Gay Marriage and the Law…

The law is the collective right to an organized defense.

The laws are intended to guarantee to each individual his right to his life, liberty, and property.  Nothing more.

These ideas were put forth in Bastiat’s “The Law” and are as profound today as they were in 1850.

The purpose of the law is not to determine who can and cannot do something.  The purpose of the law is not to determine who can enter into a marriage compact and who cannot.

The real perversion of the law is not changing how it addresses a certain issue or matter, but that it addresses or regulates a certain matter or issue to begin with, when that issue or matter does not stand as a threat to each individual’s life, liberty, or property.

The law is force.  Ultimately, every law is backed up by the threat of imprisonment or with the barrel of a gun.  Or else, the laws would mean nothing.

If you say you wish to prohibit someone from doing something, by the law, ultimately you are saying that you would use force – the threat of a bullet – to prevent that certain something from happening.

When you say we should prohibit something by the law, gay marriage for example, it is not much different than the militant Muslims who use force to accomplish their aims.  It is only a different form.

Hillary Clinton: “deep seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

This is an outrage in of itself – freedom of religion implies that you have full right to believe whatever you wish, so long as it does not affect anyone else.  If we cannot accept this, then we cannot say we have freedom of religion.

But, if we cannot accept adults freely choosing to enter into contracts and agreements on their own volition, we cannot claim to have a free nation.

It is not the Christian values which should be changed.  The only thing that need be changed is the expectation that those values should be forced upon the rest of society, by the law.

Because that is not the proper function of the law.


Another lesson on Cause and Effect

It seems that my previous lesson in cause and effect (here: did not have it’s intended effect.

The Texting and Driving bill has passed the Oklahoma Senate, and then some:

Via the

“The measure initially made texting and driving a secondary offense but Sen. Ervin Yen, R-OKC, was successful in amending the measure go make it a primary offense” 

Meaning, that if a cop sees you texting, he can pull you over just for that, wheras before the cop would have to pull you over for something else (say, speeding) and add texting to the charges.

Steve Byas, in the winter edition of the Oklahoma Constitution, correctly points out that this sort of legislation is just another “feel good law” – it makes people feel good, but it does not actually do anything.  

“Sharp’s Bill, SB 67, proposes to fine a motorist up to one thousand dollars PLUS a year in jail.  [Chuck] Mai said, ‘we need to encourage motorists to limit all distractions.’ I will have to admit making the consequences a year in jail some pretty stiff encouragement.  I would almost say that calling the putting of someone behind bars “encouragement” is almost like something out of George Orwell.” 

According to information from AAA, six out of ten auto accidents occur among teens due to distracted driving.

Yet, only 12% of those distracted driving accidents deal with texting or use of a cell phone.  15% are caused by interaction with one or more passengers in the car; 10% are caused by looking at something within the vehicle; 9% are caused by looking at something outside the vehicle; 8% are caused by singing or dancing to music.

So then, if our goal is to “limit distractions,” we should be perfectly justified in banning these things too.

Talk to another passenger in the car?  One year in the slammer!

Look at something inside or outside the vehicle?  One year in the slammer!

Sing along with your favorite song on the radio?  One year in the slammer!

But this is absurd – just as absurd as this texting and driving bill.  This is just another bit of useless legislation accompanied only by noise and fanfare – but no real results.

We are trying to fight something that is inevitable.  If we wish to prevent distracted driving, punish distracted driving: punish the effect.  But do not try and punish the causes, for they are many and varied.

A Few More Contradictions…

In the past few days I have closely read the OKGOP party platform that was presented on the floor of the convention.

Already I have pointed out the great contradiction; but there are a few more which need to be addressed.

I do this not out of ill-intent; I don’t point these out to try and bring down the party.  Although I could never bring myself to fully affiliate with any political party, I believe that the GOP can be the party of not only limited government but absolute personal freedom.

I point these things out because they will prove to be weaknesses for the party in the near future.  As the old cliche goes, “you are only as strong as your weakest link” and these contradictions are weaknesses indeed.  Address these, and you will see greater success.

For example,

“We support full consumer access to safe foods, medications and alternative treatments including access to information regarding such substances”

All except for Marijuana or related substances.  The word itself is entirely missing from the document, but I think it’s implied.  To their credit,  “we support improvement in safety and prison reform, including alternative sentencing for nonviolent crime and punishment”

Better than the old policy of just throwing drug users in prison, but it still implies that marijuana use, even for medical purposes, is a crime that must be punished in some way.  Enforcement by the law of what we do and do not like.

“We oppose the expansion of gambling in any form in Oklahoma.”

Gambling is a free market activity.  Free Markets are the very thing the GOP claims to support.  Again, enforcement by the law of what we do and do not like.

“We believe in the sanctity of human life from conception through natural death, unless forfeited by capital punishment.”

Here’s something: we believe in the sanctity of human life, unless the State deems otherwise.

Overall, the platform of the GOP is based on sound ideas and principles, however, knock down all these contradictions, for they will hurt you.

Reflections on the OKGOP Convention, April 11, 2015…

Curiosity, more than anything, brought me to attending the State GOP convention (my first!) and though it was entertaining (from the perspective of a mere observer, nothing more) it has further justifies my hesitation in joining or aligning with the GOP or any other political party.   I did meet a lot of great people and heard some fine remarks, no doubt about it – overall however, the event was disorganized from the start which led to utter chaos and absurd delays.

Nothing wrong with a bit of organized chaos here and there, but this is a bit much for the party which claims that they are the “best vehicle for translating these ideals [in a word, conservatism] into positive and successful principles of government.”

Imagine my surprise and utter disappointment, after expecting to hear good discussion of issues and policy, all I got was hours of bickering about credentials and delegates.

There is something great that came of this turmoil, however: Randy Brogdon was elected state chairman of the OKGOP, an enormous victory for the grassroots.  The future of the party is brighter because of this.

There was a series of good speeches.  The most notable of them was Michael Stopp’s, chairman of the Oklahoma Young Republicans Delegation, who addressed how 67 percent of the millennial vote went to the left in 2012.  The GOP is losing its grip on the young voters, on the young generations and this is an obvious problem for the continuation of the party’s power.

Stopp said that the GOP needs to focus on two things: economics and education.  Couldn’t agree more on both counts; however, I think the GOP is not understanding the real reason they are having a lack of support among the young.

Of the 40,000 new voters who registered last year (mostly young voters, 18-25 years old, presumably) 90% registered as independents.  90%!   This tells me that the young are understandably tired of the political party circus built by the previous generations more than anything.

According to a resolution of the OKDP, “There are a growing number of independent voters who share the socially liberal platform of our great party; and THEREFORE IT BE RESOLVED that the Oklahoma Democrat Party open its primary election to Independent voters effective 2016.”

The Democrats are taking advantage of this.  I do not think that the GOP should adopt a socially liberal policy, but instead a socially libertarian policy.  There are subtle differences between the two I think – but both would appeal strongly to the young vote.

The GOP now does not appeal to the young vote because they seek to regulate personal life.  This is why they will only continue to lose support in the coming years.   Of course the Democrat party is by no means the champion of freedom – they will regulate all business away and tax prosperity until it is no more, but they will leave the bedroom alone, and such is the key to their success among young voters.

To the youth of Oklahoma and the United States, this is the only thing that matters to them at this point.  The burden of excessive taxation is not yet fully felt; the negative consequences of a bad economic policy is either misattributed or ignored altogether.

The Youth of this nation sees two sides: on one (the left) the promise to stay out of your personal life, and on the other side (the right) all that is seen is a bunch of older people who want nothing more than to regulate personal life based on their “moral principles.”  Any wonder why the GOP is losing ground among the youth?

I have the solution of this, but I fear the GOP will not listen.   Drop what is hurting you most; the millennial generation is not suddenly going to turn around and adopt these GOP principles on personal life declared on the first pages of the platform.

Less of the policy of “enforcement by the law of what we do and do not like” and more of the philosophy of “freedom to do what you want so long as it does not affect me.

The rest of the GOP platform of limited taxation, small government, gun rights, free religion, etc., is already harmonious with the latter ideal.

After all, things like gay marriage or marijuana consumption are not as big of a deal as is being presented in the media.  It’s absolutely blown out of proportion by both sides for political gains.  Yet, it is a contradiction which will prove to be fatal for the GOP.

After all, the Democrats contradict themselves too, again “enforcement by the law of what we do and do not like” and eventually, these contradictions will become apparent.

Would it not be easier to say, “you have the freedom to engage in whatever contract or activity you wish, as long as it does not affect me” and see a strong, liberty based party which will appeal to all, especially the young and the independent voters (which are absolutely essential to deciding elections) or to stick with the same traditional marriage rhetoric that the millennial generation just scoffs at, and see the party fade into obscurity?  That is up to the party to decide.

More on the convention to come.

Religious Freedom vs. Gay Rights…

…inherently, these two things do not contradict each other.  How?  Through freedom.

Every business should have the right to refuse service to anyone at anytime for any reason, and have legal protection to do so.  This includes this so-called “discrimination” based on religious grounds.  It’s your business, run it as you wish.

Every gay couple should have the right to enter into a marriage and have legal protection to do so.  It’s your life, live it as you wish.

These can co-exist and these ideals can be exercised harmoniously.  The freedom to exercise your values and beliefs so long as it does not negatively affect anyone else.

The antagonism between the two, however, originates when one of these groups intends to force their beliefs and values on everyone else, via the law.

When LGBT groups seek to force everyone to “accept” their way of life and using the law to do so – there the antagonism begins.

When the religious groups seek to force their values and beliefs on everyone else, using the law to do so – there the antagonism begins.

Here again, both sides are wrong.

Do we ever expect to see a resolution to this pointless conflicts with these attitudes?

The purpose of the law is not to endorse a certain set of values or beliefs and then to force it on the rest of the society.  No, the purpose of the law in this argument is only to remove obstacles to making free choices.

That, and everything in an issue like this is said and done only for political gain.

Fighting “anti-gay” legislation makes left leaning voters happy, the social issue voters – those voters who do not apply logic in their politics.  

Pushing for “Religious Freedom” legislation makes right leaning voters happy, the religious issue voters – those voters who do not apply logic in their politics. 

Both sides rely upon their feelings to make political decisions, and who also would like to make their personal feelings law.  Thus is why we will never see a resolution to this particular debate.