Friday, April 18, 2008

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Boycotting the Olympics

There's been a lot of talk lately about boycotting the opening ceremony of the upcoming Olympics in China. A lot of this pressure for boycotting is falling on President Bush, among other world leaders, who has recently indicated that he will still attend the opening ceremonies.

Presidential contenders Obama and Clinton stated a boycott should occur and I don't recall hearing anything from McCain yet.

I have two issues with this whole thing:

1. Do the Olympics need to be politicized? Aren't the problems we have in the world caused by politics? Wouldn't creating more politics to solve the problems created by politics be the same thing as drinking more alcohol to quit drinking alcohol?

2. Our President and potential Presidents seem to be sending mixed messages (except McCain, who has said nothing yet).

Senator Obama/Clinton: The oppression China has on Tibet and the genocide China sustains in Darfur are things America should not stand for, but taking out the oppressive regime and genocide caused by Saddam in Iraq was wrong.

President Bush: We can take out Saddam for the oppression and genocide that was taking place in Iraq, plus Saddam had WMD. But with China, who is itself oppressive and sustains genocide in Darfur all while possessing nuclear weapons, let's do nothing.

What are they thinking? Are they thinking at all?

Saturday, April 5, 2008

State Rights - Laboratories of Freedom

I hear a lot of different arguments for and against the issue known as State Rights.

A "no one size fits all" theory is the reason I most often hear to support state rights and I can't see a flaw in that. To assume that one kind of solution - one kind of ideology - one idea only will work for everyone across the nation at the federal level, no matter what the demographic, no matter what perspective, and no matter what external factors is probably folly.

This is where state rights can be useful. With each state government able to do things their own way, we can offer a dish of multiple delights that can appease more than just one group of people. Such a method enhances freedom.

The downside of this, say those who are against state rights, is that if a state is allowed to do things their way, would they not be able to do things that have come to be considered undesirable by most people under federal rule, such as slavery and/or dissolving individual rights?

To this I would say that, normally, such things could fester, if the states were allowed to do anything they wanted. But this is where those who are against state rights fail to take into account something that does away with that concern: The federal Constitution.

If states continued to follow the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, such as they are currently required to do by law, then why would we have to worry about states conducting themselves in unsavory ways such as bringing back slavery and/or dissolving individual rights?

States can still follow the federal Constitution and still be very different from one another (and the federal government) in several ways, offering a multitude of possibilities to more than one kind of perspective and circumstance - more freedom.

This is often known as "Laboratories of Democracy". I happen to call it "Laboratories of Freedom", since the results are not always democratic, nor do they have to be democratic in order to be considered laboratories of freedom. The mere fact that they can do things their way, even if an undemocratic way, make them laboratories of freedom. (The federal government itself is not democratic).

In fact, the Constitution encourages this and has written it into law, in the 10th Amendment - The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States....