Monday, July 4, 2016

To understand the concept of liberty

 is to first realize that it isn't all rainbows and unicorns and things are not always going to be fair.

Get over it. Sometimes liberty's a bitch.

It can be pretty scary. It means freedom but it also means a terrible thing called responsibility. It's really not for all of us as one can see.

I learned about liberty and defending it from my father as a youngster. Looking back on it it was quite an eye opener.

Dad had moved us out of Dorchester at an early age. He moved us to a sleepy fishing town south of Boston. There he could raise us with little outside interference. He wanted to avoid inner city problems. It was a wise decision.

He taught us pretty much what Dr. King later said. We learned to judge a person by the content of his character and not the color of his skin. Race, creed, color, national origin mean't nothing to us.

In the '68 George C. Wallace ran for president. For some reason, I remember Massachusetts tried to keep him from being on the ballot. I knew who Wallace was. He was that raving lunatic bigot on the courthouse steps.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts in their indignation tried to keep him off of the ballot. My dad and I were walking through the harbor and there was someone collecting signatures to put Wallace on the ballot.

"I hate the sonuvabitch, but I'll sign that one." dad said. "I sure the hell won't vote for him but he has the right to be on the ballot."

As he was signing the Wallace petitioner started to thank dad. "Don't thank me," said dad. "I'm not voting for the jerk. However he does have a right to be on the ballot."

The petitioner looked shocked.

One of the neighbors happened to see what happened and brought it up at a social gathering. Dad simply defended his actions by stating that while he dispised Wallace he wasn't going allow anyone to be cheated out of their rights. Wallace had every right to be on the ballot.

"Well what about something like Wallace talking about segregation?" asked one of the more simpler minded wives.

"First Amendment!" a couple of people chorused. The simple minded wife looked shocked. 

"Everyone has a right to assemble," explained one of the newly enlightened that had figured out why Dad had signed the petition. "That even includes people you don't like."

"What are you going to do if he decided to give a speech on Boston Common?" she asked.

"I'm gonna go pick up a bushel of rotten tomatoes, grab Louie Vega and the two of us are going to throw rotten tomatoes at the jerk," replied Dad with a mischievious grin.

Louie Vega was black. He was a pretty neat guy. He used to pitch in with the local scout troop once in a while.

However the First Amendment only protects a person from retaliation by the government. It doesn't protect then from being forced to otherwise be responsible for their actions.

A while ago a woman got fired from her job because she did something stupid in DC and pasted on her Facebook page. 

She had her workplace listed on it, too and te company didn't like being associated with someone that created a distasteful show of sorts at a somber war memorial in Washington DC and publicly bragged about it.

She had the right to act up at a DC war memorial and the company had the right to disassociate themselves with someone that gave them a bad name.

A woman that wore a ball hat that said "America never was great" was told by her job supervisor to take it off or lose her job.

Fair enough. While the government can't touch her, her employer certainly can tell her to remove anything political at the workplace.

Both of these women were irresponsible. By their public conduct they didn't respect their employers. They got in trouble for it. Tough.

While your employer or anyone else probably doesn't have the right to hassle you about your private beliefs they do when you start to make them public. You're responsible for your own words and deeds.  

There are no 'safe spaces' in the public forum. Nor should there be.

Liberty can be a bitch because it often means you can't have your cake and eat it, too. You can't always tell other people what to do. On the other hand, they can't tell you what to do, either.

Most of the problem lies when someone wants to tell another person how to live but won't tolorate being told how to live by someone else. You have to respect the rights of others.

You can't hack up the paper boy and stuff him in a chipper/shredder because he keeps throwing your paper in the bushes. Sometimes we'd probably all like to do something like that but we can't. He has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. So do you.

On the other hand you can either report him to the newspaper people or even stop your paper subscription. 

Many of our liberties have been taken away from us and it's just plain wrong. Laws have been enacted that try and regulate behavior. Most of them are routinely flouted. Drugs come to mind here.

While I certainly am no proponent of the use of, for example, heroin. I believe that most drug laws are a waste of time. I have always figured that if someone wants to use drugs then let them without fear of government interference. They are likely going to anyway. Why waste resources on people that don't want to be saved from themselves?

I do believe that the government that governs least governs best. We have much too much of it now.

In a truly libertarian situation the federal government would enact just enough laws to prevent anarchy and leave the rest to either the states, counties, towns or the people themselves.

Of course, some laws are needed to protect national assets such as the rivers, fisheries and game populations. Other laws are necessary to keep dishonest people honest.

In a nutshell they would do what they are supposed to do in the Constitution which is pretty much secure our borders, provide an honest currency, insure our basic rights  and run whatever foreign policy is necessary. They should be trying to put America first. Presently they do their job pretty poorly. 

They should serve pretty much to insure our rights instead of take them from us and actually try and enable the people to be able to take care of themselves.

The lower forms of government would probably do a much better job. A local government is closer to the people and with community support is likely to be more efficient. 

It seems that we have turned into a nation of crybabies and let the whole concept of liberty go straight down the tubes. It's like we need to be told what to do.

That's because people these days want to have their cake and eat it, too. It doesn't work like that. 

Incidentally for those who preach toloration, liberty means you have to be tolorant. You have to let everyone else live pretty much as they want and not try and regulate their behavior a whole lot. It's really none of your business.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

1 comment:

  1. you should do a vlog, i've been following your posts for a couple of years and i don't really comment much (this might be my first comment?)
    but i agree with most of what you say and I find your stories entertaining.
    Get on youtube and give us a show!