Stealing Humanity

The horrific murders in Arizona, in a sane world, would have been an occasion for most of us–those of us with no direct connection to the victims (or the alleged perpetrator)–for sober reflection. Reflection on the tenuous nature of our existence on this world, how quickly a comfortable, easy life can turn into a horrible ordeal, or worse. Reflection on the fundamentally flawed nature of all humans. Reflection, perhaps, on how we have dealt and continue to deal with those troubled souls among us.

What we have been treated to instead is the spectacle of one politically-obsessed group using the event to yet again attack the very humanity of another group.

I’m talking about people like Markos Moulitsas,[*1] figurehead of the “progressive” Daily Kos web site, and other “progressives” who rushed to use inflammatory rhetoric to accuse their political opponents of causing the shooting by using inflammatory rhetoric. I’m talking about people like “redheadonfire2” who on Twitter spewed “I think Sarah Palin should get shot instead of Gifford!!!”[*2]

The goal is consistent: to dehumanize conservatives as political opponents.

People who do not speak out to denounce this behavior, at this time, are indeed guilty of a kind of blood libel[*3] –or at best, guilty of being a silent accessory to blood libel. Does it surprise you to know that a law professor was the first to use the term “blood libel” in a major media outlet–not Sarah Palin? Why haven’t you been told that? Could it be that there might just possibly be a slight . . . bias against Mrs. Palin in the media outlets you’re depending on?

It’s become a cliche to trot out the Martin Niemoeller quote (“First they came for the Communists, but I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist . . .”). But consider: are there, just maybe, certain, special times in history when the quote rings particularly true?

One effect of the blood libel against conservatives is that they, the conservatives, have been denied the ability to join with the rest of the country in properly grieving and reacting to the Arizona shootings. Denied by those very people who self-righteously claim that they simply care more about people than the rest of us. The “progressives” have, essentially, stolen a piece of humanity from the conservatives that they are attacking. An objective person must at this point ask: how much do “progressives” really care about their fellow citizens, and how much of their posturing and rhetoric is just a cloak for a naked lust for raw political power?

Those on the left pointing fingers should go off and do some serious soul-searching, and remember another cliche my mother was fond of quoting: “When you point a finger at someone else, three fingers are pointing back at you.”

Positive and negative freedom

Positive freedom is simply the freedom to . . . Freedom to do . . . whatever you want to do. Freedom of action.

Negative freedom is, then simply freedom from . . . Freedom from . . . whatever might negatively impinge on the above positive freedom. So, negative freedoms would include two of Franklin Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms:”

Freedom of speech and expression;
Fredom of religion;
Freedom from want;
Freedom from fear.

Taking this view of the two faces of freedom, “The Left” tends to be willing to sacrifice positive freedoms for negative freedoms–especially positive freedoms having to do with economic issues. Paradoxically perhaps, “the left’ then turns around and sacrifices negative freedoms in the social sphere–religious and sexual mores, artistic and cultural norms–for positive social and artistic freedoms. “The Right” on the other hand tends to uphold positive economic freedoms over negative ones–the freedom to earn, keep, and use personal property–over negative freedoms such as “freedom from want;” while upholding the negative social freedoms represented by traditional social and cultural institutions and mores over “living on the edge” of expressing positive social/cultural freedoms.

I read through quite a few of the articles I found on the internet regarding positive freedom and negative freedom and quickly found myself wandering into the tall grass of Marxist muddle-headed self-contradictory pseudo-intellectual mush.

It will (I suspect) astonish absolutely no one that the mainstream philosophical definition (i.e. the Marxist definition[*1] ) of positive and negative freedom is exactly the opposite of what I define above. Thus you discover mind-bending statements like this one earnestly offered up for your consideration:

In hitherto existing Socialist states, like the Soviet Union and China, “negative freedoms” were severely restricted, while “positive freedoms” were advanced.

Got that? In the Soviet Union, in Communist China–the two states that together killed more human beings than any other two nations in the history of mankind–“‘positive freedoms’ were advanced.”

This is why socialism–“progressivism”–communitarianism–Marxism–is extremely, EXTREMELY dangerous bullshit. It is a seductive siren song for overly intelligent intellectuals with too much time on their hands and too many drinks in front of them on the table in the cozy bar adjacent to the campus where they happily study their philosophies in isolation from the real world where most of us live.

Now, consider that one of those intelligent intellectuals is now President of the United States, and famously stated that he considers the Constitution of the United States a “charter of negative liberties.”

The spin embedded in the careful use of the terms “positive” and negative” by the Marxists is–or should be–transparent. They believe in the freedom of the community (of which, oddly enough, they tend to always be the ones in charge) over the freedom of the individual, who tends to be rather difficult to control without guns and jails and massive health care programs and total control of the news media and gulags and concentration camps and pogroms against the Jews . . .

That’s what the Democratic Party of the United States in the year 2011 is all about. That’s what Obamacare is about. It’s about ensnaring you, the American people in a velvet net of “positive” negative freedoms, so that their betters–lead by Obama–can “take care of you.”

For your own good, of course.

Do you like your freedom?

Are you positive?

About all that shrill media screeching about $3/gallon gas

(crickets chirping)

Naw. No media bias here. Just remember, it’s all totally beyond the Democrats’ control. Remember that especially come next election time in 2012, whether gasoline prices are $5/gallon or higher and they’re blaming the Republicans, or whether the economy has gone from critical to serious condition and they’re crowing about how they’ve “saved the economy.” Because, occasionally, the Democrats do blunder into the truth. It is totally beyond their control. But they keep trying to control it, anyway. And it doesn’t matter what “it” is. The more they try to control things, the worse things get screwed up. (And the current Republican leadership isn’t much better. William F. Buckley was right–the first 535 names in the phone book would probably constitute a better Congress than what we’ve been sending to Washington lately. Everyone should fervently hope that the Tea Party Republicans can give the finger to Establishment Washington and break the mold.)

But I digress. This is a rant about energy prices.

Lift the bans and loosen the regulations preventing Americans from getting economical power. Open up ANWR, drill more, drill now. Build nuclear power plants. Put serious money backing behind Polywell fusion. Cheap Energy For Everyone should be a major national policy goal. For one thing, Cheap Energy will mean that fewer elderly people will freeze to death in their homes (or on the streets) every winter. See? Humanitarian. You might even say . . . “progressive.” As in “promoting progress.”