law that provides such authority.  Nevertheless, the Ninth Circuit erred by refusing to uphold the ban; the executive order is a valid exercise of President Trump’s authority.

The Supreme Court could settle this issue (for the short term) first by lifting the injunctions that have blocked the ban, and then by upholding the ban.  Alternatively, the Court could refuse to uphold the ban, and instead adopt the arguments that were used by the lower federal courts.  Moreover, even if the Court upholds the ban, a future Supreme Court could at some point still adopt the arguments that were used by the lower federal courts.  The Court could reinterpret the First Amendment by declaring it unconstitutional for either Congress or the president to deny foreigners entry into the United States on certain grounds, such as their belief system.  Ultimately, such an outcome would take away from the federal government and give to foreigners a power over who enters the nation.

 

Paul Pauker is the author of Morality and Law in America. He also runs a site dedicated to advancing the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and property.

While blocking the temporary travel bans issued by President Trump on foreigners entering the United States from a small number of Muslim nations, the lower federal courts have used arguments that could be adopted by the current (or a future) Supreme Court to reinterpret the Constitution in a way that, effectively, would open the nation’s borders to immigration beyond the control of either Congress or the president.

The Supreme Court (following the lead of lower federal courts in some instances; taking the lead in other instances) has a long record of gradually reinterpreting the Constitution in a series of cases over the course of several years.  In general, the Court introduces seemingly minor (but in fact, highly significant) changes to constitutional law in a few cases, and the Court then cites those earlier cases (and not the Constitution) as the authority for imposing major changes in a later case.  In other words, the Court cites itself as the authority for its decisions.  The death penalty, abortion, and gay marriage are three of the more prominent examples where the Court has used this technique to radically transform American law and impose Progressive-liberal ideology on the entire nation, without a shred of support for the change to be found in the Constitution’s text or history.

 

Now, with regard to President Trump’s second travel ban (which replaced the first one), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has claimed that it likely violates the Constitution; specifically, the First Amendment’s establishment clause, which prohibits the government from establishing a religion.

However, three of the Fourth Circuit’s own judges acknowledged that “the Supreme Court has never applied the Establishment Clause to matters of national security and foreign affairs.”  Moreover, the judges noted that nonresident foreigners, including relatives of U.S. citizens, “do not have rights of entry [into the United States] or any Establishment Clause rights.”

Nevertheless, the Fourth Circuit, among other things, accepted the argument that by delaying or denying Muslims (in foreign nations) entry into the United States, the travel ban would injure Muslims in the United States.  Decades ago, communists in the United States attempted to use a similar argument, claiming that by denying communists (in foreign nations) entry into the United States, the federal government was depriving American communists of what they alleged was their First Amendment “right” to hear and meet foreign communists in person.  The Supreme Court, though, did not accept the argument.

Today, even if the government banned every single foreign Muslim in the world from entering the United States, the ban would do nothing to establish a religion in the United States, and the ban would do nothing to prevent any American from the free exercise of religion in the United States.  Which religion would an entry ban establish?  Christianity?  Judaism?  Zoroastrianism?  How?

Of course, in reality, any claim that a ban of foreigners would establish a religion in the United States has to rely entirely on a modern reinterpretation of the establishment clause and redefinition of what constitutes an establishment of religion.

In short, under the Constitution, the federal government (specifically, Congress) has the power to deny any individual alien or any class of aliens entry into the United States on any grounds.  The Supreme Court itself has upheld the exclusion of aliens based on race, national origin, political association, belief system, and other such factors.  Indeed, the Court has said that “Congress regularly makes rules [for aliens] that would be unacceptable [under the Constitution] if applied to citizens.”  And under federal law (namely, the Immigration and Nationality Act), Congress has delegated some of its power over aliens to each president.

While the purpose of President Trump’s travel ban is to protect the nation from terrorists, the federal government has always had (at least until now) the power to ban foreigners based on their belief system.  To repeat, the Supreme Court itself has upheld the exclusion of foreign communists.

Like communism and fascism, Islam is a belief system with principles that violate the rights of individuals.  And if the government, in the national interest, banned foreigners who are followers of Islam, the government would not be acting for the purpose of advancing religion any more than if the government banned followers of communism or fascism; the purpose of such a ban would be secular.  The government would be treating a “religious” belief system (Islam) the same as it treated a nonreligious belief system (communism).

Yet with regard to the travel ban, the Fourth Circuit argued that it was “steeped in animus.”  This is utter nonsense.  Is opposition to communism and fascism based on animus?  Opposition to Islam is based on knowledge, not animus.

Additionally, the Fourth Circuit argued that the travel ban hurts the “feelings” of Muslims.  This is beyond irresponsible.  It is indefensible to argue that the government cannot criticize or disapprove of a belief system, its principles, and its practices.  The founding document of the United States, the Declaration of Independence, proclaims that governments are instituted to secure the rights of the people.  When a belief system threatens or undermines the securing of these rights, it is not only legitimate for the government to criticize and disapprove of the belief system, but it is the duty of the government to do so.

Notably, in a separate decision by a different federal court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit claimed that the travel ban violates a federal law, the Immigration and Nationality Act, because the executive order that implements the ban exceeds the president’s authority.  However, since the Ninth Circuit’s decision is based on federal law, not the Constitution, it does not have the same (potential) consequences as the Fourth Circuit’s decision, because it does not prevent Congress from passing, or the president from signing, a new law that provides such authority.  Nevertheless, the Ninth Circuit erred by refusing to uphold the ban; the executive order is a valid exercise of President Trump’s authority.

The Supreme Court could settle this issue (for the short term) first by lifting the injunctions that have blocked the ban, and then by upholding the ban.  Alternatively, the Court could refuse to uphold the ban, and instead adopt the arguments that were used by the lower federal courts.  Moreover, even if the Court upholds the ban, a future Supreme Court could at some point still adopt the arguments that were used by the lower federal courts.  The Court could reinterpret the First Amendment by declaring it unconstitutional for either Congress or the president to deny foreigners entry into the United States on certain grounds, such as their belief system.  Ultimately, such an outcome would take away from the federal government and give to foreigners a power over who enters the nation.

 

Paul Pauker is the author of Morality and Law in America. He also runs a site dedicated to advancing the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and property.



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Islamic Carnage and 12 Kinds of Liberal Complicity


This is a logical fallacy, known as missing the point.  Basically, even if correct, this conclusion is completely irrelevant because it fails to address the actual issues.  Moreover, for the sake of argument, even if 99 percent of the world’s (estimated) 1.8 billion Muslims opposed acts of terrorism committed in the name of Islam, there still would be (approximately) 18 million Muslims who supported terrorism.  And in reality, the number is much higher; reputable polls have repeatedly shown that 10 percent to 40 percent of Muslims from various nations in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa support terrorism.  In the United States, nearly 10 percent of Muslims have consistently said that suicide bombings against civilians are justified “often” or “sometimes.”

2. Islamic terrorists are reinterpreting the Koran.

This is demonstrably incorrect.  The Koran not only instructs Muslims to engage in Jihad and fight nonbelievers until Islam is supreme, but also promises eternal paradise to Muslims for killing, and being killed, in this fight.  Therefore, after the Koran was revealed in the 7th century, Muslims waged “holy war” against nonbelievers, spreading Islam — with violence — across the Middle East, northern Africa, and southern Europe.  In short, the Muslims (and particularly the Islamic terrorists) who are waging holy war against the United States and other nations today are following the Koran according to both its literal interpretation and its original interpretation by Muslims in the 7th century.  (For fighting nonbelievers, see Koran 2:216; 4:76; 9:5.  For Islamic supremacy, see Koran 8:39; 9:29; 61:9.  For eternal paradise, see Koran 9:111.  For holy war, see Sahih Muslim 19:4294; Sahih al-Bukhari 53:392.)

3. Like the Koran, the Bible also contains violent passages.

This is a false analogy.  To repeat, the Koran (specifically, Allah, the god of Islam) instructs Muslims to fight nonbelievers until Islam is supreme; the instructions apply to past, present, and future Muslims.  The Bible simply does not contain any comparable instructions to present or future Christians; the Koran’s timeless instructions to Muslims are fundamentally different from the Bible’s description of events where people (Israelites) of a past era, under the command of God, engaged in violence, or where God (in judgment of people) inflicts or threatens violence.

4. Like Muslims, Christians also have engaged in violence.

This is another false analogy.  Again, the Muslims who are committing acts of violence in the name of Islam are interpreting passages of the Koran (instructions from Allah) according to both their literal and original meanings.  In contrast, Christians who committed acts of violence in the name of Christianity disregarded the words of Christ; both their literal and original meanings.  The early Muslims engaged in violence, spreading Islam by attacking non-Muslims, whereas the early Christians endured violence, including being thrown to the beasts (wild animals) by non-Christians (Romans).

5. Like the Islamic world, the West also has produced terrorists, including the United States, which has produced domestic terrorists (both left wing and right wing).

This is a “red herring,” a separate argument that liberals introduce to divert attention from the actual issues.  Among other things, domestic terrorists from any one nation, by definition, are only a threat to the people in that nation, whereas Islamic terrorists are posing a threat to the people in many nations.  Therefore, domestic terrorism in one nation does not require a response by any other nation, whereas Islamic terrorism requires a response by many nations.  Additionally, as a result of the decades-long influx of Muslim immigrants and refugees to non-Muslim nations, Islamic terrorists are increasingly also domestic terrorists in non-Muslim nations.  Yet liberals support policies (such as continuing to accept immigrants and refugees from Muslim nations) that prevent the United States, and Western nations in general, from effectively dealing with the Islamic threat.

6. An underlying cause of terrorism is the failure of Muslim nations to provide Muslim youth with alternatives to Islamic groups like al Qaeda and ISIS.

This is an unfounded assertion.  The premise is that certain factors in Muslim nations (such as poverty, injustice, and instability) are root causes of Islamic terrorism.  However, in other regions of the world, non-Muslims also live under these kinds of severe conditions, and they have not responded with this kind of terrorism.  Ultimately, the Koran, the collections of hadith (the reported words and conduct of Muhammad, the last prophet of Islam), and Islamic history are the root causes of Muslims waging holy war against nonbelievers today in what is a timeless struggle to make Islam supreme.

7. Another underlying cause of terrorism is the use of military force by Western nations in the Middle East and northern Africa.

This is a classic example of a “half-truth.”  Indisputably, there have been, and still are, Muslims motivated by the actions of the West, but this is a secondary, not underlying, cause of Islamic terrorism, which is a crucial difference.  With regard to policy, the West cannot successfully use military force to change people who have resisted change for over a thousand years, but the West can successfully use military force, in targeted operations, when necessary to prevent future terrorist attacks.  Nevertheless, there is a lack of consensus among both the political left and right on when military force is necessary; most recently, some opposed, while others supported, the use of military force by the West in Syria.  Furthermore, even the use of military force, limited to targeted operations, only when necessary, will still provoke Muslims.  Every possible course of action or nonaction by the West will have consequences, and liberals offer criticisms, not solutions.

8. Yet another underlying cause of terrorism is the failure of Western nations in Europe to provide social and economic opportunities to Muslim immigrants, refugees, and their descendants.

This is pure speculation.  The facts tell a different story.  In Europe, large blocs of Muslims, concentrated in cities, have chosen to isolate themselves, by refusing to adopt their European nation’s culture, and instead adhering to Islamic culture.  In the end, the main problem is that many practices and principles of Islam are incompatible with Western civilization.

9. The threat of terrorism increases when Western nations implement policies that are directed at Muslims.

This is a revealing assertion.  The premise is that certain policies (such as the surveillance of activities at mosques, the enhanced screening of Muslims at airports, or a travel ban on foreigners arriving from Muslim nations) incite, or will incite, so-called “moderate” Muslims to join Islamic groups like al Qaeda and ISIS.  But what type of person (moderate person, no less) can be incited by such policies to savagely attack other human beings?  The answer, following liberal reasoning, is a person already predisposed to violence; namely, a moderate Muslim.

10. Opposition to Islam is based on fear and hate; the individuals who oppose immigration from Muslim nations or who oppose accepting refugees are Islamophobic.

This is a blatant lie that also employs a personal attack.  Like opposition to communism and fascism, opposition to Islam is based on knowledge, not fear or hate; like communism and fascism, Islam is a belief system with principles that violate the rights of individuals.  Opposition to the beliefs and actions of an individual or group is not a phobia; such opposition is legitimate.

11. We cannot allow the terrorists to divide us.

This is a raw appeal to emotion.  If worded honestly, this statement would assert, “We cannot allow the terrorists to wake the public up to either the dangers or injustices of multiculturalism.”  Essentially, what liberals want is for people from all cultures and regions of world, no matter how incompatible their belief systems, to live together, in the same nation, right now.  And if the result is carnage, so be it.  The slaughter of civilians, including children, by Muslim immigrants, refugees, or their descendants is a price that liberals are willing to pay: a sacrifice at the altar of multiculturalism, faithfully suffered in the name of such ideological concepts as diversity, openness, and tolerance.

12. The terrorists will never win; our values and our way of life will prevail.

This is rhetoric.  Often, when used by politicians, “our values” means, first and foremost, the liberal value of multiculturalism, and “our way of life” means a liberal way of life in a multicultural society.  Indeed, the way of life enjoyed in the West since the close of World War II has already deteriorated in sections (controversially described as “no-go zones”) of numerous cities in Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, the United Kingdom, and other European nations, while politicians have been working to lull the public into a passive acceptance of this (entirely avoidable) decline, by saying things like terrorism will be “part of our daily lives” and “we should learn to live with terrorism.” And in the United States, the federal government’s policies of the last several decades, especially on immigration and refugees, have the American way of life set on this same downward course.

Paul Pauker is the author of Morality and Law in America. He also runs a site dedicated to advancing the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and property.

The liberal position on Islamic terrorism, unchallenged by the media, and shared not only by most on the political left but also by some on the right (including Republican “moderates”), relies on the following arguments:

1. Islam (as practiced by the vast majority of Muslims) is a peaceful religion.

This is a logical fallacy, known as missing the point.  Basically, even if correct, this conclusion is completely irrelevant because it fails to address the actual issues.  Moreover, for the sake of argument, even if 99 percent of the world’s (estimated) 1.8 billion Muslims opposed acts of terrorism committed in the name of Islam, there still would be (approximately) 18 million Muslims who supported terrorism.  And in reality, the number is much higher; reputable polls have repeatedly shown that 10 percent to 40 percent of Muslims from various nations in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa support terrorism.  In the United States, nearly 10 percent of Muslims have consistently said that suicide bombings against civilians are justified “often” or “sometimes.”

2. Islamic terrorists are reinterpreting the Koran.

This is demonstrably incorrect.  The Koran not only instructs Muslims to engage in Jihad and fight nonbelievers until Islam is supreme, but also promises eternal paradise to Muslims for killing, and being killed, in this fight.  Therefore, after the Koran was revealed in the 7th century, Muslims waged “holy war” against nonbelievers, spreading Islam — with violence — across the Middle East, northern Africa, and southern Europe.  In short, the Muslims (and particularly the Islamic terrorists) who are waging holy war against the United States and other nations today are following the Koran according to both its literal interpretation and its original interpretation by Muslims in the 7th century.  (For fighting nonbelievers, see Koran 2:216; 4:76; 9:5.  For Islamic supremacy, see Koran 8:39; 9:29; 61:9.  For eternal paradise, see Koran 9:111.  For holy war, see Sahih Muslim 19:4294; Sahih al-Bukhari 53:392.)

3. Like the Koran, the Bible also contains violent passages.

This is a false analogy.  To repeat, the Koran (specifically, Allah, the god of Islam) instructs Muslims to fight nonbelievers until Islam is supreme; the instructions apply to past, present, and future Muslims.  The Bible simply does not contain any comparable instructions to present or future Christians; the Koran’s timeless instructions to Muslims are fundamentally different from the Bible’s description of events where people (Israelites) of a past era, under the command of God, engaged in violence, or where God (in judgment of people) inflicts or threatens violence.

4. Like Muslims, Christians also have engaged in violence.

This is another false analogy.  Again, the Muslims who are committing acts of violence in the name of Islam are interpreting passages of the Koran (instructions from Allah) according to both their literal and original meanings.  In contrast, Christians who committed acts of violence in the name of Christianity disregarded the words of Christ; both their literal and original meanings.  The early Muslims engaged in violence, spreading Islam by attacking non-Muslims, whereas the early Christians endured violence, including being thrown to the beasts (wild animals) by non-Christians (Romans).

5. Like the Islamic world, the West also has produced terrorists, including the United States, which has produced domestic terrorists (both left wing and right wing).

This is a “red herring,” a separate argument that liberals introduce to divert attention from the actual issues.  Among other things, domestic terrorists from any one nation, by definition, are only a threat to the people in that nation, whereas Islamic terrorists are posing a threat to the people in many nations.  Therefore, domestic terrorism in one nation does not require a response by any other nation, whereas Islamic terrorism requires a response by many nations.  Additionally, as a result of the decades-long influx of Muslim immigrants and refugees to non-Muslim nations, Islamic terrorists are increasingly also domestic terrorists in non-Muslim nations.  Yet liberals support policies (such as continuing to accept immigrants and refugees from Muslim nations) that prevent the United States, and Western nations in general, from effectively dealing with the Islamic threat.

6. An underlying cause of terrorism is the failure of Muslim nations to provide Muslim youth with alternatives to Islamic groups like al Qaeda and ISIS.

This is an unfounded assertion.  The premise is that certain factors in Muslim nations (such as poverty, injustice, and instability) are root causes of Islamic terrorism.  However, in other regions of the world, non-Muslims also live under these kinds of severe conditions, and they have not responded with this kind of terrorism.  Ultimately, the Koran, the collections of hadith (the reported words and conduct of Muhammad, the last prophet of Islam), and Islamic history are the root causes of Muslims waging holy war against nonbelievers today in what is a timeless struggle to make Islam supreme.

7. Another underlying cause of terrorism is the use of military force by Western nations in the Middle East and northern Africa.

This is a classic example of a “half-truth.”  Indisputably, there have been, and still are, Muslims motivated by the actions of the West, but this is a secondary, not underlying, cause of Islamic terrorism, which is a crucial difference.  With regard to policy, the West cannot successfully use military force to change people who have resisted change for over a thousand years, but the West can successfully use military force, in targeted operations, when necessary to prevent future terrorist attacks.  Nevertheless, there is a lack of consensus among both the political left and right on when military force is necessary; most recently, some opposed, while others supported, the use of military force by the West in Syria.  Furthermore, even the use of military force, limited to targeted operations, only when necessary, will still provoke Muslims.  Every possible course of action or nonaction by the West will have consequences, and liberals offer criticisms, not solutions.

8. Yet another underlying cause of terrorism is the failure of Western nations in Europe to provide social and economic opportunities to Muslim immigrants, refugees, and their descendants.

This is pure speculation.  The facts tell a different story.  In Europe, large blocs of Muslims, concentrated in cities, have chosen to isolate themselves, by refusing to adopt their European nation’s culture, and instead adhering to Islamic culture.  In the end, the main problem is that many practices and principles of Islam are incompatible with Western civilization.

9. The threat of terrorism increases when Western nations implement policies that are directed at Muslims.

This is a revealing assertion.  The premise is that certain policies (such as the surveillance of activities at mosques, the enhanced screening of Muslims at airports, or a travel ban on foreigners arriving from Muslim nations) incite, or will incite, so-called “moderate” Muslims to join Islamic groups like al Qaeda and ISIS.  But what type of person (moderate person, no less) can be incited by such policies to savagely attack other human beings?  The answer, following liberal reasoning, is a person already predisposed to violence; namely, a moderate Muslim.

10. Opposition to Islam is based on fear and hate; the individuals who oppose immigration from Muslim nations or who oppose accepting refugees are Islamophobic.

This is a blatant lie that also employs a personal attack.  Like opposition to communism and fascism, opposition to Islam is based on knowledge, not fear or hate; like communism and fascism, Islam is a belief system with principles that violate the rights of individuals.  Opposition to the beliefs and actions of an individual or group is not a phobia; such opposition is legitimate.

11. We cannot allow the terrorists to divide us.

This is a raw appeal to emotion.  If worded honestly, this statement would assert, “We cannot allow the terrorists to wake the public up to either the dangers or injustices of multiculturalism.”  Essentially, what liberals want is for people from all cultures and regions of world, no matter how incompatible their belief systems, to live together, in the same nation, right now.  And if the result is carnage, so be it.  The slaughter of civilians, including children, by Muslim immigrants, refugees, or their descendants is a price that liberals are willing to pay: a sacrifice at the altar of multiculturalism, faithfully suffered in the name of such ideological concepts as diversity, openness, and tolerance.

12. The terrorists will never win; our values and our way of life will prevail.

This is rhetoric.  Often, when used by politicians, “our values” means, first and foremost, the liberal value of multiculturalism, and “our way of life” means a liberal way of life in a multicultural society.  Indeed, the way of life enjoyed in the West since the close of World War II has already deteriorated in sections (controversially described as “no-go zones”) of numerous cities in Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, the United Kingdom, and other European nations, while politicians have been working to lull the public into a passive acceptance of this (entirely avoidable) decline, by saying things like terrorism will be “part of our daily lives” and “we should learn to live with terrorism.” And in the United States, the federal government’s policies of the last several decades, especially on immigration and refugees, have the American way of life set on this same downward course.

Paul Pauker is the author of Morality and Law in America. He also runs a site dedicated to advancing the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and property.



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Health Care: In Government We Trust?


The current debate on health care has been framed largely in terms of policy, with disagreements focusing mostly on whether the details of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) or the details of the American Health Care Act (the bill that was recently passed by Republicans in the House of Representatives) are bad or good.  But these are secondary points.  The primary (often deliberately overlooked) point is that, under the Constitution, the federal government does not have the power to adopt any law, bad or good, regarding this kind of health care.

Overall, the Constitution is structured in a way that protects the rights of the people from being violated by the federal government.  And the rights of the people — since the beginning of U.S. history — have been defined as the natural rights to life, liberty, and property.

In the Founding Era, it was fully understood that governments deprive people of life, liberty, and property not only by taking life, liberty, and property, but also by controlling life, liberty, and property with laws and regulations.  Consequently, the Constitution only provides the federal government with a small number of powers, and it does not provide the federal government with any power whatsoever in many areas.

The regulation of health care is a state issue.  In short, if the people of any one state want the government to provide them with health insurance, they have the power to adopt a state law that does so; likewise, if the people of a different state favor a different policy, they have the power to implement the favored policy in that state.

However, for decades, the Supreme Court has been reinterpreting the Constitution, expanding federal power and enabling the federal government to impose progressive-liberal ideology on the entire nation.  The Court relied on its own previous reinterpretation of the Constitution’s taxing clause to uphold Obamacare, and the Court has reinterpreted many of the Constitution’s other clauses to, among other things, expand the federal government’s spending power, commerce power, and monetary power.

The federal government’s use of these expanded powers has repeatedly had a devastating impact on not only the rights of the people, but also the economy of the nation.  Indeed, past events provide a clear picture of what the future holds regarding the federal government’s use of its expanded power over health care.

In particular, the Great Depression offers lessons that have been ignored (typically for ideological reasons) by politicians and government officials from every generation since.  To review, government intervention caused a stock market crash in 1929, and government intervention following the crash not only caused an economic depression, but also impeded the economy’s recovery.

The distinguished economist Murray Rothbard explained that “any governmental interference with the depression process can only prolong it, thus making things worse from almost everyone’s point of view.  Since the depression process is the recovery process, any halting or slowing down of the process impedes the advent of recovery.”

Moreover, as Rothbard also explained, a depression is not the cause of the economic trouble.  Rather, distortions of the economy, accompanied by wasteful investments, are the causes of the economic trouble.  And these distortions and wasteful investments both occur before a depression, during a boom stage of the economic cycle.  Later, during the depression process (which, to repeat, is the recovery process), the distortions and wasteful investments are eliminated.

Basically, the federal government’s policies (most significantly, the Federal Reserve’s policy of increasing the money supply) distorted the economy and tempted people to make wasteful investments during the 1920s, “the Roaring Twenties” (a boom stage), which made the stock market crash inevitable.  Next, the federal government’s increased control of economic activities (with massive amounts of taxing, spending, and regulation) following the crash made the depression inevitable.  Finally, the federal government’s interference with the depression process, year after year, prolonged the misery for over a decade.  Notably, both Republican and Democratic presidents held power, and engaged in government intervention, during this period.

More recently, the Recession of the late 2000s, also known as the Great Recession, showed that politicians and government officials have refused to learn from prior mistakes.  The federal government’s policies (including, but not limited to, its “affordable housing” policy in the 1990s and 2000s that required financial institutions to accept risky mortgages) distorted the economy and tempted people to make wasteful investments, which made a financial crisis inevitable (when risky mortgages defaulted in large numbers and financial institutions suffered deep losses).  And the federal government’s increased control of economic activities (with even more spending and even more regulation) during the crisis made a severe and prolonged recession inevitable.  Once again, both Republican and Democratic presidents held power, and engaged in government intervention, during this period.

Now, in 2017, if the Republican-controlled Senate accepts the health care bill passed by the Republican-controlled House, or if the Senate and House (and president) agree to changes that do not fully repeal Obamacare, but still have the federal government involved with this kind of health care, the consequences will be profound.

The regulation of health care by the federal government will be further entrenched into law with the support of both major political parties.  And health care spending represents a substantial part of the American economy; presently, 17 percent of the nation’s GDP.  The damage to the economy that the federal government will (not might, but will) eventually inflict as it exercises increased control of health care realistically could make both the Great Depression of the 1930s and the Recession of the late 2000s appear trivial in comparison; the possible federal policies on health care that could radically distort the economy and tempt (or require) wasteful investments are innumerable.

Nevertheless, some conservatives have been arguing in favor of the House bill as the first step of an incremental approach to repealing Obamacare.  However, while appropriate in some instances, an incremental approach to changing a law is not an adequate approach for Obamacare under the circumstances that exist today.

As one former president long ago said, “I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution.”  This would be a better approach (but without the “stringent” part) for conservatives in Congress to follow since there are not enough Republicans willing to fully repeal Obamacare; simply let the law continue to implode.  At the very least, conservatives in Congress would be ensuring that opposition to federal regulation of health care remains constant from one of the major political parties.

The argument that Republicans have a duty to “fix” health care is a logical fallacy based on the demonstrably false assumption that health care is a federal responsibility.  Under the Constitution, the correct “fix” would involve the federal government returning the regulation of health care (including health insurance) back to each state.

Yet the members of Congress are in the process of violating the Constitution and the nation’s fundamental principles.  Again.  For an encore, perhaps they will repeal and replace “In God We Trust” with a motto that seemingly reflects their personal beliefs more accurately, such as “In Government We Trust.”

 

Paul Pauker is the author of Morality and Law in America. He also runs a site dedicated to advancing the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and property.

 

The current debate on health care has been framed largely in terms of policy, with disagreements focusing mostly on whether the details of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) or the details of the American Health Care Act (the bill that was recently passed by Republicans in the House of Representatives) are bad or good.  But these are secondary points.  The primary (often deliberately overlooked) point is that, under the Constitution, the federal government does not have the power to adopt any law, bad or good, regarding this kind of health care.

Overall, the Constitution is structured in a way that protects the rights of the people from being violated by the federal government.  And the rights of the people — since the beginning of U.S. history — have been defined as the natural rights to life, liberty, and property.

In the Founding Era, it was fully understood that governments deprive people of life, liberty, and property not only by taking life, liberty, and property, but also by controlling life, liberty, and property with laws and regulations.  Consequently, the Constitution only provides the federal government with a small number of powers, and it does not provide the federal government with any power whatsoever in many areas.

The regulation of health care is a state issue.  In short, if the people of any one state want the government to provide them with health insurance, they have the power to adopt a state law that does so; likewise, if the people of a different state favor a different policy, they have the power to implement the favored policy in that state.

However, for decades, the Supreme Court has been reinterpreting the Constitution, expanding federal power and enabling the federal government to impose progressive-liberal ideology on the entire nation.  The Court relied on its own previous reinterpretation of the Constitution’s taxing clause to uphold Obamacare, and the Court has reinterpreted many of the Constitution’s other clauses to, among other things, expand the federal government’s spending power, commerce power, and monetary power.

The federal government’s use of these expanded powers has repeatedly had a devastating impact on not only the rights of the people, but also the economy of the nation.  Indeed, past events provide a clear picture of what the future holds regarding the federal government’s use of its expanded power over health care.

In particular, the Great Depression offers lessons that have been ignored (typically for ideological reasons) by politicians and government officials from every generation since.  To review, government intervention caused a stock market crash in 1929, and government intervention following the crash not only caused an economic depression, but also impeded the economy’s recovery.

The distinguished economist Murray Rothbard explained that “any governmental interference with the depression process can only prolong it, thus making things worse from almost everyone’s point of view.  Since the depression process is the recovery process, any halting or slowing down of the process impedes the advent of recovery.”

Moreover, as Rothbard also explained, a depression is not the cause of the economic trouble.  Rather, distortions of the economy, accompanied by wasteful investments, are the causes of the economic trouble.  And these distortions and wasteful investments both occur before a depression, during a boom stage of the economic cycle.  Later, during the depression process (which, to repeat, is the recovery process), the distortions and wasteful investments are eliminated.

Basically, the federal government’s policies (most significantly, the Federal Reserve’s policy of increasing the money supply) distorted the economy and tempted people to make wasteful investments during the 1920s, “the Roaring Twenties” (a boom stage), which made the stock market crash inevitable.  Next, the federal government’s increased control of economic activities (with massive amounts of taxing, spending, and regulation) following the crash made the depression inevitable.  Finally, the federal government’s interference with the depression process, year after year, prolonged the misery for over a decade.  Notably, both Republican and Democratic presidents held power, and engaged in government intervention, during this period.

More recently, the Recession of the late 2000s, also known as the Great Recession, showed that politicians and government officials have refused to learn from prior mistakes.  The federal government’s policies (including, but not limited to, its “affordable housing” policy in the 1990s and 2000s that required financial institutions to accept risky mortgages) distorted the economy and tempted people to make wasteful investments, which made a financial crisis inevitable (when risky mortgages defaulted in large numbers and financial institutions suffered deep losses).  And the federal government’s increased control of economic activities (with even more spending and even more regulation) during the crisis made a severe and prolonged recession inevitable.  Once again, both Republican and Democratic presidents held power, and engaged in government intervention, during this period.

Now, in 2017, if the Republican-controlled Senate accepts the health care bill passed by the Republican-controlled House, or if the Senate and House (and president) agree to changes that do not fully repeal Obamacare, but still have the federal government involved with this kind of health care, the consequences will be profound.

The regulation of health care by the federal government will be further entrenched into law with the support of both major political parties.  And health care spending represents a substantial part of the American economy; presently, 17 percent of the nation’s GDP.  The damage to the economy that the federal government will (not might, but will) eventually inflict as it exercises increased control of health care realistically could make both the Great Depression of the 1930s and the Recession of the late 2000s appear trivial in comparison; the possible federal policies on health care that could radically distort the economy and tempt (or require) wasteful investments are innumerable.

Nevertheless, some conservatives have been arguing in favor of the House bill as the first step of an incremental approach to repealing Obamacare.  However, while appropriate in some instances, an incremental approach to changing a law is not an adequate approach for Obamacare under the circumstances that exist today.

As one former president long ago said, “I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution.”  This would be a better approach (but without the “stringent” part) for conservatives in Congress to follow since there are not enough Republicans willing to fully repeal Obamacare; simply let the law continue to implode.  At the very least, conservatives in Congress would be ensuring that opposition to federal regulation of health care remains constant from one of the major political parties.

The argument that Republicans have a duty to “fix” health care is a logical fallacy based on the demonstrably false assumption that health care is a federal responsibility.  Under the Constitution, the correct “fix” would involve the federal government returning the regulation of health care (including health insurance) back to each state.

Yet the members of Congress are in the process of violating the Constitution and the nation’s fundamental principles.  Again.  For an encore, perhaps they will repeal and replace “In God We Trust” with a motto that seemingly reflects their personal beliefs more accurately, such as “In Government We Trust.”

 

Paul Pauker is the author of Morality and Law in America. He also runs a site dedicated to advancing the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and property.

 



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The Fallacy of ‘Openness and Tolerance’



Leftists, including Western leaders, are so extreme that many refuse to even mention Islam when discussing terrorist attacks committed in the name of Islam by Islamic groups.



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How Progressives Hijacked the Constitution to Push Equality of Result


The pursuit of equality by Progressives and liberals is eroding freedom to a staggering degree.

Under the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, which prohibits the state governments from denying “to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws,” equality means equal treatment.  In general, if a law treats a person differently for a legitimate reason (such as prohibiting a child from driving on a public street), the law is constitutional, but if a law treats a person differently for an illegitimate reason (such as prohibiting a black adult from doing something that is permitted for a white adult), the law is unconstitutional.

However, for decades, Progressives and liberals have been tirelessly working to redefine equality, insisting that equality means equal results.  For example, President Lyndon B. Johnson said, “We seek . . . not just equality as a right and a theory but equality as a fact and equality as a result.”

A year earlier, Congress passed and President Johnson signed a federal law — the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — that (among other things) is being used to redefine equality in terms consistent with Progressive-liberal ideology.  Title VII of the Civil Right Act created a federal agency — the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission — to enforce a number of federal laws, and “equal opportunity” as defined under federal law is completely different from equal protection as required under the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment (when interpreted according to its original meaning).  Indeed, the concept of equal opportunity has been used to support affirmative action programs that treat people differently on the basis of race and sex.

Moreover, the concept of “disparate impact” (or disproportionate impact) has been used to bring about equal results.  Basically, even when people have not been treated differently because of a personal characteristic (such as race or sex), the Supreme Court takes into consideration whether an employment policy or practice has a more negative impact on people from one group (such as black people or women) than people from another group (such as white people or men).  In doing so, the Court not only violates the equal treatment of people, but it also gives employers a strong incentive to lower the standards used when examining the capabilities of people applying for certain jobs, including jobs where the safety of the public is at stake.

Notably, along with race, the clear language of Title VII prohibits discrimination because of a person’s “sex” (which is a scientific term based on biological facts), not gender or gender identity (which are ideological concepts based on Progressive-liberal dogma).  Yet the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has redefined “sex” to include gender and gender identity.  In recent years, the federal government has forced schools to allow biological males (who “identify” as females) to change and shower in the same locker rooms as teenage girls, and the federal government has forced employers to use the pronoun “she” not “he” when referring to biological males; likewise, “he” not “she” for biological females.  Furthermore, many state and local governments have adopted policies that deal with gender identity.

On a wide range of issues, the power of government (federal, state, and local) is being used to force private citizens, including parents and schoolchildren, to submit to Progressive-liberal ideology.  And this is being done in the name of equality.

The Constitution, though, does not require the government to disregard facts, and the Supreme Court itself has affirmed this fundamental principle.  The Court has previously held, “The Constitution does not require things which are different in fact or opinion to be treated in law as though they were the same.”  But whether the Court will reaffirm this principle in today’s political environment is uncertain.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has also redefined “sex” to include sexual orientation.  Additionally, many state and local governments have prohibited businesses from discriminating on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation, and some of these laws are extreme in their injustice.  For example, under the federal Civil Rights Act, individuals have been prohibited from discriminating in certain places open for use by the public (hotels, restaurants, et cetera), whereas under state and local discrimination laws, individuals (such as photographers) have been forced to participate in private events (such as gay weddings) and punished for refusing to participate.

Another issue of significance involves prohibiting various types of discrimination by private groups, such as golf clubs, student clubs, boys clubs, girls clubs, and so on.  Progressives and liberals argue that people have (or should have) a right to membership in certain private groups, and that, correspondingly, private groups do not have a right to exclude people based on personal characteristics.  Clearly, the right to liberty is severely violated when a private group is forced to accept members against its wishes.  An essential aspect of liberty is the right to discriminate in private life; in particular, the right to associate, or not associate, with private individuals and private groups of one’s own choosing.  Nevertheless, some private groups, including the Boy Scouts, have already caved in after intense pressure from Progressive-liberal politicians, corporations, and militant activists.

Yet another issue of great consequence involves providing various types of financial assistance to not only citizens, but also noncitizens, including illegal immigrants.  Progressives and liberals argue that people have (or should have) a right to certain services and benefits (such as health care), and that, correspondingly, government has a responsibility to secure these services and benefits for people.

Overall, Progressives and liberals, as the self-proclaimed champions of “social justice,” are pursuing a goal of reducing then eliminating social inequality and economic inequality.  However, social inequality and economic inequality are not unjust.

At the Constitutional Convention, Alexander Hamilton, stating a fact that was fully understood in the Founding Era, said that “inequality would exist as long as liberty existed, and that it would unavoidably result from that very liberty itself.”

Ultimately, people are unequal with respect to nearly everything (from ambition to talent to personal circumstances), and therefore, people are unequal with respect to social and economic achievements.  But people are equal in one important way; all people are born equal in rights.

Nevertheless, the current belief that people have a “right to equality” is false.  Every human being has a right to life, a right to liberty, and a right to property, but no human being has a right to equality.  Unlike life, liberty, and property, which exist naturally, equality does not exist naturally.

In short, human rights are natural rights.  And the United States was created on this principle, which is set forth in the nation’s founding document, the Declaration of Independence, along with the principle that governments are instituted to secure the natural rights.

Moreover, the Constitution’s equal protection clause does not provide a right to equality.  To repeat, this clause (when interpreted according to its original and only legitimate meaning) guarantees the equal protection of whatever man-made laws already exist at the moment.

The United States is the land of the free.  In the end, though, following a Progressive-liberal approach (which reinterprets the Constitution and redefines human rights), freedom would be discarded in the dustbin of history, replaced by equality.  The government would make the decisions, big and small, over innumerable aspects of an individual’s life.

Paul Pauker is the author of Morality and Law in America. He also runs a site dedicated to advancing the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and property.

The pursuit of equality by Progressives and liberals is eroding freedom to a staggering degree.

Under the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, which prohibits the state governments from denying “to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws,” equality means equal treatment.  In general, if a law treats a person differently for a legitimate reason (such as prohibiting a child from driving on a public street), the law is constitutional, but if a law treats a person differently for an illegitimate reason (such as prohibiting a black adult from doing something that is permitted for a white adult), the law is unconstitutional.

However, for decades, Progressives and liberals have been tirelessly working to redefine equality, insisting that equality means equal results.  For example, President Lyndon B. Johnson said, “We seek . . . not just equality as a right and a theory but equality as a fact and equality as a result.”

A year earlier, Congress passed and President Johnson signed a federal law — the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — that (among other things) is being used to redefine equality in terms consistent with Progressive-liberal ideology.  Title VII of the Civil Right Act created a federal agency — the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission — to enforce a number of federal laws, and “equal opportunity” as defined under federal law is completely different from equal protection as required under the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment (when interpreted according to its original meaning).  Indeed, the concept of equal opportunity has been used to support affirmative action programs that treat people differently on the basis of race and sex.

Moreover, the concept of “disparate impact” (or disproportionate impact) has been used to bring about equal results.  Basically, even when people have not been treated differently because of a personal characteristic (such as race or sex), the Supreme Court takes into consideration whether an employment policy or practice has a more negative impact on people from one group (such as black people or women) than people from another group (such as white people or men).  In doing so, the Court not only violates the equal treatment of people, but it also gives employers a strong incentive to lower the standards used when examining the capabilities of people applying for certain jobs, including jobs where the safety of the public is at stake.

Notably, along with race, the clear language of Title VII prohibits discrimination because of a person’s “sex” (which is a scientific term based on biological facts), not gender or gender identity (which are ideological concepts based on Progressive-liberal dogma).  Yet the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has redefined “sex” to include gender and gender identity.  In recent years, the federal government has forced schools to allow biological males (who “identify” as females) to change and shower in the same locker rooms as teenage girls, and the federal government has forced employers to use the pronoun “she” not “he” when referring to biological males; likewise, “he” not “she” for biological females.  Furthermore, many state and local governments have adopted policies that deal with gender identity.

On a wide range of issues, the power of government (federal, state, and local) is being used to force private citizens, including parents and schoolchildren, to submit to Progressive-liberal ideology.  And this is being done in the name of equality.

The Constitution, though, does not require the government to disregard facts, and the Supreme Court itself has affirmed this fundamental principle.  The Court has previously held, “The Constitution does not require things which are different in fact or opinion to be treated in law as though they were the same.”  But whether the Court will reaffirm this principle in today’s political environment is uncertain.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has also redefined “sex” to include sexual orientation.  Additionally, many state and local governments have prohibited businesses from discriminating on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation, and some of these laws are extreme in their injustice.  For example, under the federal Civil Rights Act, individuals have been prohibited from discriminating in certain places open for use by the public (hotels, restaurants, et cetera), whereas under state and local discrimination laws, individuals (such as photographers) have been forced to participate in private events (such as gay weddings) and punished for refusing to participate.

Another issue of significance involves prohibiting various types of discrimination by private groups, such as golf clubs, student clubs, boys clubs, girls clubs, and so on.  Progressives and liberals argue that people have (or should have) a right to membership in certain private groups, and that, correspondingly, private groups do not have a right to exclude people based on personal characteristics.  Clearly, the right to liberty is severely violated when a private group is forced to accept members against its wishes.  An essential aspect of liberty is the right to discriminate in private life; in particular, the right to associate, or not associate, with private individuals and private groups of one’s own choosing.  Nevertheless, some private groups, including the Boy Scouts, have already caved in after intense pressure from Progressive-liberal politicians, corporations, and militant activists.

Yet another issue of great consequence involves providing various types of financial assistance to not only citizens, but also noncitizens, including illegal immigrants.  Progressives and liberals argue that people have (or should have) a right to certain services and benefits (such as health care), and that, correspondingly, government has a responsibility to secure these services and benefits for people.

Overall, Progressives and liberals, as the self-proclaimed champions of “social justice,” are pursuing a goal of reducing then eliminating social inequality and economic inequality.  However, social inequality and economic inequality are not unjust.

At the Constitutional Convention, Alexander Hamilton, stating a fact that was fully understood in the Founding Era, said that “inequality would exist as long as liberty existed, and that it would unavoidably result from that very liberty itself.”

Ultimately, people are unequal with respect to nearly everything (from ambition to talent to personal circumstances), and therefore, people are unequal with respect to social and economic achievements.  But people are equal in one important way; all people are born equal in rights.

Nevertheless, the current belief that people have a “right to equality” is false.  Every human being has a right to life, a right to liberty, and a right to property, but no human being has a right to equality.  Unlike life, liberty, and property, which exist naturally, equality does not exist naturally.

In short, human rights are natural rights.  And the United States was created on this principle, which is set forth in the nation’s founding document, the Declaration of Independence, along with the principle that governments are instituted to secure the natural rights.

Moreover, the Constitution’s equal protection clause does not provide a right to equality.  To repeat, this clause (when interpreted according to its original and only legitimate meaning) guarantees the equal protection of whatever man-made laws already exist at the moment.

The United States is the land of the free.  In the end, though, following a Progressive-liberal approach (which reinterprets the Constitution and redefines human rights), freedom would be discarded in the dustbin of history, replaced by equality.  The government would make the decisions, big and small, over innumerable aspects of an individual’s life.

Paul Pauker is the author of Morality and Law in America. He also runs a site dedicated to advancing the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and property.



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A Republic, If You Can Keep It


 

The media’s daily outbursts about the danger to democracy posed by the current administration, while highly amusing, omit a key piece of information.  The United States is not a democracy; the United States is a republic.

 

However, a common argument today claims that democracy as defined in modern times is not significantly different from republicanism as defined in the founding era.  For example, the historian Ralph Ketcham argued, “The founders would not have been opposed to the modern connotations of the word ‘democracy,’ nor would they have used the word ‘republic’ to mark out a distinction from those connotations.”  But this is demonstrably incorrect.  Moreover, the widespread acceptance of the word ‘democracy’ to describe America is not a trivial matter.

For the most part, the founding fathers were strongly opposed to both monarchy and democracy.  A monarchy was defined as rule by a king while a democracy was defined as rule by the people, and the powers of a king or the people could either be limited or unlimited.  Nevertheless, the interest of the majority, like the interest of a king, is not a legitimate standard for determining whether something is right or wrong.  Rather, the legitimate standards for a government are the principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence; in particular, the principle that governments are instituted to secure the unalienable rights of individuals.

The founding fathers were overwhelmingly in favor of a republic, defined as rule by representatives of the people.  And the United States is a republic with a constitution that deliberately restrains democracy by limiting majority rule, on the national level, to a few areas where the federal government has been granted a small number of specific powers.  In other words, the U.S. Constitution imposes severe limits on the power of both the people and the representatives of the people.  The Constitution was designed to provide the federal government with only those powers necessary to ensure an effective union of the states, while simultaneously upholding the principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence.  Furthermore, the founding fathers, including George Washington, were adamant that — regardless of public opinion — the Constitution can be changed only with a constitutional amendment.

In contrast, the Progressive-liberal view of democracy — in addition to its hostility to individual rights —  was illustrated perfectly by Woodrow Wilson over a century ago.  He noted (approvingly) that “socialism and democracy are almost if not quite one and the same.  They both rest at bottom upon the absolute right of the community to determine its own destiny and that of its members.  Men as communities are supreme over men as individuals.”  Wilson complained, “Some citizens of this country have never got beyond the Declaration of Independence.”

As president, Wilson openly embraced the idea of a “living constitution.”  Basically, Progressives and liberals (and some Republican “moderates”) insist that the Constitution can be changed without a constitutional amendment simply by reinterpretation (i.e., by redefining its words and reading into its text new principles, such as new government powers).

Progressives and liberals have engaged in a relentless attack on America, pushing countless policies that incorporate leftist ideology and violate individual rights.  On issue after issue, the federal government (with laws passed by Congress, executive orders issued by presidents, and opinions delivered by the Supreme Court) has disregarded the Constitution’s limits on federal power and has imposed such policies on the entire nation.  And this has been done in the name of democracy.

The founding fathers would have vehemently opposed both this abuse of power and the promotion of democracy (sometimes called representative democracy) to rationalize the abuse.

Yet for decades, people from across the political spectrum, including many good conservatives, have been referring to the United States as a democracy.  For example, during the Cold War, conservatives regularly praised democracy while condemning dictatorship when comparing the political systems of the United States and the Soviet Union.  Consequently, a false idea has been planted in the public consciousness, which has greatly benefitted the Progressive-liberal cause.  Moreover, the strongest arguments against Progressive-liberal principles and policies can be made only if conservatives stop framing their own arguments on the same erroneous foundation (democracy) used by Progressives and liberals.

A prime example is the way the argument has been framed regarding the Affordable Care Act (i.e., Obamacare).

The Constitution lists the powers granted to the federal government and it does not list a health care power.  Furthermore, the taxing clause and the commerce clause do not provide such a power when interpreted according to their original (and only legitimate) meaning, rather than a modern reinterpretation.  In short, there is no federal power in this area; this kind of health care is a state issue.  The will of the people (whether a majority or simply a minority of special interest groups) is relevant only if expressed first as a constitutional amendment that provides the federal government with a health care power.  Likewise, the will of the representatives in Congress is irrelevant without a constitutional amendment.

However, many of the Affordable Care Act’s opponents in Congress are not arguing to fully repeal the law.  Instead, many are working to replace the law with one that would still have the federal government involved with this kind of health care.  And health care, of course, is just one issue.

Notably, when he was leaving the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin was reportedly asked by a lady about the form of government the United States would have.  He was quoted as replying, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

The Founding Fathers understood that democracy was a threat to the American republic and securing the unalienable rights of individuals.  And democracy — as defined then or now — remains so today.

 

Paul Pauker is the author of Morality and Law in America. He also runs a site dedicated to advancing the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and property.

 

 

The media’s daily outbursts about the danger to democracy posed by the current administration, while highly amusing, omit a key piece of information.  The United States is not a democracy; the United States is a republic.

 

However, a common argument today claims that democracy as defined in modern times is not significantly different from republicanism as defined in the founding era.  For example, the historian Ralph Ketcham argued, “The founders would not have been opposed to the modern connotations of the word ‘democracy,’ nor would they have used the word ‘republic’ to mark out a distinction from those connotations.”  But this is demonstrably incorrect.  Moreover, the widespread acceptance of the word ‘democracy’ to describe America is not a trivial matter.

For the most part, the founding fathers were strongly opposed to both monarchy and democracy.  A monarchy was defined as rule by a king while a democracy was defined as rule by the people, and the powers of a king or the people could either be limited or unlimited.  Nevertheless, the interest of the majority, like the interest of a king, is not a legitimate standard for determining whether something is right or wrong.  Rather, the legitimate standards for a government are the principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence; in particular, the principle that governments are instituted to secure the unalienable rights of individuals.

The founding fathers were overwhelmingly in favor of a republic, defined as rule by representatives of the people.  And the United States is a republic with a constitution that deliberately restrains democracy by limiting majority rule, on the national level, to a few areas where the federal government has been granted a small number of specific powers.  In other words, the U.S. Constitution imposes severe limits on the power of both the people and the representatives of the people.  The Constitution was designed to provide the federal government with only those powers necessary to ensure an effective union of the states, while simultaneously upholding the principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence.  Furthermore, the founding fathers, including George Washington, were adamant that — regardless of public opinion — the Constitution can be changed only with a constitutional amendment.

In contrast, the Progressive-liberal view of democracy — in addition to its hostility to individual rights —  was illustrated perfectly by Woodrow Wilson over a century ago.  He noted (approvingly) that “socialism and democracy are almost if not quite one and the same.  They both rest at bottom upon the absolute right of the community to determine its own destiny and that of its members.  Men as communities are supreme over men as individuals.”  Wilson complained, “Some citizens of this country have never got beyond the Declaration of Independence.”

As president, Wilson openly embraced the idea of a “living constitution.”  Basically, Progressives and liberals (and some Republican “moderates”) insist that the Constitution can be changed without a constitutional amendment simply by reinterpretation (i.e., by redefining its words and reading into its text new principles, such as new government powers).

Progressives and liberals have engaged in a relentless attack on America, pushing countless policies that incorporate leftist ideology and violate individual rights.  On issue after issue, the federal government (with laws passed by Congress, executive orders issued by presidents, and opinions delivered by the Supreme Court) has disregarded the Constitution’s limits on federal power and has imposed such policies on the entire nation.  And this has been done in the name of democracy.

The founding fathers would have vehemently opposed both this abuse of power and the promotion of democracy (sometimes called representative democracy) to rationalize the abuse.

Yet for decades, people from across the political spectrum, including many good conservatives, have been referring to the United States as a democracy.  For example, during the Cold War, conservatives regularly praised democracy while condemning dictatorship when comparing the political systems of the United States and the Soviet Union.  Consequently, a false idea has been planted in the public consciousness, which has greatly benefitted the Progressive-liberal cause.  Moreover, the strongest arguments against Progressive-liberal principles and policies can be made only if conservatives stop framing their own arguments on the same erroneous foundation (democracy) used by Progressives and liberals.

A prime example is the way the argument has been framed regarding the Affordable Care Act (i.e., Obamacare).

The Constitution lists the powers granted to the federal government and it does not list a health care power.  Furthermore, the taxing clause and the commerce clause do not provide such a power when interpreted according to their original (and only legitimate) meaning, rather than a modern reinterpretation.  In short, there is no federal power in this area; this kind of health care is a state issue.  The will of the people (whether a majority or simply a minority of special interest groups) is relevant only if expressed first as a constitutional amendment that provides the federal government with a health care power.  Likewise, the will of the representatives in Congress is irrelevant without a constitutional amendment.

However, many of the Affordable Care Act’s opponents in Congress are not arguing to fully repeal the law.  Instead, many are working to replace the law with one that would still have the federal government involved with this kind of health care.  And health care, of course, is just one issue.

Notably, when he was leaving the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin was reportedly asked by a lady about the form of government the United States would have.  He was quoted as replying, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

The Founding Fathers understood that democracy was a threat to the American republic and securing the unalienable rights of individuals.  And democracy — as defined then or now — remains so today.

 

Paul Pauker is the author of Morality and Law in America. He also runs a site dedicated to advancing the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and property.

 



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