Posts Tagged rights

Enjoy the Fireworks

Upon exiting the constitutional convention, Benjamin Franklin was approached by a lady who asked “What kind of government have you given us?” Franklin answered “A republic, madam… if you can keep it.”

Considering the feeble effective remnants of the constitution today, I’m afraid that Franklin’s cautionary remark has come home to roost.

When you see those fireworks today, consider what we could have had, were it not for sophists, powermongers, and politicians “interpreting” the constitution until much of it became meaningless.

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Democracy: The sacred cow is poxed

As a citizen of the USA, I was raised and educated into the idea that democracy was the best of all possible systems. I was also taught that everyone was “created equal”, and that it was important to treat people fairly. These things sound so good; they made me want them to be true, and of course, since we’re told these are the values the culture we live in operates under, and that we are a part of that culture, to object is to object to ourselves in some sense.

But after 50-odd years of observing what actually goes on in our society, as opposed to what we are told is the way it operates; 50-odd years of seeing supposedly core principles cast aside like so much debris; 50-odd years of legislative erosion of the constitution… I’m really pretty sure that there are problems with these ideas that aren’t separable from the practical implementation of them.

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Should there be a law?

Here in the USA, when we think about existing or proposed legislation, we should put it through various processes that test it for problems that make it bad law. One of the most important of these tests needed for any legislation that is directed towards action by individuals is testing for violation of personal liberty.

This chart provides a path for just such a testing process; if this test cannot be passed, then legislation should not be enacted, or it should be discarded if it has already been made into law.

If the legislation in question can pass this test, then it is reasonable to begin considering other disqualifying factors, such as compliance with the constitution’s bill of rights, commerce clause issues, if the law violates the ex post facto provision, enactment and enforcement costs, and so forth. If it cannot, then if the law exists, it should be discarded, and if proposed, the proposal abandoned.

Start by examining the chart below. This gives an overview of the process I suggest should be used to determine if we should be considering laws, or not, with regard to any particular act or acts that are matters of informed, personal or consensual choice. Below the chart, I discuss some of the terms and ideas behind the chart.

Should there be a law?

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