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    • Have you read Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged? Or Paul Ryan’s excellent autobiography, The Way Forward: Renewing the America Idea?

      They all espouse the idea of limited government. In his book, Ryan expresses the view of his generation of conservative Republicans that you should rely on your community of neighbors, friends and family for assistance when you are in financial need, not the government. For a Ryan Republican to violate that belief would be compromising one’s core values.

    • I am familiar. I just had not thought of rejecting a government-sponsored health plan as a proof of one’s morality or ethics. 🤷🏼‍♀️

      On the flip side, Democrats found it unethical or immoral NOT to provide health coverage to those who could not access it another way.

    • On the flip side, Democrats found it unethical or immoral NOT to provide health coverage to those who could not access it another way.

      I think that’s how I came to the conclusion that a Republican would view it in moral terms as well.

      I wonder whether our resident philosopher can shed more light on this as far as whether it’s a moral, ethical, or political decision.

      @slamdunk406 Here’s my and lidja’s comments that we’ve been discussing:

    • Stephen...

      I think how one live's one's life relative to social interaction vs invasive procedures (vaccinations) are two very separate discussions and not necessarily inclusive.

      When a vaccination for COVID-19 is proven safe and available, I will be in line to get my shot. I think to actively participate in society one should vaccinate to prevent the spread of life threatening diseases.

      However, absent of such a vaccination, I simply refuse to live a sheltered life simply because elected pols or pol appointed scientists and/or healthcare workers makes such a proclamation. Look no further than Michigan for hypocrisy in such proclamations. All private construction projects were halted, but, all government projects were allowed to proceed. Why is the risk of infection for workers warranted for state government construction projects and not for private concerns?

      Since 9/11, the US as spun 180 degrees (again) on its philosophical axis pertaining to how government interacts in our daily lives. By that I mean, WE (citizens of the US) still believed in self-determination principles. After 9/11, many citizens and pols turned to the federal government for protection in our daily lives from unforeseen dangers and we see that even more so today.

      Prior to 9/11, we had FDR's New Deal legislative packages of 1933 and 1936 where once self-reliant folks turned to DC for hope and answers.

      The Supremacy clause (for the federal government) has always been embedded in Article VI Paragraph 2 of the Constitution. Yet, it wasn't until McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) in which SCOTUS first affirmed the federal government's supreme power over the states in certain matters. And DC has been chipping away at States Rights (which many argue are individual rights as well) such ever since.

      Today, pols are about political power and the ability to project that power and will onto the populace. And this projection of power cuts across the political spectrum; no one party or caucus has a monopoly on the accumulation of and projection of that power.

      The time proven concept of piecemeal, political compromise exhibited by President Reagan and Speaker O'Neill to pass economic legislation benefiting most Americans seems like ancient history. And even though we've experienced some serious bumps in the economic road since the 80's, we are still enjoying an economy directly benefiting from the legislation hammered out by those two great Americans.

      If you look too DC or your state capital for answers to protect yourself and loved ones or enhance your daily life, I think you will be left standing along the side of the road with an empty cup in hand.

      Stay safe and enjoy Life, you only have one!

      Bill

    • Just thought I’d post this pic of human and geese families enjoying the water this morning...

    • Bill, you are an interesting dude. I rarely have the opportunity to speak with someone of diametrically opposite views to my own and who can also eloquently express them. Like most people, I tend to avoid such conversations with friends and family who I want to stay on good terms with. As a result, it usually takes extra efforts to hear from voices outside of my personal echo chambers.

      Your comment that state rights are viewed as individual rights was something I hadn’t heard before in my Left-leaning fishbowl; it helps to make sense of previous news stories where Republican elected officials argue that a particular issue should be decided at the state level, rather than at the Federal level.

      My personal preference is to take the time to understand what exactly someone believes on a given issue as well as why they believe so. You took the time to provide both the what and why of it, so thank you.

    • Stephen, thanks for the kind comments!

      Likewise, I enjoy reading your posts and contemplating the positions you present.

      I can't (refuse to) be pigeon holed with a single broad label. My beliefs extend from one end of the political/cultural/philosophical spectrums to the other and driven by specific issues.

      Fortunately, I can have a healthy conversation with family and friends even when we have a polar opposite position. I think we do so because of the trust and respect for one another (and strangers as well) instilled in us by our parents and grandparents.

      Everyone deserves the same, equal respect.

      I was still quite young, perhaps not even 10, when I first recall my grandmother saying, "if you can't say something good about someone, say nothing at all". I wish I could say I live by those words (and I do most days), but, I have failed and no longer enjoy the company of several individuals.

      I think what reenforced the above thoughts was discovering Justices Ginsberg and Scalia were the very best of friends, often family vacationing together. They would share their hand written briefs with each other to ensure their legal thoughts were tracking. If two Justices with such polarized legal opinions could forge an enduring friendship, so can the rest of us. We just have to make a respectful effort.

    • If you've never read "Nico and Me" by Bryan Garner, I recommend it.

      Garner is not a political conservative. He became very good friends with Scalia. (Nico was Scalia's nickname.)

    • The title did not pop up on any of the book lists for Bryan A. Garner. Could the title be something different? Or perhaps an article written for a periodical?

    • Hmmm...if I understand the question correctly, we have a case of people being against a political position/government program until they realize it can actually help them. I would say it’s mostly a moral/political issue, though of course, our morals reflect our political views, no? Ideologically, it’s morally/intellectually dishonest to say you are against something in principle, but then flip when you realize it can help you. It shows you don’t really have an ideology or if you do, it’s poorly thought out.

    • "...we have a case of people being against a political position/government program until they realize it can actually help them."

      That is simply the nature of a constitutional republic. Elected representatives at all levels of government cannot be all things to all people. Yet, I still believe the electorate helps itself by electing individuals representing the ideals and positions of the majority; not the other way around in that the government is here to help us ("them") collectively simply because the government knows best. If that were the case, systemic racism would have been eradicated with the passage of the 13th Amendment in 1865.

      The notion of collective versus individual rights have been a hot topic since the days before the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia and remain so today. In fact, Federalists were staunchly opposed to the Bill of Rights. Imagine our domestic landscape today without the Bill of Rights! Frankly, I can't begin to imagine what the country would look like today, perhaps a mere reflection of the UK.

      And after just fighting a war of independence from England, no doubt the anti-Federalists wanted to ensure individual liberties were codified, hence the Bill of Rights. Citizens of the new USA were not going to be subjects of any government.

      With "stay at home", "shelter in place" orders and proclamations at local and state levels, it sure sounds like many citizens have become subject of some governors. No doubt there will be lawsuits across the country challenging the future issuance of such orders. And undoubtedly, SCOTUS will roll them into a single case and rule on the power of the state (governor) to deny constitutional liberties to their citizens through proclamation (executive orders).

    • I’m curious why you (or Chris?) thinks this was a decision based on their *moral* convictions? It seems to me this was a decision based on their politics...

      I’ve mentioned before that I have a photographic memory when it comes to Cake conversations from the archives. I finally tracked this down in one of Chris’s replies from a year and a half ago:

      “My wife and I have very personal and ongoing experience with this.

      “Her family lives in Southern Utah where the populace is extremely conservative. To my wife's family, Obamacare is evil and no self-respecting American should support it. The problem is, one of my wife's brothers and a brother-in-law ended up with serious medical problems and didn't have insurance. They couldn't get insurance because of pre-existing conditions. The only recourse seemed to be to declare bankruptcy and in a few years, pass away.

      “This put my wife's dad in a terrible position: enroll two of his family members in Obamacare and violate everything he believed in as an American veteran and proud member of The Legion of Honor, or watch the awful suffering and decline of his family. He enrolled them in Obamacare and they're getting good care now, but it tortures him that he's supporting something so terrible.”

      Original message:

    • Back to camping...

      In Bryce Canyon now. The scale here is very hard to convey in photographs. Here, I overlaid an arrow pointing to a hiker on one of the trails.