Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Citizen and representative democracy

As a people we recognize our in-born, self-evident and inalienable rights and liberties as individuals to be those granted to us by existing in the Law of Nature. We give up some few of those rights and liberties to exist with our fellow man as citizens. That thing is called 'society' and is the basis for commonality amongst men, even if there are different ones across the world, the ability to put a few rights and liberties and invest them in society gains the benefit of common work done to the benefit of all, and the removal of wasted time and energy by helping our fellow man to survive. As animals have done this since the first schools of same back 400 million or more years ago, doing this gains a positive feedback for the individual: It feels good.

That needs no higher piece of explaining or logic behind it, but there is a purpose to 'feeling good' in helping your fellow man or achieving for yourself. It is a self-reward that reinforces society and organisms in society to help all of society to survive by lessening tension amongst individuals by allowing selfless acts to gain an internal reward and, often, external praise. Do note that not everything done that makes one feel good is praise worthy, but those that gain social appreciation become stronger for the praise of those one helps and your fellow man. As we have seen throughout history there is no guarantee that the actual activity is, itself, 'good' or 'nice': Aztecs cemented their society together with blood rituals which were necessary to appease their gods, Romans indulged in self-fulfilling debauchery that was supported (for a time) until the general decay of the Empire turned that into a counter-survival concept. Society, itself, is our investment of ideals and a modicum of liberties and rights to ensure that those ideals and beliefs are passed on, that is a neutral system with positive feedback: it ensures the state of beliefs but does not ensure the longer-term survival of them. Many a 'good' society has been over-run or lost to history, from those who were wiped out in the Aegean who had achieved hot and cold running water and sewer system for homes to small communities of Christians that wanted to directly believe in God with no intercession of any Church or authority, save God's, their ability to survive was not ensured by their society and how it fared with outside events.

From these events we gain wisdom that a stronger thing is needed to support society, and we invest more of our negative liberties in that man-made construct so as to protect that society. That thing is called a 'State' and serves as functional unit for discrete societies that are seeking furthered survival. States are unitary, by and large, they have a single society either via ethnicity or commonality of single place with single society, such as a City, as their focus. An outgrowth of a single, dominant and expansive State is one that attacks and conquers surrounding societies and States, which gains the name of Empire in that doing. States can also form alliances and have a structured framework of shared interests amongst them to form a stronger and shared self-protective capability while remaining wholly independent. When this shared, multi-society grouping unites into one, common form of government, that is called a 'Nation', thus the work begun by Philip of Macedon was completed by his son, Alexander, who not only welded the Greek States into the Greek Nation, but also formed an Empire ruled by Greeks. Thus the form of Empire also includes a Nation State ruling over other States, and even Nations as the limits of what it means to be in the original Nation has its bounds and limits given by ethnicity and culture. When Rome expanded its umbrella of protection, being a 'Citizen of Rome' was a very important thing that would allow one to have freedom and liberty above others, and to have the backing of Roman protection wherever one went. This idea was passed down to us via the Black Book of the Admiralty and became a cornerstone for understanding that ships were parts of their Nation: wherever a ship went, so long as it could claim access to the open seas, so did that Nation go. Thus the protection of Citizen when abroad is extended to ships as sea and planes in the air.

Born as humans we have full liberty, full freedom and no protection. As part of our understanding of shared culture, we give up some negative liberties to protect ourselves and to act in common under such authority which is created by the common culture and can enforce that upon us. We then give more negative liberties up to the State and give it the right of taxation to support itself. We also give up Public War to the State, so that it may more broadly protect society than the agreement to fight in common amongst individuals that was only present in common culture. To form a Nation we give up our right to Private War to the Nation and give it further power to extend laws made across all parts of the Nation to be enforced by that government. Throughout history, each of these negative liberties has been turned upon society by individuals or smaller groups of same, or seen lax use of them that puts at peril the society, State and Nation until it collapses. To be a citizen of a State or Nation, we agree to the necessary limitations to have common law, common protection and common enforcement of the law, and it is that trust that is abused by dictators, tyrants, despots, oligarchs and numerous forms of self-interested individuals and groups that corrode that trust to their own ends. Amongst the great discoveries of mankind was that a form of democratic government done via representation over large geographic areas would create conditions that would lead to social oversight of government and a modicum of protection from it. Of course that dispersed power basis was still liable to those seeking to concentrate power in the hands of the few to be used against the many, and democracies have failed throughout history.

With representative democracy there comes the duty of the citizen beyond just obeying the law and conforming to the common government: it is the duty to understand what that government is doing in one's name and to ensure that its activities are discussed amongst your fellow citizens and input into government is sought when it strays. That is beyond merely writing to one's representative or government leader, and includes the franchise right to have say into such government. Like all rights it is exercised with Liberty by the individual who can choose if and when to exercise it within the framework of the law. When citizenry no longer stands up to exercise that right, then oversight of government is not done nor performed and the will of the people is no longer ensured. Mandating that franchise be exercised is an abuse of liberty that can also lead to dictation of the decision of who to vote for, and we have seen that in the sham elections done by tyrants, dictators, despots and authoritarian governments that have such lovely and high turn-outs, with, somehow, only one winner of an election foreordained. Amongst a free people who understand their duty to their fellow citizens, to their society, to their State and to their Nation, the turnout for use of the franchise right by the citizenry is a measure of the health of a democracy.

Our understanding of vital democracy from the time of the founding of the United States as a Nation, was that it was vigorous only when it was done by the majority at the local level of government. The Confederal system that first arose had a very weak National government that could not share burdens across the Nation and, thus, saw unrest as local States exercised the power of taxation and punishment under the law to the detriment of society and the Nation as a whole. To create a stronger system the Federal one was proposed in which the three elements of the Nation would be in mutual check and balance. The Federal would check authoritarianism in the States and ensure that a Common Law was enforced, so that States and localities could not abuse their powers. The States had power of local government and taxation and would use such taxation to support the Federal government and would have direct voice in such government in the Senate. That State power to administer laws within the State were held in check by the People who also held power in the House of Representatives. The States and the People were recognized as having all rights and liberties that were not granted to the National government and the exercise of positive liberty and rights was seen as a great good to sustain society and have a vibrant Nation. In the end all power derived from the governed, and the ultimate check upon all government is the people of a State or Nation. A representative democracy requires a consent of the majority in full to govern properly, and that should be an easy task if government is kept in its place so as not to harm society and its culture. Representative democracy, then, is vital when exercised at its lowest level closest to its source of power, and becomes more dilute and prone to abuse at each higher level above the local. That is why the understanding that all rights are things we are born with is revolutionary: it was not granted by government but government was granted power by the People it governed.

These basic restatements of the concepts founding our Nation are necessary so that we may understand the direction of our democracy as held by our fellow citizen. It is a metric that has actual capability to be measured, and one of the few that speaks on its own once you understand its numerical language. Leading up to the NSDAP coming to power in Germany in 1932 and 1933, we saw a vast turnout of over 80% of the population that gave the party that would come to power a net 32% pure backing by the population by winning 40% of that vote. We count that as a 'sick' democracy due to its social and economic condition and consider the rule of the minority, even when it is the largest in a multi-party system, to be of grave concern because it does not represent the full will of the people.

The idea that a two-party system will always thrive, however, is measured by that exact, same standard: it is not those who turn out to vote, but the majority of society that can vote and have the franchise right that matter in a representative democracy. If we consider 32% to be the barest possible plurality that can govern in any way with effectiveness, then anything below that is dangerous to a representative democracy and points to its foundations not being secure. In the modern era Italy has been tossed and turned via factional government with many individuals in it under the sway of organized crime. Indeed, many a Nation including France, UK, Israel, Australia, India and Japan have each had problems with diverse multi-party governments when that leading part is not a majority. Even worse are the 'governments of National unity' which put no governing capability and set of ideals forth but tries for a vast, full compromise amongst a diverse people which then crumbles under factional strife. And yet the touchstone for each of these is all the same: representing the majority of those with the franchise right. It can be swayed, it can be intimidated and it can be enraptured with a cult of personality, but when that is not the absolute majority of a people turning out, it is minority government, factional government and unrepresentative government.

By that measure, the United States has a sick and ailing representative democracy, as I have written about before. Those numbers do not lie, and they tell a disturbing truth of how ill our Nation is at its most basic level, which is that of the citizen. The point of departure is clear and starts in 1964 with The Great Society and its effort to be 'fair' to the poor black citizens of the Nation. That would lead to Soviet style tenements replacing vibrant neighborhoods and concentrating the ills of poverty into smaller places and segregating it from the larger, wealthier society. Helping our poor is a concern of charity for all citizens, and when National government assumed that role it usurped a right it did not have by trying to minister to a poor segment of society in need of help. By doing so it destroyed vibrant and self-sufficient black culture and turned it into one of dependence. Instead of having local role models appear, the laws disintegrated the basis for those role models, that being the nuclear family, and the more primitive gang system re-appeared and became dominant.

Even once those ill-conceived, ill-planned and ill-done places closed, the society they had brought in had been impoverished and turned retrograde. It is from that marker we can see our fellow citizens becoming disillusioned with the National government trying to 'help' a given segment of society. Instead of uplifting that segment, it cast it further down; instead of fostering strength, it empowered weakness; and instead of bringing the larger population together, it enforced segregation which had been starting to thaw due to the economy and changes that wiped away previous discriminatory laws. No local government, no majority of the population would sanction National government as a charity: and when it attempted to take the role of charity towards our fellow citizens from the population to address a minority, things got worse, not better. America could not have a Great Society when its government does that to any part of the citizenry.

Doling out money and telling the citizenry what to do is not the hallmark of a society that is great, but one that is being put under tyrannical rule. During the era of FDR's 'New Deal' government sought to enforce 'social security' by creating a system that would impoverish the young, force the old to retire and raise the taxes of everyone greatly to invest power in government to do what families and individuals had done since the time of the founding: look after each other. This is a direct attack upon the family and its corrosive result can be seen in weaker families today. Further the older population with advances in health care, immunizations and nutrition now live far longer and a larger percentage of the adult life is spent in time not working than at any previous point in our history. And yet the increases in taxation and instability of the system is leading to an entire generation to recognize they will get no benefits, no help and no sustainment of this 'social contract' when they retire as the system will collapse far before then as the non-working will place a destructive burden on the working population. Government sought to intercede where families and society had performed able service and remove such decisions or, at the very least, forced its way into the decision making process as a player in everyone's life. Government bought itself a seat at every family table, every family discussion and every decision that must be made by individuals about their future.

By placing guarantees that removed the necessity of coping with old age and illness, we now see a social security system going bankrupt and a medical system ballooning in cost as everyone feels 'entitled' to health care they cannot afford. Health care is not a right but an exercise in liberty that requires input via working, and measuring costs and benefits. As a society we formed charitable hospitals to tend to the poor and desperately sick, hospitals that are, today, closing as they cannot compete with 'entitlements' and the skyrocketing costs that are fueled by subsidies. The working young find it harder to raise a family, which is the backbone of society, and feel less familial responsibility for their own parents as those parents get 'entitlements' and need no longer ask for help from their young. Just the opposite is happening as the young are finding it so hard to get a start, so hard to raise a family that they need to ask for the support of their more well-off parents for years after they reach full majority. This is not an indicator of a well society nor one that is functioning well, when the young cannot get a place to be a productive citizen and need to seek refuge that should only be a last resort.

These ills have one, and only one, source: government intervention where the people previously had all power.

As was pointed out to me by those who lived before the Great Depression, there were no dead on the streets, the sick were tended to and the poor were cared for via charity. Each person looked to their family for help, and family members 'chipped in' to help and gladly, even offering room and board to a family member who had lost everything. The expectation was, however, that all would seek gainful employment and 'pitch in' to help wherever they stayed. What was described was not cataclysm, but self-reliant survival during hard times by seeking the great boon of family and culture and society for minimal sustenance and then doing one's part to be a light a burden as possible until you were self-sufficient again.

Now the elderly gladly proclaim they are 'spending their inheritance' so as to leave nothing behind them. They are burning the landscape of their good deeds for self-indulgence and saying 'to hell with the younger generation, I got mine'. That is not a healthy attitude towards oneself, not to speak of one's family or society, and for each that does so they leave themselves with a more enjoyable life and are determined to impoverish the next generation and society by not helping either. No one has a guarantee of a long life, and expecting government to pay for one's retirement and one's health care may relieve the burden from *you* of deciding on those things, but puts the burden of oversight and payment on to systems that are not made to handle it. The 'rising cost of health care' is a problem because we all want 'all you can eat', all the time and only when the bill comes due do we see the cost of self-indulgence. And yet the buffet is always open and beckoning... and if it takes a bit of pick-pocketing to get money from the young, well...

In the end this gets an impoverished society that is crippled for lack of knowing what charity is or why it is important. That is because the transient feeling of self-indulgent 'good' when done over and over and over again becomes an addiction that then stifles the other good feeling of being a supportive member of one's family, one's culture and one's society and Nation. The carrot offered by government is limp, it is rotten and it is sugar-coated to make it taste sweet when it is sickening. And once you bite the rush of the sugar swamps the negative feeling, which is often the harness and switch used upon you to make you subservient to government. Soon you no longer think of yourself as your own master and look to government to decide for you in those things that are good, because the sugar is so sweet that the pain of the lashings to 'do good' become an incentive to go after the carrot as it gets smaller, further away and then disappears all together. By giving up the positive and negative liberties to be administered by government, what is left for the people beyond submission, subservience and enslavement to government?

And once the goodies disappear and all that is left is the lash for you to work for government, only then do you mourn your lost liberties and freedom.

Yet they are always there for you to have and grasp, if you don't mind the pain of the lash to stand up as a free man.

It is not the cost of these things that matter.

It is the price of liberty and freedom that does, and when you barter those away for ephemeral 'good' you lose them. And in a representative democracy you doom your children and society to losing them, until the time comes, as we are told in the Declaration of Independence, that we are to stand up and say "enough" and form new government. The cost of the blood in that is high.

The price of eternal slavery far higher still.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Running the numbers: Slacker America

The following is a position paper for The Jacksonian Party.

I have run with this theme before, but often in a humorous mode, like I did before the elections in 2006:

This one from the disreputable AFP, so it may not have actually been said, check your local chicken entrails to make sure. Coming from Ehud Olmert talking about the 'International Community':

"Like the 1930s in Germany, the international community hears voices today calling for the destruction of Israel and does nothing," he said Friday during a speech at the country's Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem.

And since there is no Nation greater than that of the United States we find ourselves accused of doing nothing! Yes, of being slothful!

And, yea and verily, this is TRUE!

America wishes to ascend and excel at all thing and one of the foremost of those is being slothful and slovenly! We much prefer to do nothing to the point where we wish to be the very foundational definition of *doing nothing*. If nothing can be done then Americans will find a way to do it 50% slower than any other people on this planet! And we go further in our attempt to reach these great heights of sloth so that no one can ever attempt to compare us to anything better, save a corpse which has *perfected* slothfulness.

And, really, this is true! Examine any average workplace and just see how many folks you can find looking for inventive ways to do nothing and pass it off as 'work'. Then I soon applied this to the Congress that came in, as it looked for ways to put the National Tail between the National Legs and scurry from Iraq:

This, the 110th Congress of the United States, realizes that the long struggle in the war on terrorism has exhausted this Nation while fighting in Iraq. Collectively this war has so sapped our manpower that we must get illegal labor into this Nation to do the jobs which Americans can't do, which is all of them, save fighting for us as the NAFTA treaty only allows for the one-way movement of illegal labor and that is into the US, so we can't ship them anywhere.

This Congress has also recognized that the actual will to fight any conflict in the modern era beyond two terms of Congress is foreordained to failure, as we have now recognized with the poor state of everything in the Nation. The United States has so exhausted itself in this fight in Iraq that our economy is in shambles and We, the Congress of the United States, can no longer even find it to get ongoing spending to fight a war all together. We have asked the Treasury Department to get us two pennies to rub together, but they have run out of copper.

This Congress additionally sees that the ability of the United States to actually educate its population is impossible. In areas of math it has gotten to the point where this Congress no longer has the math skills to even figure out what a balanced budget looks like. Above and beyond that, the entire infrastructure from sewage lines to geostationary satellites is in such poor state that we are now using up the last of the sneakers in warehouses to walk around on and depending upon the mercies of tourists, who marvel at the ruins they behold in our once proud Nation, for handouts on a daily basis. As we have burned all the books, no one knows how to communicate by semaphore, nor can it be learned.

And more on and similar in that sort of view.

Fun and games, but with a point to it. A point that would come up with this post asking if the Presidential election has truly come down to voting for a dim-wit or a slacker? That is harsh, but fair, given what has been going on, but no one wanted to take a look at what led to this problem.

That fun and sardonic attitude would, however, change with this article on the non-inevitability of history being created along certain lines, because our lack of analysis to do historical and alternative historical analysis is, apparently, limited to a hidebound area in academia and a free-wheeling area in fiction. I would insert two graphs looking at representative democracy in America and they are telling:

The above taken from US Census datasets.

Those are not pleasant graphs to look at if you do believe that representative democracy is more than just winning the votes of those who come out to vote, but winning a large percentage that is at least a plurality, of those in the voting age range.

Now I've made a few notes on this, primarily that the National Socialist Party in Germany in 1932-33 had a much higher claim to legitimacy than either of the two major parties in the US at present, and that holds true so long as the overall participation rate for voting is under the 70% range and elections are closely divided ( no more than 54% to the winner). Both of those must be present for this to be true and that marks the NSDAP as having greater representation in a plurality of a multiparty system due to higher base turnout of the voting population. To get to those lofty mid-30% ranges you actually need a high base turnout of the voting population to do this thing known as 'vote'.

Now if you put the old mental line that is an average for these you get a general slope that becomes the regression towards the mean for each graph, and that is downwards, so that even if you have some noticeable points away from it, upwards or downwards, the likelihood is that the next points will fall in a way to continue along the mean line for each graph. Frankly, it is too depressing to put those in, and I leave it as 'an exercise for the student' as math instructors used to put it. The process of analyzing a larger system that creates such a mean line is trendline analysis, and it is an easy analytical tool to pick up: look at the stock markets over decades and you get trendlines, which can then be corrected for by inflation to give you a good idea of where longer term market movements are going on. On a National scale for non-economic things, however, trendlines measure other things, and trendline analysis becomes a bit of looking at the trends and puzzling them out. I go over some of that with this post.

In election politics, one must look to larger cultural trends over time, and how the political parties are acting. Thus one man decrying the 'coarsening' of American culture is another man's view of people walking out of the current culture because it does not suit them. One can examine the trendlines of things non-economic, as I did in the regression towards the mean article, and then have some fun reversing graphs after removing labels and ask if there is a predominant trendline over time. If there *is* then the trendline is happening with respect to the graph and actually putting the proper order of the graph into place allows one to then ask 'what is causing this'? Baseball players get older, their accuracy on swings may go up, but their ability to actually get on-base may decline due to losing a step or two: it is a question of capability, accuracy, and ability to hit the ball with the force necessary to do the job. In sports most trendlines on a per year basis that are non-cumulative go down - players get older and perform less well in certain parts of their job.

So when other authors come up with lots of lovely graphs that purport to show all sorts of things, you can actually start to put trendlines in and do your very own analysis! I did that with a previous article on Polarized America and came up with some interesting conclusions that allowed me to start putting the whole of modern politics into perspective. The actual 'polarization' of American politics is a knife-edge thing, with absolute majorities in Congress becoming a thing of the past. Congress now sits with 'majorities' of a few handfuls of seats spread across both houses, and the Senate's rules allow it to require an overwhelming majority to actually 'run the boards' there. If the House doesn't have a similar sized majority to over-ride vetoes, then it becomes a two-stage Congress: even a minority can prevent things from happening in the Senate.

Now this election I had a chance to opine here and there and here is a bit I left at Mr. Z's on what would happen, and I am truncating my commentary:

I expect this election to follow the general trend, post-1968. More importantly, an overwhelming full D party win (President and Both Houses) and attempts to 'soak the rich' will backfire like nothing you have seen in your life. Why is that? The trends have demonstrated and odd artifact: when the richest in society have their ability to get a larger share of the wealth there is increasing polarity in society, not lessened. By measures of partisanship in Congress, there is less divisiveness when there is an uneven distribution of wealth... it is something that flies in the face of all Leftist economics, yet points to a basic fact of America: Americans like to know you can succeed beyond your wildest dreams of success.

Things go bad when you stop that, and the longer it goes on the more divisive things get. Not only do I expect a sub-50% turnout, but an absolutely misguided set of laws passed that will starkly divide America by squelching achievement via wealth accumulation.

In other places I would opine that a low turnout (being sub-52%) would be a win by Sen. Obama and anything above 54% would be a McCain victory.

Why is that?

After 1968 politics becomes an affair of factions: appease some factions, help others and craft a 'majority' out of what is left and then try to suppress the 'base' of your opponent. For the first time in long decades a low voter turnout helps the Democratic Party as it gives more power to fewer groups. No longer can a high turnout mean a Democrat winning and may, in fact, indicate just the opposite. On the flip side, the Republicans do not appear to know that there is a disaffected population that cannot find a party to represent them, and so the Republicans refuse to actually change the structure of their party or hold those elected to office in their party to any standards. By not having some method to 'read-out' party members, there is no capability to keep a coherent system of party ideology going. Thus to 'get a majority' there is no coherent platform that Republicans can say represents their party: no one runs on it, just like on the Democratic side. That means that politics is now pure personality driven by factional ideologs who have *no* worries they will ever be disdained by *either* of the two parties.

Now as exact population is only projected by the census for 2007, getting a direct handle on the population size of 2008 is difficult. So here are the two graphs with the added data, and I will give a word on the meaning of the 2008 one after them.

Congressional Election cycle graph percent

Presidential Election cycle graph percent

The deal with the Presidential one is that if you include a voting population increase of just a 1.75 million people (people turning 18 minus those who have died) then you get an almost flat 51% turnout. So my expectations of a sub-50% turnout were not seen, but the 51% is enough to return to the mean and then some, evening out the mean line which (in my mind) would be just above this election's turnout. That peak of percentage turnout in 2004 did not last and has come down harshly.

Note that this is the *opposite* of a mandate: more people did not turn out in this election, so the winning percentage of a bare majority can no longer be considered anything close to a plurality. More plainly: the US now has true minority government in both houses of Congress and in the White House. That has been the tipping point for the last three election cycles, where some supposed claim to plurality could be made. That is no longer a defensible position as 51% of 51% is just a bit over 25% of the voting age population. Note that even shifting those convicted of felonies out of this pool will *not* establish a strong plurality. That argument, to compare plurality strength to that of the NSDAP in Germany points to the *strength* of the NSDAP and the weakness of the US in having representative democracy. Those wanting National Socialism during the Great Depression voted for it in droves compared to this last election.

What can be said is that more Americans do not support this government than ever before in its history, save during the Civil War.

That is how far back you have to go to get percentages like these.

Attempting to pass anything beyond the 'status quo' in this sort of atmosphere is problematical: enforcing a 'mandate' that does not have a popular majority of the entire adult population to *back* becomes one of coercion. This is a minefield for *any* President-elect as it points to the extreme weakness of popular support for government that is beyond any normal grounds for 'healing'. That is why this is a setting for the 'Cold Civil War':

And that is the Battleground of the Cold Civil War: those who want to stay in cities with all of its lovely cultural artifacts and those who want to create good culture to sustain their outlooks on the world. One is centralized and imposed and adores cities and full blown top-down control structures, and the other is decentralized, lateral and allows an individualist stamp to be put on one's life so that one's values can be sustained. The Urban regions are trying to grow outwards, but have an unsustainable population ethos of 'two children being a drain is all you can afford to have' and 'sustainable growth': both of which mean stagnation of culture. Jacksonians and Traditionalists see children as a great boon to families, that finances can be stretched to increase coverage while nominally living with lower living standards, and that one makes growth for themselves and sees no need for growth based on productivity to be 'sustainable' outside of sustaining one self and one's family.

Often those battle lines are hazy, and there are sections of rural America that enjoys the largesse of federal handouts, just as there are still some Urban Black neighborhoods that disdain criminal gangs and support sustainment of self and family above all other things while creating a good community in doing so. If you have a hand out to receive from the public coffers you find it very hard to give yourself a hand up to a better life. That is the Traditionalist Conservative view of creation of society by doing good deeds and living a good life, and it forms the basis for individualism in America.

That division is one between wanting to be absorbed into the world and disappear into a polyglot of humanity ruled by government, and those seeking to create good lives and accountable government and help those that agree with us on that basis for a better world. The first has no standards, save destroying anything that allows individuals to achieve and wanting there to be a quick and easy system of prejudice with a handbook to tell you how to treat anyone else based on their color, gender, religion or ethnic background. The other holds standards to one self, one's family, one's society and government so that each are held accountable and NONE have the chance to run roughshod over liberty and freedom, and working with those who support both liberty and freedom.

The first is authoritarian based and is seeking to found a new Empire of Global Discrimination with a death toll that will be unmatched by any previous authoritarian State as this will be a Global Empire.

The second is the coalescing of Free People to support their liberty and freedom via minimal accountability and hold the State down with our hands around its neck to keep it from doing anything more than the bare minimum to protect us as we depend on our good nature for charity and distrust government to ever be 'good' or 'do good'.

To put a fine point on it: this is the great 'Interstate Bypass' division of culture. If you live inside a bypass, you are oriented more towards urbanized, centralized life. If you live outside one, then you are oriented more towards individualism and personal freedom. It is an inexact rendering, to be sure, and there is a mighty fuzzy line in that formulation, but it comes down to proximity of centralization as a 'good thing' against distance from it and lateral inter-work and support. Many in urban high-rises can create the latter and some taking federal money in the farmland areas come to depend on centralization.

That is a division that goes back to before the founding.

The last time cities had such sway and the Elites had such input against the countryside, the new Nation started to see those who rose up in arms in protest. In attempting to over-reach, over-centralize and dictate culture from Elite urban views, that will happen again to a Nation so divided.

We are one fine Shays away from disaster.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

My Congratulations to President-elect Obama

Dear Sen. Obama,

Congratulations on being the President-elect of the United States.

I will do with you as I have done with all past Presidents: praise you for what I think you do right, criticize you for what you do wrong and seek to ensure that you faithfully carry out the duties of President of the United States within the bounds and limits set by the US Constitution.

That is my duty as a citizen using my rights to ensure my liberty and that of my fellow citizens. Because all Presidents are citizens *first* and President *second*.


A Jacksonian

To the supporters of President-elect Obama,

I have heard the 'racist card' played many times in the past 18 months and seen little evidence of *any* racism in the campaign, save on the Democratic Party side of things.

Now that you have a 'hope & change' leader, the very first requirement for change is within yourself.

Those who see the world through the sole lens of race have a word attached to them by doing that.

It is: racism.

For attacking so many in opposition as being racist without any demonstrable proof of that activity, the one proof that is available, that of an individual who is NOT white being elected to the Presidency of the United States, now, in my mind, burns the 'racist' card to be played against America, entire sections of the political spectrum and, verily, anyone who does NOT demonstrate their racism in an obvious manner. No 'code words' or 'ciphers' allowed.

Those who use some attempt to put 'code words' or 'ciphers' for race into politics are racists, also. In decrying it so much, those now doing the decrying are, themselves, open to that attack of being racist.

Hope, change and atonement begins at home.

Which means everyone who has brought up the President-elect Obama's race in the past 18 months or so.

You might want to note that the rest of the country got over this some time ago. That country cannot be intoned with a 'KKK' in it any longer, save as trying to foster racial hatred by those bringing such a slur on this great Nation up to attack the Nation or individuals.

Care to join the majority?

Or will you cling to your bitter tracts, your useless marches and continue to cling to the hatred of your fellow man that is the guiding principle of racism?

Because a few of those who actually judge a man by the content of his character and not the color of his skin are getting fed up with you who are stuck in the past and who see the world in racist terms.

Because hating whites because they are *white* is also racism.

Just in case you missed the point.

So come on and join the post-racial America that has been before your eyes for a few decades now, the one with no special standards, save that of personal achievement, capability and seeing that the ills of individuals are due to their own lacks and not that of society.

This election killed that portrait of America. Best not try to invert the colors and call it 'equal' or 'fair' in terms of racism, unless you truly don't believe that All men are created Equal. That is not a bad America, out there, the one that elects a non-white individual as President.

That majority that voted for him doesn't need the 'healing' any more.

Those clinging to their hatred and malign views based on race towards America?

Yeah, they *do*.

And I noticed none of those campaigning for John McCain or Bob Barr or Ralph Nader did so.

Just in case you missed that point, too.

Good luck on that hope & change business.

You will need it.

Have a nice day,

A Jacksonian

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Our Duty

As citizens we do have a duty to each other and our society.

In belief of having a representative form of government via democratic means, that requires that each citizen recognizes their duty to that means we agree to.

Duty is not pleasant at all times, that is why it is not called 'pleasure' or 'indulgence'.

I urge all my fellow citizens of the Republic to vote their choices, even if that means standing up to just be counted as a citizen participating in our common duty.

We have had 40 years of believing otherwise and the cost of that is now upon us.

The right to vote has cost us dearly.

Ignoring that duty has and will cost us beyond any price.

Vote today as if your life depends upon it.

It does.

And always has.