Thursday, May 15, 2008

Polygamy: The New Testament Version!

Oh, those fundamentalist Mormons and all their wives. Those AWESOME colonial dresses that the women wore in The Village are so VOGUE in Mormon cults.

Ah, cults. So strange, so cut off. So wrapped up in religious dogma, with a healthy splash of superstition. Not to mention brainwashing.

Sounds yummy!

But hey, it's none of my business. And that's what's key in the recent story of the raid on a Mormon sect in Texas. We are knee deep in a very slippery slope.

The allegation that underage girls were being forced into sex and marriage is valid if there is evidence to support it. And if there is evidence, the State has a right to intercede and protect those who are being acted upon against their will. If the people of a state have set a legal age of consent and this law is broken, punishment can ensue.


The bigger issue is the State's "moral" stance against polygamy. In 1878 the supreme court ruled it illegal on the grounds that polygamy was ""almost exclusively a feature of the life of Asiatic and African people," and that it was "contrary to the spirit of Christianity"" (Falk 11). I don't need to tell you all that the Christian bible oozes polygamy, but I will say that the State has no place regulating marriage. While creating laws that decide on an age of consent is acceptable, interfering with consenting adults making non-violent decisions that affect only themselves is NOT the domain of the State.

This is, indeed, the larger issue, not statutory rape. The State outlaws polygamy and seeks to quash it where it can. We also saw the same behavior over the non-issue of same sex marriage.

If women are being raped and beaten, the State plays an important role in protecting these individuals. But it serves no role in non-violent, consenting decisions made by adults.

The State's involvement in yet another social issue is, again, the result of a systemic issue within the framework of a "planned society" that we see our ever expanding government moving toward. It has no place, ever, in the private lives of consenting adults.

The term is Liberty. And the State seeks ever to dismantle it before our very eyes.


Work Cited:

Falk, William, et al, eds. "Married to the Mob." The Week. 16 May 2008: 11.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Got Pork?

Being right has a downside. I know, it feels awesome knowing the political philosophy I eschew proves correct TIME and TIME again.

It's almost tiring.

But, alas, it has a downside: I wish I wasn't right.

But WHAT, you ask, could have me so down?

Pork Spending!

The short definition is that pork spending is "the congressional habit of using taxpayer money to reward or benefit a specific constituency, company, or campaign contributor" (Falk 13). The money is doled out according to earmarks set out by congress, which sets up the budget to include provisions that direct funds to specific persons/places (13).

What are some of these persons/places? GREAT question!

A.) In 2005 there was Republican Senator Ted Steven's "bridge to nowhere" in Alaska that cost 223 million dollars (13).

B.) Hillary Clinton recently put a million bucks into a Woodstock museum (13).

C.) Republican Rep. John Peterson put 500 grand into buying 21 train cabooses to be repurposed for a "caboose motel" (13).

D.) This one is my favorite: Democratic Rep. James Clyburn sent 3 million smackers to "an organization called the First Tee, whose mission, according to its website, "is to promote character development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf"" (13).

Now is all pork spending bad? No. It can be used by members of congress to assist their districts. They may try and help small businesses, or start up some local social programs.

But here's my beef with pork:

It's doled out in favor of the ruling political party. Again, we have a clear as day example of statist government at work. Our hard earned money is at the whim of whoever rules.

We have no say. They make us dependent on them by taking ever more of our money, and yet encouraging us to fuel the status quo.

I have a small, humble suggestion:

I am in no way opposed to taxation. It is taxes that fund our infrastructure, our government. But why not massively reform our foreign policy in favor of non-interventionism, bring our troops home, stop nation building, and waging war, and take the resultant resources saved and give it back to the people?

Each county in each state should have the money on hand to truly tackle their own unique issues, whether it be drugs, bridges and roads, education, etc. Only then will the complexity and diversity of America be addressed. It is safe to say that my mayor knows the issues facing my county much better than Washington DC.

By working toward an end to the income tax, and allowing us more control over the money we earn, we allow ourselves to build stronger communities. EVERY community would be stronger with more money on hand locally. Does that mean some areas would struggle? Yes. They struggle NOW.

But let's all be honest with each other: having extra casholla is always cooler than being broke and helpless.

There shouldn't be any need for things like federal pork spending. By eliminating the income tax, you help provide local governments the chance to do far better than the Fed could ever hope to do. Eliminating this tax is far more socially responsible than any entitlement program.

And now I shall retire to my chamber of rightness wherein I eat grapes and ponder my own personal Lost theories.


Work Cited:

Falk, William, et al, eds. "Pass the pork, please." The Week. 25 April 2008: 13.