Tuesday, January 31

A Quote to Make You Feel Better

A Great Man once said,

"Some believe there is nothing one man or one woman can do against the enormous array of the world's ills. Yet many of the world's great movements, of thought and action, have flowed from the work of a single man. A young monk began the Protestant reformation, a young general extended an empire from Macedonia to the borders of the earth, and a young woman reclaimed the territory of France. It was a young Italian explorer who discovered the New World, and the thirty-two-year-old Thomas Jefferson who proclaimed that all men are created equal.

"These men moved the world, and so can we all. Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.

"Few are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change. And I believe that in this generation those with the courage to enter the moral conflict will find themselves with companions in every corner of the globe.

"For the fortunate among us, there is the temptation to follow the easy and familiar paths of personal ambition and financial success so grandly spread before those who enjoy the privilege of education. But that is not the road history has marked out for us. Like it or not, we live in times of danger and uncertainty. But they are also more open to the creative energy of men than any other time in history. All of us will ultimately be judged and as the years pass we will surely judge ourselves, on the effort we have contributed to building a new world society and the extent to which our ideals and goals have shaped that effort.

"The future does not belong to those who are content with today, apathetic toward common problems and their fellow man alike, timid and fearful in the face of new ideas and bold projects. Rather it will belong to those who can blend vision, reason and courage in a personal commitment to the ideals and great enterprises of American Society.

"Our future may lie beyond our vision, but it is not completely beyond our control. It is the shaping impulse of America that neither fate nor nature nor the irresistible tides of history, but the work of our own hands, matched to reason and principle, that will determine our destiny. There is pride in that, even arrogance, but there is also experience and truth. In any event, it is the only way we can live."
(I bolded my favorite parts). I'll let the quote speak for itself.

Friday, January 27

When Insanity is More Clear than Reality

You find fafblog!:

Q. Can the president eat a baby?
A. If that baby has suspected ties to al Qaeda, then it's the president's duty to eat it - for the sake of national security.
Q. The president doesn't want to eat sweet, delicious babies. He just wants to protect America from the growing threat of a rogue baby insurgency.
A. Exactly. And nobody will have more compassion for that succulent baby barbecue than him.
Q. How many non-terrorist babies would it be acceptible for the president to accidentally eat in the course of enforcing a rigorous terrorist baby-eating program?
A. First of all, the president would never ever eat a baby unless it was reasonably suspected to be affiliated with possible terroresque program activities. Second of all, do we really wanna start tyin the president's hands when he's tryin to protect everybody from jihadist babies? They could be Islamifying our country's drool supply as we speak!
Q. Sir, I demand the immediate establishment of a cabinet-level Department of Baby-Eating!
A. Just til we win the War on Terror, of course!
Q. And with our sophisticated baby-eating technology we should be taking the Terrorstani capital of Fearlamabad any day now!
A. Of course! But the actual occupation could last quite some time, you understand...
Q. Well, yes. But the fight has to be won. These people want to use terror to destroy our freedom.
A. And that's just un-American.

Wednesday, January 25

Liberal Drinking Tonight...

At the Alehouse (on 6th Street, across the street and a little east from Quizno's) at 8. Well, that's what I remember from last week, so a take it with a grain of salt until otherwise confirmed.

Oh PS: Once we get a settled location, we'll make this an offical chapter of DL, so hold tight.

EDIT: I take that back about 8. I have initiation week stuff to do, so it might not be until 9 that I make it out.

Friday, January 20

Lessions from Drinking Liberally

Though it isn't an offical branch yet, I did learn a few things last night, drinking liberally with Sara and her husband:

- Martini's are delicious. However, just because something is titled "Caramel Apple Martini" does not mean it will taste like a Caramel Apple.

- The internet makes you stupid.

- "Patriarchy" is a word that gets easier to say the more you say it.

- Some songs just need to not be on any jukeboxes.

- Bill Nye would totally win a fight against Beakman from Beakman's world.

Tuesday, January 17

On Drugs, Harm, and John Stuart Mill

I have a counter- intuitive stance on drug use. But it won't be that way after you read what I've come to realize about the drug culture in America. So here goes.

I am totally against the use of drugs. Period. However, I fully endorse the legalization of illegal drugs, marijuana being the prime example. I think drugs are a waste of money, time, and have a horrible effect mental clarity and efficacy. I also think that the government has no place in regulating and criminalizing the distribution and use of said drugs. To understand this, I will start with a very famous quote from a prime ideological figure of Liberalism (with a big 'L'):

The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant.

- John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

This is what is referred to as the 'Harm Principle'. To put it another way: The government can only regulate that behavior which causes harm to others. Think murder, theft, arson, etc... On the flip side is that the government can't regulate what color shoe I wear (for example) because it doesn't hurt anyone. I see drug use in the same light: No one is hurt when someone sits in their room and gets high. There is no direct connection from lighting a bong to actual harm agianst someone (Unless you're dumb enough to burn yourself, but that's your problem).

It's important to know what harm is, too. Oh sure, that heroin needle isn't going in my arm, but what about my morals and sentiments? Are not they hurt and damaged by it? Yes, sure, absolutly. Does it count as harm? No. It doesn't count as being harmed because my morals and sentiments are just that: Ideas. There is no harm inflicted by me seeing a meth head get high-- in the sense that i am part of the community we reside in-- in as much as saying 2+2=5 will hurt my logical brain. It just doesn't cut is as a necessary condition for 'harm'.

There is an aspect of personal harm here. Doing Meth will definately fuck you up, but that doesn't cut it. Remember, we're discussing Liberalism (with a big 'L') here. This is not about what you do to yourself. What is important is your impact on the community that you are in. As long as it is just you, that's fine.


But here is where we should get more proactive. In my ideal world, you can get whatever drugs you want. You want to do that to yourself, fine. It's your life, and I will not tell you how to live it. But --and this is a big but-- if you harm someone else in the process of getting high, you better watch your ass, because the hammer will come down hard. The government has a resposibility to protect and care for the well being of it's citizens. You get high and stop feeding your kids for three days, it is the government's resposibility to punish you and save your kids. When we become parents, we also gain the resposibility to care for these children emotionally, economically and physically. When you drop the ball and go get high, you harm your children. It is here that the government is obligated to step in a remedy the situation.

This shouldn't be regulated to just drugs, either. It is the same situation with a drunk who passes out before dinner. You could even use this rationale to limit smoking. It is not until the activity actually damages the well being of another that the government needs to step in. That may be stretching it a bit, but you get my point. In a society that (ostensibly) stands for life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness, there is some definate hypocrisy in the laws of today. Too much of the drug regulation has been based on personal morals of the law makers. And if you think that just becuase a moral is shared by a majority, it should be law, I'll leave you with another Mill quote:

If mankind minus one were of one opinion, then mankind is no more justified in silencing the one than the one - if he had the power - would be justified in silencing mankind.

- John Stuart Mill

Wednesday, January 11

Moscow Will Soon Drink Liberally

It's high time this town got some more liberal parties going on. Sure, primaries and elections are fun, but we should hang out outside of those scantly annual occurences. So we should start a progressive club called Drinking Liberally.

Now if you're unfamiliar (or don't want to check their site out), here's a few rules:

1.) Drink.

2.) Talk politics (optional. Otherwise, see #1)

There's more, but that's beside the point. What is more important is deciding a place and a time. Personally, I'd prefer one of two. Either Monday nights at The Garden (Blue Mondays), otherwise CoeurdAlene Brewing Co. So use this post to discuss.

Saturday, January 7

One Fine Morning

"What big game are we stalking today, major?"

"Liberals. Check and see what the Wildlife Guide says about 'em."

"The Vanishing Liberal: A beast which once thundered across the American scene in mighty herds. Recently hunted near extinction."

"Gotta be one left around here somewheres... Try the liberal call, boy."

"Welfare! Solar Power! No Nukes!"

"No Nukes! No Nukes"

"GOTCHA!"

"Gun Control! Gun Control!"

*Blam!*

"It's a shame, major. They're more fun than buffalo."

"I think I wounded him!"

"Ow! Socialized Medicine! Socialized Medicine!"

Thursday, January 5

Powerful Stuff

The Rude Pundit has been touring the devistated areas of New Orleans. He has written of what he's seen, and it's powerful stuff that all six of you should read. I'll start you at part I; he's up to part IV now.

Sunday, January 1

The Battle Plan for the Start of 2006

Via My Due Diligence, Matt Stoller gives us Troops of Progress a plan for fighting the good fight in the next month:

Our strategy is clear. Scream bloody murder about Sam Alito, the wingnut who wants to overturn Roe vs Wade and turn the Presidency into a dictatorship.
Investigate the wiretapping scandal.
Oppose. Oppose. As Josh Marshall says, oppose.
If we win on Alito, great. We can beat him. But even if we don't win, the GOP has some really tough sledding ahead.
The plan is simple: Keep up the pressure. We cannot always rely on our Congressmen to do the right thing. However, if we keep fighting and spreading our ideals, we just might be able to get a few of our guys in Washington in November.