2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,100 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Selling The News

I like to imagine that a lot of people perform the cliché end-of-year introspection ritual. I like to imagine that people who take the time, genuinely enjoy the review of the good moments, and intend to do something to keep from repeating the not so good moments. I’ll get around to my own, but  I’ve spent the last few days reviewing the incredible impact that media, mainstream and social,  has had on conversations in my personal circle of influence and influencers this year.  The conclusions are cringe-worthy.

Late in 2012, Twitter released its top trends report. Conservative new media crowed about the popularity of #tcot , and Democrats laughed.  As difficult as it is to read what passes for media in mainstream and more left leaning outlets, the facts of that particular headline is accurate in terms of public opinion and political reality. In March, Pew released a poll indicating that sentiment on Twitter is often at odds with public opinion.  That poll has stuck in my mind as I watch debates unfold on social media.

The whole of 2013 brought little good in the way of restored freedoms for America.  What 2013 did bring, was a more-than-ever polarized media. Yahoo’s most searched stories reveals that consumers of news were treated to very little in the way of good news in 2013.  Nearly every issue on their list ( and many that didn’t make the top ten list) was a catalyst for heated political debate in some form or another… on social media.  Much of that debate has shifted to the credibility and coverage by the media outlets, themselves. Comes now the New York Times reviving the video-to-blame narrative on Benghazi and MSNBC criticizing Romney’s family for interracial adoption, and the #tcot Twitter force attacking ( rightfully) the facts.. but forgetting the WHY of both of these stories.  There are narratives to preserve, and the general population still believes them.

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I do music. I couldn’t couldn’t have written a better anthem to describe my opinion of state of media, including new media than this:

What in 2014 for conservative/libertarian/constitutional media? Fox has a secure place in news delivery, and will hold its own. Conservative new media struggles to find that balance between presenting their own narrative and fact while appealing to a broader base. Breaking out of the echo chamber must be a 2014 priority for #tcot and #tlot media, and I see good beginnings in some bloggers reaching out to traditionally left-leaning sites,  but I caution strongly against adopting the style guide of left-leaning media.  I also hope that the new media pundits keep in mind that they cannot just inform.  With midterms here, we are way behind in community organizing. Take a few lessons from the left on ends, not means. Work to inspire your audience to do more than vote.  Urge them to get physically involved. We should already be working on ensuring a 2016 presidential field that loves liberty .

Appeal, but don’t appease. Be above factual reproach. Fact isn’t fiction, but suspicion is the new (media) religion.

Healthcare is not a right

To delve into this topic, we first need to understand and agree upon the definition of “rights” as used and implemented by the Founding Fathers and the framers of our Constitution.  The first stop is the philosopher, John Locke, who put forth the theory of natural rights, which states everyone is born with an equality of certain rights, regardless of their nationality.  Since they come from nature or from God, natural rights cannot be justly taken away without consent.

For the sake of this discussion, let us not get bogged down in a theist v. atheist argument.  Even the Founders made sure to side-step this by using the terms of both God and nature.  They were very clear:  natural rights are not granted by man or by government, they exist solely by one’s own existence.

The Founders believed that one of the primary roles of government was to protect the natural rights of it’s citizens, which include those mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, as well as those specifically enumerated in the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights.  They were of one mind in this respect.  Though several of those present at the drafting of our nation’s Constitution believed it unnecessary to add the Bill of Rights (they argued it would be a redundant action given that the Constitution was already crafted with language to protect the natural rights of the people and limit the powers of government), they nonetheless conceded to add the first ten amendments to make the protection of those rights abundantly clear.

We must also bear in mind that our Founding Father’s had lived all their lives under the tyranny of a monarchical system of government, where the power of a king or queen could usurp the right’s of the citizenry without question.  They feared creating any kind of governmental system that could eventually mirror what it was they fought so hard against during the Revolutionary War.  So, even though some felt a “bill of rights” was redundant, there was no argument that those rights existed outside of government and thus were not a gift from government.

Our rights cannot be taken away or infringed upon without our consent, which includes the implicit consent inherent with infringing on the rights of others, or, more easily stated, breaking the law.  Unless an individual’s actions take away or infringe on the rights of someone else’s, their rights remain intact and cannot be taken away.  Here’s a simple example:

The First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the citizens of the United States of America a right to freedom of speech.  This means we have the right to speak our minds without fear of government reprisal for having a dissenting opinion over the actions of our elected leadership.  However, that right does not allow an individual to falsely yell, “Fire!” in a crowded theater, thereby creating a panic that risks injury to others.  By creating a false stampede, not only have the rights of individuals to their happiness been infringed, but also a potential infringement to their lives and property.

Our individual rights exist only to such extent that they do not deny another individual their rights.  If we can agree upon this concept, we can proceed.  However, if at this point you choose not to accept the premise used by our Founding Fathers and feel, as our current President, Barack Obama, does, that the Constitution is flawed because it is a document of “negative liberties” — in that it tells government what it cannot do instead of what it should do (especially as it relates to redistribution) — then the rest of this reasoned and logical discussion will fall on deaf ears.

Before we move to the subject of healthcare and health insurance (two related, but very different subjects), we must now discuss wealth, which is an extension of property.  It is something we own or possess.

Thomas Jefferson was once asked to provide his thoughts on whether the government should take more from those who have and give to those with less.  He writes:

To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.

letter to Joseph Milligan, April 6, 1816.

Individuals own their wealth, regardless of the form it takes.  Money, land, buildings, stocks, investments and more all factor into the personal wealth of a citizen.  As a collective, this block of “wealth” is synonymous with property because it is, in fact, owned.

Keep this in mind while we shift gears for a moment to provide an illustration.

You and I are walking down the sidewalk when we come upon a destitute individual wearing ragged clothing and holding a cardboard sign that reads: Homeless, please help.  Now, we are both moved by the plight of the individual.  We both feel compelled to help that person.  If I reach into my wallet and remove a $20 bill, I am voluntarily taking part of my property and giving it to someone else.  It is my choice to provide a charitable hand-out.  However, if you put your hand into my wallet, remove a $20 bill and give it to the homeless individual, this is called theft, because you have infringed on my rights — my property.

When I make the choice over what to do with my own property, I have not infringed on the rights of anyone else.  However, when someone else takes my property, even though it is for the same purpose (to help an individual in desperate circumstances), my rights have been deprived as surely as a thief deprives me of my property.

We are now equipped with the building blocks to understand why healthcare and health insurance are not rights, but, indeed, privileges and, therefore, wants!

When someone in this country goes to school and spends their wealth on becoming a doctor, they have made a significant investment in their chosen career.  They own their degree and certification as well as their knowledge and skill.  It is that person’s personal property, both physical and intellectual.  They may then make the choice to enter into a contract with other individuals who are in need of their services.

If I fall off my porch and break my arm, I lack the ability to know how to properly set and care for that injury, so I seek the skills of a physician who does.  In exchange for his expertise, I agree to part with some of my property.  My property takes the form of currency and his takes the form of both materials and services.

But, that doctor is not the only doctor within my community.  His terms and conditions for entering into a contract for services are not the same as someone else in his profession.  Some may charge more for their abilities and some may charge less.  I have the choice with whom I decide to engage in services.

The same applies for the concept of health insurance.  (I am going to proceed under the auspicious that we all understand that “healthcare” refers to the actual action of receiving care from a member of the health industry, whereas “health insurance” relates solely to purchasing a financial plan to help make the cost of healthcare more affordable.)  I do not need to own health insurance to get healthcare.  One has nothing to do with the other.

There is no emergency room in this country who will deny anyone healthcare.  In the years of hearing this mantra, that healthcare is a right, no where can anyone find a case where a hospital has pre-screened the financial solvency of a patient before treating them.  This is not to say they won’t pursue every avenue available to them to get reimbursed for those services, but this is a different subject and irrelevant to our discussion today.  We are not here to discuss the cost of healthcare.

Rights cannot be taken away without our consent.  The Federal government was designed by our Founding Father’s to not only limit the extent of government, but also protect the natural rights inherent to every person.  When someone proffers the argument that healthcare is a right, they are, in essence, saying that their rights supersede yours.  They are wanting you to surrender a portion of your property because they lack their own ability to take care of themselves.

Thus, if healthcare (and health insurance) is a “right”, then I have no control over my own property, which, by that very statement, is in direct contradiction to the theory of natural rights as understood by the Framers of our Constitution.  Remember, our individual rights exist only to such extent that they do not deny another individual their rights, which includes the right to our property.

And, more importantly, if we have no control over our property, then where does that infringement stop?  Does someone have a right to a seven-course meal every day?  What about the right to have a home?  How about a right to a mode of transportation?  Occupiers and the D-15 movement feel they have a right to a “living wage” (whatever that is, since one person’s definition of living is rarely the same as another’s, it is a puerile statement at best).  Where do you draw the line between Capitalism and Communism?

More often than not, our society has desperately tried to make the word “want” synonymous with “right” and those two words, as far as the Constitution is concerned, are not even remotely similar and are not exchangeable.  The sooner we can stop those in our society from deluding themselves with misinformation, the sooner we can actually begin to address the true issue that drives today’s topic — the cost of care.

For now, let us hope we have taken a first step toward helping others understand the fundamental difference between rights and wants and why those two terms can never be allowed to share the same meaning, lest we make an irrevocable leap toward a complete loss of personal liberty.  Our rights are our own and are not conferred on us from any person or government.  Abdicating those rights is tantamount to an endorsement of tyrannical rule, returning us to the very place from which our Founding Father’s fought so hard and sacrificed so much to avoid.

Three Inhibitors to Recognize in Achieving Liberty

As a member of the Libertarian Party, I address this article to not only said Party but to anyone else feeling our growing pains. It’s been several decades that the LP has been in existence but despite the wonderful efforts of many involved, the Party continues to get very little attention, and votes. I think the Inhibitors laid out here-in apply to not just the LP but to anyone with a political philosophy that we at Freedom Cocktail promote. Only by recognizing our barriers can we work to break them and progress.

In January 1997, Cato Institute’s Executive Vice President, David Boaz, released an excellent book entitled, Libertarianism – A Primer. In the second chapter, he lays out the foundation and history of the Libertarian philosophies and points out that Libertarianism is not a new idea isolated to the United States. In fact, Boaz shows that we can trace this political movement as far back as classical western civilization and even into the era of circa 600 B.C. with the oriental philosopher Lao-Tzu. Boaz informs us that many great thinkers in history fought for this ideal which continues into present times with comparable activists and thinkers. It was with the coming of the United States that the first country in history attempted to live solely within the Libertarian framework and to respect the reason of individuals and not the power of governments. Boaz informs us that there have basically been two political philosophies that have served under different names. Those basics are Liberty and Power. Boaz compares these by writing, “Either people should be free to live their lives as they see fit, as long as they respect the equal rights of others, or some people should be able to use force to make other people act in ways they wouldn’t choose.” (Boaz, p. 27).

Boaz notes that, “It’s no surprise, of course, that the philosophy of power has always been more appealing to those in power.” (Boaz, p. 27) With that said, we must wonder why it is that the power model has always won out when the majority of the people do not hold the power? I will attempt to show that the power model of government is enabled not only by those in power but even by those who do not hold any power. I will also attempt to show why that despite equal time in history (at least in concept but not in practice), the power model always seems to prevail over the Liberty model. And all this occurs with the people under the government grumbling in quiet but at the same time voting over and over for the same ruling fist. What is going on?

There are some questions we must ask and hopefully provide sufficient answers. Why is it that the Liberty model, with such a long history, has not carved a larger niche in the world? Specifically in regards to the United States which was founded as a Libertarian society (known then just Liberal or now as “Classic Liberal”), how did we lose it and why have not the people voted to regain it? Why is it that we have yet to see the people of this country flock to the cause? If Libertarianism is the best way for a society to prosper, and if it is so obvious as we as Libertarians think, then why is it that the people are not knocking down our doors with membership dues? Why is it that if Libertarianism is such the ideal, and if it is thought that the majority of civilization craves such independence from oppression, we do not have it yet? And why, why, is it that most people claim to agree with the liberty model as the ideal but continue to support the power model?

These are questions that I believe have complex but, at the same time, simple answers. It has much to do with the lack of knowledge that the people have regarding politics and the foundations of civilizations. It also has a lot to do with a basic mistrust we hold against our neighbors. The solutions to the points that follow are even more difficult to come by. (As a note, the points made are geared toward the United States but, without much effort, can be generalized to humanity as a whole).

1. Despite the historical base of the Liberty model, it is not seen as traditional.

Not traditional? After all, didn’t I just note how old the philosophy is? Yes, but that truth is only revealed to those who care to investigate it. I have many times discussed the topic with co-workers, friends, associates, etc., and remained amazed at how these conversations exposed that most people hold the belief that the Libertarian Party (and the philosophy in general) is new to the scene. Their belief is that it is the Republicans and Democrats who founded everything! It is clear, and not only in politics but in their everyday affairs, that people act in the manner of tradition and what is familiar. They will always work with what has always been done. It is a comfortable feeling. It does not seem to matter if a better ideal or philosophy comes around. It seems that the Republicans and Democrats have been with us for so long, ruling our country as if it has always been, and we have become overly familiar with them like the old neighborhood we grew up in. Not many people are ready to demolish the old school yard.
I suspect that regardless of our Libertarian proposals and solutions, membership growth will not excel as we wish because the Liberty model is still viewed as being “new” and “uncharted”. It does not matter that this is not true. The population seems to believe it (from what I have observed) and that is what we must deal with. After all, how many people have even heard of the Libertarian Party? I have spoken to many that have not.
The power model has been acted upon civilizations for as far back as one may care to look. Although the liberty model has as long a history, it has existed more in the form of a philosophy and not as a practice. We are taught that most (if not all) historical societies operated as power models. It will be a great challenge to make the Liberty model as familiar as the alternative.

2. The misperception prevails that government protects and without it, the stronger will overpower the weak.

It remains an annoying belief among most people that I have spoken with that the natural state of humanity is evil and selfish and there would be those who would take advantage of you if government programs were not in place to protect you. I attempt to point out that this occurs regardless of government attempts at control but it remains true that society seems to believe that government, acting as the parent, is better to have than to have not. There is clearly a love-hate relationship going on with the power model. This ties in quite well with point #1 as noted above. We have had the parental form of government for so long that we do not remember or even know what it is like without it. The strange thing about this is that everyone who makes such claims about the nature of humanity fails to include himself or herself within that framework. This leads us directly into point #3.

3) All people believe themselves to be naturally good, but think that others are not.

This is the oddest claim of all one can make. We have all heard it. We hear the basic claim that people, in general, can not be trusted to do the right thing but the ones who say that always fail to include themselves within the group of “people”. It is believed that we need a form of control and force (government) to keep our neighbors in line. This may be the scariest of all the points I make. This basic mistrust of one’s neighbors is what I believe to be the main reason why we are a long way off from obtaining a Libertarian form of civilization and why the power model has been dominate throughout history. Today many of us are so afraid and mistrustful of others within our society, they believe that we must control those unlike us. And this “fear” projects us into adopting a power model of government in order to control those who do not do as we do. We are afraid that without government controls, the industries and corporations will pollute our air and water. We are afraid that without gun control laws, our neighbors will go on shooting rampages. We blame drugs and not people for poor actions some chose to partake in while under the influence and we create laws to prevent all people from using. Our government, with the blessings of the people, meddles in health and child care. Our government creates education agendas and policies. It meddles in every aspect of our lives and we clap during the State of the Union address. The basic break down is clear: FEAR of thy neighbor!

I believe that a Libertarian society will never be achieved as long as the people hold a basic mistrust and fear of those around them. This is why I believe the power model has always prevailed. The Liberty model can only come about when the majority of people begin to change their minds about human nature. Speaking as individuals, we believe that we will do what is right and, in the converse, we usually fear that our fellow man and woman will fail to follow suit.

We are so familiar with government taking on the paternal role that we have forgotten, or better yet, failed to learn and accept self-responsibility. Time and time again, I have spoken with many people who always fall back on the fear of others as the rational for maintaining the power model. I ask them Harry Browne’s famous question, “Would you give up your favorite government program if it meant you never had to pay income tax again?” Regrettably, the answer I get on many occasions is that they hate paying the taxes but believe the benefits are good. Their main reason for gladly paying taxes is to maintain the military and police forces. This explains it all in regards to point #2 and #3 despite my objections as I propose Libertarian alternatives to taxation. They just do not believe them plausible and this brings us to the familiarity issue in point #1. The point is that we are creatures of habit. We are also self-preserving animals. Unfortunately, we have had the parental form of government for so long, as well as continue to encourage it, we have failed to learn for ourselves that healthy and self-sustaining living can be achieved even better under the Liberty model.

So what are we, as Libertarians, to do to change all this? I suggest we continue along the path we are already on. We have to make our name as familiar as the Republicans and Democrats. We must make our political solutions just as familiar. This means that over and over and over again we must present the message to the public the best we can. We also have to work on changing society’s perceptions of human nature (which is a big and possibly unrealistic task). We have to try to convince people that most people do act in responsible ways without coercive action. We have to continue to point out that we as people continue to cooperate with one another on a daily basis and that the fears of thy neighbor, as they exist in such extremes, are unwarranted. With this said, and with the preconceived notions that exist today, it remains a clear fact that the Liberty model will not come about over night.

SOURCE:

Boaz, David. (1997) Libertarianism – A Primer. New York: The Free Press.

Freedom Cocktail — serving up reason from the North and logic from the South

Another endeavor of late has been the creation of a politically focused blog site called, Freedom Cocktail. It is currently a venture with a friend of mine from Michigan. Eric and I met in the 8th grade and have not lost touch since. He still lives in Michigan; I live in Georgia. Our lives have taken different paths, but our philosophies have stayed fairly well rooted in a love of the Constitution (as written), the astonishing wisdom of our Forefathers, and an inherent love of liberty, freedom, and the rights of the individual.

For years, Eric has written blogs or contributed to forums as his way of trying to make a difference. For me, I’ve used the radio and social media, specifically Facebook and Twitter. Maybe it’s been percolating for the last decade or so, but something clicked in the recent weeks and we decided it was time to pool our efforts into our own blog.

A lot goes into the setup. And, once it’s up, who’s going to read it? Ultimately, the former is much easier than the latter. It takes a lot of effort to craft not only the site, but also the content, but it’s a manageable undertaking. The bigger issue will be trying to grow the audience. After all, much like the theatre analogy, it doesn’t matter if you have the best performance of the year taking place on the stage if the house is empty.

Hence, we decided on the concept of the pub or bar as a metaphor for our blog home. We liked the idea of all kinds of people bellying up to the bar and talking with the bartender and the customers. Our bar is open to anyone and everyone. We want to encourage the discussion as well as for our visitors to take time to actually listen to the dialogue. We are your servers, sitting behind the bar and fixing your drinks and nudging the topics along.

Over the coming weeks and months, we hope our audience does, in fact, grow. We appreciate all of the help you will give us by sharing, tweeting, texting, and talking about our site.

Enjoy!

Interpreting the United Stated Constitution

It is argued that the United States Constitution is open to interpretation, thus implying that the words on the paper are not an end in themselves. This suggests that the Constitution is flexible and not concrete and indirectly suggests that it needs supporting documentation in order to explain itself. That supporting documentation would be made up of well-defined comments regarding each of the various points and rights laid out in the Constitution. Without such defining tools to consult, we may end up interpreting away our very liberties that the Constitution guaranties. In order prevent such measures, we must examine how we should go about interpreting the Constitution.

At this point, a brief look at interpretation is necessary. There are basically two ways to go about interpreting something. Either you can do it by seeking the truth about what it was originally intended to mean, as created; or, you may go looking for an explanation that fits your viewpoint, in other words, the one that makes you feel best about the subject in question.

First and foremost, interpretation is only necessary when the piece in question has not been explained by those who created it. Stated differently, if the creator of the piece in question told us exactly what it meant, then there would be no need to engage in the art of interpretation. If that author is kind enough to tell you exactly what it means, then there is nothing to discuss after that. But if the creator is unreachable, and did not leave any supporting documentation behind, then interpretation becomes a requirement for understanding.

When you are reviewing a poem or piece of music, or even a painting on the wall, you will most likely never know what the author intended unless you ask him or her directly. With art forms, there is rarely a time when misinterpretation leads to something tragic. Therefore, it does not matter in the case of art whether or not you ever get the chance to question the designer. In fact, part of the enjoyment of art is to come to your own conclusion regarding the piece in question and no harm is done when your wrong.

This liberty is unacceptable when considering more important matters such as the Constitution. If we want to understand it, we would be in error to read it with modern eyes and modern thoughts. If we want to know exactly what the founding fathers intended, then it is required that we read the Federalist Papers and other supporting documents prepared by those who constructed the Constitution. We would be poor scholars not to consult their commentary on the document they helped create. Only by reading their own words can we know exactly what they were saying when they wrote things like “A well regulated Militia…” and “…regulate commerce with foreign nations…” Therefore, documents like the Federalist Papers are as important as the Constitution itself. These secondary documents act like a glossary for the Constitution and must be consulted along side it. Luckily for our understanding of the United States Constitution, we do not have to engage in intellectual jousting to find meaning in it. The founding fathers were kind enough to leave papers and speeches to explain exactly what the words in the Constitution meant.

In order to have unity in the federal government, as well as to ensure the liberties provided by the Constitution, we can not approach the Constitution in the same manner we approach art. We must consult the writings of those that prepared the Constitution and observe their explanations. Only then will we know exactly what they expected of the United States Federal Government. In a letter to William Johnson, Thomas Jefferson remarked, “On every question of construction let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning can be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one that was passed.” (1)

Let us take a look at what happens when the supplemental documentation is not consulted. The Second Amendment states, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”. Modern day gun control advocates claim that this amendment applies only to the modern day National Guard and that it does not apply to individuals when it comes to owning firearms. But when we examine the writings and speeches that were taking place during the debates on the Constitution, we find that this amendment refers to every American citizen who owns personal firearms. It does not apply to a standing army of any kind. It refers to people as individuals. Space does not permit me to quote every possible source but one from Alexander Hamilton says everything necessary. He remarks, “Little more can reasonably be aimed at with respect to the people at large than to have them properly armed and equipped;…This will not only lessen the call for military establishments; but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people, while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights and those of their fellow citizens.” (2) Here, Hamilton is clearly calling for the right of each individual citizen to own firearms in case their government attempts to suppress them. But why then did they refer to the Militia and not “the people”? Les Adams, who has examined the documents relating to the issue, informs us that the Militia was the term used to represent all the people, or at least all full citizens of the community. (3) Adams quotes George Mason, a Virginian who refused to sign the Constitution because, at that time, it lacked a Bill of Rights. Mason observed, “Who is the Militia? They consist now of the whole people”. (4) The reason the founders did not say “the people” and said “Militia” is because the people were the Militia, and everyone understood that so no explanation was necessary at the time. This has become confused in modern times because many critics have failed to heed the words of Thomas Jefferson when he said, “…let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted…”

Some may disagree with Jefferson’s argument and complain that if we are always required to go back to the time when the Constitution was created, then this means that the Constitution, along with the United States Government, is unchangeable. They may argue that we will never “move ahead” and they may say that Jefferson’s argument is an egotistical remark concluding that the Constitution is next to godliness in design. Usually, an argument like this comes from those wishing to rewrite or revise government to suit their own needs and desires. The Constitution was created with great care to respect the individual liberties of the people and to restrict the power of government. This must be preserved at all costs and I believe that this was Jefferson’s intention when he said what he did. The Constitution, along with the supporting documentation like the Federalist Papers and other writings by the founding fathers, does not need to be changed. These documents secure our rights and liberties perfect without need for reinterpretation. If we heed and implement their words, we will maintain our liberties and fear not an obtrusive government. Therefore, despite objections, I believe that Jefferson was right when he said what he did about the matter.

Now a time may come, as it did in the past, when the Constitution does need to be revised. Clearly, when the Constitution was created, the horror of slavery was not prohibited. However, in keeping with the spirit of individual liberty, the Constitution was eventually modified.

It may also happen that an entirely new event or situation, which was unforeseeable by the founding fathers, will arise whereby the Constitution and it’s supplemental documents fail to help solve. During the process of reviewing the Constitution and it’s complementary documents, if it is found that the writer’s were in error or mistaken on an issue, or a matter need be added or deleted, then those parts must be re-written through the process of amendment. Although the Constitution is indeed flexible in the sense that it can be changed, it should not be flexible to the point where no one is right and no one is wrong, like in the case of art criticism. By this I mean to say that if there are many interpretations offered to explain a new situation, it is best kept in mind that the best interpretations, will always be those that keep closest to the spirit of the Constitution, to preserve the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

1 Thomas Jefferson cited in: Les Adams, The Second Amendment Primer, P. 71: Palladium Press
2 Alexander Hamilton cited in: Les Adams, The Second Amendment Primer, P. 101: Palladium Press
3 Les Adams, The Second Amendment Primer, P. 200: Palladium Press
4 George Mason cited in: Les Adams, The Second Amendment Primer, P. 200: Palladium Press

Federalist Resurrection

We don’t need another political blog! Yep, I heard ya yell it when you clicked the button and fell upon us. But I disagree. We DO need another political blog. We need one in favor of the American Republic as envisioned by Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin and all those other old dead guys. There are numerous Socialist, Democrat and Communitarian (my personal favorite of the rename-game) out there that the more the merrier when it comes to comment to the contrary.

Let’s recall the Federalist Papers. While the Founding Fathers were debating whether or not to ratify the Constitution, those in favor wrote opinion pieces that were meant to persuade the public. Consider Freedom Cocktail to be a continuation of those Papers, an attempt to get the United States back to it’s roots, it’s freedoms and personal responsibilities.

If the message gets repeated, the chances are greater that change can be accomplished. (Damn, my first post and I used the word “change”).

As a note, us Contributors quibble sometimes on certain issues but note that no one anywhere ever will agree on 100% of topics. Each of us Contributors is his own entity and what one says doesn’t necessarily reflect the exact opinion of the other. However, we desperately wish to get back to the Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness the Founding Fathers envisioned and we’re working together to assist in it’s return.