Wanted: Universal Translator for Political Speech

Young Turks: Glenn Beck’s view of FDR

This discussion of Glenn Beck from the Young Turks sums up so neatly the political divide between the left and right in America. It shows how the left and right have very different definitions of the following:

  • Rights
  • Where the middle ground is in America
  • History
  • Communism
  • Health Care
  • Facts
  • Oppression

Just as Americans and the British are separated by a common language, so are the left and right in America. If someone from the UK said “I like a fag when I’m pissed,” (i.e. “I like a cigarette when I’m drunk”), I wouldn’t assume they are crazy, because I know they have different meanings for the same words.

I’ve heard countless discussions just like this one, where one side refers to opposing views as making “no sense at all.”  When people start with completely different definitions and make no attempt to understand other side’s definitions, it should come as no surprise that the other side sounds crazy.

I wonder if the universal translator on Star Trek would work for political speech?

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Health Care Reform Bill – A Modern Advanced Civil Right?

Health care reform was sold with the argument that all Americans had the right to health care. How can something you are forced to do be considered a right? Call me mad, call me crazy, but I thought a right was something you could choose to do, or not do.

Imagine –

You were required to speak out.

You were forced to prove you are a member of a religious organization.

You were mandated to publish something.

You must own a weapon to defend yourself.

You had to peaceably assemble a certain amount of times each year.

Imagine if you didn’t do any of the above, you had to pay a 750 dollar fine for not exercising each of these rights.

This is the logic behind the health care reform bill: you have the right to health care insurance, and if you choose not to exercise this new right, you’ll pay a heavy penalty.

To sum it up, we are are being sold a lie that individual rights are an old-fashioned notion. A negative campaign is being waged that says America needs to change and be more like modern advanced countries that believe society as a whole has rights that supersede individual rights. Putting individual liberties first is only old-fashioned to Americans, because the rest of the world is still catching up with the concept. Ignoring individual rights is an age-old concept and that can hardly be described as modern or advanced.

Let me point out some less advertised features of these advanced countries American has been compared to. These are examples of what happens in countries where individual rights are placed behind society rights:

Canada – The Customs and Revenue Agency is responsible for determining which books, videos, comics, and other material should be allowed into the country.

Germany – Declared the Church of Scientology unconstitutional.

France – Wants fines for wearing burqas in public.

United Kingdom – Censors political speech and attitudes.

These countries should be examples of what not to do; they are example of the dangers of putting individual rights at the back of bus. Don’t look to them for examples on how to run America, because changing the definition of rights is not progress, it’s not advanced, and it is not a bright future.

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Politics in Star Trek

The NRO has a post that touched a nerve in me – Congratulations to Captain Picard!

This line is the one that set me off “Its (Star Trek) messages are unabashedly liberal ones of the early post-Cold War era – peace, tolerance, due process, progress (as opposed to skepticism about human perfectibility).”

Peace, tolerance, due process, and progress are not the sole possession of liberals. Peace, tolerance, due process, progress are essential for freedom to survive. These principles are very important for free markets to thrive.  I’m putting this aside for now because it could easily turn into a book of quotes from the founding fathers supporting all these “liberal” messages.

The “touched a nerve” issue is that Star Trek somehow represents a Socialist or Communist utopia. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard a conservative poo-poo Star Trek as liberal propaganda.

Star Trek was centered on the Federation of Planets. The Federation is very similar to the Articles of Confederation of the United States of America because each member planet retained its sovereignty, freedom, and independence. There are state-rights conservatives that would love to have the same rights as members of the Federation.

Star Trek had replicators, not socialism – A device which can produce anything you need would have a huge impact on any society. The concept of ownership wouldn’t have the same importance because everything could easily be replaced. Imagine someone walking up and pointing a phaser at someone in the Star Trek universe and demanding their shoes. The victim would probably say “Is your replicator broken? If it is, you can use mine.” Theft would probably be classified as a mental illness, because there would be no need to steal. Once there is a limitless supply of food and clothing, ownership becomes meaningless.

Star Treks biggest, nasty, evil villain was the Borg. The Borg are the embodiment of all things communist. To the Borg individuality was irrelevant and made each person alike. Under Borg control, there was no privacy at all–not even the privacy of your own thoughts. The Borg sought to enslave others and “improve” them by force into a regime of total control.

Star Trek has the Prime Directive  – “As the right of each sentient species to live in accordance with its normal cultural evolution is considered sacred, no Starfleet personnel may interfere with the normal and healthy development of alien life and culture. This directive takes precedence over any and all other considerations, and carries with it the highest moral obligation.” I’m fed up with lawmakers interfering with my normal development and culture. I can only wish that some day the United States government adopts this attitude towards its own citizens. A form of governing with a Prime Directive of not meddling in the affairs of others; it seems only possible in science fiction.

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