Sunday, October 27, 2013

Tim Martin & the Pledge of Allegiance

Most of Tim Martin's My Word commentaries seem a bit childish to me, but he's wrote one or two I agree with. In today's Times- Standard he complains about the Pledge of Allegiance. I'll agree with him on that one, too.

Of course, his main beef seems to be the phrase "under God" being included, and he goes on with that tired old separation of Church and State argument. He wrote:

"The entire matter could be settled if we just drop "One nation under God" and replace it with "One nation under the constitution." Who could find fault with that?".

I can, for one, and it seems a bit contrary to when he rightfully brings up nationalism a couple paragraphs later:

"Nationalism is a religion, too, and not a very good one. The way I see it, blind obedience to a government/military hierarchy is every bit as objectionable as an unquestioning reverence to an imaginary god."

That's right. And no one should be compelled to pledge allegiance to the State, and that's just what the Pledge of Allegiance is: a pledge of devotion to the State. I'd just as soon we got rid of the Pledge entirely. However, I don't object to anyone pledging themselves to whatever they want, so long as they do it on their own and don't force others to.


At 1:03 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

democraticJon said...

Fred - question - where do you place yourself on the political spectrum? Left, Center, Right?

Or is the question unfair?

I easily place you extremely right of center. No one in the center would use the term "nanny state" for example. Or characterizing many of Tim Martin's commentaries as "childish". Seems as though I've been agreeing with a bunch of his recent commentaries - probably exactly the ones you deem childish.

So do you agree that there is a right and left? Do you believe that such a descriptor is beneath your politics or can you place yourself on such a spectrum. Just a question I had as I was cleaning the house on this lovely Sunday.

At 1:03 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Fred is one of those who feels that such labels are rather one dimensional, and moreover seem to lead to shallow inferences, silly generalizations, and gross mischaracterizations.

At 1:04 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Funny that I was just chatting with a guy in person and he asked me basically the same question as I was leaving. I told him I consider myself probably in the center, since I often find areas of agreement with those on the right or left.

But a linear political spectrum doesn't work well, except for very simple minds such as yours and his (and truth be told, most people).

To paraphrase the late Dave Bergland as he pointed out to a school class many years ago. If someone who believes in legalizing pot is on the left and someone who believes in gun ownership is on the right, what do you call someone who believes in both gun ownership and legalizing pot?

The political spectrum is probably better illustrated as the "Nolan Chart" does, with left, right, centrist, statist(authoritarian) and libertarian spots. Hope the tiny url works:

At 2:44 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I'm working on a post for tomorrow that covers this subject. Not asking for discussion, only pointing out comments could be saved for that post.

At 7:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tim Martin doesn't need to make the 'pledge', no he needs to make amends with Mr. Lincoln Killian for stealing his wonderful story of 'Boomer Jack'. This guy has a major problem with his ego, Major..

At 6:02 AM, Anonymous democraticJon said...

Technically 1:03PM, it would be two dimensional. Hey OH!

I look at the Nolan chart and derivatives. They are loaded. I'm looking forward to a post on those.

Here's a spectrum that is pretty fair as I think both sides might accept it.

On the left you would have believes in increasing percentage of government spending as a percentage of GDP and on the right would be believes in increasing the private sector as a percentage of GDP. I think that a) it captures the heart of the blue/red divide , b) it has very precise policy implications thus is useful and c) it can be narrowed or expanded as needed. It's boring and barely understandable without pictures (including to myself) but I think it's fair. Where would you all place yourselves? I would say Germany has it about right with government accounting for about 50% of GDP (I'm sure because of the huge impact of single payer health care). So in a way I'm a centrist to.

Seriously though I too believe I'm pretty centrist to. I do believe in balance budgets, a strong defensive military (which we can do at 1/3 the budget), the American Experience. I'm pretty much a fan of Dwight D. Eisenhower. (although admittedly FDR is the man)

In politics, we all like the frame that pictures us as centrists. It's effective during general elections and not as effective during primary elections (which we no longer have in Humboldt except for POTUS).

But you are right, a two dimensional (ie linear) spectrum is imperfect, but that doesn't mean it is without meaning. We both agree we are not near each other on the spectrum, whichever we choose I would contend I'm closer to the center and you are fringy, you might contend the opposite (while also pointing your finger at me and my simple mind).

Politics can be fun and informative once we remove the unnecessary day-in day-out contentiousness. Sometimes things get rightfully contentious, but they shouldn't always be. Just mho.


At 6:18 AM, Anonymous democraticJon said...

uuuhhh, oops.

Upon further review, yes linear spectrums are one dimensional, x-y graphs two dimensional, and, well we all get 3 dimensions. Even me. Yes all, I agree on this I was an idiot. Mea culpa and boo to me for calling someone out for being exactly right.

Stoopid foot in stoopid mouth.

At least I realized this mistake myself? Does that count for anything?

Sorry anon 1:03. you were absolutely right.

At 6:29 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

On the left you would have believes in increasing percentage of government spending as a percentage of GDP and on the right would be believes in increasing the private sector as a percentage of GDP

I've thought along those same lines myself. My way of putting it would be the left believes all wealth is generated by government. The right believes wealth is created in the private sector.

At 10:22 AM, Anonymous democraticJon said...

Fred - I don't believe wealth is generated by the government. Tweeet, foul. Governmental revenues are taken in by taxing us. We have dropped the ball and the top marginal tax rates have dropped. I'm guessing that is another area of disagreement between us - me - progressive rates with the top marginal rate being MUCH higher than now. (50% is a good starting point for federal tax rates on the top bracket (ie over 1.0 million or whatever) I'm guessing you would be for a flat rate, maybe even getting rid of the income tax all together?
Really want to get crazy - I'd be for a wealth tax. Somehow someway. For one lets keep the "Death Tax" (I'll use your probable terminology) We disagree on that too right?

No government does not create wealth, we in the private sector do. Capitalism IS good and a private sector is good and necessary. So does that put me on the right of your spectrum?

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I don't believe wealth is generated by the government

I've gotten the impression you believe the private sector couldn't exist without government.

At 12:52 PM, Anonymous democraticJon said...

I could (ie Somolia) or most of Turkey's (where I visit frequently) economy. But it shouldn't.

I think we had this conversation when I first came in (I asked you for current Libertarian examples)


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