The Industrial Workers of the World poster “Pyramid of Capitalist System” (1911) (from here)

Have you embraced tyranny? What exactly is tyranny? The dictionary defines the word as “oppressive power”, but what makes the use of power oppressive? What is the burden that makes power oppressive?

Consider the First Amendment to our Constitution, a document designed in opposition to tyranny.

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

What does that amendment do? The first thing it does is to prohibit Congress from imposing beliefs — so-called truths — upon the People. The second thing it does is to prohibit Congress from interfering when the People seek to share their beliefs with each other and their leaders.

What is the object of propaganda? Propagandists desire to spread a belief or an ideology. To some extent we all propagandize each other when we share our beliefs. So there is nothing necessarily wrong with propaganda. However, there is a problem when we tell others untruths, especially when we do so deliberately.  We can become tyrannical when we believe a lie, especially the lie that we have the right to impose our own beliefs, especially untruths, upon others. Then we embrace tyranny, the tyranny of “bad people”, of course.

Where does the temptation to tyrannize others come from? All of us wish to believe we know the TRUTH, that ours is the CORRECT viewpoint. In our pride, we too often overlook the obvious. The universe is infinite. We are finite. Only our Creator, God, knows the TRUTH. To gain accurate knowledge of the TRUTH, we must know God.

Deuteronomy 32:4 New King James Version (NKJV)

He is the Rock, His work is perfect;
For all His ways are justice,
A God of truth and without injustice;
Righteous and upright is He.

So what then is the point of blogging, especially about politics and religion. When I write about my viewpoint, what can I say about the TRUTH? I am not God. In fact, that is one reason it is not that easy to persuade others of the TRUTH. We may not accept our own limitations, but we seem to be quite happy to accept someone else’s limitations. Thus, when we propagandize others, all we can do is demonstrate we have thought about a topic and arrived at our own sincerely held beliefs. We cannot necessarily convince another person that what makes sense to “me” should also make sense to them. In fact, the Bible says as much.

1 John 4:6 New King James Version (NKJV)

We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

Given our limitations, wisdom suggests we should refrain from forcing others to adopt our practices, especially our beliefs, unless we have a dire need. We should not punish others for their beliefs just because we can. Unfortunately, many people would do exactly that. Why? Factional politics are the way of the world. To stop would-be tyrants — to stop ourselves — the founders created a constitutional republic. Consider THE ADVANTAGE OF A REPUBLIC OVER A DEMOCRACY.

Note that I intend to write a sequel to this post. The subject? A very successful bit of propaganda. Please stay tuned.





  1. Interesting topic Tom and one I frequently ponder myself. I like what you have to say about allowing others to have different opinions. It’s one thing to blog about your thoughts and have a rational back and forth with those that disagree. Heck that’s kind of the whole point of blogging. When we lose site of our limits though and refuse to recognize that yes, even our own selves can be wrong, that’s when things usually devolve in to a useless shouting match.

    I wrote a blog post on this a couple years ago, https://freedomthroughempowerment.wordpress.com/2016/04/03/the-freedom-of-being-wrong/

  2. Tom, Philip Augustine, You asked,

    “Where is it being subsidized? Furthermore, is it sustainable and how will it hurt if it proves not to be stable?”

    Great insight, We fools who pay taxes to the government to subsidize postal shipment is the answer and will be a subject in a future post. Lucky Trump is on to this and doing something about it.

    If interested,



    Regards and good will blogging.

  3. One of the aspects that I do like about the Catholic economic system “distributism,” although some will say it’s merely socialism renamed, is that there is an aspect of a respect for private property. However, the stress is placed on the use of capital in your local area. For example, instead of letting Bezos eat for you by constantly buying from Amazon for Christmas; go to a local store and buy Christmas gifts for your loved ones. Now, capital is spread amongst people you know in the community to which you live rather than concentrated to the few.

    Again, there’s a hierarchy so there may not be a store other than Walmart that has the goods you need. Nonetheless, going to Walmart in your local town that provides jobs for those in your community. Naturally, this is against the logic of Capitalism, which stresses the need to buy goods in the most cost-effective way. I suppose there’s no manner to compel people to buy locally at higher costs, but perhaps an appeal to compassion may redirect a few.

    Christianity has always stressed the community with its appeal to Charity. And this was done so through alms and the monastic system. Naturally, one can easily make the argument that from the Protestant Reformation and the reduction of the monasteries; their liquidations, the Enlightenment and its stressed on individual sovereignty, the co-opting of Statism–Communism of the term Individual–to break down traditional institutions of community in the name of “individualism” has led many Christians to forgo traditional Christian virtues and way of life.

    1. @Philip

      I agree with your desire stress community, but I see the threat posed by big corporations a bit differently.

      There is a place for big organizations. Some tasks gain significant cost advantages from economies of scale. However, the larger a company grows, the more difficult it becomes to manage. So there is a tradeoff. Eventually, the management problems should outweigh any advantages that come from economies of scale.

      So why do we see so many humongous companies these days. It is easier for a large corporation to weld political influence. Crony capitalism.

      Think about the tax advantages Amazon accrued when it staged a competition among state and local governments for the “privilege” of hosting its HQ. For the sake of some local businesses (ironically), the politicians participating in that competition actually intended to harm the interests of most of the taxpayers. There is no free lunch. Someone has to pay for Amazon’s freeloading.

      At the same time Amazon reduced its tax load, it gained a competitive advantage over its competitors. Hence, I see government, even local government, as detrimental to the formation of communities, when politicians pick marketplace winners and losers. Not their job.

      1. Run the numbers with Amazon. If their subscribers are paying $120 for membership and they are shipping things that would cost you approx. $35-70 dollars to ship at no cost in two days. Any other business would lose money. Where is it being subsidized? Furthermore, is it sustainable and how will it hurt if it proves not to be stable?

        1. @Philip

          UPS gives Amazon a volume discount. Amazon probably does the initial sorting for UPS.

          There are two basic ways to make money in retail, high markup and in sales volume. Amazon goes for volume. Undoubtedly, Amazon sacrifices part of the markup to pay for shipping and handling. The advantages their government cronies give them helps to make this scheme profitable. In addition, Amazon doesn’t pay sales people and doesn’t have to bother with expensive retail space. They just let their brick and mortar competitors sell their customers on a product.

          If we still had tightknit communities, we would feel guilty about going into a store, deciding what we want, and then buying it from Amazon. We would also take the product guarantee of a neighbor more seriously than one from Amazon or Wal-Mart. We have few such communities anymore.

          1. True, it reminds me off “Tommy Boy” selling brakes. The store wanted a “guarantee” on the box. Tommy Boy says, “You can get a good look at a T-bone sticking your head up the cow’s %#* but I’ll take the butcher’s word.” More or less your point of a guarantee of a neighbor vs. the big guys.

  4. Perhaps the main problem isn’t that people know too little, but that we all think that they know far more than we do. We don’t just have varying degrees of ignorance (which is natural), but of more concern, we have a general massive inflation of pride in each our own lack of ignorance.

    If everyone is an expert on everything, then no one is an expert on anything. The natural inclination of most of the very smart people here, myself included, is to reason broad solutions about education or politics or governmental systemics. Most people in the world, on the other hand, just seem to focus on making a living, raising a family, entertaining themselves, and for many, mostly on Sundays, seeking some group confirmation that they are on the right path to Heaven. We here are too full of our own sense of intellectual superiority to see that we are shining only a small flashlight into the infinite dark void. Most other people are just trying to get by. We few here are subject to delusions of intellectual pride while the less intellectual many are ripe for the magical scams of carnival barkers and televangelists, the age old promises of bread and circus.

    I’m all for education, but I’m just not sure that we can educate our way out of the original sin of pride that landed us in this imperfect fallen world to begin with. Even a return to basic virtue is not a “solution” to all and every complex and ambiguous dilemma where we seek pleasure or avoid suffering so much as the pursuit of virtue renders both the grateful joy in our pleasures and the pain of our natural sufferings meaningful and good for their own sake because it is our feeble attempt to follow God’s Will that we love, and because our every expression of virtue, no matter how inexorably imperfect in its application to our endless intractable dilemmas, is our way of manifesting the love that is God’s Will.

    I know that Left and Right wing propaganda has rendered the word fraught with connotation, but, in a sense, everyone who writes here is a progressive of sorts, at least in that they are trying to render opinions on solutions that they think will make our country and its citizens progressively a little better off than they are now. Elsewise, if one really believes we are doomed to a stasis of hopeless random suffering without individual and social improvement, why even venture an opinion? Even those of you here who believe government is the problem, not the solution, proclaim a reverence for the improvement to governing that was our original Constitution that often seemingly borders on fundamentalist scriptural idolatry and founding father hero worshipping.

    Maybe, just maybe, progress is not more government or less government, more individualism or less individualism. Maybe progress is the incremental pursuit of greater virtuousness in all things, the endless attempt, through love, to render a finite and fallen world, just slightly better than before, a joyful struggle where it is the virtue in the struggle itself, not ever receding horizon, that defines its own end, it’s own good.

    What if each of us, grateful for but humble in our own expertise and opinions on everything, began to recognize that the virtuousness of our approach to the problem, the struggle, the suifering itself, IS the goal, the solution and the end in and of itself? What would that look like? How would we treat each other, our own feeble opinions and each other’s opinions? How much more humble would we be in our own supposed educated expertise, and how much more would we revere the virtuously intended actually more expert opinions of others?

    1. @tsalmon

      Thoughtful comment.

      Maybe progress is the incremental pursuit of greater virtuousness in all things, the endless attempt, through love, to render a finite and fallen world, just slightly better than before, a joyful struggle where it is the virtue in the struggle itself, not ever receding horizon, that defines its own end, it’s own good.

      What is progress? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Different people have different ideas about the purpose of life, even among those who call themselves Christian.

      Some people look at the world, and they want to make it as productive as possible. Many of these see money, profit, as the measure of their success. Others would turn most of our planet into a nature preserve. Both groups are “expert” in getting what they want, and both groups would use government to enforce their ideal of progress.

      So what is an “expert”? I just know “good” intentions are not enough.

      How do we resolve conflicting beliefs? With “expertise”? Whose?

      We don’t have easy answers. We don’t share the same goals so we define problems the same way. We just know conflict and war ruins just about everyone’s conception of progress.

      Therefore, commonsense suggests restraint. As much as possible we should let people run their own lives. We should also insist that everyone bear the consequences of their own behavior and not let anyone foist their sins upon others.

      1. I see some truth in what you say. Just a few thoughts:

        On virtuous intentions:
        They say that the road to Hell is paved with good intententions, but it must also be that the road to Heaven is also similarly paved.

        On expertise:
        A carpenter who only owns a hammer may be likely to see everything as a nail so you may not want him to do your heart surgery, but if in such need, you will likely want to trust some kind of an heart expert if you don’t want to unnecessarily die.

        On individualism:
        They say that no man is an island, even though everyone at least every once in a while would like the wonderful blood purchased privilege just to be left alone.

        They also say that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. For good or for bad most of our success as a species has been through the synergy of our working together to solve problems. As I understand it, even our practice of Christianity cannot wholly be an individual sport – Jesus seems to have said a good deal about our social responsibilities to one another.

        As you say, there are no easy solutions. Most Americans of goodwill would agree when lines are obviously crossed into the anarchy of too much individualism or the totalitarianism of too much collectivism. However, in the virtuous middle ground balance between our social responsibilities to one another versus our rights to be left alone, advocates on the Right and the Left love to imagine their own ideological bright lines where none actually naturally exist. God just didn’t make it that easy for us in this finite and fallen world.

        1. @tsalmon

          Virtuous middle ground? I use to read fantasy novels. The current crop of authors enjoy writing about and praising “the balance”. Eventually, I figured out what was wrong with “the balance”.

          There is such a thing as moderation. Temperance is a virtue, but Wisdom requires us to distinguish between good and evil, not to moderate between the two.

          What gets us into Heaven? When God in His grace gives us the Wisdom to love and trust Him without any moderation.

          1. I don’t know whether our psychological nature craves such certainty or it is a flaw of our generation, but you seem to have placed your finger upon the problem that I think may be polarizing our country and tearing apart much of the Western world. Perhaps true wisdom isn’t so much a certainty of knowing the right answer as the recognition that you are uncertain and courageously moving forward anyway.

            As I have said before, most virtuous behavior balances imperfectly between competing vices. Courage balances somewhere between the cowardly act of running away and the foolhardy act of running headlong into danger. Charity balances precariously between stinginess and being a spendthrift. And so on. So I’m just not sure how you can say that true wisdom is never about balance and moderation. It seems to me that in most of the issues that people of good will actually dispute it almost always Is a difficult balancing of conflicting rights or some amorphous middle ground in a conflict between our recognized rights and our recognized responsibilities. That is indeed what courts spend much of their time doing.

            I confess that I have thought and prayed about this a good deal lately and that I struggle with what it really means to turn oneself over to God’s Will. But I just don’t think that for most of us even a total consummation of that commitment equates with absolute knowlege of God’s Will in every complex and ambiguous dilemma that life throws at us. I distrust the prophet who proclaims to know with absolute certainty that his or her answer to such dilemmas comes from his or her supposed self enslavement to an absolute knowledge of God’s Will and I wonder if, in such obviously complex and ambiguous situations, that person just craves a certainty of opinion that God rarely grants us mere humans in this finite and fallen world.

            Instead, the small epiphany that I think that I have been graced with in this area is that turning oneself over to God’s Will does not always mean that one now always knows what to do on every difficult issue because he thinks he has somehow divined it from the Bible, but that he now approaches the issue of uncertainty and suffering with joy and love and kindness and virtue, and with Jesus flowing through him in that way, he will imperfectly, humbly do the best that he can. Scripture doesn’t so much have certain answers for every complex and ambiguous dilemma as it gives us a the psychological tools from which to struggle through the questions.

            True wisdom therefore doesn’t always derive from some God given certainty so much as the, yes, moderate and balanced virtuous attitude with which we struggle to find the best solution that we can, and from a recognition that, as much as we may crave certainty, such human proclamations of divine certainty in the face of obvious dilemma is just the opposite of wisdom. It is the pride that comes before the fall.

          2. A wonderful metaphor about the prideful sin of certainty is the story of Adam and Eve. Didn’t the snake actually tempt them with the forbidden fruit of certain knowledge of the difference between good and evil, saying then they would be just like God? Wasn’t it their prideful will that they could have such perfect certainty that got them into trouble? Instead of remaining in perfect innocence and ignorance of even the struggle, these first humans, through that prideful will, inadvertently chose to fall into the struggle itself, where good and evil constantly clash, not just at their purest extremes, but more often in a very ambiguous and endlessly complex middle ground where only God can always perfectly see the difference between the two. I wonder if one moral of the story is that every time our pride deceives us into proclaiming certain knowledge between good and evil, we are just again craving that forbidden fruit, and again falling from grace.

          3. @tsalmon

            Why do I say Wisdom is not about achieving some kind of balance? Well, consider how a Christian defines wisdom.
            => https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/what-wisdom/

            => https://www.gotquestions.org/wisdom-knowledge.html

            Wisdom is the right application of knowledge. To apply knowledge correctly, we must strive to be in the will of God. We obey God because we love God. When we love God, we can be wise because we will discern between good and evil. Instead of acting out of pride, we will humbly obey God’s Will.

            Why did Adam and Eve behave so unwisely? Why were they disobedient? Consider the example of Jesus Christ. Read Philippians 2:1-11.

            Can we do what Jesus did? No, but we can follow His example and strive to obey God.

            What is the pragmatic alternative? What does some sort of balance look like? Read Revelation 3:14-22.

          4. Tom,

            It is always a pleasure to discuss things with you, even when we disagree, but you do have a strange habit of lecturing me back in a different way basically the same argument that I just made, and then pretending that you are correcting some error in my thinking. Well, maybe I do the same thing to you sometimes.

            Anyway, I have no disagreement with any of that. We both know that the “discernment” that leads to wisdom in a Christian sense is not the Manichaeisn dualism of simply choosing between an obvious good or an obvious evil. We both know that we are often “discerning” between competing goods and lesser evils. It is not real “discernment” in any sense to imagine absolutes where such difficult discerning is actually required. In fact, I think we both would agree that that is the opposite of wisdom.

            As you say, Jesus had perfect discernment, and therefore He could have absolute certainty in His proclamations. Because we can only imitate Jesus, the rest of us should necessarily have far more humility about our certainty, especially when our mere opinion actually calls for such difficult and time consuming discernment.

            Given our family nature, I’m sure you will disagree with all that, but before that default reaction, I wish you would consider my theory here a minute (you know, practice being discerning) because I think it contributes to your point in your post here. I think what you see plaguing us is not a tyranny of opinion so much as a tyranny of “certainty” in opinion by both extremes. Where goodwill exists, people who are more humble about their certainty, especially where actual moral dilemmas exist, are far less likely to be tyrannical, don’t you think?

          5. @tsalmon

            I enjoy our discussions too. I am just sorry I seem to be lecturing. Nevertheless, I don’t think we are making the same argument.

            Wisdom is not about seeking the correct balance or an optimum of some sort, but it does involve picking sides. If we are not Christians, if we have not chosen to follow Jesus Christ, then we are still slaves to sin.

            When we are wise, disciples of Jesus, we can correctly decide what should be our goal and the principles we need to follow to achieve our goal. Do some of those principles, or virtues, involve seeking a correct balance? Yes, but what is the correct balance? That depends upon what we are trying to achieve.

            Consider an extreme example. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and such tyrants were in their own eyes wise, but they were slaves to sin. Do you think they sought the sort of virtues you would approve? How do you think they evaluated competing goods and lesser evils? Did they not call what is evil good and what is good evil?

            Consider this psalm. Note in particular the last verse.

            Psalm 111 New King James Version (NKJV)
            Praise to God for His Faithfulness and Justice

            111 Praise[a] the Lord!
            I will praise the Lord with my whole heart,
            In the assembly of the upright and in the congregation.
            2 The works of the Lord are great,
            Studied by all who have pleasure in them.
            3 His work is honorable and glorious,
            And His righteousness endures forever.
            4 He has made His wonderful works to be remembered;
            The Lord is gracious and full of compassion.
            5 He has given food to those who fear Him;
            He will ever be mindful of His covenant.
            6 He has declared to His people the power of His works,
            In giving them the [b]heritage of the nations.
            7 The works of His hands are verity[c] and justice;
            All His precepts are sure.
            8 They stand fast forever and ever,
            And are done in truth and uprightness.
            9 He has sent redemption to His people;
            He has commanded His covenant forever:
            Holy and awesome is His name.
            10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
            A good understanding have all those who do His commandments.
            His praise endures forever.

            Why do we fear the Lord? “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
            The whole earth is full of His glory!” (Isaiah 6:3).

            We are sinful creatures. When we compare ourselves to God, we are appalled that He suffers us to exist and afraid.

            The fact is that there are absolutes. Some things are just plain wrong, but we are fallen creatures. Instead of glorifying God, we would glorify ourselves.

            When we fear the Lord, we have begun the first step in correcting our error, repenting of our sinful nature. Then we turn to God’s Word and seek to follow His commands. Any other choice leads to evil.

            So what about certainty, certainty with respect to the abuse of government power? From time to time, various factions will for their own personal gain use government power to force others to bend to their will. We know innately such conduct is wrong, but we have the capacity to rationalize the most absurdly wrong conduct.

            We each belong to God. None of us has the right to enslave someone else, not even partially. We can make excuses for doing so, but enslaving our neighbors is not the same thing as loving them. Unfortunately, that does not stop us from convincing ourselves otherwise. Hence this passage in Proverbs.

            Proverbs 3:5-8 New King James Version (NKJV)
            5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
            And lean not on your own understanding;
            6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
            And He shall [a]direct your paths.
            7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
            Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
            8 It will be health to your [b]flesh,
            And strength[c] to your bones.

          6. @tsalmon

            It occurs to me that I may be confusing you by seeming to suggest we can obey God perfectly. Not possible. We are fallen creatures, works in progress. We don’t have perfect knowledge. A bad compromise is often better than none at all.

            Here is an example => https://www.usconstitution.net/franklin.html

            Franklin’s speech is akin to what you are endorsing, but Franklin was advocating a constitutional republic, not anything approaching the Socialism we now have.

          7. Well, you are right about the fact that we often talk past each other. I appreciate the sermon, but for the most part, I think that you may be preaching to the choir here. What you are saying is inacted in the passion and the celebration of every Catholic Mass that I have ever gone to all my life. These are profound mysteries that we fathom with our hearts and come to rejoice in with the the grace of God out of our faith. Even at times in my life when I have been less mindful of God than others, these mysteries remained ingrained somewhere deep within my soul, just as I am sure they were waiting somewhere in yours to be more recently reawakened.

            We can certainly discuss the finer points of whether, once one has chosen to follow the Will of God, one should be driven more by our awe of God’s greatness or by love, the love by which God continuously suspends into being the universe and every thing in it, including us, but you may essentially assume no basic disagreement here. As I have said before, as I have gotten older, I have only become more basically orthodox in my faith, not less.

            I don’t want you to think that your sermons aren’t appreciated. They are. I find then very instructive and always learn something new to reinforce my faith. It’s just that you seem to be laying the same wonderful predicates down over and over so that the discussion stalls there.

            I also agree that pride is the major problem, and it is not confined to nonbelievers. In some ways we Christians are the worst in this regard. Because we have been awakened to a wonderful mystery, we tend to literally lord it over others, like we have the latest shining new toy, and disregard what may be another’s greater wisdom of a problem simply because they lack our grand epiphany. We miss the whole point of a Christian enlightenment to love with our smug exclusion, , a smugness that belays the fragility of our own commitment more than it actually impresses anyone or convinces them of that our own certainty is founded in anything but our own pride. Faith is not the same thing a certainty, and except for those that God has graced to the extreme, such exclusive pride may indeed be the opposite of actual grace. For most of us, even the saints among us, a humble and contrite doubt is and should be, I think, our constant nagging companion.

            Let us also separate out here people of goodwill from the cynical and mean spirited, or referring to scripture, those Niebuhr distinguished as children of darkness verses children of light. What I am specifically writing about here are people whose intentions are essentially toward virtue, whether they are believers or not, and regardless of the true profundity of that belief. Certainty for the child of darkness is not his problem – cynicism is. For the children of light, those who basically hold moral intention in common, despite that commonality, I think it is that pride of certainty that makes us fight and kill one another.

  5. Tom.

    Your post begins with the MAIN problem in our nation, too much TV, etc., and not enough time to understand the brilliantine of James Madison and founders of our Constitution.

    To become a tyrant in our contemporary times requires a voice to be heard and believed. That takes money.

    To become indoctrinated, ditto, except what is even worse than having no money is having no education of our government.

    In my opinion, our Republic is as predicted by James Madison writings PRESENTLY separated into factions, and special interests.

    My point is to control the effects, elections are not a perfect solution because in Illinois, for example, two Governors in a row used their private money to pay for adds to election advantage.

    How to control money Is simple in my opinion, limit campaign donations to $50 a person. Same in Corporations who “are people too.”

    To repair education, mandatory courses to teach James Madison and our founder’s principals of the Constitution, Federalist Papers, history of our republic before anyone can vote.

    Let’s face it, the majority of voters do not have the slightest understanding of who or what they are voting for, in my opinion. Many of them do not decide until after they see or hear a name recognition on a sign, a TV or Radio paid to add, or a mailing accusing their opponents of something or another.

    These two elements help tyrants and indoctrination to eon elections, in my opinion. Most of the time when they are elected, it is after they do damage to our Republic that the voters get fed up and vote for anyone, and I mean anyone, whether they are good or bad just to get rid of them. Again, after the damage. Sad

    Wisdom is discernment to avoid problems. Without understand and knowledge of the issues, people can vote foolishly.

    I doubt either rof my suggestions will every result because it is the truth, in my opinion. Sad.

    Regard and good will blogging.

    PS Too many guns in USA help stifle a tyrant from using force to gain power.

    1. @Scatterwisdom

      I think we agree upon the nature of the problem, but we differ on the solution.

      Is it a problem that there are big political donors? We probably ought to require politicians to report who gives them money, but donating money to political campaign is a First Amendment right. Are we going to deprive the wealthy of their rights because the rest of us don’t care enough to participate in politics? I think that would backfire.

      Instead of complaining about those who do participate, the rest of us need to do our part. We need to support candidates who are not beholden to big corporations, labor unions, and NGO’s. We need to oppose government favoritism of large organizations so that fewer people have a direct financial interest in the election of certain corrupt politicians.

      Would it help if the government provided people an education in civics? No. There are times when the government has a role, however, when government breaks something that’s an indication we are using government to do something for which it has insufficient competency. Civics education is broken. Education in America is a bureaucratic mess. That’s a good indication government should not be in the education business. The last thing we should want politicians doing is telling our children what to believe. Doesn’t that include civics?

      Before we turn to government, we need to see the solution in the mirror. We need to help and encourage our neighbors to do their part.

      Because giving government more power makes it more dangerous, we must always regard government as the last resort.

      1. Good points. Problem in my experience helping in elections is people who make big donations usually expect special consideration when their candidates win.

        As for voter education, if someone votes just to vote without understanding both sides of issues, I doubt the value of their vote is of the same values Madison had in mind.

        Regards and goodwill blogging

        1. @scatterwisdom

          As for voter education, if someone votes just to vote without understanding both sides of issues, I doubt the value of their vote is of the same values Madison had in mind.

          It was just plain silly to reduce the voting age. When we reduced the voting age to 21, was that for the good of the country or crooked politicians? What is wrong with letting our children get established before we give the right to vote? Whose money is the government spending? Theirs?

          It is just plain crazy to sacrifice the integrity of the vote (increase the risk of election fraud) just so it is a little easier for people to vote. If you are not willing to go to a little trouble, find your voting precinct, go there, stand in line, and fill out a ballot, what are the odds you have studied the issues and the candidates?

    1. @bottomlesscoffee007

      Interesting. Thanks for the link. I checked out the website. Not certain what their political leaning might be.

      Not sure what to make of the outfit. FVA training seems to cover religious freedom, but their blog seems to have a freedom of speech/press focus. That’s important, but it misses the main point of the first amendment.

      1. @Citizen Tom,

        Totally. I am critical of any organization. But if you want to make headway, you must engage. I have sent them a few of my posts. haven’t heard back yet (its been months), but if the 1st is what they proclaim, then they should be “called on the carpet”.

        I don’t trust them either, but it doesn’t prevent me from engaging with them and calling their bluff!

        1. It is FAV (sorry), First Amendment Voice. Don’t exactly understand where this Moon stuff is coming from. The moonies have not been especially active since their founder passed away.

          I suppose it is a good idea to be cautious about who we give money to. If you don’t live in Philadelphia, where you can participate in their functions, it would difficult to see how FAV spends donations.

          1. I followed the registrant’s e-mail addresses for the domain registration. FAV is registered by pmurray@globalpeace.org, globalpeace.org is registered by globalpeacefestival.org, the Global Peace Festival Foundation founded by Hyun Jin Moon of the Unification Movement.

          2. @marmoewp

            Didn’t think to do that. Oh well. At least they allowed that information to remain public. I believe you can pay a fee to keep who owns a domain private.

            Moon owned “The Washington Times”. Liberal Democrats berated “The Washington Times” mercilessly for that.

            Moon left behind a pile of money. Have no idea what it will be used for, but he did not leave it to me. Then I might know.


      1. Yeah, I have no handers. I just exercise my 1st Amendment Right. I need no affiliation for this.

        I do not ask for any donations or provide any training.

        I don’t know and am not affiliated with the unification movement. Organizations usually choose names to fool and get get rich. Be hesitant with every group of people, they always have an ulterior motive.

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