Once Bill Simmon said, on his local radio program, Poli-Sci-Fi Radio, that I was “spectacularly wrong.” I loved that quote so much, it earned a place of honor at the top of my “What people are saying about She’s Right” section in the side bar.
What exactly was I spectacularly wrong about? Well, probably all things political, and religious for that matter, if you asked Bill, but one thing that I want to focus on specifically is that Bill (or perhaps his co-host Steve Benen, I can’t remember which one made this exact quote, but they both agree with its sentiment) asserted without further comment that I was “flatly, obviously wrong” in my claim that any expansion of government power results in a loss of freedom.
Well, it’s not obvious that I am wrong in my assertion. I wish that Bill and Steve had realized that and expanded their response a little more, so I had something to work with here because to me, it is obvious that I am right.
Before I set about defending that I am right that any expansion of government power results in a loss of freedom, let’s first define what is meant by the word “freedom” here.
Merriam-Webster online defines freedom as “1: the quality or state of being free: as, a: the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action b: liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another : independence,” followed by c-h, but for my purpose, I want to focus on a and b.
Freedom means being absent from constraint in choice or action, free from the power of another.
To be totally free would mean to have no force or power limiting any of our choices or actions.
However, we do have the force of government limiting our choices and actions. Any time the government passes a law, it limits our choices or actions; that is the purpose of passing laws!
This is not to say that is a bad thing – it is necessary, to some extent – but, it is clear that any time the government is empowered to make choices for us, we become less free.
Not only is this claim NOT “flatly, obviously wrong,” but it is, by the very definition of freedom absolutely correct!
So what’s the big deal?
Well, it’s not always a big deal, in a negative sense. I mean, we need to limit the freedom of others to hurt us or our property. This is the main function of our government. We cannot have freedom unless those who would seek to oppress us are restrained. It’s kind of paradoxical; we must restrict freedom to protect freedom. But that is only true in a very limited sense, and that must remain limited.
There are many ways the government limits our freedom that are not necessary for protecting us. They serve to shape our behavior in ways that are deemed better than the alternatives. These things do not always seem like a big deal, as long as we are doing what the government wants us to do.
For example, in 2012, incandescent light bulbs will be banned in the US. This is an obvious limit on our freedom of light bulb choice. If you are already using another type of bulb by then, which most people will, since manufacturers are phasing out incandescent bulbs already, the ban will not seem like a big deal because you are already making the choice the government allows – no conflict.
But, if you, like me, have a health condition that is exacerbated, causing severe pain, by compact fluorescent bulbs, the US ban on incandescent bulbs is kind of a big deal.
When you want (or in this case, need) to do something that falls outside of what the government has mandated, your lack of freedom becomes glaringly obvious.
We have come to a point that most people do not care about the expanded role of government and its encroachment on freedom, unless it directly impacts them. Our freedom is taken for granted to the extent that well-educated, thoughtful men deny the basic truth that any expansion in government power has a direct impact on freedom.
This was never an issue to me, either, until I chose an alternative lifestyle that butts up against the government’s unjust power – I decided to homeschool.
The government has, in incremental steps over the years, declared itself the sole power over the education of our children. That was not always the case. That power used to lie with the family. These days, it is expected that the state needs to have that power, even when it contradicts what parents think is best for their own children.
Now, if you want to educate your child outside of the government-run system, the state controls and limits those choices.
If you want to use an alternative method that does not conform to the “school-at-home” model, you run the risk of problems with the state and charges of educational neglect.
The loss of freedom in education happened over decades. That is how many freedoms are eroded and government power is expanded. It happens gradually over time, in a way that most people do not realize, until the freedom is gone and the government power is accepted as the norm.
As long as one lives within the scope of what the government deems okay, the reach of government power into our lives is not obvious. It is not until one wants to exercise a different choice that the limitation of our freedom is felt.
I did not realize how important it is to oppose the expansion of government, thereby protecting our freedom, until it affected me, but the truth is, we should all care whether it affects us or not.
If I accomplished only one thing in the three years that I published this blog, let it be that I raised your awareness about why freedom matters.
If you do not care about the freedom of others, it may be too late when you finally realize that your own freedom has been limited.
If freedom matters, and it does, it is worth defending the freedom of everyone.
There is no problem that cannot be solved without sacrificing our freedom to do so.
Today, Dr. Donnica Moore was on The View and the topic was preventing bone loss in women. One of the ladies asked her about the recommendation that women should get a bone scan at age 30 as a baseline, since bone loss can start that early.
She replied that she agrees with that recommendation, but with health care reform we are trying to eliminate unnecessary tests, so the American Osteopathic Association recommends scans at age 60.
Welcome to state-run medical care, folks. Enjoy it while you can. Before you die from something that is currently able to be detected early, but won’t be when we have to wait for basic care.
What? I’m just using Republican scare tactics?
That’s what everyone said – including our truthful president – when the right claimed that private insurance would be driven out by the government. Yet, Investor’s Business Daily reports that the House’s health care legislation goes so far as outlawing private coverage.
Of course, as Pres. Obama said, we can keep our current coverage. We just can’t alter it or ever get another policy, if we move or change jobs.
Government monopoly, baby.
While you revel in it, check out Steven Crowder’s undercover look at Canada’s system.
I hope you have $900 for a check up at a private clinic. That seems to be the standard advice given by the government run health providers, not once but thrice, in his video.
Hope and Change!
I just wanted to update you on what is going on with the blog. I know I said I was done at the end of June, but I also said there were a few things I wanted to post before the end. Well, I didn’t get to those posts and June is over. I still want to do those posts, though.
Basically, I will try to get them done this week, but I am very busy with the kids, so I might not get to it. Next week, though, the kids have camp in the morning Monday through Friday, so I will have some free time. In other words, the blog will be wrapping up by the end of next week, at the latest.
Thanks for sticking around.
While you await my final days of thought-provoking commentary, check out this really cool stop motion video using post-its.
I just realized that Tuesday is the last day of the month. That means I only have three more days to do the posts I want to do before She’s Right closes up shop for good. I had better get cracking!
I was out today and every place I went was playing Michael Jackson. Even Small Dog Electronics (an Apple store in So. Burlingon, VT). And Barnes and Noble Booksellers was playing some instrumental version of “Smooth Criminal” with a violin. It was surreal.
I tried to find the violin thing on You Tube. I found this David Garrett video.
I don’t think it is the one I heard It sounds different from the one I heard, but it is very cool. Who knew classical instruments could rock out? (Yes, I know, plenty of people knew that.)
The German lady speaks until about :50 in.
You can find the video of the original Michael Jackson Smooth Criminal here. (Embedding disabled, unfortunately)
Then there is always the Alien Ant Farm version, if you’re into post-grunge alternative. The video is a fun homage to the King of Pop himself, including the light up sidewalk a la Billie Jean. But, somehow I remember the song sounding much better when I was 25. (Man, I hate getting older.)
Again, embedding disabled, so you have to follow the link.
No, I did not watch the infomercial for Obama’s health care reform, but I have been wanting to say this.
According to President Obama,
“If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan, period.”
Last night, the president clarified that statement.
“When I say if you have your plan and you like it, . . . or you have a doctor and you like your doctor, that you don’t have to change plans, what I’m saying is the government is not going to make you change plans under health reform.”
The reality is that, for most people, their employers will choose whether or not to abandon the private system for the government plan.
Think about that for a minute. The government is going to come along with this low-cost, taxpayer-subsidized health care plan and your employer will get to choose between that and the plan they currently offer you.
Cheap government insurance vs. expensive private insurance. What will they choose?
Hint: your employer probably cares about the cost, not so much the quality – and not so much about how much you like your plan.
Bottom line: You will not be able to keep your health insurance plan.
Once the government has a monopoly, how good do you think your health care will be?
Every honest conversation about health care reform has included talk about changing what we in America expect from our health care system, which is a nice way to say we have to expect less from it, if we want a public system.
One of the proposed savings measures is eliminating “unnecessary” tests. I don’t know about you, but I want my doctor – not the government – deciding what tests are necessary.
And once the government controls health care, they will be able to regulate almost every aspect of our lives (the few they don’t already) because it is for the common good to keep us healthy, according to what the government deems necessary to that end.
On the bright side, maybe we won’t have to hear that tired old phrase “for the children” any more. Now it will be “for our health.”
The Burlington Planning and Zoning Office refuses to issue a Certificate of Occupancy to a landlord who replaced rotting wood siding with nice new siding.
“It was a distinct loss when the original siding was replaced,” [Mary O’Neil, a historic-preservation officer with the city’s Planning and Zoning Office] said of the three ALPH buildings. “They no longer look the way the used to look.”
Apparently, Ms. O’Neil likes the look of rotting wood.
The City’s justification for the hold up: the siding has a 4-inch reveal. The original siding had a 3-inch reveal.
Seriously. This is your tax dollars at work, folks.
The first two “Top Headlines” on my Google homepage:
That reminds me, the ever-funny right-wing humor blog IMAO has a list of the “Top Ten Reasons Obama Hasn’t Spoken Out About Iran.”
My fav is #7.
Thought iRan was the accessory for the iPod that keeps track of how many miles you jog.
You should read IMAO. Really humor is all we have left at this point.
I have to mention, as Mr. Right just pointed out to me as I was writing this, not everyone thinks Obama should speak out. Pat Buchanan thinks he should keep his mouth shut.
Feel free to discuss.
This is a post that I have put off writing for weeks now. I am not sure where to start, so I’ll start at the beginning. That is always a good place to start.
Back in 2001, I wanted to start a website to post my political rants. The first name I came up with was Right Wing Wacko. I liked it, but I wanted something that reflected that women can be outspoken conservatives, too. She’s Right was born. Of course, the blog would not come for another 5 years. I did have a website on AOL, though. (Yeah, lame, I know.)
Over the past 8 years, a lot has changed. In 2001, I was a working, single mother of 2 in my twenties. Since then, I got married, became a stay-at-home mom, had another baby, came to Christ, started homeschooling, and started a business, to name a few things. And I am no longer in my twenties. Haven’t been for a few years, now.
I am just not the same person.
Politically, I have changed, too. I have become a lot more libertarian leaning. Many of my beliefs do not fit neatly into a box. I no longer see any benefit to the left-right dichotomy. The world is more complex than that, and so am I.
It seems like it is impossible to have a conversation with someone on the left, without first going through the painful process of undoing all of the stereotypes they hold about me. If I am conservative I must also be [fill in the blank]. Sometimes I am, sometimes I’m not, but mostly not.
Most of the time, I don’t get through all of the negative stereotypes. There just isn’t enough time. The process just leaves me aggravated and sometimes even hurt. Political blogging has become nasty, to say the least. Life is just too short.
I just see very little personal benefit to political blogging anymore.
We decided to move to New Hampshire this summer and I though, great, this is a perfect time to end She’s Right. I want it to forever be a Vermont political blog.
Well, we put off moving until next year. So, I was left with a choice. It’s a hard choice because She’s Right is part of a community of Vermont bloggers. I like being a part of that. But that community has changed into something I don’t like very much anymore. I thought it was because of the election, but that wasn’t the case.
It’s also a hard choice because She’s Right makes me money. Money that I have been using to get my soap business going.
Then, I saw this Venn diagram on Althouse the other day. It’s called “how to be happy in business.”
She’s Right was something I did well and wanted to do, so I learned how to monetize it. Once I was being paid to do it, I was all “Hooray!” (Yea!)
But, I don’t want to do it anymore. It is life-draining. It is hurtful. And most of y’all don’t read a darn word I type! I cannot count how many times the responses to my posts totally miss the point. (Maybe I have become too obtuse?)
So, now She’s Right is just something I can do well and can be paid to do, not something I want to do. Now I need to learn to say “no.” (The Venn diagram must be obeyed!)
With that, She’s Right is saying “goodbye” at the end of the month, as I originally planned when we were moving. I still have a few posts that need to be posted, not the least of which are the lost Vermont Tiger symposium posts. It was February 2, for Pete’s sake! I still have my notes, though, and they will be posted.
Those of you that have been with me since the Blogger days have been through this before. I will not be back in 4 months like I was last time.
For one, I am putting all of my spare time into my soap business and my personal/soaping/cooking/crafting blog, All Things Hold Together.
For another, I don’t want to be She’s Right anymore. I don’t want to blog politics. I don’t want a clever, yet in-your-face name. Besides, the need for a good conservative Vermont blogger is no longer there, and there are plenty of ladies filling the conservative woman niche to overflowing. It’s the right time for me to move on.
The original plan was to start a new blog that focused more on technology and other geeky things that I love, with occasional political bits. I even came up with a name, registered the domain, and designed a blog theme. But that is tabled for the time being. I need to focus on my family and my soaping, and myself.
Thank you all for reading, commenting, and e-mailing me. You are what kept me doing this for so long. I will keep the domain and the e-mail address, so you can all still reach me at that address if you have a poem you want to send me or something.
And, as I said, I will be posting for the rest of this month. Be sure and tune in.
Green Mountain Daily has a post this morning about the upcoming health care reform battles. It, of course, misrepresents the opposition to the “public option” because how else can the left win a debate on any issue other than mischaracterizing the opposition? (You’ve gotta give them credit for being proactive, though.)
A “public option” would be a government payer (a la medicare or medicaid) as one of the menu choices. Obviously this makes subsidizing easier on the one hand, but also allows the feds more control over the types of coverage. Private insurers are afraid any public option would be too appealing and affordable and draw away business – and both opponents and proponents of a single payer system see this as a way to potentially facilitate a transition to such a model.
The bolded selection is my emphasis, obviously. That’s the part that’s, let’s say, less than accurate.
How about this?
Private insurers are concerned that any public option will be given an unfair advantage and, as a result, look more appealing and affordable.
The public option will be artificially low in cost, as the current medicaid and medicare systems are. There’s the obvious, that the public option has the advantage of tax payer funding, but that is not the only advantage. The government does not pay fair market value for services rendered. This is possible because the rest of us are subsidizing it though our insurance or cash payments.
Once the public option entices unsuspecting consumers with her siren song of low, low prices, the private firms will be driven out of business and all of the sudden the public plan will be in a world of financial hurt, since there won’t be anyone around to offset the below-value payments.
Oh wait, the public option already is in a world of financial hurt. How about we fix the public plan before we lure more people onto it?
Here’s an analogy the left ought to appreciate: The public option is like when Wal-Mart moves into a neighborhood and puts everyone else out of business with their artificially low prices. And how does it get such low prices? By forcing companies to charge them less, in exchange for doing business with the country’s largest retailer. That’s exactly what the government does to doctors.
The public option: it’s the Wal-Mart of health care.
Sign me up!
Look, health care is expensive. Next time you are at a hospital, take a look at all of the expensive equipment. We have made amazing advances in medical science, all of which cost money. If we want it, we need to pay for it.
Right now, private insurance is paying for most of it. When private insurance is gone, the public plan will have to pony up the dough. It’s either that or lower our expectations for care because it’s not going to come for free.
As P.J. O’Rourke says, “If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free.”