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Lets really and truly talk about freedoms...

Freedom...

Probably, in my opinion, the most powerful word in the world.

I also feel like it can be the most misunderstood and abused word in the world.

I have always defined Freedom as

"The right to do LITERALLY what you want, until what you want to do infringes on another's Freedom"

It's my definition, doesn't have to be yours.

Sounds overly simplified right? But if taken literally, it actually helps put a concrete grasp on the concept of Freedom. You can take that definition and apply it to any situation.

Guns: Owning a gun does absolutely nothing to infringe on anyone's freedom. Right? I respect the second amendment, believe in Freedom to the core and am a Lifetime NRA member because of it.

But... I don't think some of my fellow NRA members are in it for Freedom... I think they are in it because they love guns and want to protect their right to have one. Which is fine, as long as you don't use the word Freedom in an abusive way or as a veil. If they really wanted to protect freedoms, wouldn't they be just as adamant about...

Gay Rights: Take all the ideological stuff out of it. All of it. It doesn't matter what you think of homosexuals. I honestly think you have the right to think whatever you want about whomever you want. I don't even care if you think its a choice or they are born that way or its a result of environmental conditions or whatever... none of that matters. If you believe in the concept of Freedom... they should be able to do anything they want that doesn't affect any other person's right to do what they want. i.e.Get married.

***Just a quick note... it goes both ways. Gays Rights folks are you fighting for Freedom, or just your initiatives? Either way is fine, but don't use freedom in your speeches if it's not about freedom.

Let's get into some waters that are really muddy and murky.

Do I as an American have the right to sit on my ass and do absolutely nothing all day? Is that a Freedom I possess? Yes! The answer is absolutely 100% yes. The answer is yes because that doesn't infringe on any other American's freedom. There's no debate here... it doesn't.

But... the second I get on food stamps and assistance, because I sitting around all day, not providing for myself or my family the whole story changes. Now I am talking people's money from them. I am 100% violating their freedoms to do what they want. Because you are doing something by choice that takes money from them, this is a violation of their freedom. Am I saying there shouldn't be a system in place to help those in need... No I am not.. I believe everyone that can should want to help people... but I do believe if we make folks help we are violating their freedom. I know there are millions of folks out there that have fallen on hard times... I wanna help them and I will continue to help them forever or as long as I am able... but forcing people to help them is degrading their freedom.Not paying your way through life if you are capable is violating others freedom.

Drugs: Possessing and doing any form of drug doesn't violate anyone's freedoms... ever... should they be regulated and taxed... yes, ummm... just like we do alcohol. Oh... and Guns. Think what a wonderful, logical control we have over the manufacture of guns and alcohol in this country... but we insist of infringing on private citizen's freedom when it comes to marijuana?

Let's get really crazy...

Prostitution: 2 adults can walk out of a bar and go do anything they want (consensually) but as soon as she pays him one dollar for it... no victim, no one harmed, but...it's a crime. Its an infringement on those 2 peoples freedom to enter into an agreement to do business.

Greed: It's gonna make me lose some readers... but being greedy should be protected by folks that believe in Freedom. If I want to hold on to my money and not share it and not do good things with it... I should be allowed to. As long as I got it without infringing on anyone's Freedom. Real world example: minimum wage is the government infringing on business owners rights to be greedy. A piss poor wage doesn't infringe on the employees rights... because they can leave the job. The only person being forced to do something is the employer. Free market will take care of a business that doesn't pay a decent wage. Just an fyi... all it accomplishes is forcing small biz owners to raise prices and make everything more expensive.

So why is it?

It's just as simple as my definition of Freedom... People from both sides of the aisle don't really want true freedom, they want to be selfish and dictate that people can only do what they want them to do. And the crappy thing is they hide behind the cause of freedom to accomplish their initiatives.

Right side wants gun freedoms and business owners freedoms cause they own guns and businesses. But they want to trounce all over the freedoms of homosexuals and folks that like to smoke a joint.


Left side wants to stand up for gay rights, and their right to smoke a joint in the privacy of their own home but they have no problem demolishing the freedoms of gun owners and business owners.

It's a big giant "I am right and you are wrong" instead of "Do whatcha like".

I am not claiming there's a giant quick fix cure for all of this... I know any move towards more freedoms will have some consequences... and of course with more freedom comes more personal responsibility so some folks will not like it, mess it up or just not do it... but it's the only way towards progress.


12 comments:

  1. You want to come to Thanksgiving with my family, Cody? It's all these topics mixed with large alcohol consumption. You'd love it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am game Sara... I love the discussion... sign me up.

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  3. I'm torn on some of these issues and I think it's because I honestly don't know what my idea of freedom is. I like your definition, but it's probably too black and white for me. I think there are a lot of gray areas.

    For instance, I don't think that given the chance most businesses would pay people a proper wage. I'm not even saying that minimum wage is proper, because we know it's not a liveable wage. But it's a starting point. It's the reasons unions started (and I will give you that unions are sometimes corrupt and often protect the lazy) but the original idea of requiring businesses to pay descent wages and protect workers' safety was and is, still valid. Think outsourcing to countries where the labor is uber-cheap, the work is back-breaking and the company does only the bare minimum to protect workers.

    The example you gave of prostitution is something else I see as a gray area. Yes, it is technically an exchange of "goods", a business transaction. But most prostitutes aren't turning tricks because they have a mortgage to pay. Often, they are victims as well. Some are brutalized by pimps and other human traffickers. Many are drug addicts. Most have been sexually abused as children. Given those factors, should prostitution be legalized or do the dangers to society (disease spread, cycles of poverty/abuse/drug addiction)outweigh the benefit of this kind of freedom?

    So for some issues (gay rights, gun rights) I totally see your definition of freedom working. But for others, I can't let it slide. Giving someone the freedom to be greedy (not pay taxes or into Social Security or Medicare/caid, food stamps, etc.) is giving them license not to care.

    The truth is, IMHO, people aren't basically good. We don't instinctively care for others. We are selfish creatures for the most part and those of us (you and I) who reach out and do care about others are not the majority. We can own guns and not think we can pop a cap in someone's ass whenever we want. We can own a business and care about the people who work for us. We can probably even toke a time or two and not hurt anyone by it. But I think we are in the minority. Is that a sad commentary on my view of the world or what?

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  4. Andrea...

    you have given us a great comment... its deserves an entire post from me as a response.. and that's what it will get.

    Thank you, thanks to everyone who comments.. no matter what you say, I appreciate it.

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  5. I would like to comment on the idea of taxing what are now, illegal drugs. Many, such as yourself believe that using drugs is a victimless crime, especially if they were legal. To some extent, this is true. However, as it stands now, alcohol and nicotine cost way more in lost productivity and health care costs than what they bring in in taxes. That is not to say that a majority of the population could use marijuana and not abuse it. However, I do NOT want my airplane pilot smoking a joint and then flying the plane that I am on. Many will say that marijuana is not addictive. That is ABSOLUTELY not true. Marijuana and prescription pills are the two drugs of choice for people in their twenties and under to enter rehab for. It is absolutely addictive, and absolutely not something I would want my kids to ever do. At this point, it is a deterrent simply because it is illegal. However, take away the risk of possible legal consequences, and it could become a much bigger problem than it currently is. Some will tell you that legalizing marijuana will irradicate illegal trade. Again, nonsense. There is still a black market for cigarettes. And, mexican drug cartels make a lot of money trafficking cocaine and methamphetamine as well.

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  6. Libertee,

    It's a great comment. Let's look at it in pieces.

    I don't think a sound-minded adult can make Themself a victim. You and I may have to agree to disagree there.

    I never said "taxing illegal drugs would create a profit".. but it would create more tax revenue than we get from it now and enforcing it a we enforce alcohol would be cheaper than the current war on drugs, it seems to me anyway.

    I don't want my airline pilot high on weed either, or smoking a cigarette or drinking a scotch with me. They aren't now... its easy to enforce.

    I don't know how addictive if at all Marijuana is... but, I don't think it is relevant here. I am not a fan of free for all dope smoking, i don't want my kids smoking it, I don't smoke it, I am not a fan of it at all... but what we are doing now is a very expensive losing battle. If it cannot be eradicated, I think it should be controlled and taxed. You can't make laws controlling it, if you continue with the mindset of eradicating it. I do think more folks may try it... just like some more folks tried alcohol when prohibition ended. But all of the folks who partake and keep it under control... won't be criminals anymore, lives won't be affected by a criminal record and won't be clogging our judicial system that outweighs a few more folks trying it. You use alot of very definitive words like "irradicate" illegal trade. I don't think it would completely do away with the illegal trade... there's still an illegal trade for diamonds too. But if we made all diamond dealers and diamond wearers criminals, there would be a huge illegal trade, a unenforceable illegal trade. Just like there is on marijuana right now. I don't think there is a perfect or finite solution, but legalizing and controlling and taxing is better than where we are right now.

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I love the discussion in the comments.. so... GO FOR IT!

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