This is not a political site. This is an anti-political site. We agree with the goals of individual liberty, free markets, and peace.

9/28/17

Take a Knee

Possibly the last thing anyone needs is another know-it-all to pontificate about the recent controversy regarding professional athletes taking a knee during the national anthem.

I'll leave the debate about the merits or "demerits" to others because my opinion on those things is superfluous at this point. Battle lines have been drawn and the war rages on.

Of course I have feelings about the issue, it's just that I feel differently about different aspects of it. That may seem like the safe route, but it actually guarantees that I will piss off everyone at least a little bit. It's familiar territory for me. Anyway, someone else has already said whatever I might say and who the hell needs an echo of emotional outcries?

So when deciding to put in my two cents (one dollar after inflation) I thought I would share what might be the possible positive results of the controversy.

First, it's the controversy itself that is positive. That's right, the controversy has brought the issue of free speech back into the conversation for those willing to listen past the noise to hear the sounds of an honest debate concerning free speech.

One part of that debate is the one about football players. (Yes I understand that some do and some don't think it's a free speech issue) Another is so called "safe zones" on college campuses. One more is the shouting down of opposing opinions on any range of issues so that others are unable to hear differing viewpoints. That also includes the attempts to prevent invited speakers from communicating with interested parties on campus and elsewhere. Finally, so called "Whistle blowing" is a contentious issue. You can probably think of others.

The debate needs to be refreshed regularly lest future generations forget why we have a first amendment and why we should constantly examine what it means.

One other possible positive that came to mind was my own debate with myself about whether or not I wanted to continue to watch sports on TV when I am not getting what I expected from the experience.

For me, sports are a distraction from unpleasant reports about politicians and other nonsense. When I turn on Fox or MSNBC (almost never for either) I don't expect to see a football game. When I turn on sports I don't expect to see politics. Either one of those things causes me to lose interest. I'm losing interest lately.

So I decided to think about un-watching sports again until the whole thing gets sorted out. Oh wait! I just remembered that tonight is the Bears / Packers game. I guess I'll just tune in after the kickoff. (Someone just lost the debate between me and myself, but I'm not sure who.)

I think I'll take a knee when the Bears commit their first turnover.





9/26/17

Discussion Question, Part Two

A few people weighed in on the first question in the previous post.

The answer we were looking for (not necessarily the correct answer, since the question was general in nature) was; "NO, people should not be punished if they have done nothing wrong."

The question it beggared was; Should people who have done nothing to deserve reward be rewarded? Unlike the first question I think the answer to that question is somewhat blurred in many minds.

As a society we reward many who aren't deserving. It always leads to unintended consequences for society even if the consequences for those doing the rewarding are clear once we ask ourselves why they are handing out the rewards. On this point the answer is; government trades our money as a reward for political power via votes.

This rather circuitous path to my point, not to mention the garbled and awkward process, has probably bored you to a blank stare by now. So let's get to the conclusion.

When politicians give undeserved rewards to companies after suckering us into believing it's for our own good they achieve their intended purposes, not ours.

The answer to the second question is, NO.

Subsidies as payments for power are an abuse of power and wrong. No matter who is being subsidized. Whether it's corporations, small businesses or individuals, the results always have consequences. Usually bad consequences. So politicians are being rewarded for bad behavior.

By reading this you have been punished without guilt, or rewarded without merit. Only you can judge that.

I always urge people to reject the practice of government subsidies and punishments. I suggest starting from the most expensive, corporate subsidies. Only then should we be working down to buying people off with others' money. Both are horrible. One costs more than the other and is easier to stop.

As always, your comments are solicited.



9/23/17

Discussion Question

It may seem like a silly question to which virtually everyone knows the answer, but it's not. It's a question that begs another question.

Question: Should a person who has done nothing wrong be punished?

PS...Just because the question might be answered differently by different people does not mean that they don't know the correct answer.

Disclaimer...I didn't make up this question.


PPS...There is a comment section below.

9/16/17

Sugar is Addictive and We Are All Addicted

I don't agree with 100% of what Lustwig says, but I agree with the vast majority of it.

I wouldn't have been able to agree or disagree if I had not watched it and a lot of other opinions on the topic as well. What a ridiculous thing to say! So obvious it need not be said.

Except that most humans are resistant to change, particularly in regard to their own comfortable habits. Therefore, they do not read or watch things that threaten to force them to make uncomfortable choices.

It wouldn't matter unless the consequences for our own health and that of our children were not so profound. I think it matters.


1/30/17

This Blog is a Failure



By Grant Davies

When I first started this blog back in 2008 (yes, it has been that long) it looked different than it does now. A lot has changed over the years.

I don't write as much anymore but I don't think that caused the failure. My writing was never very good (in some cases dreadful) but people didn't seem to mind too much if the message I was sending got through.

I will opine that the writing has gotten less dreadful over the years. So the writing itself probably didn't cause the failure. The failure was in the concept, not necessarily the execution.

The current description at the top of the page explains "This is not a political site. This is an anti-political site. Our purpose is to advance civil society and the freedom philosophy and perhaps have a little fun while we're at it." And that is true now. I can't even remember what it was before I changed it to that. But the title of the blog tells what I really wanted the blog to become.

"What we Think and Why" referred to my desire that people could read what I wrote and then comment. What "we" think referred to everyone who read the blog, not just my opinion. The "why" part was my hope that people would not just spout off, agreeing or disagreeing, but explaining why they thought what they thought. Perhaps they would even include links to the articles or studies that explained why.

I was hoping for thoughtful discussion. It didn't happen to any acceptable degree. A few people (not too many) commented on the posts a bit in the beginning. They mostly do not anymore. Those who did were mostly agreeing with me. Affirmation was not my goal.

So, the site has become what I think and why. Question is, who cares? I try to make the topics compelling, but my opinions don't pass the "compelling" test. I post things that I suspect many people haven't spent much time thinking about, much less reading about. The idea wasn't to educate people. After all, who the heck am I to do that? It was an effort to expose people to articles, authors, and concepts they didn't usually address. That part was mostly a success I think.

But the failure was in the communication part. What we've got here, is failure to communicate. And I'm not sure exactly why it works better on some social media, like FaceBook, than it does on this blog.

Anyone who has a thoughtful opinion about what they think about that and why, is invited to comment below. I don't expect a flood of replies because, in that regard, this blog is a failure.


1/17/17

Shame on Me

"Never before have I written so long a letter. I'm afraid it is much too long to take your precious time. I can assure you that it would have been much shorter if I had been writing from a comfortable desk, but what else can one do when he is alone in a narrow jail cell, other than write long letters, think long thoughts and pray long prayers?" --- Martin Luther King, Jr. 



By Grant Davies

In April 1963, only a few days after my thirteenth birthday, Martin Luther King was sitting in a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama, writing a letter to some clergymen. The letter he wrote was not on my radar screen. I was preparing to graduate from elementary school.

Looking back now I only vaguely recall hearing his name. I certainly didn't know anything about him. I remember later hearing that he was a "negro agitator." It didn't sound like a good thing to be.

But I had other things on my mind. I was alternately terrified and anxious to attend high school in a few months. I cared about girls and my paper route. As the next few years went by I became more aware of who he was but my focus was still on girls and my various jobs.

I wonder now if my outlook on life would have been somewhat different if I had read that letter and had the maturity to understand its contents back then. I'll never know.

Today, I saw a post on Facebook from a freedom advocate with whom I am acquainted. His name is Ken Prazak. He confessed: "I am a bit ashamed to say that I had never read this all the way through. I regard it as one of the greatest arguments for freedom and justice ever written. I look at it as a universal argument, not only for the "negro" but for all mankind." He was, of course, referring to that same letter written in that Birmingham jail cell.

Now I'm sixty-six years old and I guess it's never too late. I decided to follow his lead and read it in its entirety.

I agree with his comment about the letter. I read it. Shame on me for not reading it sooner.

Letter from a Birmingham jail.